Do I have to have a financial plan?

Everyone has a financial plan whether they realize it or not. The financial plans we create include specific strategies to improve outcomes.

How do you get on all of these lists of Top Advisors in the United States?

Financial newspapers and magazines send out questionnaires to thousands of advisors about our financial planning approach, outlook on markets, growth of our business over 1, 3, and 5 years, and client retention. Each media outlet has algorithms and criteria, and each questionnaire is different and forces us to solidify our outlook, and evaluate our business. They want it to be an objective list of “best practices” in the nation.

There is a priceless “side effect” that comes along with this process. Just as we believe it is important for every client to look at their financial plan once a year, it is important for us to look at our business plan throughout the year also. This provides a level of objective benchmarking for us, because we cannot exert any influence in the rankings.

Instead of just working in the business, we also work on the business. We have a responsibility to make sure we will be viable through every market environment, and continue take steps to be able to provide this service to many generations of families.

How did your clients do in 2008?

They lost money. The bigger question is: What did we do while it was going on, and afterwards?

As Chris Davis once said “You make most of your money in a bear market, you just don’t know it at the time.” It is what you do while it is happening that ultimately matters. Every bear market feels different, because it is. First, you are usually at a difference place in your life for each bear market. You may have been working for one, and retired for another, so how it affects you and what you should do may be different. The catalyst that caused stock prices to go down 20, 30 or even 50% is also different. It is important to have a professional, who already knows you, and who has lived through many of these markets help you through it.

How do I know if my money is safe?

Another way of asking this same question may be: “How do I protect myself from a Madoff situation?” This is why we have chosen Royal Alliance who is diligent with our compliance and clears through Pershing. Madoff had his own broker dealer, and they did their own clearing, so there were no checks and balances.

Please click on the link to read Patti’s article for Worth Magazine outlining the 10 things you can do to protect yourself from a Ponzi scheme.

What if something happens to Patti?

It is an important question. Key Financial is unique as Patti is involved in every client relationship, and she has taken careful steps to make sure that every Key Financial employee knows every client as well. This has been so effective clients often call and do not ask for Patti, but will ask for one of her team members because they know them as well. Patti has taken steps to hire great people who share her values and who will always look out for our clients first. Our systems, standards and protocol are so tight that any transition would be seamless.