Blog/Newsletter

AdvisoryHQ Named Perspective Financial Services a Top Advisor

We’re honored to announce that AdvisoryHQ named Perspective Financial Services a top advisor for a fifth year in 2020. Our firm was once again identified as one of the top-rated advisors and financial planners in Phoenix and Scottsdale. The organization also awarded us its highest rating in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

AdvisoryHQ uses a multi-step selection method for generating its list of top  firms. Its review and ranking articles are 100 percent independently researched and objectively written. Firms do not pay for their ranking. (A detailed overview of AdvisoryHQ’s process is below.)

In 2020, the reviewers highlighted our flexibility and comprehensive approach, as well as our online tools, as being especially significant.

“In times of economic uncertainty, the services of a financial advisor who can help you grow and protect your assets become even more important. Perspective Financial Services takes a comprehensive and flexible approach to financial planning. This approach is designed to meet the needs of ever-changing financial situations,” Advisory HQ wrote. “This innovative Phoenix financial planner has developed a variety of online tools designed to help clients navigate their financial lives and bring the customer experience into the 21st Century.”

AdvisoryHQ reviewers also emphasized our strict fiduciary commitment.

“The firm puts the financial wellbeing of its clients at the center of everything they do. And their fee-only structure ensures that they don’t receive any commissions for the sale of financial products,” they wrote. “Clients can be assured that [Perspective Financial Services] is acting in their best interests at all times.”

Perspective Financial Services a Top Advisor: Click here to read the full article and review at the AdvisoryHQ website.

 

A step-by-step overview of AdvisoryHQ’s methodology process.

  1. AdvisoryHQ uses publicly available sources to identify a wide range of firms that are providing services in a designated area.
  2. AdvisoryHQ’s review team then applies initial methodology filters to narrow down the list of identified firms/products. These filters include company strengths, trustworthiness, transparency, professional reputation, managed asset, ROI/ROA effectiveness, fees structure, what customers/clients are saying about the organization, and many more.
  3. Researchers trim down the initial list. AdvisoryHQ then conducts a deep-dive assessment of the remaining firms. The award criteria takes into account a range of factors. They include experience, level of customization, site quality, resources, features, range of provided services, innovation, value-added, and many more factors. This builds  a broad picture of what each firm or product has to offer, before the final selection process occurs.
  4. AdvisoryHQ’s  finalizes the list of firms based on the results of the assessment. The list is then published to the general public.

Click here to read the full methodology process on the AdvisoryHQ website.

By |2020-09-17T08:28:38-07:00September 21st, 2020|Company News, Financial Planning|

Tech Talk with Mike McCann

 

Tech Talk with Mike McCann and Lauren WilkinsonTech Talk with Mike McCann, Founder and President, Perspective Financial Services: hosted by Schwab Advisor Services

McCann was invited to participate in Schwab Advisor Services’ “Tech Talk.” The collection of videos was created to help Schwab’s advisor clients improve their efficiency and services. It features independent advisors like McCann, who have led the way in leveraging technology in their practices and are willing to share their insights. He was interviewed by Lauren Wilkinson, vice president of Digital Advisor Experience at Schwab.

 

Following is an abbreviated transcript of the video “Tech Talk with Mike McCann.”

LAUREN WILKINSON:  Hi, I’m Lauren Wilkinson, Vice President of Digital Advisor Experience at Schwab. I’m pleased to be joined today by Mike McCann, with Perspective Financial Services. Mike, welcome. Can you start by just sharing, where did you get started when you were choosing to expand your technology focus?

MIKE McCANN:  Sure. The first thing is we look at our overall business model and what it is that we provide for our clients. We are very relationship-based. The relationship with our clients is always critical, and it always will be.

We looked at two parts. The first was to look at technology that would allow us to automate some of the regular everyday activities – things like rebalancing trades, for example – that would then allow us more time to spend with our clients. That’s the efficiency piece.

After that was implemented, we looked at, how do we expand the relationship with our clients, such that they’re able to interact with more people in the firm? Our technology is largely based around the CRM as the hub with financial planning software. That allows us to get the entire relationship of our client and be able to see that at a quick glance, which is much more critical than simply focusing on the portfolios for our clients.

LAUREN:  Well, that’s great to hear. And I know for many people we’ve all become a lot more comfortable using technology to stay connected and work remotely due to COVID. So can you share how your firm’s adoption of technology has helped you during this most recent environment?

