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Message from the President
David Berkowitz, President Lincoln Financial Advisors
"Our vision at Lincoln Financial Advisors is to be the country's premier fee-based financial planning firm by being the preferred partner of fee-based financial planning professionals who offer comprehensive financial services to affluent clients."
Lincoln Financial Advisors has a distinguished tradition dating back over 50 years. We are a full-service planning organization with offices throughout the United States. Unique to our industry, we believe that our planners are our most important partners in the delivery of quality solutions to the financial needs of our clients.
Our financial planners form a national network of highly trained specialists in their field. As a client of Lincoln Financial Advisors, you will have the opportunity to leverage the strengths of this group, both nationally and locally, to supplement your knowledge and skills and help you plan for the financial security for you and your families' future.
Change is everywhere. And nowhere is that more evident than at Lincoln Financial Advisors, a registered investment advisor, and Sagemark Consulting, a division of Lincoln Financial Advisors. You see, we are a leader within the industry with the way we provide financial planning services. How? By being a national organization of fee-based financial planning firms focused on providing comprehensive planning for the affluent. Our primary product is our sound advice and solutions; financial products and services are secondary.
Lincoln Financial Advisors and Sagemark Consulting are full-service planning organizations of approximately 2,000 planners in almost 50 offices throughout the United States. Unique to our industry, we believe that our financial planners are our most important partners in the delivery of quality solutions to the financial needs of our clients.
Our planners form a national network of highly trained specialists in their field. As part of Lincoln Financial Advisors or Sagemark Consulting, you will have the opportunity to leverage the strengths of this group, both nationally and locally, to supplement your knowledge and skills and help you build your practice – and your future.
Lincoln Financial Advisors and Sagemark Consulting are recognized leaders in providing financial and estate planning services to highly affluent individuals who already have some planning and advisors in place. Our financial planners specialize in providing integrated, personalized solutions to help affluent business owners, professionals, executives and retirees develop and implement complex estate, business succession, retirement and investment plans.
And we have developed strategic partnerships with many regional and national accounting firms, financial institutions and stock brokerage firms to help our planners penetrate their target market. These relationships not only benefit our partner firms and their clients, but also provide our planners with significant opportunity to expand their own businesses.
Although many of our clients have trusted, long-term advisors – an attorney, CPA and others – our work supplements and coordinates the services these advisors provide. What sets our planners apart is that they look at all areas of their clients' financial plans and pull them together in a cross-disciplinary manner to most effectively help the clients meet their financial security and asset preservation needs and objectives.
Areas of Focus
Lincoln Financial Advisors and Sagemark Consulting provide financial planning services to an affluent clientele comprised primarily of owners of closely held businesses, senior corporate executives and professionals. Planning is focused on specific areas and based upon each client's individual financial situation and personal objectives. The degree of detail and sophistication of the financial planning services provided varies according to the individual client's circumstances. Each client is provided with a written summary of the work undertaken. The specific areas covered include one or more of the following:
- Estate Planning: Advice regarding property ownership, distribution strategies, estate tax reduction, and tax payment techniques. It involves a discussion of gifting, trusts, wills, etc., and the disposition of business interests. Tax consequences and their implications are identified and evaluated.
- Business Succession Planning: Alternatives and strategies dealing with the continuity or disposition of the business upon the business owner's retirement, death, disability, or decision to sell. Tax consequences and their implications are identified and evaluated.
- Investment Planning: Constructing and managing investment portfolios to achieve optimal performance relative to accumulation and income objectives. Existing investments are evaluated for risk, return and tax characteristics. An investment policy statement formalizes client objectives and constraints, proposes asset allocation strategies and establishes criteria for the selection and retention of professional money managers.
- Retirement Planning: Alternatives and techniques for accumulating wealth for retirement income or advice relative to appropriate allocation and distribution of assets following retirement. Tax consequences and their implications are identified and evaluated.
One thing that differentiates us is that our planners are fee-based, but not fee-only planners. We believe that our plans are not worth the paper they are written on if they are not properly implemented. By building their practice with fees as well as product solutions, our planners can provide specialized advice for a reasonable fee and implement their clients' plans with the objectivity and attention they deserve.
