Having dreams of Living Large

Spending and bankrolling hard currency like you're a member of the seven-figure club has inspired investors to live with the highest hopes, big dreams and ambitious goals of striking it big in Corporate America. Oftentimes, a client hungers to roll the dice and land that golden piece real estate property so they can retire early and trek around the world in 80-days.

But, sometimes, the voice of wisdom kicks in. And their stoic wealth advisor says, “no,” urging them to squirrel their money away in a safe portfolio investment and save those grandiose dreams of great riches for another day.

“As advisors, it’s not always ‘You can do this,’” said James V. Petitpren II, CEO of Green Stone Belt Wealth Advisors, an Illinois-based wealth management firm. “Often you have to step up and say, ‘Listen I understand you want to do this, but here’s the reality of where your finances are.’”

Green Stone Belt Wealth Advisors provides retirement, investment, and estate planning services to high-worth clients and their families. The firm doesn’t want hundreds of clients, but instead cultivates strong relationships and develops customized solutions for a core group of investors who trust Petitpren and his team to grow their wealth and help them achieve their goals. Helping clients achieve their goals often means being candid, Petitpren said, and his firm looks for clients who want advice.

“As an advisor it’s very easy to agree with the clients and tell them what they want to hear,” Petitpren told The Suit Magazine during a recent interview. “I think a lot of advisors out there over-promise in an effort to gain business as opposed to being true advisors.”

Advice becomes even more crucial for clients moving up the wealth curve. Investment choices become more numerous, fees can be more complex, and many advisors might not be up to the job of handling a high-net-worth investor’s finances. Green Stone Belt Wealth Advisors is there for investors who feel like they have outgrown their existing wealth management platform, often working with clients who left the financial giants to get a more personal experience.

“For us, it’s providing the right value to the family,” he said. “We’ve been doing this long enough that we really appreciate families that really appreciate advice.”

Part of providing that personal experience is breaking down the complex industry jargon into language clients can understand.

Navigating the new technological landscape with clients is vital as well, Petitpren said. Unlike in the past, today’s investor is bombarded with a constant stream of information. He believes that the relationship between the advisor and client must ultimately meld to the old way of doing things with the new technological changes occurring in modern-day America.

“Somewhere between the old way and the new way is where advisors and clients (must find new methods) to be successful,” Petitpren said, noting that clients can benefit from access to more information. “The massive amount of information that’s out there—is ultimately helpful.”

Those investors who turn to Petitpren because they’re entering the seven-figure club and need the best advice can rest assured that he wants to cut to the chase, find what works for them, and work toward building them a sustainable future. Keeping money safe is more than about caution – it’s about comfort, preparing for the future, and getting from point A to point B successfully.

“Ultimately our job is to manage money, but to also make sure they have comfort,” Petitpren said, adding that financial terms often muddy the waters and don’t get at what matters to the client. “People care about how much they are starting with, what the returns are … and is it appropriate to them?”

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