The Investment Scientist

Why attorneys need financial help?

Posted on: November 6, 2009

busy attorneyLack of time

“Life is short, time is never enough!” lamented a lawyer client of mine. With intense pressure to meet billable hour requirements, some attorneys don’t even have time for their spouse and children, let alone their personal finances. It also doesn’t help that the financial world is becoming increasingly complex.

Professional stress

Believe it or not, law practice is one of the most stressful jobs – despite the great pay. No other job is as focused on the adversarial aspect of life as law practice. Martin Seligman’s research shows that 52% of lawyers are unhappy. When people are stressed and unhappy, they can’t do proper financial planning.

Lifestyle expectation

Society expects an attorney to live like one, dress like one, and drive like one. Young attorneys can acquire quickly an expensive lifestyle that is hard to kick.

Missing the forest

Attorneys are detail-oriented people. Financial planning, on the other hand, deals with big picture issues such as life-time dreams and how to get there. Attorneys doing their own finances tend to see the tree and miss the forest.


Attorneys are smart. They are highly trained in their area of expertise. They usually are also familiar with the terminology of finance. This might lead them to believe they are good at finance. They usually aren’t.

Lack of delegation

Skepticism is attorneys’ professional trait. It serves them well in law practice, but it also makes them less inclined to delegate financial planning to an advisor. That can be a costly mistake.

Help is available

Do you want to be a rich attorney? More importantly, do you want to have more time for work and family? Do you want to be stress-free? A fee-only independent wealth advisor like myself can help take care of your money matters so that you can focus on what you do best and enjoy your hard-earned wealth with peace of mind

Why fee-only?

No one can serve two masters. If your financial advisor gets paid by an insurance company or a big Wall Street brokerage, what’s the chance he will put your interest first?

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Michael Zhuang is principal of MZ Capital, a fee-only independent advisory firm based in Washington, DC.

Twitter: @mzhuang

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