Schedule a talk with one of our advisors to learn more about Summitry and how we can help you get a foothold on your financial life.
Apr 17, 2023
Chris and Joanna had a plan. They were diligent with their current investment strategy and were working toward their near-term goals, including funding their two daughters’ college tuitions, while also planning for their retirement. What they hadn’t planned for was Chris losing his job during one of the familiar tech layoffs in the Bay Area at the age of 52. Few people plan ahead for an interruption in this phase of life, the “accumulation” phase, but unfortunately, it happens.
That’s a question Summitry financial advisor Emily hears often from her clients regardless of their wealth. The question naturally arises from fear, worry about the unknown, or an unexpected change in their financial situation. Prior to joining Summitry, Emily was a financial advisor with a wire-house brokerage firm where she was assigned to Chris and Joanna.
While Emily regularly reached out to see if Chris and Joanna wanted to discuss their financial plan, it wasn’t until the couple felt financially and emotionally stretched that they would contact Emily for guidance.
Joanna’s first question was, “Are we going to be ok? I don’t think we’re going to be ok.” They had accumulated plenty of wealth to ensure a comfortable retirement assuming a normal retirement age of roughly 65, but they had not planned on drawing on these savings early. They were now worried about depleting their cash reserve and needing to dip into their retirement accounts early, especially with college on the horizon for their two children.
By the time they visited Emily, it had been nearly a year since Chris was laid off and he was finding the job hunt challenging. Chris was a seasoned professional competing with younger, less experienced candidates willing to do the job for lower pay.
Emily was eager to help them develop a strategy that would alleviate some worry. Emily recalls: “We had several conversations about the different purposes their money was serving during the wealth accumulation phase versus the distribution phase. We approached a solution by determining what needed to be done to assure them, first, that their assets would last their lifetime, and second, that they were invested in a way that would keep up with their growth needs while still honoring their shared tolerance for risk. Through a series of modeling exercises, we were able to update the couple’s financial plan to ease their minds and the pressure Chris was feeling.”
Emily employed an anchor strategy, dividing their portfolio into growth-oriented and non-volatile, income-producing segments so there was still an opportunity for strong appreciation but also reliable income with a portion of their investments.
Fear is what finally brought Chris and Joanna to ask for help. Had they come to Emily earlier, they could have worked through scenarios that would have reduced their stress and potentially reserved cash. After working with Emily to understand the cash flow needs of their lifestyle, Chris accepted a job that was a bit under his initial salary requirements, but one that produces enough income to meet their financial plan’s objectives. He loves it. By modeling the family’s income requirements and near-term and long-term goals, Chris’s opportunities might have been broadened earlier in his search, saving him time and energy, and allowing him to pursue opportunities he may have otherwise disqualified.
Emily’s guidance had served Chris and Joanna well, so when they learned that she had moved on from their financial services provider, they sought her out at Summitry. Emily was on maternity leave at the time and learned that during their engagement meetings, Chris had posed the question, “What’s special about Summitry to attract talent like Emily?” Gratifying as the question was to hear, the answer was simple.
There is an “Emily” at a lot of firms – someone who goes above and beyond bare-bones planning using limited resources, but Summitry is a firm filled with only “Emilys” and an expansive set of resources.
“Part of the reason I was drawn to Summitry was because the firm supports and demands the kind of personalized, dedicated service I wanted to give my clients. Rather than having 450 clients to try to make a connection with, which often resulted in unreturned voice messages, my client roster at Summitry is limited to 100 families, allowing me the time and focus to develop deeper relationships and be a resource to them as their lives and needs evolve. I’m able to provide measurable value on a consistent basis and my clients don’t hesitate to reach out with questions or a change in their plan between our regular meetings.”
When Chris and Joanna were faced with an unwelcome surprise, they hesitated to ask for help but eventually learned an important lesson: financial planning and wealth management are most important during times of uncertainty. Developing a plan ahead of time is beneficial, but having someone to help you navigate an unforeseen financial event is priceless.
If you’d like to build a personalized plan or revisit the plan you have in place, reach out to us today.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not representative of every client’s experience with Summitry. Nothing herein constitutes investment advice or a recommendation that any specific strategy is suitable for any specific person.
GET THE NEXT SUMMITRY POST IN YOUR INBOX:
MORE INSIGHTS AND RESOURCES
Schedule a talk with one of our advisors to learn more about Summitry and how we can help you chart a path for your financial future.
Chief Growth Officer