Embracing Transitions

Turning challenges into inspirational moments. Kuhlmann understands transitions.

Founded in 2010 by Kent Kuhlmann, the firm’s core philosophy – for both itself and its clients – is to embrace life’s inevitable transitions. “We take financial challenges and we turn them into inspirational opportunities for personal growth and customized financial strategies,” says Kuhlmann. When a client is faced with the devastating death of a loved one, a painful divorce, or even the well-planned transition into retirement, Kuhlmann and his staff work alongside that client and help them handle a lot of lofty decisions they’ll need to make, providing advice along the way.  “You are suddenly tasked with all kinds of crazy, meticulous decisions that you have to make that could impact the rest of your life,” he says. These can be particularly burdensome during emotional stress. “Essentially, every life challenge affects our financial lives in some way, shape or form,” he adds.

Born to Depression era parents who taught him conservative money values, Kulhmann later realized that many around him did not share those values. “If you don’t learn sound financial values at home, the vast majority are going to learn it from the mass media which keeps preaching that you should have all of this “stuff” even if you can’t pay for it; just keep spending and don’t worry about going into debt.” For many of us, personal finance was never taught. “Today’s generations want their situations to be different.  Although the tools are there, without some helpful coaching it’s hard to avoid many of the same pitfalls that have existed for generations,” he adds.

2016 group office800Moreover, individuals today face not only living longer in retirement, but lower incomes due to reduced or even negative yields on investments that use to be relied upon to provide a retirement cushion. In addition, they also face rising medical insurance premiums and possibly long-term care expenses. “It’s a huge challenge today and a potential disaster, even for those who have saved well during their working years,” Kuhlmann counsels.

In 1998 Kuhlmann started an independent financial advisory firm with a couple of partners. The partnership eventually owned three offices in Northern California which grew cumbersome to manage. So he and his partners went their separate ways with Kuhlmann retaining the Napa business – although he maintains client relationships all over the US.

“We want clients that trust us enough to allow us to walk beside them through all of life’s complicated and difficult transitions, not just manage an account or two,” Kuhlmann says. “That system of support regularly includes tapping an external network of professionals in an effort to help our clients protect against any potentially damaging situations they may not even be aware of,” he adds.

To Kuhlmann, trust is a vital ingredient. “The last eight years have given the public reason to be skeptical of the financial markets and those who work there,” he notes. Trust has to be earned, and he and his associates take their Fiduciary responsibilities seriously. “From our perspective, it’s always, always, always acting with integrity and in the best interest of the client, no matter what,” he says.

And, for Kuhlmann, transition continues. This year, his firm made a huge shift and is now an affiliate of the Carson Institutional Alliance which brings like-minded firms under a common umbrella. Front-end and back-end processes were retooled and new capabilities added, all intended to meet the needs of multi-generational clients.

“If you want to be around in this business, you have to constantly change, always look ahead and always look over your shoulder,” Kuhlmann says. “I plan to be around for a while.” 

For more information about Kuhlmann Associates Financial, please visit:
Client minimums are $1,000,000.

Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through CWM, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor. LPL Financial is under separate ownership from any other named entity.

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