Wealth Protection

The Value of Emotional Intelligence in Financial Planning

Analyzer vs. Motivator Clients Have Different Styles

People work hard all their lives accumulating assets, but they really only understand investments at retirement, when they must start paying for their lifestyle. That’s how Walter Pardo, CEO of Wealth Financial Partners, LLC, based in Liberty Corner, New Jersey, sees it. While most financial advisors are good at the accumulation aspect, retirees need someone to walk them through distributions, and Pardo finds many advisors deficient in that regard. If a financial advisor doesn’t understand the tax implications of distributions, “They’re really not giving a fiduciary experience,” he says.

Pardo earned his Series 7 and started out in 1991, working as a fixed-income specialist for a Wall Street bond firm at the Long Island, New York office. Eight years later, his father died unexpectedly, and Pardo discovered his dad’s accountant didn’t know if there was a will or any life insurance – he just did the taxes.

“I realized that my family, and my clients, needed a central person taking care of insurance, investments, and accounting,” says Pardo. “I found out later that this is called wealth planning.”

In 2010, after obtaining additional training on tax, insurance, and estate issues, Pardo started his company based on the principle of proactivity. Wealth Financial Partners and WFP Tax Partners are independent advisors who help families and businesses manage life transitions and protect against blind sides. Pardo doesn’t want his clients to be ill prepared, as his family was.

Tax Mitigation and Cash Flow

At retirement, most people are unfamiliar with tax mitigation or cash flow. While working, taxes were automatically withheld, and cash flow consisted of what they netted in their paychecks. In retirement, it’s reversed. People in retirement receive income before taxes, and have to be made aware they’re responsible for what’s owed to the IRS and possibly to their state. Pardo educates clients through this transition, and manages the order of distribution for minimum taxation.

“I have found that clients with $7 million or more in assets tend to be business owners,” says Pardo. “They already understand tax mitigation and cash flow. In fact, these people never plan to retire. With their businesses on auto-pilot, they want to work with an advisor who understands what they’re trying to accomplish. They want to re-wire their schedules to spend time with their families and give back to their community.”

A Crucial Factor – Emotional Intelligence

Financial advisors must learn to ask better questions and become better listeners, he says. Pardo places great value on emotional intelligence. He and his team figure out their client’s style so they can efficiently communicate.

“If I know how the client is wired, I want to adjust my approach when interacting,” he says. For instance, an “analyzer” type of client, who requires more information and details, needs a different approach than the “motivator” type, who just wants to know the bottom line.

A Good Fit

The first time Pardo meets with someone, he’s looking for a good fit on both sides. His basic question: “If we’re sitting here three years from today, what has to have happened during those three years for you to be happy?” If the client says nothing, there is no relationship and he cuts the meeting right there. “If they give me an answer, those are the things I have to pay attention to,” he says. “They are sharing their fears. Knowing what motivates them creates opportunity.” He sees his role as managing the transition between the working years and retirement and managing goals. “The job is to identify the gap and say I can help you fill the gap if you want to hire me,” he says.

Year Over Year Goal

This year, Pardo’s goal includes continuing to work with affluent clients who “talk the same lingo as me. They understand taxes and cash flow,” he says. Pardo feels that now is the best time to be a financial advisor. “There’s fewer pensions out there. How many people have 401k with a pension on top? Not many. Now people are re-wiring and wondering how it will work out income-wise. I do a lot of that,” he says.

For more information on Wealth Financial Partners, visit: wealthfinancialpartners.com

Registered Representative offering securities and advisory services through Independent Financial Group, LLC (IFG), a registered broker-dealer and investment advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wealth Financial Partners, LLC and IFG are unaffiliated entities. OSJ: 12671 High Bluff Dr. Suite 200 San Diego, CA 92130.

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