Advanced Planning Solutions, Inc.

Nancy Gragg is CEO and founder of Advanced Planning Solutions, Inc. and has been involved in the financial services industry for more than 40 years. She started the firm 20 years ago while raising four young children, after working for years with her father in the insurance and mutual fund business. Today her son John Gragg also works at the firm and has more than a decade of experience in the industry. He earned a finance degree from San Diego State University and worked with several technology and investment firms before joining Nancy at Advanced Planning Solutions.

Why should a potential client choose your firm?

“We have a lot of clients who come to us from other financial advisors and feel as if they are not being heard; we hear this all the time. Our hands-on approach to each client creates a relationship and partnership that builds through time. We understand that discussing finances can be stressful and uncomfortable. The research and analysis that goes on behind the scenes is presented to our clients in an easy-to-understand and comfortable way.”

What is the focus of Advanced Planning Solutions?

“As wealth management professionals, we focus on four pillars that have led our clients to financial success. (1) Portfolio Management: Our investment portfolios are built upon a tried-and-true approach to investing, risk tolerance, performance and tax efficiencies. We categorize them into four distinct strategies and build individual portfolios around that. (2) Retirement Roadmap: Viewable through your personal website, we aim to optimize your retirement income by using your investment and retirement accounts, pensions, social security, home value and spending habits to create a continuing roadmap throughout our relationship. (3) Comfortable Communication: Oftentimes we find that finances can make people uncomfortable, so we pride ourselves in our handholding approach. We love our clients and encourage them to reach out with questions. (4) Professional Coordination: We work together with your CPAs, attorneys and other professionals. We will also help coordinate a professional relationship should you need that referral.”

Was there a moment that you first knew you wanted to work in this industry?

“It was a tale of two stories. On one side I had grandparents who grew up in a wealthy family that owned a successful business. After years of poor financial decision-making, they had only social security as an income source at the end of their lives. On the other side I had grandparents who came from nothing and lived by the phrase ‘a penny saved is a penny earned.’ They had wealth in their later years, attributed to hard work and savvy decision-making. Learning about the completely opposite paths they took was eye-opening for me and had an impact on how I view money and where I am today.”

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

“Start an investment and savings program with your children from an early age. If you open them a savings or investment account and teach them about saving, it will have a big impact on their lives going forward. My son has told me that a big part of the reason he had an interest in finance from an early age was because of a Christmas present he received from his grandparents: three shares of Disney stock.”

Logic or emotions—or both?

“They go hand-in-hand. Emotions play a large part when it comes to investing and retirement. Before we begin discussing investment options with our clients, we always have them answer a few questions to gauge their risk score; then we work from there.”

Disclaimer: Securities and advisory services offered through Registered Representatives of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC (doing business in CA as CFGAN Insurance Agency) member FINRA SIPC, a broker/dealer and a Registered Investment Advisor. CA insurance Lic #0565038 and #0I59024. Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity.

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