Cynthia de Fazio – 00:20
And welcome to On The money with secure money. My name is Cynthia De Fazio and I’m joined today by Brian Quaranta. He is president and founder of secure money advisors, as well as joined by Neil major. He is senior investment advisor. Brian, how are you today? Great.
Brian Quaranta – 00:33
Cynthia, how are you doing today?
Cynthia de Fazio – 00:34
Fantastic. Always a pleasure to see you. And Neil, how are you?
Neil Major – 00:37
I’m well, Cynthia, how are you?
Cynthia de Fazio – 00:38
I am doing great to thank you so much for asking you gentlemen, I know that you’ve been so incredibly busy. Obviously, you’re doing the workshops, again, the radio, the television show. So how are you finding time to balance it all? Neil, let me start with Oh,
Neil Major – 00:53
that’s a really good question. Oh,
Brian Quaranta – 00:54
it depends on how you define that word.
Neil Major – 00:59
Yeah. Like you said, we’ve been very, very busy, right. I mean, it seems like at the beginning of the year here, you know, a lot of people are gearing towards retirement, they’re, they’re probably watching a lot of the shows and listening to the radio show. And maybe they’re understanding that they don’t actually have a plan. Maybe they’re understanding and thinking about, they just have some investments, but they’re not really sure how to go about utilizing them in retirement, they’re probably thinking about, you know, as you get closer and closer to retirement, you know, you don’t want to change the data, your retirement due to market volatility. So are my investments in a safe, secure place, where I know what my downside is on these investments. So if I have a target date to retire at 65, and I’m 63, you don’t get to 65 and say, Where’s all my money at I projected X, Y, or Z. And now maybe I need to work till 67 or 70. So,
Cynthia de Fazio – 01:52
all right. Well, Brian, I should ask you a question as well, what types of questions? Are you hearing a lot right now from your clients that are coming in for the first time?
Brian Quaranta – 02:00
Yeah. Well, number one is, Am I on the right track? Okay, when should I take sole security, they’ll tell me that they’re not going to be getting a pension, or maybe they’re going to get a small pension, but they’re not going to have enough money between social security and maybe their small pension or no pension to retire. So you need to know how to generate money, they’ll tell me that they’re not very confident in the markets. They’re concerned about taxes. These are all the questions that they ask. And so our job is to first understand what the purpose of that money is, right? We always like to say purpose determines the placement of the money. But we always also address to people that there’s only four things that money can really do for you. Number one, it can provide you with income, number two, it can grow. Number three, it can be saved, or number four, it can be liquid, and you can have access to it. So we first need to understand what’s out of those four, what’s the number one most important thing to you, I would probably say 90% of the time, when I have people or those one being the most important for being the least important, they’ll usually tell me that income is number one. Number two, we’ll bounce around between growth and safety. Some people say number two is growth. Some people say it’s safety, right. And then it’s usually liquidity from there. So but those are the four things that money can do. And people really need to understand that their money, the job of their money is to start working for them. Right. That’s the whole point of accumulating that money. It’s not a trophy to just look at, it’s not a statement that just look at, it’s designed to work for you. The problem is, is that we’ve been working for our money up to this point, right? Yeah. But when you retire, you shift and you start to get the money to start working for you so that you can live the lifestyle and enjoy the retirement that you’ve been planning on for however long that you’ve been determined that you’d want to
Cynthia de Fazio – 03:46
retire. Sure that makes sense. Neil, are you finding that most people want to be more active today in their retirement versus years past?
Neil Major – 03:54
Yeah, we’d love to see that. I mean, I always like for people to have, you know, their goals of what they want to do in retirement, and I’m hearing it all right, a lot of travel. Yeah. You know, when when things finally settle down, of course, you know, joining the country club, or maybe, you know, buying a hunting camp or a fishing boat, all of that stuff, to keep them busy in retirement. And that’s the goal, right? You know, when we go into retirement every day, Saturday and Sunday, we have all the free time in the world, and we want to fill it, you know, we don’t want to sit on opposite ends of the couch from our spouse and watch TV all day, right? We want to be active, we want to be doing things. So we want to focus on, you know, how do we help the clients achieve these goals? And the first person we have to solve is the income strategy. And the income strategy is really going to help us enable our clients to have that active retirement lifestyle. The worst thing that and I’ve heard it so many times with people coming in is when we wanted to go to Italy but the market was down that year and so we put off our trip. We didn’t want to pull out money while the market was going down. and lock in and compound our loss. So then what happens? You know, does a health event occur where maybe you never get to achieve that, that goal and that dream of the big trip? So, you know, yeah, of course, you know, we want to make sure that we’re living the retirement of our dreams that we’re checking off that bucket list. And we got to have the income, the cash flow to be able to achieve it.
