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   Interview

    Guest Interview:

   Weatherly Asset Management L.P.

    832 Camino Del Mar, Suite 4
    Del Mar,CA 92014

    Telephone: 858-259-4507
    Fax: 858-259-0782
    E-mail: carolyn@weatherlyassetmgt.com

 

    Interview Quarter: 3Q2014

 Carolyn P. Taylor, President & Founder

 Kelli Ruby, CFP

  Carolyn, since our last interview, Weatherly Asset Management has received a great deal of positive publicity. What factors are driving the current interest in the firm?  
  Weatherly enjoys a local presence within the San Diego community as well as nationally and our high caliber team has been awarded with various recognitions over the years. Our partners were most recently nominated for the San Diego Woman of the Year award presented by the San Diego Magazine for outstanding female leadership in the community. Our team is dedicated to delivering the best quality service to our clients and to the community while continuing to enhance the education and expertise of the firm. Our senior and junior advisors hold designations including the CFP, CFA or both. When potential or existing clients contact our firm, they are met with a team of individuals who are able to deliver advice on all areas of their financial lives. We pride ourselves on our outstanding reputation, which has earned us both local and national recognition.  
  I can’t avoid noting the obvious, but your firm is owned by women. What advantages do you offer over “traditional” investment firms?  
  Weatherly is a woman-owned firm, founded in 1994. Over the years, we’ve developed a few areas of focus in the comprehensive, investment advisory arena, one of which includes engaging female clients. As a woman-owned firm with 3 female partners, we are able to effectively communicate with female clients to listen to their concerns and articulate how they relate to their financial affairs. We’ve worked with a number of female entrepreneurs on small business or retirement planning issues. We additionally have same-sex couples who face estate planning challenges depending on their state of residency. We worked with women during tough times, such as death or divorce, to effectively manage their assets. Paired with our high caliber team of experts, we are able to deliver advice in a comprehensive, understandable manner while relating directly to the concerns of our female clients.  
   