Your vision, your goals, your success
Leading a course for a new century
The 21st century is no longer a dot on the horizon. It is here. Change is everywhere. And nowhere is that more evident than at Lincoln Financial Advisors, a registered investment advisor, and Sagemark Consulting, a division of Lincoln Financial Advisors. You see, we are a leader within the industry with the way we provide financial planning services. How? By being a national fee-based financial planning firm focused on providing comprehensive planning for the affluent. Our primary product is our sound advice and solutions; financial products and services are secondary.
The professional financial planner in our organization is able to provide creative, 'one of a kind' solutions -- and build a practice that is rewarding, both personally and financially. That's why we can say, with confidence, that Lincoln Financial Advisors and Sagemark Consulting are the partners of choice for high quality, fee-based financial planners. So if you want to be unfettered by bureaucratic goals and objectives, to be allowed freedom to think outside the box, and to revel in the knowledge that you can control your own destiny, read about a career with Lincoln Financial Advisors and Sagemark Consulting.
Having access to the most up-to-date technology is essential for achieving sales and planning success in today's fast-moving world. Client expectations for rapid responses to their questions have been heightened by the promise of easy access to information via computer networks and the Internet. Lincoln Financial Advisors and Sagemark Consulting benefit in this regard by having the backing of an international company that has invested millions in building a sophisticated technological infrastructure - an infrastructure that enables our planners to deliver the things that are most important to their clients: information and advice in a timely manner.
Financial Planning Software
To ensure that our planners have the most up-to-the-minute technology available, we have developed Advisor Workbench, a proprietary software system that allows each of our planners the ability to manage client and prospect information, and to generate illustrations, graphics and customized, detailed reports for each client.
Unquestionably, the most important and popular feature of Advisor Workbench is the Financial Condition Model, a state-of-the-art, proprietary software tool that allows our planners to create an individualized financial condition model for their clients. The information our planners develop from this model is essential in helping clients project the long-term adequacy of their current financial resources and plans. In addition, it allows clients to evaluate a given planning strategy - one they've already implemented or one they are considering - and compare it to other available strategies. And it helps our planners demonstrate the impact of possible future changes in our clients' personal or family situation, asset values, taxes or inflation so they can take steps to minimize any adverse effects.
Our broker/dealer technology - which has been lauded as top-notch by outside consultants - is not just for our planners; there is a wealth of information clients can access directly to check on their investments. Planners can access clients' brokerage account information, trade mutual funds on-line (with on-line stock trading available soon), get up-to-the-minute quotes and market information, and access back office administrative information on client accounts. Clients can check their portfolios on-line, use a secured Internet site to get market data, quotes and personal brokerage account information, and access their accounts by phone.
Our most recent technological addition is VideoLinc, our videoconferencing program. With 12-15 hours per month of regularly scheduled programming, our planners have convenient access to educational programs. The most exciting feature of VideoLinc, though, is the ability for our planners to conduct point-to-point meetings between clients, advisors and our National Design attorneys, for instance, or for having a 'face-to-face' best practices meeting with another regional planning office. The applications for VideoLinc are endless, and bound only by your imagination.
Another proprietary tool is LFAPlanner.com, our secured Internet site. Because it was developed with the help of our planners, LFAPlanner.com organizes data the way our planners think and conduct their businesses. Each of the key business areas within Lincoln is represented on LFAPlanner.com, so you have the critical information you need to efficiently conduct business. For instance, you have instantaneous access to our online Registered Representative handbook, operations announcements, current news and product listings, and demos of broker/dealer technology. In addition, you can view the latest training and marketing information, download the most current versions of our illustrations and sales support software or find an old article on the online archive.
At Lincoln Financial Advisors/Sagemark Consulting, you build a business of your own, but you are never on your own. We offer our planners a regional and national network of support.
National Planning Center
Our unique organizational structure, backed by our abundant intellectual capital, is one of the greatest strengths of Lincoln Financial Network. We have deep resources that are managed nationally, but can be deployed regionally and locally to assist all advisors within the firm. Because of the level of expertise and the strength of our resources, all of our advisors receive consistent, high quality functional support that enables them – and their clients – to receive the very best thinking the network has to offer.
LFA-Sagemark Virtual University
The Lincoln Financial Network leverages the finest intellectual capital across our firm to bring maximum education and growth at minimum cost and time away from clients. Our Virtual University offers all of our educational resources in one interactive web site. Some key features:
Functions as the source for on-demand training and planning resources. You can learn at your own pace - from home or on the road - through an easy-to-use, web-based interface with logical navigation.
