How Good Is Your Second Opinion?

Before we get into the meat of this, I have to explain a little background. After 26 years of looking, I finally found a 1966 Pontiac Lemans — the same model I drove in high school. My first Lemans was totaled out by a drunk driver. So, for all these years, I’ve been looking forward to finding the car. 

I found it online and wanted to buy the vehicle, but I wasn’t sure if the pictures I was seeing reflected what I was buying. So I paid the $600 fee of a certified car appraiser and reviewer in Las Vegas to review the car and give me their assessment of what I was buying.

Sounds prudent so far, correct? 

Well, maybe not! When I got the car, it didn’t match what the appraiser had reported. The car had several issues: The brakes were leaking, the back seat did not match the model year, and so on and so forth. The point is that I paid for a second opinion and what I got was nothing more than someone taking my money. So, how do you know when you’re getting a good second opinion?

Many shoemakers will tell you that they do very well making shoes but their children are running around in bare feet. We call this the cobbler’s children scenario. In other words, I’ve got time to make very fashionable shoes for my clients, but I don’t have time to take care of my own world.

We’ve had several advisors come to us and explain that they’re doing well managing their money, but if something happened to them, they want their family taken care of, so they gave us the opportunity to meet their spouse. In doing so, we find out how they like to invest money and what control features they want to have. We also develop an ongoing relationship with the spouse so that when the time comes for them to stop working or retire, they know that we’re there to support them and take care of their assets.

As I’m nearing the golden age of 65 and applying for Medicare, I felt it was time for me to do the same and take my own advice to get a second opinion. As I looked at the pros and cons of the financial advisors I know, I came to the conclusion that the best second opinion I can get is from my team here at Mattson Financial Services. 

My teammates Gerald Green and Taylor Steward and I have been asked to speak to other advisors at events about the processes we’ve put in place, including reviews and opportunities we have for our clients. Recently we attended such an event. Nationally, we ranked at No. 2. However, if you take us out of the equation, of the top 10 advisors out there, three of them were people we had trained. Those three plus us equals 40% of top advisors throughout the U.S. 

Knowing our firm and training is among the best, I directed Taylor and Gerald to take a look at everything my wife, Nancy, and I have and to give us a report like they’d give any other client, including what deficits, if any, we’re now facing.

The fact is that what we don’t know, we can’t see or react upon. So, as I enter Medicare age with Nancy and we’ve done our planning, updated our trust periodically over the years, and grown substantial wealth, like many of our clients, way beyond our imagination, it’s time to sit back and allow others to see if there’s a way maybe we can do it a little bit better.

A good report shouldn’t show a rosy picture with nothing wrong. I know in my own case, there are going to be things they see and will wonder why I made certain decisions and have ideas for how I can do things differently. And I expect a written communication, just like we give our clients, about what’s good and bad and the changes we may need to implement. 

We want you to know that everybody in our firm has reviews, and while numbers and returns of markets have been good lately, we can’t expect them to stay that way. We’ve already made plans for a market downturn as well as hyperinflation and double-digit tax increases. Let me be clear: I’m not saying this is going to happen. I’m saying if it does, we are prepared to take action to make sure you are in the best position possible.

As we move forward in these uncertain times, and as markets adjust, taxes change, inflation grows, we’re here, ready, able, and willing to take on a new environment — whatever it shall be. Not just today, but tomorrow. And not just me, but my staff members that are ready and capable as much as I.

Enjoy the holidays with your family and remember, if not today, then when?

–Gary Mattson