Advanced Planning Solutions, Inc.

The team at Advanced Planning Solutions, Inc. in Redondo Beach partners with clients to help plan for their financial future. Their services go beyond investment management. Each client receives a written financial plan as well as their own website that holds their plan, daily portfolio figures, calculators and information on their specific needs for their financial journey. Founder Nancy Gragg has worked in the industry for 42 years and started Advanced Planning Solutions 22 years ago. Her son, John Gragg, also joined the firm, which has grown steadily each year. Judy Petrelli rounds out the team, and together they help clients establish goals for their future and answer tough questions about health care, expenditures and savings. 

Tell us about your business.

“In short, we are your household financial concierge. We help clients build their financial roadmap through investment management, estate planning, life insurance, tax efficiency and whatever else they throw our way.”

What questions and problems do you solve for clients? 

“Will I run out of money in retirement? When can I retire? How should I handle my inheritance? What do I do when my parents go into assisted living or pass away and there’s a lot to unravel financially? How do I get my kids started? What are some options to pay for long-term care?”

What do you think is the most important aspect of your job?

“It comes down to establishing trust. If we ever lost our clients’ trust, we wouldn’t have a business. Since we have a lot of clients in the community, it’s important that we use complete discretion, provide excellent service and have a high level of integrity when it comes to investment portfolio management.”

Are you a fiduciary? What is that?

“Absolutely. A fiduciary is someone who legally has to do what’s in the best interest of their clients. Charging a fee aligns our interests with our clients’ interests. As their accounts grow, so does our business. Not all financial professionals are fiduciaries, and we think it’s crucial when deciding on who you want to manage your life savings and make important financial decisions.”

In what ways is the financial services industry changing with the times?

“It’s changing very quickly with technology leading the way. John helps keep us up-to-date on the latest trends, tools and available technology. Technology should be used to enhance the advisor-client relationship but should never stand between the advisor and the client.”

How do you help your clients avoid making rash decisions with their finances?

“It starts and ends with education. We want our clients to feel comfortable and confident in their financial decisions. Initially, we make sure their risk matches their investment portfolio and goals for the future. Education continues to play a role through our entire relationship; we encourage clients to reach out and ask questions. 

We are proactive when there is volatility in the markets through market updates, phone calls and emails. We want clients to be confident in their investment and retirement strategy and to be able to sleep at night without worry.”

Should I move my money to a safer place, like a savings account?

“Trying to time the market is a fool’s errand. Not only do you have to be right about when to take the money out of the market, but you  have to be right about when to put it back in. That doesn’t even account for the stress of having to make those decisions. 

Let’s look at The Rule of 72. If you take 72 and divide it by your rate of return, it will tell you how long it takes for your money to double. At the bank you earn about 0.5%, so it would take 144 years for your money to double in a savings account. On the flip side, with an average stock market return of 10%, it would take 7.2 years for your money to double. That’s a BIG difference!”

What is the best way parents can help children save for the future? 

“We really enjoy helping our clients’ children start out on the right financial path. We offer them advice because we enjoy it, and we know it provides value to our clients.”

How do you find new clients?

“Referrals are the #1 way. After referrals comes engagement in the community and networking. It’s important to be genuine, so we engage in things we enjoy. Nancy enjoys pickleball and golfing and is on the Professional Advisory Council at Torrance Memorial Hospital. John plays a lot of different sports, hikes, surfs and is CFO of the board for Harbor Interfaith Services.”

Disclaimer: Nancy Gragg and John Gragg are Registered Representatives offering securities and advisory services through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC (doing insurance business in CA as CFGAN Insurance Agency, LLC) member FINRA/SIPC, a broker/dealer and Registered Investment advisor. Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity. CA Insurance License #0565038.