A Tumor Board and a Financial Planning Committee: What Do They Have in Common?

by Matt Roberts, MFM, CFP®, CAP®, Planning Officer | July 22, 2022

What is a tumor board and what does it have to do with financial planning?


According to cancer.net, a tumor board is a group of doctors and other health care providers with different specialties who meet regularly at the hospital to discuss cancer cases and share knowledge. The board’s goal is to determine the best possible cancer treatment and care plan for an individual patient. As cases are reviewed, fresh perspectives from other doctors make it much easier to come up with an effective plan.

For example, my friend’s mother-in-law was treated at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics for oral cancer. She had peace of mind and confidence in her mother-in-law’s recommended treatment plan knowing that multiple doctors had reviewed the PET scan of her tumor and discussed her case.

In the Syverson Strege world, our Planning Committee functions like a tumor board. The Planning Committee meets every month to discuss new financial plans before they are presented. Each plan is analyzed and scrutinized for its strategies, accuracy, and final assessments and recommendations to the client. The committee’s quality check process ensures that the overall plan is professional and beneficial to the client’s unique situation.

The committee also reviews planning software, the functionality of the Client Portal, updates to our Annual Planning Session (APS) packet, specific plans for current clients, and much more.

I lead the Planning Committee which includes Financial Planner Wayne Johnson and Senior Associate Financial Planners Ben Geiger, Jerin Young, and Mike Murkins. Each committee member brings unique skills in the areas of technology, processes, client communication, and financial planning strategies. According to committee member Wayne Johnson, “We make sure we bring our best thinking.” And I can assure you all four of these members are great thinkers!

We feel this multiple-planner review process gives Syverson Strege a competitive edge over other single-advisor or smaller financial planning firms. We also believe that our clients receive a better overall plan for their specific and often complex needs. And like the tumor board review, the client may feel more confident about their financial plan knowing it has been reviewed by several sets of eyes.

Because both the tumor board and the Planning Committee processes are pro-active, they attempt to analyze potential obstacles to success before they arise. In the case of financial planning, we feel the planning committee helps strengthen the plan prepared by the planner and associate planner. This review process also helps avoid the risk of a trial-and-error situation (i.e. trying strategies that don’t work before finding the right strategy). 

If you or anyone you know needs a comprehensive financial plan that will be thoroughly analyzed, reviewed, and studied before implementation, please call us at 515-225-6000 to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation, confidential consultation.