Money Management: Success Is in the Details

McCarthy, Edward
February 1999
Journal of Financial Planning;Feb1999, Vol. 12 Issue 2, p48
Academic Journal
The article examines the issues involved in successfully incorporating investment management into a financial planning practice and shares some insight from industry consultants and planners who have made the transition to portfolio management. Although it seems nearly every planner has migrated to asset management, its not necessarily the right move for everyone. Larry Howes, certified financial planner, a principal with Sharkey, Howes, Wagner & Javer in Denver, Colorado, frequently consults with planners on this issue. He believes that the first decision should relate to the planner's goals for the practice. Planners can choose from several methods for offering asset management. For some, signing on with a broker/dealer is the easiest way to get established. Another important decision is the range of securities to use with clients' assets. Mutual funds have been the most widely used vehicle among planners, due at least partially to the emergence of the fund supermarkets and their support operations. Len Reinhart of Lockwood Financial in Malvern, Pennsylvania, a money management firm that focuses on separate accounts, shares planner Judy Shine's observations on the need to offer separate accounts as an alternative to funds. An important consideration with portfolio management software is the ability to download client data electronically from a broker/dealer or custodian. Many of the account management and reporting processes required to manage investments can be automated, but as the number of client accounts grows, so do the demands on the planner. At some point, it becomes necessary to add new staff. But finding good employees can be a major obstacle.


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