Retaining a competent financial advisor

First Business Trust
& Investments

Financial planning encompasses more than simply choosing investments, explains Bradley Howe, CFA. Howe is vice president at First Business Trust & Investments, a member of First Business Financial Services, Inc., which is a Wisconsin-based holding company focused on the unique needs of businesses, business executives and high net-worth individuals. “Financial planning is
a holistic process that incorporates multiple aspects of an individual’s financial and personal life,” Howe says. “It includes investment management, tax management, estate planning and insurance analysis, and choosing investment vehicles is only a small part of the process.”

When is it time to begin financial planning? In general, sooner is better than later. “Beginning the financial planning process early is naturally advantageous to reaching retirement goals,” Howe says. “What may start as an insignificant 401(k) balance, for example, can grow to significant wealth over the course of a person’s career.”

Sometimes the need for financial guidance is spurred by a turning point that significantly changes one’s life or financial circumstances. “Turning points in life are often unknown, stressful and unpredictable,” Howe says, “which makes managing them difficult. Marriage, parenthood, retirement and inheritance are all significant events that require attention and financial expertise to navigate as successfully as possible.”

For many First Business clients, Howe notes, the sale of a business is an anticipated and planned event, but it can nevertheless pose challenges. “Some business owners are not prepared to coordinate their retirement goals and existing assets with the proceeds from the sale of a business.”

To choose a team appropriate to your specific needs, Howe recommends evaluating experience as well as expertise relating to your needs. In addition, consider your own expectations, the cost, and the expected scope of meetings and updates. “Ideally, the client should be comfortable and confident in the team’s abilities,” he says, “so they can build a trusting, long-term financial relationship.”


Bronfman Rothschild

“The relationships we develop with clients are highly personalized,” says Kelly Baumbach, CFP ® , “in part because we’re often the only people they can talk to about their money.” Baumbach is a Managing Director and Principal at Bronfman Rothschild, which provides advisory services to wealthy individuals and families. “We’re a Registered Investment Advisor acting as a fiduciary and are completely independent from any product,” says Baumbach.

People acquire significant assets in a variety of ways, and those differences can affect their approach to money and financial planning. An individual with a successful business may have years to become educated about their finances, whereas someone who receives an inheritance or divorce settlement sometimes has limited financial experience and may feel overwhelmed. In any case, says Baumbach, “It’s extremely personal, and you want an advisor who has worked with your situation before. Talking to someone who has expertise in your specific needs can be a relief when you’re facing huge financial decisions.”

One practice that sets Bronfman Rothschild apart is its team approach to financial advisory services. “We have built multi-faceted teams of people who have complementary skill sets, and we value having a team of highly credentialed advisors with various designations,” says Baumbach. Bronfman Rothschild extends that team approach past each client’s service relationship through the company’s internal Investment Committee, which provides the same rigorous guidance to all clients.

“I’ve watched how clients benefit from the presence of multiple advisors listening to their questions and concerns,” Baumbach says. In Madison, the advisory team has as many women as men, and a wide variety of professional expertise, which brings diversity of thought and insights for the client.

While some individuals only want market advice, Baumbach notes, clients are more often looking for an advisor – or team of advisors – with whom they can develop a trusting, life-long partnership.

Bronfman E.L. Rothschild, LP is a registered investment advisor (dba Bronfman Rothschild and Bronfman Rothschild Wealth Advisors). Securities, when offered, are offered through anaffiliate, Bronfman E.L. Rothschild Capital, LLC (dba BELR Capital, LLC), member FINRA/SIPC.

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. owns the certification marks CFP ® , CertifiedFinancial Planner ™ and federally registered CFP (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.

Investment Services
at UW Credit Union

“Many people don’t prioritize financial planning in their everyday lives,” says Kyle Judd, a financial consultant in Investment Services at UW Credit Union. “But financial planning requires time, attention and regular tweaking to ensure the best results. Our financial consultants are exclusively here to help members with whatever their financial planning needs might be.”

Many firms, he notes, have developed low-cost, do-it-yourself investment platforms that users can access online. But there’s no substitute for working directly with a professional on your individualized financial planning needs, Judd says, noting that UW Credit Union members are welcome to a complimentary consultation with one of the fully licensed financial consultants at Investment Services.

UW Credit Union’s Investment Services partners with LPL Financial, the financial services industry’s largest independent broker-dealer, providing access to market-related investment tools and strategies.

“LPL Financial has no proprietary products,” Judd says, “and our financial consultants do not have any sales agendas or sales quotas. Their role is to serve as a trusted resource to members and to always act in our members’ best interest.”

Financial assets are not a barrier, notes Judd. “At UW Credit Union, we can help no matter how little money you have or make,” he says. “One of the core values of our organization is to foster continuous learning, which means we do our best to give back to our membership by offering a variety of financial planning tools and resources.”

These resources can include tools to help members build their credit, consolidate debt, or plan for retirement. “We are truly here to help you do it all,” Judd says. “Even members who feel they don’t have enough money to work with a financial consultant can benefit from our financial education tools, to ensure they’ll be ready for wealth management services when the time comes.”

Summit Financial Advisors

Your financial goals may be more attainable than you think. That’s the encouraging message from Brian Kopp, CRPC, of Summit Financial Advisors, which serves Summit Credit Union at branches across southeastern Wisconsin with comprehensive financial and insurance planning services. Part of Kopp’s role is to help clients identify their resources and priorities, and then determine their next steps.

“Everyone needs to start somewhere, and some of the most important conversations I have are with members who are just starting out on their investment and savings journey,” Kopp says. “The first meeting with a client can be an exciting time because that’s often when people talk about their dreams. By envisioning how they would like their future to look, they can begin to explore how to get from where they are to where they want to be.”

Kopp uses the analogy of running a marathon: “It may seem like an insurmountable goal, especially for someone who struggles to run just one mile, let alone 26.2 miles,” he says. “But hundreds of thousands of people run their first marathon each year.”

By taking those first steps and then staying committed and focused, people can often achieve more than they thought was possible, Kopp says.

Yes, but how can you know an advisor will help guide you to that goal? Look for someone who has not only experience, but experience working with someone in your circumstances. Trust and communication are key. Experts say that choosing a financial advisor who takes time to explain complex financial issues in an understandable manner, and one who asks good questions, is a good fit.

Your advisor, says Kopp, should create a space where “once or twice a year you step out of the rat race and sit down to discuss where you are.” —

Summit Financial Advisors are registered representatives of CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. Securities sold, advisory services offered through CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. (CBSI), member FINRA/SIPC, a registered broker/dealer and investment advisor. CBSI is under contract with the financial institution to make securities available to members. FR-2160596.1-0618-0720