L to R above: Andra Phillips; Paul Baboolal, CLU, ChFC; Liz Hernandez
Paul Baboolal is a wealth management advisor at Northwestern Mutual Los Angeles with more than 27 years of experience. He partners with successful attorneys, business owners, commercial real estate developers and South Bay families to assist them with their financial goals and educate them on financial literacy and wealth management strategies and solutions.
Paul started his career with Northwestern Mutual as a college intern in 1992 and began working full time upon graduation from UCLA in 1993. He is a 10-time member of the Northwestern Mutual Forum, the top segment of the firm’s industry-leading field force.
What is your specialty service?
“Our firm specializes in creating holistic financial game plans for our clients. Through careful listening and a goal-oriented approach, we help our clients feel secure in a complex world. It’s our job to alleviate financial fear and make sure our clients’ money is working hard for them as they work hard for it.”
Why do your clients consider you their trusted advisor?
“Our goal is to make sure that our clients meet their goals. This means that we will always be straightforward with them about their financial plan, leading with honesty even in a difficult situation. Not only can our team create solutions for a wide array of financial concerns, but we have built a network of professionals in other areas—such as estate planning attorneys and CPAs—who can help serve our clients’ needs as a supplement to the plan we’ve established. This means our services do not stop with our clients’ financial lives but extend to address their greater needs.”
Why do people need what you do?
“Unfortunately, most families spend less than 30 minutes per year discussing their finances, meaning that important issues can go unaddressed and helpful strategies are never implemented. When clients work with us, we provide a safe space for open discussion around financial issues, and we make sure their financial plan is aligned with their aspirations. I believe that everyone needs to have a holistic written plan so they can feel secure during changing life circumstances.”
Why are you considered the go-to advisor in your community?
“We have worked to deliver white-glove service to our clients for over 27 years. It is rare that someone comes to us with a financial concern that we have not seen before. We have many of the same concerns as our clients, so we know what it’s like to be in their shoes—raising kids, running a business and being active in the South Bay community. We plan for our clients the way we would plan for ourselves. As fiduciaries, we have always and will always act with our clients’ best interests in mind.”
What are some ways you establish credibility with clients?
“One of the main reasons our clients trust us is because we establish long-term relationships from the beginning. Our financial plans are meant to last for decades, and we remain an active part of the plan’s evolution as a client encounters significant life changes. We are always transparent in what we are trying to achieve, and we do what we say we are going to do.”
Did you have a virtual practice in place before the COVID-19 pandemic? Will you continue to utilize it with clients?
“Around three years ago, we ditched the file cabinets and our operations went totally paperless. Even before the pandemic, we held a significant percentage of our meetings over the phone. Now we see all clients virtually using videoconferencing, e-files and our secure online planning portal. Clients love the portal because they can log in anytime to stay connected to their goals and view all their accounts in one place. Virtual systems have been convenient and productive, so we plan to continue using those tools.”
What have been your proudest moments during the recent crisis?
“During the depth of the stock market downturn, none of our clients called wanting to get out of the market. In fact, we worked with many of them to identify market opportunities that would enhance their overall plan. I am proud to say that our clients were prepared to weather this storm and confident enough to stay the course that we established for their market strategy.”
What is your #1 piece of advice during this unprecedented time?
“Stick to the fundamental rules of financial planning. During ‘precedented’ times, fundamentals get a reputation for being boring or ‘too safe.’ This pandemic has reminded us why those fundamentals, such as setting aside an emergency fund, have stood the test of time.”
What are you especially grateful for today?
“Now more than ever I am grateful for my health and the health of my family, as well as the gift of being able to conduct business virtually while making an equally strong impact in our clients’ lives. I am also grateful to live in an area where people are willing to work together for the safety and health of others. I have felt a sense of togetherness with the South Bay community in spite of the physical distance between us.”
Disclaimer: Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee, WI (NM) (life and disability insurance, annuities, and life insurance with long-term care benefits) and its subsidiaries. Paul Baboolal is an Insurance Agent of NM, primarily licensed in California and may be licensed in other states. CA License: #0B03803. This is a paid placement.