There are many types of firms that offer investment advice and asset management services. Many of these firms offer a limited set of services to a large number of people. Other firms try to be everything to everyone and offer a wide variety of services to a wide range of people. A good example of this is a commercial bank that offers banking, loans, mortgages, investments, and insurance all under one roof. It’s easy to feel lost in a crowd at large firms that don’t really know you.
What makes us different than large investment firms is the personal attention we give to every single client. We know our clients very well. We are true financial consultants who spend the time necessary to understand you and what it is you are trying to accomplish. Our recommendations are aligned with your objectives.
We get this question a lot. The term “Financial Advisor” is used very loosely in the financial planning and investment industry. A financial advisor is a professional who advises a client to some degree regarding their finances. This is a very broad and general description. A financial advisor may include professionals with various licenses such as your accountant, your insurance agent, etc. There are other people without any licenses at all who also call themselves financial advisors such as your banker, a bookkeeper, etc.
A “Financial Planner”, on the other hand, is a type of financial advisor who is specifically trained in helping their clients manage their finances. Financial planners may have specialties in investments, estate planning, taxation, insurance, or a combination of many areas. NAPFA, the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, claims there are more than 100 certifications available that a financial advisor might attain.
The highest, and most recognized, certification in the financial advisory industry is the Certified Financial Planner™ designation.
Don Larson has been a Certified Financial Planner™ since 2002. Certified Financial Planner™ professionals abide by a strict code of ethics when providing financial planning services to their clients. In everything we do we are committed to acting with integrity, acting in our clients’ best interest, serving in a competent and professional manner, avoiding conflicts of interest, and protecting the privacy of client information. More information can be found at https://www.cfp.net.
Don Larson graduated from Arizona State University with a B.S. degree in Finance in 1998. He obtained his M.B.A. (also from Arizona State University) in 2012.
Our services fall into three main planning areas.
- Comprehensive Financial Plan. This is where we assess your overall financial situation and determine what strategies you will need to implement in order to achieve your specific objectives. Every client situation is unique and so the strategies recommended may be unique as well.
- Asset Management. We are experienced investment management professionals. You may hire us to directly manage your investment accounts. You can rest assured that you have competent and skilled professionals investing your funds in a way that will meet your objectives over time. We will make periodic changes to your portfolio as market conditions change. At all times we will make sure your investments fit within risk parameters that you have agreed to at the outset of your engagement with us. We manage for maximum growth given the constraints of also controlling downside risk. We will communicate often with you regarding the progress of your portfolio and make changes as needed after consulting with you.
- No financial plan is truly complete without having an asset protection plan in place. The most effective way to avoid catastrophic interruptions to your family or company’s financial well-being is to insure against risk. After a thorough review of your circumstances and objectives we may recommend one or more insurance strategies. We are licensed to sell life, health, and disability insurance only. We do not sell commercial insurance or property & casualty (home & auto) insurance. Our objective is to help our clients use the most effective insurance product at the lowest cost to them. Insurance can be a very effective and creative planning tool to manage cash flow, control & limit taxation, and pay large obligations you may have.
All financial planning activities are covered by our fiduciary responsibility to ALWAYS do what is in our clients’ best interest.
Our services are provided according to a written service agreement that specifies the nature of the service and the fee or compensation related to the service. The fee arrangements fall into three main categories:
- Comprehensive Financial Plan reviews and limited-scope analysis services are provided on a flat-fee basis.
- Ongoing Asset Management services are subject to a fee-based arrangement. We charge a percentage of the assets placed under our management. In this arrangement our goals are aligned with yours. We want to grow your portfolio in an appropriate way so you meet your needs. Our fee will also grow over time as we help you achieve your objectives. Our fee does decrease on a percentage basis as your portfolio grows.
- The insurance companies dictate that commissions are paid to those who sell their products. We do receive a commission from the insurance company if we sell a life, disability, or other health-related insurance product.
Regardless of the service provided and the compensation we may receive, all financial planning activities are covered by our fiduciary responsibility to ALWAYS do what is in our clients’ best interest.
