The Financial Planning Industry can Learn from the Healthcare Industry

Good healthcare is often the result of patients having access to a group of diverse specialists. Imagine a scenario where you had a complex health issue and your only option was to see an orthopedic surgeon. This would be far from ideal, however, this type of scenario regularly occurs in the financial planning industry, as all members of the team typically have the same role.

For context, your broker used to masquerade as some sort of know-it-all who could ace a pop quiz on any stock or financial planning question. Investors eventually caught on to the absurdity of this and brokers responded by forming teams. In doing so, they painted a picture of a group with complementary skill sets working together for the benefit of their clients.

The reality is much different, however. Go to any brokerage firm’s website, and you’ll see a bunch of financial advisors or vice presidents clustered together. This is the equivalent of having a baseball team made up of all infielders.

What should a team look like?

For investors to achieve better outcomes, their financial planning team must be comprised of professionals with different skill sets. SWS Partners was formed with this very belief in mind. As a lifelong financial planner, it didn’t make any sense for me to join up with another lifelong financial planner. Instead, my partner, Phil Kessler, is a former attorney that spent his formative years in the financial services industry focusing on estate planning. Soon thereafter, we brought on Mike Parker as a partner and CIO to run our asset management functions. In both cases, Phil and Mike brought something unique to the table that were outside of my area of expertise.

Why the model works.

Our model works because asset management, estate planning, and financial planning are all critical to a sophisticated investor’s financial destination. But we haven’t stopped there. Those who have followed our blog or worked with us know that technology is the other silent partner in our business. In addition to our unique skill sets, we believe that by emphasizing the application of modern technologies, we can create broad efficiencies and deliver better outcomes to clients.

In the end, the financial services industry can actually learn from the healthcare industry, despite its imperfections. A team of specialists leads to better financial outcomes for investors.