MIKE:  Sure. It really allowed us to be well prepared for this, not having any idea something like this could come down, of course.

COVID came with a massive market correction, a big crash, as everybody knows. And that required a lot of personal time with our clients, addressing what was happening, answering questions, talking through concerns. It’s certainly not the first time we’ve gone through a big correction, but it was perhaps the most dramatic one in our firm’s history.

By having all of our routine activities – such as trading, rebalancing, downloads and things of that nature – taken care of through automation and technology, we didn’t have to worry about how to transition that as we were moving from the office to our homes. That automation continued to give us the time we needed to speak with our clients.

Then came your routine activities. You know, at first all we thought maybe this is a two-week shutdown or something. But no, of course not. So we needed to be able to do things like move money. People needed wires. They needed money journaled between accounts. That gave us an opportunity to explore more with our non-digital clients, to get them to start using Schwab Alliance to approve things like journals so that we didn’t have to wait for mail time or try to produce mail coming from multiple different homes.

During the quarantine, we were able to implement the video call, to have the screen-sharing and face-to-face contact with clients that wouldn’t ordinarily try this. And we found some really good success. It brought down walls, if you will, that might normally be associated with just a phone call. Instead, here you are, perhaps, in your kitchen talking to a client. It just creates a more personal conversation.

LAUREN:  Well, thanks for sharing that. And for other firms who are looking to expand their technology presence, what advice would you have for them?

MIKE:  Start with something that’s quick, low-cost and easy to implement. You don’t need to start with the big thing. Start with the small things. And something like I mentioned earlier with moving money, get them into the Schwab Alliance and get them approving a transaction. Take it a step further, whether it’s a new client or an existing client needing a new account, instead of doing the mail, open the account digitally. They may be uncomfortable with it at first, but just ask them to make an exception this time if they can. They might be surprised as to how easy it is.

Go with the assumption that the client wants to do something digitally. Clients now realize they can’t come into your office. They probably don’t want to come into your office. They realize that the mail is a little bit slower than it used to be. So let them know this is a plus. You’re able to serve them on a digital basis and make things go a little bit quicker and easier.

Yes, it’s different. It’s perhaps a little bit uncomfortable at first, but the expression I’ve heard in the past is “dig your well before you’re thirsty.” Think of this as a time to invest for the future. We will get through COVID, of course, but at some point something else in your firm, or personally, or perhaps in the community will come up that will cause another disruption down the road. By putting these things into place, you’ll be ready for it.

LAUREN:  Thank you for sharing this, Mike.  It’s been great to connect with you again, and I really appreciate all the best practices you’ve been able to share.

MIKE: It’s been my pleasure.  Thanks for having me.

 

Schwab Disclosures
This content is for general educational purposes only. Schwab Advisor Services™ includes the custody, trading, and support services of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (“Schwab”), a registered broker-dealer and member SIPC, and the technology products and services of Performance Technologies, Inc. (“PTI”). PTI and Schwab are separate companies affiliated as subsidiaries of The Charles Schwab Corporation, but their products and services are independent of each other. PTI’s integration solutions integrate data about accounts custodied at Schwab.
API integration is available through Schwab OpenView Gateway®, which is provided by PTI. Single sign-on is provided by PTI. Daily data files and trading integration are available through Schwab. Schwab OpenView Gateway® and Schwab OpenView MarketSquare™ are services of PTI. References to third parties (whether such parties are vendors participating in a service of PTI or independent advisors using a service of a participating vendor) are not an endorsement or recommendation of, or an opinion (favorable or unfavorable), or advice about, or a referral to any product or service of any third party. Advisors are solely responsible for evaluating, selecting, and purchasing products and services offered by third party vendors. Unless indicated otherwise, third parties are independent and not affiliated with PTI or its affiliates. Your firm alone is responsible for selecting and securing your systems and firm and client data, including compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and regulatory guidance. (0820-0XGY)
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The above mentioned firms and their employees are not affiliated with or employees of Schwab unless otherwise noted. They should not be construed as a recommendation, endorsement of, or sponsorship by Schwab. The views expressed are those of the third party and are provided for information purposes only. Experiences expressed are no guarantee of future performance or success and may not be representative of you or your experience.
Schwab does not provide investment planning, legal, regulatory, tax, or compliance advice. Consult professionals in these fields to address your specific circumstances. For informational purposes only. Third party trademarks are the property of their respective owners and used with permission. Third party firms and their employees are not affiliated with or an employee of Schwab. Information included on this site is intended to be an overview and is subject to change. Experiences expressed by advisors may not be representative of the experience of other advisors and are not a guarantee of future success.
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By |2020-09-09T11:17:49-07:00September 14th, 2020|Advisors, Current Affairs|

