Good riddance 2020, welcome 2021…

For the past 26 years, the professionals at ICG next have counseled clients across multiple generations on those topics (planning effectively for educational expenses, ensuring a smooth and orderly transition of wealth, philanthropic objectives, and planning for a comfortable and sustainable retirement) that are most important to their well-being.  And in doing so, there have been two New Year resolutions that have been constant – getting one’s financial house in order and taking better care of oneself.

While we are clearly in no position to instruct others about how to take better care of themselves, the academic accomplishments, professional credentials, areas of expertise, core competencies and experience advising clients over 26 years allows ICG next to be markedly well positioned to counsel client as we bid farewell to 2020 and welcome 2021.

Of course, gaining and maintaining greater control over one’s financial future can appear daunting.  After all, there are many, many decisions that must be made along the way.

However, and contrary to popular belief, the most critical decision an individual or family faces when seeking to gain and maintain greater control with regard to a financial future is NOT what firm is chosen (Morgan Stanley, Edward Jones, LPL Financial, Ameriprise Financial etc.) or what investments vehicles (mutual funds, annuities, stocks, etc.) are utilized in the design, adoption and management of a portfolio.

Instead, it is the financial professional(s) chosen, partnered with, that will enhance the likelihood of successfully addressing what is important, personally and financially.

Ironically, the financial services industry has done little to demonstrate and stress the importance of advisor selection – instead engaging in spirited debates designed to distract individuals and families from such an important decision.

Debates centered around the merits of passive investment strategies, active investment tactics, trading fees, annuities, Roth IRA’s vs Traditional IRA’s, engaging an independent advisor rather than one affiliated with broker dealer or ensuring engagement with a “fiduciary” are common.

Further and perhaps more disappointing is the lack of time and energy dedicated to explaining the importance of consistent, disciplined and repeatable behavior with regard to goal achievement.

Part and parcel, the importance of goal-based decisions.

After all, if one’s behavior is NOT consistent, disciplined and repeatable; if one’s decisions are not goal-based and aligned with desired outcomes and objectives; the use of passive investment strategies rather than active investment tactics, incurring a lower or higher trading fee, incorporating annuities into your planning strategy or not, taking advantage of a Roth IRA’s vs. a Traditional IRA’s or engaging an independent advisor, or an advisor affiliated with broker dealer or “fiduciary” could mean little with regard to success.

At the end of the day, the role of an advisor is one of education and empowerment – stewardship. 

Answers, solutions and strategies present themselves when an advisor and client engage collaboratively.

What’s next for you and your family in 2021 and beyond can be found at ICG next… ICG next is an innovative, established financial advisory firm located in Wall Township, NJ, serving multigenerational families as they plan for what’s next.


The opinions voiced are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

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