In this fourth and final article in our “Who We Are” Blog Series, I will address our philosophy as it relates to financial planning and client service.  There are three key philosophies that shape our planning and services to our clients: the client is the center of what we do, wise financial decisions come from understanding and applying fundamental financial principles, and financial products are only tools to implement broader financial advice.

There is often a natural tension between our own wants and desires and our wants and desires for those we love and care about.  I suspect that if you are part of a family you can relate to this.  These tensions can also exist on the company level.  Who is Master’s working for?  We do not work for a large company that provides additional incentives for us to sell proprietary products that largely benefit that company.  We work for our clients.  We are free to offer the strategies that we feel best meet our clients’ needs, putting them at the center of our process.

Just as there are universal principles that govern life, there are similar principles that govern our financial lives.  Most of us wouldn’t ignore the universal principle of gravity when standing on a lofty rock precipice in Yosemite National Park; however, we all regularly encounter people who choose to disregard basic financial principles and suffer the consequences.  The following is a list of some of the fundamental financial principles that when followed consistently, we believe, will lead to financial contentment: spend less than you earn, give generously, avoid the use of consumer debt, build cash flow margin, and set long-term goals.  Our financial advice is rooted in fundamental financial principles.

When you contact a financial planner, it is not uncommon for him to ask you about your financial situation, including what assets you have to invest.  Unfortunately, we hear of encounters with other financial planning firms where people quickly understand that all the advisors want to do is position assets in a financial product (annuity, mutual fund, life insurance contract, etc.), and after they complete the sale, the clients might not ever hear from them again.

We do it differently at Master’s.  Although we frequently recommend financial products to our clients, we understand that these products are only tools that help to accomplish a broader strategy or goal.  It’s our advice that makes the difference.  Each client’s situation is thoroughly reviewed by multiple Master’s team members at our Strategy and Design meeting.  It’s our team’s experience and expertise in developing and monitoring customized financial plans or strategies that sets us apart from the typical product sales person.

We are committed to offering wise financial advice centered on you and your financial future.  You can proceed confidently knowing that you are part of the Master’s team.