Frequently Asked Questions
Can you explain the role insurance plays in a typical financial plan?
Different types of insurance protect you and your loved ones in different ways against the cost of accidents, illness, disability, and death. There are many forms of insurance and, unfortunately, no one-size-fits-all policy. But here are the types of insurance most people require:
- Auto insurance protects you from damage to the investment in a car and, more importantly, from liability for damage or injury caused by you or someone driving your vehicle.
- Homeowner's insurance should allow you to rebuild and refurnish your home after a catastrophe and insulate you from lawsuits if someone is injured on your property.
- Liability insurance (umbrella coverage) takes effect when the personal liability and lawsuit coverage in other policies is exhausted.
- Life insurance can provide a surviving spouse, children, and other dependents with the funds necessary to maintain their standard of living. It can help repay debt, home mortgages and children's education.
- Disability income ("paycheck") insurance can replace a portion of your lost income, when you are unable to work due to illness or injury for an extended period of time.
- Most people enjoy medical insurance as an employee benefit, often with their employers paying all or part of the premiums.
- And then theres long-term care insurance. With an aging population and uncertainty about welfare's diminishing role in health care, insurance to cover the high cost of nursing home or at-home health care is the fastest growing insurance product in America.
These are just some of the types of insurance that should factor into your financial plan.
Why is time in the market much more important than timing the market?
Even if you had invested on the worst possible day each year, the day the market hit its annual high, you would still have made money over the 13-year period from 1983 through 1995. In fact, a $1,000 annual investment, an aggregate investment of $13,000, under this worst case scenario would have grown to approximately $33,817, assuming dividends were reinvested.
This clearly illustrates that time in the market is more important than timing the market. Did you realize that since 1960 the S & P 500 has increased in value 94% of the time during five-year holding periods, and 100% of the time during holding periods of 10 years or longer? This is why Summerlin Financial Advisors, Inc. encourages our clients to take a long-term, value-oriented approach to investing.
We hear so much about financial planning today. What can financial planning really do for me?
A good financial plan is similar to a check-up that can help diagnose your financial health. Most people have talked to an insurance agent and have a policy or two. Most people have talked to stockbroker and own stock and theyve talked to a realtor and own some property. Generally speaking, once the sale of these products is made, the advisor is off to find a new client. At Summerlin Financial Advisors, Inc. we integrate all the working parts of a clients finances to form a complete picture, a financial "road map" most people will never see otherwise.
Before a financial "road map" can be completed, we need to examine the individual components first, then answer the following questions:
This is why they call it a comprehensive financial plan and this is what I specialize in doing for my clients. In other words, tying all the loose ends together.
- How much am I worth today? (This is your current profile)
- Am I minimizing my taxes? (This is tax planning)
- How much do I need to save to send my kids to college? (This is college planning)
- How do I want to live during retirement and will I run out of money? (This is retirement planning)
- Will my assets pass to my beneficiaries according to my wishes and in an efficient manner? (This is estate planning)
- If I were to die unexpectedly, could my surviving family (and/or business) afford to maintain their current lifestyle? (Thats survivor planning)
- Do I have adequate disability coverage to ensure my current lifestyle if I or my spouse were to become disabled? (Income protection)
- Is my current investment strategy in line with all of my goals and objectives? (Investment planning)
What are your core values and business philosophy?
Thats a very good question and something prospective clients must consider in deciding if they want to do business with Summerlin Financial Advisors, Inc. There are some general principles that we follow.
First, we believe that any sound investment plan must be tailored to the specific needs of each client; therefore, we spend a lot of time listening to understand our client's investment objectives. Then and only then can our team create a plan to help achieve his/her goals.
Second, we believe any wealth building strategy must encompass asset allocation and investment diversification. A successful wealth building plan should provide peace of mind, and this is what we help our clients achieve.
Third, we are realistic and we encourage our clients to develop reasonable expectations. We understand that accumulating wealth is a long process that requires patience and discipline. We understand the stock market is not a gambling casino, but rather an investment forum.
Finally, we understand that our clients have plenty of choices of where to do business, but they choose to do business with Summerlin Financial Advisors, Inc. because of the long held exceptional service we provide and the value we add to our client relationships. This is evidenced from the large number of my clients that refer us to their friends, family members and business associates.
When selecting a financial advisor, how important is their knowledge and experience?
We think its extremely important. Theres just no substitute for experience. Its a process you just cant shortcut, especially when you understand the unpredictability and volatility of the financial world and the speed at which it changes today. Our clients cant afford the luxury of making mistakes.
Financial Planning is crock-potted, not micro-waved. I've been in the financial services business since 1971. Combined, my staff has 60+ years in the business ... thats more knowledge and experience to serve our clients.
Beware The Price! - In the absence of this knowledge and experience, some people become commodity driven or price shoppers. Bad advice can set you back as much as good advice can put you ahead. Our clients understand the value of good advice over bottom price. Client peace of mind is so important.
Tell us the areas you specialize in with your clients?
I would say there are four specific areas.
First and foremost is retirement planning, which provides a safe, secure and comfortable retirement. The goal is to make sure that the golden years are just that, truly golden, not tarnished by inadequate income.
Second is wealth accumulation. I help my clients to increase and grow their assets so they outpace inflation without having to take any undue risk.
Third is tax reduction to help clients reduce their tax burden and to avoid paying any more than they absolutely have to by taking advantage of tax-free and tax-deferred investment vehicles.
Fourth is estate planning, which helps clients to insure that what they have worked so hard to accumulate is passed on to their heirs in an orderly fashion in the most tax-efficient way.
All of these pieces of the puzzle really come together for my clients to create the foundation for a very successful retirement.
Is there a way to describe your typical client?
Though each client of Summerlin Financial Advisors, Inc. is unique, we primarily provide financial products and services to four distinct groups:
- Successful Individuals
- Successful Professionals
- Small Business Owners
- Young Couples/Singles