Q&A with All Seasons Wealth Strategies CEO and Branch Manager Jeff Hausinger, CFP®, CIMA
1. How did you get into financial planning and why? How have you seen the industry change over the last 20 years?
“The industry has changed a tremendous amount over the last 20 years and it has really been a fascinating time to work in the industry. I’ve seen two significant market corrections of over 50% so by contrast there has only been three others in 140 years and so to see two in my short career is pretty interesting. To be able to work with your clients through those significant times is incredible. We have seen the industry change immensely, I know when I got in the business some of the people I worked with early on were very much into the stock trading and commission business but today we are so much more fee conscious and in tune with our client’s best interests and that has really worked out well. I think that the industry is going to change more in the next twenty years as it has than the last twenty years. I think we are going to see a much stronger push towards fee based financial planning, which I think is great for our industry as well as for our clients. I found it interesting that some financial advisors are concerned with the new DOL (Department of Labor) changes. Majority of the advisors at All Seasons Wealth Strategies have been way ahead of the curve for our clients for about 15 years and absolutely the last five years for all of them and I really think that makes the most sense. I always think back to one of the things one of my early mentors told me, which was that if you treat every client like they are your mother, you will have more clients than you could ever want. It was the best piece of advice I ever received in this business. It stopped me from being short sided or trying to make a couple extra dollars on the clients. At the end of the day if we do that, we are going to be so much better off, the client is going to be so much better off, they will stay clients that much longer and will also be more apt to refer you to their friends and family and that has allowed me to build a tremendous business and I’ve done my best to pass that along to the next generation of employees in my office.”
2. What does a typical All Wealth client look like?
“Our clients come from a vast array of different backgrounds. Some of our clients were business owners who have built up large or medium sized businesses and sold at the end of their career and had a large liquidity event. We also work with a lot of working professionals that, over time, saved money in their 401(k) every year and at the end of their career rolled it over, or redeemed partnership share in their physicians practice or law practice. Some of our clients have retired from civil service as well, we have some judges and some professionals who have worked for universities. We even have a handful of professional of retired professional athletes so we have a very diversified client base. It would be hard to answer the question “Where do most of your clients come from?” because it is such a diverse group of folks. But that is what makes the job fun. There are a lot of different ways to make money and we get to meet a lot of different people who were creative and made their money in so many different ways. I think that is best part of what I do is learning from our clients about the inefficiencies in the marketplace and what they have created for the niche that they fit in between the end user and the supplier. It has been a fascinating opportunity to learn about different industries from some of our clients.”
3. What makes All Seasons Wealth Strategies different from other firms?
“I think we are different on several fronts. First off, I think we put a real strong emphasis on higher education for our advisors and we go way beyond just having your Series 7 license. Myself personally, I am a Certified Financial Planner™ professional and I also have my CIMA (Certified Investment Management Analyst) designation, which I got when I was younger in the business. Early on I realized I needed some extra certifications and it’s not just having the letters behind your name, it’s the skills and education you pick along the way acquiring that. There is a tremendous amount of classroom study time, self-study time, and a bunch of comprehensive exams and then it goes even further beyond the continuing education and the leading standards they hold us to which is really important and I think has definitely helped to develop our business. Beyond that, we also have a CFA charterholder on staff, which I am tremendously proud of. You don’t find a lot of CFA’s working in the private wealth management business but we think portfolio construction, stock selection and management selection is so important that we go that extra mile to have that be a part of our team. Furthermore, the focus on higher education of our advisors leads into why All Wealth is different and why we choose to do things differently. We take a very holistic approach but we also get into the nitty-gritty when it comes to portfolio construction and building our models, whether it be a simple investment product or one of our more complicated models. We do a really good job analyzing the investments that we use for our clients and I think that helps us deliver superior client service on a very cost effective basis.”
4. What is the number one piece of advice you have for your clients?
“I probably have two pieces of advice. The first one being: don’t panic. Sometimes our clients can get caught up in the latest headline or the latest news flash and the markets do react to this stuff. You know we have bad days, we have bad weeks, sometimes we even have bad years, but the markets overall are resilient. We live in a very strong robust economy and we have a lot of developing economies around us that are providing a tremendous amount of growth opportunities for the next 30 years. I do understand that things change, things can sometimes change significantly and we can have rough patches but it wasn’t that long ago looking at 2008 wondering if the world economy could ever recover and here we are eight years later and it was almost a blip on the radar screen. It didn’t feel like that when we were in the middle of it. The second piece of advice I would suggest is to pay attention and to be aware of what is going on. In this low interest rate environment, we can’t get caught up thinking ‘I want to make 10% or 15% a year.’ We have a fixed income situation that is going to be affected by low interest rates for a significant amount of time and this could result in muted performance in the fixed income space. Depending upon how big of a portion of your portfolio that is, it could have a substantial effect on returns for the next couple of years. We have to reset our expectations based on what is going on around us. GDP growth in the United States is slower than what we experienced in the 80’s and 90’s and even the first decade of the year… With that in mind, large US based companies may grow slower than what we are accustomed to, based on the GDP seems to be growing along at a slower rate than what we have gotten used to. It is important to gauge your expectations based on what you see around you and have a game plan and a conversation with your financial advisor about your expectations. Sometimes the market will surprise to our upside and sometimes it disappoints to the downside but at the end of the day, we always seem to get to a good point eventually.”
In a fee-based account clients pay a quarterly fee, based on the level of assets in the account, for the services of a financial advisor as part of an advisory relationship. In deciding to pay a fee rather than commissions, clients should understand that the fee may be higher than a commission alternative during periods of lower trading. Advisory fees are in addition to the internal expenses charged by mutual funds and other investment company securities. To the extent that clients intend to hold these securities, the internal expenses should be included when evaluating the costs of a fee-based account. Clients should periodically re-evaluate whether the use of an asset-based fee continues to be appropriate in servicing their needs. A list of additional considerations, as well as the fee schedule, is available in the firm’s Form ADV Part 2A as well as the client agreement. The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that it is accurate or complete, it is not a statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision, and it does not constitute a recommendation. Any opinions are those of Jeff Hausinger and not necessarily those of Raymond James. Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, Certified Financial Planner™ and CFP® in the U.S.