Consuming buckets of ramen noodles and countless peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches when he first launched his wealth management business, Michael C. Dickerson, CFP®, the CEO of Dickerson Wealth Advisers knows first-hand about economic hardship. At the time, he lived almost solely on ramen and peanut butter-and-jelly dreams, because that’s all he could afford.
That is why Dickerson truly understands the struggles clients face as they negotiate the world of keeping today’s needs met while at the same time creating savings for the future.
He also knows the value a dedicated Financial Adviser can bring to a client who is truly working toward his or her financial goals.
“I want to work with people who are truly serious about working toward their goals – and not folks who just want to see what the market can do for them,” Dickerson emphasized.
Financial planning has characterized his entire career. At age 39, Dickerson sits in the unusual position of having more than 16 years of experience along with the credentials as a Certified Financial Planner to back up the advice he gives to clients.
Operating his business in a fiduciary manner is a paramount principal for Dickerson. He isn’t bothered by new fiduciary definitions and regulations the Federal Dept. of Labor plans to introduce in April 2017.
“It combines the Golden Rule with legal enforcement,” he said. “Hopefully, it will get rid of the bad apples out there.”
He sees some improvement in the way clients are informed regarding the costs associated with their financial transactions. But he still does not believe the current 401k fee disclosures are enough to fully inform clients of the expenses associated with their accounts. Dickerson said, “The companies have found ways to build the fee into the account in other ways, and have figured out ways to hide the fees. Even when the fees are disclosed, the clients do not realize what these fees actually mean anyway.” But he isn’t bothered so much by all of that, especially since he thinks the fees are fairly low for what the client is receiving in most cases. The only exception may be in the case of smaller plans where costs are spread across fewer participants.
Dickerson’s main concern is with building authentic and strong client relationships that will weather market events such as the 2008 to March 2009 Great Recession, and personal events such as the death of a spouse, which can send a client’s family into a tailspin.
“Your job as a financial advisor is to tell them how it is going to affect them, what the alternatives are, and to give them advice and listen to their needs during these difficult times,” Dickerson said. “These types of events are going to happen – things from a spouse passing away to an adult kid needing money, which is a big problem nowadays. As their advisor, you just have to listen to what they are going through and talk them through it, knowing that you have their best interest in mind.”
Learn more about Michael C. Dickerson and his firm, Dickerson Wealth Advisers, online at www.dickersonwealthadvisers.com
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