Brian Quaranta – 05:21
And you know, certainly at our office, we call those the go-go years, the slow go years, and the no go years. And that’s kind of the phase that everybody goes through and makes when you initially retire, those are the Go Go years. Yeah, that’s when you want to do all the things that you promised yourself, you were gonna do. Eventually, people start to get a little, I don’t want to say burnt out, but they get to the point where they’ve done it, and they want to start slowing down. I see it all the time. I just I’ve had, I had clients out on the road in an RV for the last eight years, they just came off the road repurchase the house, they want to be with the kids, the grandkids, they’re done. And they’ve got incredible stories. You know, it’s always so much fun talking to, but they’re entering into the slow go years. And then eventually they’re going to get older, and they’re going to go into those go-go years where there’s not a whole lot going on. Like my wife’s grandmother, she’s in the no go years. You know, if you call Grandma, you know, I know exactly what grandma’s doing every second day, what time she wakes up what time she has her snack, what shows she watches and when she goes to bed, and we can call her every day at the same time to make sure she’s okay. And if grandma doesn’t answer the phone, we know something’s wrong, right? And those are the no go years doesn’t mean she’s not living a fulfilling life. It’s just that she’s not traveling to Italy, or going on vacations or, you know, watching grandkids or whatever, just she’s just in a different phase of her life. So, and in the planning that we do, you know, adjust for each of those years and building a good plan around the go-go years is important, because that’s going to be your most enjoyable time.
Cynthia de Fazio – 06:44
Sure. Neil, what does it feel like when you tell someone that they are totally fine to retire today? If they want to?
Neil Major – 06:52
Well, that’s a great feeling. Obviously, you know what?
Brian Quaranta – 06:55
They don’t believe you.
Neil Major – 06:57
That’s right. Are you sure?
Brian Quaranta – 07:00
They know they don’t believe you. Because a lot of times, they’re coming in and be like, you know, I just met a guy. And he told me I needed to work for the next 10 years. And I’m like, I just don’t see it. And we do it again. It’s not our opinion. We’re looking at the math. Yeah, yeah.
Neil Major – 07:12
Right. Yeah. So a lot of work goes into, you know, that’s a big responsibility, right to tell somebody that they’re able to retire. Because the last thing that we want is to onboard a client, tell them that they can retire 10 years later, tell them they need to go back to work. Yeah. So we want to make sure that we focus in and zoom in on those five key areas that we talked so specifically about, make sure that those all five are developed and in place. And those are income planning, tax planning, investment planning, health care planning, and legacy planning. Once we’ve made sure that we’ve identified solve some issues in areas and those five areas, well, then we’ll make our recommendation that they can retire. You know, like Brian said, they’re typically they don’t believe you. Yeah, they don’t know how they’re gonna spend their time. Where they cry. We get a lot of leaders in our office, we get a lot
Brian Quaranta – 08:02
of tears in our office, if we’re doing it virtually. I’ll usually hear if I could reach to the screen and hug you. I would Yeah, right. I mean, those are that’s very rewarding for our work. Right. It’s very rewarding for our but you know, it’s a it’s a it’s a very
Neil Major – 08:14
rewarding profession. Yeah, really is I mean, you know, it’s a big responsibility that we take on, you know, the retirement dollars that people have saved second to their family is the most important thing to them. Oh, sure. And so we want to make sure that we’ve mapped out and we understand how things are going to play out for them, and that we can help them the best that we can. Yeah.
Cynthia de Fazio – 08:35
And that all comes down to the peace of mind. Correct, Brian? Plan,
Brian Quaranta – 08:38
protect peace of mind. Yeah, you know, the three P’s three P’s?
