Five questions with Roger and Eric Johnson

Father and son financial advisers

Posted 12/26/17

What do you do at PBS Wealth Management Consultants? Roger: I’m president and founder of PBS and we’re celebrating our 40th anniversary this year. The firm was built on the concept to help …

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Five questions with Roger and Eric Johnson

Father and son financial advisers

Posted

What do you do at PBS Wealth Management Consultants?

Roger: I’m president and founder of PBS and we’re celebrating our 40th anniversary this year. The firm was built on the concept to help individuals, small businesses and 501(c)3 companies to put money in the context of life, their values, what their vision is of the rich life and help them build that or retain that. Since founding of the company, my position is continually working my individual clients — some of the them are second or third generation. We are fortunate enough to have now added an office in Grand Junction, Colorado.

Eric: Most of our clients are looking toward retirement. But we do have businesses with different needs and goals. We help people identify those goals. It’s a relational business, not a transactional business.

2What are some standouts over the past 40 years in business?

Eric: When I first started here in the mid `90s, I remember talking to a guy from Fidelity Funds. And the Fidelity Magellan Fund at that time was the largest mutual fund out there. It had a huge track record and yet the average investor in that portfolio lost money and weren’t really ahead. Because they would invest with their feelings and gut instead of rational thought, they would wait until things got really high and buy in and when then turned south, they would get out. They would allow their emotions to dictate their decision making. So with all this technology out there, now people are less likely to make those decisions along the way. But there was just a study done saying that even with all the technology, when getting sound advice from a financial adviser, you are more likely to reach your goals and have better outcome than doing it yourself and relying on technology.

Roger: Technology has made available for us all sorts of information. I think we have embraced that in our firm. We have a total open architecture format. What that means in terms of investments is we have access to all basic investments out there. We can pick and choose what best in our opinion works for that client. Then the technology allows for some of the best and brightens portfolio strategists to be integrated into a smaller individual plan. Another side of technology is that we serve clients in 32 states. Without technology we couldn’t do that.

3How is PBS celebrating 40 years?

Eric: We’re doing a number of things. Part of it is going back and reflecting where we’ve been, what we’ve done and celebrating that with our families and friends and associated. Earlier this fall, we had a big gala with our clients. That was a special moment for me. We’re also realizing what’s changed. This has been very much a male-dominated industry over the years. My father and his generation were the initial financial planners. They were very much the pioneers in the industry. So, when I came on close to 20 years ago, I was the next generation. Now I’m quickly realizing I’m transitioning from the younger generation to the older generation. But it’s still been a very male-dominated industry. Part of our forward thinking is starting a mentorship program for female advisers.

We’re also realizing that this industry as a whole, there are not a lot of people coming into it. People are thinking technology will solve it — robo advisers. It’s getting harder to find good qualified people who can do this work. So, we also started a scholarship program at Red Rocks Community Colleges. We’re trying to encourage people to look at this industry, because it is a very rewarding industry to be in. People do far better when they have professional financial advice. And I don’t think that message is getting out there enough.

4Why do you want to partner with Red Rocks Community College to open a scholarship?

Eric: I’ve got a son at Red Rocks, so I’ve spent a fair amount of time doing research in what they’re doing. Part of our job as financial advisers is to maximize returns for our clients. Red Rocks has some very strong programs where you can start there and move on to other colleges. Dollar for dollar, they’re probably the best value in town. I love to support Arvada and the West Metro Area. Red Rocks in a natural fit for that. And we very much need more people in this industry — more people to look at this as a career.

Roger: We believe a great deal in community involvement and giving back to the community in many ways. So, we felt it would be appropriate to have the scholarship here at Red Rocks.

5Do you have any financial planning advice for the community?

Eric: My best advice is it’s never too early to start. Its’ never too late to start. The biggest part is you need to have a plan. And you want to have contingency plans. Things do not always go according to plans. Layoffs happen. Kids happen. And you have to have backups. And it’s always good to have an extra set of eyes checking it out. The younger you can start, the better you’ll be in the long run.

Roger: Some simple axioms I can say is that people do not plan to fail, they fail to plan. Another one is if you don’t know where you are, how can you know where you’re going. Both of those concepts are very important when it comes to planning. Another thing that’s so important for young people and is often overlooked is the greatest advantage they have is time — the earlier you start, they faster you can accumulate and the less you have to save.

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