  From left to right: Scott Frank, CFA Wealth Management Advisor; Candise Holmlund, CFA, CFP® Senior Consultant, Partner; Carolyn P. Taylor, President & Founder; Brent Armstrong, CFP® Wealth Management Planner.  
  Women often outlive their husbands and end up managing their own affairs late in life. How often do you find this a factor when clients hire you?  
  Given the data seen on mortality tables, women historically outlive men by a number of years. The majority of women, at some point in their lives, will be responsible for managing their own financial affairs or that of their family. When married couples interview Weatherly, we see concern from both parties on how their wishes will be carried out after the death of one or both spouses. We want our clients to trust us as an advisor and an advocate for them during a difficult life event. We stress the importance of engaging both parties in regular discussions on their accounts and estate plans to ensure all are informed. Sometimes, these discussions include adult children who are able to aid the surviving spouse or who will inherit assets after the second spouse passes. Including the next generation in talks about financial matters can make for a smoother transition during times of distress. We strive to leave both spouses with peace of mind that their financial affairs will be effectively and efficiently managed as they desired.  
  What kind of communication does Weatherly provide spouses so that both understand how you handle their money?  
  As mentioned in the previous response, we stress the importance of engaging both spouses in conversations regarding their financial assets. We want to ensure both spouses know the location of their financial assets, types of accounts they own and how accounts are viewed overall when making investment decisions. When we begin working with new clients, we review their estate plans and financial goals to ensure all are in concert. We may speak to spouses individually to hear each explain their wishes in their own terms. If there is a disconnect, we encourage couples to discuss what needs may or may not be addressed in their financial plans and how to come to an agreement. Retirement planning plays a big role in these discussions, as spouses often enter into part-time work or retirement at different times. Knowing when each will be financially able to retire is an important aspect of retirement and financial planning. More complex planning may come into play for blended families, particularly when spouses have children from previous marriages. They may want to ensure their surviving spouse is cared for while still leaving inheritance to their children. Honest communication about goals for each is an integral part of managing money for couples.  
  What are the biggest mistakes couples make with their investments?  
  Communication is key when developing plans for your wealth. Both spouses need to be clear and realistic about what they want to achieve with their wealth prior to retirement, the funds they will need in retirement and what assets will be left to charitable organizations or heirs at their passing. Being honest, open and realistic is imperative in creating effective and secure estate and financial plans. When one spouse isn’t clear about his or her wishes, they may be unsatisfied with their financial or estate plan. This is especially important when developing estate planning documents, like a trust, which can be costly to amend. Additionally, when creating a trust, it is important to assign the appropriate successor or co-successor trustee. Couples tend to name their oldest child as trustee, but this person may not be the most capable or willing to distribute assets at death. With blended families, this decision becomes even more difficult. We often recommend a corporate trustee or co-trustee named as successor to ensure the clients’ wishes are carried out as they desired after they are gone.  
  What are the most important issues faced by single women regarding their investment money?  
  Women have a tendency to put themselves last, behind their families, careers, charitable inclinations, et cetera. Often times, setting aside time to look at their investment accounts is at the bottom of their to-do lists. Individuals that have investment assets, whether in a pre-tax account like an employer-sponsored 401(k) or a taxable account like a trust, need to periodically review their investment decisions and goals to ensure they are on track. Sometimes, this means consulting an investment advisor and delegating investment decisions. Longevity and earning power are key components to consider when discussing financial assets with single women. Without the dual earning power of a couple, single women have to carefully plan for retirement and family matters, like educational funding for children. Additionally, without a spouse to take care of financial matters at her death, a single woman needs to consider an appropriate successor or co-successor trustee for her assets. Long-term care insurance is also an important discussion point when working holistically with single women, as they may need assistance later in life as longevity in women continues to increase. The time commitment doesn’t need to be great, but having a conversation with their financial advisor on a semi-annual basis or more frequently will allow greater knowledge about investment assets and will aid in future decision making.  
  Outside of managing money, do you offer your clients any help with estate planning?  
  Weatherly is a comprehensive wealth management firm. When we engage clients, we’re not only reviewing their investment assets, but discussing everything related to their financial lives. This includes developing financial plans, reviewing estate plans, discussing tax implications, analyzing insurance policies and needs, gifting to charities and reviewing retirement accounts. We discuss overall goals for our clients’ estates and review their current estate planning documents to determine if their goals will be met or if estate plans require revision. We also ensure financial assets are titled correctly to avoid unnecessary probate when possible. We are not trust attorneys, so we do not draft estate documents, however with our knowledge and expertise we are able to review these documents on our clients’ behalf before they consult further with their attorney on an hourly basis. We also work in conjunction with other professionals, whether it be the clients accountant, attorney or insurance agent, to ensure their needs and wishes are being managed effectively. We like to think of ourselves as our clients’ quarterback on their team of professionals and coordinate as appropriate.  
  How often do you find CPAs, lawyers, and estate planners referring clients because you are a women owned and operated investment firm?  
  We have fostered many relationships with centers of influences (COIs) within the community, not only as a referral source for Weatherly but also as a resource for our clients. We often have clients that are in need of complex estate or tax planning who are not engaged with an attorney or accountant. Over the years, COIs have learned more about our Firm, level of experience and holistic practice and have referred clients based on their knowledge of Weatherly. We have had clients who were referred to us because they specifically wanted a female advisor and our high caliber team of experts and reputation warranted the referral.  
