The last to join the family firm was Stacey Frank, the Rewinkels' daughter and Karl's wife, who started her career in marketing and public relations. She now handles the marketing and community outreach for A&I and is working on her CFP designation. The firm has working relationships with estate attorneys and business coaches. It handles taxes in-house and is especially proud of its ability to minimize the tax liability on investments and on the sale or transition of business assets.

"Some of our clients have started businesses from scratch that are now worth a considerable amount of money," says Frank. "They can be liable for a hefty amount of taxes when they want to sell the business if the proper planning is not done."

According to a recent survey published in Family Business magazine, 48% of family business owners worldwide who responded have no succession plan. Of those who do have some sort of plan, only 8.3% have a formal plan. More than 60% would prefer to leave the sale of the business to a professional rather than handle it themselves.

"We have a seven-step process for business planning," says Frank. "Many financial advisors or business planners want to skip some of the steps and go right to the ones that provide commissions. We take every step carefully."

One company that had its initial meeting with the A&I staff this fall has $20 million in revenues and 50 employees, but four of those employees are crucial to the operation and the two owners and four key people are no longer young. "We will talk with them about how to get the younger employees involved and we will set out priorities to draft a business continuity plan. They have to plan to protect those other 46 employees and create a value outside themselves," Frank explains.

"Another client has a medical services firm that grosses $2 million a year but depends completely on the two owners. They have four employees and we will work with them to structure it as a business that they can leave in a few years and be assured those four people will stay so that the business has a value."

Another A&I client is a business owner who took over an underground mapping company founded by his father. He now has a company worth $3 million and makes a substantial living off of it.

"But he does not know how to detach from the emotional side of running his father's company. He needed to determine how to run a business himself, but now he also needs to make it so someone else can run it and he can sell it and retire eventually," Frank says.

Yet another client owns a restaurant he has built into a $4 million to $5 million business. "Keeping in mind the current market concerns and downturn in businesses such as these, we will work with him over the next three or four years to maximize the value of his business so he can sell it and exit when he is 55, which is his goal," says Rewinkel.

To manage clients' investments, Rewinkel developed a proprietary system he calls "trend following."