Welcome to Pension Attention, the best show for first responders who want to take control of their finances.
After advising Los Angeles city firefighters for over 12 years, financial advisor, Brad Barrett now shares how you can grow your wealth, build your legacy and enjoy a life of freedom. And now here's your host, Brad Barrett.
(00:21): Welcome to pension attention to show for you. First responders who want more outta their deferred compensation and pension plan. My goal each week with this podcast is to reach you where you are at whatever stage in your career you are in, in order to provide my nearly 15 years of experience, working with both active and retired service members on their investment and retirement planning. My team of fiduciary advisors here at one capital management are dedicated to ensuring you take control of your finances and build the life you deserve to find out more about myself or only one of our advisors here at one capital management, you can go to our firstname.lastname@example.org or you can give us a call. You can call us it (805) 409-8150. On this week's episode, I wanna talk about integration and what that actually means when it comes to the advice that I feel personally, you should be looking at when it comes to your retirement planning.
(01:24): Now integration the definition, if you will, of integration is the action or process of integrating it's similar words. As we all know, it could be combination incorporation, unification. And why does that matter when it comes to your retirement planning? I talk about this so often with regards to specific areas that we need to focus on when it comes to our overall retirement plan and why integrating it matters so much, you know, how many single professionals out there, what I mean by single, I mean, singular focused around investing, or maybe just planning or maybe of a CPA that just does taxes, or maybe you met someone who did an estate plan with, and we relate this. Sometimes you might have heard me say this analogy before, where it's kind of the, the junk drawer of financial planning. And what I mean by that is, you know, we all have that drawer in our kitchen, right?
(02:20): Where we just put a bunch of random stuff. I know I do, and they're all meaningful stuff. I use it from time to time, but they're not in coordination with each other. And a lot of times when I meet with a client, that's kind of what we see. You know, at some point you maybe have hired some guy 10 years ago to put together some plan. He printed out and some big 50 page document that you don't really understand. Or you have this portfolio manager who you hired that just does investment management and manages your retirement plan or whatever it might look like there, but there are no real conversation happening between the two. And the biggest one I see is between taxes and investing. I can't tell you many times I have a client who has a CPA or a tax repair that they meet with between January 1st and April 15th as an example, but there's no real planning going on throughout the year.
(03:09): And more importantly than that, there's no real conversation happening both behind the scenes and with the client, with the planner to the tax repair, I wanna be very about something. Tax planning and investment planning have a lot to do with each other. And I'll go further to say the integration amongst tax planning, estate planning, insurance planning, cashflow planning, investment management, planning, all fit into what we know as retirement planning. Now at one capital management, we are private wealth managers. What does that mean? What's the difference between a financial advisor and a private wealth manager. For many people, they think it has something to do with the net worth or the amount of investible assets or net worth of the client that say a private wealth manager works with versus a financial advisor. Now you can make a case at, but here we focus on three things to us.
(04:04): Private wealth management is relationship management, investment management, and advanced planning. That's the three legs of the stool. And the, the advanced planning column lies all of the big picture items that put together form your retirement plan, that the investment management fits into make sense. This isn't a product oriented environment for any of you listening. You've probably been sold some product that was the cat's pajamas, and it was supposed to be what you're gonna ride off into the sunset with. Now, I'm not saying there's right or wrong products, mostly insurance based, things like that. But I, I can promise you, this is that there isn't a one size fits all there. Isn't the next best thing since sliced bread product, it has to go together with an overall plan and they have to go all in lockstep together in concert with each other. You hear me say that constantly, but when we talk about integration, I wanna talk about a couple things that I think I are really important.
(05:03): And first and foremost, let's talk about who to trust when you started building a financial plan and with the world around us right now, as we see it, especially recently with what's going on, both politically geopolitically around the world, Ukraine, Russia, still coming off a pandemic inflation. You really wanna understand who to trust. And for many you listening, it's like, what do I look for? Here's the three things to start that I think you should look for when it comes to a financial advisor and how that plays into integration. Number one, independence. I think it's important to understand for many listening that in the world of financial advisors are different types. There's those that work for companies that sell commissionable products have bosses have funds that they have to push. And then there's those that are truly independent in that world. We call it a registered investment advisory firm.
(05:54): That's what one capital management is. And we've been that way since inception. We wanna make sure that we are sitting kneecap to kneecap with someone, knowing that we have their best interest in mind and not just saying that as some sort of lip service, but actually them feeling it. And to me, this is maybe subjective in an opinion, but for someone who's been doing this for almost 18 years, being independent is the first line of defense for any client walking in to truly understand, Hey, does this guy really have my best interest in mind? Like he could tell me that, but really does he. And I think one of the best markers is independence. There's no bosses telling him what he has to sell and the way you should be selling anything, he should be providing a service it's much different. And I it's what we do in the independence space, the independent advisory space.
