Providing the right financial advice to people takes more than a little bit of skill. It takes an analytical mind, a knack for communication, the ability to read and understand personalities and situations, and the ability to think in terms of systems, just to name a few. And Brad Pashby has brought all of that and more to bear over his 15 years in the industry.
“My background connects two important areas: a degree in the analytical study of Science alongside the communicative and psychological expertise of a degree in Education, which combine to give clients an understandable and concise planning experience always seated within proven strategies,” said Pashby, advisor and owner of Narrative Financial Services with Sun Life Financial.
His journey through the workforce didn’t start with financial services; for a time, he focused his energies on teaching children about math. But while he enjoyed that vocation, he eventually found his true calling in educating adults about their personal finances.
“I like building teams and building plans for others to succeed,” he said. “Financial planning is the perfect place for these skills to shine.”
At Narrative, he channels his competencies toward helping his clients create their own stories. People have the power to craft a specific vision for their lives, but along the way they face risks — many of which are hidden or not obvious to the uneducated — that can cause storylines to change. That means the job of those at Pashby’s firm, as he sees it, is to remove the risks and let the next chapters of their lives be told.
“Each client has their own story to tell and our planning process customizes the solution to fit their needs,” Pashby said. “They know how they want their story to go, but don’t know how to clear the pitfalls that could cost them time or money. We show them how to fund the tax burden on a business transition, how to efficiently wealth plan within a corporation, how to pay for health care shocks and how to create income stream for life – all dangers which would derail their future adventures and journeys.”
As problem solvers, he and his team enjoy creating plans that work with many moving parts; within his practice, those parts include tax and legal issues. Following that focus, a large portion of the firm’s business comes from clients with corporations, partners in professional firms, or shareholders in a family business.
“These people aspire to provide a great lifestyle for their families, focus on legacy, and while passionate for their work often leave risks unattended,” Pashby said. “We speak their language and build strong, efficient solutions and processes that maximize corporate tax advantages and remove risk.”
The other group of clients who benefit from his approach are near-retirees. As they get ready to turn the page and leave their working lives behind, they need guidance and clear education about their different income options — which sources they can tap, the ideal times to start drawing from them, and potential redemption pitfalls, among other things — as well as open lines of communication and a stable team with which to connect.
To keep their clients well-informed, the team at Narrative use digital tools that let them provide accurate and timely reports. Covering planning issues that range from tax changes to investment performance, those reports can be updated and adjusted quickly as needed.
“At every step of our processes, we use technological tools to centralize client information and to find efficiency in communication within our team,” Pashby continued, stressing the importance of the back office. “We are a team and having our team members working towards the same goal has been a real key to our success.”
Success, in his mind, isn’t just about achieve a certain level of growth or assets under management, though he has succeeded based on those measures. But going beyond that, he seeks the feeling that comes when a client’s financial plan come to fruition — or, as he puts it, “writing the next chapter of their story and seeing it unfold as they wish.
“Being part of a client’s story and helping them believe that they’re not just characters, but authors — that’s success,” Pashby said.
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