How to Find the Right Financial Advisor For Surgeons
In the world of finance, navigating the intricacies of investing, insurance, and retirement planning can be particularly challenging for busy surgeons with limited time and energy. This is where our article, “How to Find the Right Financial Advisors for Surgeons,” comes in handy. By delving into the process of finding a financial advisor who is the right fit for your specific needs, we aim to ease the daunting task of managing your finances while helping you ensure your future.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to finding the right financial advisor for your specific needs. With that said, there are certain qualities and characteristics that can help you identify wealth managers who are adequately prepared to meet the unique needs of a surgeon. In the following sections, we delve into each of these qualities. We also provide tips for making your search easier.
These topics are discussed below:
- Why surgeons need comprehensive financial planning
- Due diligence: How surgeons should vet financial advisors
- Wealth management for surgeons: What you need to know
- What is whitecoat investing?
- How can surgeons leverage their wealth during volatile market conditions?
- The benefits of working with a surgeon-specific financial advisor
- What types of surgeons do the Surgeons Capital Management team work with?
We understand: As a surgeon, you've spent years honing your craft and mastering the complexities of medicine. However, when it comes to managing your finances, you may find yourself struggling to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of investing and planning, especially when the economy is volatile.
Between demanding work schedules and personal obligations, it can be difficult to find time to stay on top of your assets, taxes, insurance, and other financial concerns. The stakes only get higher as your career progresses, making it all the more crucial to have a comprehensive financial plan in place.
Unfortunately, the economic picture isn’t likely to get easier anytime soon. It’s possible that we may experience additional downturns, including a possible recession, by the fourth quarter of 2023. These unpredictable events can have a significant impact, even on the investments and financial security of the affluent.
That’s why it’s increasingly important to have a proactive financial plan in place to help your portfolio weather the storms of market volatility—which is where an experienced financial advisor comes in. They can help oversee your portfolio while you're busy saving lives and treating patients. Wealth management for surgeons is meant to be easier for you by design.
At the same time, a wealth manager can remain objective and level-headed during times of market turmoil. This can prove immensely helpful, for example, by keeping you from disastrous mistakes like knee-jerk sell-offs (which we discuss later in another section). A professional financial advisor won’t tell you “No”; they will ask you to slow down and reconsider decisions that might undermine your long-term financial goals before proceeding.
Comprehensive financial planning involves much more than just investing, however. It also includes tax planning strategies, insurance analysis, retirement planning, and more. Ideally, you want a team of highly experienced professionals with years of managing wealth in volatile market conditions, overseeing your money. Now is not the time to be working with a less-experienced financial advisor.
Finding a financial advisor who understands the unique challenges and opportunities facing surgical professionals is an essential step in pursuit of your long-term financial goals. You need to ensure that you will be working with someone who is competent, trustworthy, and has experience with surgeons.
In other words, you need to conduct what we refer to in the financial industry as “due diligence.” This refers to doing research, asking the right questions, and, in this case, thoroughly vetting potential financial advisors-to-be before making a decision.
With that in mind, here are some tips for vetting possible advisors-to-be:
- Look for credentials and experience. Preferable certifications may include CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (abbreviated as “CFP®”) or Chartered Financial Consultant® (abbreviated as “ChFC®”) credentials. These designations require significant education, experience, and ethical standards.
- Understand their process and investment methodology. Consider their investment approach, risk management strategies, and how they might tailor recommendations for your specific financial goals and circumstances.
- Examine their fee structure. Different financial advisors are compensated in different ways, such as charging a percentage of assets placed under management, receiving a flat fee, a commission-based structure, or a combination depending on the services provided.
- Review their regulatory record. You can use tools like the Securities and Exchange Commission's Investment Advisor Public Disclosure (IAPD) or the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Brokercheck search tool to look up a financial advisor's regulatory record. These databases include information about advisors’ registration status, disciplinary history, and more.
Your salary is likely higher than professionals in other industries due to the hard work necessary first for your education and then for your practice. High-net-worth financial advisors have the kind of knowledge and experience necessary to help you navigate managing your savings and assets productively. They are intimately familiar with helping the affluent plan out their taxes, balance their portfolios regularly, and nurture their financial legacies.
Unlike generic wealth management service models, high-net-worth advising focuses on a holistic approach to your finances. Instead of merely investing your assets, these financial advisors work with you to develop a comprehensive financial plan taking into account your entire financial picture. This involves analyzing your income, expenses, assets, and liabilities to create a personalized strategy aligned with your goals and values.