  When you started, how difficult was it to become an investment manager because you are women?  
  I began in the business over 30 years ago with a BS in Industrial Engineering and a BA in International Relations from Stanford University. I continued to seek out positive mentors, both male and female, to enhance my knowledge and expertise. I have been involved in starting 3 businesses in an industry where women were the minority at the time. At Neuberger & Berman, Weatherly and National Advisors Trust, I’ve seen a transition at the partner level, board level and shareholder level to include increasing numbers of women. High quality, dedicated women continue to create success in the investment industry.  
  Do you think it is easier today for women to get into the business than it was when you started 20 years ago?  
  Positive factors indicate that women are entering undergraduate and graduate programs at rates similar to men. Women are starting a record number of new businesses and efficiently continue to reinvent the playing field. Both of these growing areas present great opportunities for qualified, intelligent women to enter the business. Emphasizing experience, education and teamwork allow both female and male advisors to overcome discrimination or pigeonholing that may have occurred earlier in our industry.  
  What would you advise women today who want to become investment managers?  
  At Weatherly, we stress the importance of education and mentorship for our developing investment managers, whether male or female. Gender plays less of a role in the professional arena these days, and knowledgeable, dedicated individuals stand out. We would advise the younger generation of professionals, regardless of age, race or gender, to work towards their goals, seek out mentorship and educate themselves while holding themselves to the highest ethical standards.  
  What talents do women offer than men don’t when it comes to the investment business?  
  Women are able to listen and effectively communicate with clients and view multidimensional aspects of a financial plan. Excellent communication, trust, experience and confidence are all characteristics of successful investment advisors. Females convey patience and are able to hear concerns and incorporate those concerns into financial plans and constructive dialog. Often, decisions to buy or sell can be driven by emotional reactions to the current investment environment, disregarding the long-term nature of investing. We tailor our advice to encompass both the behavior aspect of finance and the overall objective of helping our clients achieve their future financial goals.  
  I don’t mean to make it sound like only men are the wealth creators. How often do you find successful women entrepreneurs seeing your investment expertise?  
  More women now than in the past are the bread winners for their family and we continue to see more women starting their own businesses or working as part of a dual-income earning family. We work with a number of successful women and couples, on a variety of topics, from managing their investment assets and money that has been inherited from an older generation to small business retirement plans and 401(k) allocations. As women continue to create their own wealth, we are aiding our clients in developing a plan for their financial assets. There are also many female caretakers who are highly educated and experienced professionals who chose to stay home with their families. These decisions play an important role in financial planning.  
  From your experience, to what extent are you finding women to be a growing economic force behind wealth creation?  
  Women are creating more wealth than ever before. Women are as capable and experienced as their male counterparts across all industries. Recognizing this capability is a huge focus of the wealth management industry. The trend in our industry has shifted to how to effectively engage female clients. This shouldn’t be interpreted that women don’t understand finances or the importance of wealth management, but rather they are finding less time to dedicate to these issues as they grow professionally.  
  Do you find that you share things in common with entrepreneurial women, which helps you as an investment consultant?  
  Women can identify with one another based on past experiences. As a women business owner, I understand the challenges women (or men) may face when starting their own business. There are economic challenges they may face depending on the type of industry. They may have families or young children, and juggling both can be difficult at times. The key is to share knowledge, provide useful information and connect with people as appropriate mentors or advisors as their business continues to grow.  
  I also don’t want it to sound like your orientation as a woman operated firm is the deciding factor by those using your services. But to what extent do you think the investment business still stereotypes women?  
  Stereotypes, whether in regards to gender, income, culture or other biases, still exist in society. In a general sense, education, ethics, open communication and a dedication to your craft will help to alleviate these generalizations. Working together in a professional, collegiate manner and mentoring the next generation in an ethical manner helps individuals thrive in an environment accepting of all ages, genders, races, cultures and economic backgrounds.  
  Carolyn, how has your background as a trained engineer, a male dominated field, helped you as an investment manager?  
  My background as an engineer has helped in a multitude of ways over the years. The credential and education has allowed me to be extremely comfortable with analysis, numbers in general, business growth and efficiency. Often having this background has been a comfort to potential clients or an identifying factor helping to solidify a client’s decision to work with our firm. Education, trust and teamwork remain keys in balancing the changing demands of the investment management industry.  
  How important has your participation by those at Weatherly in your local community been in building your firm?  
  As we said before, Weatherly enjoys a local presence in our community and we firmly believe in giving back. Our team is involved in a number of community organizations throughout a variety of different deserving interests. We feel our team of experts are also highly ethical with strong moral compasses. There is a sense of fulfillment we receive from helping others both in and out of the office.  
  What causes, outside of your profession, are dear to your heart?  
  Family, health and community are all held dear to my heart. Balance and regular attention to these aspects of my life help me to be a better person at work, home and within the greater community and the industry.  
  In ending, I am going to ask you to address any questions missed that you feel important.  
  While it’s not really a question, I encourage you to remind people to pay attention, communicate and ask questions about their wealth and life plan. Using personalized guidance from experts, like those on the Weatherly team, is key to achieving long-term goals and enjoying the fruits of their labor for many years to come.  
 
 
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