Taking care of your family and other people in your life
- Trust & Estate Planning Services4
- Education Funding1
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At The SKJB Group, we find ourselves in a different position than most other advisory groups. Rather than trying to be “everything to everyone,” we are proud to be the right team for an impressive circle of self-made women and men – active and retired – as well as generations of their families, and non-profit organizations in Salinas, Carmel, Gilroy, and across Central California.
Specifically, we serve a loyal and growing clientele that shares an entrepreneurial mindset. Most are accomplished business owners, agricultural executives, farmers, physicians and attorneys. Many are ready to move from a “working life” to a long-anticipated retirement lifestyle.
While our clients have succeeded in building their enterprises, they’ve reached a point when they need professional and proactive guidance in helping with their retirement planning. Additionally, because their business and personal lives intersect financially, we assist with both – and in many cases, provide hands-on assistance with their 401k and defined benefit plans. In fact, we provide plan design and implementation for more than 100 business owners.
More than 70 years of collective experience tells us that the quality of our advice is only as effective as the questions we ask. That’s why we help clients articulate and answer, “What is the real purpose of your wealth? Who are you responsible for? What do you envision five years from now? And, when everything falls into place, will you sit in a rocking chair or follow your favorite rock band?”
Based on what we hear from clients (and often, what we don’t hear), we formulate tailored, multi-pronged strategies meant not only to preserve their assets (with an eye toward tax efficiency and consistent cash flow) – but, to put those assets to work, often in ways they never thought possible.
With seven industry credentials between us – including the CIMA®, CPFA, C(k)P® and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) certifications – we have honed a fluid planning-based approach that brings clients our extensive knowledge in the areas of investment and portfolio management, as well as 401k and retirement planning.
Due to the longevity of our client relationships and the ages of those we serve, we have structured our multi-generational team accordingly. In fact, the ages of our highly credentialed advisors and support staff align nicely with clients and their family members. As a team, we feel privileged to help enhance clients’ wealth and well being – as it moves across stages of their careers and generations. Ultimately, we judge ourselves not by the assets we manage, but by the lives we touch.
At The SKJB Group, our mission is to summon our wealth of knowledge and complementary skillsets to create uncommon value for clients and their families. The quality and longevity of our client relationships remind us of the roles we play and the trust we’ve earned.
Each of us is inspired by a family’s story of financial and personal achievement. Our job is to make sure that wealth and wisdom are passed along to future generations.
Rather than wait for clients to encounter decisions that we can foresee, we stand behind them by getting out in front of circumstances they anticipate and those they don’t. Doing so allows us to present thoughtful recommendations with sufficient time for them to decide how to proceed.
A hallmark of our process is our planning-based approach. Its success rests on our ability to have frank conversations with clients, and often learn what they’ve never shared with others. From the outset of each relationship, we ask questions – some expected, some not, “What would need to happen for you to feel successful three years from now? What’s the most important thing in your life? What do you expect from us?”
As our client, you can expect that we will:
• Examine your full financial picture, to help enhance your financial wellness. We will scrutinize your liabilities (including mortgages, other loans and credit card debt), tax liability, insurance coverage, Social Security and long-term-care issues, and estate planning documents.
• Strive to help you feel comfortable – financially and emotionally. That’s why our strategies are presented and communicated in an uncomplicated manner.
• Deliver the vast resources and support of specialists throughout Merrill and the banking convenience of Bank of America, N.A. On a daily basis, we offer what we call “more, better, and easier” access to residential and securities-based lending, refinancing, commercial lending, cash management, insurance planning, and trust and estate planning strategies.
• Work closely with you and spouse, your grown children and others you designate – on matters related to wealth transfer, trust and estate planning strategies. And because wise financial habits should be taught to your children, we can talk to them about buying a home or car, and the importance of saving and investing.
We will also remind you to leave memories, not just money – that it’s important to find joy along the path to meaningful outcomes. In these conversations, we may ask what you define as your life’s most rewarding moments to date.
At The SKJB Group, we cater to business owners and executives whose passions and perseverance have brought them significant wealth and expectations.
With the majority of clients focused squarely on running their companies and the financial risks they take each day, we follow suit. Beyond keeping pace with the rigor of their circumstances, we help them anticipate change, benefit from fresh ideas, or focus on personal passions.
