Wealth Protection

Ensuring the Well-being of Clients

Planning goes well beyond portfolios and taps into client goals.

Under the Trump administration, the first new tax bill in a generation has passed, and the stock market is on a tear. Yet, planning for retirement is never just a market-watching activity. It takes time, effort and there are more issues such as healthcare, estate planning, and caring for loved ones to consider.

This is where Treece Financial Group comes in. David Treece, president of the firm, has never worked for a major wirehouse or insurance company. This, he said, is a good thing.

“I didn’t have to unlearn things from other people who are basically trained to be sales people,” said Treece, adding that the main philosophy he has employed in the more than 12 years since opening his own firm is to be on the side of clients and act as their advocates.

The Miami Shores, Florida-based firm specializes in retirement planning, so most of its clients are near or already in retirement. With a focus on retirement security, Treece Financial Group looks at investment strategies holistically and from a perspective of the client’s well-being. This includes educating them to recognize and avoid signs of fraud, and ensuring that they’re legal documents are in order.

To understand the goals and tendencies of a new client, the firm’s approach uses a three-step process.

“We look at their risk-tolerance, their timeframe, and their goals, and try to get to know as much about them as possible,” said Treece.

On the second appointment, the firm provides feedback on how their risk-versus- returns work out, and how aggressively the client may or may not be investing. The third appointment is where clients are provided with recommendations and given direction on how to move forward.

“We have a very non-threatening approach. To educate clients, we go through a whole process. We don’t want them to make fast decisions. We have a squeaky-clean regulatory record and I think our slower, more thorough and methodical process helps us make sure we are doing the right thing for the client,” Treece said.

Some of the services Treece Financial Group provides include an asset allocation review, a portfolio review and performance evaluation, and estate and financial planning.

Treece Financial Group is also committed to financial education. In fact, the firm provides public seminars without a sales pitch. Topics include IRA planning, caregiving, and saving for college education.

“These are not necessarily about investments, but they are designed to prepare people and make sure they understand what is coming,” explains Treece.

Interestingly, Treece further explains that what is most important in educating clients and creating a strategy around their needs are not things like active versus passive management or other investment strategies. What is most important is looking at the client’s overall financial health – things like their debt, their savings, their mortgage, their insurance, their business success or failure, and so on.

“These are the big decisions that will really affect someone’s well-being and this is where they need help, so that is what we do. We do all the investment management but we look at the big picture, and it is our approach that really distinguishes us, and that is where we can add an enormous amount of value,” he said.

But beyond helping just those people close to, or already in retirement, Treece Financial Group can work with those people who are a part of the so-called “sandwich generation,” who are dealing with the needs of their aging parents and also the needs of their own kids. Treece collaborates with attorneys and other professionals on various situations like reverse mortgages or medical issues to create solutions for clients. He advises that when helping either parents or children, that people should not to spend too much and sacrifice their own retirement savings.

Treece says there has been a shift, in many cases, away from simple investment decisions to broader planning questions about saving, retirement planning, debt and more.

“These are not investment choice questions, they are real planning questions,” he said. “Much of our industry is tied to assets under management so the planning might be given as part of the assets under management and there might be a bit of a disconnect there.”

What Treece does is provide the education and information.

“It’s been well worth it to spend the time and make sure people are happy, and we get people to agree to be thorough…and we have success stories to prove it,” he said.

The firm’s greatest success reflects the company’s mission to help people in retirement with regard to their overall wellbeing.

“What drives us is to make sure that everyone is on track with their goals and positions,” said Treece.

For more information on Treece Financial Group, visit: treecefinancialgroup.com

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