Luxury Portfolio Magazine: Q&A With Money Whisperer Joe McLean

By Michelle Walsh

To elite sports players from the NBA, NFL, PGA and MLB, Joe McLean, Managing Partner at Intersect Capital, is dubbed the “money whisperer” because of his unique perspective on wealth management for high-net-worth individuals. In our recent discussion, McLean provided advice on topics varying from securing a financial advisor to adapting in the face of COVID-19.  

What rules-of-thumb would you offer to achieve long-term financial success?

Always pay attention to the short-term. Many people quite often spend two weeks a year planning for a vacation and less than two days a year planning for financial freedom. It’s all about asking yourself, what’s the next milestone that I want to hit? Without a milestone or goal, you’ll never have a reason to say no to things that will be a distraction and will quite often prevent you from saving. Pay yourself first before you pay any other bill and before you accessorize your life — that’s the first step to achieving financial freedom.

You’ve previously indicated that trust is vital in any financial advisor-client relationship. What advice would you offer readers when searching for a personal financial advisor?

It’s important to ask personal questions about someone that will co-pilot your financial life. You need transparency, so when entering a new advisor relationship, it’s crucial to learn the answers to three questions.

1. Are they a fiduciary or not?
2. What is the financial advisor’s personal credit score? If they can’t be responsible with their own money, how would they manage yours?
3. Are they putting their money in the same investments that they’re recommending to you? Essentially, they should be living out the same principles that they’re recommending.

Covid-19 has undoubtedly impacted the finances of many around the world — what advice would you offer readers right now and for the future?

This is a big wake-up call for all of us, frankly. What we’ve all learned is that there are things you can control and there are things you can’t. You can’t control pandemics, but you can control how you save and how you spend. In periods of uncertainty, it’s important to have a process and a plan in place and fill three buckets in your financial life.

1. Safety and security: Put away enough cash to meet your fixed costs for a minimum of 12 months.
2. Streams of passive income: Investments that would pay you, even if you were laid off.
3. Dreams: Wants, instead of needs.

Many of us try to live out dreams before filling the safety and security bucket —avoid this. If you first prepare for the unexpected, then invest in passive income, you will have the financial freedom to invest in the dream bucket, as well as be better prepared for any future surprises.

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