Ask the Financial Expert Retirement Q+A

. July 2, 2020.
Tim Croak, President of Croak Asset Management

What got you excited about financial services?

Contrary to what most people think, I’ve never considered financial services to be about money. Our primary job is to allow our clients to forget about money and instead do the things they love on a daily basis. It’s the freedom from money that people desire, and I get to give people the ability to gear their life towards greater relationships and experiences without letting money get in the way.

You are an independent advisor, what does that mean?

The client needs to come first. Big financial and insurance companies expect you to do things in the best interest of the company and sometimes that isn’t what’s right for the client. Starting my own firm and being completely independent allows me to be purely client-focused, 100% of the time.

You recently moved your firm to Downtown Toledo. Explain your passion for your hometown?

The decision to move my firm downtown was patriotic in nature. I saw other business’ moving downtown and wanted to take part in the renaissance that’s happening here while also positioning our firm in the heart of the action.

What have you learned from the recent pandemic?

It forced us all to realize that something like this was possible. Knowing that it can, and did, happen has changed our mindset towards money and how to protect it in times of need.

What are some things you’ve been telling your clients over the past few months?
Stay the course! The people who got in trouble are the ones that panicked. When the market dropped over 30%, it obviously shook everybody up. When this happens, it’s time to pull in the reigns both mentally and financially and put a plan together that’s strategic, long term, and responsive instead of reactionary.

What should readers look for in financial advice and who to trust?
There’s never been a greater need for competent financial advice The amount of information, the complexity, and the breadth of products have grown exponentially over the last 10 years and someone needs to sort the good from the bad. To find a good advisor, we suggest first looking for a fiduciary, that means your advisor has your best interests at heart. You might also want to look for your advisor to have an educational component. A Certified Financial Professional™ or Chartered Financial Consultant designation proves that your advisor has put in the work and time to further his knowledge.

What have you learned over the course of your career?

Investment advice from 20 years ago isn’t the same as it is today. There are new products and services out there that do meaningful things to help keep your plan on track. As you approach retirement or maybe you’re already in the golden years, reevaluating your plan and understanding new techniques and technology can keep you from feeling like you’re walking on a high-wire without a net.

What are you working to accomplish for your clients?

Our job is to make sure our clients live well today, but live very well tomorrow. The more you can free yourself up from financial constraints and move towards the things you’re passionate about is really what our practice is about. We’ve found that your activities, experiences, and relationships are the key drivers to happiness in life and if we can allow our clients to have great experiences surrounded by people they love, without having to worry about money, then we’ve done our job.

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