Cynthia de Fazio – 08:43
Absolutely. Well, I know that you do have a very special offer to present to the viewers at home today. Let’s talk about what that is. And then open the phone line,
Brian Quaranta – 08:50
folks for the next 10 callers who call on right now, we’re going to give you an opportunity to come in and sit down and have a complimentary right track retirement analysis, where we’re going to go through the five key areas of financial planning with you income taxes, investments, healthcare and estate planning. If you have each of those areas, every i dotted every T crossed, you’re going to have a well thought out plan, you’re going to have that protection, that peace of mind that you deserve. So again, for the next 10 callers. That’s a complimentary right track retirement analysis. But you’ve got to do your part. Pick up the phone today, call us and schedule that meeting. It’s 1-888-382-1298. Again, 1-888-382-1298.
Cynthia de Fazio – 09:31
Brian, thank you so much, Neil, thank you so much to the viewers at home, the phone number to call is on your screen. That number is 888-382-1298. We know you have a lot of questions for Brian and Neil to make sure that you’re on the right path for retirement. If you’re not, I know you want to know today. Again, all I could do is pick up the phone and call 888321298. We have to take a very short commercial break but when we come back, I’m going to talk to Brian and Neil about maybe some questions that you should be asking when you’re looking for a financial advisor to work with. So stay tuned.
Brian Quaranta – 10:02
So everybody can tell you how to invest your money. There’s not a lot of people out there and a lot of firms that can teach you how to use your money. Most people also tell you that they’re scared. And the reason they’re scared is because they’re afraid of running out of money.
Neil Major – 10:16
The last thing you want to do is a really good job and your 60s retire, be looking for work again, in your late 70s.
Brian Quaranta – 10:24
The average person might say, well, a good portfolio would be a good mix of stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. A good portfolio is all designed around the five key areas, income, taxes, investments, healthcare and legacy planning.
Neil Major – 10:38
There’s we’re not just product pickers here, what we do best here as we build retirement plans,
Brian Quaranta – 10:44
nine out of 10 people, when they walk through the door would ask us, we just want to know if we’re on the right track. And I always say if you’re not on the right track, when would be a good time to knowing, probably now,
Neil Major – 10:55
people you know, can actually see a vision once we start to really build out their plan.
Brian Quaranta – 11:00
This is about you, if you’re not getting what you need. And you feel that when you walk out of the advisors office, it’s time to get a second opinion. And you can’t get a second opinion from the person that gave you the first the difference at secure money advisors, as a fiduciary firm, we help you manage the risk, build the income, and give you the retirement.
Cynthia de Fazio – 11:32
And welcome back to on the money with secure money. My name is Cynthia De Fazio. I’m joined today by Brian quanta, he is president and founder of secure money advisors as well as joined by Neil major, He is senior investment advisor. Gentlemen, a great show we’re having obviously talking about planning for retirement. But in case someone is in the viewing audience today, perhaps husband and wife sitting together having a cup of coffee. And they’re thinking about interviewing a financial advisor, perhaps both of you, which that would be a great decision. But let’s talk about what types of questions people should be asking when they’re meeting a financial advisor for the first time, Brian? Yeah,
Brian Quaranta – 12:06
that’s good question. Number one, are they a fiduciary? So you know, that’s important, you know, and number two would be what the fee structure is, whether they get commissions, or the advisor charges a fee. You know, do they charge a planning fee on top of the investment fee? And, you know, what’s the client servicing model like meaning, you know, if we do decide to onboard with you, what can we expect over the years, as time goes on from a servicing standpoint, and those are important. And really, when it comes to fees, you really want to work with a firm, that is not going to charge you a planning fee, but maybe he is going to charge or maybe he’s going to charge fees, but not earned commissions. And the reason is, is because like secure money advisors, we have skin in the game with our clients, meaning the better they do, the better we do, right. And that’s important because we have to perform in order for us to do well, if we’re not performing well, our revenue is impacted, right? Where sometimes when people sit down with an advisor, that advisor makes a recommendation, they get paid a commission, it doesn’t matter how well the advisor performs, or even whether or not the advisor even services, okay, a lot of times we meet people, and they’ll say, we haven’t talked to them in a couple of years, we haven’t, you know, we don’t do any annual reviews, whatever it might be. And that’s because the advisor might have made all their money up front. So, you know, one fiduciary responsibility is important to is your fee structure three is what your client service models look like. And I think those three questions right, there are going to tell you a lot about the advisory firm itself. Okay. Yeah. And I
