Arakelian Wealth Management Welcomes Jane Levine to their Growing Practice

Arakelian Wealth Management (AWM) is proud to welcome Jane Levine, CFP® as the newest advisor to their organization. AWM is an affiliated office of LPL Financial based in San Ramon, California, and seamlessly services clients throughout California and several states throughout the country.

While 2020 has been a struggle for many offices, it has proved to be a banner year for Stuart Arakelian of AWM. With their new corporate office in San Ramon and a growing client base, AWM was ready to add to their team. Over his 35 years in the business, Danville resident and active community member Arakelian has been recognized as a Chairman’s Club* advisor by LPL, along with numerous other company and industry awards throughout his career. AWM prides themselves in delivering a truly holistic and comprehensive approach to their financial planning, and as they searched for an advisor, Arakelian knew they wanted the presence of a seasoned female advisor who shared this perspective on their team.

With 36 years of industry experience, Levine provided the insight and integrity they sought. “Like AWM, Levine had a concentrated number of households to which she holds strong, committed relationships,” Arakelian stated. “We knew she’d be the ideal fit.” Levine, fellow Danville resident and past President of the East Bay Financial Planning Association, spent 13 years at Washington Gas Light and attained the positions of Director of Investor Relations, and Pension Plan Oversight, reporting to the CFO. After moving to New Jersey in 1983, she gained experience in stock brokerage, insurance, and financial planning. Eventually obtaining her CFP® designation, she moved to California in 1995 and became affiliated with LPL. Levine says that she chose LPL Financial for their independence, allowing her to serve her clients best.

Both Arakelian and Levine are existing members of The Financial Services Network, a business support organization providing resources to independent financial advisors. Leveraging The Network’s investment management expertise, AWM has the opportunity to expand clearing relationships with additional custodians such as Schwab, TD, and Fidelity to provide further options for their clients. They also appreciate The Network’s strong relationship with LPL and their ability to act as advocates on behalf of their practice and clients.

Christopher Mercado, Managing Partner of The Financial Services Network, said, “The Network is thrilled by the union of Arakelian and Levine. We have no doubt that their expertise and commitment will only further enhance and support their clients’ experience.”

With the union of the two veteran advisors, AWM is better poised than ever to deliver on the mission statement, “Mindful, comprehensive financial advice is a fundamental need for everyone. We allow our clients to focus on their life’s priorities while we diligently support them at every stage to guide and help ensure that their financial aspirations ultimately become reality.”

The Financial Services Network (The Network) http://www.fsnweb.com, is a national enterprise office (OSJ) and multi-custodial hybrid RIA with over $18B under advisement across the organization. Assets are custodied at their affiliated broker/dealer – LPL Financial, and/or their custodial partners, including LPL Financial, Schwab, Fidelity, and TD Ameritrade. Strategic Wealth Advisors Group (SWAG) is The Network’s wholly owned RIA with over $4.5B in assets under management. The Network supports advisors who are independent and affiliate traditionally with an independent broker/dealer (for both brokerage and advisory business through the corporate RIA) through their OSJ model. The Network’s hybrid RIA, SWAG, also supports advisors who manage a Fee Only/RIA Only business as well as those in need of a Hybrid RIA.

*LPL’s Chairman’s Club distinction is awarded to less than 5% of LPL advisors nationwide

The consultants of The Financial Services Network are registered representatives with, and securities are offered through, LPL Financial, member FINRA/SIPC. Fee-based investment advisory services may be offered through Strategic Wealth Advisors Group (SWAG) or LPL Financial. Neither SWAG nor The Financial Services Network are affiliated with LPL Financial. Schwab, Fidelity and TD Ameritrade are separate entities from LPL Financial.

The financial consultants of Arakelian Wealth Management are registered representatives with, and securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Strategic Wealth Advisors Group, LLC a registered investment advisor. Strategic Wealth Advisors Group, LLC and Arakelian Wealth Management are separate entities from LPL Financial.

*Based on prior business and represents assets that would have been custodied at LPL Financial, rather than third-party custodians. Reported assets and client numbers have not been independently and fully verified by LPL Financial.

Long Term Care Awareness

November is Long Term Care Awareness month, and many of our advisors are taking the opportunity to reexamine how the service can benefit both their clients and their practice. While according to Lincoln Financial Group, 72% of Americans believe they would not be able to provide adequate care for a loved one, and 99% of advisors agree that families should establish a plan for long-term care (LTC) before they actually need it, many offices admit LTC falls off their radar. Brad Marshall from Marshall Wealth Management Group, and Kevin Swanson of Potentia Wealth feel this is a major oversight.

“People save for their entire lives, and it’s tragic to see that savings go so quickly. Care is extraordinarily expensive,” Marshall said. “Most LTC also has death benefits, so the money isn’t lost if it’s not used for care. It’s a no brainer: buy early enough, you can significantly multiply your money. Not to mention, the peace of mind our clients gain by having a solid plan is priceless.”

“I watched my grandmother with dementia quickly deplete her life savings trying to find adequate care” Swanson stated. “The impact it had on my parents as the burden for her care fell to them when her assets were gone was astronomical on both a fiscal and emotional level.”

When it comes to advising his clients, Swanson said, “I have seen the fear in a healthy spouse’s eyes when they consider the weight of caring for an aging spouse, and the guilt for having that fear. I have also seen the empowerment of independence that having a proper LTC policy in place gives our clients knowing that they can provide for themselves. In our office, we have made LTC part of every planning discussion.”

