My family moved here from Massachusetts early in my childhood but Punta Gorda has always been my hometown. I remember starting to tell people that I wanted to be a financial advisor while I was working at the local pizza shop after high school, so this job really is a dream come true for me.
I worked my way through Edison Community College and Florida Gulf Coast University, majoring in finance with a concentration in investments. Working in a fitness center, I met Michael Landsberg. He saw how hard I was working to put myself through college and my interest in finance. When his intern left, he offered me the position. Soon after, he asked me to join the firm as his full-time assistant.
The best part of working at Landsberg Bennett is our commitment to always being here for our clients and getting to know them so well that they become like family. At work, it feels like being with my family—that’s how closely we work as a team.
Planning is the heart of what we do at Landsberg Bennett and our financial planning tool is central to our process. The plan is an active workshop-like program that’s visual and easy to understand, and strives to give our clients a vision – often for the first time – of where they’re going, whether they’re spending too much or whether they could actually be spending more. In my opinion it’s so much easier to correct these habits when you’re65 than when you’re 80.
When beginning a client relationship, we lead with the financial planning process, asking “What’s important to you? What are you trying to accomplish?” The financial plan includes information about life and long-term care insurance, Social Security, expected longevity. For couples, we insist on involving both spouses, which often uncovers divergent goals, gets them talking, and makes for a deeper and more productive conversation.
Our role is to try to play devil’s advocate, probing for weaknesses or problems so we can fix them. We feel clients end up feeling better about their goals: I can take that Alaska trip, I can fly first-class more often, I can contribute to my grandkids’ college funds. Having the financial plan reports available to clients online helps reinforce their goals and that they’re investing for a reason.
I really look forward to speaking with our clients every day and helping them find strategies for any problems they may have.
It’s also fulfilling to help take away clients’ stress and anxiety around day-to-day financial management, and building their trust in us to take good care of them.