Neil Major – 13:39
think at the end of the day, though, once you get some of those basic questions out, you really got to feel comfortable with the plan and the approach of the advisor. Right? And the philosophy of loss. Yeah, right. Because if you’re not a risk taker, and you got someone recommending all mutual funds, and that’s how you’re going to generate your cash flow, and we’re gonna average 12%. And this and that, I mean, that might not be your approach. And he might not feel comfortable with that person,
Brian Quaranta – 14:08
you make a great, you make a great point there, because a lot of people will come in and say, you know, I’ve told my advisor that I wanted to be relatively conservative Rex, and we use a program called Riskalyze. And risk lies a very powerful program, any advisory firm can purchase it. But we use it at our office to identify the level of risk that somebody is taking. And this is real data, based on the historical numbers have their individual positions, and it identifies a risk number from one to 99. And this is really important, because we’ll get people to come in and say, I asked my advisor to be conservative, and we run it through the risk analysis, and we actually find out that the risk is very, very high. And that’s concerning, because there’s a lot of people aren’t working with an advisory firm that actually quantifies the risk and a number meaning if we’re going to put together a plan for you. We’re going to show you what the risk number is. We’re not going to tell you it’s a conservative portfolio. So how do you know how much risk you’re taking? You know, if you don’t know how much risk you’re taking? When would you want to know? Right? I mean, especially if you’re going into retirement, it’s important to know, and that that’s a key factor that that’s critical in the planning process is understanding the risk.
Neil Major – 15:18
Yeah, one of those tools in Riskalyze has a portfolio max drawdown number. And, you know, sometimes people will have absolutely no idea when I show him, show them, you know, your portfolio could draw down 42%. If we saw 2008 type scenario, and they have no idea they’re taking that amount of risk, nor do they want to Write Right. So it’s a really useful tool. It’s a great way for us to give somebody an unbiased second opinion,
Brian Quaranta – 15:44
a transparency is people want, they want trans people don’t need to be sold, right? They need to be given good information to make informed decisions, right. And that’s what we’ve done really well. And that’s, that’s art. We don’t sell anything at our office, we’re there to identify problems, deliver the facts, people make the decisions for themselves. Oh, yeah. You know, and they feel and see the difference, though. They know if they’re interviewing advisory firms where they should be putting their money. Sure.
Cynthia de Fazio – 16:09
Yeah. Neil, if someone hasn’t heard from their current advisor, and let’s say, a year and a half, two years, is that a red flag?
Neil Major – 16:16
Yeah, it might be. I mean, I would hope that, you know, if you’re working, in particular, with a fiduciary, a fiduciary, really focuses on building the plan, not just the investments, right? So you want to make sure that you’re taking the necessary steps to improve the plan year over year. And a lot of things change. I mean, tax laws change, investments change. So things change throughout the year. So you do want to make sure that you’re getting coached, especially when you get into that financial red zone, to make sure that you’re making the right adjustments, right decisions moving forward. So yeah, I would say that that probably wouldn’t make me feel comfortable. If that was my advisor, if I haven’t heard from him in a period of time of 1218 24 months. Sure.
Cynthia de Fazio – 17:00
Okay. All right. Brian, you first mentioned, of course, the importance of working with a fiduciary, in case someone is just tuning in for the first time. Why is that so important, especially in the retirement years? Yeah,
Brian Quaranta – 17:12
well, a fiduciary is held to the highest one of the highest standards in the industry where we have to do what’s in the clients best interest, right, whereas a broker only has to do what’s suitable. So two very different rules there that go on and the regulation. So working with a fiduciary also means that you are going to get unbiased advice, because we don’t work for anybody other than the client. So we’re not beholden to any specific companies, which is a big deal. Because we, you know, we have the ability to do what’s in the clients best interest based on the concerns that they’ve provided with us. And we can look for the best financial solutions based on what they’ve shared with us. So that’s the role of the fiduciary. Not only that, but a fiduciary is typically fee based. And you want to work with a fee based firm because somebody that earns commissions from you doesn’t have a vested interest in the relationship long term. Because they really don’t care how it performs. They don’t really care whether they do an annual review, because they made all their money upfront. And a fiduciary has a different level of responsibility, right? It’s more like having a doctor or an accountant or something along those lines that would those level of responsibilities.
