Synergy has become popular vernacular across boardrooms, conferences, and certainly touted by motivational speakers in the business community. So much so, that many books have been penned on the topic. There are books available on synergy relating to food, clothing, fitness, and physical and mental health to name a few, so the concept has certainly caught on!
I believe in the concept of synergy, and I am a firm believer in applying the theory of synergy to personal finance. As a holistic (one who sees the entire picture) financial advisor, I see the benefits in my clients’ progress because of synergic effects.
How to create personal financial synergy?
Financial synergy can only be achieved through connectivity. Think in terms of Sir Isaac Newton’s Third Law: every action has an equal and opposite reaction (My seventh grade teacher would be proud!). Personal finance is similar to the world of physics in this way. Every financial move or decision creates a reaction in another area of your financial life. The key is to create positive reactions and not negative.
For example, buying a home that is too expensive will create negative synergy to your cash flow. It will create a scenario that will produce a negative snowball of reactions that can lead to a deep financial hole and possibly irreparable financial damage…..maybe even bankruptcy.
While negative synergy can create a downward spiral, positive financial synergy can spur tremendous financial growth. A fine example we can all relate to is saving for retirement. Money contributed into a 401k is tax free; therefore, the contributions will reduce your tax bill. This is positive synergy. Let’s continue the example, the excess funds created by the tax reduction from the initial 401k contribution can now be contributed into the 401k. The more money contributed the greater the tax reduction. The greater the tax reduction the more cash is freed up. This is just one example of financial synergy between two areas of personal finance: taxes and retirement.
There are many areas involved in personal finance. Estate planning, retirement, taxes, insurance, cash flow, goal setting, investments, college planning, retirement planning are most of the topics involved with personal finance, but not all. Imagine the traction that can be generated by constructing a financial plan by integrating all of the pieces. Imagine the power and efficiency of a financial plan created using synergic strategies between the aforementioned topics. The positive momentum becomes exponential!
Often families may employ various professionals to handle their personal finances. A CPA takes on taxes, and a broker covers the investments, while an attorney handles estate planning. Unless these professionals communicate effectively the power of financial synergy is lost. The right hand must know what the left hand is doing! Whether a family uses various professionals or navigates the financial landscape solo, continuity, connectivity, and efficient synergic decisions are a must for financial success.
Effective financial planning increases efficiencies across all financial areas, which is synergy. If you feel you are leaving money on the table somewhere in your financial world or feel a lack of connectivity, you should contact a financial advisor. Some of the brightest minds in synergic financial planning can be found through The Alliance of Cambridge Advisors (an organization in which I am a member). Check out their website at www.acaplanners.org .
Photo by: C.I. Frost