How can you tell the difference between the 300,000 people in the United States who offer financial advice for a living?
Here are specific ways we separate ourselves from the crowd:
The Financial Life Inspection®
Most advisors are eager to invest your money or sell you insurance products without putting in the time or effort necessary to completely understand your financial needs. We believe that a prescription without a thorough diagnosis is malpractice. Featured in the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Life Inspection® is our unique and proprietary service that provides a comprehensive analysis of your entire financial life. Our team of professionals at Pacific Capital analyzes 100 important financial checkpoints for you. Every Financial Life Inspection® includes personal feedback and recommendations that you will discuss together with our financial experts. Our advice and recommendations aren't made until after we understand your financial goals and concerns and have completed The Financial Life Inspection®.
Independent and Transparent
Over half of ‘financial advisors’ are really just stockbrokers or sales agents for a bank, brokerage or insurance company. They've got to answer to layers of management and even shareholders of the big company. This structure may often create a gap between your goals and the goals of the bank or brokerage firm. On the flip side, Pacific Capital is independent and privately owned. At Pacific Capital, we draw from the research and resources of large Wall Street firms without pressure to sell you their products. Our independence from corporate bias and sales quotas is a direct benefit to you because our advice and costs are transparent.
Most advisors get paid commissions from investment transactions and get incentives with higher commissions to sell investment products from their company’s menu. You're probably aware of a lot of the "pay to play" arrangements in the financial services industry. Conversely, Pacific Capital earns a flat rate for our financial advice and wealth management services and you don't pay us commissions for investment trades or transactions. Our wealth advice is objective, transparent and aimed to protect and grow your net worth rather than reach a year-end bonus or sales quota.
Pacific Capital utilizes a secure, online portal to store and protect your most important financial documents. Access to these records is not only convenient for you, but it may also allow your designated family members to obtain the information they need should something happen to you or your spouse. Pacific Capital also has a comprehensive business continuity plan and cybersecurity plan to help protect your information and also keep business running smoothly in the event of an emergency.
Social Security Experts
As of mid-2017, fewer than 30 Financial Advisors in the state of California are certified National Social Security Advisors®. Not surprisingly, many people miss out on tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars by not understanding and properly claiming their Social Security income benefits. A good portion of your guaranteed future income may come from Social Security. One of those 30 certified Social Security experts works here at Pacific Capital and will help guide you to maximizing your retirement income.
Fewer Clients, Wealthier Clients
Most advisors work individually with between 500 and 1,000 clients without regard to portfolio size. Pacific Capital limits full-time portfolio management services to an exclusive list of high-net-worth clients with a minimum of $1 million to invest. We understand the complex needs of wealthy clients and are able to give personal attention to each family we serve. If your assets are not yet at that level, we are still able to offer you financial planning and investment recommendations (through your Financial Life Inspection®) without you transferring your portfolio into our management.
Most advisors invest your money without addressing strategies for your liquidity and borrowing needs. Pacific Capital helps clients manage both sides of the balance sheet by coordinating personal and business lending to make a positive impact on their bottom line. Your Financial Life Inspection® thoroughly addresses how to best handle your liabilities. You directly benefit from having wealth management advice that considers your entire balance sheet and income statement and makes consideration for your liquidity needs.
Benchmark the Beach House
Many advisors lure you in with promises of high and unrealistic investment returns or with claims their crystal ball will help your investments do better than market benchmarks year after year. From our perspective, your success comes as you achieve your financial and life goals, which goes beyond just “beating the market.” We don't spend our conversations with you reviewing arbitrary charts and graphs and talking about forecasting different market benchmarks. Our focus is on you and your top priorities. Your Financial Life Inspection® will tell you the probabilities of success in a variety of economic environments and help you gauge how on track you are to "buying your beach house."
Many advisors focus on collecting new customers to sell them a predetermined investment product. Pacific Capital serves you as a consulting team using a goal-oriented process with consistent client reviews and service outreach. We are typically the first phone call when you have an important financial decision to make. We are relationship-based rather than product-based and become an essential partner in planning for and making your important life decisions.
Bureaucracy and competing interests at shareholder-owned megabanks can prevent or impede the personal service experience that you deserve. Pacific Capital strives to give you a Ritz-Carlton service experience with Fed-Ex efficiency alongside the stability of a world-class custodian firm in Charles Schwab Institutional. While we do not work for Charles Schwab, we appreciate the client-centered service approach, the safe custody of assets, and the low pricing we can offer you through Schwab.