By: Felipe Rivas
2 min read May 2020 — HFM Investment Advisors has been advising South Jersey and the Greater Philadelphia region residents on financial and investment planning since 1989. Last year was a banner year for the company in terms of team growth. HFM President Michael Pallozzi talks with Invest: about trends in retirement planning and how technology has significantly changed the way the firm does business.
What does HFM’s R.I.C.H. approach mean for the firm and its clients?
We strive to develop a deep, meaningful relationship with all of our clients to help their family or their business, and that’s what the “R” stands for: relationship building. “I” is to inspire our clients to think outside the box and what’s important to them, such as their financial situation, legacy or succession plan. “C” is to help compose a meaningful plan. Everything we do for our clients revolves around their personalized action plan. The “H” is for “holding you accountable.” We want to hold our clients accountable to their goals, objectives and action plans, and we ask that they also hold us accountable for what we promised.
HFM’s biggest differentiator is our value proposition and the way that we work with our clients. At most firms, advisers work as a solo with their clients, so clients usually have only one person to talk to. At HFM, we are team-oriented around our R.I.C.H. process, so all our clients work with our entire team.
What are the benefits of being located in South Jersey?
Gloucester County has one of the fastest-growing business communities in South Jersey, and being located here represents a great advantage. We are strategically located on Rowan Boulevard in the heart of Rowan University. We also sublet space to the Gloucester County Chamber of Commerce, which provides us great visibility in the market. Similarly, the South Jersey region provides access to multiple sectors like education, health, logistics and consulting organizations. Many local, regional and international companies are starting to call Gloucester County their home.
What are the most notable changes in South Jersey’s investment management and financial services industry?
The biggest change has been the reduction in cost and improved technology within the investment platform offerings. With the rise of technology platforms in our industry, we’ve been able to offer more investment choices and provide more financial planning services at a substantially lower cost. I believe we are ahead of the curve for firms like ours in South Jersey. We are in the process of a major change in 2Q20 for all of our clients’ investment choices through the use of a new technology platform. This will potentially save our clients an average of 25-35% on their investment-related expenses. Technology is also allowing us to provide additional financial planning services in a more impactful and efficient way.
What are some trends in retirement planning and investment management?
401(k) retirement planning is a growing part of our practice. We focus a majority of time in two areas. First is protecting the plan sponsors, who are typically the owners of the companies and usually the human resources managers. With the recently implemented SECURE Act, there are a lot of fiduciary and compliance rules that can trip up business owners with the Department of Labor. We proactively work with them and their third-party administrator (TPA) to keep them updated on the rules that apply specifically to them.
The second area is focused on helping the employees of our clients. We provide an employee experience that focuses on educational workshops, one-on-one meetings and personalized retirement plan projections.
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