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Adam Harding

Video Transcripts

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Introduction - Adam Harding

[music]

Hi, I'm Adam Harding, principal and lead advisor at Adam C. Harding, CFP. I started becoming familiar with financial topics and their tradeoffs at...

[music]

Hi, I'm Adam Harding, principal and lead advisor at Adam C. Harding, CFP. I started becoming familiar with financial topics and their tradeoffs at a very young age while working in my father's tax practice.

I didn't want to only focus on taxes like my father, and ultimately ended up finding passion in helping people navigate their financial problems in a way that puts them first. When it came down to making a career choice, becoming a fiduciary advisor was a natural fit.

Outside of the office, I serve on the board of a charity that helps children in Arizona identify learning and reading disorders. I think it's hugely important to give back and keep a broad perspective as to why we invest for our future. While in the office, I surround myself with clients who care about their investment returns, but also want to solidify a positive future for their family and community.

I believe that you can look at a spreadsheet all day, but ultimately, our business is about people and the causes they care about. As an advisor, it's much more gratifying to help individuals reach objectives like send my children to college, retire comfortably, leave a lasting legacy in my family and community.

Yes, these ultimately end up being about dollars and cents and investment decisions, but maintaining focus on people, and the causes they care about, we feel leads to a better way to invest.

My career in financial services has taken me from roles as a head trader of a large firm, to lead financial planner, research analyst, and ultimately, president and lead advisor of my firm. Holding these various roles has really allowed me to appreciate the role that technology serves in a modern wealth management practice.

By harnessing technology, we can shift towards greater efficiency, which can mean lower costs to operate a wealth management firm, which we pass through to clients in the form of very competitive fees.

My years of direct experience with financial planning and working with high net worth individuals, paired with my technological savvy, puts me in a better position to help clients than advisors in an older firm. We are independent and fee-only, so I choose investments not because of investment company kickbacks, but because they're appropriate for clients, cost efficient, and provide a sensible pathway towards achieving their goals.

Unfortunately, this business model is pretty unique in this day and age, and clients are too often not put first by their financial advisors. I genuinely enjoy gathering the details on a per client basis, and not try to provide a one-size-fits-all solution. The clients I've worked with include all types, from Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, to athletes, teachers, retirees, and more.

One of the larger groups of clients I tend to work with are divorced or widowed women that truly need a fiduciary to look out for their best interests in their time of need. I also work with small business owners especially those with complex tax issues.

Interested in learning more? Book a time to speak with me today.


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The Blueprint - Adam Harding

[music]

Adam Harding: Hi. I'm Adam Harding, Principal and Lead Advisor at Adam C. Harding, CFP. The blueprint is a visual financial plan that I...

[music]

Adam Harding: Hi. I'm Adam Harding, Principal and Lead Advisor at Adam C. Harding, CFP. The blueprint is a visual financial plan that I comprise for my clients. Wealthy individuals tend to have a significant amount of complexity in putting together their financial plan.

Like solving a puzzle, the first step is to lay out the pieces of the puzzle and start arranging them in a way that makes sense. In doing this, my process includes not only investment accounts I manage, but also checking and savings accounts, 401(k)s, home equity, insurance, business interests and anything else that could be deemed important.

In the blueprint, there's also information on their income and tax situation, so we can quickly see and analyze their tax situation and look for areas of possible improvement. In many cases, we work closely with clients' CPAs to help improve clients' tax profiles.

We also look at risk management, including current insurance policies. We want our clients to come to us first with their insurance questions. Simply put, too many individuals seek insurance guidance from the insurance professionals that benefit from a purchase of a policy regardless of whether that's needed.

It's the proverbial never ask a barber if he needs a haircut type of situation. In total, we look at a client's balance sheet, their income statement, risk management, their estate plan, their tax situation, and the overall goals that they want to accomplish.

Once everything is laid out in one place, we can easily have the client see a snapshot of their finances in a way that's concise, easy to understand, and is adaptable to the changing nature of clients' lives. We believe this is a vast improvement to the traditional 60-page financial plans that are cumbersome and difficult to grasp.

From there, we can see gaps for what pieces are mission critical that the client needs to accomplish. We establish a timeline for things to implement first, as well as the dates for re-evaluation to make sure both the client and us, their advisor, stays on track.

The information gathered in the blueprint sets for the series of task -- some specific to me, some specific to the client -- then we'll go forward from there. One of the things that many clients don't realize about the blueprint is that, for every single client, it serves as an easy to access picture of all their finances in real time.

For clients who have spouses that handle their finances, those clients can still understand the financial landscape and develop a strong base of knowledge.

I've had many clients share positive feedback around the blueprint serving the purpose of a comprehensive accounting of important financial details, particularly in the event of an individual's passing. The ways that this can be a one stop accounting can help heirs manage affairs during a challenging time.

Interested in learning more? Book a time to speak with me today.


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Investment Process - Adam Harding

[music]

Adam Harding: Hi, I'm Adam Harding, principal and lead advisor at Adam C. Harding, CFP.

Too often, when a client tries to research how...

[music]

Adam Harding: Hi, I'm Adam Harding, principal and lead advisor at Adam C. Harding, CFP.

Too often, when a client tries to research how to invest searching on Google or else where, they find basic examples that don't take into account their specific needs. Crude calculations like your age should be the proportion of your portfolio invested in bonds are doing a serious injustice to an investor's situation.

My investment process is always defined by the information gathered in the client's blueprint and the resources we have to accomplish their goals.

The process should always harmonize the following. The client's investment objectives, which gives us a timeline to work off of, a client's risk tolerance, which tells me how comfortable a client is with fluctuations in their portfolio, and a client's risk capacity, which lets me know how much risk a client can afford to take.

Many advisers will ask a client's age and goals to quickly determine a stock to bond allocation. I do things differently in that I ask deeper questions to encompass a client's multiple objectives that can change over time.

As a simple example, whether or not a client has a long-term care insurance can have a drastic impact on retirement income needs from a portfolio. Thus, an investment plan and strategy must consider these kinds of information.

The asset allocation is by far the most important decision a client needs to make for their portfolio. We address this topic first. From an investing perspective, I'm in favor of low cost, tax optimizing, and passively managed funds. I tend to use many fund families including dimensional fund advisors in practice, as well as low cost index ones.

I recognize investor behavior in emotional decision making can be a major detractor to investment performance. Thus, I don't follow the panic swings of the market and instead preach discipline and always revert back to the financial plan that we laid out in advance.

From a tax perspective, I try to use Roth IRA conversions and tax loss harvesting to help clients optimize their portfolio with the objective of increasing their after tax rate of return. Given my investments into technology, I'm able to quickly make adjustments across all of client's accounts instantly.

At the end of the day, my investment process is based on providing ongoing client education so that they can be confident with what they're invested in. The last thing that I want is for a client to see their statements every month and simply hope their plan is working. I want them to sleep well at night and education can help provide that necessary confidence in the plan that we've created.

As changes are being implemented for a client's portfolio, I let them know the rationality behind it and I encourage questions to be asked every step of the way.

If you're interested in learning more, book a time to speak with me today.

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