By Keenan Casey, CFP®
Before coming to Alpers Financial Planning I worked for a brokerage company as a financial advisor. While at this company I passed my CFP® and started my journey into financial planning. Here is the CFP® definition of fiduciary: “At all times when providing Financial Advice to a Client, a CFP® professional must act as a fiduciary, and therefore, act in the best interests of the Client.” As part of this standard a financial advisor must disclose any conflicts of interest they may have with their clientele. At my former company we only advised/sold their products effectively disallowing us to provide well rounded advice unless their entire portfolio was under our umbrella. We were also unable to provide tax advice, which is an immensely crucial part of a well-rounded financial plan. Each advisor had over 250 different households to service, limiting the personalized touch and ability to understand clients. It was a glorified sales position that was masquerading as a financial advisor, which happens to be almost all brokerage firms’ model.
My former company believes that everyone needs both permanent life (Whole or Universal) and temporary life insurance (Term). I believe that most people usually only need the latter with proper financial planning. That is not to say that permanent life insurance is bad or never needed, but in my opinion, it is usually not necessary for everyone. This company also believed that most people need annuities, an insurance/investment product that can provide streams of income. Both permanent life insurance and annuities have high fees and limit individuals’ options/access to their funds. My former company was sold in 2019 to another even larger brokerage firm. This was the catalyst that pushed me to find a more fiduciary-oriented financial planning position, without conflicts of interest and sales of high fee products.
After a couple months of searching, I came across a job posting by Mary Alpers with Alpers Financial Planning. I was elated to read the job description that included “100% fiduciary, no sales of any kind, and tax focused”. I had read about “Fee- Only” financial planners in my CFP® studies but did not realize how much that business model aligned with my morals and standards. After interviewing with Mary, I was offered the job of my dreams, helping provide families well rounded financial planning, including tax advice/services. Now I am part of a team that puts the clients’ interest first 100% of the time, does not sell any products, and leverages tax advice to fully service our clientele. We create completely customized plans based on the clients’ needs rather than a generic portfolio, or standard template.
Mary and Alpers Financial Planning have given me a wonderful opportunity to learn about holistic fiduciary financial planning that incorporates tax advice and service. I have finished my first year of employment and view this as a career, not a job. I would like to thank Mary and Alpers Financial Planning, along with our clients for trusting in me. I look forward to a fulfilling career helping wonderful people feel comfortable about their financial futures.