Find a Specialist

5 Principles to Restore Order and keep you well!

Number Three – Find a Specialist (or two)

The book, Three Cups of Tea is about a mountain climber who was inspired by an encounter with impoverished villagers to build schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan. You may wonder how this relates; let me explain.

For most mountain climbers, it is not the climb up the mountain they need help with, but the descent back down the mountain as was the case in this story. On the way down, they encountered difficulties, and the author got lost a few times. His porter (or Sherpa) had to find him and guide him. He ended up stopping at a local village to recuperate, which is how his life-changing encounter with the local villagers. However, this encounter would never have happened if it weren’t for his guide on the way down the mountain.

The wise mountain climbers know this. They don’t depend on their own wits get back down. They want the knowledge of someone who has made this trek before and who is intimately acquainted with the best paths, the hidden dangers, and reading the way how the storm clouds are rolling in. They hire the local Sherpas for this, the men who grew up here and have done this before.

Financial planning has been likened to mountain climbing. What you really need is a guide, a specialist, someone who’s familiar with the terrain, the potential pitfalls, the best approaches to this or that. More than that, you want a specialist who is part of a team of specialists: CPAs, tax specialists, attorneys, and advisors. Beware of the generalist who tells you they can do it all, remember jack of all trades, master of none. Look for someone who has a network of contacts in every appropriate profession, someone who may not have all the answers, but who knows who does have the answers.

Here are some questions you can ask to find your Sherpa (your Becky from last week).

I know this area requires specialized knowledge, do you have expertise in those are? How would I know that?

What professional training do you take and how do you stay current?

Who do you turn to when you have questions on financial, legal, or tax matters? (No one can know it all.)

If you were on the top of the mountain, would you want to be handed a map with directions written on it, a GPS to give you step-by-step instructions, or a guide to go with you?

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