Passion and Purpose in Financial Services: Pastelle Magazine Feature October 2018
McBeath Financial Group was the featured cover story for the October 2018 issue of Pastelle Magazine. The below article was originally published as a feature magazine story. With permission, the entire article is reprinted below.
Passion and Purpose in Financial Services
October 1, 2018 By PASTELLE MAGAZINE
Krista McBeath is the founder and President of McBeath Financial Group in Normal, Illinois. For over a decade, she has used her natural gifts of empathy, patience, and active listening to build her business on a foundation of trust and meaningful relationships with her clients.
Krista’s gifts come together to create her driving passion: helping others. When a client recognizes the combination of Krista’s genuine desire to help and her professional skills as an independent registered investment advisor and chartered financial consultant (ChFC), a relationship is born. Most of her clients are simply trying to plan for a secure financial future. Krista helps them fine-tune their current financial situation, as well as to plan for any potentially unknown factors that could derail their dreams. She helps clients see the big picture and how planning, sound investment and tax strategies, and carefully considered insurance services can work together to help make dreams come true.
While Krista’s passion for helping others is the driving force behind her business, she has dreams of her own, too. Three years ago, she and her husband Robert bought a vacant office building, breathing new life into the long-vacant building as they remodeled and modernized the entire interior. Upon completion of that project, the company moved into the building, now their current headquarters, at 203 Landmark Drive in Normal.
Her personalized touches are apparent from the moment you enter the office. Walls are painted in soft, soothing shades of gray. Subtle, garden-themed artwork throughout, and abundant natural light lend a comfortable ambiance to the space, encouraging clients to relax and focus on the conversation as they discuss goals, dreams, strategies, and investments.
Just as each client has a different vision of the way their retirement looks, there are many different tools and techniques Krista can use to help each client reach their individual goals. To that end, McBeath Financial Group offers solutions to meet the need: financial planning, investments and tax strategies, expertise in how to handle employment severance packages, and insurance planning. While there is something on that list for everyone, Krista’s unique talents, skills, and experience are best suited to clients ages 50 and over.
Typically, at that life stage, clients have been saving for retirement for many years. They recognize that while they may have saved a substantial sum of money, the future holds many unknowns. If they want to make their money last as long as they do, professional help is a valuable investment.
When it comes to seeking financial advice, Krista understands that people want to work with someone they feel comfortable with. Krista emphasizes the importance of relationships in her work. “I get to know my clients well, and work at developing a good relationship with them. It is important that they know I care and want to help them plan for their dreams, as well as see that they’re prepared for the unknown and unexpected twists and turns that might come their way.” She also noted that she is there to help them when those unexpected twists, like the death of a spouse or unexpected early retirement, occur.
In addition to empathy and relationship building, Krista employs an innovative TEAM approach in financial planning. Her Technology Empowered Advisor Method, known as the TEAM approach, utilizes a professional suite of planning programs to fine-tune and stress-test proposed financial plans. In addition to being a clever acronym, Krista says “TEAM is a perfect name for our suite of hi-tech software tools, but it also reflects the way we do business. We’re a team: me, my clients, and our staff. Along with that, we have so many software tools we use that give us an added edge in every facet of the business!”
Krista understands that the technology used may be unfamiliar to her clients. She knows it’s important to guide her client through the process. “We offer an initial complimentary consultation,” Krista says. “At that meeting, we ask the client to bring in information to help us understand their financial picture. I use risk assessment tools to determine how much risk they are comfortable with. We discuss their financial needs and goals. We then discuss if the planning process is right for them and if they’d like to move forward with financial planning.”
The financial plan can be “stress-tested” by the software, by simulating various scenarios — the unknowns of real life and market conditions — to see how it would perform. Those scenarios include life events like early retirement, catastrophic illnesses or accidents, inflationary pressures, market fluctuations, and death. The software is also able to consider the “sequence of returns,” that is, how the timing of market events can affect the return on an investment.
“We can then provide information about how each of those “unknown factors” would affect the financial plan under consideration,” Krista says. “The software also can demonstrate how different levels of risk in a financial plan might affect the plan’s performance.”
That information helps to inform the client’s decisions about accepting or adjusting the financial plan. “The technology allows us to give the client a comprehensive picture of how the financial plan will work in a variety of circumstances,” Krista says.
Once a plan is finalized, the client is provided access to a personal financial website, an online portal that allows the client to monitor their plan. This portal provides the client the ability to organize their financial accounts and allows a comprehensive overview of the client’s whole financial picture, including real-time account information. Clients can track expenditures and utilize budgeting tools that help keep track of how their financial plan is working. The personal financial website also includes a vault, which provides secure storage for financial, legal, and personal documents. The vault offers secure personal access to those documents at any time, from any computer.
Krista observes that this software portal is very user-friendly. Most of her clients are comfortable using this technology; she is available to help if necessary. “Most of the people who take advantage of financial planning are in their 50s or 60s,” she says, “but we do have clients who are younger. Rather than help with impending retirement issues, those clients may need advice about what to do with an inheritance, or help rolling over a 401k after separation from employment.”
Krista’s reputation and standing in the community couldn’t be stronger. In 2018, McBeath Financial Group was honored in the Pantagraph Reader’s Choice Awards. The firm was voted as First Place as Best in Financial Planning for the second year in a row, and First Place as Best Investment Firm in Bloomington-Normal. She shares the credit for these accomplishments, saying “I am blessed with a really awesome staff. This is something that couldn’t have happened without my team and the incredibly loyal clients and people who support my business!”
With a strong community and web presence, McBeath Financial Group offers support even for those who are not yet her clients. Within the community, she frequently offers free seminars at the Bloomington Public Library. She also teaches at Heartland Community College.
A quick visit to her web site at mcbeathfinancialgroup.com or her Facebook page (facebook.com/mcbeathfinancialgroup), will yield videos of Krista sharing her expertise about different aspects of financial planning, as well as explanations of the services McBeath Financial Group offers. As always, this is her way of reaching out to provide valuable information and most importantly, starting a relationship.
For more information McBeath Financial Group is located at 203 Landmark Drive, Unit A, Normal. To make an appointment, call 309-808-2224, or check the website at mcbeathfinancialgroup.com.
By Holly Schurter