Taking care of your family and other people in your life
- Trust & Estate Services2
- Education Funding Strategies1
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At The CGO Group, we have a proud heritage and a growing clientele. While the ages and stages of clients’ financial lives span generations and the nation’s geography, a majority of those served by Brian Coulter and Jennifer Grayson are active and retired executives whose achievements in the corporate sector and passions for the Savannah lifestyle continue to bring them joy.
In addition to a concentration of male and female executives, we proudly serve former military officers, retired couples, widows, and generations of families that have long called Savannah their home, as well as others who’ve moved here. Beyond risk-managed investing and 360-degree wealth management, our roles as financial advisors often evolve to be clients’ good friends – hosting oyster roasts, golf clinics and movie theater days, educating their children, and celebrating their birthdays, weddings and anniversaries.
Why do clients come to us? We believe they hear about the genuine care and focus we provide. While clients have accumulated wealth, many with stock options and 401k assets, for example, hire us when they “know what they don’t know.” We find that clients value our acumen and attention. Without the time or desire to make complex decisions on their own, they typically turn to us when retirement questions and considerations take precedent.
As Brian and Jennifer explain, “The stories we hear from clients – about their lives and livelihoods – inspire us. We learn from clients, as we expect they learn from us. They’ve seen our children grow up and vice versa. It’s our privilege to connect the dots in their financial lives and connect them with Realtors, CPAs, attorneys, and physicians, when helpful. We truly welcome the opportunity to build a relationship with you, as well – one that brings you financial, personal and emotional benefits.”
At The CGO Group, we’re at our best serving as each client’s ready resource – on retirement, legacy and longevity planning, and issues that revolve around aging, Social Security, Medicare and insurance. For decades, we’ve proactively assisted clients in clarifying goals that align with their core values. It feels good to serve clients who value our involvement in their lives and integrity in serving their best interests.
Everything we do for clients begins with our goals-based, planning process. And it’s not a one-time event. Throughout each relationship, new insights about a client continue to give us direction. No two clients are identical and neither are the strategies we create. By listening closely to what clients say (and often don’t say), we can address their evolving concerns and aspirations.
Among the questions we may ask: “What keeps you up at night? Are you worried about medical expenses or outliving your money? What are your plans for travel and/or visiting family? How do you fund medical expenses? Do you have long-term care insurance? We also provide clients with a worksheet to determine their expenses. In addition, we run a full analysis of those expenses vs. income.
At clients’ most challenging times – the loss of a spouse, a family’s member’s illness, or divorce – we devote ourselves to serving their emotional wellbeing. By helping clients make unhurried and conscious financial decisions, we can help them regain confidence in building, spending and/or sharing their wealth.
With our banking pedigrees and close relationship with a local branch of Bank of America, N.A., we offer streamlined access to residential and securities-based lending. We also provide wire transfers, monitor clients’ credit card activity when they travel, order checks and more.
And because legacy planning can be daunting and expensive, we sit with clients and “map out” questions that an attorney may ask. We also can coordinate with clients’ attorneys and our firm’s specialists – to align strategies that put everyone (including you and your family) on the same page.
At The CGO Group, we’re here to help clients enjoy the rewards of a fulfilling life. It has long been our mission to provide the type of wealth management that brings clients a positive outlook, memorable experience, and desired results.
At the CGO Group, we believe that our insights, knowledge and know-how contribute to our retired clients’ sense of financial independence and confidence. By recognizing each client’s desires and family dynamics, we can bring clarity to clients and ourselves. Only then, can we help clients navigate a rewarding journey up to and through retirement.
Through our planning-based approach, we help our retired clientele – or couples about to retire – envision likely and unlikely circumstances. We provoke discussion about clients’ goals for themselves and their children. We also help clients get a stronger grasp of Social Security, long-term-care, Medicare, liability management and wealth transfer issues. In all cases, we make sure that both spouses can freely express their comfort with investment risk and the lifestyles they envision.
When it comes to investments, we use Merrill Lynch research and model portfolios to formulate what we consider to be simple strategies for diversifying a client’s portfolio across asset classes and sectors. As we say, “If we can’t explain it to a client in simple terms, we shouldn’t do it.” That’s why we often use a blend of best ideas from external money managers, along with mutual funds, ETFs and laddered bonds.
How do we gauge the satisfaction of our retired clientele? With two forms of measurement:
First, if clients call regularly to ask our thoughts on financial decisions, that’s a big positive. Second, if clients do not call when markets are turbulent, that means we’ve helped them appreciate their long-term investment strategy – what they own, why they’re diversified, and why their time is better spent focusing on the joys in their lives.
For nearly 20 years, we’ve worked closely with clients – providing asset growth that has exceeded the rate of inflation. In each relationship, we strive to provide full transparency, clear communication and helpful education – three elements we believe are at the core of a strong advisor-client relationship.
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.
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1Investment products are offered by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated.
2Banking products are offered by Bank of America, N.A.
3Insurance and annuity products offered through Merrill Lynch Life Agency Inc.
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*Peace of mind is an aspirational state of mind that clients hope to achieve. There are no guaranteed results following completion of the Goals-Based Wealth Management process because markets can fluctuate and investments can lose value. Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Advisors work with clients to help them understand how the goals based wealth management process can help to address their concerns, financial situation and priorities.
Helping you reach your goals starts with getting to know you personally. Through understanding what matters most to you, we can help you create a financial strategy that reflects your personality. Only then can we offer an approach that is built around your life priorities and the ongoing advice you need to help you manage fluctuations in the market and changes in your life. Let’s work together to help you achieve your goals.
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We will work to help you stay on track, regardless of what the markets are doing.