An Interview with Charles Shackelford
Mike Rogers: Charles, I notice the title of this program is "Invest for Success." We'd all like to get great results from our investments, but what is it that separates the successful investor from everyone else?
Charles: The successful investor is someone who has a plan ... someone who knows how to use good advice. After many years of working in this industry, it still amazes me how few people have a carefully designed investment portfolio.
An optimal portfolio is diversified, fits the client's tax situation, and allocates assets to reduce risk. Even though we know these are important goals, it still takes knowledge and discipline to create and monitor a plan that will continue to work.
I've consulted with over 2,000 clients, and looked at many types of investments. I've seen those assets at 5, 10 and 20-year intervals, and as a result of that experience, I know what belongs in a portfolio, and what doesn't.
The route most often taken by investors is haphazard. Through a series of purchases, they end up with a scattered portfolio. The focus is on individual investments, instead of on the whole investment strategy.
There's a much better way to invest ... the industry calls it "modern portfolio theory." This involves putting assets together using a method that provides a higher rate of return, while reducing risk and volatility.
So the answer to your question, Mike, is that the successful investor is someone who has a comprehensive financial strategy, based on proven principles. And for most people, that means creating a long-term relationship with a professional investment adviser.
Mike: That makes sense to me, because most people aren't financial experts. So, how can they get the advice they need to accomplish their investment goals?
Charles: The best solution is to find someone who can help develop a solid investment strategy. Look for an adviser you can trust, and enjoy working with, because you're starting a relationship that will last for many years. The other important quality to look for in any professional counselor is self-discipline. You need an adviser who will adhere to the long-standing rules that guarantee investment success.
I'm going to assume you're an investor who's looking for solid advice. Find a broker who's trustworthy, knowledgeable, and totally committed to your financial success. I earn my clients' trust by listening to them, and then carefully researching what's best for each situation. So when I select an investment, it's something we know will work, and it fits into an overall plan that's designed for that investor.
My clients often tell me how pleased they are to finally have a real plan that increases their return while reducing their risk. That tells me I'm accomplishing my goal by adding value to my client's portfolio, while at the same time providing peace of mind.
Mike: Is there any general advice or approach you use with clients to help them succeed with their investments?
Charles: Absolutely. My advice follows the time honored principles of quality, consistency and diversification. Most of my new clients haven't been taking advantage of those basic concepts. All of their savings may be in the bank, earning a low interest rate, and then they pay at least a third of that in taxes. Sometimes they have their money in fixed-rate annuities, or in government or tax-free funds.
These clients would like to be earning more on their investments, but they don't know how to increase their yield and still maintain their comfort level. I show them how they can safely diversify their portfolio and earn a higher rate of return.
On the other hand, some of my new clients already own stocks or growth mutual funds, but they don't have a coordinated investment plan. They don't have any real idea as to why they own a particular stock or fund. In addition, the assets haven't been balanced to reduce the risk and volatility of their portfolio.
This is where professional advice is needed. By using state-of-the-art tools, I structure a financial plan that exactly fits my client's situation. The result is an investment strategy that guarantees long-term success.
Mike: I understand you also worked as an attorney for thirty years. How do you use this experience in the counseling you provide?
Charles: My background as an estate planning attorney is directly related to the work I do for clients on their investments.
The question is, "how can I use my knowledge of estate planning and taxes to benefit my clients?" The answer is to explain options and ideas that give clients a fresh look at their situation. My legal background is also very helpful when I'm interacting with other advisors, including attorneys, CPA's and tax preparers.
My clients understand when I provide investment services, I'm acting as a registered securities representative. I'm also an affiliate of a registered investment adviser and a licensed life insurance agent.
The benefit of having a wide range of experience is I'm able to be more effective in advising my clients about their investments, and helping them to protect their assets at the same time.
Mike: I'm curious about how you actually work with your clients. Tell me about the specific services you offer.
Charles: Very often, clients come to me for help with a particular transaction. They have a certain amount of money to invest, but they don't necessarily want ongoing asset management. This can usually be handled in one or two meetings, by collecting enough information to help the client make the best decision.
I also work with a number of individuals and corporations who want me to actively manage their investment portfolio. I make continuing recommendations to these clients, and they receive regular progress reports. As an advisory affiliate, I'm able to provide these services at a very reasonable fee.
My goal is to make my service fit my client's needs, whether it's focused investment advice, or an ongoing arrangement, in which I manage assets and report back periodically to the client.
Mike: You work with many individuals and businesses. How do you stay in touch with all of them?
Charles: I'm fortunate that I enjoy meeting personally with my clients, as much as I enjoy the results of helping them with their investments.
I send out monthly statements and detailed quarterly evaluations, as a service to clients who arrange for ongoing asset management. We also schedule periodic reviews of their portfolio, which we can do either in the office or by phone.
Part of my job is to stay on top of the financial news, and I send out a monthly newsletter to keep everyone up to date with changes that affect taxes, investments and asset protection.
We've been talking about how I help my clients invest for success. The key to my success is building long-term relationships with satisfied customers. I let my clients know they can always come to me when they have a question or a problem that needs a solution.
Mike: You've referred to your affiliation with Crown Capital Securities, L.P. Give us some background on the company.
Charles: I like working with a nationwide company that allows me a great deal of independence. Unlike some of the large brokerage firms, Crown Capital doesn't encourage the sale of its own proprietary products, so I'm always free to select the best investments for each client.
Crown Capital is a registered broker/dealer and a member of the FINRA and SIPC. Our due diligence department is one of the best in the industry, analyzing investment products before I offer them to my clients.
Mike: You've told us about the service and support you provide, and now I'd like to know more about the client who would use your services. What can you tell us about the typical client you do business with?
Charles: Generally speaking, I work with individuals and businesses who have significant investment assets. This includes retirees, people who are near retirement, business owners and trustees of pension plans.
The majority of my individual clients are age 50 and older. They've reached a place in life where they're financially comfortable, but they're looking for ways to protect and improve their position. Typically, these clients have savings, investment assets, and IRA's or tax-qualified plans.
When I work with younger clients, it's because they've developed a pool of money, usually through insurance, an inheritance, or a high personal income, and they want to make sure those funds are invested wisely.
All of my clients have one thing in common ... they don't want to do the work required to become financial experts. However, they're very interested in making smart decisions with their money, and that's what brings us together.
Mike: This concludes the interview. Naturally, the benefit you will derive from this audiotape depends entirely upon you. What you've just heard is a small sample of the many services that set Charles Shackelford apart from others in the industry.
If you have enjoyed these interview highlights would like to discover how Charles can help you, we invite you to call or write today. Charles welcomes your questions and comments, and looks forward to working with you.
Please call Charles at (619) 291-2000.
To meet with him personally, you may call to schedule an appointment.