Where do we begin? With straightforward discussions with clients. Some thought-provoking question we ask, “If your portfolio were all cash, where would you begin today? And which bucket, for example, would you use to pay for long-term care insurance, or a health emergency?” Our mission is help clients appreciate the scope of their financial life and the value of focusing on aspects that may have been ignored previously.
What questions do we hear from clients? “When do you think I can retire? Am I on track to maintain my lifestyle in retirement? Will I be able to take my family on that once-in-a-lifetime trip?” To provide accurate answers, we examine changes that may be needed in clients’ spending and saving habits, in their portfolios, or in their timelines.
A critical area that clients don’t often consider is the status of liabilities and use of credit. To that point, we are highly skilled and motivated to identify needs and opportunities on both sides of their balance sheets. In addition to recommending ways to consolidate debt, we provide access to residential and securities-based lending, treasury management, checking and savings solutions, business financing, and other forms of commercial lending. Our numerous contacts within the firm include small business bankers, trust specialists and others we “bring to the table” on behalf of clients.
When it comes to investing, we take a team approach in discussing strategies for each client and pinpointing what we believe is the ideal path forward. Utilizing in-depth Merrill research and model portfolios – along with select external resources – we customize each client’s portfolio with investments across asset classes, sectors and borders. We may also recommend alternative investments* which allow clients to benefit from non-correlated assets that we deem attractive and likely to offer reduced volatility.
With tax consequences always a priority for clients in California, we often coordinate with their CPAs and attorneys to align tax-minimization and estate planning strategies.
In addition to our team’s insights, we allow clients to benefit from dozens of others we’ve assisted in similar positions. We feel fortunate to have long memories and relationships. Speaking for our entire team we are proud of the trust we earn from clients – many who refer their family members, friends and associates to our team of dedicated professionals.
Many clients of The SKJB Group are about to go from a demanding work schedule to a well-deserved retirement lifestyle. Others have already retired or handed over their companies.
With a large number of clients looking to defer income, minimize tax consequences, and “do right” by their employees, we help them select the ideal building blocks for a group benefit plan. In fact, one area for which we’ve received the many referrals is helping business owners navigate the selection and implementation of group retirement plans.
Among our clients’ objectives: Greater cost efficiencies, more investment choices, improved employee education, and more reliable guidance on government regulations than they’ve received previously.
To reflect our devotion to educating plan sponsors and helping them uphold their fiduciary responsibilities, our team has received a high level of training. Three of our advisors hold the Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor (CPFA) designation, two hold the title of Retirement Benefits Consultant (RBC), and one holds the C(k)P® Certified 401(k) Professional Designation.
Many plans we review were designed years ago, perhaps, at a start-up phase. We discover that clients often pay more than necessary, for fewer benefits. Upon examination – and thanks to our firm’s powerful platform – we may be able to reduce costs while delivering a high-caliber client experience for principals and employees. In addition to our knowledge and skills, we deliver the resources and thought leadership of Bank of America and its affiliates. This comprehensive approach helps clients provide a strong, healthy and fully compliant program that runs smoothly, engages employees, and simplifies the sponsor’s role.
Through Merrill Fiduciary Plan Services, our firm will accept ERISA 3(21) or 3(38) fiduciary responsibility2 for investment advice and recommendations made in the best interest of your plan Investment Policy Statement (IPS)* and investment menu design based on your plan goals and participant needs. We can also provide comprehensive due diligence processes to identify appropriate investment opportunities, as well as proactive delivery – online or through us – of in-depth investment performance reporting each quarter.
Supported by the global resources of Merrill, our team is comprised of talented and experienced individuals committed to building strong client relationships based on trust and personalized service.
The following specialists do not make securities recommendations. Please contact your Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Advisor if you have questions about how a specialist might be able to assist you.
Senior Wealth Management Lending Officer
Bank of America, N.A.
Bank of America, N.A.
Wealth Management Banking Specialist
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We offer you access to the investing insights of Merrill, trust and fiduciary services from Bank of America Private Bank, and the banking convenience of Bank of America to help you pursue your goals. We will work to help you stay on track, regardless of what the markets are doing.
1 Investment products are offered by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated.
2 Banking, mortgage and home equity products offered by Bank of America, N.A.
3 Insurance and annuity products offered through Merrill Lynch Life Agency Inc.
4 Trust and fiduciary services are provided by Bank of America Private Bank.
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