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Advisors Give Finance Tips for Businesses & Individuals

If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that the only thing certain in life is change. But with uncertainty so prevalent, what moves are the right ones to make when it comes to planning for the future? Here, we talked to several financial and wealth advisors about what businesses and individuals alike can do to set themselves up for success, regardless of the climate.

jay hagy

Jay Hagy

Owner & Investment Advisor Representative, Allon Planning Partners

What makes you excited about the future?

Over the next few years, demographic changes and further globalization of the world’s economies will lead to many new opportunities for all investors. At Allon Planning Partners, we pride ourselves on creating efficient and effective financial plans that account for the fluidity needed to navigate these ever-changing environments.

What are some of the greatest challenges the industry as a whole is facing?

I think one of the biggest challenges that our industry is facing as a whole is the capacity to create fully individualized financial plans for the mass inflow of businesses and individuals that are currently in need of them. I think that a certain percentage of the industry has started to pivot from a wealth management approach to a true comprehensive financial advisory approach.

What are your top tips for companies when it comes to being prepared financially?

I believe that a company needs to be prepared financially in many of the same ways as a family does. The same checklist applies, just at a different scale (have a comprehensive financial plan, control what you can control and let the rest go, live below your means, and remain flexible). The only change for a business would be take appropriate risks. Don’t be afraid to take risks, just make sure to count the costs!

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Investment advisory services offered through Foundations Investment Advisors, LLC, an SEC registered investment adviser.

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joshua schweiger

Joshua Schweiger

ABFP®, AAMS®, CRPC®, CRPS®

Financial Advisor, Edward Jones

What is the biggest change you have seen over the last five years?

I have seen a big change in the way individuals feel about the future. There’s a shift toward longevity, health, and purpose. Many of the individuals we work with aren’t just planning for when to retire. They are focused on how to enjoy many more years doing the things they love.

What makes you excited about the future? Does anything give you pause?

There is a lot to be excited about as we move forward. This is a time of innovation and evolution for our industry. I believe that proactive firms will be able to utilize new services for the betterment of their clients, which can lead to more fulfilling relationships and a better experience. My biggest pause comes from taking the human side out of working with a financial advisor. If technology is incorporated incorrectly, I believe it could take away from the important value an advisor can bring, which is why we at Edward Jones see technology as a way to enhance the face-to-face relationship rather than replace it.

What are the top qualities someone should look for in a financial institution?

Work with a company that is financially sound, has consistent ethics that align with yours, and values the individuals who serve you. You can learn a lot about a business by how they treat their employees.

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travis flenniken

Travis Flenniken

CFA, CVA

Director, HHM CPAs

What makes you excited about the future? Does anything give you pause?

The increase in interest rates gets the cost of money back to a level that I consider more normal. Normal interest rate levels reward savers by earning better returns on their capital. Additionally, a higher cost of money should also slow inflation, a matter that affects everyone. ESG initiatives give me pause because they distract from the ultimate goal of a financial institution – to increase shareholder wealth by providing value to its customers.

What are the top qualities someone should look for in a financial institution?

For borrowers – fair loan terms, local decision makers, and access to other services. For depositors – local and well-trained customer service, fee transparency, and competitive rates.

What are some of the greatest challenges the industry as a whole is facing?

The recent failure of large regional banks is alarming. We have seen banks collapse overnight. For banks that have not managed their balance sheet appropriately, the rapid change in interest rates is calling into question the value of their assets. Our economy needs local independent banks to thrive, and to thrive, depositors need to trust that their assets are safe. Keeping confidence in our smaller community banks is a growing challenge.

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reese veltenaar

Reese Veltenaar

CFP®, MAcc, CTFA

Wealth Strategist, Managing Partner,
Acumen Wealth Advisors

What is the biggest change you have seen over the last five years?

The largest change has been raising interest rates and the cost of financing. For most of the last 20 years, it has not been a lingering issue. Currently, if you are going to relocate, you must take into consideration the cost of giving up a low interest rate mortgage. From a business owner perspective, the hurdle rate is now much higher to justify an expense if you must borrow.

What makes you excited about the future?

Exciting aspects of the future are the technological advancements including artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics. Their integration will help individuals and businesses make informed decisions and manage their finances more effectively. Access to digital information also allows for greater access to financial education resources and tools, which can empower people to make better financial decisions.

What are the top qualities someone should look for in a financial institution?

Work with independent advisors who adhere to the fiduciary standard and always have your best interest at heart. Look for specialists over generalists. Work with advisors who know your situation and can render good business advice. Make sure you have a team of credentialed and seasoned experts to help with all parts of your financial situation – planning, tax, investments, valuations, etc.

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damon riggs

Damon Riggs

CRPC®

Financial Advisor, Riggs & Associates

What are your top tips for individuals when it comes to being prepared financially?

Identify goals first then plan comprehensively and consistently. Consider how decisions for cash flow, insurance, tax management, and investment planning, along with disciplined management of financial behavior, are integrated. Preparing a financial plan is important, but the plan itself has a short shelf life. It is the act of ongoing planning that enhances the chances of success.

What are your top tips for companies when it comes to being prepared financially?

Similar to the advice we give our clients for their personal finances, businesses benefit from having a coherent, long-range plan. Being technically proficient in your field does not guarantee success. Plan your success, and have contingencies. No one likes being told to be patient, but the most long-term successful companies around are just that.

What are the top qualities someone should look for in a financial institution?
  1. Experience – An advisor that has seen several market cycles and scenarios brings a calming presence to the conversation. Having an advisor that has seen application for many individuals has value.
  2. Competence – A measure of competence is reflected in education and credentials.
  3. Personalized Approach – Find an advisor who can help you make sense of where you are and how to approach your multifaceted needs.
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john sterner

John Sterner

CFP®

Private Wealth Advisor, Sterner Financial

What are some of the greatest challenges the industry as a whole is facing?

The financial planning industry has historically been mostly comprised of sole advisors who work until they retire and then pass along their clients to younger advisors. The problem with this structure is that relationships of trust take time to develop. At Sterner Financial, we are continually growing and developing our team to ensure that our firm will endure for decades to come.

What are your top tips for individuals when it comes to being prepared financially?
  • Start today. It’s never too late to save
    for retirement.
  • Diversify your portfolio and make sure it includes stocks, bonds, commodities, real estate, etc.
  • Plan for the unexpected by maintaining an emergency fund.
  • Adopt a pay yourself first mentality by setting up recurring deposits.
  • Develop a relationship with a financial advisor.
What are your top tips for companies when it comes to being prepared financially?

Create a business plan that gives in-depth direction about what lies ahead for the next few years. Also, make sure you are working with partners you trust, have a succession plan, and are diversifying your investments.

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clay parker

Clay Parker

Partner, Patton Albertson & Miller

What is the biggest change you have seen over the last five years in the finance space?

Advances in technology are continually changing the investment world. Data is instantaneous, and investors can now access and make changes in accounts on their phones and watches.

What are some of the greatest challenges the industry as a whole is facing? What has the industry handled well in recent years?

As markets and economies continue to evolve, investors must evolve accordingly. The interest rate environment has changed dramatically, and finding a “safe” yield has become easier.

What are your top tips for individuals when it comes to being prepared financially?

All individuals need to design and implement a workable financial plan. A few keys to success are to spend less than you make, keep debt to a minimum, and invest regularly and wisely.

What are the top qualities someone should look for in a financial institution?

Some of the most important qualities people should look out for when selecting a financial advisor are strong leadership and integrity. It’s also important for institutions to be able to demonstrate solid, long-term performance.

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