Your Questions, Answered: Engineer Seeking Wealth Advice

November 12, 2020

On this week’s episode of Your Questions, Answered Patricia Kummer and Brian Leitner discuss how wealth advisors can be beneficial to engineers, and answer the following question:

“I’m an engineer and I love working with numbers. I handle my own finances but I am considering turning it over to a wealth advisor. How do I know if doing this would be beneficial?”

Do you have questions you’d like answered? Email them to [email protected], and we’ll provide answers.


Brian Leitner: You have questions, we have answers. Back with another quick clip. And this is a question from an engineer, this individual writes, “I’m an engineer and I love to work with numbers, and I’ve been handling my own financial situation for some time. But at this point, I’m considering turning that over to an advisor. So how can hiring an advisor be beneficial to my situation?” that is his question. So, Pat, what are your thoughts around that? 

Pat Kummer: Absolutely. Well, we work mostly with sophisticated clients who have actually a very good understanding of what their financial situation is. And some of them do a fair job of managing their wealth as well, but something always seems to be missing. 

We typically have engineers come in with spreadsheets, which is great. We love that too. It’s easy to look at the numbers, but not maybe the overall concept or where it is they’re trying to get to. And I think it’s hard to be your own advisor. It’s hard to be objective about your own situation. 

Brian: So, could you elaborate on that in terms of just some of those benefits? 

Pat: Sure. I think the financial services industry is a perfect match for bringing the left brain and the right brain together, finding those creative solutions and backing them up with facts and figures is ideal in every case. For example, we could be doing a simple tax calculation and discover that a Roth conversion is a good fit and this could save significant tax dollars. Or we could be holding a family meeting and end up with a much more valuable estate plan as a result of that. These are things that don’t normally show up well on spreadsheets. It’s the strategy and framework of what you’re shooting for that seems to be the missing piece. And without that road map, major economic changes could actually derail you. 

Brian: So, it’s interesting Pat, the whole marriage between the right and the left brain, right? I mean, numbers tell a story, but it’s just part of the story. So, walking through that process and truly understanding all of the issues that surround those numbers, I think is where it gets really powerful. Right? 

Pat: Absolutely. 

Brian: Any particular part of the process that you’d like to further elaborate on when you work with engineers? 

Pat: Well. First, I think it’s important to understand that we’re on the same side of the table. We speak their language. We work a lot in the aerospace and software industry in particular, and we’re all results-driven people. We all appreciate good solid research and facts, but really having pure objective advice is the important key. And, you already know what you want. Sometimes, it’s just how you go about getting there. And engineers like to play what-if scenarios. And I think the Monte Carlo analysis is a very nice addition in that case. But truly the most beneficial thing is really just to be a sounding board and to understand their situation and be able to point out things that maybe they hadn’t thought of. Saving in taxes or transferring wealth. And right now, it seems to be that distribution planning for retirees is very important. Where to source that paycheck, that paycheck from every month. 

Brian: Yeah, those are excellent points. For an individual like this or others, what do you suggest they do if they’re going to consider hiring an advisor. Where do they start? 

Pat: Well. Since this is a relationship business and it’s important to trust the people that you’re working with, I think finding the right advisor is key. You want to start with an experienced CFP and of course a fiduciary. And then I think it’s also important that you are open-minded and transparent with bringing all of your data to the table and then being receptive in receiving advice and suggestions. We’re here to help and maybe we can open doors for you that you might not have thought of. 

Brian: Yeah, those are great points. I mean, the more we know about a situation, the more we’re able to offer, because we understand the entire picture. So Pat, thanks again for being here. I really do appreciate your expertise.  

Pat: Thank you, Brian. 

Brian: And if you or anyone else has questions they’d like answers to. Please feel free to go ahead and email us at [email protected]. Thanks for watching. 

Contact Us