Creating custom income strategies is more than just a tagline for Lawson Winchester Wealth Management. It's the way the firm does business.
"It's our full motto about the way we do everything from financial planning to building portfolios," said Bill Winchester, the firm's co-founder, managing partner and branch manager. "Everything we do is completely customized."
Most financial planning companies group all their clients into two or three different styles in order to manage as many as possible and do an "OK" job, he said. Lawson Winchester works to meet the needs of the individual and does so through getting to know that person and their hopes for the future by using a "Jerry McGuire" model, said Winchester.
"We are much more intentional to focus on the client," he said. "We work our hardest based on the person's goals, hopes and even their personalities."
He and his partner did not start the firm to be average, but rather to deliver superior returns and build superior relationships, he added.
When starting with a new client, executives at Lawson Winchester begin with two basic questions: "How much income will you need and when will you need it?" Winchester said. "We back it up from there and everything is very much based on that person and where they are in life."
Everyone needs income the day they retire, but how does one go about making sure it's there and in the capacity that they need? Lawson Winchester executives suggest and work toward a strategy that pairs growth with income-producing dividends.
As history continually repeats itself and markets go up and down, Winchester explained that in the history of investing, nearly 50 percent of the overall return from all markets came from dividends.
"In the flat and down years, dividends far outperform," he said. "When people reach the point of retirement, they can stop reinvesting and start taking their cash."
The firm's executives constantly do research for solid dividend-paying investments that have a track record of price appreciation or at least preservation of capital, said Winchester. They look for equities, closed end funds and mutual funds and more to find investments that would be most beneficial to each individual client on any given day, he said.
For those wondering when a good time to start building a plan is, the answer, said Winchester, is the sooner, the better.
"As soon as they read this article," he joked. "People have a misconception of what financial planning is and often see it as a concrete assignment. And while that's not true, the more planning we can do now and the more deliberate we are with our actions, the closer the client will be to their goal in the end."
He added that there are no guarantees, but the more knowns and the fewer random variables there are in the equation now, the better results they can help the client achieve.
"We are all about reality," he said. "We are convinced each person has the ability to pursue their dreams, and we will do all we can to help."
Using real world examples and scenarios, executives work with clients to help them better understand the path they will need to take to get them to their ideal retirement situation.
"It comes down to risk adjusted returns," Winchester said. "Risk management is the name of the game, especially when you are at the point of taking income, and you don't have to follow the herd and have your money managed a certain way by certain people. There is a firm out there that sits down with you and makes a plan based on you and your intentions, and you can have the big-time products and specialization of a major firm and the customization of a boutique firm like ours."
Lawson Winchester Wealth Management is located at 827 Broad St., Suite A (in the Read House), and can be reached at 648-0570. Visit the firm's new website at www.lawsonwinchester.com to learn more as well.