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2010 Best Wealth Management Company: Jacobson Wealth Management and Insurance Services Company

Author: John Abbott
May, 2010 Issue
According to Rich Jacobson, president of Jacobson Wealth Management and Insurance Services, we’re in a “secular bear market” that may last until the end of the decade (2020) before turning around. “It’s going to be challenging for a while,” the soft-spoken financial adviser admits, “but money can potentially be made in a bear market. You just have to know how to do it.”

A gold medal winner last year, Jacobson Wealth Management provides a wide range of services, from risk tolerance analysis and asset allocation to the creation of savings and investment plans, insurance reviews, estate and retirement planning, and portfolio management. “We work with clients who value a long-term relationship with a financial adviser,” Jacobson says. “When people sit down with us, our approach is to ask questions and listen. We want to get to know them before we start talking about our products and services.”

Jacobson, a certified financial planner (CFP), grew up in Montreal, where he attended McGill University. He spent time in Seattle, Ottawa and Vancouver before moving to Napa Valley in 2001 with his wife and two children. He managed a financial planning firm in Walnut Creek before starting his own company in 2004 in Napa.

When asked about the keys to his success, Jacobson says candidly, “Hard work never hurts, but I think, in times like these, it has to be something more. We try to be smart about how we go about striving to exceed our clients’ expectations. We communicate relentlessly with clients and with our peers. We educate ourselves almost on a daily basis regarding best practices in our profession.

“For example, to renew my CFP designation last January, I had to have 30 hours of continuing education credits. I ended up with 93 hours. It’s that commitment to go above and beyond what’s necessary that makes the difference—especially when it comes to responding to the concerns of our clients. They know they can contact us very quickly, even on evenings and weekends.”

Unlike most of his competitors, which are large, multi-layered financial consulting companies, Jacobson runs his own firm with a ruggedly independent streak. “I meet my own payroll every two weeks and pay my business overhead expenses, just like many of my clients do. No one tells me what to sell, how much to sell or to whom to sell. This isn’t the case for many of my competitors, and we feel it makes a difference.”

Jacobson evinces a tireless work ethic, dedicating himself to become better at what he does every day. “At some point over the next 20 years, I’d like to achieve more balance in my personal and professional lives, so I can serve my clients and enjoy everything in one of the most exquisite places on earth. I often counsel my clients on achieving balance in their lives…I think I should probably heed some of my own advice.”






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