They Laughed When I Said I Wanted To Be
a Fee-Only Financial Planner!
Until They Learned The Latest Financial Planning Techniques Can Reduce Investment Risk, Lower Taxes and Help Protect Their Assets…
While most folks enjoy reading a good book or watching a movie… I prefer soaking up the financial news, testing new financial strategies and discovering new investment opportunities!
Now that I think about it, I have spent a good part of my life learning as much as I can about financial stuff that most folks hate to even think about. I suppose some folks might call me a financial geek!
Even as a young boy, my dad (a banker with a sense of humor) and I were in the YMCA’s Indian Guides together (similar to Cub Scouts). And while all the other fathers picked traditional Indian names like "Big Bear and Little Cub" what does my dad pick our Guide names to be??? “Big Money and Small Change”
Over the years my mom used to say our dinner conversations could get pretty boring with all the financial talk. And my friends even snickered when I said I actually wanted to be a financial planner when I “grew up”!
What’s really funny is…now many of them are clients!
Most of my clients dread making financial decisions and the mere mention of a 401k make their eyelids feel heavy. They don’t have the time to keep up with the ever-changing “rules of money” nor do they want to.
So they hire me to help them manage their retirement accounts and give them guidance.
Would you like to have a “certified” second opinion about your financial situation too?
Then please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Conrad Seastrunk, I’m the President of Seastrunk Financial Management, LLC and we are currently accepting new clients who are serious about wanting help with their financial decisions.
Will you be one of these people?
Maybe, maybe not. The first thing it depends on is me. If I'm not the kind of financial planner you want to work with then we can save each other a lot of time. So let’s first start with me.
So Why Write An Ad?
Do I Need To Advertise
For New Clients?
Am I inexperienced in the ways of the financial world? Am I some sort of financial huckster in disguise looking for my next victim?
Nope. I am not. I am a reasonably intelligent, Board CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® Practitioner in my early 50’s, have lived in Florence all my life and (for the last 28 years) have been providing financial solutions for individuals and families primarily in the Southeast.
I earned my Bachelor of Business Administration from Francis Marion University in 1988, then later completed the CFP Board-Registered Program and then upon completion of the 10 hour exam I was awarded the advanced designation of CFP® (CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER®) in 2002.
After graduation I worked with a boutique style independent planning firm and then a year later at a large New York firm. After seeing both sides of the business (large/corporate vs. small/independent) I realized that to do the best job for my clients I needed to be apart from Wall Street… so I struck out on my own and opened Seastrunk Financial Management, a “fee-only” Registered Investment Advisory Firm.
Meanwhile back in 1995…
Early in my career I discovered that many people were making costly mistakes when taking money out of their retirement plans.
So I wrote the first edition of my retirement planning book for soon to be retirees titled: "What You Ought To Know Before You Sign Your Retirement Papers" (now in its 5th edition) and over the next 5 years did the seminar circuit in the Pee Dee area to warn folks about the pitfalls and traps waiting for them in retirement.
So once again, why do I have to advertise for clients?
Well actually, I don't. After 28 years I have a fairly impressive list of outstanding clientele that I truly enjoy working with.
So the idea of this ad is simply to put a little "science into the search" and to eliminate me having to spend a lot of time with people only to discover that I can't help them (or much worse) that they are not interested in my services!
Who Really Needs A
Let's start with a more fundamental question: how much can I improve your financial situation?
You might be thinking, "I have a good salary, I’m maxing out my 401k, I pay my bills on time, I know how to do my taxes, I have insurance... I'm handling my finances pretty well; spending time and money on financial planning is not worth it for me."
But let’s face it. Often it is what you don’t know that CAN hurt you! You may think that your plan is fine, but a closer look could reveal money leaks, overcharges, and time bombs that won't explode until you go to withdraw income.
Simply not hearing about new financial opportunities or getting tripped up in the ever-changing “rules of money” can ruin the best-laid plans.
It’s Easier to Avoid a Problem
Than It Is To Solve One!
I would rather hear you say “Hey Conrad! I have been thinking about doing…” instead of “Hey Conrad! Guess what I just did!?”
I cringe when I hear the latter because unfortunately many financial mistakes are irreversible and/or very costly.
So what type of client do I enjoy working with? Well I am, I must admit, quite flexible when it comes to working with my clients. However, I have a very clear idea of what I don't want in a client and it is here that I am not flexible at all. So let’s start with that.
Two Things Conrad Does
NOT Want in a Client!
