Financial Literacy

Enjoying a Healthy Dialog with Clients

Questions produce positive results

Women have made major strides in recent years “to become the most powerful consumers and gain social and professional positions,” according to a Penn State Financial Literacy course called MoneyCounts. “They shape the future of the nation, but many pay little attention to combating their personal financial challenges through life and into retirement.”

MK320There is no ‘typical’ client at Austin-based KENTOR. They engage in Comprehensive Financial Strategies, but the vast majority of the firm’s clientele are women, according to Founder and President Michael Kentor, JD, CLU®, ChFC®.

“Our clientele is 70 percent female and 30 percent male,” Kentor told Advisors Magazine in a recent interview. “Women tend to ask questions; to fully understand the rationale of the advice. They like being spoken to and not talked down to,” he explained. “Some prospective clients tend to come in with predilections of what they know,” he added. “And they don’t want to spend the time to explore the relevance to their own situation.”

Kentor said he looks for clients comfortable discussing what their concerns are, what they want, their needs, wishes, and able to speak about any hidden liabilities. Out of those discussions, a customized financial plan can be developed.

“Sometimes people will come in and say they are willing to work with you, but then they are never available to talk at any time,” Kentor said. “And the client has to be available to review their circumstances periodically.”

Kentor egggsThere is no minimum investment required, and Kentor emphasized that the firm’s “religion” is diversification. “We get no comfort in seeing an all-eggs-in-one basket approach,” he said.
For prospective clients who are looking to put their assets into an account, Kentor said the key question is: “When do you need and want the funds? Because to me, the time horizon is the greatest indicator of what can be done and what should be done.”

Discovery, as in a courtroom, is big for Kentor who holds a degree in law. If a client says they want access to funds in six months, he then has information pointing to the need for secure investments, such as certificates of deposit, insured funds and Treasuries.

“We’ll also see people who often will have sold off some substantial interest, and will have a large tax bill,” Kentor noted. “And the first thing we do is make sure that after-tax liquidity will be available at the time it’s needed. So, we’re very sensitive to the time horizon for funds, on asset allocations and diversification.”

With experience in the insurance industry dating back to 1969, graduating law school in 1972, and heading his asset investment management firm since the early 1990s, the Kentor practice today encompasses hundreds of clients from Seattle to Paris, France.

“My personal goal is to have 75 years of work doing this,” Kentor summarized. “I’m now in my 53rd year, and we’re growing the business by bringing in some young people and giving the clients the comfort of continuity.”

For more information on Kentor Comprehensive Financial Strategies, visit:

Securities offered through Lion Street Financial, LLC, member FINRA & SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Kentor and Lion Street Advisors, LLC.


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