Financial planning turned into a second career for Ed Weimer and Stan Charping.
Each worked for AG Edwards prior to co-founding Alliance Financial Partners (AFP) five years ago this April. Charping and Weimer share a client first mentality centered on education to empower individuals.
“I got into this business to help people because I saw among other things that people were very ill-prepared going forward in planning for their retirement or really anything else they had going on in their life,” Weimer said.
Charping ran a mobile home business for 20 years. His first true taste of the financial world came when that avenue went downhill.
A chance phone call altered the AFP co-founder’s career path toward investment advising with AG Edwards as well.
“The bottom line was I really thought that this was something I could enjoy doing helping people,” Charping said. “We don’t get this education in school. There is so much misinformation out there.”
AFP runs its practice with “education in mind,” according to Weimer.
The partners shopped around with several firms and settled on ING Financial Partners as their best fit for due diligence.
“We are independent. ING is our broker dealer,” Weimer said. “That simply means that we run our business through them. They are an extra set of eyes.”
Charping said the “autonomy” sets AFP apart locally.
“We have a tremendous menu of products and services, but we also have zero mandates to use anybody’s product or drive any commissions,” he said. “If we want to work for free, we can. We don’t have anybody to answer to except us. We never wanted to sit across from somebody and be looking at a dollar sign on their forehead.”
AFP’s planning starts with a one-hour meeting identifying personal goals.
“The clients are our employer, and we treat them that way,” Charping said. “We want to be your partner not your broker.”
Stock market lows and highs shouldn’t affect long term planning. Diverse assets provide protection and peace of mind.
Staying out of one asset class removes most of the volatility, according to Weimer and Charping.
People often lack a real financial plan instead relying on a broad undisciplined approach.
“It’s been a real eye opener for these individuals,” Weimer said. “Our process is to put clients in a position to be educated enough to buy an investment rather than be sold and investment.”
Financial plans exist on a continuum, changing from year to year as life undoubtedly does.
Most working folks have money in a 401k that’s the largest personal asset other than their home.
Tucking money away when beginning full-time career makes the process easier decades down the line. Don’t fall into the “I’ll worry about retirement when I’m 40” mentality.
Weimer recently learned that half of Americans have $10,000 or less saved for retirement.
Though AFP is a full-service firm, the financial planner focus on retirement readiness. It’s impossible to plot your course too early.
“For those within five years of retirement, you need to be talking with somebody,” Charping said. “If you’ve grown money, what you can potentially do at that point in time to secure the outcome that you are looking for can be accomplished.”
AFP works quietly and earnestly. The business continues growing because of that honest model.
“There are no two investors that are exactly alike. That’s why it’s important to sit down and find out what they are about,” Weimer said.
A free consultation will send an individual in the right direction even if not with AFP. The financial truth isn’t always shiny and clean.
“We try to tell the whole story,” Charping said.
The firm operates at 112 Wright Drive Suite A. Call the office at 478-453-7526 or visit www.alliancefp.com.