1. SECRET SQUIRRELS: Are you looking to sneak money in or out of the country? Is your money dirtier than Bernie Madoff’s and in desperate need of laundering? Then please, please do NOT respond to this ad.
Now don’t get me wrong, privacy is important to me and to my clients and is why we sign confidentiality agreements to be sure what happens in Conrad’s office… stays in Conrad’s office.
(However, I do enjoy my freedom and would prefer not spending any time in jail for trying to help you hide money from the authorities. So please don’t ask me to! )
2. GREY AREA JUNKIES: Are you the type of person that enjoys being audited? Do you get a rush from jumping through tax loopholes and fudging on tax returns? I'm sorry, I really am, but I didn’t go to school all those years to become someone’s “accomplice”.
You see, I love to point out ways my clients can reduce their taxes, while uncovering little known deductions, credits and techniques that can significantly reduce your tax burden. BUT, I will NOT help you cheat on your taxes!
I will, however, look over your past 3 years tax returns for errors and missed savings opportunities! (About 1 out of every 5 tax returns I review as part of my free financial checkup has a mistake on it.
Well, anyway, that's my laundry list of things I don't want and, in fact, can't handle in a client.
Now comes the hard part.
I really feel awkward about saying what type of folk I prefer working with. I'm afraid if I get too explicit it will seem like I am an insensitive clod ordering something from a Gourmet menu.
On the other hand, if I don't set down some guidelines I'm afraid people with whom my services would not be at all compatible will answer this ad. So here it goes.
Our clients are typically:
• Entering retirement and want to minimize income taxes on pension income, social security income and avoid penalties 401k/IRA withdrawals.
• Recently unemployed folks that suddenly need penalty-free income from retirement accounts or help managing their investments.
• People going through divorce or after the death of a spouse that “used to handle all the financial stuff”.
• Busy executives and professionals who do not have the time to properly manage and plan their personal finances;
• People changing jobs that need advice about their new benefit plans at work or rolling over and investing their old 401k money.
The Secret to Earning 20% Without Any Risk
Would you like me to tell you how to earn a guaranteed 20% per year with no risk?
Well, I’ll tell you: I don’t know how.
And if I did know how, why would I tell you, a total stranger?
Ask yourself that question the next time someone tempts you with the hottest deal around. After all, if they have such a great investment, why would they tell you about it?
Look, I’m a nice guy, but let’s face it: If I had a “sure thing,” I’d be so busy investing my own money that I certainly wouldn’t have the time to tell you about it. And assuming I did have time to make a few phone calls, why would I call you — a total stranger — instead of telling my clients, family and friends?
Professional financial help goes far beyond picking stocks or mutual funds. Hiring an experienced Financial Advisor arms you with the latest techniques that can reduce financial risks, lower taxes, avoid probate, and help protect your assets from unexpected life changing events.
This can help you to make the most of the changing financial cycles of your life.
Our Advice To You Depends On Your Goals As They Change.
• Saving for Retirement?
• Transitioning to Retirement?
• Need Retirement Income?
• College Plans?
• Estate Plans?
The question is, do you need help to design and stick to an effective financial plan?
Making good financial decisions requires a lot of time to learn and research. And while the Internet's easy access to information has helped to make it possible for individuals to independently manage their finances, the level of investing skills and information that you need can be overwhelming. Many financial decisions are once in a lifetime decisions... how often do you perform at your best the first time you do something?
Not to mention the financial world is filled with con artists, greedy financial institutions, esoteric language, legal rules, and misleading methodologies.
You Should Be Afraid!
You Should Be Very Afraid!!
OK that might be overdoing it a little but you get my point (I hope).
No matter whether you want to develop a portfolio, plan for retirement, pay for college, or reach any other major financial goal, there are professionals (like me) who have spent their careers serving people with the same concern, and it is a good idea to take advantage of our experiences.
And while I have made a modest attempt to make this “ad” entertaining please know that I am very serious about helping my clients solve their financial problems.
So unless you are a little on the odd side (like me) and really enjoy this kind of thing you probably are wondering to yourself if you are making good financial decisions.
If you would like to have a "second opinion" about your financial choices, I invite you to call my office directly at 843-661-0220 and tell my assistant that you want to set up a free, no-obligation, financial check-up to see if we can be of service to you.
Conrad E. Seastrunk, CFP®
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® Practitioner
P.S. Please download copy of our Disclosure brochure which includes details you need to know before hiring any financial advisor.
WHO WE ARE
121 S Cashua Dr.
Florence, SC 29501