(06:41): So number one, independence, I think matters. Number two, and this word's been used a lot in the past, probably five or 10 years is a fiduciary. The fiduciary standard of what's called the best interest of client or B contract. You wanna find someone that's a fiduciary under the fiduciary department of labor standards. There is a difference. Believe it or not. And third credentialed, believe it or not. The barrier of entry to be an advisor is a series 65 exam spoil alert. It's not the hardest exam to pass. In fact, the other day we had a younger, one of our associates who had passed at 65 and I had joked said, Hey, congratulations, you're an advisor. And he kinda looked at me and goes, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. I'm not, I'm 23 years old. Like, I don't know, you know how to be an advisor.
(07:28): I'm still learning. I'm growing within the firm. And I said, exactly, but guess what? Technically you can date basically do what I've been doing for 18 years because you have the license. Again, people, the barrier of venture, isn't that big. So finding someone who has a degree, for example, and let's say finance economics, that's one place to start. So they are continually trying to educate themselves from a college profession, but more than that is credentials around certifications and some big ones in our industry that I think are of note to two in particular, the first one is a certified financial planner, otherwise known as a CFP. I am one, many of our advisors have the CFP designation that matters. I think personally it tells a client or people that they are dedicated and focused on, not just passing an exam as a barrier of entry, but actually wanting to become a good advisor and going through a certification process.
(08:22): It's a multi-year studied process and to be able to use the marks you have to have experience. So I think it's important to start there when it comes to a credentialed and certified advisor. Another one that I think's really good is a certified private wealth advisor, otherwise C PWA. Those are two really rate credentials. When you look at a financial advisor and by the way, one of the, the third one, I should say that really relates to more portfolio managers that we employ here at one capital management. As an example, our portfolio management team is full of, what's called a chartered financial analyst. This is a three year test and you can't even use the marks for multiple years until you have an experience. And that is a great credential to look for in a company who not only is it advising you, but also has a CFA as their chief investment officer or portfolio management team chalk full of chartered financial analysts. So CFP C PWA and CFA are really great investment credentials to look for. So number one, independence, number two, act as a fiduciary and number three credential.
(09:31): Do you know how much you should be contributing to your deferred compensation for, are you getting the most out of your current investment options, looking at entering or about to exit the drop program, go to www dot pension, attention.com to find out how we can help now, by the way, on the credential side, you know, most tax advisors have, let's say a CPA certified public accountant. So we're trying to educate and relay that same kind of credential process in the financial advisory space. And for us here at one capital management, that's all I can speak about myself included here around integration is that's where you get to the, what I believe the intersection of a retail. If you will, financial advisor versus someone who's dedicated to their craft, not selling products, but actually want to integrate a plan and have a coordinated effort to speak with your CPA and, or have a plethora of contacts as strategic partners to make sure that we find the right CPA. If you don't have one or the one that fits your situation more effectively, same thing with an estate planning attorney, same thing with an insurance planner, if you need, which we have on staff as well.
(10:40): So when you're listening to something like this and working with a financial advisor like us, and we know that our coordination needs to be strong and fitting it with each of our clients, when we're looking for a financial advisor, imagine this for a second. Imagine in you're in a room, whether virtually or physically. And I say that nowadays, cuz that's the new world, which is great, but imagine you're in there and you know that you're looking and talking with your financial advisor, who's acting as your quarterback for your other team members. So virtually or physically, you have your CPA in there because that coordination will happen. You, your insurance person who might actually be your financial advisor, like here at the firm, coordinating the insurances around long-term care, life insurance, other areas that we need to focus on for our clients around the planning, it's all fitting into there.
(11:31): Same thing with your estate planning attorney, you have your estate planning attorney virtually or physically metaphorically speaking in that room. Imagine that. So for those thinking right now, who've worked with financial advisors in the past or trying to understand what that actually means. Find one that integrates all aspects of a retirement plan, investment management, cash flow planning, tax planning, estate planning, insurance planning, all under one roof, focusing on the dedication to making sure that you achieve essentially the goals and objectives you set out for your overall retirement plan. Integration is key. We've seen it work so well on the value of making sure that we have two or three strategic partnerships here at one capital management for each category amongst our advisors. It's really important to know as a client that you're able to go to a source and say, Hey, I have this need for a legal attorney based on some business thing I need or some personal thing I need.
