The financial quarterback idea first gained traction with the super-rich, according to a study released this year from Morgan Stanley and Campden Research. Campden found that 42 percent of the super-rich (assets greater than $100 million) use a single entity or person to manage their finances.
So if 2 out of every 5 of the super-rich are taking this approach, what does it mean for the rest of us? “With such a high percentage of the ultra wealthy adopting this model, it seems that the life audit approach is gaining currency for anybody who wants greater peace of mind,” says Katz whose firm gives an objective, unbiased point-of-view to business owners, individuals and families.
Family, friends and “long-time advisors are great, but they sometimes lack the perspective people need today to be sure that their finances, investments and plans are in order,” Katz says. The big danger is that too often advisors may have “something to sell” which colors recommendations.
A life audit occurs when a counselor creates a plan that takes a horizon-wide view, all while being non-judgmental. “Whether it’s a financial quarterback or a life audit, the end result should be the same,” Katz says. “Clients need to be assured that all of the people they use to manage their life have been assessed, vetted and adjusted as necessary to be sure goals are achieved.”
Katz says advisors should always remain objective while becoming a confidant so that clients reach their goals (http://www.lifeauditors.com/
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According to the Campden study, wealthy families usually have one primary investment advisor for money management, but their assets are spread across any number of satellite resources. Katz agrees it’s a sound strategy for anyone – small business owner, C-Level executive or wealthy family – “to spread eggs around different baskets to diversify investments and mitigate risks.” At the same time, Katz says “a life audit accomplishes the same thing across the entire range of advisors any of us may work with over the course of our adult life.”
About Us: LifeAuditors provide a comprehensive, independent assessment of personal and business objectives that includes analysis of corporate and personal tax returns, wills, trusts, buy-sell agreements, retirement plans, insurance, pre- and post-nuptial agreements, special needs arrangements for dependents, blended family planning and personal exit strategies. LifeAuditors consulting services are on a fee-basis only; no products are ever sold. Paul Katz, LifeAuditors founder with 40 years’ experience in the financial environment (http://www.lifeauditors.com/