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Allen Ostrofe: Have you seen your financial advisor lately?

Maryanne and Hank, newlywed “high profile” seniors, had been referred from Granite Bay, California.

They are both recently retired software engineers.

The new couple wanted to make certain that their marital status did not have any negative impact on their sophisticated long-term financial plan to take care of each of their families, and nonprofit beneficiaries. Until now, they had separate advisors from multiple national stock brokerage firms, but were looking to consolidate.



The couple had certain requirements regarding; cost, experience, education, certifications, longevity, depth of professional personnel, regulatory backgrounds, and estate transfer goals.

They considered:




1) doing it themselves using free or low-cost internet resources;

2) giving control to a national firm to be profiled into one of their “algorithmic” programs, or;

3) partnering with a large local firm with a national presence, who can provide them with a personalized “cash flow” strategy that allows them to keep as much control as they desired.

They summarized their findings:

•“DO IT YOURSELF” — could allow Maryanne and Hank complete control at a lower cost.

The low cost would be offset by the usage of their own time and resources. They could study different tax strategies, and prepare their own taxes. They could study the pro’s and con’s of health care directives, durable powers of attorneys, wills or various types of trusts, and draft their own estate planning documents. They could calculate their own needs for life and long term care insurance, and buy/monitor these over the internet. They could study the sector momentum of various markets, and research and buy their own investments, and do their own calculations for retirement. They could help their kids calculate how much should be saved to which type of educational plan for their grandchildren. They could do their own studies on how to best buy rental property for income, or whether to buy or lease their next car. Estate transfer process is left to the kids and grandchildren to handle on their own.

•“ENGAGE A NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES FIRM” — could allow Maryanne and Hank the ease of mind of working with a national name.

These “wirehouses” spend billions of dollars, of their clients’ money, on marketing to build the reputation of their firms (Parvaneh/RIABiz/5.15.16). Prospective clients might enjoy the simplicity of having their funds invested according to a national profile reflecting their risk and time horizon. They might not feel the need for much personal attention. Estate transfer goals are left to a huge institution who has no personal relationship with the family.

•“PARTNER WITH AN INDEPENDENT LOCAL FINANCIAL SERVICES FIRM WITH A NATIONAL PRESENCE” — could allow Maryanne and Hank to engage in a personal educational relationship with an established firm which is not only interested in them, but their children and grandchildren; a firm which is fee-based, that could identify and work with their nonprofit organizations. They could work with Certified Financial Planners®; firms which “quarterback” your relationship with your tax preparer and estate planner. They could have an advisor who spends more than 50 percent of their time discussing not just their investments, but any financial concern Maryanne and Hank might have. Estate transfer process is carefully and personally handled by the family’s trusted advisor and their team of qualified professionals.

When was the last time you saw your financial advisor?

Maryanne and Hank made their decision, and shared it with their family and nonprofit organizations. How about you?

Allen Ostrofe, MBA, CFP®, Accredited Investment Fiduciary® is President of Ostrofe Financial Consultants, Inc., a S.E.C. Fee-based Registered Investment Advisor. Securities and Advisory Services offered through National Planning Corporation (NPC), member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Advisor. Ostrofe Financial and NPC are separate and unrelated companies. For questions or suggestions, visit ostrofefinancial.com. Branch address: 565 Brunswick Road, Ste. 15, Grass Valley.


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