Over the years, people have asked why I left the cushy corner office, annual company stock bonuses, the prestigious reward trips and awards banquets associated with the big brand-name bank. That's a great question! It was a decision that was made very thoughtfully and after much research and consideration. To be clear, I am grateful for the training as well as the many wonderful people I met during my 9 years there. However, in time, our clients and I felt the pain of the bureaucracy and the pressures to focus on bank-driven rather than client-driven priorities. As technology in our industry kept improving, doors opened for advisors like me to leave the nest of the big bank and become an independent fiduciary.
On 11/11/11, I left and officially became a fiduciary advisor for clients under the name of my company, Pacific Capital. As a privately-owned company, Pacific Capital is not bound by the bureaucracy or shareholder agendas of the large Wall Street investment banks. We are able to draw from their resources without the pressure to sell you their products and services. Today's wealthy families prefer independent advisors because of our transparency, flexibility and objectivity. We don't get paid commissions or sales loads from the investments in your accounts, so you can feel comfortable knowing that our incentives are in line with your goals.
One thing in our industry that has always bothered me is the transaction-oriented approach to giving financial advice. Too often people are getting advice to buy specific investments or insurance products without a complete understanding of the rest of their financial life. In my opinion, prescription, before thorough diagnosis, is malpractice. Clients are skeptical of financial advisors because they've been burned before and don't want to be taken advantage of. They worry about getting sold for the sake of a commission. Within the framework of freedom and independence, our team worked on the solution that is changing the way financial advice is given.
Featured in the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Life Inspection® is our unique and proprietary service which provides a comprehensive analysis of your entire financial life. This process gives you a personal financial recommendations from a team of independent and certified financial professionals. It covers so much more than the vast majority of financial plans available, which are often just aimed towards a product sale or transaction. The Financial Life Inspection® is offered at a flat rate, regardless of your wealth level, and there is no obligation to implement financial recommendations or invest any money with Pacific Capital.
Many clients who have received their Financial Life Inspection® choose to hire us for investment management services. Coming from a large and well-known company, I wanted to make sure that our clients had the peace of mind of working with an established financial institution to hold their funds, which is why we chose Charles Schwab. Schwab has over $1.7 Trillion in assets under management and is recognized as one of the "World's Most Admired Companies," in large part to their outstanding customer service. We appreciate Schwab's client-centered approach, the safe asset custody, the open investment menu and competitive pricing. Our professional affiliations provide clients with access to the world's financial markets, investment expertise and credibility needed to reach their financial goals.
Many of our clients accumulated large sums of wealth through businesses they have owned. It's nice to sit on the same side of the table as a business owner, facing the same challenges as they do in achieving their goals. Who better to provide guidance and support than a professional team that has walked, and continues to walk, in your shoes? We are founded on the principle that true independence from corporate bias and sales quotas brings higher quality advice and service to our clients. Looking back, I wouldn't have done it any other way. Our team is able to use our depth of industry experience in a very personal way to help clients achieve their hopes and dreams. I'm thankful to our clients and friends who have supported our growth as we've become a leader in the financial planning industry.