Click on the question below to reveal answers to many frequently asked questions. If you have a question that isn’t answered here, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
You know the old expression, “It’s business, not personal”? Well, my personal philosophy is kind of like the opposite, “It’s personal, it’s not just business.” I think that’s a big part of what makes us different. We treat our clients and our colleagues as if they were friends because we want to develop deep and meaningful long-term relationships. Our entire office, myself, Debra, and Donna, are really dedicated to service, to being responsive, and to getting back to our clients promptly. Delivering the best service so that our clients and colleagues get the best results for themselves and their objectives results in them becoming raving fans at the end of the day. This is a core philosophy of how we do business.
Our process consists of:
- a discovery interview
- construction of a picture or blueprint through modeling
We use a model that determines a fair pricing arrangement based on somebody’s net worth and annual income. We also earn a fee and commission for the implementation of plans, whether it be money management services, investment services, or insurance products.
There are a lot of people that do their own planning and wouldn’t be a good fit for us. Those do-it-yourselfers sometimes are able to manage and make good decisions, and end up doing very, very well. What we are looking for are people who are delegators; people that want the assistance and support of a team. What we specialize in is creating a team, all of whom work for the best interests of the client. We assemble a team that many times will include:
- Trust and estate attorneys
- Elder care attorneys
- Pension Plan Administrators
- Mortgage bankers and reverse mortgage specialists
- Property and casualty insurance agents
- Investment managers
We try to surround the client with a coordinated effort rather than separate individuals. We gather all these different people together to help coordinate and integrate the best solutions for the client’s situation. Our job is to create the expertise and surround the client with quality service so that they have the best result.
The answer to that has a lot to do with properly structuring your financial plan and, as we mentioned earlier, foundational planning in proper insurance and proper savings. Once you’ve created a mechanism where you have habitual savings of 20% of gross income, and you’ve done the proper core planning, which is:
- Six months of savings for emergencies
- Proper wills and legal agreements
- Proper insurances
- Property and casualty
- Auto liability
- Life insurance
- Long-term care insurance
The objective for somebody with $5 million in assets would also be for them to have $5 million in insurance. This allows them to spend the $5 million over their retirement lifetime and still leave a $5 million legacy for their children and heirs.
The solution is similar to what we just talked about. If you have $5 million in the bank and $5 million in insurance, you could theoretically take part of that five million to purchase a guaranteed lifetime income annuity to guarantee income for the rest of your life and potentially, for the rest of your spouse’s life.
The answer comes back to the individual client’s ability to handle risk. There is some level of safety in a bond; but there’s also risk in bonds. When interest rates go up, the value of bonds will go down. There’s risk in everything that we look at. What we have to do is first understand what somebody’s ability to handle those risks is and then for us to create the proper investment plan that allocates their assets in a way that they have a level of comfort and confidence.
We use the finest tools in the industry that help people aggregate and organize their financial life to the point where they feel empowered and in control. These tools allow people to have their own website, where their assets are updated everyday and where they can store their vital documents.
I think there are some core philosophies that we use with our wealth management and with our insurance practice, which sets us apart from the traditional or the average person who provides similar services. We really take an attitude of process not product, meaning that by first taking somebody through a process to understand their situation, the appropriate solutions will become self evident. It’s process first, then product tied to a protection first philosophy.
I think that it becomes self-evident if there’s a good fit. We are seeking out clients that are looking for people who take a proactive role and work with them from the beginning to the end. We are seeking long-term relationships and clients for whom we can provide a plethora of services that range from insurance planning, investment planning, estate planning, tax planning, and retirement planning, all encompassed in an overall financial and/or estate plan.