Financial Focus: After 30 years…

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By Professor Anthony Rivieccio MBA PFA

On July 1 1991, I became a licenced broker and entered into the wacky world called Wall Street. In those days it was a dangerous world- for consumers. Wall Street then, was a stock salesman commission based sale pitch for consumers. Wall Street brokers did not get paid ANY salary then. Nor did they care about your short or long term goals.

So by 1996,I was not doing Investment Planning. I was doing ” Sale based Investment Management at JP Morgan/ Chase and one of the top brokers on Wall Street. While JP Morgan ( Chase Manhattan then) did not care what they were selling to consumers, they used the monies to assist in banking mergers in the mid to late 1990s, while I was also making some good money. An example: In 1996, the avg NY Income was $25,000. I was making , avg $37,000. Today, that is appox $80,000. 

And I thought I was happy until I realized I was miserable. I wanted to help people with Investment Planning. To take that further, I wanted to help people regarding all of their personal finance .

In 1996, however, a financial revolution was taking place. While you had , in the 1970s, the Charles Schwab’s and Vanguards of the world created no load or low cost fee based investment Management you also had consulting firms, in the 1980s, like Ernst & Young that started to explore financial planning and advice for consulting fees. In the 1990s, all of these financial elements merged. 

What did the government decide to do: professionalize them and regulate them. What did myself & 3 other advisors decide to do:

On July 2 1996 we created The Financial Advisors Group, originally created as a full service firm to handle all types of financial planning.

Now 25 years later, we had to deal with many things and had to morph with the times. But I always share with our Clients, we always try to stay ” 2 steps ahead”.

While we saw Bronx ” economic” demographics change along with the boom of the internet in the last 20 years, what we did not see coming was 3 fires on our local merchant strip during a 7 year period,  which at it’s maximum , destoyed 30% of our merchant district. Many believe it was arson but that is another story. Creating low cost community based services and adapting an ” online internet division” not only allowed us to continue serving local clients , but also to assist in new clients- going as far as Jamaica- and I do not mean Queens. 

Our latest fiscal year, ending June 30th, 2021,  our 25th year, shows some good numbers. Client services have been increasing 20% a year. Our Investment Management division has been pumping at 22% a year. Client turnover has been a bit rough at 15% a year. Bottom line, after 25 years in business we are a fully based cash flow firm .

Our firm is not booming! It is however still , standing tall! We know in 25 years, that sadly over 90% of the brokers we knew on Wall Street are no longer in the business.

We also know the financial world has changed dramatically in 25 years. Yes, there is still a ( downsized) commission based Wall Street  , fee only or retainer based fiduicary financial advisors,online internet brokerage services,  low cost investment Management custodians and many ” one stop’ financial companies that provides many types of financial services. 

 We also know that many of those companies that were around in the 1990s promising the moon, are no longer around. 

The Financial Advisors Group has now morphed into ” many of” these areas. In some ways it’s lost its original purpose. In other ways we gained another purpose. As of today , over 70% of our clients use non Investment Management services ( like tax planning, retirement planning , estate planning) and OVER 50% of our Clients use our ” internet division”.

And of course I’m 25 years older and now 60 years old. I don’t feel 60, but I recognize that I am.

So…… On June 30th 2021,  65% of The Financial Advisors Group will be sold to outside management investors. While I will still be a board of directors member , I will no longer be the Majority CEO of The Firm. New management will be concentrating on Investment Management , through their custodian partner since 1997, The Vanguard Group, one of the largest low cost mutual fund providers in the world. I will of course still retain 35% ownership.

On July 1st 2021, 30 years from starting my career as a financial advisor and 25 years from opening The Financial Advisors Group, I will be the full owner & CEO of a private virtual family office, Rivieccio Financial Advisors. It’s focus will be to assist anyone in the world, virtually, with the tenants of personal finance and advice;  whether it’s assisting with problems of: budgeting, debt, taxes, investment, insurance, retirement or estates and wills. 

Based on virtual size and management I anticipate , after 30 years, a 60% reduction of work & stress!. Basically a 2 day week 

I still intend on continuing teaching Personal Finance at Herbert Lehman & Monroe College , another 1 day a week

Hmm, a working retirement!?!?

Yes ladies & gentleman, thirty years has gone so fast. Learning the Wall Street profession. Creating a personal finance full service firm. But I guess like , natural babies, they grow and mature ! In that respect I am very proud of our firm. More than proud I am humbled to be teaching in the personal finance field on the college level for 6 years now, ironically, where I received my BS degree at Lehman College at CUNY.

Am I happy ? Yes! Am I fully content? One day yes ,one day no. 

But very soon I will transitioning into the world of semi- retirement. Yes today some call it the ” new world of retirement”. Others, based on today’s society norms, would call it, the ” new normal ” retirement. 

30 years….

Professor Anthony Rivieccio, MBA PFA, is the founder and CEO of The Financial Advisors Group, celebrating its 25th year as a fee-only financial planning firm specializing in solving one’s financial problems. Mr. Rivieccio, a recognized financial expert since 1986, has been featured by many national and local media including: Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, The New York Post, News 12 The Bronx, Bloomberg News Radio, BronxNet Television, the Norwood News, The West Side Manhattan Gazette, Labor Press Magazine, Financial Planning Magazine, WINS 1010 Radio, The Co-Op City News, The Bronx News, thisisthebronX.info and The Bronx Chronicle. Mr.  Rivieccio also pens a financial article called “Money Talk”. Anthony is also currently an Adjunct Professor of Business, Finance & Accounting for both, City University of New York & Monroe College, a Private University. For financial assistance, Anthony can be reached at (347) 575-5045. Have Facebook? Our professional page is: www.facebook.com/iwantmytaxmoney

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