In these crazy times, some financial advisors are doing what it takes to help make things a little uncrazy for people coping with the Covid-19 world.

One such firm is Morton Capital, a registered investment advisor in Calabasas, Calif., that serves about 1,000 families with roughly $2 billion in total assets. Shortly after the crisis started, the firm started a program that offers free financial planning to community members.

“We’re looking to be a resource in the community to provide financial advice to anyone who needs it during these tough times,” company CEO Jeff Sarti said during a recent webcast on advisor best practices delivered by a handful of firms participating in the G2 Leadership Institute, a training program administered by The Ensemble Practice.

“It could be someone who lost their job or was furloughed from their work,” Sarti continued. “Perhaps it’s a small-business owner struggling with payroll issues and who wants to navigate various government programs, or an older person with questions about RMDs or should they be taking Social Security.”

He noted the genesis for this program began about a year ago when the firm got together to discuss services it would like to provide a few years out.

“There has always been an internal push towards charity and helping the local community,” Sarti explained. “Someone suggested we create what’s essentially an open house where people in our community could come in and talk with a financial advisor free of charge. We were thinking that was maybe a 2021 initiative, but with everything that has been happening in the past few months we saw this a catalyst to start that process now.”

The firm made a three-minute video about its “Community Give Back” program to serve as its marketing vehicle. 

“It was a fun and artistic process,” Sarti said in a follow-up interview. “It actually came together pretty quickly. We wrote the script and we just kind of put it together with a film editor we work with.”

They didn’t want it to have the “educational” feel of typical videos from advisory firms.

“I wanted the video to have a community feel,” Sarti said. “It was all shot on iPhones.”

Morton Capital relied on its staff—both on the advisory and operation sides of the business—to get the word out about the video and the program. First, the firm sent an email about the video to all of its clients to let them know about it. From there, each advisor contacted a handful of clients they have especially good relations with to ask if they have any friends or family with financial planning needs who could benefit from this program.

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