Wealth Protection

Wealth Manager for the Millionaire Next Door

Mitch Silberman is one of those rare individuals who made a lot of money before hitting puberty. He was a child actor, working all the time in TV and movies and doing voiceovers. When he was older, he used that money to pay for college, travel, and buy used cars. Then the money was gone. Later he wondered if he would have been wealthy had his parents hired a financial advisor to manage his funds.

Fast forward a few decades, and he’s now President and CEO of his firm, Silberman Wealth Strategies, Inc., based in Westlake Village, California.

What Keeps You Up At Night?

Silberman says his sole focus is to help his clients make intelligent choices with their money and to avoid common, costly mistakes. His typical client is the millionaire next door and he aspires to help them achieve all that is most important to them. These are people with $2 million or more who have worked their entire lifetime, lived below their means, socked their money away, and don’t want to lose it. “I relish being their safe money guy,” he says. These clients want the help of a financial advisor to help their families, alma maters, and favorite charities, and are willing to pay for advice. His greatest gratification comes from clients who can travel the world or pursue their true passions because they feel confident his firm is taking care of their financial future. He points out there is no such thing as a financial planning emergency, but there are emergencies due to lack of financial planning.

Silberman’s approach is very personalized. The initial meeting is complimentary and all about the client – their goals, dreams, what keeps them up at night, and what they want as a legacy. He does his best to put clients at ease, adding he strives to provide them with financial well-being. “If you’re a dolt, you’re a bigger dolt with money. If you’re nice, you’re nicer with money,” he says. Silberman adds that money is a sensitive issue. People may go on The Oprah Winfrey Show and talk about their sex lives, but ask the same people how much money they have, and it’s private.

He understands the pivotal role he plays in his clients’ lives. “We allow them to delegate to us their financial worries and pains, so they can live their lives. They can’t delegate taking care of health, family, friends or faith. They can delegate financial planning for their lives, so they can live the life they dreamed of,” he says.

Silberman limits his clientele to about 70, since he wants to serve them appropriately and have the client enjoy the journey along the way. He uses a fee-based approach, noting in commission-driven transactions, human nature tends to take over.

Wsilberman500hile online financial advisory programs are growing, Silberman says some people want to deal with a live person, privately. “If you’re out in the wilderness, do you want someone to hand you a compass and say you are on your own? Or do you want someone to say, ‘Take my hand and I’ll help guide you?’” he says.

A Gift to Your Future Self

“My kids are teenagers. I always tell them to save until it hurts,” says Silberman. One of his children asked exactly what that means, and Silberman gave him this example: If you earn $1,000 per month, live off $700 and save $300. “No one ever said they regret money they save – save early and often. It’s a gift you are giving to your future self. The earlier we can get people to pay themselves first, the earlier we can build wealth.” He advises keeping two to six months’ worth of living expenses in cash reserves, not invested, for short-term emergencies – or two years’ of living expenses, if that’s what the client wants. The rest is invested for growth-oriented, long-term retirement planning. Some mid-term, less volatile investments are also recommended, which the client can tap into if they must. “It’s simple, but not easy. You must have the discipline and patience to let the market grow and the money do what you want it to do,” says Silberman. “Planning and investment is a gift to yourself. You need to have your money outlast you, not the other way around.”

Risk Averse Millennials

While most of his clients are Baby Boomers, the passage of time means more millennials are coming in for financial advice. They differ from their parents’ generation in that they’re tech natives. “They’re more risk averse than they should be,” he says, noting that they saw 2008 and may have seen parents or relatives lose homes or jobs. “They’re scarred by it and don’t want it happening to them. They tend to be more conservative than they should be for long-term, successful investing,” according to Silberman. With these clients, it again comes down to education. He lets them know that markets want to go up, and they want money in those markets. “Whether you are searching online, streaming, or using a mobile device, you want to own shares in the great companies of America and the world – you already support them. They’re very receptive to this kind of education and wish they were taught it in school. They will search online and migrate towards someone who can guide them,” he says.

The Crisis of Not Saving for the Future

More high schools are implementing financial curriculums, and Silberman sees this type of education as imperative. “People are not saving for the future. In the old days, they had pensions and Social Security,” he says. “Pensions are going away; Social Security is potentially in jeopardy – so that leaves savings. The secret of the wealthy is that they pay themselves first. The not-so-secret of the not wealthy is that they spend first and save whatever is left over – it could be zero. You have to pay yourself first,” he says. If Silberman had his way, financial education would be formalized in public school from middle school on up.

Tech and Financial Planning

Silberman tells his staff and clients that his emails are read by compliance personnel. “What if I am promising something that is too good to be true? I have nothing to hide, and it’s another way to protect the consumer,” he says. Silberman Wealth Strategies, Inc. has social media, websites, and an online digital wealth platform where clients can access everything in a single place, from 401(k) and mortgage balances to reward miles, along with their investments. “Tech is not going away it’s only getting better. Clients want access to these things at their fingertips, and they should,” according to Silberman.

The Trust Factor

Silberman jokes that there are more hugs than handshakes in his practice. “People crave to work with someone who they can trust and know is looking out for their best interests and doing what is best for them,” he says.

For more information visit: http://www.silbermanwealth.com/


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