It Takes a Team

The Recipe for Successful Estate Planning

By Joe Ray

For many challenges, it indeed takes a village. But in investment management and estate planning, it clearly takes a team. It is easy to grasp the concept that an investment team can make better decisions than a lone advisor with a single perspective and bias. Similarly, a team of advisors provides better estate planning documents. But who should be on a your financial team?


At TCO, we view ourselves and our clients as teammates. We work together to create and implement strategic plans so that our clients achieve their financial goals. Spouses, partners, and extended family should be considered to join the extended team. However, too often, we see situations where not all members of the extended team attend meetings – even in the early planning stages.

In these situations, a client assumes that they know exactly what their partner or child would say, think, or do in a given situation, but in most instances, this assumption is incorrect. When there is not input from all pertinent parties during the construction of a financial road map, the financial plan can make a “wrong turn at Albuquerque” – to quote Bugs Bunny.


I have done a fair amount of research on the differences between the way both genders make financial decisions. My goal has been to better tailor my advice to my children and to provide them with a solid foundation for financial independence.

A recent article by MoneyCrashers entitled, “Men, Women & Money – How the Sexes Differ with Their Finances,” outlines that men and women have very different habits that influence financial health. In fact, according to a 2017 research by Fidelity, women are better savers and more likely to enroll in 401(k) plans than men. Other data points out that women have a longer-term focus than men when it comes to investing. In contrast, men show more interest in investing and feel more confident with money. A Blackrock study concluded that men take more risks and typically have higher risk tolerances than women. Women, however, get slightly better returns.


This data helps us conclude that couples get better investment results when both spouses discuss their views with their financial professionals. Together, a couple balances out their individual risk tolerance, and sets clear objectives with an even eye toward risks and returns.

Moreover, it is important that all relevant parties attend as many meetings as possible with their financial advisors. This greatly improves the chance of achieving their financial goals.

Joe Ray- financial planning expert

Joe Ray
Senior Vice President & Manager Oklahoma City Region

(405) 840-8401