October 2008 was a very strange time for my family and me. My wife and I closed on a newly constructed home on October 2nd, but it was probably the least excited a new homeowner could feel, well me anyway, probably not my wife. We were already seeing major stock market declines and I could see the writing on the wall for the housing market, but what was I going to do? We were locked into the house so we closed and for the next few years I stomached being upside down in our home. It was so out of character for me, and I kept telling myself it would come back. I’m not trying to sell it now, and everyone is fighting the same battle. It was gut wrenching, but we dealt with it.
Fast forward several months, and we were diving into the 2009 tax season. At that time I was a licensed securities representative, but I really was not sure if I wanted to pursue the financial planning business. But that tax season changed everything for me.
By early April 2009 the S&P 500 was down over 30% and I was having some pretty heavy conversations with my tax clients. The most common question I would ask them was, “what is your advisor recommending you do?” The most common response I heard was “they’re telling me to sit tight.” That’s when I realized the system was failing the client.
I mean we were looking at a financial tidal wave, and the financial advisors were telling clients to just sit on the beach. This was not ok with me, but to be perfectly blunt I didn’t have a better solution, so I knew I had to find one.
“As an independent firm we were not then, and are not now, pressed by big brother to compromise our beliefs.”
This ignited my pursuit to explore the financial planning business. In early 2010 my two driving forces were:
1) I felt like the model of managing client’s assets was broken and geared towards large brokerage firms making a lot of money no matter what happened in the market.
2) We had lost about 40% of our small business revenues as a result of the Great Recession, and necessity is the mother of invention!
We decided to form our own registered investment advisory business and that was easily one of the best business decisions we have ever made. As an independent firm we were not then, and are not now, pressed by big brother to compromise our beliefs. We are free to serve our clients, and more importantly protect and grow our client’s wealth.
PROTECT, isn’t that what an advisor, a fiduciary, is supposed to do? We think so, and that is why we have worked so hard, and searched for several years, to find money management partners that can help us keep clients assets safe. I’m not a fan of sitting on the beach when I see the tidal wave coming, and I was not going to leave my clients on that beach either.
As our advisory business has evolved we now have the ability to develop detailed financial plans, create tactical portfolios that limit losses in down markets, review and update estate plan documents, update asset protection strategies such as long-term care and life insurance, as well as analyzing and recommending non stock market based investments.
As part of our delivery, the services we provide are important and we continue to base, and improve, them on the client feedback we receive. With that being said the services are the “what” for us, and our “why” is THE most important thing,. It drives everything we do for our clients. Our why is to protect our client’s financial lives! It may sound a bit dramatic, but we’ve seen financial ruin and we don’t ever want to have that conversation with a client. We will keep you safe on your beach (queue up a cold Corona).
Your CPA & Financial Lifeguard