Retirement Planning

Taking the confusion out of financial planning

Investors are bombarded daily with a deluge of financial headlines and may find themselves overwhelmed and left wondering what to do.

“I find that there’s so much news out there that it’s becoming more complicated and confusing for people who just want to know what they should be doing,” said Nancy A. Effert, founder of Effert Financial Solutions. “Headlines aside, what’s most important is first figuring out what they really want to accomplish and why’.

Based in Barrington, Illinois, Effert Financial Solutions offers comprehensive investment management and financial planning services. The firm provides fee-based advising and does not require a minimum amount of assets to work with a client. As a nod to her services, Effert is honored to be a 6-year recipient of the Five Star Wealth Manager Award(1) from 2014 thru 2019.

Cutting client confusion requires a focus on their goals. Effert first works to understand a client’s situation, goals and values. The next step is to analyze their financial situation and resources before developing a plan designed to help them reach the financial future they envision. The firm’s philosophy avoids sales pitches and product pushing, and instead focuses on providing tailored advice aimed at clients’ individual financial goals. Rather than selling, Effert prefers to see herself as a client coach.

“I don’t like the idea of selling,” Effert told “Advisors Magazine” during a recent interview. “It’s natural to educate your clients when you’re advising them and not selling to them.”

nancy quoteInvestment management, Retirement and College planning have always been core services, but budgeting and debt reduction education has become a large part of Effert Financial Solutions’ practice as well – more than Effert predicted when she founded the firm in 2006 – creating a budget, breaking the debt-cycle and saving makes up a significant part of the planning process for some clients.

“Life happens to everybody, some seek out a personal advisor due to complications or because they want to do something differently,” she said.

Effert acts as a fiduciary, meaning a clients’ best interests always come before the bottom-line. Effert recommends that those seeking advisory services ask a prospective advisor “what they do” for their clients.

“Some of them are doing investment management and that’s it, some are doing only planning or their focus is on insurance products,” Effert said. “Ask them what they do for their clients, ask them how they get paid. It will help them figure out whether that’s somebody they want to work with. It might not be a fit for either the advisor or the client.”

What Effert does for clients is provide customized solutions that are designed uniquely for each client, unlike out-of-the-box investment plans or automated online tools. And even though the so-called “robo-advisors” are cheaper, the market can put investors on an emotional rollercoaster they are unprepared for, and no machine can help manage their feelings.

look guidance 300x300“We are seeing a lot more volatility than we have over the past couple years, once things go the other way having the lowest cost may not be as important,” Effert said, noting that the available automated services were developed during the recent bull market run. “People will be looking for guidance, active management or alternatives when the market turns.”

An investor just starting to save can benefit from these low-cost services, of course, Effert said, but as their life and situation becomes more complicated, they may want a more experienced, personal approach.

“Whether people are just starting out, building a family or a business, looking to retire or wanting to enjoy their retirement,” Effert said. “working with a financial coach could help create a calm in their financial storm.”

For more information on Effert Financial Solutions, visit:

Advisory Services provide through Partnervest Advisory Services, LLC a Registered Investment Advisor.
(1) The Five Star Wealth Manager award, administered by Crescendo Business Services, LLC (dba Five Star Professional), is based on 10 objective criteria. Award does not evaluate quality of services provided to clients. Wealth managers do not pay a fee to be considered or placed on the final list of Five Star Wealth Managers. Once awarded, wealth managers may purchase additional profile ad space or promotional products. The Five Star award is not indicative of the wealth manager’s future performance. The inclusion of a wealth manager on the Five Star Wealth Manager list should not be construed as an endorsement of the wealth manager by Five Star Professional or this publication. Working with a Five Star Wealth Manager or any wealth manager is no guarantee as to future investment success. For more information on the Five Star award, including how many Chicago wealth managers were considered for the award and the research/selection methodology used to select the recipients, visit


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