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You are here: Business Finance The Personal CFO Approach to Family Finance
In today's world, where economic certainty is gone, job security is a thing of the past, and we are forced to be more self-reliant in our economic existence just to get by, almost every one of us has had to make changes in adjusting to a whole new financial reality. Many people have lost benefits at work. Others have had to take over their own IRA or other account after losing a job.

Gene Diederich is the CEO of Moneta Group, a firm providing financial services to clients with complex financial lives in these trying times. “Our core values include being passionate about what we do, acting in our clients’ best interests, and delivering ‘Fan Raving’ service. We do this through a very distinct model we call the Family CFO model,” says Diederich. “This model focuses on acting as a family chief financial officer. …  Our competitors frequently only address the investment side of a family’s finances.”

Clients often engage Moneta Group to streamline their financial planning process and eliminate the need for multiple advisers—although the firm is happy to collaborate with clients’ other professionals if they prefer. The resulting relationships are analogous to the responsibilities of a CFO within a company or corporation. Many families are still trying to recover from changes in the economic landscape over the past few years that have affected their finances in different ways. Moneta Group manages and quarterbacks every aspect of a family’s finances including investments, estate planning, and tax and insurance planning.

Today, as many advisers and clients migrate away from brokerage firms or wire houses, Moneta group seems to be benefiting from this new financial adviser model. “The economy is forcing people to think smarter about family cash flow and retirement,” says Diederich. “We are a fee-only-based firm, so we don’t represent any products or vendors. Our entrepreneurial teams, led by our principals, focus on exceptional service. We are paid only by our clients based on the assets we manage, and don’t take revenue sharing from mutual funds or commissions.  This allows us to act as true fiduciaries to our clients and ensures that we are on the same side of the table.”

The modern financial adviser focuses more on a client’s behavior rather than on selling financial products. “In 2008 and 2009, we balanced bad economic times with a disciplined approach to re-balancing a client’s portfolios,” says Diederich, “and will do the same now that markets are running back up. ... We stress the importance of developing an allocation plan, and …  an important part of what we do for  clients is to help them stick with the plan they’ve laid out.”

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