Why I Went To CORE –
So, the question everyone has been asking me … Why did you go to CORE Investment Management?
Earlier this year I joined CORE Investment Management, LLC (CORE) as Vice President and Investment Advisor Representative. CORE offers investment advisory services through Asset Management Financial Services, Inc. (“AMFS”).
Serving clients in Tampa Bay and beyond for more than two decades, CORE provides wealth management services in a fiduciary capacity. Upon meeting the CORE family, I was immediately convinced that our philosophy and client service ethic are fully aligned. And I love our team approach — our entire staff has the pleasure of serving all clients. We, all of us, really get to know our clients, their individual situations and needs. This helps to not only better serve our clients but ensures that there is always someone available to help.
Before I jump into why I decided to make the switch, I must take a moment to thank the dedicated team at Westshore Financial Group where I spent the last three plus years of my career. A “hybrid” finance shop like Westshore provides insight on how to implement financial plans, structure insurance portfolios and access a wide array of investment managers and strategies. Industry knowledge gained was invaluable, and I am grateful for the guidance and support of Westshore’s tenured advisors (not only those in the Tampa office but also the team of advisors nationwide) as well as an amazing support staff. In my heart of hearts, I unequivocally believe that my experiences at Westshore helped me become the advisor I am today.
Now, back to CORE…
As a fee-only Advisor, CORE’s revenue comes from the clients we serve as a percentage of the assets managed — we do not receive commissions. Our advice and our compensation are totally independent of the financial products recommended.
For those of you unfamiliar with the different business models in the financial services space, I will give you a quick tutorial.
Both brokers and investment advisors can provide investment advice. One of the main differences between the two is the standard to which they must adhere. As a Registered Investment Advisor, at CORE we must adhere to the fiduciary standard which requires that we place our clients’ interest above our own. You might assume this standard applies to all financial advisors; however, brokers are only obligated to adhere to a suitability standard. The suitability obligation is defined as making recommendations that are consistent with the best interest of the customer.
Of course, many brokers place their clients’ interests first, and I have had the pleasure of working with brokers who did an amazing job for their clients. My point is that it’s important to do your due diligence on whoever you entrust with your family’s financial future. Make sure you have vetted them properly and you understand how they are compensated. I lay my head down at night and sleep easy knowing that at CORE we place our clients first.
And on a personal note …
Of Albanian descent, I strongly value that culture. I was raised by immigrant parents and grandparents who were born in what was formerly known as Yugoslavia, and I’ve been blessed to have been raised with an incredible work ethic. When I was eight years old my family moved to the United States from Denmark and, like most immigrants, working hard to provide for your family was simply what was done. It didn’t matter how long the hours or how difficult the job — you got it done.
But that work ethic has come with a price. Grueling hours and arduous work was the norm, and that’s something I’ve carried into every position I’ve held … countless early mornings at our family restaurants, long nights sleeping in grocery stores as an Aldi store manager and huge amounts of time and money making a name for myself in the financial services industry. I’m not proud to admit that this came at the expense of the people that love me the most, my family and friends.
Last year the universe sent me a wakeup call. In a single year I lost my mother, grandmother, grandfather, great aunt and a close older relative. No amount of hard work, money or success could compensate for this painful loss. I was accustomed to working my way out of any situation and I was suddenly faced with the reality that I couldn’t work my way out of this. And I couldn’t turn back the clock. So, I decided to make a change — family, friends and soul became my new focus.
CORE provides me the opportunity to balance business and life. My new office in Belleair is only minutes away from home, affording me the opportunity to spend more precious time with family. And no matter where I am or what my current availability, I know someone is there to serve our clients. … no revolving door of assigned advisor and/or assistants in whose absence you can’t get answers. This approach helps us to function effectively as a firm, but more importantly, it is extremely beneficial to the clients we serve. And I get to do what I do best, build relationships. My time is spent in the community with people I care about where I can be a part of the growing Tampa Bay Area.
For the first time in my life, I can truly say that my values, beliefs and desires are all in alignment. So, to my new family at CORE, thank you for the opportunity to be a part of your personal and professional lives.