In a career that spans more than 31 years, Marty, a Bradford financial advisor in our Clarion location, admits financial planning has looked a lot different for every client. This was an early revelation as a young advisor.
“Early in my career, I thought it would be easy to know what clients needed or who needed financial planning assistance. But, boy, was I schooled on those early assumptions,” Marty says. “Nice house, new cars, should all be telling that an individual is ready for wealth management, right? Life has taught me valuable lessons.”
Turns out, outward appearances say very little about an individual’s finances. The best-dressed folks compared to individuals with seemingly humble homes or cars truly tell two different and surprising stories.
“It was an awakening for my younger self. These two different clients both needed financial planning help, but in different ways. The polished couple was struggling to build savings and had no pathway to retirement. The unassuming fellow I met back then had humbly accumulated considerable wealth and needed help protecting and growing it into the future,” said Marty.
Listen & Be Honest
He recalls this as a pivotal moment in his career and to this day he says he never assumes to know the scope of an individual’s financial picture. He starts with listening and then gives honest, experienced advice. And sometimes it’s not what a client wants to hear.
“A farming couple was contemplating retirement and the wife had already left her employment. As we discussed a retirement plan it was clear the cost of health insurance would be a barrier and they were too young for Medicare. These were new clients, but I had to recommend she look for a job with health insurance benefits and one that matched a 401k plan for a few years,” Marty recalls. “It wasn’t what they wanted to hear, but she did find a job that provided health insurance coverage and also seriously bulk up their retirement account values.”
Today the two are comfortably retired and she reminds him often about the “get a job” conversations and how grateful she was for his honesty.
From parenting to now grandparenting, Marty says listening and honesty are foundational to relationships. He and his wife, Kim, have three grown children Eric (wife Brianna), Ryan, and Kevin (wife Liana), and their pride and joy are their two grandchildren, Nora and Oliver. When he’s not crunching numbers at Bradford, you’ll find him outdoors golfing, hunting, fishing, grilling, and traveling. But a relaxing evening by their firepit listening to good music is how he says they unwind.