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Time for an Upgrade

USA Pacific coast landscape, boardwalk to Leo Carrillo State Beach, Malibu, California.

USA Pacific coast landscape, boardwalk to Leo Carrillo State Beach, Malibu, California.

By Jay Karpen

Following two long and challenging years of COVID, many of us are finally planning our next vacation to a far-off location. We deserve a smooth and safe flight, absent the unforeseen events – delayed flights, uncertain weather, airsick children. Spending time selecting the right travel partner is the best way to ensure a successful trip, just as selecting the right financial partner is the best way to achieve your financial goals and objectives. Would you trust anyone to fly you?

Experience and Credentials Matter

Whether you are selecting a pilot or an airline, you want a partner with the experience, training, and credentials to ensure you arrive safely at your destination. Someone who can leverage their expertise to both properly prepare and guide passengers safely on their journey because even a cloudless day may have pockets of unexpected turbulence.

An experienced financial advisor has that same advantage, drawing on decades of experience working with hundreds of other families to develop financial plans and construct portfolios for all environments – inflationary, high growth, recessions and changing tax regimes. Just as seasoned pilots prepare passengers for rough weather by ascending or descending to smooth elevations, the experienced financial advisor knows how to construct a portfolio that fits the needs and goals of each client’s unique situation – whether that be through investing in durable high-quality stocks and bonds, adding alternative investments or choosing the appropriate asset allocation for the client.

Discount Airlines Are Not Always a Bargain

There is often a temptation to choose a budget airline without evaluating the value proposition. A discount airline may offer a lower sticker price, but the seat may not be as comfortable, and you may end up paying significantly more in fees.

In the world of financial advisors, the same is true. Some financial advisors offer low upfront fees, but have expensive charges on their products (e.g., mutual funds) and ancillary services. Additionally, they do not have the low client to advisor ratio, access to top-tier investments, or client customization that high-end clients deserve. When evaluating financial advisors, selecting a premium transparent financial partner results in a first-class experience with fewer frustrations down the runway.

Turbulence Happens

Although pilots attempt to circumvent turbulence for the comfort of passengers, it is sometimes unavoidable. Fortunately, it is not something to worry about, especially if a pilot provides advance warning so passengers are safely buckled in their seats. Planes are designed to withstand gusts that most people will never experience in their traveling lives; the last turbulence-induced commercial flight crash was in 1966.

Similar to pilots, financial advisors attempt to avoid but expect market volatility. Since 1985, the S&P 500 has experienced a 14% sell-off on average each year. A good financial advisor prepares the client and the portfolio for this volatility, and when it happens, they hop on the “intercom” to reassure passengers, so they do not sell at the worst time, turning a temporary loss into a permanent one. A great financial advisor capitalizes on volatility to opportunistically deploy capital, tax-loss harvest, and utilize estate planning techniques.


We have been through a lot these past few years and deserve that vacation. Why risk a canceled or bumpy ride with a discount airline? Choose the premium option that will not only guide you through the inclement weather but will ensure you and your loved ones comfortably arrive at your financial goals.

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