Our mission has remained consistent since the start of our firm — Provide the very best financial solutions to help our clients achieve their goals. We don’t expect this mission to change in the coming years. We will continue to focus our resources on the needs of individuals rather than businesses or institutions, and we will keep our discipline of not substituting our own personal biases and beliefs for our clients. We will continue to help guide and advise our clients on how to get wherever they want to go, pointing out the good, the bad and the ugly along the way. We will continue to be successful in the marketplace as long as we are experts at what we do, we are remarkably responsive, and we charge fairly for the services we provide.
Our plans involve deciding what we won’t do as much as what we will do. What we will do is continue to improve the planning services (pre-retirement planning, retirement planning, and estate planning, plus our annual planning review meetings) we have developed over these last 15 years. We will continue to improve the two asset management services (mutual funds and exchange traded funds for smaller accounts, and individual stocks and bonds for larger accounts). And, we will continue to refine our tax services to better suit the needs of our clients. In short, we believe that we now have the services our clients need, and we don’t see much change in coming years.
However, we are sensing a growing need to help our clients deal with issues associated with aging and the time demands of aging parents. In this regard, we may begin to provide bill paying services, depending on what our clients tell us. If you have any ideas about how we can help with the “aging” issue, please let us know.
We will continue to avoid the conflict of interest associated with selling financial products (annuities, long term care insurance, life insurance, mutual funds, and many different kinds of investment products). And, we will refrain from diluting our resources and energy on expanding our services outside the needs of our current clients.
We will continue to grow in order to improve the income of our owners and employees and improve the quality and depth of services we deliver to our clients. But, we will limit our growth in order to maintain the close relationships we now have with our clients. We are currently at just under $200 million in assets under management, and we are confident that our existing technology and business model will enable us to grow to $500 million and still operate in the same fashion as we do now, without sacrificing the warm and rewarding relationships we enjoy with our clients. We will absolutely stay away from growing large and becoming impersonal and “too corporate” (thanks Dave). When we can no longer operate in the same rewarding way we will close the door to new business.
I will be full time with BWFA for at least the next 5 years and probably active in the firm after that. Our policies, practices, disciplines and culture are firmly cemented in the talented staff we now have on hand. I expect that the next generation of employee owners will want to own what they have helped to create.
We don’t want to change; we just want to get better and better at what we do.