Career asset management in demand post-recession

Financial Service Group, a Racine financial advisory firm, found that its fee-only, holistic planning model became more popular among aging investors during the recession.
The company, 4812 Northwestern Avenue, focuses on not just a client’s portfolio, but also their career asset management, said Michael Haubrich, president of FSG.
 Advisors talk to clients about their career and retirement goals, and often work with career coaches to assist with transitions in employment if that is a goal, he said. Sometimes, a client who was planning to retire early can remain in the workforce much longer after moving to a different, more rewarding career.
Many baby boomers are making these decisions as they adjust their financial plans following the economic downturn.
“The work we do with our clients is resonating during these unprecedented times,” Haubrich said. “The relevance of the work we were doing became much more valuable to our clients.”
As consumers saw their portfolios plummet, some began to distrust traditional financial advisors and looked to fee-only firms like FSG. The designation means advisors at FSG don’t sell any financial products and receive income only from clients.
While FSG saw a 13 percent decline in revenue in 2009, it is up about 20 percent year over year through the second quarter of 2011.
“We couldn’t have scripted a better marketing plan,” Haubrich said. “We were in the position to have relevant messages for that (wary) market.”
Some of those messages may not be what clients want to hear, but FSG hopes to prepare them for the realistic pace of their investments.
“We’ve told our clients to expect a five to seven year kind of slogging along with the economy,” Haubrich said.
Since 2008, Financial Service Group has gained between 15 and 20 clients and now has 150 clients in southeastern Wisconsin. Haubrich employs three financial advisors right now, and plans to double the size of the company within the next five years through both organic and strategic growth. A fourth advisor will be hired this year.

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