Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I’ve invested and managed my own estate or my business’s financials by myself for years. Do I really need a financial coach?
A: Perhaps not. But most people benefit from professional financial management services. Most people, even those well-versed in investments and financial planning, have trouble designing and maintaining their own effective and comprehensive financial plan. In most cases, high net worth individuals and business owners find that they are better off seeking the information, expertise, experience, and discipline provided by a financial coach.
Making quality financial decisions requires a commitment to constantly learn and research. The Internet helps as does your own experience and self-education. But the magnitude of financial and investment skills and the amount of information required to maintain and grow a substantial estate or business can be overwhelming.
Also, the financial world is filled with foreign concepts, esoteric language, legal rules, and difficult methodologies. Whether you want to develop a portfolio, plan for retirement, prepare a business for sale, pay for college, or reach any other major financial goal, you’re usually better off hiring a professional. Hire someone who has spent her or his career successfully maintaining and growing funds for people and businesses with backgrounds, needs and goals similar to yours.
Q: How do you work with clients? What is your process?
A: First, we make certain you’re comfortable working with us. We make sure you know our experience, our expertise and our philosophy so you can decide if we’re a good match for your needs. If we fit what you’re looking for, we conduct a lifetime financial profile. The profile looks at your financial situation – where you are at today; where your income streams come in and depart; and what your long-term and lifetime financial goals are. Any projections we do are very conservative. And our plans are easy to understand.
Q: Gene, you call yourself a financial coach. How is that different from a financial advisor or investment advisor?
A. I certainly am a financial advisor, but coaching is a better description of how I do what I do. An advisor often takes the approach of being the expert who knows what the client should do. As a financial coach, I never take that approach. A big part of how I relate with clients is through teaching and educating. I want to educate people so that the quality of their own financial advice to themselves improves dramatically.
Q: Why do you think financial coaching is a better approach than financial advising?
A: Coaching helps clients become independent. A good financial coach teaches the client and encourages the client to become more financially self-sufficient. I’ve had clients become so adept in financial and investment matters that they no longer need my services.
Q: How does a client get started with our process?
A. The initial consultation is free; then my clients pay a fee to go through a MYTHS workshop and a tutorial on how the market works. This is followed by a portfolio analysis with me. After that we do some planning to determine time horizon and asset mixes.
Q: What’s the biggest mistake you see investors make?
A. There are several common mistakes. Some people think they can learn to outsmart the market and make big gains by buying and selling frequently. They believe they can see where markets are heading. That’s a huge mistake. Other people don’t take the time to plan. You can’t pick the right investments if you don’t first seriously study your current and future financial needs.
Q: What’s asset allocation and why is it important?
A: Asset allocation is a crucial component in investing. Asset allocation means strategically placing certain percentages of the client’s portfolio in the three major asset classes. Those asset classes are: equities (stocks, stock mutual funds or stock ETFs); fixed income (bonds, bond mutual funds or bond ETFs); and cash (money market funds, treasury bills or certificates of deposit (CDs). Together, the client and Summit Investor determine how much to place in each asset class based on the client’s age, risk tolerance income requirements and financial goals.
Call 203 453-1017 as an important step towards reaching your retirement goals or click here and schedule an appointment.