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Guidant Financial: The leader in alternative startup, franchise and small business financing
C&A Financial Group provides the most advanced and up-to-date information and service to their clients. Their philosophy is based upon Wealth Accumulation, Protection and Preservation for families and privately held business owners. C&A Financial Group utilizes a macroeconomic approach for planning their clients’ finances.
MO: How is C&A Financial Group redefining the meaning of wealth to incorporate quality of life?
Sam: Wealth has traditionally been seen as net worth. Although this is important we do not think it’s the whole story. We all know people who have a high net worth but are cash strapped. Are these people living a good quality of life if they do not have the cash flow to enjoy their wealth? The example I use with people is this, If I gave you a vacant lot worth 2 million dollars did your net worth increase? Of course, but did your cash flow? In fact when the tax comes due your cash flow will decrease. So which you would you rather have a high net worth or a high cash flow? I will always want a high cash flow because cash flow directly provides a better quality of life than the person who has assets but no cash flow.
MO: What financial trends do you think that our readers should be paying attention to or taking advantage of?
Sam: The trend now seems to be a flight to quality. To me this never goes out of favor. I am not one to look for the hot trend or get rich quick scheme. There is a study called the Efficient Frontier Investing. It tell about 80+ years of financial market data, Nobel Prize winning economic research and in-depth studies of investor psychology and behavior. Paul Samuelson of MIT won the 1970 Nobel Prize in Economics based on his findings. I would recommend everyone who wants to invest read this study. After all the research, what they determined was that 94% of investment return is based on Asset Allocation, 4% from which security you select and only 2% on Market timing. What this tells us is you can not time the market with any success in the long term.
MO: What advice would you give a client who has just won a lottery jackpot of five million dollars?
CHANGE YOUR PHONE NUMBER!! Although your question sounds easy to answer it’s not. I know nothing about the client and to give advice without the facts would be wrong. If you went to the doctor and told him you have pain and want some pain pills and if the doctor gave them to you without asking question or examining you, we would call the malpractice. I would be doing the same thing by offering some financial advice without all the facts. One of the problems with the financial industry is that everyone wants the quick answer or the sexy new investment and that is where everyone goes wrong.
MO: Why do you think that you have a 70% retention rate of new hires after 5 years in an industry that has a retention rate of only 10%? What are you doing differently?
Sam: The financial industry does a poor job in the training area. We mentor our new hirers for two years. They do not meet with clients alone and in the first year they simply sit in an appointment and listen and observe. They get taught that doing what is best for the client is the only way to do business and earnings should never enter into their planning process. This sounds simple but it does not seem that it’s taught in the industry at all. After two years they are then allowed to go on appointments on their own. I believe this is the best training in the industry and that is why we retain 70% of the people we hire.
MO: What are some of the biggest lessons that you’ve learned during 33 years in the industry?
Sam :After 33 years in this business I have seen so many hot products come and go. When I started inflation was 22% and money market accounts were paying 15%. Municipal bonds were paying 13% tax free. I remember when everyone thought that mortgage rates would never be below 10% again. So the biggest lesson I learned is that no matter what is hot today it will not be hot tomorrow. Be realistic in your planning. You must save 15% of your gross income. You must protect your assets, and slow and steady will always win over fast, crash and burn thinking. The biggest lesson is this, Always treat your clients with respect, never give them advice that you wouldn’t do yourself, and always be truthful and it is ok not to make everyone you meet a client.
MO: Congratulations on your new radio show! Can you share with our readers how and what you’ve been preparing for the show and what you hope that average listener walks away with?
Sam: My radio show will start on September 18th and will air every Tuesday from 3 to 4pm. You can hear it on the internet at www.hunterdonchamberradio.com. The show will be informative and fun. My goal is to get people to think outside the box when it comes to their financial planning. The financial strategies we will discuss I hope the listener can come away with and implement right away.
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