While many experienced financial planners encourage their clients to plan for retirement, Christina Winch says she takes lessons from her own book and advises her clients to plan instead for a rewarding life that may include continuing to work.

Winch, CEO of Winch Financial Services, based in Appleton, Wis., has been an investment advisor for 30 years. Now, at the age of 65, when most successful people would be thinking of retiring, the CFP licensee is expanding the financial services companies that she created. She advises her clients to stay active, and maybe working, as well.

"If they find their job is rewarding, like I do, I tell them they should keep working," Winch says. "The impact of taxes, an increasing life expectancy and inflation all contribute to eating away at a retirement fund. If you enjoy your work, why not continue?"

Having recently suffered through the death of her husband, Dr. Timothy Winch, she and three of her children have immersed themselves in the three companies that make up Winch Financial, including Winch Advisory Services LLC, a fee-only registered investment advisor catering to high-net-worth clients with at least $500,000 in investable funds. Included under that umbrella is the company that started Winch's career, Winch & Associates LLC, a branch office of Woodbury Financial, based in Woodbury, Minn., that provides commission investment products, tax-deferred annuities and a variety of life insurance products. Winch Insurance and Tax Services rounds out the mix.

Winch, who began her career as a high school English teacher, earned a teaching degree from the University of Wisconsin. She practiced a holistic style of teaching English and now brings that same whole-life approach to investing.

"I had worked for J.P. Morgan Trust Company in the summers, and I started talking with teachers and administrators about where we were (financially) and where we were going. They used insurance companies and fixed accounts for 403(b) accounts and didn't even realize they could use mutual funds. I also found people in debt, and you cannot have peace in a family if you are arguing about money," she remembers. "We started talking about inflation and what dollar cost averaging is."

In addition to her background as a teacher, Winch is equally influenced by her Christian beliefs, which she brings to her own investing and to her clients' investments, if they want it. She has also been graced with musical talents, which she passed on to her children, and which still infuse her family life.

She says each attribute or belief helps round her out as a person and helps her create an investment practice in which human beings are acknowledged as distinct individuals with different needs and goals. She dispenses her advice from offices that clients say look more like comfortable living rooms than business premises. She still teaches classes at the University of Wisconsin, but instead of English and French, she now dwells on such things as investments, trusts and taxes.

"'Investing in Confidence' was our slogan in the beginning and still is today," says Winch. "In class, we talk about debt planning and how to start saving. The Christian influence comes into financial planning because it means taking your gifts and investing them wisely so you have a life worthy of the calling you have received."

She has earned degrees from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and the College of Financial Planning in Denver, as well as licenses to handle insurance and sell securities. But shortly after entering the financial world, she knew the real growth in the profession was in advising clients on their investments and helping them build and transfer wealth. She hired two portfolio managers and then made the major shift from all commission-based load products to no-load investments and fee-based advice. She eventually began serving mostly high-net-worth clients and has attained a 98.5% client retention rate.

First « 1 2 3 4 » Next