We work primarily with people who recognize they don’t have the time, talent or temperament to handle their own financial affairs and investment portfolios. We work almost exclusively with women and couples between the ages of 50-80 who desire to work with a trusted fee-only advisor, rather than a commission-based salesperson. Our clients come from a variety of backgrounds, but they have a few things in common. They’re educated, successful and happy, and they’ve accumulated a fair amount of wealth they need help with. We help them define what they want and provide them with solutions so they can lead a happier, more prosperous, fulfilling life. In short, they appreciate the rewards of hiring BLRS because we simplify their lives and free up their time to have fun, travel, rediscover hobbies and pursue their passions.
The greatest advantage we have over many financial planners, stockbrokers and insurance agents is our independence. When you work for one of the large brokerage firms or insurance companies, you’re highly encouraged to sell their high-priced, proprietary products. Unfortunately, this isn’t in the best interest of the client. At BLRS, we are first and foremost a fee-only advisory firm. We have no proprietary products or sales quotas. We are advice-based and service-minded. If clients choose to implement solutions with BLRS, we can literally pick and choose investment and insurance vehicles from many companies with virtually no restrictions, so we can do what’s right for our clients.
We always tell people that we’re large enough to serve them, yet small enough to know them. Consequently, at our firm, impeccable client service is by far the highest priority. We understand that the clients we serve have plenty of choices of where to do business, but they choose to do business with BLRS because of our attention to detail and the exceptional service we provide. We don’t have an army of secretaries screening the phones. When you call, you can expect and will receive prompt, courteous service. If we happen to miss your call, know that all calls and emails are returned within minutes and hours, not days and weeks. This assures our clients prompt turnaround, efficient service, and the highest quality of advice. We also have made a promise to our clients to limit the amount of new clients we accept. At present we have 62 private clients and will only accept 13 more. Once these 13 additional openings are filled, we will not accept any further clients. We also show up on time. We do what we say. We say please and thank you. It’s these common courtesies that consistently set us apart because they are lacking in most companies today.
First, we believe that any sound retirement strategy and investment plan must be tailored to and aligned with the specific needs of each client. Therefore, we spend a tremendous amount of time listening in order to fully understand our clients’ objectives. Then and only then, can we help them match their finances with their visions and goals. Second, we believe any wealth preservation or wealth building strategy must encompass asset allocation and diversification. The plan should provide solutions and peace of mind, and this is what we strive to help our clients achieve. Finally, we establish business relationships that are based on the highest levels of trust, integrity and service. When people work with BLRS, they can be assured we know that our success is specifically tied to their success. Seeing our clients succeed is very important to us, and we take this responsibility seriously.
Yes. BLRS is committed to the highest ethical and professional standards. We are required to adhere to the Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility as outlined by the CFP Board Of Standards, Inc. Additionally, Mr. Losey is an approved member of The National Ethics Bureau. The NEB conducts the most comprehensive background and compliance checks in the financial services industry. As an approved member, Mr. Losey successfully passes an annual rigorous series of seven-year background checks for criminal, civil and business violations with the Department of Insurance, National Association of Securities Dealers, Securities and Exchange Commission, and the State Departments of Corporation, Commerce and Securities annually.
What do those letters behind Bill’s name mean? How do you feel these designations benefit your clients?
Bill holds two professional designations that he’s very proud of. He holds both the CFP®, which stands for Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner, and the CSA, which stands for Certified Senior Advisor. These designations indicate that Bill has passed a series of rigorous examinations on the fundamentals of financial planning, insurance and risk management, income tax planning, investment planning, retirement planning and employee benefits, and estate planning. Bill also passed a 2-day, 10-hour comprehensive final examination that encompassed all areas back in 1995. In the financial planning industry, Bill’s designations demonstrate a level of knowledge, a degree of integrity, and his adherence to a strict code of ethics. They also indicate that he maintains a program of continuing education so his clients are updated on the latest changes and opportunities available in the marketplace. What we find is the more discerning and knowledgeable a client is, the more they recognize and value the importance of education, experience and credentials in the professionals that advise them.
In a word, education. In our opinion, the world is and has always been in an uncertain state. The difference is now it’s on the news 24/7. We know the future can’t be predicted with any consistency and neither can stock prices, so our job is to educate clients about the risks we can identify and then take appropriate actions. We find that when you take the time to educate people they make smarter decisions. BLRS believes that when a client knows, and they know they know, confidence replaces fear.
