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If you were advising someone who wanted to get into your profession, what would you suggest?
For someone who is interested in the investment management, financial planning and wealth management profession should first begin by apprenticing under a seasoned personal finance professional.
What is your greatest strength?
I believe that one of my greatest strengths is listening to people and offering advice and recommendations that is suitable, based on understanding what peoples values, needs and goals are.
Do you do any sort of continuing education to stay up on the latest developments in your field?
Every year I am required to complete 10 hours of continuing education for the professional designations that I hold. In addition, I have to complete a series of industry & regulatory educational modules in order to maintain the various securities licenses that I have.
How did you decide to get in your line of work?
I was attending law school full time as well as working for Hogan Lovells (formerly known as Hogan & Hartson) in Washington, DC. In order to provide for my family, I offered financial planning & investment assistance to families throughout the Washington, DC area. I later decided that I enjoyed educating people a lot more than pursuing a legal career. Therefore, I decided to leave law school and began a full time career as a personal financial advisor.
What do you wish customers knew about you or your profession?
I wish more people understood the value of working with an “independent” financial advisor. Unfortunately, the large Wall Street firms spend millions of dollars in advertising in order to sway public opinion in their favor. Having worked for a Wall Street firms in the past (Merrill Lynch) I can attest to the fact that by being “independent”, I have a lot more to offer my clients than I had when I worked as a financial advisor with the global wealth management unit of Merrill Lynch.
Do you have a favorite story from your work?
My favorite story was during the summer of 2007 when I felt inspired to write a commentary to my clients entitled, “Mortgage Crisis Creates Buying Opportunity On the DOW”. I had a feeling that something was about to severely impact the economy and the markets. My suspicion was that it had something to do with the mortgage industry.
In November of 2007 I informed my clients that we were going to sell their entire portfolio! By February of 2008, the economy and the market was beginning react to what would eventually become known around the world as, “The Great Recession.”
What are the latest developments in your field? Are there any exciting things coming in the next few years or decade that will change your line of business?
I believe that the latest and most exciting development in the field of providing professional financial advice is Social Media. I enjoy being able to Blog and post my thoughts about the market & economy on places like LinkedIn, Twitter, our blog (www.answersaboutwealth.com) and where ever else I can find a social media destination where people are searching for answers to their financial planning and investment questions.
I believe that in the future, people will “source” information from financial professionals through their handheld devices more so, than today. In addition, I believe that Social Media outlets will continue to revolutionize and level the playing field of financial advice for financial professionals.
Also, I believe that in the next few years financial services professionals will be required to adhere to what is known as “The Fiduciary Standard”, with respect to the advice which they provide.
What do you like most about your job?
I love working with people! I really enjoy helping clients to gain a clear understanding about what they own within their investments, such as fees & expenses, risk measurement & performance attribution, etc.
Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?
Our work stands out because we approach financial planning from the perspective of our clients values, needs and goals. We never arrive at a meeting with a product in our hip pocket that we are eager to “pitch” to our clients. We are committed to educating our clients about how the world of financial products and services may (or may not) fit within the scope of their stated values, needs and goals.
Furthermore, we conduct a thorough portfolio review and analysis, based on the existing investments (401K, IRA, SEP, Non-Qualified, Variable Annuity) that our prospective clients may already own.
Our goal is to ensure that our clients are fully informed about the characteristics of their investments, which in many cases, investors are NOT even aware of. Therefore, our portfolio review & analysis service is complimentary, including our comprehensively written financial plans.
Lastly, with respect to investment management & consulting, we study economic cycles and custom build investment models to reflect the appropriate risk tolerance of our clients (taking into consideration their values, needs and goals) and ensure that our models are optimized perform, based on our understanding and interpretation of the present and future direction of the economy.
What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?
Prospective clients should consider whether they need a traditionally written financial plan, assistance with portfolio management, insurance and/or estate planning. Prospective clients should also consider whether they want the service of a traditional “stock broker”, “investment advisor”, “insurance agent”, or a “fee-only financial planner”.
The services provided by professionals with these titles vary greatly and unfortunately, many clients do no understand the difference between what (or who) they are actually hiring when deciding to hire someone to assist them with their financial planning and investment needs.
What questions should a consumer ask to hire the right service professional?
Someone who is seeking the services of a financial advisor should ask the following questions:
- What is your investment philosophy?
- Are you compensated by fees, commissions or both?
- Are you a “Fiduciary”? If yes, have you obtained the one of the following recognized fiduciary credentials: “Accredited Investment Fiduciary” (AIF), “Accredited Investment Fiduciary Analyst” (AIFA), Registered Investment Advisor (RIA)?
- Do you provide a comprehensively written financial plan on a complimentary basis?
- Do you work for an “employee” brokerage firm, an insurance company, or an independent brokerage firm?
- Do you have the ability to provide a comprehensive portfolio review & analysis that is conflict free and not biased toward any proprietary mutual fund investments?
If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?
We provide a complimentary, comprehensive financial plan for our clients. Financial planning allows us to address the holistic financial needs of the individuals, families and business owners who we serve.
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Be patient as you conduct your research. Be willing to meet face to face with each financial advisor and most importantly inquire about their financial planning process, as well as their overall investment philosophy.
What are the most common services you provide?
Wealthcare Financial Group, Inc. provides comprehensive financial, retirement planning and investment portfolio management services for our clients.
We offer the following services:
- Comprehensive Financial Planning
- Portfolio Management
- Estate Planning
- Life insurance and Long-Term Care
- Retirement Planning
- 401(K) Plans and Group Benefits
- Health Insurance
- College Education Planning
- Fixed Annuities
- Investment Management Consulting Services
- Fiduciary Consulting Services
- Portfolio Review & Analysis