When asked why he thinks LTC is important to offer for your business, Marshall stated that it’s a “huge value differentiator. It also opens conversations between friends and family, providing opportunities for referrals and multigenerational clients.”

For tips on how to add LTC as part of your offerings, he advises: “Start small. Work with the support at the insurance companies and have them run some hypotheticals. Look at unproductive cash, or non-producing assets.” Ultimately, he notes, “Clients are thinking about it, and your clients are other advisors’ prospects, so better learn it quick. It’s easier than you think.”

The Financial Services Network Welcomes Janelle O’Brien of Hyacinth Capital

The Financial Services Network (The Network), along with LPL Financial, is pleased to announce that Janelle O’Brien has joined both LPL and The Network’s group of advisors. O’Brien’s company, Hyacinth Capital, is an independent financial planning firm based in Burbank, California. 

With nearly two decades of industry experience, O’Brien’s professional background has been anything but traditional. Before finance, she spent 20 years as a classical violinist and 12 with the prestigious Kansas City Symphony, where she developed the discipline, structure, and resilience needed to play an instrument with precision. With a life-long passion for the markets and investing, this discipline allowed for a natural shift towards independent financial advising, where both diligence and creativity are key.

Today, her dedication is realized in the quality of work she brings to her practice, centered on “bespoke portfolios,” a financial plan developed based on the desires and needs of an individual. O’Brien is committed to treating every client like they are exceptional. “I’ve never looked at a client and thought about them as a statement,” she said. “I never want them to feel like they are a demographic. I want them to know that what they have is unique.” Because of this, her move to LPL Financial, the nation’s largest independent broker-dealer, was another clear choice. “The way I work is so high touch,” she explained. “LPL allows you to conduct business the way you want to do business.”

While change is rarely easy, partnering with The Financial Services Network made all the difference.  “With all the variables of moving a practice, there’s enough that can go wrong. I was so well prepared, right out of the gate, with the right tools. The Network gave me the kind of service that I like to give to my clients,” O’Brien said.  And with the transition well underway, O’Brien has been humbled by the outpouring of loyalty from her clients.  Excited by the opportunity to deliver the client-centric, customized strategies that best fit those with whom she works, O’Brien is eagerly welcoming this new chapter.   

Christopher Mercado, Managing Partner and Chief Investment Strategist of The Network, said “We couldn’t be happier to have Janelle on board with both The Network and LPL Financial. She has an empathy and dedication to her clients mixed with an enthusiasm for growth that is well matched by both The Network and LPL’s independent model.”   

The Financial Services Network (The Network) http://www.fsnweb.com, is a national enterprise office (OSJ) and multi-custodial hybrid RIA with over $18B under advisement across the organization. Assets are custodied at their affiliated broker/dealer – LPL Financial, and/or their custodial partners, including LPL Financial, Schwab, Fidelity, and TD Ameritrade.

The consultants of The Financial Services Network are registered representatives with, and securities are offered through, LPL Financial, member FINRA/SIPC. The Financial Services Network and LPL Financial are separate entities.

Janelle O’Brien is a registered representative with and securities and Advisory services offered through LPL Financial. Member FINRA/SIPC. Hyacinth Capital and LPL Financial are separate entities.

*Based on prior business and represents assets that would have been custodied at LPL Financial, rather than third-party custodians. Reported assets and client numbers have not been independently and fully verified by LPL Financial.

Overlooked Cyber Threats from Work & Home

By Daxs Stadjuhar, Managing Partner and Chief Risk Officer

Did you know that October is National Cybersecurity Month? While the concept may feel commonplace as our world becomes increasingly virtual, we run the risk of becoming complacent and missing the threats right in front of us. Trust me, when the only Special Report the SEC has published in five years is on cybersecurity, we know it’s a big deal.

Based on their report, it is abundantly clear that the current remote work environment offers increased opportunity for breaches and it is our responsibility, as financial professionals, to take protective measures.

What does it mean to be working from home rather than the office? How do we make sure our network and hardware are as secure as we think they are? When our energy and attention is stretched between our jobs, educating our kids, and attempting to keep up with our lives, things can fall through the cracks—and new threats are poised daily that take advantage of our virtual vulnerability.

Our upcoming webinar, Overlooked Cyber Threats While Working & Educating From Home on Wednesday, October 28th will provide critical insight in to what you need to be doing to best protect your network and ultimately, your practice.

Register here for this crucial event!

Developing Through Disruption

By Tom Croxton, Vice President, Business Development & Integration at The Network

LPL Financial pulled out all the virtual stops at this year’s Focus conference. It’s clear with topics ranging from connecting with clients digitally to new platform announcements, technology continues to consume the world.

LPL isn’t the only one with their eyes set on the digital horizon: Charles Schwab announced its forthcoming planning software, akin to eMoney or Personal Capital, which allows users to create a free profile to manage their finances.

Similarly, Orion’s mid-2019 purchase of Advizr is helping them significantly enhance their client portal experience, allowing users to choose goals, enter data, and enable tools to monitor their progress. Releases like these could forecast shifting table stakes for financial institutions as clients seek new ways to track their personal finances in a volatile market.

What LPL, Schwab, and Orion’s releases highlight is the escalation of technological disrupters in a COVID-saturated market. At The Network, we constantly look for best practices and platforms to enhance our advisors and their clients’ experience. We currently have an institutional relationship with Orion and have been helping advisors adopt it into their practice and share with their clients.

We’ll continue to keep our eyes out and offer ideas to you as they come. Reach out to me or any member of our team with questions and for more insight like this.