Most of us encounter strong emotions when dealing with money issues. This is understandable. Not only can money have a lot to do with our feelings of success, safety, and self worth, but it also provides a huge, tangible impact on our lives and the freedoms it provides. The trouble comes when emotions drive investment behavior. Emotions often spark reactive, short-term decisions that end up being counterproductive to your long-term financial security. In the 90’s, it was all about greed. Now, it’s all about fear. The world’s instability played out in the media daily makes people really concerned about their financial future. The events that we’ve seen such as 9/11, the military campaigns that followed, national security issues, and the “great recession of 2008/2009″ – all can encourage people to make emotional decisions. In good times, and in challenging times like these, people need a competent and caring advisor who can serve as a “buffer” between their emotions and investment behavior.
When you realize that whether or not you achieve your financial goals will depend, in large part, on how well you position your assets, you’d have to say it’s one of the most important decisions an investor can make. According to Ibbotson & Associates, asset allocation accounts for nearly 92% of the overall portfolio performance, with stock selection accounting for only 4% and market timing accounting for less than 2%. All other factors account for less than 2%. This clearly shows that how you allocate assets may actually be more important than the individual investments you choose. The ultimate goal, of course, is a secure retirement. How soon you retire, how long the money will last, and in what style you retire can be greatly affected by your decision and our guidance on asset allocation. We spend a lot of time in this area with our clients and systematically rebalance their portfolios back to their target allocation because this reinforces the buy low, sell high discipline.
When you become an investment management client, we normally manage those client assets at our chosen custodian, SEI Private Trust Company. SEI is based out of Oaks, PA near Philadelphia.
SEI Investments (NASDAQ: SEIC) is a leading global provider of asset management and investment technology solutions. The company’s innovative solutions help corporations, financial institutions, financial advisors, and affluent families create and manage wealth.
As of the period ending December 31, 2011, through its subsidiaries and partnerships in which the company has a significant interest, SEI administers $404 billion in mutual fund and pooled assets, manages $172 billion in assets, and operates 22 offices in 12 countries.
We have thorough processes in place to review accounts weekly, monthly and quarterly. When circumstances warrant however, such as market irregularities or a specific need surfaces, we may review your account(s) more frequently and contact you immediately. All accounts are managed on a non-discretionary basis, therefore BLRS cannot make modifications until we mutually agree on a new course of action.
We give you the option to meet with us as often as you’d like. Generally, clients like to get together to discuss their portfolio(s) and progress toward their goals on an annual basis. Additionally, we encourage you to contact us before or when you go through a major life event, such as a retirement, a new job, a baby, a marriage, a divorce, loss of a spouse, before making major purchases or starting your own business.
We stay in touch with you a few times per month with a complimentary subscription to Retirement Intelligence, our email based newsletter, and our Weekly Market Update. We also publish a monthly hard-copy newsletter for all private clients and usually speak to each client 2-4 times per year depending on the complexity of their situation and their individual preferences. Some want more frequent contact and some desire less. It’s totally flexible and up to you.
No. While we would like you to stay with our service forever there is no obligation on your part to do so. We fully disclose in our contracts that clients can terminate with us at any time upon receipt of written notice.
SEI provides all tax reporting data via a comprehensive Form 1099 at year-end. By law, this must be mailed each year no later than January 31st.
Yes. Section 212 of the Internal Revenue Code permits an itemized deduction for tax, financial and/or investment advice in the miscellaneous section of your Schedule A. It is subject to a 2% floor of the adjusted gross income of your personal tax return. Please consult with your tax advisor for specific information and to determine your eligibility.
The word “swan” is an acronym for “sleep well at night”. As such, the BLRS swan logo embodies the key qualities of our firm, as well as the experience we want our clients to have when working with us. Peaceful, loyal and tranquil, the swan always appears to be in a state of ease and contentment. And as a symbol of truthfulness, fidelity and transformation, it captures the essence of what individuals can experience when they know their wealth is aligned with their life and their financial well-being is in good hands.
The first step is an initial inquiry from you. Call us at 518-581-1666 or email us. We offer a no-cost, no-obligation initial meeting. Appointments are scheduled based on availability during normal office hours. We look forward to speaking with you!
BLRS is always seeking like-minded professionals who share our commitment to delivering the most effective and comprehensive solutions possible to their clients. Whether you are a financial advisor looking to merge or sell your practice, or a practitioner in an area such as tax, legal, insurance or investments seeking a strategic partner to complement your core competencies, we can help. Being a strategic partner means having a reliable and trusted resource to complement the valued services you provide to your clients. Our current network includes investment analysts, estate attorneys, accountants (CPAs), portfolio managers, real estate agents, mortgage brokers, geriatric care managers, long term care and insurance specialists. To explore strategic partnership opportunities with BLRS, call 518-581-1666 or email us.