How to Spot a Keeper
By Guest Blogger, Sheila Brennan
Compass’s Newest Trusted Advisor
When a couple is divorcing, there are several professionals that should be part of the team to assist in transitioning to the next phase of your life. From a financial perspective, there may be tax implications, employee benefits, retirement plans, investments, insurance, real estate, etc. that need to handled and distributed. The finances can quickly become convoluted. You may find yourself in over your head; and your attorney may be in the same position.
But how do you find a financial advisor you trust? How do you find a financial advisor who is qualified to be part of your team? How can you differentiate between the credentials? How important are those credentials when you’re hiring a financial advisor?
More than a decade ago as I embarked on my divorce, I was lucky enough to hire Tim Shanahan, President of Compass Capital. Years before the final agreement was drafted, the marital home was sold and the proceeds divided between the parties. Since I wasn’t sure where I wanted to live, I had Tim “hold” my money in an account at SEI Trust before I purchased a post-marital home. It was then that we began the conversations about the future, my financial goals, the startup of my business, my fears and concerns, and investment options to create the ideal future for me.
Tim’s guidance was instrumental in the final divorce settlement process. Each time an offer was presented, I would call Tim and ask him to run it through the model and compare it to the previous offer. How would the change impact my bottom line? I’d return with a tweak here and there until the settlement resonated with me. It was a taxing experience, made less grueling by the CFO of my team. The final hours were fatiguing when options and offers were being placed on the table and removed just as quickly.
I didn’t fully decipher Tim’s many credentials listed as part of his signature on emails. What I knew was that Tim was on my side. I recognized that Tim presented me with options and solutions he believed would be the best for my situation. We developed a relationship based on being able to talk to one another, trusting his advice, pulling me in when necessary and approving a discretionary investment I wanted to make even when he considered it imprudent.
A dozen years later, I refer to Tim as my “financial husband” and I really don’t do anything without getting his thoughts and of course, his opinion. My daughter once asked me why I couldn’t just buy a car without asking Mr. Shanahan? I’ve asked him a handful of times and his answer is consistently, “Probably not a good idea now.” So I drive around town in my 11 year old car. I know one of these times when I find a car that I love and send him a text with a picture, he’ll give me the nod. But until then, I know he’s on my side, aware of my goals, knows the bottom line every month and wants me to feel safe, secure and confident.
That’s why Tim Shanahan is my financial advisor!