Investment Portfolios Need Someone to Take Fiduciary Responsibility

There is a protocol to follow after a new patient enters your office. Staff is expected to meet, greet, welcome and have a patient fill out forms. This allows the Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) to ascertain demographics, responsibility of payment, the patient’s primary complaint and reason for visiting the office. The doctor after carefully reviewing this information asks a series of questions before rendering an examination and suggesting any testing (x-ray, blood work, CT scan, MRI, etc.). The facts and information gathered are analyzed and services suggested with the goal to help the patient. Initially, active care begins.
D.C. and Certified Financial Planner™

Similar to that of a Doctor of Chiropractic who cares for a patient and follows the oath to do no harm, a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®), parallels the doctor’s fiduciary responsibility. The presentation and selection of a financial portfolio by a CFP® has similar overlap, i.e., by attempting to meet an investor’s needs via obtaining important data necessary to initiate the financial planning and analysis process with factors that include but are not limited to: demographic, family history, saved assets vs. debt, risk tolerance, goals, and time frame for needing the anticipated invested portfolio.

Generally, an investment policy statement (IPS) is formulated and becomes the road map of the investor’s risk/reward and approved asset investment categories. This is similar to a report of test results after consulting with a patient and explaining the course of care needed to obtain anticipated results via initial active care. The CFP® is responsible for following the investor’s wishes as set forth in the IPS. Initially, the process is more intensive as the CFP®-investor meet, data is gathered and assets are appropriately placed in approved investment classes resulting in a portfolio of financial products.

However, portfolios need to be monitored as economic factors, personal situations and other occurrences may require the formulated portfolio to be rebalanced or fine tuned and kept within the parameters of the IPS. The IPS may allow for some variation to investing approach or the client can ask for specific modification.

Supportive Care and Monitoring

The suggestion of additional professional opinion or intervention is always an option depending on patient need. As patient care continues and positive results are obtained, the initial phase of care is curtailed and the D.C. can present options to the patient regarding further needed and suggested chiropractic services. Supportive care may be indicated including additional care, lifestyle and nutritional modifications, orthopedic appliance support, etc. The patient is anticipated to achieve a greater level of health with this care. In other words, the advent of agreed to and necessary supportive care allows the patient to minimize negative factors which most likely precipitated their problem and maximize the benefits by being monitored by their doctor.

Patient and D.C. Compliance

The key for patient results is commitment and compliance to the D.C.’s recommendations of care. This is also true of a D.C., commitment and compliance to prudent investing. Whether patient or doctor, both require a stoic approach as the perceived value now will yield greater benefit in the future. The importance of systematic savings whether for healthcare or financial savings, has been seen time and time again. Once a decision is made to achieve the stated goal, competent assistance is sought to complete the task and achieve either or both goals. Actions steps are undertaken to make an intangible thought very tangible and ultimately beneficial.

Importance of Following Good Advice

Utilizing a CFP® ultimately can achieve the same long term benefit for their client (patient) by monitoring the portfolio—rebalancing, changing, adding to and having ongoing discussions to maximize the investor’s reward with less risk exposure. Understanding there are never any guarantees, but realizing by working closely with the financial advisor who has the knowledge and experience to guide an investor through the financial maze of pitfalls and mistakes is a smart choice. Similar to that of a patient contacting a Doctor of Chiropractic for help, the provider of service (D.C.) has the same opportunity to ensure the health and well-being of their own portfolio and resultant anticipated benefits. Working harder seems to be the reality of healthcare without the resultant financial benefit. The importance of good sound financial advice and monitoring goes hand in hand with what a DC offers their patients. Metaphorically, if you find your portfolio is subluxated it most likely is in need of correction with adjustments to your financial plan or lack thereof! Remember, it takes time to get sick and time to get better. Selecting a CFP® with your wellbeing being paramount allows you to reap the benefits of sound financial planning practice and anticipated results. Especially important, expecting your invested assets are available when you may need those most.

A version of this article appears in the March 2014 American Chiropractor.

About the Author:

H. William Wolfson, DC, FICC, MS, is Director of Professional Services at American Financial Advisors (AFA), Inc., based in Orlando, Florida with offices in Orlando and New York. Dr. Wolfson is a registered representative with Foothill Securities, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC and a registered investment advisor representative (IAR) with AFA. Foothill Securities, Inc. and American Financial Advisors, Inc. are not affiliated companies. Dr. Wolfson obtained his Masters of Science (MS) Personal Financial Planning from the College of Financial Planning and is a candidate for CFP® certification. Dr. Wolfson remains active and engaged in chiropractic by volunteering his time as NY Delegate to the American Chiropractic Association and serving on assorted committees. He is also a board member of the New York State Chiropractic Association. In addition, he participates on assorted committees with the Financial Planning Association LI chapter. Dr. Wolfson retired after twenty seven years of active practice and may be reached [email protected].

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