LOUISVILLE, Ky., March 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – Sixteen years ago, Matt Dicken was exactly where he wanted to be. He had finally become a manager at a prestigious financial firm, having worked his way through the ranks from 18-year old intern to sitting in his own private office. But as he was promoted further and further into management, he didn't like what he saw behind the velvet curtain of financial brokerage.
He recalls, "A lot of the training we were given and the things we were told to recommend to clients were investments that would make the managers of the firm the most money – not the clients." That wasn't why he got into the business of financial advising – so he left.
In 2002, Matt Dicken founded Strategic Wealth Designers in Louisville, Kentucky. He describes it as an almost reactionary move to the financial culture in which he began his career. "I founded my company so I wouldn't have to worry about any quotas, or have anyone looking over my shoulder to see how my advice would benefit everyone but the client," he says. As a national coach and mentor for financial advisors and CPAs, he spreads his revolutionary "safer money" approach to investing, a philosophy of conservative money management that runs counter to the paradigm of "buy and hope" that has reigned in investment planning for the past 30 years.
When clients walk through Matt Dicken's door, or call in with questions to his radio show, "Ask Matt Dicken," there is one mistake he sees all too often: a retiree who has too much, or all, of his or her portfolio at risk to the market. While playing it safe in a volatile economy sounds like common sense, it can feel counter-intuitive to the new generation of retirees who profited greatly from the robust economy that held throughout much of their working lives.
Dicken argues that retirees should look at how previous generations handled their money in his book, "Retirement Planning in a New Direction: A Return to Common Sense." He admits, "The title of the book contradicts itself," since the heart of his advice lies in taking an old-fashioned approach to managing money. In the wake of over a decade of economic storms, the prevailing trends in wealth management may in fact become the mirror image of the frugality made famous by the Depression Era generation. Like their parents before them, retiring Baby Boomers have undergone financial trial by fire and are rightly wary of unnecessary risk.
It's a time in which Matt Dicken's back-to-basics message seems poised to be heard and embraced. "I've seen a shift in the last decade – with everyone having lost money, many more people are leaning towards conservative investing," he says. Perhaps it's time to look back at how our parents and grandparents lived, saved, and invested. Dicken says that if retirees adopt three priorities: safety, a reasonable return, and keeping things simple, then they'll be more likely to have a successful retirement.
Any questions? Just ask Matt Dicken.