One Size Doesn’t Fit All in Managing Finances

Financial planning and investing can be overwhelming—especially in an ever-changing economic climate. How do you ensure a comfortable retirement without a pension to fall back on? How do you avoid risk? How do you make it through an unexpected difficult financial situation? The questions are endless.

The good news is you don’t have to plan alone. Financial advisors Noah Doyle and Charles Princiotto are here to guide clients through organizing, protecting and growing their wealth. They understand their clients’ lives, build a trusting relationship and maintain an honest and open dialogue. “We don’t tell our clients what they want to hear, but what they need to know,” said Doyle and Princiotto, who work for the multi-generational wealth management practice Battery Park Financial Partners at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC.

The experts shared more about their background, how they work with clients to change their lives and their approach to investing.

Tell me about your background and how you got into the field?
Noah: I graduated from the Cornell University’s School of Industrial Labor Relations where my studies focused on organizational development and behavior. I studied how groups think in today’s economy and how to get them to work better together. Not much different from working with large and complex family structures or non-for profit organizations and their boards. I also hold a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School, an education that allowed me to understand the legal complexities of many of the issues facing my clients in financial planning, whether it be the formation of trusts, preparation of wills and other estate and tax planning techniques. Over the last decade, I have witnessed both historic lows and highs in our global financial markets. Helping my clients weather the financial storms and choose investments that will help achieve and protect their financial goals allows me to make a real difference in people’s lives.

Charles: My initial experience in private wealth management came during the global financial crisis when not many other young people were interested in the industry nor were there many opportunities. For whatever reason, I saw it as a tremendous time to start. Coming from a sports background, what attracted me to the field was the ability to work within a team and play the role of “coach” in people’s financial lives, including professional athletes. Obtaining the Certified Financial Planner™ designation gave me the tools necessary to advise clients on several financial topics and really be a sounding board for anything relating to money.

What distinguishes Battery Park Financial Partners from other firms?
Financial planning and investment management is an art, not a science, and we like to think we’ve gotten pretty good at the art. Wealth spans several generations, and Battery Park Financial Partners is very similar because we are a multi-generational practice. Our clients benefit from the mindsets of our diverse group of advisors and the wide range of expertise that we offer. Over years, we end up working with families for several generations and we really get to know them and develop long-lasting relationships. The level and quality of personalized service that we provide to our clients is what makes our team special and unique.

What services do you provide?
We provide portfolio management by helping them build, diversify and monitor their portfolio with the help of Janney’s research analysts, equity and fixed income trading specialists and asset managers. Janney’s open-architecture platform gives our team the freedom to utilize the specific tools and resources that we know will benefit our clients the most. With the open platform, clients have access to a mix of third-party managers and products that are consistent with their investment objectives and risk tolerance.

Beyond managing portfolios, we have extensive experience with complex estate planning. With a team that includes a Certified Financial Planner™ and two legal backgrounds, we are able to provide guidance in areas of estate planning that include wealth transferring, charitable giving, trust and legal document formation, business succession planning and asset protection. While we do not draft legal documents or give legal advice, we do work closely with clients and their attorneys to help assure their financial goals and planning are aligned.

Our team is also fully insurance licensed, so we are able to help with new insurance needs and review in-force insurance to make sure it is still suitable and aligned with your financial plan. Insurance can be an important part of financial planning to address needs that include wealth transferring, estate liquidity, asset/ income protection, business succession planning and income replacement.

What types of clients do you typically work with?
Our clients typically fall under three demographics. First, not-for-profit charitable organizations that have cash reserves and are looking to increase monthly income without putting their reserves at risk. Secondly, individuals approaching retirement age. This group may not have pensions like generations past and will need to create enough income and develop savings and investing strategies to prepare for retirement. Lastly, young couples who are facing financial milestones. These individuals may be looking for second opinions that discount, online brokerage firms cannot offer as these clients are often facing many complex financial decisions life.

What are common concerns you hear from clients?
“Will I have enough money in retirement?” “How can I pay for my kid’s college education?” “Am I taking too much risk?”

With the cost of education skyrocketing, parents are concerned about paying and planning for their children’s college expenses. Our team assists these clients by helping them develop a successful savings program to meet their educational expenses and showing them hypothetical outcomes. For clients transitioning into the retirement phase of life, there are a myriad of concerns and questions about what they should do to prepare. Many of these clients don’t have pensions to fall back on and worry if they will outlive their income and have enough money to afford a comfortable lifestyle. Retirement security is a worry for everyone, even among wealthy individuals. Lastly, there are multiple types of risk—stock market, inflation, credit, etc. Our goal is to help clients understand their risk and determining what level is suitable.

What are the biggest mistakes you notice people making with their finances?
There are no “right” or “wrong” or “good” or “bad” answers when making financial decisions. Instead, clients make mistakes by not being realistic, and in some cases being in denial, about the facts and their financial situation. People imagine what their situation is like without taking an objective and informed look at the numbers. For example, most people have life insurance as part of their benefits package, but the amount is usually not enough to provide the financial protection you want for your loved ones. Most people do not want to pay more for their life insurance. We try to present them with the numbers and facts so that they are able to make informed decisions about their financial future and the financial future of their family. We also try to remind people to be patient. When markets are volatile or you’re helping a client establish a savings plan, it’s important to remind them that things take time and that they should remain calm and committed to their plans.

Finally, what is your approach to investing?
We understand that investing is about more than just making or losing money. It’s about helping our clients reach their financial goals so they can build and maintain the lifestyle they desire and take care of their family—immediate and future—for generations to come. When you work with high net worth investors, the real value added is the relationship and human connection. Financial plans will always change and there are intricacies within family relationships and events that algorithms will not pick up on. We focus more on risk than performance. We look at diversification and asset allocations to drive investment decisions.