The Value of Having a Personal CFO


By Ben Simiskey, CFP®, CPA –

As the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of your company, you work hard every day to lead your organization and fulfill the aspirations outlined in your mission statement. At home, you do much the same as the CEO (or co-CEO, if you’re married) of your family.

The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of your business assists you by addressing the financial issues in your firm – saving, spending, investing and planning. Similarly, a Personal CFO can assist you in accomplishing your personal financial aspirations.

To realize the significant benefits of a Personal CFO in your own life, there are three important skills that you should look for in that professional – in addition to the tent stakes of demonstrated competence and strong character.

Simplify the Complex

Today’s world is noisier and more hectic than ever. We’re overloaded with information and choices at every turn. There is tremendous power in having a trusted advisor who can filter the noise and simplify the complex – someone who can tell you confidently: “Here’s what this means for you.” A Personal CFO simplifies the complex.

Communicate

Many of the problems we face originate from – or are exacerbated by – either miscommunication or a lack of communication. If you are going to reap the benefits of having a Personal CFO, that person must be an effective and proactive communicator. You wouldn’t settle for a CFO in your business who couldn’t or wouldn’t communicate with you. You shouldn’t settle for that with your personal finances either. A Personal CFO communicates.

Think Strategically

A strategic thinker envisions and develops solutions. They can brainstorm approaches to address complex issues. Strategic thinking is a skill. It’s a personal competency that not all professionals have. And it is vital to the process of financial planning – the defining of your goals and the creation of actual steps to accomplish those goals. A Personal CFO thinks strategically.

These skills are utilized to go beyond your financial statements – beyond the numbers. A Personal CFO will make sure they have clarity around your family’s most important values, interests, hopes and fears. And then they will work diligently to help you make decisions that are aligned with those.

If you don’t yet have a professional who is acting as your personal CFO, consider whether it makes sense to add one to your team. They can be an invaluable resource in reaching your goals as your family’s CEO.


Ben Simiskey, CFP®, CPA is the Director of Wealth Management for Stegent Equity Advisors, Inc. He is also an adjunct instructor at Rice University, an Eagle Scout and a Fort Bend resident since 2006.