The Life Transition Blog

Interview: Daily Money Manager Louann Webber

I am very excited to introduce a new feature of the Life Transition Blog, interviews with leaders in fields serving those in transition. My hope is to help you get a better understanding of the many professions that are at your service and will help you feel less overwhelmed. If you know of a profession and/or professional you’d like to see interviewed for this feature, please be sure to be in touch.
Louann Webber is a Daily Money Manager and current president of the American Association of Daily Money Managers (AADMM)Her business is Your Money, Inc. and she practices in Arlington, VA. I am lucky to serve on the AADMM Board with Louann.

What is a Daily Money Manager (DMM)? Who usually hires you?

Daily Money Managers serve as a resource on financial issues and help our clients keep their financial homes in order. Our goal is to provide peace of mind and reassurance. My niche is high net worth individuals and their families, but other DMMs specialize in the senior market, small business owners, and busy professionals, to name a few.

Why are you usually hired?

Most of my clients hire me because they don’t want to spend the time required to manage their day-to-day affairs. They are busy with their businesses and philanthropic pursuits or travel a lot. DMMs who work with older adults and their families are typically hired to help the client maintain their independence and be protected from financial abuse or assist the adult children to manage the day-to-day finances, often from long distances.

My clients have me do everything from oversee their financial account reconciliations to gathering all of the documents necessary for a loan refinancing or tax preparation. I may pay the bills for their child in college and help that child to stick to a budget. I also often manage the payroll for household staff. In short, I provide financial care for the family.

How are you different from other, similar professions?

I’m very clear with my clients that DMMs are not accountants or investment managers. We are not Certified Financial Planners. Most of my clients work with these professionals in addition to working with me. The difference is that these other professionals do one job (like manage the performance of the portfolio or prepares tax returns). As the DMM, I know what’s going on with the client and his or her family in a holistic way. It’s very personal, not just generating reports. I need to understand the nuances of what is going on underneath the reports. My work then ends up as an input to the other professionals my client engages.

How did you get into this field? What is your story?

I was married at the time, and my ex-husband and I had bought into a company that got into trouble. I was the one who stepped in, and over several years, helped to turn that company around. At around the same time, my father passed away and I realized that my mother needed a lot of help settling the estate and managing day-to-day affairs. I realized that there was a business opportunity to do this for hire. All of this guided me to become a DMM.

What training, education and/or experience is required or helpful to do what you do?

DMMs are called upon to be knowledgeable in many areas of day-to-day finances. It goes far beyond paying bills and reconciling bank accounts. We need to know a little bit about a lot of things and also know when it’s time to call in another professional with deeper expertise than our own. Obviously, a DMM should be comfortable with numbers and have basic skills with tools like spreadsheets and financial software. It helps to be comfortable with technology too. Some DMMs come from related professions like accounting, banking or insurance. Since there is also the “knowing your client’s personal details” part of the role, it is important to be empathetic and comfortable dealing with family dynamics as well. 

Are there other special certifications? If so, what does obtaining them entail, and how important is it for a consumer to look for someone who possesses these credentials?

The American Association of Daily Money Managers offers a certification as a Professional Daily Money Manager (PDMM). Applicants for certification must be able to document a minimum of 1500 hours of paid daily money management experience, pass an exam and agree to uphold a Code of Ethics. In addition, continuing education credits are required and recertification is required every three years. I believe certification is extremely important as is shows that the individual is a professional committed to the field.

How can a consumer find someone like you?

Visit AADMM’s website at www.aadmm.com and click on the “find a DMM” link. You can search by name, state or zip code. In addition, check with trusted advisors or happy clients for a referral.

What are the three most important questions to ask before hiring a DMM?

What are your credentials?

How long have you been practicing as a DMM?

Do you carry liability insurance? If so, ask for details.

What are your top tips for working with a DMM?

Be who you are. Show all of your cards. Your relationship with your DMM is built on trust. The profession of daily money management is a big plus for society. It’s good for the individual and the community for people to have their financial house in order. We provide fiscal peace of mind and we’re here to help!

Please visit Louann’s website at www.YourMoneyInc.com.
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