Diversified Financial Consultants
Financial planner uses education, dialogue to forge long-term relationships with clients
L“Some of my wealthiest clients did not create their wealth investing with our firm,” says Alan Jay Levine, president of Diversified Financial Consultants in northern New Jersey. “They are clients because of other services that we provide, which they see as value-added.”
evine says two main differences exist between Diversified and other companies. “We are non-proprietary, we don’t manufacture a product that has to be pushed on the public. And, our training is more extensive.”
Diversified Financial Consultants originated in 2002. The firm, which has 12 reps on staff and assets approaching $1 billion, evolved into its present form in 2010, when it affiliated with LPL Financial, one of the nation’s largest independent broker-dealers.
“We are fully vested in our clients’ futures,” Levine says. “It behooves us to provide services that safeguard our clients’ assets regardless of what kind of risks they may take. Education is critical.”
He sees clients having a more intense interest in retirement and legacy planning, compared to a few years ago. “They’re doing things now that they’ve been putting off. They want to be done and taken care of. We’re there to hold their hands.”
Levine says Diversified is apt to tap experts – accountants, lawyers and estate attorneys, for instance – to review clients’ plans. “We have full knowledge ourselves, but we like to get second and third opinions.” He says the firm dis- cusses client portfolios every quarter. “LPL Financial also pushes us not to leave accounts dormant.”
Public debate of “alpha, beta and gamma” – terms used to assess the value of financial planning – is an example of the information overload that hovers over the industry, Levine says.
“Financial noise is everywhere. Our firm philosophy doesn’t change with the gyrations on Wall Street. We have a long-term approach, but keep an eye on opportunities the world can provide.”