Many prospective clients come to us wondering how we have helped other clients improve their financial picture and achieve their goals. We talked with some of our clients and found several stories that provide excellent examples of the advice and service we provide.
Listed below, you will read the stories of clients (their names have been changed to protect their identities) who created financial plans that helped one couple to retire early, another to make appropriate insurance decisions, and helped the third couple to feel more comfortable with their investments. Each of these clients also commented on receiving quality service; something that is rapidly becoming a rare quality in business relationships.
Financial Planning & Early Retirement
Financial Planning & Early Retirement…
I met Robert and Peter at a seminar I conducted for Robert’s company in 2002. At the time, Robert was working for a telecommunications company, and Peter was a teacher for a local school district. Shortly after the seminar, I met with Robert and Peter and started working with them on their financial planning needs.
For Robert and Peter, they found immediate savings after our initial plan meeting. I recommended that they refinance their mortgage to lower their interest rate. While they are cash management savvy, they had not been paying much attention to market conditions. They were able to reduce their interest rate by a significant amount which greatly reduced their monthly payments. With this extra cash flow, they were able to sell their beach condo and purchase a beach house for retirement.
Robert and Peter also needed help figuring out their investment allocation and synching their investments up with their future retirement plans. Neither was happy with his career and they wanted to retire as soon as possible. Our initial goal was for them to retire approximately ten years after our first planning session. By developing a portfolio for them that met their risk tolerance and diversification needs, they ended up retiring to the beach earlier than they had thought possible (summer 2007). Our investment planning has also given them peace of mind knowing that they have someone keeping tabs on the market and their investments.
When Robert and Peter did retire from their respective careers, I helped them navigate the various retirement account plan administrators. I conducted research on their retirement plans and placed conference calls with their human resource and retirement departments. They have since told me that this assistance was invaluable because it saved them hours of aggravation.
I also worked in conjunction with their accountant on their business and tax/accounting issues and with their attorney on their estate plan. Working as a team with their other financial professionals provided them with the comfort everyone was working together to provide them with the advice they needed.
Robert and Peter have been very pleased with my advice and they continue to refer their friends and associates.
While I helped Bill and Matt with many of the same issues as Robert and Peter, one area stands out from the rest. Early in our relationship, I recommended that Bill and Matt purchase life insurance and long-term care. Both felt as though they needed the coverage, but felt that being in their early 50’s they could wait to get the insurance. After several conversations, Bill and Matt decided to move forward on getting life insurance through Bill’s company and long-term care through me. Both received coverage at preferred rates.
About six months after their policies went into effect, Matt was suffering from headaches. The doctors determined that he had an abnormal collection of blood vessels in his brain. After several tests, they determined that Matt required brain surgery. In the end, Matt had two brain surgeries. Fortunately, he recovered completely. Had he waited to apply for insurance, he surely would have been declined.
To this day, Bill and Matt bring up the fortuitous timing of my insurance recommendations. As I have explained to them and many others, you never know when your health may suffer. I believe that getting insurance while you are young and healthy is always a wise decision.
In the late 1990’s, Wilson and Linda started working with a financial advisor that had come highly recommended from business associates. Although the advisor worked for a “no-load” mutual fund company, he advised them to invest heavily in technology stocks. This was a few years before "Enron" and technology stocks were growing rapidly. The advisor, however, never took into account their whole situation, such as age, retirement, future plans, etc.
As the stocks were going up, Wilson and Linda received frequent calls from their broker to buy more tech stocks. While they were showing paper profits, everything seemed great. That ended quickly when the stock market began to decline.
When the stock market’s bubble burst and tech stocks showing some of the steepest declines, the advisor tried to pressure Wilson and Linda into cashing out their annuity to buy more tech stocks. The advisor told them that he felt strongly that the market would turn around and that they should buy more tech stocks while they were low.
While Wilson and Linda wisely kept their annuity, they were advised to keep their tech stocks. They were not comfortable with the recommendations, but they were counting on his expertise and experience to guide them in the right direction.
As things got worse in the market, they did not hear from their advisor. They called him on several occasions, and his only advice was to hold on to the stocks they had. The advisor said that he felt everything would turn around. Their stocks never did rebound.
Naturally Wilson and Linda were very concerned because their portfolio was shrinking quickly and all the "profits" they had made were soon gone. In discussing their situation with a family member, they were referred to Partnership Wealth Management.
We worked very closely with Wilson and Linda to create a comprehensive financial plan to assess their entire financial picture. In the analysis, we assessed their current financial situation, retirement needs, estate strategies, insurance needs, and their asset allocation. We helped them diversify their holdings after taking the time to understand their current and future needs, time horizon, and risk tolerance.
Today, Wilson and Linda feel much more comfortable with their investments and long-term picture. They hear from us on a regular basis, whether the market is up or down, which brings them peace of mind.
We have clients who have had similar experiences with their previous advisors. We believe our patience, the education we provide, our regular contacts, and high quality of service help create a smooth and comfortable transition.
While we want our clients to receive the best returns possible, our objective is to help clients achieve their goals. In many cases, that means trading in high-flying investments for stability. Due to our goal-oriented focus, we are not afraid to contact clients during turbulent market conditions. In fact, we believe that down markets are when clients need us most.