Cynthia de Fazio – 18:20
Yeah, thank you, Brian. So Neil, another question I should ask you, obviously, as I know that you do the annual reviews, but how often do your clients hear from you on a normal basis?
Neil Major – 18:30
Yeah, pretty frequently throughout the year, we do a number of different things to keep in touch with our clients, okay. The advisors in the office all do videos that we send out or specific topics that may or may not pertain to their situation, sort of like a trending topic they might have heard about, we want to be a little bit more informative. So we, we give them those emailed videos, we find those really, really important. We do our educational events, which we do, four to six a month, all of our clients are always welcome to attend, we encourage them to come attend these events and learn a little bit about what’s happening now. So that’s important. We do a number of check ins throughout the year just kind of reaching out touching base. So there’s a number of ways that we’re making sure that they understand that we are looking after them, that we’re making sure we’re taking care of them. We’re looking at the investments, all that stuff. And then
Brian Quaranta – 19:25
the clients also that I didn’t mean to cut you off, but the clients also do have access to unlimited financial planning appointments throughout the year at no additional cost. So that’s really nice, too. Because whether they’re, you know, leaving a job getting a new job, dealing with an inheritance, whatever it might be, they can call the office schedule an appointment and we can sit down and we can go through things. Not only that, but secure money advisors. We operate as a team. And the reason we operate as a team is a lot of times you’ll hear from people, if they’re working with an individual. I call this individual you know, they don’t ever get back to me I don’t get the service. I need at our office, you get a dedicated team of people working for you, which makes a really big difference. Because number one, you’ve got multiple eyes looking over your accounts, you’ve got multiple eyes helping plan for your retirement. And it’s just not one individual. And that makes a big difference, especially when it comes to servicing.
Cynthia de Fazio – 20:21
Sure. Sure that makes sense. Well, Brian, I know that you do have a very special offer to present to the viewers at home we should do about what that is the
Brian Quaranta – 20:28
right track retirement review, folks, take advantage of it. Cynthia and I are talking about the fiduciary responsibility. It’s not very often that you get to sit down complimentary with a fiduciary. And we’re going to do that for you for the next 10 callers who call in right now we are going to give you a complimentary right track retirement review, where we’ll bring you through a very thorough pop process to help you understand the five key areas of what a really good retirement plan should look like. Income taxes, investments, healthcare, and of course, your estate planning, but you got to do your part. Pick up the phone, call us today. schedule that time to come in, sit down with us. It’s 1-888-382-1298.
Cynthia de Fazio – 21:07
Brian, thank you so much, Neil, thank you so much to the viewers at home, that phone number to call is once again on your screen. That number is 888-382-1298. We know you have a lot of questions about how to plan your perfect retirement. Brian and Neil have the answers for you. We have to take a very short commercial break, but don’t go anywhere. When we come back, I’m going to talk about what it feels like when you come into the office for the very first time. Stay tuned.
Brian Quaranta – 21:32
If I could help you increase your income, if I could help you pay less taxes, if I could help you potentially maximize the returns of your investments while reducing risk reducing fees if I could help you prepare for a health event or more importantly, when the good Lord decides to take you home to make sure that the money you’ve accumulated over your lifetime goes to your family and to your charities rather than the IRS would that be worth the time to come in and get a second opinion.
Cynthia de Fazio – 22:03
And welcome back to on the money with secure money. My name is Cynthia De Fazio. I’m joined today by Brian Quaranta. He is president and founder of secure money advisors as well as Neil, major senior investment advisor, gentlemen, a wonderful show that we’re having I know people in the viewing audience are very curious about this. But they want to know, what does it feel like when they come into the office for the very first time, Neil, I’m going to guide this to you?
Neil Major – 22:25
Well, I think the first thing that we do really, really well is we’re not there to sell you anything, right? So it’s a pretty relaxed environment, we want to just kind of understand what your goals are, what you’re hoping to get out of our time together, and just kind of have a open conversation and see if we can identify and solve some of the issues that you’re having. Because our goal we talked a lot about today is giving you peace of mind. Yeah, right. So you know, as we kind of go through the hour together, we’re pretty detailed with our approach, we want to make sure that we kind of ask you specific questions, we want to understand your situation, we always ask and encourage the month, the more information that you can bring with you, the more helpful the meeting will be for both of us, right? You want to bring social security statements, you want to bring pension information, you want to bring investment statements, that way we have a really good handle on what you have. And then we can kind of, you know, add in your questions to what you have and kind of put put pieces together.
