It’s safe to say that the world of finance is changing. But, the hard truth remains that while money is easy to make, it’s even harder to keep. This is because money is a dynamic object that feels and responds to multiple pressures. A traditional needs based approach is outdated; “How much do you need to retire,” and “How much does your family need to sustain their lifestyle” are no longer sufficient questions. This is your life. It’s time to focus on what you want from it.
Incorporated in 2003 by CEO and founder Scott Jarred, Jarred Bunch Consulting is a firm that has prided itself on flipping the traditional hierarchy, and paving the way to the future of wealth management. Specializing in risk management, asset protection, and investments, Jarred Bunch’s core philosophy is to take a dynamic approach to wealth management; an all-inclusive, family office strategy that is here to educate, guide, and counsel you toward reaching your full financial potential.
In the beginning years of the company, Scott and his team noticed a special need among physicians for a family office strategy. “Taking this vow to care for and protect human life is something extraordinary,” says Scott. “Often times though, this can cause them to lose sight of doing what’s good for them. Providing them with our comprehensive, family office strategy gives them a team that can ensure their well-being is looked after now and well into the future.”
This mindset led to the development of Jarred Bunch’s financial education program for residents and fellows, presenting it in hospitals all over the Tampa Bay and surrounding areas. As the program grew, so did the firm’s focus on helping to provide physicians with specialized strategies for wealth management. And thus, their niche in the medical community was born.
DLM: Why do you think finance is something that physicians don’t necessarily take the time to address regularly?
Scott Jarred: I think that it comes from the pledge they take early on; to care for the well-being of others. Not just anyone can go and be a doctor. It takes a special kind of person, someone who genuinely cares about taking care of people. Once they get into practicing, they become so busy with their careers and families, that looking after themselves financially is one of the last things on their minds. But in all honesty, that’s part of why most go into this field; not only is it rewarding on a personal level, but also on a monetary level. This is where we decided to develop a family office strategy, a team designed to put the physician and their family first, creating a balancing act between caring for others while simultaneously caring for themselves. A balancing act that I have found can be hard to achieve when you don’t have that supportive team around you taking care of it.
DLM: Is there a common problem that you see when you first start to work with physicians?
Scott Jarred: Yes, there are definitely common themes that I have seen over the years. For example, when I meet with a physician, one of the first things that I talk about is the “junk drawer;” the place where all things financial in their lives end up, IRAs, 401(k)s, insurance policies, bank statements, investment accounts. And I get it. They are so busy with their day to day lives, that they just don’t have time to sit down and look at what they really have going on. This can be a big problem, because if you can’t connect the pieces of the puzzle correctly, how are you ever going to see the big picture? So, I thought, why not give them a way to do this. Our technology, the Living Balance Sheet®, can allow them to aggregate and organize all of their financial information onto a digital platform, and give them a daily, real-time picture of their current financial position. I like to call it their financial x-ray. Then, we can see the big picture of how every component is working together, and really diagnose their overall financial health. Physicians are some of the most intelligent people in our world today. It’s just a matter of giving them the right tools so that they can make effective, smart financial decisions.
DLM: How did you get your start in the medical community?
Scott Jarred: Well, it really started with the residency and fellow programs. When we first started the company, we had no physicians as clientele – and no clientele for that matter, so we really tried to focus on an area where we thought there was a true need for financial education. My partner happened to find a financial curriculum that was being given to residents at a teaching hospital in Boston, and it all kind of hit me. Finance isn’t usually something that is discussed or talked about early on in physician’s careers, so I felt that there was a strong need for someone to come in as an educational resource for them, and to develop specialized strategies that would speak to people in their profession specifically. We adopted our own residency program, and after building it up, we were able to help educate hundreds of residents and fellows in hospitals around the area. And from here, things just grew, and our team really decided to focus on how to help these professionals, who have one of the most unique careers. Today, about 85% of our clientele are physicians or are in the medical field, and we still continue to provide our educational residency and fellow program to this day.
DLM: Why do you think Jarred Bunch Consulting stands apart from other firms when it comes to a specialization in physicians?
Scott Jarred: I think one of the main reasons is because we offer a comprehensive strategy, and a family office strategy at that. And when I say family office, I mean that you literally have a team of people, including myself, tracking your financial well-being every single day. Today, so many people in my industry are focused on just one aspect, like just investments or just insurance. But it’s not usually one tool that makes up a physician’s financial life, there are multiple tools. And, it’s not uncommon for a physician to be interacting with a dozen different advisors or financial institutions at any given time. While this may be the norm, it can also create a large disadvantage for them. When was the last time that their CPA, investment manager, estate planning attorney, and insurance agent all sat down together on their behalf, to see if everything is working to accomplish their goals? Hardly ever do I have someone answer yes to this question, simply because they don’t have the time, and quite frankly neither do their advisors. This is where we come in. We treat our physicians as the CEO of their household. Our job is to be their CFO. Today, information and knowledge are power; our job as their CFO is to harness all of that information and knowledge from their outside advisors, and put it into one, comprehensive wealth management strategy that we foster and nurture for them. In my experience, the best CEOs are the ones who understand what is being done on their behalf, and who make the critical financial decisions in their own interest. Thus, as their personal CFO, we give them tools to do this.
DLM: You said that you can “manage” the information being given to physicians by their outside advisors. Can Jarred Bunch develop and implement a complete financial strategy for a physician as well?
Scott Jarred: Of course. I come in as the lead on strategy design, and then our team supports the implementation and maintenance of that strategy. Most times, physicians who come to us already have a CPA in place, or even already have their money invested somewhere else. We will give them a complimentary financial analysis showing them where they are at, and the strategy recommendation that we would make, and let them decide for themselves how they want to proceed. Basically, we give them a way to keep current advisors they may already be working with, but can still manage and implement an overall strategy for them. Or, they may come to us with no financial strategy in place whatsoever, so we will put one together for them, and get them in touch with all of the right people. We have CPAs, Attorneys, Property and Casualty Brokers, Mortgage Officers, and more that we have developed strong strategic alliances with, and who provide exceptional service to our clients.
DLM: What unique features or tools are you able to offer your clients?
Scott Jarred: Definitely our wealth management platform, and our investment platform. As I said, the Living Balance Sheet® that can aggregate all of their financial information, and give them a live feed of their current financial position. A huge factor in maintaining financial balance. This platform then breaks up the information into four components: assets, liabilities, protection, and cash flow, letting them see how it all fits together. Essentially, this lets them see how their decisions play out across all of these areas, because one decision usually affects all four. Take a 401(k) plan for example; you have protection in that it’s protected from creditors, you have an asset in your portfolio, you increased cash flow because contributions go in pre-tax, and then you have a deferred liability which will come into play when you start to pull that money out, and pay tax. Most people don’t think about their decisions this way, so our platform allows them to do this, and to weigh the pros and cons before they make decisions. We have a unique investment platform as well, in that we can offer our clients direct access to institutional money managers. Something the majority of people aren’t able to access, because typically you need a lot of zeros in your portfolio to do so. But, we can give every client this access; whether they have $100 or $100 million. Another key component on this platform is that we make protecting their assets a top priority, by ensuring their assets never go onto someone else’s – or institution’s – balance sheet. Their assets are held in their name and their name alone.