Planning & the Importance of Collaboration

I started my blog with a three-part discussion of Wealth Management for Dentists.  Below is a Quote from a Tweet put out by The BAM Alliance this afternoon (May 22) about wealth management and planning.  The BAM Alliance is comprised of about 100 firms across the country (including ours) that provide wealth management services in the same manner we do.  We have an annual conference and interact with one another throughout the year.

“Wealth management works hand in hand with portfolio management, adding value beyond the importance of a prudent investment philosophy. The experience begins with crafting a holistic plan designed to help you in achieving your vision of financial success. That customized plan should address financial objectives, values related to money, concerns that keep you up at night and challenges that lie ahead.  The concept of wealth management takes shape through the process of advanced planning, which integrates tax planning, estate planning and measures to manage risks you could encounter along the way.  Think of advanced planning as a blueprint that provides guidance, purpose and confidence that you are on the right path going forward for your future and your loved ones.”  

Another group we belong to is the Academy of Dental CPAs (ADCPA) – a group of 25 firms across the country all of whom work with dentists.  We meet twice a year to learn from each other and outside experts about all things dental that impact our combined 6,000 or so dentist clients.  Our next meeting is at the end of July in Portland, Maine and my family and I have rented a house the week before the meeting for a vacation.  Since everyone who would otherwise dog-sit will be with us in Maine, I decided to fly “Sadie” and myself to Maine in our Piper Cherokee Six.  I share the plane with two partners who have generously encouraged me to make the trip even though I am tying up the plane for more than two weeks of good summer flying here in California.

Where is all this going?  Flying across the country requires a lot of advance planning on top of all the flight planning involved.  I need to research flying with a dog (they need ear protection) and take her on some test flights.  I will also have to create a list of things to take with me and expand the scope of my emergency planning.  While I will do this planning myself (Sadie won’t help), most of the planning I do for clients requires a collaborative effort.  In some cases it may be a simple matter of staff helping me prepare for a regular meeting.  In other cases, I may need to bring in a trusted professional (expert) such as an estate planning attorney, insurance consultant, or others.  In our world of dentistry, it is also important to work with experts in their field who speak “dentist.”  That can be tricky because while there may be an especially well suited estate planning attorney for the particular client circumstance, must they also understand the nuances of planning for a dentist?  We are blessed to have some very competent folks on our “team” who support us well in providing real wealth management services to our clients.  If they were not dental specific folks originally, they will have learned that side of our business by working with us over the years.

Collaboration is wonderful in specific client matters, group sharing and learning like described with the BAM Alliance or ADCPA.  What I have enjoyed learning fairly recently is that collaboration can occur between people outside the normal scope of a group meeting like the one coming up in Portland, Maine or, more intimately here in our office.  Collaboration can exist among professionals via Facebook, Twitter and other online forums.  Take the Progressive Orthodontist and Progressive Dentist Magazines for example.  Their objective is to teach the business of orthodontics and dentistry and they do so very well by bringing folks together who participate in their study groups or author articles for the magazines.  I interact regularly with the editor and other authors/contributors to either talk about client matters or share ideas back and forth to add to our respective arsenals.  I have developed very strong strategic relationships with people I have never met face to face but believe I know very well, and with others that I may see once or twice a year at a dental meeting.  While the dental world has always felt like a very small community, it is now a global neighborhood that grows and grows.  Hopefully, all the dentists touched and/or served by people in this collaborative dental community are beneficiaries of the collaboration just like the collaborators are.  I know I am.


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  1. […] a previous blog post, Planning and the Importance of Collaboration I wrote about the importance of collaboration among professionals.  My hygiene series, Running […]

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