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How to Build your Financial Dream Team

Taking care of your personal finances can be challenging, especially if you have no one to turn to for help.  A better approach is to build a team of professionals who will work together to best serve your interests.

With 2012 underway already, this is a good time to “reassess your Trusted Team — the group you turn to for financial, accounting and legal advice,” said a recent article in The Wall Street Journal.  “If you’re tired of doing it yourself or your pros aren’t performing up to snuff, it may be time for a change,” WSJ said in its Dec. 31-Jan 1 Weekend Edition. “And if you’ve faced a setback this year, like a divorce, death of a spouse or a job loss, you especially want a team that is looking out for you and your best interests.”

Your team might include an investment manager, a Certified Financial Planner (CFP©), an estate attorney, insurance agent, a company benefits expert and a tax accountant.  It should be no surprise to hear that GTRUST Financial Partners staff includes investment professionals, attorneys, Certified Financial Planners (CFP©), tax professionals and a large body of institutional knowledge on insurance and employee benefit issues.

Daryl Craft, President of GTRUST Financial Partners, recommends when selecting an investment advisor that you choose a fiduciary advisor, one who places client interests first when making financial decisions.  Not everyone who works in the investment field is a fiduciary.  Stockbrokers and many Registered Investment Advisers (RIA’s) have only an obligation to recommend options that are “suitable” for investors, a far lesser standard than that of a fiduciary.

Suitable investments may be acceptable if you are a fairly sophisticated investor.  However, many investors need the advice and counsel of a trusted advisor who is a fiduciary…someone who will place your interests and wellbeing first in every conversation and in every investment.

Richard Salmen, SVP and Senior Advisor, suggests that a good financial planner will review your entire financial life, including your investments, insurance policies, work benefits, debt and cash-flow. Your financial planner can help you budget, manage debt, plan for both death and taxes, and find the right insurance, plus help you with your investments. They can also provide family dynamics counseling, as it is fairly common that family members may have different attitudes about money and how it is saved, invested and spent.

When choosing a financial planner, The Wall Street Journal recommends that you ask the following questions…How much do you charge? Will you act as a fiduciary? Will you operate with my interests first? How often will we talk?  Have you been disciplined by a professional or regulatory body? What is your money management style?  Those of us at GTRUST welcome such questions, and we believe we have the answers you will want to hear.

GTRUST is an employee-owned, independent trust, investment management and financial planning company, serving clients in more than 25 states.  All services are provided on a fee-only basis.  We help clients use money more effectively to get what they want out of life!

To see the entire article by The Wall Street Journal, go to

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204296804577124662217267128.html

January 19, 2012

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