Published June 21, 2016
Volume 24, Number 6

Monterey Private Wealth Provides Expert Financial

Management for Families, Businesses

Monterey Private Wealth
Monterey Private Wealth team members and financial advisors in Monterey, Calfornia. 

By Jay Hipps

With the world of finance and investment growing increasingly complex, it is important to have access to expert advice. That is what is provided by Monterey Private Wealth, a firm which provides a variety of services to both private parties and businesses.
“We provide wealth management consulting for families and individuals as well as retirement plan design and fiduciary management for businesses, including 401(k), 403(b), and profit sharing plans,” says Gary Alt, AIF, CFP, a co-founder of Monterey Private Wealth. “Our clients are typically individuals; families; trustees of trusts, including special needs trusts; and commercial businesses, primarily in the Bay Area.”
One of the key differences between Monterey Private Wealth and other investment companies, Alt says, is that his is a fee-only firm. “Most of the financial services firms operate on commissions — when you go to a financial advisor and you discuss your financial situation, what your concerns are, what your goals are, they may try to sell you six or seven different products and each of those products pays a different commission rate to that advisor.” This creates an inherent conflict of interest because what may be best for the investor may not offer the highest commission. “If we put a certain product in your portfolio, it’s there because we think it’s the best for you, and not that it’s the best for us. We’re compensated the same amount regardless of what is in your portfolio.”
Avoiding these sort of conflicts of interest is especially important in designing retirement plans for businesses, Alt says. “Typically, companies come to us because they have concerns about the plan that they have in place or they're referred to us by a CPA or some other business consultant that they're working with. In today's world, the Department of Labor is starting to get very strict about and be very clear with companies what their fiduciary responsibilities are. It used to be, for instance, hey, I can hire my brother in law — he works at a brokerage firm, I'll just hire him to manage our company's retirement plan. That kind of conflict of interest is a big red flag right now for a retirement plan, so there are very specific steps that a business needs to take in order to protect themselves from any fines from the Department of Labor.”
The firm’s portfolio of services for individuals is no less robust. “Regardless of how much wealth people have created over the years, everybody still wonders, ‘am I going to have enough money? Am I going to outlive my assets?’ You can solve that,” says Alt. “There are a number of ways to answer that question, but for each individual family, the way you solve that equation is very, very different. What it involves is how do I save money on taxes? How do I control the risk of my investments? How do I find areas of growth in today's world, where we've got such low interest rates? You don't earn anything in the bank so where can I put my money where it's going to be safe and yet where I can still find some growth? It even goes into intergenerational wealth planning and college saving.”
Above all, Alt has one message for investors. “The days of investing as a hobby are really over,” he says. “The financial impact of making wrong decisions is too big today. There is no easy money to be made until it becomes more complex, and that also put a lot more pressure on businesses to fulfill their fiduciary responsibilities.”
For additional information on Monterey Private Wealth, call (925) 462-8005 or access their web site at www.montereyprivatewealth.com.


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