INVESTMENT ADVISORY Q&A
As Ian Welham, RFC® points out, managing risk is often more important than chasing growth – especially as we get closer to retirement.
Q: How are you different from typical financial advisors?
IAN: Our focus is restricted to retirement planning and retirement investing. I don’t know of other advisors who limit their practice like this. We’ve seen just about every situation out there when it comes to retirement – and that experience benefits our clients.
Q: Can you give us an example of your process?
IAN: There are a number of steps involved, but one thing we do is we run 1,000 trials of your retirement plan using 1,000 different return possibilities to calculate the probability your plan will be successful – and then make adjustments accordingly.
Q: How does this help?
IAN: It’s quite effective at finding the stress points and where your portfolio might be vulnerable – before there’s a problem.
Q: What’s a common mistake you see average investors make?
IAN: Most people don’t understand how much risk they’re taking in their portfolio. The message from Wall Street (and too many advisors, frankly) is that investors should keep the majority of their assets “at work” in the stock market at all times. That might be OK for folks in their 30’s or 40’s, but not in their 60’s and above.
Q: Why are you so concerned about risk?
IAN: Being trained as an accountant I’m conservative by nature. In addition, because our clients are either approaching or already in retirement, it’s important to minimize drawdowns. There are 4 sharks that can take a bite out of your nest egg:
- market volatility
- health issues
It’s our mission to protect you from all four.
Q: What about fees? Since you provide more value, are you more expensive?
IAN: It’s true we tend to do more than other advisors – especially in the areas of Social Security and lowering taxes. We generally do more but from what I’m seeing in the marketplace, we don’t charge more. Men and women frequently come to us from other advisors. When I ask, “What kind of fees have you been paying?” they often don’t know. Or what they think they’re paying is different from what’s reflected on their monthly statements. That’s because many financial statements are difficult to read and decipher. You have to be a detective to figure out the fees. We believe that for any collaboration to work, there must be full transparency from Day 1, so we make our fees simple and clear. New clients tell us that our fees are quite competitive compared to other advisors. One reason is that we align our interests: when you do well, we do well. I invite you to make an appointment so we can have an open discussion.
Q: Any other thoughts?
IAN: Just that we all only have one chance to get retirement right. So whether it’s us or someone else, it’s important to find someone who can help you build a plan you can rely on.