Rachele Bouchand is a financial interventionist. A certified financial planner, she often works with clients on the verge of making disastrous decisions with their savings.
"The clients don't know. Their advisers will tell them that this type of investment is very conservative, and that's the kiss of death," she said. "I'm hired as an advocate to go to meetings to ask the tough questions. Sometimes it's not because the adviser is bad but because the communication is bad."
Ms. Bouchand began in the financial advice industry as a broker at a wirehouse in 1997, when the stock market and mutual fund industry were booming. She moved to Charles Schwab & Co. Inc. and was a regional financial planner in the Northwest. In fact, Ms. Bouchand was Schwab's top planner in 2002 and 2003 for their 14 regions, leading the nation in the number of financial plans completed and revenue generated from those plans.
She's now director of financial planning at Clark Nuber, a regional CPA and consulting firm, where her focus is a client's "complex financial plan, their entire financial life," Ms. Bouchand said. "We don't sell product or investment management but charge a fee for the service."
She has a steady stream of clients who need help. In one example, an adviser wanted a client in her early 60s to take $400,000 from a retirement account and roll it into a variable annuity. The client told Ms. Bouchand that "the adviser made her feel small and dumb when she asked questions."
In jumped Ms. Bouchand to the rescue. "It was the 11th hour, and she had the check written from the old custodian to the new custodian, but we stopped the transfer of funds," she said.
Ms. Bouchand knows that not every person who needs financial advice can afford it. She contributes pro-bono plans for the Financial Planning Association, and has also served as an officer with the Society of Financial Service Professionals.
ó Bruce Kelly
CEO and founder, Financial Freedom Wealth Management Group