Financial Literacy

Impacting Clients Lives Appeal of the Financial Advisor

The exponential growth of online programs and handheld apps – from so-called robo-advisors to educational tools and mock-trading platforms – has created a challenge for today’s financial planner and smaller financial services firms.

Tony DuBose, managing principal of Florida-based Legacy Wealth Management, recognizes that while a certain percent of the investor and retirement-planning population is comfortable with such types of applications, they do not represent the majority. People want to discuss money matters with a financial professional.

“A portfolio that reflects a person’s goals and objectives requires a human sounding board,” said DuBose.

That sentiment and notion of personal service has been with DuBose a long time. Growing up in Georgia in a middle-income family, he recalls regular visits by his parents’ insurance agent. As his interest in finance took shape over the years, DuBose noticed that despite such visits, there were gaps in actual planning and systematic savings.

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And that human sounding board he spoke of? The best quality is its sense of calm.

“Think about how difficult it was back in mid-March – when the market was off 30 percent – to stay the path and not capitulate, and sell into a market that’s falling apart. It’s tough to do that,” said DuBose. “And as professionals, we’re able to navigate these markets and be a trusted advisor for our clients and guide them.”

One of the firm’s focus areas is educating clients about market volatility and financial uncertainty in the markets. DuBose maintains that if clients have the right portfolio for their situation, there is no need to panic.

dubose600x400Most of Legacy Wealth Management’s business comes from word-of-mouth or referrals from existing clients. The firm’s minimum requirement is $100,000; while DuBose’s is set at $1 million. Operating as a boutique wealth management firm, it counts eight advisors and five supporting team members. Combined, they have more than 150 years of financial service experience at two South Florida offices.

“We are a remarkably diverse thirteen-person firm regarding our backgrounds and experience,” DuBose said, adding that all the associates tend to have a specialty. One of Legacy’s associates is a world-class, open-water swimmer.

“I had a prospect once that was involved in swimming and thought that would be a good match for her. Chemistry is important, and that should be the priority – make sure the personalities are a good match,” DuBose said, adding that he encourages all of his advisors to “work with clients they will enjoy working with.”

The firm’s service philosophy is grounded in offering comprehensive solutions, tailored to each client.

“We don’t take a cookie-cutter approach,” says DuBose. “We want to create a positive impact for our clients and we strive to be a transparent, intelligent company. We have a deep-seated belief that everyone in the firm contributes to growth and success of not only our firm, but also of our clients.”

DuBose does have some opinions about the direction of the financial industry. Among the chief concerns he shares is that the financial services sector includes a large subset of non-securities licensed individuals, mainly insurance distributors.

“They are trying to be financial planners, and I think the industry really needs to tackle that and establish some kind of standard for those practitioners who are operating without a securities license and trying to offer financial advice,” he said.

As to how to select a financial advisor, DuBose stresses to make sure the advisor uses a third-party custodian. That’s been the case at Legacy Wealth Management since day one.

dubose 400x600DuBose started the firm initially with a partner in 1997 as they were working for a Fortune 500 financial services firm because they wanted to serve clients without conflicts, providing independent, un-biased financial advice. In 1997, DuBose became the sole shareholder of the firm through a buyout, and has been with LPL Financial as a broker/dealer and custodian since that time. Legacy launched its multi-custodian Registered Investment Advisory Firm offering in 2015.

Now in 2020, and like so many businesses, Legacy Wealth Management has faced the challenge of maintaining its high level of service during a pandemic. The firm instituted its business continuity plan in early March. All 13 team members started working remotely, but remained more accessible than ever.

“We escalated the normal review calendar, and have been proactive with both client meetings and communications,” said DuBose. The associates deployed a wide array of tools: teleconferencing, video conferencing through Microsoft Teams “or whatever the client prefers,” he adds, noting “it’s all been quite flawless.”

Aside from using that time to revisit clients’ goals and objectives in their financial plans to make sure that what has happened this year hasn’t disrupted their goals in the near future, the firm is preparing for a post-COVID financial services world.

“We’re implementing all the things we need to do to offer our clients a safe experience when they do visit our offices,” DuBose said. This means putting safety features in place, even including filtration systems to help screen out viruses and bacteria. DuBose says it’s all about “keeping our environment safe for our employees, advisors and clients.”

That’s vital in a business that cherishes personal interaction and values its role as a human sounding board.

For more information about Legacy Wealth Management, please visit: lwmfl.com

Securities and Retirement Plan Consulting Program advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a registered investment advisor, member FINRA/SIPC. Other advisory services offered through LWM Advisory Services LLC, a registered investment advisor. Legacy Wealth Management and LWM Advisory Services LLC are separate entities from LPL Financial.

 

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