Often times you will hear us state that we make recommendations within the context of your financial plan and comfort level. It is a basic tenet of our overall philosophy because, quite simply, achieving your goals and placing your interests first matters the most to us. However, this is not new to our firm, but rather a philosophy embraced by our founder, John Lesjak, almost 40 years ago. Below you will find excerpts from an article John wrote in 1977 that we find timely, informative, and reflective of how we feel financial planning should be provided.
“…All I knew was that I had a gut feeling that there had to be more. Some called what I was doing in the early stages, Financial Planning. But is selling term insurance and mutual funds really Financial Planning? On the way through the CFP (Certified Financial Planner) course a new awareness began to take focus, that people buy products only in response to an objective financial plan. This plan should include investments, insurance and tax planning, done by a competent professional who puts the client’s interest first. A high pressure salesperson thinks first, last, and always of getting the sale, the commission, and the prospect knows this. A Pro, is a salesperson who thinks of the client first, last and always…I like this definition of a Financial Planner, properly analyzing needs and prudently arranging overall financial plans rather than in selling individual financial products.”
- John Lesjak, April 1977
To put John’s thoughts into perspective, the U.S. Department of Labor recently passed what is known as the “Fiduciary Rule” for investment advisors to provide advice and recommendations that are in a client’s best interest. This “new rule” is set to go into effect April 2017, 40 years to the month since John penned his article. While this may cause significant adjustments for some in our industry, it has been our approach from day one and we will continue in that manner. As John put it – “…think[s] of the client first, last, and always.”