Larson Wealth Management, LLC is an independent advisor. We work directly for our clients and are paid directly by our clients. This is true for all of our services with the exception of insurance products, which are commission-based arrangements dictated by the insurance companies we work with. All fees and commission arrangements are disclosed up front so there are no surprises.
All services are governed by a service agreement. The service agreement will describe the service provided and the compensation we will receive for the service provided. Don Larson, CFP® will oversee all of your interactions with Larson Wealth Management. At the present time he is the only Certified Financial Planner™ professional you will work with.
At the present time we hold our client accounts at TradePMR, Inc. TradePMR provides highly rated custodial and portfolio advisory services exclusively to independent investment advisory firms like Larson Wealth Management. They do not provide investment services to the general public and do not compete with independent advisors. Their focus is solely to provide independent advisory firms with the tools necessary to efficiently serve their clients. More information can be found at www.tradepmr.com.
Don Larson, CFP® began his career in March 1999 at Charles Schwab Inc. where he obtained his Series 7 and 63 securities licenses. He helped numerous clients navigate the recession of 2000-2003 following bursting of the dot-com bubble of the 1990s. In 2003 he left the brokerage industry and was a co-founder of Steele Larson Anderson Wealth Management (SLA) in Gilbert, AZ. SLA was an independent advisory firm that provided complex planning services to high-income and high-net worth clients. While there, he helped his clients avoid much of the steep market losses in 2007-2008. Don Larson fulfilled his dream of owning his own independent advisory firm when he formed Larson Wealth Management in 2011.
Above all, you should want to work with an educated, experienced, and trusted professional. Don Larson, CFP® has proven over his 20+ year career that he has the knowledge and skills to recommend the right financial strategies for you. More importantly, Don is honest and fair with his clients. He will provide an unbiased view of your situation and what is needed to make your plan work.
We work strictly on a consultative basis. This means we do not have any pre-existing agenda when we first meet and discuss your situation and your needs. It is not our objective to sell a particular product or service to you. Our objective is to listen to you and understand your situation. We will conduct a thorough assessment of what you want to accomplish and then recommend strategies to help you do it. Every recommendation we make is based on your needs, not ours. We want to be a member of your Financial Team and a trusted partner along your journey to financial success. We will not accomplish our objective if we are simply trying to push a product or service.
Every client is important to us. Some are large in terms of wealth and income, some are not. What our clients have in common is that they are actively working towards financial goals and realize that they can get there faster by engaging competent professionals to help them.
If there is such thing as a “typical” client then it would be a normal, everyday family that has a significant source of self-employment income that causes complications when it comes to taxes, cash flow, and retirement planning.
Our skills and competencies are adequate for very high-net worth families seeking to protect assets from excessive taxation as well as distribute wealth to future generations. Our services can also help young families in need of a plan to pay off debts and reach financial independence.
Larson Wealth Management has a policy of maintaining a low client-to-advisor ratio. We believe the advisor’s time should be spent serving the client’s needs as opposed to constantly prospecting for new clients. We currently serve about 200 families. We will hire additional Certified Financial Planner™ professionals as needed to make sure each advisor has adequate time to focus on their clients.
At the time you hire Larson Wealth Management to manage your investment portfolio we will create an Investment Policy Statement that dictates the types of strategies we will use for your investments. The Investment Policy Statement will specify when we need to ask for permission to make changes to your portfolio. In general, we do not need to obtain permission each time we make a rebalancing or other tactical trade. We do need permission to make a change to the overall strategy or risk level of your portfolio.
In general, it is illegal for any asset management firm to guarantee the performance of any type of security, investment strategy, trading platform, or management service. We are unable to guarantee the results of any investment service we provide. Investment returns fluctuate over time, which is one reason why we like to communicate often with our clients about their investment portfolio. Changes to investment plans are sometimes necessary and it is better to find out about those sooner rather than later.
We believe almost everyone would benefit by using a trusted financial professional to assist them in their endeavor to reach their financial objectives. Studies have shown that investors achieve greater, and more consistent, returns when they work closely with a financial advisor. Part of the reason is that a financial advisor helps remove the emotions that can lead to bad investment choices. Another reason is that financial advisors have experiences that help them navigate the ups and downs of the stock market.
