Friday, July 20 , 2018, 10:03 am | Overcast 66º



My New Financial Advisor Capitalizes on Rising Needs of Baby-Boomer Investors

The company, traditionally tailored for high-net-worth individuals, scales down its services for clients of all financial means

The country’s current economic recession has affected Americans across the wealth spectrum, but perhaps the group hit hardest is the baby-boomer generation.

Many have seen their retirements slashed in half, or even dried up completely, during the past couple of years. It begs the question: Is it possible to recover that lost or severely depleted nest egg?

According to local investment guru Frank Troise, founder of My New Financial Advisor, the answer is yes, but he warns investors to beware of anyone offering a quick fix or a “silver bullet.”

With the recent launch of MNFA, Troise, who has managed multibillion-dollar portfolios for corporations, endowments, foundations and high-net-worth individuals, is taking his pragmatic approach to wealth management and scaling it down to make it accessible to investors of all financial means — which is good news for baby boomers trying to rebuild and plan for an uncertain future.

“What we are trying to do with this company that is pretty unique is to put regular people in a position where they have the same level of services and resources being made available to them that would be available to an individual with a net worth of $100 million,” Troise said. “That type of scaling back just hasn’t happened post-recession. Wall Street is the only industry that hasn’t figured out that there is a recession.”

Troise, who used to work on Wall Street as a proprietary trader, moved to California 15 years ago and started a company called SoHo Asset Management. SoHo began as a traditional small family office but quickly grew into one of the most well-respected asset management firms in the state. Before the recession hit, Troise and SoHo exclusively handled the portfolios of individuals with a net worth of $10 million or more. Then, in 2008, Troise began moving his traditional family office to the cloud, allowing SoHo to become a player on the global stage.

The move tragically dovetailed the Lehman crisis, but while many Americans flailed desperately to find a toehold, Troise saw an opportunity to bring his company’s new cloud capabilities to a separate faction of investors.

“As a function of that crisis, we realized that there may be some benefit to us making some of the technology and functionality available to clients who didn’t fit our typical profile, which is $10 million in assets,” Troise said. “So we began lowering the bar, so to speak, and stepping back some of the services that we offered. So essentially what we did was we just took the same technology platform that we had on the cloud for Forbes 400 folks and started to make it available to people who were smaller than that.”

The reception to this scaled-back approach has been enormous, according to Troise. In fact, it has been so overwhelmingly positive that Troise decided to parlay his new model into a subsidiary, MNFA.

One of the main focal points so far for the nascent company has been to develop relationships with local banks to provide them with a turnkey trust and wealth management offering. According to Troise, this allows smaller local banks to have a wealth management component that traditionally only has been available through larger banks.

“With the help of our technology, local banks are now able to sit down with their clients and analyze the clients’ overall financial position, which is something that heretofore they have been unable to do,” he said. “Instead of simply being a place to open a checking account, now they have a tangible way to enhance their relationship with their clients.”

MNFA has already partnered with a few banks locally, and Troise says the company will continue to look for similar mutually beneficial business relationships as it grows and expands. A list of MFNA’s banking partners can be found on its website.

“Most smaller banks to this point have been advertising maybe a 1.2 percent CD rate,” he said. “This really gives them something to distinguish themselves from their larger competitors, which is something that we see as very valuable to them.”

For baby boomers worried about their dwindling retirements, perhaps the most important and unique service offered by MNFA is the retirement report. Traditionally such a report, delivered by one of the larger investment firms such as Merrill Lynch, would cost $3,000 to $5,000, depending on the net worth of the individual. But Troise decided to offer the commodity to his clients for a fraction of the cost.

“We just said, ‘Let’s pick a price point that is ridiculously cheap.’ So we began giving this report to people for $100,” Troise said. “Once we started generating a lot of traffic, we began reaching out to the banks and saying, ‘Look, how about you pay us the $100 for us to provide the individual with their retirement report, and the quid pro quo is that the person opens up an account with you?’”

For banks desperately trying to expand their client base, the decision is a no-brainer, Troise said. The end result is that clients received a free retirement analysis worth thousands of dollars.

“We can’t emphasize enough the importance of having that information going forward for baby boomers in their 40s and 50s looking at retiring in 10 or 20 years,” Troise said. “It’s of utmost importance. It’s having a plan versus not having a plan.”

Troise said that one of his biggest challenges moving forward with the burgeoning company is simply being able to keep up with demand, and scaling to meet that demand. But Troise recognizes that it’s a good problem to have and looks forward to the challenge.

MNFA has received a great amount of interest from the Venture Capital community, but Troise has decided to bootstrap the company so far. He said that while the proof-of-concept phase is over, they are still looking at strategic avenues for growth, and strategic partnerships for Series A funding.

Troise actually has taken a step back recently and handed over the day-to-day operations of the company to General Manager David Klein and Director of Business Development Jake Bush, who have worked together before at the top level of other local companies, including Direct Action LLC and Bargain Network Inc. The move allows Troise to focus more energy on the managing parent company, SoHo Asset Management.

But he’s confident that the subsidiary is in excellent hands, and that MFNA is poised to help people with average portfolios navigate these trying financial times.

“Boomers today have a lot of very difficult decisions to make, and Wall Street’s not telling them that. Wall Street’s all about silver bullets and immediately trying to fix the problem,” Troise said. “We view this as a great opportunity to help people and to do something good … something that is an absolute necessity in today’s environment.”

Click here to receive your retirement report.

— Kevin McFadden is a Noozhawk contributing writer.

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