XY Planning Network is buzzing with more activity than ever, continually updated member benefits, and best of all -- amazing new financial advisors joining as members! Each month, we’re adding more quality advisors to our ranks.
But just who are these advisors, anyway? We’d love to introduce you to some of our members who are doing big things in the financial planning world. You can get to know them and their practices — and hear a bit about why they love being a member of the network.
In the past, we've put the spotlight on PJ Wallin and Eric Roberge. Today, we're talking with Andrew Novick, CFP® JD.
Member Spotlight: Andrew Novick of The Investment Connection
Andrew is an award-winning wealth manager with more than 20 years of experience. He founded The Investment Connection in 2014 in order to provide customized financial planning and investment management services to individuals and families regardless of their net worth, income, or investable assets.
He focuses on helping young, growing families and others seeking the right financial path to meet their specific goals. Andrew understand the importance of the give and take of conversation and communication. He listens, solicits the input of his clients, shares his thoughts, and tests ideas to develop a lasting and beneficial relationship.
XYPN: Can you tell us a little bit about your professional background?
AN: I have a unique background in that I am also at attorney. My first job after college was as a marketing analyst for a large book wholesaler. Although it was a good first job, I wasn’t happy.
The day-to-day duties were dull and I could tell it would take years to work my up the corporate ladder and get more challenging assignments. I felt a law degree would provide the most opportunities – I could either become a practicing attorney or jump ahead faster in the corporate world.
As it turned out, the most interesting opportunity I found after law school was at a regional fee-only investment advisor, where I educated clients on estate planning matters.
While at this firm, I was fascinated by all of the other areas of financial planning, such as investing, retirement, insurance, college, tax, and philanthropy, and eventually got my CFP certification. I’ve spent 20 years working at fee-only investment advisors firms before I opened my own firm and can’t imagine why anyone would work in the alternate universe of commissions.
XYPN: How long have you owned your own practice?
AN: After being part of larger advisory firms for the past 20 years, I was excited to venture out on my own in 2014. I’m really looking forward to running my own firm so things can get done my way… which of course is the right way!
XYPN: Were you given any advice when you started your firm that still sticks with you today?
AN: If you treat your clients like they are your family or friends, you treat them differently…. better. You forge more caring relationships and this comes across to the client.
Of course, you still have to give clients good advice, but if you truly care about their well-being, your clients will trust you and stick with you.
XYPN: What's your favorite piece of technology to use in your business?
AN: I love the Internet. Virtually all of my critical systems are maintained in the cloud.
This ranges from my computer file storage, to placing trades and handling administrative issues with client accounts, to my portfolio performance reporting system, to my investment and financial planning research tools, to exchanging signed documents with clients, to conducting meetings via video chat.
With my laptop or cell phone, I can conduct business anywhere I can access the Internet.
XYPN: What services do you provide clients you work with?
AN: I offer both ongoing investment management and financial planning services. My planning services are totally custom. I don’t use any prepackaged products. This may not be the most efficient, but it allows me to show the client exactly what I feel is important.
I have a stock model as well as a low-cost ETF that can be tailored to the goals and risk tolerance of each client. Both models are offered on a discretionary or non-discretionary basis. Many advisors don’t offer non-discretionary relationships anymore, but I’ve found that there are always some clients who want to retain decision-making control over trading activity in their accounts and I want to accommodate these clients.
Both models can also be modified to incorporate alternatives or a socially responsible component. I believe that certain areas of the markets are efficient, so a relatively passive or index approach is appropriate.
At the same time, I feel alternatives can provide exposure to specialized strategies or niche areas of the market and have a positive effect on risk/reward. I only use mutual funds or ETFs in the alternative space – no hedge funds - to keep fees down and ensure daily liquidity.
Socially responsible investing (also known as SRI or Impact Investing), where favorable environmental, social and governance criteria are factored into security selection, has particular appeal to those who want to invest with a purpose. I really enjoy helping clients navigate into these special investment areas.
XYPN: If you could only give a few tidbits of financial advice to your clients, what would that advice be?
AN: I’ll give you 2 pieces of advice:
- Start saving now. There is no time to wait. Even if you can only save a little, it is important to get started. If you think you can wait because there will be time to save extra later and catch-up, you are probably mistaken.
- Hope for the best, but plan for the worst. If you don’t have a plan, your family can find themselves in a tough situation.
XYPN: What's your favorite part about working with Gen X and Gen Y clients?
AN: I love helping all people address their personal financial concerns. I particularly like working with young families because they have to start making big financial decisions. This includes looking at how much to save for their children’s college education and their own retirement as well as addressing life insurance and estate planning.
Unfortunately, too many are hesitant to get started and wind-up doing nothing. I feel that I’m quite good at explaining my financial planning recommendations in a way that is convincing enough to encourage action.
XYPN: What's your favorite thing about XY Planning Network?
AN: I love the fact that the advisors in XYPN are generally young, energetic, and eager to help not only their clients, but also help other XYPN advisors.
Most of us are in a solo practice and having other advisors act as a sounding board for ideas and to share best practices makes belonging to the group especially rewarding.