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 far 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, John Gragg and Judy Petrelli help clients establish goals for their future and answer tough questions about health care, expenditures and savings.

What is your #1 piece of advice during this time of uncertainty?

“Remember the conversations you had when you initially built your portfolio. A large part of portfolio construction comes from gauging risk, and your investments should reflect that. Although this most recent crisis is very unique, it’s important to remember how you felt in 2008 and what followed after that. Take the time initially to build a portfolio that is comfortable for you so that when times like we are in right now happen, you are not fearful.”

What’s most rewarding about your work?

“When we go through a client’s financial plan for the first time and their faces brighten up when they finally have confidence in the ability to retire and not outlive their money.”

Should people continue to reach out for financial advice during this time of market turbulence?

“If not now, when? We try to be proactive when reaching out to clients, but we always encourage clients to call if they are nervous, worried or just have questions. This is the time when a financial advisor earns their stripes.”

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

“At this point it’s too late. Trying to ‘time’ the market means you have to be right twice: knowing when to get out and when to get back in! So unless you have a crystal ball, we suggest sitting tight. If the roller coaster is too much, you should be making plans to meet with your financial advisor to reevaluate your risk profile when the market rebounds.”

What do you tell your clients who are specifically concerned about the dips in the stock market?

“We wouldn’t be putting these types of clients in aggressive portfolios, so their portfolios would not see those huge swings. A large part of our business revolves around educating our clients so they typically understand that swings in the market are going to happen and we must sit tight in times like this. We want to be a partner with our clients and help them build their dreams for all the financial decisions to be made during their lifetime and for a comfortable, stress-free retirement.”

Do you advise your clients to continue practicing philanthropy at a time like this?

“This is the time when nonprofits need the most support, so if our clients can afford it, we encourage it and have most likely planned for it in advance. We have served on the board of various nonprofits, so we understand the importance of supporting causes you care about during difficult times.”

Should I continue to save for retirement during the pandemic?

“This is actually a great time to be contributing to your retirement account because you are buying shares of companies at lower prices. As Warren Buffett said, ‘Whether we’re talking about socks or stocks, I like buying quality merchandise when it is marked down!’”

I don’t have enough saved in an emergency fund. What steps should I take right now?

“An emergency fund and paying down any credit card balances should take priority over investing. As a rule of thumb, you should have about three months’ worth of expenses ready for the unexpected—like a global pandemic. Bonus points if you do research and put that money in a high-yield savings account.”

How do you see the future of financial advice?

“We foresee that the next generation will have to plan in a different way. People are living longer and costs in retirement are outpacing inflation, which means retirement is becoming much more expensive. We think that generic advice in our industry is going to become more commoditized, which is why personalized advice is more important now than ever. It is for these reasons that we are constantly increasing our suite of services like workshops for your children and grandchildren, more frequent communications, ease of doing business and networking events.”

What do you and your family love about living in the South Bay?

“What’s not to love?!? We have the beach, great weather, friendly people and can walk from our office to grab a glass of wine in Riviera Village!”

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