story and photo by Van Mitchell, Staff Writer
Finding the right financial advisor to handle your investments can be challenging for anyone, including seniors.
Mike McCall, a financial advisor with Blue Crest Financial, located at 1300 North Walker Avenue, Suite 200 in Oklahoma City, said transparency is important to him and his clients.
“I’ve been doing this for 23 years,” he said. “Everyone’s had different experiences in life. They may have gotten burned buying an annuity. They may not have a financial advisor. They may not know who to trust. They might’ve had an experience where they put their money in banks and the bank crashed. I don’t have a cookie cutter approach to planning. I sit down with a client, interview them, and find out what’s important to them. I try to find a solution to make it fit. So maybe telling that story might be something that they consider. “
McCall has worked at Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, Metlife Securities Inc, Mml Investors Services, LLC and Mass Mutual Life Insurance Company.
“MML is my broker dealer, and the office that I’m in is Blue Crest Financial Group,” he said.
MML Investors Services, LLC performs a broad set of services, including financial planning services, portfolio management for individuals and small businesses, portfolio management for institutional clients, pension consulting services, selection of other advisers, educational seminars and other services.
McCall offers total financial needs analysis through a network of experienced professionals with expertise in:
• Retirement analysis and programs
• Estate strategies
• Employee benefit and retention services
• Business continuation strategies
• Trust services*
McCall said his senior clients are generally concerned about interest rates, stock market investments, and they’re more inclined to do safer investments.
“The number one concern for people is running out of money in retirement. And, that’s quickly followed by, I don’t know what to believe,” he said. “When you look at marketing today, it’s usually trying to scare the hell out of you. Like going to gold, the world’s collapsing. People don’t know who to trust, and so they need a guide and an advisor. So, a good way to look at me and my practice would be your general practice doctor, the guy you go to for checkups every year, because I’ve got a wide breadth of knowledge in a lot of different areas, I’ll run some tests to ask some questions, find out what’s bothering you, and then we may need to go to a specialist. I don’t want to just sell you a product. I’m more interested in building a relationship.”
McCall said he gives clients the options of what financial planning route they want to pursue.
“I have a process for financial planning, whether we do a fee-based plan or we do an annual review strategy with no fee. I’m going to approach it both ways,” he said. “I’m going to be your guide. I’m going to figure out what are you trying to accomplish, show me where everything’s at right now, and then I’m going to go through and find the best route up that mountain. There might be two or three routes we can take, and I’ll explain that to you.”
McCall also outlines to customers or prospects how he gets paid.
“If they understand that we operate in a levelized commission world, we’re not married to one company, and then our company has a process, a procedure called best interest contract,” he said. “In other words, as a fiduciary, I’ll act in the best interest of my client. Explaining to people my legal status as far as my licensing is concerned, I think that helps. It goes a long way in easing the client’s mind. Either the company’s paying me overcharging the financial fee, and I kind of let the client decide which route or path they want to take because everybody’s different. I think explaining that to somebody goes a long way.”
McCall said he enjoys building relationships with his customers.
“You really need to develop a relationship with that person,” he said. “Transparency means full disclosure, spending time talking to somebody, trying to find out what they’re trying to accomplish. When we engage a client, we lay out a calendar of activities, which can be anywhere from quarterly to annual review. Annual review is just once you get something set up. It doesn’t mean we’re only going to talk once during the year. It just means that we’re not going to do a formal review until the end of that year. Now, a lot of seniors don’t have a lot of moving parts. They don’t need a lot of reviews that may be appropriate to do once a year, and then if you get something in the mail or you can talk to somebody. I’ve got a full-time assistant, especially in that age group. They want to talk to a human being so that they can call me and bounce something off of me during that year. It’s what the client needs or wants to accomplish.”
McCall said it is important to research financial advisors before signing for services.
He said one way to know if a financial planner has good reviews is through what is known as a clean Form U4.
The Form U4 is the Uniform Application for Securities Industry Registration or Transfer. Individuals seeking to register as an investment adviser representative (“IAR”) of a registered investment advisor firm typically must use this form to become registered with a state securities regulator. This document is filed electronically via the Central Registration Depository (“Web CRD”) system.
Beyond these basics, applicants are required to self-report information relating to customer complaints, arbitration claims, regulatory proceedings, bankruptcies, certain criminal history record information, certain civil litigation and unsatisfied liens and judgments, among other things.
“I have a clean U4,” McCall said. “It (clean U4s) helps people from getting scammed because advisors out there that don’t have clean U4 and they just need to be aware of the problems that they’ve had in the past.”
For more information about Form U4 visit https://brokercheck.finra.org.
For more information about McCall’s financial advisory services call –