The Verus Team

What makes up the Financial Playing Field and does it matter?

Written by: Derek Majkowski. Any opinions are those of Derek Majkowski and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James.

When discussing all the things to consider with one’s investment plan and finances, one has to consider a large number of inputs and variables.  To visualize this, we will often provide a view of the following diagram which lays out all of the things that could come into play with someone’s financial and investment strategy.  


When reviewing this visual, it is important to note that what we are trying to highlight is that there are many things that need to be considered and addressed with one’s money and financial planning.  It is our attempt to point out that the landscape, or playing field, is cumbersome and complex.  Some of the boxes we highlight are correlated to other items, some are reliant on other boxes, and some are completely exclusive from the others.  We are purposefully trying to capture many of the things that may need to be considered, addressed, or at least aware when crafting a plan.

Now as we have previously highlighted, individuals will naturally approach their relationship with professional service providers in different ways.  Some may choose to address these issues and investments on their own, others will delegate the responsibility to the “professionals”, and some will work alongside their professional partners to collaborate on the relevant areas.  In most cases, someone will do all three depending on the topic or issue, and the sophistication of the task.

Regardless of how someone approaches addressing or considering these many areas that can impact, and / or be impacted by money, we have found this visual to be very effective.  While not every box on the visual will be relevant for someone at once, the majority of them, however, will be relevant, or will need to be properly weighed at some point.  We use this tool as a way to be thought provoking and further highlight all the priorities, products, markets, policies, tools, and influencers that can impact one’s short and long term financial and investment plan.  

Our conclusion, is that when it comes to one’s finances, the world in which one must prepare, operate, and navigate is much more complex and challenging than it may appear on its face.  This is why we purposefully list several different sub-categories under each main category titles.  When one uses the term “Stocks”, or “the Market”, there is a lot that can define or represent each.  When one references “Insurance” or “Tax”, what exactly does that mean?  What type of insurance and which tax?

For many who spend the majority of their days addressing their job and other life priorities, it is difficult to get and stay on top of all the things that can impact someone’s money.  That is why we like to show this illustration, and it is also why, from a planner’s point-of-view that we at least illustrate at a high level a number of factors and variables that can potentially influence and impact someone throughout the various stages of their life.  

The illustration provided is not intended as a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any security listed, the investments included in this illustration may not be suitable for all investors. Raymond James Financial Services, Inc and its advisors do not provide advice on tax, legal or mortgage issues. These matters should be discussed with the appropriate professional.