Opening the Generational Vault and Discovering the Color of Money

Collectively, there are more than 1.3 million insurance agents, financial planners and registered investment advisors working in the United States, according to the most recent U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics. For sure, establishing what those three pillars of the financial services industry do exactly – and who does it best – can be a daunting task.

The differences between those three types of financial services professionals are clearly presented, however, by Paladin Financial, based in Arden Hills, Minnesota, during every one of its workshops and every discovery meeting.

pal599x400“We have a visual that depicts the three segments of our industry, their services provided, how they are compensated and what standards they are held to for the recommendations that they make,” Jeff Foley, CFP®, Paladin founder, told Advisors Magazine in a recent interview. Prospects and clients are also shown how best to research credentials.

Indeed, the five-person Paladin team is big on visuals and at-a-glance graphics. Visit the independent firm’s website and your eye goes immediately to a section called the ‘Color of Money Score,’ which is a risk analysis that assesses an individual’s financial standing.

“This is one of the first steps on the road to a successful retirement,” Foley explained. “If we simplify assets into two colors – green assets which are safer things, and red assets which are at risk – we can make sure there is alignment with each client’s own goals and risk tolerance.”

Foley has been in the industry more than 23 years. Paladin Financial shuns any minimum investments because of Foley’s upbringing; he says he didn’t come from money.

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That relationship starts with a five-step approach to retirement planning, which Foley considers the hallmark of the company.

“Step one is to select a financial services professional that’s the right fit for you,” Foley said. “Step two is fact-and-feelings findings, so we’ll get into questions about a client’s personal financial well-being that includes that Color of Money risk analysis, and we’re looking for feedback along the way as we gather information.”

Step three is when a holistic retirement plan is developed based on a client’s unique goals and objectives and is then formally presented. Step four incorporates independent third-party research and tailored solutions. And step five is the ongoing relationship that addresses long-term engagement, service and use of technology.

Among the tech tools: Paladin’s ‘Generational Vault,’ its secure client portal where clients can access and see every detail of their retirement plan. In fact, the firm was positioned nicely when the pandemic hit because of its technological savvy.

The Generational Vault has document storage, account balances, calendar management, a variety of third-party reports, retirement education resources and more. “And it’s all integrated with our financial planning software so clients can see how their plan is doing from the comfort of their home,” Foley said.

At a time of economic uncertainty, Paladin Financial has managed so well during the pandemic that it is adding advisors to staff and expanding its office.

For more information about Paladin Financial, visit:


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