Moss Adams Wealth Advisors LLC
Jim Schlager, CFP®, MS, CLU®, ChFC®, Principal
- Written byLaura Watts
10960 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1100 in Los Angeles
310-295-3733 | mossadamswealthadvisors.com/southbay
Moss Adams Wealth Advisors LLC provides solutions to families and business owners, helping them meet financial goals, make informed decisions and integrate financial, investment, tax, legacy, insurance, real estate and charitable giving into their plans. The firm is a wholly owned subsidiary of Moss Adams LLP, one of the largest accounting firms in the nation. Jim Schlager is one of more than 260 partners at the firm, and he focuses on the South Bay and has been in the financial advisory profession for more than 25 years. He has lived in Manhattan Beach since 2000.
What would you like potential clients to know about you?
“That I understand what they’re going through, because I’ve spent my entire professional career helping families manage their finances, and I have started, built and sold a large business. As a firm, we have the knowledge, resources and track rec-ord to help build, manage and preserve what’s taken a lifetime to grow.”
Why did you choose this profession?
“Quite honestly, I’ve always been good with numbers, organization and planning. At the beginning, everyone’s financial affairs are a puzzle, even to them, and I really enjoy helping people organize the pieces into a full, understandable picture and then set clear steps on how they can get there while executing the plan.”
What’s one trend that is changing the financial industry today?
“While technology isn’t new, DIY financial Web sites, programs and apps are becoming everyday tools. Although these are great for managing a budget, they can be misleading when it comes to effective planning. It’s best to have a professional opinion from someone who isn’t emotionally attached to your finances and who will always put your interests first and give you honest and professional guidance.”
What is the biggest benefit your clients gain from working with you?
“Our clients’ interests are always top priority. We don’t sell proprietary products, and we get to know all clients personally. Providing highly customized, personal advice allows us to take care of every aspect of their financial lives and be on the lookout for their best interest. This focus on personal relationships, trust and accountability really matters to me and my team, and it makes a difference for our clients.”
What is the biggest challenge facing your clients today?
“Juggling numerous responsibilities; it can be difficult at times to attend to everything with the focus and attention that someone might like. We live in an extremely fast-paced environment, and families who have a quarterback that truly understands their specific situation and goals tend to be better able to organize, prioritize and make sound financial decisions.”
What’s the most common mistake people make with their money?
“Often, I see people making decisions in a vacuum—without regard to their goals or other financial factors, such as their business or potential influxes of future wealth. This can cause significant impacts to one’s finances that may not be felt for years. And it’s a cycle that can cause someone to be reactive in their planning, rather than proactive. On the other hand, integrating all aspects of your financial life through a personal and—if necessary—a business financial plan allows you to understand the implications prior to making a decision. Then you can be methodical and proactive in planning, which increases the likelihood of success, leads to informed decision-making and can decrease financial stress.”
How does today’s economy impact your customers?
“The last 13 years have been a rollercoaster for the U.S. economy—and the rest of the world—with many highs and lows. But through planning and preparation, the most difficult of times can be opportunities. People who have stayed patient, relied on their long-term plans and stayed in the market have already seen an upside over the past few years. Our clients have the benefit of a long-term plan that helps guide their decision-making without short-term, knee-jerk reactions.”
How do you give back to your community?
“For the past two years, Moss Adams Wealth Advisors has been a corporate and silent auction sponsor for the Manhattan Wine Auction, benefiting the Manhattan Beach Education Foundation. This year we held a pre-auction party and raised an additional $4,000 for the foundation! Personally, I’m involved in other community-oriented activities, including coaching my daughter’s and son’s sports teams.”
Tell us about your family.
“My wife, Lisa, and I married 10 years ago, not long after I moved to the South Bay from Seattle. We love Manhattan Beach because of our friends in the community who have become our extended family!”