We encourage every client to build a Financial Team. Having a coordinated team in place will help you make better financial decisions by understanding how your choices will impact various parts of your overall finances. We work proactively with your CPA/tax professional, insurance professional, estate plan attorney, and other professionals to make sure your financial activities are coordinated properly.
The rule of thumb is about 4% – 5%. However, there are people who need to take larger withdrawals due to limited retirement resources.
Once you leave your employer you have a few choices to make. You could leave your retirement balance in their plan. But why would you want to? By rolling over your balance into a Rollover IRA you still get the tax deferral on the growth. What you also gain is the ability to invest for growth while also protecting your funds from huge downside risk. In addition, a Rollover IRA offers a much greater variety of investment options. If you choose to have us manage those funds then we can make sure your 401(k) balance is invested in a way that coordinates with your other investments.
Yes. Part of our initial evaluation is to review your income sources, current assets, and your debts. We can help you determine which debts are productive for you and which ones are truly wasting your money. We really love to help people find ways to eliminate debt so they can retire sooner and with greater cash flow.
As a Certified Financial Planner™ professional, Don Larson is duty bound to protect your identity and sensitive financial information.
If you are committed to following a plan of action to save, invest, and pay off debts on a regular basis then the chances are already good that you will reach your goals. There are some other variables that we will need to evaluate as well. Our Financial Plan service will determine your retirement readiness and/or other specific financial goals you have. If you’re not on track we will show you what you can do to reach your goal.
Being financially fit means having your finances in good order. Not necessarily perfect order, but in good shape overall. It means practicing good habits such as having a proactive budget that directs funds to proper places and making other good decisions on a consistent basis. It also means having a goal in mind that you actively work to achieve. If your finances are not in good shape, don’t give up. We can help get you in shape and prepared for your best future!
The first step is to meet for a no-obligation consultation. We will discuss your goals, your current resources, and evaluate what is stopping you from reaching those goals. We will then recommend a plan of action that will include actionable items that you can implement. Our service agreements will provide details on what services we will provide and what compensation we will receive.
We are a fee for service firm. We bill our clients directly for the services we perform for them. We do not receive any commissions from any investment services or products that we recommend. We operate according to a service agreement that specifies our fees. Clients can pay us in a variety of ways (direct bill, debit from investment account, or by credit card.
The only exception to this policy is when we sell a life, health, or disability insurance policy. Insurance companies pay a commission to the agency responsible for the transaction. The commission is set by the insurance company and are competitive with other insurance companies.
We look at the whole picture of our clients’ situation. We want to understand the complete situation so can understand how our recommendations will impact the different areas of your finances. For instance, all financial strategies have some kind of tax ramification. With a proper understanding of your finances we can make sure our recommendations help you avoid unnecessary tax liabilities.
Don Larson, CFP® is the portfolio manager for our clients’ investment assets. He recommends the investment strategies to be used by our clients and is responsible for ensuring that the investments match the investment plan.
We are able to use almost all investment products that trade on organized securities exchanges such as the New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq, etc. We primarily use passive index funds to build the core of a client portfolio. We combine the index funds with some actively managed growth funds and even some short-term trading strategies to maximize growth over time. The investment products we use to build a portfolio can include index mutual funds, actively managed stock or bond funds, exchange traded funds (ETF), individual stocks, etc.
Our philosophy is to be available as often as you want to meet. Typically, we will meet more frequently in the beginning of our relationship. It’s not unusual for newer clients to meet with us several times per year in the first year. Once a client is familiar with us and our ways of doing business, they may feel comfortable meeting less often. We will proactively ask to meet with you and you can accept the meeting invitation or postpone it for a later time.
Don Larson, CFP® formed Larson Wealth Management, LLC in 2011. Prior to this, he was a Partner of Steele Larson Anderson Wealth Management from 2003-2011. Don is happy to have his own independent advisory firm that is dedicated to serving people who want to work with an experienced Certified Financial Planner™ professional.
Absolutely. Our fee for service model allows us to work with younger individuals who are not yet high-net worth. Our goal is to help you become high-net worth. If that is your goal as well, we should be able to work well together.