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Richard St. John

Video Transcripts

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Introduction - Richard St. John

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Dick St. John: Hi. I'm Dick St. John, president and founder of St. John & Associates. Our business is to provide independent...

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Dick St. John: Hi. I'm Dick St. John, president and founder of St. John & Associates. Our business is to provide independent financial advisory service to our clients.

We are a fiduciary, which means that we are responsible for putting interests of our clients ahead of our own. There's a lot of confusion today about what a financial advisor is, what they do, and what services they provide.

For us, it's the delivery of independent financial services to meet the clients' needs. The important thing is the relationship that we establish with the client on a long-term basis.

I founded St. John & Associates after working many years as an HR and financial executive in several public corporations. Later, I became partner of a venture capital management firm and last as an owner of a broker-dealer firm.

In that experience, I learned that clients have a need to get their financial affairs organized and to better understand how to make better financial decisions, and realized that this was a need that wasn't being met.

In our practice, we work off of the foundation of a personal financial plan. We are working on a team basis. Instead of working on an individual advisor, you work on the entire organization.

We have not only an in-house expertise, but also an affiliation with others to provide whatever expertise is necessary to service the needs of the client.

An ideal client is someone who is serious about their financial future and are interested in partnering with a firm to help them meet their overall goals.

You can contact us, an advisor, at stjohnfinancial.com, or by calling us at 770-642-7631. We hope to hear from you.

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Portfolio Management - Greg St. John

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Greg St. John: Hi, I'm Greg St. John, vice president at St. John & Associates. I've worked with actuaries and as a...

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Greg St. John: Hi, I'm Greg St. John, vice president at St. John & Associates. I've worked with actuaries and as a financial analyst for 24 years, working on large pension plans and 401(k)s. I've come to St. John & Associates to help individuals work on their retirement needs in the world of investing.

At St. John & Associates, we look at your portfolio on a holistic approach. Your portfolio only makes up a small portion of your financial world. Risk and return are only a small piece of that. Tax savings and saving rates can have a bigger impact on your portfolio over time. Those who look at risk and return may be missing bigger opportunities that may have greater impact on their portfolio.

Recently, with market volatility, we have increased dividend-paying stocks. Although they've lagged behind growth stocks, we feel that they're more stable in this volatile market that we've become. Our investment approach here is more of a long term. We look at changing with the opportunities that we have in the marketplace without necessarily timing the market.

As you get closer to retirement, your portfolio can accept as much a risk as you normally would. We're inclined to take risk off the table more so than we are reaching for more return. What makes us different is we look at your whole financial picture, not just your portfolio management.

Risk and return are only a small piece of what makes up your portfolio. Those only concentrating on risk and return may be missing other opportunities in the market.

We have a variety of clients here. If you need help with retirement plans, deferred compensation plans, or anything that makes up your retirement life, including college savings, savings for the future, inheritance, you would be a good client for us.

Those interested in learning more about St. John & Associates, please go to our website and sign up for a free consultation. We also have information on there on our portfolios, economy, and how things are going in the marketplace that you can review. I'm Greg St. John, and we look forward to meeting you.

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Financial Planning - Bryan Totri, CFP

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Bryan Totri: Hello. I'm Bryan Totri, Director of Financial Planning at St. John & Associates. When thinking of working with a financial...

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Bryan Totri: Hello. I'm Bryan Totri, Director of Financial Planning at St. John & Associates. When thinking of working with a financial planner, there's a couple of key points to bear in mind. A Certified Financial Planner, CFP, has the highest degree of training in the science of personal financial planning, so I'd certainly start there.

The other group I'd be concerned about, or the other issue I'd keep in mind, would be working with a CFP from the National Association of Professional Financial Advisors, NAPFA. Planners who are members of NAPFA are subject to a fiduciary standard, the highest standard in our industry.

They disclose all their fees. There's a lot of transparency in how they're paid. They don't take commissions. They don't hold any sales licenses, so there's no conflict there. I think you can get your most objective advice from someone that meets those two criteria.

A financial plan in its simplest form has two key components. Your personal financial resources, that would be your investments assets, savings, 401(k) plan at work, IRAs, and then the claims against those personal financial resources. The claims against those would, typically, be your financial goals.

In a financial plan, we're going to identify your resources. Then we're going to layer on top of that your financial goals and see if the resources are sufficient to fund those financial goals.

If initially there's a problem or we just find that the goals exceed the ability of the resources to pay for them, we'll work through your plan to get you a high confidence level that we have an objective good outcome.

We are a fee-only model, so our fees come from the earnings on your portfolio. We charge it against the earnings on your portfolio. We don't charge any commissions. There are no sales of any products in our particular business model. We think that puts the advisor on the same side of the table as the client and you'll get objective advice that way.

It's the way to think about compensation, also the transparency and how the compensation is paid. Those would be some key points I'd be thinking about in looking for a financial advisor.

The cost of a financial plan varies, generally, according to how complex a particular client's situation might be. Usually, the best first step would be to meet with us. There's no cost for a consultation, so we can get our heads wrapped around just what it is you have in your particular financial life and see if we're a good fit for you.

I'd be happy to forward you a personal financial plan, a copy of one, so you can see just what it is we'll be working on together. Just contact us by email. We'd be happy to upload that to you, and you can look at it at your leisure.

It's not uncommon, initially, for a financial plan that we're working on for the first time with a new client, to have poor results. That's expected because we ask a new client, in particular, to really dream.

We don't want to constrain the various things we consider in that initial financial plan, so poor results initially is not necessarily a problem. We'll work with you to bring that plan up to a high level of confidence that it'll have a successful outcome.

The next step would be to consider meeting with us in a friendly setting, with no sales pressure. I don't like sales pressure. We certainly aren't going to subject anyone who comes to see us to that. Our contact information would be found on our website, and I look forward to meeting you.


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