Cynthia de Fazio – 23:26
Okay, all right. And Brian, again, how much time do you spend with someone the first initial meeting
Brian Quaranta – 23:32
45 minutes to an hour, typically, we can get quite a bit done, we get we get right down to really helping them as much as we can right out of the gates. And like Neil mentioned, I mean, we’ve got a very thorough process that we go through with them. So it’s very efficient. And we cover a lot, you know, usually, you know, people feel really good about the level of clarity that was provided during that meeting. And of course, a lot of people from there want to schedule another meeting because they want to further look at the analysis of the plan. And then of course, a lot of them are even considering hiring us so and that that process itself all the way from meeting us for the first time to possibly even onboarding with us could take two or three meetings to be able to do something like that. So
Cynthia de Fazio – 24:14
okay, yeah. So Brian, if a husband and wife were together in the audience today, how important is it for them to come in for that initial consultation together?
Brian Quaranta – 24:22
It’s critical. You can’t if you’re a married couple, it’s impossible for us to get anything done without the other spouse there. So I would suggest that if you are going to schedule and you are married schedule with your spouse, otherwise, it’s not a very productive meeting whatsoever. Absolutely. Yeah.
Neil Major – 24:39
I think, to that point, it is very important. I mean, we want to maximize our time together, right? And a lot of times, if you come in solo, your spouse might have different ideas of what income needs are. They might have different philosophies of how they want their money.
Brian Quaranta – 24:56
Actually, I can promise you they’re going to have different philosophies. Some
Neil Major – 25:04
important have come in together. Yeah,
Brian Quaranta – 25:06
let’s sit. You know, sometimes the husbands will come in, you know, if they do come in by themselves. And I say, Don’t worry, I make all the financial decisions, right? Sure, you
Cynthia de Fazio – 25:19
know? So then that’s the first meeting, obviously, right. But then let’s talk about what happens after that. So you mentioned it’s like, it can be a two to three step process, sometimes for three max.
Brian Quaranta – 25:32
And we get a lot done in that first meeting. And typically, the second meeting, going through the analysis, once we go through the analysis with people, and we share with them where they are and where they could go. Usually they’re asking us can they implement, right? Because they’re just seeing something they’ve never seen before. And, and there and again, it’s about providing them with a peace of mind. And that’s usually what people will say, if I had this, I would have a better peace of mind than I do today. And, you know, that’s, that’s what it’s really all about. And I think that you know, and I’ve been doing this for what going on 23 years now, so I know what bad planning looks like versus good planning. And unfortunately, in our industry, there’s very bad planning and mediocre planning out there. So we, or no planet and people, people see it immediately. Yeah, it is like, wow, when we when we say that, most of the time people always say, nobody’s ever shown this to me before. Uh, we’re always very taken back. Because we look at what we do. And we go, geez, I mean, some of the stuff that we’ve shown today is basic fundamentals. And, you know, it’s a little bit disheartening to ask because, you know, that’s our industry, not doing a good job, and you’d like to see the whole industry do a better job in providing good advice. But, you know, I was telling Neil, the other day, I said, you know, when I was growing the business, I was working with an accountant for a long time. And, you know, I thought she was going to be the only accountant I ever needed. She was my college professor. And some of you out there might be thinking to yourself, you know, you got a good financial advisor, you’re in a good position. But I thought the same thing with my accountant, as the company got bigger and my needs changed, actually went to a different accountant. And I didn’t know what I didn’t know. And when I went in, I got that second opinion, I was shocked with what the other accountant was telling me that I could have been doing to save on taxes and improve my situation. And this is why we offer you the right track retirement review, to give you that second opinion, because you might just not know what you don’t know. And that’s the whole goal when you come in. So if you call 1-888-382-1298, you can schedule that right track retirement review. Complimentary with us today.
Cynthia de Fazio – 27:40
Gentlemen, thank you for another amazing show this week to the viewers at home. Most specifically, we’d like to thank you for spending time with us. That number is 888-382-1298. Be safe, be happy, be blessed. And we’ll see you back here one week from today.