Financial Architects - December 2019

DECEMBER 2019

www.financialarch.com

888-466-5453

FROM ADVISOR TO ARCHITECT Mike Kucera on the FAI Difference

From the outside, many people might think that “Architect” is just our fancy

collapse. You need to ensure every piece of the puzzle, from foundation to load-bearing steel beams, fit together to support one another at the outset. That’s exactly how FAI looks at financial health for individuals, families, and small business owners. But this change in thinking wasn’t the only way that FAI broadened my horizons. This firm has shown me what a difference having an incredible support team by your side can make. I can’t give our support team enough credit. They are incredible when it comes to helping us Architects help you. Thanks to their coordination and focus on the details from new business to servicing existing relationships, I’ve been able to give our clients far more personal attention than I would have thought possible as a solo practitioner. I think I speak for all our Architects when I say we’re eternally grateful for our support team’s hard work and dedication. Thanks to them, we can focus on what we do best. That brings me to the other big difference between advisors and Financial Architects: the way we work as a team. In my previous role, every advisor was basically a silo — we all assisted and served our own clients and did our best with our experience and industry knowledge. This “pre-Architect” service model forced many of us to become “advisor generalists.” We each had to be ready to handle all planning scenarios for our clients. As a team member of FAI, we

focus on building our own unique abilities and skillsets while trying to improve our client’s outcomes. We believe FAI’s approach makes far more sense. Financial Architects encourages teamwork while respecting how we each have the choice of selecting our teammates. When a client has a niche need or could benefit from a specialized skill set, we help one another out. For example, I can be brought in to assist my teammates with trust accounts, IRA rollovers, and basically anything else that falls under the umbrella of asset management. In the same way, I can turn to Architects I trust with a strong background in protection to make sure my own clients have the best risk reduction strategies in place. Put simply, becoming an Architect over 15 years ago has built my confidence. Thanks to FAI’s holistic, team-oriented approach, I’m able to provide far more value to my clients than I ever could as an advisor without our support team and associate Architects. The top benefit of this team approach has been my ability to spend more time with my wife Lynda and our three daughters Helena, Caroline, and Keely. Our family likes golf, basketball, and vacationing in Vero Beach. From our family to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! 888-466-5453 – Mike Kucera

word for financial advisor. That’s essentially what I thought when I came to FAI back in 2004. I’d been a financial advisor at several other firms, including my own firm for 12 years at that point — how different could being a Financial Architect be? As I soon learned, quite a lot. Being a traditional advisor, my sole focus was on portfolio construction. Sure, I had my eye on my client’s investment objectives and risk tolerance but wasn’t seeing the bigger picture. FAI, instead, takes a far more holistic approach. Coming to this firm, I was shown how investments need to be coordinated with protection, such as life and disability insurance. It’s not enough to manage the risk of individual retirement plans and portfolios — to really build a stable financial future, you have to manage the risks faced by the clients themselves. This shift in thinking is what defines a Financial Architect. Like the name suggests, we draw up blueprints for our clients, striving to build their wealth. It’s a fitting metaphor: In architecture, you can’t just focus on one room at a time in the hopes of building a home. That’s a recipe for an unstable, mismatched building that might

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