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Bundling Services: Getting Max Value From Financial Professionals

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What professional financial advisers do is fairly straightforward: They work with clients on their investments and planning/tax strategies, among other services.

While it is common for a client receiving financial advice to coordinate with multiple companies to execute a desired result, know that when financial advisers of different disciplines are not in sync, the advice being offered could be incomplete and might lead to an undesired result.

Investment, planning, and tax strategies can be provided separately, but the potential for maximum value exists when all areas are integrated into one cohesive, informed and well-executed wealth plan.

That, however, is easier said than done. The majority of Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) prefer to concentrate their businesses on investment management, while relying on a strong network of third-party service providers to formulate and execute financial and tax planning.

By offering an integrated approach to financial services, a financial services firm can enjoy stronger relationships with its clients. Because it manages multiple facets of its clients’ financial lives, it strengthens its service relationship through ongoing communication and follow-up.

In addition to having a stronger working relationship, constant contact allows a firm the opportunity to provide additional value — as turning over stones in one financial area typically leads to an opportunity in another.

Formulating and planning pre-retirement goals and executing your post-retirement lifestyle typically involve multiple layers of investment, financial and tax advice. Many people spend decades creating the foundation of a successful and low-stress retirement — why would you spend time coordinating advisers in separate offices if given another option?

To offer another analogy, if you drop a hundred lines into the water, you’re bound to catch a few fish, but at what expense? An experienced fisherman might drop multiple lines, but he does so knowing that each one is using the correct bait and is cast in the right way.

Using an RIA with an integrated financial service platform is like getting in a boat with an experienced and fully outfitted guide — it’s less work, and it allows the client more time to enjoy his or her journey through life — with a higher likelihood of a successful trip.

Benjamin Dorsey, CPA, CFP, CDFA, MST, is director of tax services for Columbia-based Baltimore Washington Financial Advisors. He can be contacted at 888-461-3900 and bdorsey@bwfa.com.