BY MELANIE YOUNG
Some people feel intimidated at the prospect of creating a financial plan. Others revel in the fine details of stocks, bonds, retirement planning and college funding. Luckily, there is a Trenton resident who can help people on either end of the spectrum.
Christopher Liphardt is a Licensed Financial Advisor at Allen Wealth Strategies in Southgate. He started there in 2008 and has been a vice president for four years. He is originally from Southgate, and attended St. Pius School and Gabriel Richard High School. He attended Wayne State University and took courses in a variety of areas, including business management. He worked his way through school, never taking on any student loan debt. He left school when he realized he knew what he wanted to do for his career.
Looking back, Liphardt sees how his career choice may have been forming when he was a child.
“I’ve always liked statistics, and when I was a kid, it was sports statistics,” Liphardt said. “I was always watching to see the correlations.”
For him, that naturally led to an interest in stocks. He said he realized that he could help people achieve retirement goals.
“Investments are tools to help people get where they want to be,” said Liphardt.
Christopher Liphardt said most of his clients are at retirement age, or just after retirement. Many seek assistance with what to do with their 401(k) once they can access it. His job is to look at each client’s total financial picture to provide the right assistance. He said it is never too early or too late to seek financial planning assistance, and there is no charge for an initial consultation.
“My job is to help people put together a portfolio based on income need,” Liphardt said.
As he works with clients, he sees one common financial mistake. Parents like to spend money on their kids. Meaning, many are either paying college tuition by taking loans out in their own names, pulling money out of retirement accounts to pay tuition or putting down payments on homes for their children. The best way to avoid doing that, according to Liphardt, is to take the emotion out of it.
Another common mistake people make is to “sell low and buy high.” That means that people see a stock is losing money, they panic and sell it when it’s a low point, instead of waiting it out. Liphardt said that’s where the use of a financial advisor can come in handy. He said there are lots of options out there for consumers to educate themselves about financial planning, such as CNBC, Forbes Magazine, and the Wall Street Journal. But he’s found that most people find it to be boring and monotonous, or people just don’t understand it.
Liphardt is cautiously optimistic about the future of the industry. A lot depends on what becomes of President Trump’s Executive Order on Core Principles for Regulating the United States Financial System. The order, which requests a systematic review of all financial regulations, could result in some deregulation of the industry.
“Deregulation is usually good for the market,” said Liphardt. He said tax reform, both business and personal, will be good for the market as well.
Liphardt added that there are many misconceptions about his industry, but the biggest is transparency.
“People don’t know the benefits we, as financial advisors, offer,” he said. He sees his job as one of strategy. He makes recommendations based on the personal circumstances of each client, and creates a strategy to achieve their goals. Christopher Liphardt asks his clients, “What is important about this money to you?” Then he acts accordingly on their behalf.
Allen Wealth Strategies is a full-service financial planning firm that provides services to clients in the areas of investment management, retirement, estate and education planning. They also provide support in the areas of Social Security, long term care, and elder care planning. The advisors can also advise clients on pension strategies.
Christopher Liphardt can be reached at Allen Wealth Strategies at (734) 282-3513. The firm also has an informative website, www.allenwealth-strategies.com, as well as a Facebook page.