Allows you to search for content/people to get training and resources on specific topics.
Enables you to participate in a national curriculum or create an individual curriculum designed specifically for you.
In addition to the Virtual University, you have access to a variety of local and regional training meetings, some targeted to inexperienced advisors and others to experienced advisors. In all situations, you will benefit from valuable best practice and idea sharing through interaction with top advisors and staff throughout the country.
Office of Practice Management
The challenges of practice management are significant, and each individual practice is unique in the tools and resources needed to operate and grow effectively. The Office of Practice Management (OPM) was created to connect you with the people and tools available throughout the Lincoln Financial Network and beyond, which you may choose to integrate into your practice to operate and grow more effectively.
The goals of the Office of Practice Management are to:
- Increase the capacity of your practice by keeping you in front of clients and a talented support team minding the store
- Create a consistently positive client experience
- Create a predictable and professional environment within your practice
We encourage you and your staff to take advantage of the practice management systems available, to share best practices that you’ve developed and to connect with The Office of Practice Management whenever you need help developing and leveraging practice resources in areas such as:
- Strategic business planning
- Compliance consulting
- Workforce consulting
- Staff support
- Recruiting support
- Training & education
The Lincoln Financial Advisors and Sagemark Consulting compensation program is designed to reward results. It's a simple equation: high performance equals high pay. How high? That depends on you. On your skills. And on your ability to establish and build long-term relationships with your clients. The opportunity for unlimited income is here for the taking. But building a successful practice takes more than talk. It takes all the drive you possess, and no bureaucratic entanglements to slow you down. At Lincoln Financial Advisors, you will quickly discover that the talk matches the reality. The practice you're building will be your practice. The company's mission is to enable you to build your practice successfully. And as your client base expands, your income will keep pace. That's what is so exciting for so many of our financial planners.
Errors and Omissions Coverage
In today's society, few professionals can afford to be uninsured against professional liability claims, which is why our E&O plan is an important step toward protection of your practice. Even if you exercise great care in your practice, it's possible for a client to become dissatisfied with your services. Therefore, Errors and Omissions Coverage is essential.
A significant advantage of your affiliation with Lincoln Financial Advisors or Sagemark Consulting is our benefit program. We provide our associates with a benefit package that is among the finest in the industry. These benefits add an important dimension of security to your overall compensation, and include:
- Errors and Omissions coverage.
- Company contributions for family medical and dental coverage. Customized Security Credits to further offset the cost of the benefits you choose.
- Company contributions to the Money Purchase Pension/Top Earners Plan.
- A 401(k) plan, based on a $1 company match on the first 6% you contribute.
- Company contribution to your FICA.
PREMIER PARTNERS® Program
Our PREMIER PARTNERS program offers uniquely targeted programs that support growth in your practice and make it even easier to do business with our firm. Special rewards and opportunities for our top advisors include:
- Ambassador Benefit: Direct, two-way communication between top advisors and specially selected and appointed key employees who help resolve escalated situations.
- Competition Unit: Current, accurate competitor information and research to help you position your product and services.
- Underwriting/New Business Priority Service: Access to the underwriters for case discussions and our commitment to follow the Lincoln Financial philosophy of “responsibly aggressive” underwriting. Your cases will receive higher prioritization and attention within the team.
- Concierge Desk: Access to a representative dedicated to answering questions directly related to PREMIER PARTNERS Program benefits and qualification.
- Image Builder/Practice Builder Reimbursement Funds: Reimbursement funds are available for designated expenses.
- PREMIER PARTNERS Staff Symposium: An annual meeting that brings key Lincoln Financial faculty and advisor staff together for continuing education and networking
- Honors & Incentive Trips: Incentive trips to major U.S. resorts and first-class international destinations.
The Right Choice
We live in an era in which self-expression is a universally respected value. That includes professionals who are ambitious, self-reliant entrepreneurs. They don't want to be locked away in a cubicle, a cog in some giant corporate machine. They want to be themselves. And they're seeking out organizations that give them the opportunity to do - or be - just that.
That is the kind of professional Lincoln Financial Advisors and Sagemark Consulting are looking for. 'Big picture' people with excellent people skills. Professionals who can create relationships, and who have a sense of resiliency. People capable of doing great things because they expect to do great things, and who can cut through the morass of everything else and know that what they're here to do is help.