Giv­ing Shel­ter

Ad­vi­sors find in­spi­ra­tion in places they didn’t ex­pect.

Financial Planning - - EDITOR’S VIEW - —Chelsea Emery

AS HUR­RI­CANE HAR­VEY POUNDED TEXAS, JONATHAN SWAN­BURG, A plan­ner with Tri-star Ad­vi­sors, found him­self in the unusual po­si­tion of re­ceiv­ing ad­vice, in­stead of giv­ing it. As wa­ters rose and then a tor­nado threat­ened his Hous­ton neigh­bor­hood, Swan­burg evac­u­ated his home and emailed clients to let them know. He also told them he’d of­fer free fi­nan­cial guid­ance to those af­fected by the dis­as­ter. The re­sponse was not what he’d ex­pected.

“None re­sponded on the busi­ness is­sues at hand,”

Swan­burg writes in our Selfie col­umn, “Deal­ing With Catas­tro­phe,” on page 72. In­stead, “of­fers of as­sis­tance poured in. Clients of­fered my fam­ily their homes, food, cloth­ing. Any­thing we needed. It was a beau­ti­ful thing.”

Swan­burg was able to re­turn home af­ter sev­eral days to find min­i­mal dam­age, but count­less oth­ers weren’t as for­tu­nate. “We are start­ing to get re­ports from clients who had cat­a­strophic flood dam­age,” he emailed me af­ter Har­vey passed. “The na­ture of the dis­as­ter has changed but there is still a long road ahead.” He now plans to fol­low up on his free ad­vice of­fer.

Al­lan Boomer, the founder of Mo­men­tum Ad­vi­sors and the sub­ject of the cover story “Lead Gen­er­a­tion,” on page 36, has also reaped the ben­e­fits of help­ing oth­ers. His New York-based firm has grown to nine pro­fes­sion­als and $300 mil­lion in client as­sets, in part be­cause of his ded­i­ca­tion to men­tor­ing new plan­ners.

“Men­tor­ing has pro­vided a growth en­gine for my firm in terms of at­tract­ing new ad­vi­sors,” Boomer tells me. “Many firms strug­gle with at­tract­ing and re­tain­ing tal­ent. Men­tor­ing is a strate­gic ad­van­tage for my firm.”

Although Boomer didn’t set out to be a men­tor, his sat­is­fac­tion at see­ing his mentees suc­ceed has re­in­forced his re­solve. “You must see greatness in peo­ple and in­spire and guide them to achieve it,” he tells me. The trust he has built with his mentees-turned-col­leagues is ap­par­ent in this month’s com­pelling se­ries of cover pho­to­graphs.

A feel­ing of trust and con­nec­tion also struck Swan­burg when hur­ri­cane wa­ters rushed to­ward his home and clients reached out with of­fers to help. “At its very best, fi­nan­cial plan­ning is a uniquely per­sonal busi­ness,” he says.

View from the front step of ad­vi­sor Jonathan Swan­burg’s Hous­ton home.

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