Interview

Nicholas Bunio Advisor Interview Article

Nicholas Bunio
Investment Advisor

Why did I want to become a financial advisor?  

When I was younger I was fascinated by the stock market and how it worked.  I think part of that came from my grandmother who used a stockbroker for many years and she always kept up with how her investments were doing. 

As I got older, my grandmother's health suddenly started to decline. In the mid-2000s, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and battled this for about 7 years. 

Also, around the same time, 2008 hit, and the markets nosedived. The stockbroker she had for many years really didn’t plan for her retirement, healthcare, long-term care, taxes, none of that.  I can see now, he really just bought and sold her some investments. That’s not a real retirement plan. 

Because of all of this, her money was running out very quickly and I could see the pain of not having a plan or working with a fiduciary financial advisor. 

Because of my grandmother, this is why I chose to get into this business. And why I am devoted to retirement planning. 

I see the real value of having someone there, taking the time to plan, choosing wise investments, and having the client’s best interest in mind. 

After all, there are no do-overs to retirement. 

What is your specialty?

First, I'm not a “generalist”. I would say, if I had to boil this down to a few short words, what I do is a mix between being a financial advisor and a psychologist for those over 50. Answering the question, “do I have enough to retire”? “How can I make my retirement dreams happen”? 

Sadly, many advisors out there are generalists with a mixed bag of clients. Some will say they plan for retirement, but to them, might be just buying a few funds for your IRA. 

That said, of course, I’m not a real psychologist, but many people are looking to me for help and to quell their concerns and fears. When the markets fall, they lose their job, often I’m there to listen to their concerns. I might even be the first person they reach out to for their concerns. 

Once you become a client, I also always start out with a retirement plan as the first step. This would have been critical for my grandmother to have and is critical for most people! 

I’m looking everything over. Meaning, when can you retire? Do you have enough to retire at 65 or should it be closer to 70?  Should you downsize? Are your investments properly allocated? Medicare and healthcare planning is critical! Healthcare is a major cost in retirement. What is your cash flow in retirement looking like?  If most of your income needs will come from an IRA/401(k), that can present a challenge. Why? Because stock market losses and overspending can lead you to run out of money later in retirement! 

Taking what I just said, formulating a plan and to answer these questions, is what I do for my clients. 

What type of clients do you cater to?

My clients are people just like you and me. They are not trying to do something crazy in their retirement like sail the world for 3 years.  Or start vineyard in Monaco. 

That said, maybe it’s my personality, but typically my clients are doctors, nurses, teachers, and federal employees. 

Also my clients are typically a couple, or women who are widowed/divorced. 

Why that is? I can’t say, maybe that’s my personality and who I often attract as clients.  Of course I have other clients who are not teachers and such, but that is the “typical” clientele of mine.

What’s a typical starting point for a perspective client? 

I try to make the starting point as easy as possible! Since I feel like I once read that people rather see their dentist than speak with a financial advisor. 

That’s why I keep the first intro meeting to a free, 30-minute call. You don’t have to come to my office in traffic! You can speak from the comfort of your own home! And I don’t need your statements for this free call.  Again, it keeps this from seeming too intimidating. 

I like to laugh and smile as part of my personality.  Not because I’m trying to be silly and unprofessional, but it’s to keep you at ease. And keep the conversation light. 

If I acted very serious and acted like this was an interrogation, that would be so off putting. It would make you feel very uncomfortable and worse,  you’d probably not want to work with me, or anyone else. 

Which only leads you to not working with a financial advisor and getting the help you need. 

Also, for those who are afraid they may not have “enough money” to work with an advisor, I always say this: why not just have a 30 minute call with me and see for yourself what I have to say? Everyone has a different idea of what “not enough is”.  

Not to mention, feeling like you might not have enough to retire on, is all the more reasons to seek out financial help! 

What fees do you charge?

I provide fee-based financial advice. I can charge a flat, yearly fee. As well as a fee percentage based on assets being managed by me and my team.  In rare occasions I also charge by the hour.

Anything else we should know about you?  

I love playing golf, cooking and reading.  My family roots come from Europe (Germany, Ukraine and Poland), so I enjoy cooking such ethnic foods!

Also, on a side note, I’m sure many want to know my credentials. That said, I’m a  CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™(CFP®), a Retirement Management Advisor(SM), and I’m a fiduciary.

I also graduated Penn State with a BS in Financial Services. 

Disclaimer

Financial Planning and  Investment Advisory Services are offered only through Retirement Wealth Advisors (RWA) an SEC registered investment advisor. Insurance only offered through Bunio Consulting. Neither firms are affiliated. Neither RWA or Bunio Consulting are endorsed by the Social Security Administration or any other government organization. RWA nor Nicholas Bunio provide tax or legal advice. Please speak with your tax and/or legal advisor. Registered Investment Advisors and Investment Advisor Representatives act as fiduciaries for all of our investment management clients. We have an obligation to act in the best interests of our clients and to make full disclosure of any conflicts of interests, if any exist. Please refer to our firm brochure, the ADV 2A item 4, for additional information.

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Nicholas Bunio
I’m a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional providing fee-based financial planning for those 50+ looking to plan for a better, more financially sound, and confident retirement.