On a trip to Professional Wealth Strategies, tucked away on the east side of Sunrise Road at 3573 E. Sunrise Dr., Founder and Wealth Manager, John Peters, fields a question about “financial do-it-yourselfers.”

From files upon files of statistics, trends, and proof, he draws a stapled sheet and places it on the table.

It’s one comparing the investing habits and outcomes of those do-it-yourselfers with numbers wielded S&P 500, an index of 500 stocks which economists recognize as indicative of overall market performance.

The chart shows the growth of $10,000 from 1984-2002. During that period, the S&P Index averaged 12 percent growth, with the large cap growth index managing 12.16 percent. On the other hand, the average equity fund investor, those who did it themselves, averaged a mere 2.57 percent.

“When the market is up, there’s optimism,” Peters explains. “People are thrilled, and think they’ve got to get their money in, but that’s the point of their maximum financial risk, because they’re getting in high. Then the market takes one of its downturns and people go into anxiety, fear, depression, panic, capitulation and despondency, and they sell because they can’t stand it going any lower. Then the market starts back on an upward trend, and the optimism comes back, and it goes around and around.

“Our job is to take the emotion out of the investing process.”

Actually, that’s just one of the many jobs that Peters and Gigi Schneppat take on as Wealth Managers. A visit to Professional Wealth Strategies is one that Schneppat calls holistic in nature, covering every crack and crevasse of their client’s – or potential client’s – financial considerations.

“There are a lot of advisors out there who are really only concerned about what product they can put people into, but we take a whole different approach,” Schneppat says.

That approach includes examining and monitoring estate planning, and in doing so, ensuring that in place are living wills, financial power of attorney, and health care power. It includes protection planning, such as the need for life insurance or disability income, if long-term care is in place or might be needed, and how those expenses will be handled. And, it includes income advice. How much is needed for retirement versus what the client has? What social security or annuity payouts does the client have? What money is available for investing to generate income to help with retirement?

And lastly, Professional Wealth Strategies also reviews clients’ tax returns, something rarely done by advisors these days, but a service which potentially acts as a money-saving measure.

Opened in 2003, Professional Wealth Strategies focuses largely on individuals who are 10-15 years from retirement. However, it will take on any client, Peters and Schneppat encouraging people to begin their investing at a younger age.

“The earlier you start, the better,” says Schneppat. “Studies show if you start saving in your 20s, even putting a little away, you’ll have more than the person who begins in their 40s who is putting large chunks away.”

The company has also earned a reputation as one with a passion for assisting widows, having formed the outside organization The Wildflower Group, helping widows cope with emotional and financial struggles.

Peters and Schneppat say they recognize that when it comes to dealing with a client’s money, it is actions, and not words, that matter in building trust.

“I started this company because I saw a lot of people near retirement who were getting bad advice, who were being taken advantage of,” says Peters. “I wanted to do something good for the people.”

Professional Wealth Strategies is a rare breed in that Peters and Schneppat are Accredited Investment Fiduciaries.

“A fiduciary always has to put its clients’ interests first,” says Peters. “If you come to me for advice, and, say, I could put you in a mutual fund that is really good for you, or I can put you in an annuity that makes me more money, I have to pick what is best for you. There’s no thinking about how much money we are going to make. Secondly, any advice we give as accredited fiduciaries must be advice that would hold up in court as advice a prudent person would give. 

“Trust is built up overtime. This is a relationship business.”

More information on Professional Wealth Strategies* can be found at http://www.pwsaz.com/ or by calling 520-529-3644. 

*Securities and Advisory Services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network, Member FINRA/SIPC, A Registered Investment Adviser.  Fixed insurance products and services offered through CES Insurance Agency.

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