The Essence of a Wealth Management Relationship

By LouAnn Schulfer, AWMA®, AIF® Accredited Wealth Management Advisor℠, Accredited Investment Fiduciary® |

I received a call from a client a few days ago:  he had a quick question.  That quick question turned into a significant discussion that drove home the value of our ongoing relationship.


Our conversation eventually led to how stressed my client has been from his job.  Covid, understaffing and supply chain problems have made his work far more difficult, and he was set on retiring early.  Looking at the size of his portfolio and doing some math (he has a finance minor) he had his plans laid out.  To an advisor who would not have known him well, it would have made sense.  But as I listened, I envisioned the “what-ifs” for his retirement.  What if his retirement went as he’d planned?  He’d be happy, healthy and fulfilled, as retirement has always been one of his most important goals.  What if his retirement didn’t go as planned?  In planning, there is the objective – the facts and numbers, but there is also the subjective – the aspects that can’t be quantified.  We discussed impersonal what-ifs like bear markets and inflation but more importantly, personal what-ifs.  I know this gentleman deeply enough that I understand how providing for his family is more important than anything else he had described.   If one or more what-if’s played out and he is still employed, his family could weather a storm. With assets but not an income for the next few years, it could be catastrophic to what he values most if he were to retire early and an unexpected financial strain occurred to the family.  This, I suggested, would be far more stressful to him than any stress he’d described from his job.  Point taken.  He decided to work toward modifying his schedule for the next few years to lower his stress while retaining income and benefits.  I am grateful for our ongoing relationship as it provided the framework for my advice to him, which is the essence of a Wealth Management relationship.



LouAnn Schulfer is co-owner of Schulfer & Associates, LLC Wealth Management and can be reached at (715) 343-9600 or

Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor.  Member FINRA/SIPC.