Home » Selecting Your Financial “Chief of Staff”

Making Financial Planning Decisions as a Business Owner


Financial planning decisions do not live in a silo, so neither should the professionals helping you, as a business owner, make those decisions. These days, there are financial professionals for about every field you can imagine: estate planning, investment management, tax planning, insurance management, real estate, business valuation, business succession planning, and more. With so many different viewpoints, deciding and moving forward can be difficult. 

Many financial professionals, that business owners like yourself work with, may have impressive designations and years of experience behind their names. These professionals hopefully have your best interest in mind, but if each works independently with no coordination, it can become highly inefficient. You want to ensure everyone is rowing the boat in the same direction, towards YOUR ultimate end goals. 

In general, CPAs want to help you minimize taxes for both you and your business. But what if a Roth Conversion (increasing taxes now, for both tax-free growth and distributions) is better aligned with your overall financial picture? 

Or, what if you seek insurance coverage to ensure your family is protected, but your insurance broker does not know your entire financial situation? If you have a taxable estate and purchase insurance personally, you are signing up to give 40% of the insurance proceeds to the government in estate taxes. Coordination between your insurance broker, estate planning attorney, and financial planner could have easily solved this error. 

On top of missed opportunities and failing to maximize your entire financial scene, managing relationships with all of your financial professionals independently takes time and effort. You may think that having experts focus on their field of expertise is best; however, it often leads to items being missed or overlooked and others falling through the cracks. This is especially true as your financial scene grows and becomes more complex. 

What is the right decision?

So how do you address the elephant in the room and select your Financial Chief of Staff? This role needs to be filled with someone who understands your entire financial picture and communicates well with you, your spouse, and your whole family as needed. The Financial Chief of Staff also needs to be open to stepping up and leading the conversations with each of your financial professionals. 

This role is perfect for a Certified Financial Planner™. A Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) will understand investing, insurance, estate planning, and tax implications. A Certified Financial Planner shouldn’t replace the CPA, estate planning attorney, or other advisors, but they should facilitate communication. If done correctly, this can also significantly increase the success of your financial plan as your legacy is planned and passed down. When each financial professional is on the same page, working together with a complete understanding of your long-term plan, you reduce the risk of costly mistakes and missed opportunities.

How Schulz Wealth can Benefit YOU

Recently, I took the exam to become a Certified Finacial Planner™. Before preparing for the exam, from my background as a Chartered Financial Analyst and my years of experience working alongside Rob as a CFP®, I believed I was skilled in each of these areas. As a result of the exam, I now have a much deeper understanding of each of these areas holistically and am excited to serve our clients better. 

Here at Schulz Wealth, Rob and I are both now CFPs and thoroughly enjoy getting to serve our clients in a team setting to help ensure all actions taken are working towards our client's end goals. If you are interested in a review of your current situation, please reach out to discuss further how you can make sure everyone in your boat is rowing in the same direction. 

Those are my thoughts, have a great Thursday.

Austin Smith, CFA, CFP®

Like what you read? We send out our latest thoughts and insights every other week. Click the button below to have them delivered straight to your inbox so you never miss out.

Subscribe to Thoughts on Things Thursday