Wealth planning is about strategy. You need to play the short and long game, and if you have a “coach” or advisor, who can understand your immediate needs while still seeing the big picture, it is invaluable.
The major majority of us are not financial experts, so why do many feel they need to achieve a certain level of success before consulting a wealth planner?
Nash Subotic, founder and CEO of San Diego-based WestPac Wealth Partners, says it’s never too early to begin financial planning, and it is particularly crucial prior to opening a business or getting ready to sell a business.
“If you’re a chess player, and you don’t have a good opening, you’re more than likely to be playing catchup throughout the game, and it often ends in checkmate,” he says. “People get very few chances to recover from a bad chess opening.”
“When it comes to a business opening,” he quickly adds, “it’s the same thing. If you have a business already, or if you’re about to open a business, you need to make sure that opening is done correctly. Or otherwise, you end up paying more in all aspects of your life.”
WestPac Wealth Partners doesn’t only provide financial planning for entrepreneurs but individuals of every income level in addition to executives and established businesses, and they have specialized programs to meet the unique needs of professional athletes and medical professionals.
The company – originally founded in Honolulu, where it still has an office – is accessible nationwide. The corporate headquarters are now in San Diego, and the company has several offices in California, including the Bay Area, Encino, and Orange County, and additional locations in Las Vegas, Portland, Oregon, Scottsdale, and Missoula, Montana.
“Everybody deserves to have solid financial advice and can benefit from wealth planning,” Subotic says. “Although we specialize in business owners, professionals, executives, and families, it doesn’t mean that we aren’t available to help anybody who wants help. We want to help people just starting out at 22 or 23, and we want to take care of people who are already retired. As soon as you start making an income, you should start financial planning.”
Subotic, a former college basketball player, says his sports experience helped form the company’s mission and vision on the aspects of teamwork. It has garnered awards and recognition as an excellent employer by Great Place to Work. Fortune Magazine has named it to its Top 10 Best Mid-Sized Companies list, No. 5 on its Best Workplaces for Millennials, and No. 1 on its Financial and Insurance Listing. Inc. Magazine named it to its list of Best Workplaces in 2020 and to its 5000 Fastest Growing Companies designation. It now has $2.5 billion in assets administered and 33,000+ clients.
“We now have close to 250 team members,” Subotic says. “A percentage is support staff, but most are financial advisors working for themselves. We like to say they’re working for themselves, but not by themselves. We offer great opportunities for any advisor looking to grow their business. We have our sights set on growing 20% every year so we can double our business every five years.
When asked about their growth, Subotic replied, “It’s about people working together and growing together. We have a collective responsibility to help the community. On a national level, on a local level and in the home.. This vision of serving our communities is what has helped us grow faster than other companies.”
The company has many former athletes as team members with relationships in the realms of professional basketball, tennis, and baseball. Professional athletes have unique needs and need sound advice throughout their careers by knowledgeable experts and they see the big picture and prepare them for what’s coming in five, ten or even forty years.
“We want them to focus on their careers and let us handle their financial matters as much as we can,” Subotic says. “This means protecting their wealth from the beginning of their careers throughout their lifetimes.”
Subotic credits the holistic processes and systems the firm utilizes for their clients and focusing on planning and strategy while keeping that “big picture” for everyone in mind. Most people, no matter how financial or business savvy, have some degree of myopia for their immediate situation and seeing past it to objectively view their entire financial future is not easy. This can be true of starting your first job, opening a business or preparing to sell a long-established business.
“Many firms in California and rest of the United States focus on the delivery of financial products, such as investments or insurance,” Subotic says. “And if people choose not to buy those products, they don’t become clients of those firms. We take people through the planning process, and the products come in more as tools to help solve specific issues.
“For us, the difference is the strategy and team approach. Oftentimes people have CPAs, attorneys, financial, investment and insurance advisors giving them different information, which can be difficult. We bring everyone to the table to make sure the team is in alignment with the client’s overall goals.”
It starts with managing your income and protecting yourself by saving money, which is a challenge, especially for those just starting out and/or those making just enough to survive.
“We have to be realistic and meet people where they are. Can you save 20% of your gross income? For most people, probably not. The average American only saves 2% but that’s not enough. So let’s start with 5% and then move it up to 10% and then 15%. The savings, protection, and growth are some of the fundamentals of what we are talking about for our clients, whether they’re individuals, business owners, professional athletes, executives and families. We help them make smart financial decisions and take them through our unique process and go from there.”
WestPac Wealth Partners actively connects with clients who are just starting out – in their 20s and early 30s – as they’re going to be the people who will take over the businesses and wealth legacies of the older generations as they finish their careers over the next 20 years or so. “Financially pragmatic Gen-Zs and Millennials,” Subotic concludes, “highly benefit from early-career wealth planning to position themselves as businessowners of the future.”
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