(12:32): Can you help me for find that the answer is yes, referrals are great. May also be something more specific. Like we talked about around tax planning on an annual basis or updating an estate plan or maybe actually doing your first estate plan around your family needs. And again, the advanced planning that comes into place, making sure we find the right partner and we'll source that. So it's amazing to understand what financial advisor versus private wealth manager means. And to me, it's not necessarily about the number. I think everyone tries to focus on the assets or the investible assets or for those listening have to get to some certain threshold of net worth to be able to use a private wealth manager. I think it's more coming the table and realizing that's what I find value in is making sure I can go one place, build trust in someone who has my best interest in mind on all aspects of my retirement plan.
(13:28): From there, we then find the value together of what makes sense to work. And I think for anyone out there understanding what financial advisory means, the integration of your plan wins out, knowing that the left hand is talking to the right hand when it comes to something as simple as a portfolio structure, say around a trust account or an after tax account, while also knowing your tax situation, I can promise you that matters. And for those with qualified assets, mostly in retirement accounts, IRAs, Ks, deferred compensation plans, the majority of your assets built in there will come out taxable in the future upon retirement and understanding that there may not be capital gain situations there, but there's definitely ordinary income and working with your CPA to do what I call the bracket game in the sense of maximizing highest, the lowest tax bracket on an annual basis, that takes coordination.
(14:21): That takes communication. So having a staff and scalability inside a firm to be able to do that matters matters for you. What won't show up on a rate of return all the time. Isn't always the value of an advisor is the potholes in a way that you seem to avoid or these savings on tax planning, strategies that are efficient, that over time saves you a bunch of money. Those things are of value. When you look at an advisor, that's the combination of any advisor's fee between the actual advice, the fiduciary advice and the investment management. There's two actual components and they should go lockstep in hand. They should be in concert with each other, focusing on the integration for all matters when it relates to your retirement plan. And I think more than ever before the integr, because as we are potentially looking at next couple years of the sunset of the current tax law here in 2025 and shocking news, everybody, Republicans and Democrats, aren't agreeing on many things.
(15:24): So we don't know where this is gonna go, but I think likely there's a good chance. We're gonna see some higher taxes. We don't know how or when, or to what extent, but the planning around that takes coordination again, back to two simple coordinating efforts around investing and tax planning. So focusing on those things around the integration and something we strive every day, every week, every month, every year here at one capital management is to continue to get better and have conversations with professionals that we know will better the service for our clients. That's the growing within your craft that I think is also shown by things such as credentials. Again, the barrier of entry isn't high. So you wanna find someone who actually is dedicated to their craft, who focuses on what they want to do and to pro by the service that you, as the client ultimately are paying for and relying on.
(16:19): So financial advisors to me who are at least worth their salt that I think every client should focus on is someone who integrates all aspects of a retirement plan. And the three things I think that are important to look for again, into fiduciary and credentialed. That's a great start. And then to put a bow on the conversation of finding the right advisor, who does integrate, especially, and again, in this world of chaotic news that are going on, keeping discipline to your approach, finding that person who will not deviate and get emotional around things takes experience. And that gets to my last thing, I'll say, and to put a bow on this week's episode, if you will, is finding someone you actually like, I know that sounds like a crazy concept, but someone you actually enjoy talking to someone you wanna sit with and be like, you know what, this man or woman, they get me.
(17:11): I relate to them that actually matters. I believe every person has within them, the discernment, if they listen to themselves, right? No different than you meet someone. And you're like, oh, I don't know about that guy or that girl or whatever it is, right. That's a gut reaction. So if you find those things like someone who's independent, someone who's a fiduciary and someone who's credentialed. And the last thing which might even be the most important thing is someone who you can see building trust in, right? No, there's never trust right off the gate. You can look at their history, their experience, maybe a referral from a client that matters no doubt, but you have to be able to give trust, to receive trust. And so you wanna find someone who you like, cuz I think that is the infancy stages of trust is someone that you have a gut feeling towards that you actually like, and you feel has your best interest in mind find that right advisor. Because in times like these keeping disciplined, I think is what makes or breaks a retirement plan. I wanna thank you for listening to pension attention. I remember before acting upon anything discussed today, speak with a financial advisor near you about your specific situation. And if you'd like our help, you can visit email@example.com or get us a call 8 0 5 4 0 9 8 1 5 0. And until next week stay safe.
The information in this podcast is educational and general in nature and does not take into consideration the listeners personal circumstances. Therefore, it is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized, financial, legal, or tax advice. To determine which strategies or investments may be suitable for you consult the appropriate qualified professional prior to making a final decision.