Di­ver­si­fied Fi­nan­cial Con­sul­tants

The Suit - - Contents -

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.”

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