One of Rhett Jeppson’s favorite toys growing up was a calculator.
If that isn’t an excellent example of foreshadowing, I don’t know what is.
The president and co-founder of Investment Management Consultants in Utah, Rhett has over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry, and was kind enough to join me on Episode 134 of my Cambridge Stronger podcast series.
Whether he’s developing risk mitigation strategies or using his beloved calculator to create comprehensive financial plans, Rhett and his firm are dedicated to putting clients first.
“I have always believed that, to be a successful financial professional, it is essential to know why someone is investing before choosing how to invest their money,” Rhett said. “We want to understand every little thing about the client so we can create a comprehensive and customized plan that provides the most value.”
As we discuss in the episode, putting clients first in this industry is vitally important. This is, of course, our fiduciary responsibility, but there are always people in any profession looking to bend the rules. Put simply, it takes a great deal of confidence, conviction, and trust for a client to work with a financial professional. The topic of money management is a very sensitive one in many people’s lives, and rightfully so.
“As a financial professional and as a firm, are you trustworthy and do you have integrity?,” Rhett posed. “Those things aren’t earned in one day — those are earned over time. Having them means you continuously do the right thing for the client in every situation. We take that very seriously here.”
I echo Rhett’s thoughts here. I have long believed it is critical for any aspiring organization to commit some time to the development of a set of core values that will essentially guide its actions through both good times and challenging ones. Even at the individual level, it can be easy to lose your way after experiencing success or failure. Everyone needs a set of sound principles.
For us at Cambridge, integrity, commitment, flexibility, and kindness have been the underlying core values that have served us since 1981, when Eric Schwartz founded our firm. Our executive leadership team and associates are unified in these core values, and they are the driving force behind our daily actions.
I later asked Rhett to expand on his role as a financial planner. There are so many great aspects of this profession. The joy of serving clients was at the top of Rhett’s list.
“My favorite aspect of my career is the relationships I’ve developed,” Rhett said. “That goes for the colleagues that I work with and my clients. We call them ‘clients’, but they’re better described as our friends. These are real people and I really do care about them. That’s been the most rewarding part for me.”
One topic I specifically wanted to discuss with Rhett was his firm’s approach to generational financial planning. This has become a bit of a hot-button topic for many financial professionals in our industry, particularly as The Great Wealth Transfer — which will see an estimated $68 trillion change hands in the United States over the next 25 years, according to Cerulli Associates1 — continues to unfold.
“We encourage our clients, particularly our older ones, to have a family meeting with us,” Rhett said. “Ultimately, we would like the adult children in the family to at least know who the different parties handling the assets are. When the parents do pass away, we don’t have an expectation that the assets stay with us, but we do want the children to be aware of the full situation.”
From my view, having a generational approach is an important component of the financial planning process. Not everyone is destined to align with the same financial professional that their parents worked with, but ensuring there is at least some sort of connection with a client’s family, to me, only makes the plan stronger.
To wrap up our conversation, I asked Rhett about his activities outside of work. I was aware that Rhett enjoyed traveling and hiking, but I didn’t anticipate his other favorite activity.
“I love to play basketball,” Rhett said. “I have played most of my life, and still play three mornings every week. I’m very lucky that my knees and ankles are still holding up.”
That answer was the ‘slam dunk’ to what was a terrific conversation.
Thank you for reading my blog. We’re grateful for Rhett and all of our financial professionals. I encourage you to listen to the full podcast episode to hear more about Rhett and his firm.
1 Dore, Kate. (2021). Are you prepared for tax impact of the $68 trillion Great Wealth Transfer? Here are some options to reduce the bite. CNBC.
Testimonial statements and personal experience stories may not be representative of the experience of others and is no guarantee of future performance or success. Quotes are highlights from the podcast episode and may reflect edits for brevity and/or clarity within this blog by Cambridge’s CEO, Amy Webber. These messages and materials are the confidential property of Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. (“Cambridge”). The ideas and information in this presentation are general in nature and provided for informational purposes only. The accuracy, completeness, and timeliness of the information cannot be guaranteed. The information contained herein is not intended to render tax, legal, or investment advice. All rights reserved. Further use is prohibited without prior written consent from Cambridge. Please contact ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ for questions or consent.
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Testimonial statements and personal experience stories may not be representative of the experience of others and is no guarantee of future performance or success.
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