As a worldwide pandemic began to surge through the nation, many people panicked about their health and financial wellbeing. At Premier Planning Group, Jason LaBarge and his team remained prepared, proactive and confident in the retirement plans created for his clients.
LaBarge communicated to his clients, “This is why you hired me. We built our plan, and we don’t want to have knee-jerk reactions. This is the time you should trust in your asset allocation and stick to the plan we built.”
As a financial advisor and fiduciary, LaBarge specializes in helping his clients manage their emotions. “One of the reasons people hire us is because we are just as invested in their money, just not emotionally,” he said. “Oftentimes, when the market has a bad day, every fabric of your being wants you to instinctively sell, but this may actually be a good time to buy.
“During the last 10 months, we have seen a volatile market, and I continue to advise my clients of the basic rule of investing: buy low, sell high. Where there is chaos, there is opportunity.”
LaBarge’s philosophy begins with a plan that balances “green money” and “red money” and prepares his clients for both market booms and recessions.
Green money mostly consists of savings accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), fixed annuities and money market accounts. Red money is comprised of stocks, mutual funds and variable annuities, investments that can carry some risk, but have the potential to grow.
“Green money is the guarantee, so we know that is not going to lose no matter what is going on in the market. Green money is where we generate your income from, so every month you’re getting your monthly allotment – no matter who the president is, who is running the Senate,” LaBarge said. “It’s the red money that is volatile, and that’s your fun money, that’s your travel money, it’s your emergency money, and we expect that to be volatile. So, when it is volatile, it’s meeting our expectations.”
Just as people should not be deterred because the Dow Jones has a bad day, they also should not panic because of election results either, LaBarge insisted.
“Under Joe Biden and under Donald Trump, there are different sets of winners,” he added. “Due to COVID, sure, your retail falters, but other companies will dominate. So as the world opens, you have it shifting the other direction. So professional management is what is important. It is imperative to build a portfolio that isn’t following the whims of the day but is consistent with your need as an individual and family.”
During the pandemic, LaBarge and his team have given unwavering support to their clients. Jessie Ringle, Alyssa Obrebski, Lilian Reddish, Katie Grafton and Massimo Delogu not only assist with the day-to-day financial needs but also go above and beyond by continuing to exceed clients’ expectations.
As marketing manager, Delogu coordinated many entertaining activities for clients during the pandemic, including sending meals to clients from local restaurants as well as mailing care packages and organizing activities for all clients to enjoy and distract from trying times.
“We strive to be a cornerstone in our clients’ life,” said Ringle, director of client accounts and operations. “So even if it’s not something that we specifically do here — if you have Medicare or estate planning needs, or need help buying or refinancing your home — Jason has the professional relationships and contacts to refer you to.”
Obrebski, LaBarge’s client servicing specialist, said, “We’re already an organic, close-knit practice, so a lot of our clients like to refer their family and friends to Jason. We strive to exceed expectations, by not only planning during early stages of retirement, but assisting our clients’ children, to help them invest and prepare for retirement as well.”
LaBarge’s vision is to have a one-stop shop from where all financial and retirement needs can be met within one organization. For example, Reddish was originally hired as an intern, but due to COVID and college regulations, her services immensely expanded into more of an associate advisor role, where upon graduation, she can take on several activities that LaBarge typically does.
LaBarge offers clients reassurance that they will enter retirement with enthusiasm and not fear, no matter what takes precedence nationally.
Just as buying a house is a milestone in someone’s life, so is retirement. LaBarge sees several parallels between the two.
“I look at investing like building a house,” LaBarge said. “The guaranteed investments are the foundation, then you can get slightly more aggressive with your walls and windows. Then you can get more aggressive with your window dressing. The guaranteed part is the foundation, which is giving you your monthly income. Then your mutual funds could be the walls and windows, and then your individual stocks performing as the window decor. But the foundation is giving you income for life.
“We’ve had so many good years, so when it turned this year, we were able to illustrate to people that this is why we build the plan that we do and this is the market we do it for,” LaBarge said.
Jason LaBarge and his team are meeting clients at their comfort level, whether it’s in person, by phone or virtually via Zoom. LaBarge offers complimentary consultations to discuss individual goals. To schedule a no-obligation consultation, call 443-837-2542. To learn more about saving for retirement, visit www.jasonlabarge.com.
Securities offered through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Summit Financial Group Inc., a registered investment adviser. Summit and Cetera are affiliated and under separate ownership from any other named entity.
Asset allocation is an investment strategy that will not guarantee a profit or protect you from loss.
The views depicted in this material are for information purposes only and are not necessarily those of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC. They should not be considered specific advice or recommendations for any individual.