A financial advisor for surgical professionals, for instance, typically utilizes sophisticated tax planning strategies to help you minimize your tax liabilities and maximize your returns. These professionals maintain extensive knowledge of tax laws and regulations to provide you with guidance on both structuring your investments and optimizing your tax savings.
Estate planning is another critical aspect of wealth management for surgeons. You have worked hard to accumulate your wealth, making it vital to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes when the time comes. The right financial advisor can help you and your other legal and tax advisors create strategies to address a comprehensive estate plan, including wills, trusts, and other legal documents to help ensure that your savings and assets aren’t confiscated or abused.
Whitecoat investing refers to an investment approach or strategy tailored for high-income professionals like surgeons. These professionals often have unique financial circumstances, such as delayed income due to lengthy education and training, high student loan debt, and complex income structures.
Whitecoat investing aims to address these unique circumstances by focusing on specific financial strategies and principles that can help medical professionals achieve their financial goals. These may include:
- Debt management: Prioritizing the repayment of high-interest student loans and optimizing refinancing options.
- Tax-efficient investing: Utilizing tax-advantaged accounts, such as 401(k)s, IRAs, and HSAs, to minimize tax liabilities.
- Asset allocation: Diversifying investments across different asset classes striving to manage risk and optimize returns.
- Risk management: Ensuring adequate insurance coverage, such as disability income, malpractice, and life insurance, to protect against potential financial setbacks.
- Retirement planning: Building a robust retirement plan by maximizing contributions to retirement accounts and determining an appropriate withdrawal strategy.
- Estate planning strategies: Developing a plan for the distribution of assets to beneficiaries and minimizing potential tax liabilities.
Whitecoat investing emphasizes the importance of financial education and planning for medical professionals, as their financial situation can be considerably different from those in other professions.
It’s only rational to ask the question above. Clearly, the stock market can be a rollercoaster ride, with sudden highs and lows that can make even the most seasoned investors uneasy at times. So, why would surgeons want to be investing in volatile markets?
The first answer lies in the importance of diversification. This can help spread your risk out, reducing the likely impact of losses to any one investment on your overall portfolio.
Clearly, investing during market downturns is not without risks. Some investments will lose value due to more serious underlying issues, just as they might during better economic circumstances. You never want to learn that a newly acquired investment was cheap because it lacks quality or potential.
That's why it's important to have a seasoned wealth professional helping you select the most appropriate investments based on your specific financial goals and needs.
Surgeons can greatly benefit from working with a surgeon-specific financial advisory team, like Surgeons Capital Management, as it allows them to focus on their demanding profession while helping ensure their financial goals are effectively managed.
Financial advisors, who are legally bound to act in the client's best interest, can develop tailored investment strategies, help with tax planning strategies, and provide guidance on wealth accumulation and protection.
Another benefit of working with a team of professional financial advisors who focus on working with surgeons is their familiarity with the industry landscape. There are unique financial challenges that come with the medical profession that exoteric advisors may not have the background to understand well.
For example, highly specialized financial advisors for surgeons, such as Surgeons Capital Management, understand the complexities of medical student loan debt facing a newly graduated surgeon. As a result, they can help someone who’s early in their career navigate repayment options while also saving for the future.
By working with a surgeon-focused financial advisory team, surgeons can optimize their financial well-being, safeguard their assets, and pursue long-term financial security, all while knowing their financial advisor is working solely for their benefit.
Our clients come from a variety of medical specialties, including orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, cardiovascular surgery, and plastic surgery. Many of these surgeons have spent years honing their craft and dedicating their lives to helping their patients. They also understand that financial stability is essential for a comfortable retirement in their golden years.
The Surgeons Capital Management team is comprised of similarly dedicated financial professionals. We share a deep understanding of the unique financial needs of a surgical professional. As a result, we provide customized strategies and investment advice tailored to each individual client’s personal and business financial needs.
One of the primary services we provide is wealth management. This includes helping create a diversified portfolio of investments with an eye toward long-term growth and stability. We stay up-to-date on the latest market trends, and we also care deeply about supporting the people we work with.
That’s why over 15 years of our firm’s experience includes attending medical conferences around the U.S. We want to know about your practice, your concerns, and what we can do to help you prevent future problems proactively (and it never hurts running into old friends, either).
The Surgeons Capital Management team also offers financial planning services. These include strategies for retirement, tax, and estate planning, just to name a few. Our financial advice process starts with creating a customized, comprehensive financial plan, but this is only the first step of our journey together.
CFP® and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ are certification marks owned by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. These marks are awarded to individuals who successfully complete the CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.
Asset Allocation, which is a method of diversification that positions assets among major investment categories, does not guarantee a profit or protection against a loss.
PPG-5701914.1 (5/23) (Exp.5/25)