New Perspectives on Retirement

New Perspectives on RetirementWhat does it mean to live well in retirement? A five-generation study conducted November 2019 to June 2020 provides some new perspectives on retirement post-COVID-19. The majority of U.S. retirees (55 percent) defined retirement as more than simply the end of work. They consider it a new life chapter filled with new choices, freedoms and challenges across four important areas: health, family, purpose and finance. The study was conducted by Edward Jones in partnership with Age Wave and The Harris Poll.

Retirees Show Resilience

It sheds light on more than retirement, too. The research shows how COVID-19 has impacted the lives, health and outlooks of Americans across multiple generations. Despite the virus’ severe and disproportionate impact on the health of aging adults, older Americans are coping far better than younger ones. About 37 percent of Gen Z and 27 percent of millennials said they’ve suffered mental health declines since the pandemic began. In contrast, only 15 percent of baby boomers and 8 percent of silent generation respondents said the same.

“COVID-19’s impact forever changed the reality of many Americans, yet we’ve observed a resilience among U.S. retirees in contrast to younger generations,” said Ken Dychtwald, Ph.D., CEO of Age Wave. “Older Americans tend to recognize the value of a long-term view, and so as they think about their lives, longevity and legacy, they’re able to pull from an array of experiences that help them weather current storms, feel gratitude about many aspects of their lives, and still plan for the future.”

The study also shows COVID-19’s initial economic impact may have long-lasting implications.

Reflecting a great deal of generational generosity, 24 million Americans have provided financial support to adult children due to the pandemic; and 71 percent of retirees said they would offer financial support to their family even if it could jeopardize their own financial future. In addition, 20 million Americans have stopped retirement savings contributions.

Click here to read a PDF of the full report, The Four Pillars of the New Retirement.

By |2020-08-26T11:29:23-07:00August 31st, 2020|Current Affairs, Retirement|

Estate Planning is Not Perfect

There are a number of reasons why you may want to consider creating or updating your estate plan this year (i.e. marriage, divorce, birth, COVID-19, retirement). And there are an equal numbers of reasons why you might be inclined to put it off. What holds most people back? The “popular” answer is we’re all afraid to face our own mortality. That hasn’t been my observation. The biggest challenge that holds many people back is failing to understand estate planning is not perfect.

Here is a breakdown of the common obstacles I see:

Becoming frozen in procrastination.

Getting started on what feels like a big, complicated task is the number one killer of success in any venture. “I don’t have time.” “I need to finish (fill in the blank) first.”  “I’ll have to give these questions some thought.”

Solution: Start with one simple task. Schedule a meeting with your advisor.

Choosing people and assigning priorities is tough.

This was huge for me when our kids were born and we had to name a guardian in our will. “I want the best for my kids. Nobody will do as good of a job raising them as I would.” We face the same challenge when selecting trustees or executors. “What if they don’t do things the way I would do them?”

Solution: Find comfort in knowing the guardians, trustees and executors you choose will do their best. That’s all you can expect of them, or of yourself.

Thinking decades down the line.

We often get stuck trying to predict future circumstances based on what we know today. “My kids aren’t ready to inherit money now. What if they’re still not ready in 15 or 20 years?” “What about my grandchildren? Will they be ready?”

Solution: Focus instead on the next five years.

Estate planning isn’t perfect. Perfect is the enemy of good. Remember, these documents are written on paper, not on stone. They don’t need to last 10, 20 or 30 years. Make the best decisions with the information you have today, and know that you’ll be updating your documents (making them better again, not perfect) in three to seven years. It takes the pressure right off the table.

For successful estate planning, your new plan just needs to be better than the current plan. Hire the right professionals, and let’s work to get it as good as we can.

By |2020-08-14T10:54:00-07:00August 17th, 2020|Estate Planning|