As a retirement-focused advisory firm, Fourth Dimension has a unique role in helping families plan their financial life to the last dollar. This means we’re helping people put plans together that will carry them through to their ultimate demise. While it’s not always pleasant to discuss death, most people find relief knowing their affairs are in order and their loved ones are not left with a mess on their hands.
Along those lines, an interesting semi-crisis is emerging in the financial advisory business. It turns out the average age of practicing advisors is just under 60 years old. While 60 certainly doesn’t signal the imminent death of these folks, it does mean many advisors are trying to plan their own retirement, just like you are. In just a few years, the ‘average advisor’ hopes to be retired and walking beaches in Florida just like you. While this sea change is quickly approaching, it turns out the vast majority of advisors haven’t prepared for their succession. In fact, just 18% of advisors have a formal succession plan in place, whether it be through death or retirement. That’s right, just 18% (source: Financial Planning, May, 2017).
I share this because some of you have asked what our plans are, and all of you deserve to know. If I’m hit by a bus, what happens to your plan, your accounts, to Fourth Dimension as a whole? What have we done to prepare so that your plans are uninterrupted by such an event?
The short answer is, we have a written plan. Whether I’m dead, disabled, or forced to retire early for some unknown reason (a sixth daughter on the way makes that highly unlikely!), you can rest assured that Dave, Stephen Hanley, and Andrew Nutter are fully prepared to step in and ensure that the business remains fairly close to business-as-usual. Sure, the communications (this newsletter, etc.) will look different, but the planning will not need to change, unless your circumstances do.
Many of you are aware that we’ve been working very closely over the past year with Investment Strategist, Stephen Hanley, and his Research Assistant, Andrew Nutter. In short, they’re awesome. Steve’s been managing very large investment portfolios for many years and has one of the sharpest financial minds I’ve encountered. On top of that, he and Andrew are so much cut from the same cloth as Dave and I that we often marvel at how well we work together. This should be very confidence-inspiring for you; it is for me. [Note: after reviewing this article, Steve asked me to let you know he greatly prefers to work with me than in place of me. Phew! That’s a relief.]
Let me be clear: I’m not planning on going anywhere. I love what we do and feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to serve you. But if I’m forced to quit because of death or disability, please know that we’ve gone to great lengths to ensure that you’re taken care of. So much so that we put it in writing. We’re part of the 18% of advisors who have formal succession plans in place. We feel really great about that and hope that you do too.
So now that we’ve spent some time discussing dying, let’s get back to some living, shall we? For those who are keeping track, my wife, Carie, is at 26 weeks in her pregnancy. The baby appears to be developing well and is scheduled to make her appearance in late August. We’re always open to your prayers and well-wishes. Fun times are ahead!
All the best,
Adam Cufr, RICP®