There’s no one-size-fits-all formula for successful financial planning. Everyone has different needs and dreams for the future. That doesn’t deter Scott Ashline and his team at Northwestern Mutual. In fact, he relishes the challenge.
“What I really enjoy is discovering what are clients’ objectives and trying to figure out ways we can help them,” said Ashline, for 25 years a wealth management adviser at Northwestern Mutual. “It’s like solving a puzzle.”
Ashline’s team is composed of a practitioners in comprehensive financial planning, estate planning, business planning, retirement income planning, investment strategies and risk management. “Each person has a different specialty,” he explained. “We really do your overall financial planning. For some people it’s ‘How much do I need for my kids’ education?’ For others it’s retirement strategies, and for others it’s life insurance or setting up retirement plans.”
In other words, and Ashline emphasizes this, “We’re not just investment managers.”
Northwestern Mutual is a longstanding company, founded way back in 1857 in Wisconsin. Its three San Diego County offices include the Golden Triangle area, downtown San Diego and Carlsbad.
Ashline, originally from Colorado, is a graduate of Boston College and says with pride that financial planning is the only type of work he’s done from the start. “Interaction with clients” is what he said he likes most about it. No wonder that in both 2010 and 2011 Ashline was named one of Northwestern Mutual’s top 10 financial representatives in its Western region.
That’s a distinction perhaps earned by understanding the ups and downs of the financial world, by being visionary and by reassuring his clients.
“The challenge is keeping them focused on their long-term goals,” Ashline said. “A lot of times the latest news tends to infuse fear in people into doing nothing. I see that a lot in some of the estate planning markets in terms of what’s going to happen with estate taxes.” He urges clients who may be anxious to be proactive, to keep moving forward, and to trust his team: “Do what you do best,” he advises, “and let us help you figure out your longer-term goals.”
Ultimately, Ashline said, the goals are the same for all of his clients, regardless of their financial portfolio. “At the end of the day, everyone has the same kind of objectives. It comes down to math. I always say my job is to get people to save and invest money before they spend it.
“No one is hard-wired to save money. We’re about getting people to save first and then spend. Getting people disciplined.”
There may be no ideal client, but Ashline knows what a good one is: “Somebody who really wants to do great things for their family and for the community. They’re in it for a bigger purpose than just making a lot of money.”
Northwestern Mutual is at 4225 Executive Square, Suite 1250, in La Jolla. (858) 795-0900. lajolla.nm.com
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