We don’t do financial planning at the Fisher Law Office.
Instead, I work with a number of Annapolis financial advisers whose wisdom so eclipses my own that I’m left trying to bluff my way through conversation by nodding knowingly. None of them have asked what’s wrong with my neck, so either the strategy has worked or they’re exceedingly polite.
When it’s my turn to speak, I try to focus on the issues most important to the average financial adviser: “What types of clients are you looking for?”, “How much in assets should a potential client have?”, and “Fine, I’ll pick up the tab just this once,” are lines I inevitably find myself reciting.
These financial advisers – many of them dear friends – work the opposite side of the street from humble estate planning attorneys like myself. Their job is to guide clients to financial goals those clients have logically set for themselves; my job is to craft the instruments that help them achieve those goals based on the strategy they decide with their financial adviser. (I would talk about some of these colleagues in more detail but I didn’t bring enough page space to share with everyone and they’re a more jealous bunch than even my cats.)
Despite their close strategic relationship, these clients never bring up their financial advisers when we meet. Instead, they tell me how little their investments are making compared to what they used to make. The problem for some of them is that they are on fixed incomes. As the fixed income shrinks, the worries grow.
Now, I’m going to bend my rule to introduce a friend from the finance world, Sean O’Neill, of RBC Wealth Management, who recently published an article in the Capital Gazette about boosting monthly income when interest rates are low. Note that my mentioning him DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AN ENDORSEMENT OF HIS IDEAS (that’s called the standard Giant Legal Disclaimer, for those of you who don’t speak Lawyerese), and NEITHER DOES IT CONSTITUTE AN ENDORSEMENT OF HIM OVER OTHER ADVISERS (the standard Get-Off-My-Back-and-Go-Publish-Something-I-Can-Share disclaimer, for those of my jilted adviser colleagues who feel like I’ve just been unfaithful).
Nevertheless, Sean’s column made me realize it’s high time you met some of these financial sages. I am not a big believer in guest columnists. If I were, this blog would have already been overrun by absurd pictures of cats and knitted garments. However, I do think that when these financial advisers say something worthwhile, I should shove them out onto the stage for your edification (figuratively speaking, of course).
In the future, as my comrades-in-planning write interesting articles for their blogs, are quoted in the paper, develop website postings, or bribe me with promises of new clients, I’ll bring the material to your attention. Hopefully, we’ll also get some good reader comments about the suggestions and a start a dialogue on planning.
In the meantime, I’ve heard tales of an election coming up. The once-every-four-years sense of rabid enthusiasm is currently affecting some of my friends, not unlike a child’s fervor as Christmas approaches, each phenomenon being powered by (1) a relentless assault of seasonal advertising, (2) wish lists longer than some biopics, and (3) toxic levels of caffeine. If that sounds like you, talk about it at the one place where you can legally vote early and often.
Until next time, good luck and good hunting.
The Fisher Law Office is renowned for its experience in estate planning, probate administration, asset protection, and business law. Annapolis attorney Randall D. Fisher has practiced for over 20 years, maintains the highest peer review rating for ethics (AV Preeminent) by Martindale-Hubbell, and is a sucker for long walks on the fairways.