Sometimes, the values we hold make the status quo intolerable.
That’s what happened in 2012 to longtime portfolio managers Michael B. Kemp and N. Edward Link, Jr. Having been in the investment arena for decades (Link, 27 years; Kemp, 21 years) and in business together since 2002, the two were deeply committed to serving clients’ interests. But their former firm underwent a drastic change in culture and policy. Afterward, the firm’s values—which seemed centered on its own interests—were no longer compatible with theirs.
Most financial advisors are serious about caring for their clients’ assets. Few advisors, however, are equally serious about putting clients at ease and lightening their mood.
Joel Spangler, CFP®, CRPS® and Mark Mucciacciaro, CFP®, CDFA™, CRPS® are seasoned financial advisors, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERSTM, business partners, educators and friends with more than 40 years’ (Joel 25 years, Mark 18 years) industry experience between them. Although each takes his role as investment professional seriously, Spangler and Mucciacciaro enjoy showing clients the lighter side of an otherwise dry subject.
Earl Schultz of Strategic Wealth Advisory, LLC believes preparing for retirement is a lot like mountain climbing.
“Most novice climbers focus so much of their planning and preparation on how to get to the top of the mountain that they are completely unprepared for the unique challenges they run into on the way down,” Schultz says. “Yet 80 percent of accidents occur on the descent, after you’ve already reached the top. Successful climbers have a plan for getting to the top and a completely separate plan for coming down the mountain.”
Today’s Investors SeekTrustworthy Advisors and Less Volatility
One of the most significant effects of the Great Recession that began in late 2007 was a sobering change in the attitudes of individual investors. “We see two major trends. First, investors are looking for trustworthy advisors who will work on their behalf. Second, they want portfolios that are less dependent on the whims of the markets, which can be volatile at times,” says Tim Lynch who directs The Lynch Team of Janney Montgomery Scott LLC in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Making a Positive Impact on Lives One Question at a Time
Not many wealth advisors are asked by their clients which health insurance plan might work best for their family or whether they should buy or lease an automobile. But the team at Mainsail Wealth Advisors gets questions like that all the time. “It’s humbling to be asked those types of questions,” says Scott Haley, managing partner and branch manager, “but it’s a pleasure to be so engaged in our clients’ lives that they rely on us to help them make those decisions.”
Helping Engineer Financial Success for Oil Industry Professionals
Working 15 years for a company and serving its employees as a financial advisor for another two decades provide a personalized perspective on how to help the organization’s people. That’s the type of valuable insight Christopher Brashier, Managing Director of CHB Investment Group, LLC, offers Exxon Mobil employees and retirees.
“We have been advising Exxon Mobil employees for 20 years, and over half of our client base is Exxon Mobil employees,” says Brashier, who was a researcher and executive at Mobil for 15 years prior to becoming a financial advisor. “We know its various benefits, compensation and retirement plans inside and out. That in-depth knowledge positions us to advise our clients on how best to take advantage of these plans.”
“When you buy a home, you’re not just buying a building,” says Mark J. Hanna, CEO of Directors Mortgage. “It’s where you raise your family, who you work with, where your children go to school. That’s what makes your community a better place to live and your house a home.”
Directors Mortgage is a locally owned and operated company, headquartered in Lake Oswego, Oregon. It was founded in 1998 on the principle that serving the local communities where it does business is of the utmost importance. As the privately-held company has grown from one office in Lake Oswego, Oregon, to 20 offices serving Oregon, Washington, Idaho and California, it has never forgotten its community-focused roots.
When they founded Premier Estate Planners, LLC in 1992, Don Carnaghi, RFC®, CEP® and Tom Mazza, RFC®, CEP® were like many other financial advisors: dedicated to serving clients but enmeshed in the corporate broker- dealer model.
Knowing they just couldn’t square these competing interests, Carnaghi and Mazza set up their independent RIA in 2002. “We wanted to be less focused on product and more on the process and the people involved,” Mazza recalls. Since that fateful move nearly 13 years ago, Premier Estate Planners has faithfully served clients as an independent Registered Investment Advisor (RIA).
Intergenerational Team Ensures Clients
Will Never Outlive Their Financial Advice
From the moment you enter its offices, you realize that Team Freiman could field its own football team. There are currently seven financial advisors who span several generations. Advisors in their 50s, 60s and 70s offer deep experience and wide-ranging perspective. Those in their 20s, 30s and 40s provide fresh ideas and youthful energy. Then, there are four client service representatives and an investment analyst who take great pride in delivering assurance that all paperwork, phone calls, emergencies and ordinary tasks get addressed promptly and thoroughly.
Cloud Technology and Crowdsourcing Are Disrupting the Contact Center Marketplace
While nearly 78 percent of today’s contact centers remain shackled to the on-premise business model used since the 1980s, Arise Virtual Solutions Inc. continues to challenge the status quo by facilitating enhanced customer service through a network of certified partners using its virtual infrastructure.
“We’re long past the learning curve in this market,” says John Meyer, CEO. “While others in our industry begin to develop their virtual platforms, processes and crowdsourcing approach to accommodate a work-at- home solution, we have been there for over a decade. We’ve not only built proprietary software used by certified small businesses running their own virtual and physical call centers but we have also changed the way work is done and how companies provide service to their customers. As a result, our clients enjoy a significantly elevated level of customer engagement before and after the point of sale and no longer have to operate their own brick-and-mortar call centers.”