To say the economy has been challenging over the past couple of years may be an understatement, but financial advisors like Robert Allen work hard to remind clients to keep the big picture in mind.
Over the last year alone, the problems in Europe, the downgrade of treasuries and the heated game of debt ceiling brinkmanship gave more than one client financial heartburn, says Allen, senior vice president for investments at UBS Financial Services Inc. in Bangor.
“There’s this feeling of despair – ‘what am I going to do?’. You don’t want them to make bad decisions based on short-term events,” says Allen, who’s now in his 25th year at UBS. “We spend a lot of time holding hands – looking at long-term goals.”
It’s that steady, low-key approach that won Allen his listing this year as the top financial advisor in Maine by Barron’s – that and the $424 million in assets he manages.
Allen topped a list of five Maine money men who made the Barron’s Top 1,000 Financial Advisors list, published recently. The other four are based in Portland.
Even while things were shaky last summer, the market’s “been incredible” for the last five months, Allen notes, up 25 percent since a low in October. But even as things are going well, Allen says, “What I’m telling people is things have gone up pretty fast – we’re expecting a correction.”
“That’s part of being invested,” he says.
Allen, a Veazie resident, says he’s expecting maybe a 5 percent correction in the market, which will offer a buy-in opportunity for many of the individuals and institutions that have been sitting on their money, instead of investing.
“We think the market correction may be just enough to result in a lot of money coming into the market by year end,” he says.
Allen says this is the first time he’s hit the Barron’s list, and he’s flattered. He’s getting calls from old colleagues who have seen the news, congratulating him. But, he says, the listing is really a testament to the strength of his office, including partners David Young, Thomas Gower, Jodi Steele and the firm’s two support staff members, Jana Hanscom and Kelly Scheetz.
“I have no control over the markets – but we have some control over how we service our clients, and we’re all over that,” said Allen. “We really take pride in that.”
Allen says he has a range of clients, mostly professionals, ranging from doctors, lawyers, nurses and teachers, as well as small business owners. He used to have a number of papermakers as clients, but those numbers have been dropping. He also has a number of clients who have properties on the coast, and who summer here, Allen says.
Overall, he says, he and his partners manage money for clients in 25 states, from Maine to California.
According to the Barron’s listing, the 1,000 were chosen for assets under management, revenue the advisors generate for their firms and the quality of their practices. The article lists Allen as managing $424 million in total assets, with a typical account at $750,000.
The other advisors in Maine were (2) Eric George of Wells Fargo, (3) Jeremiah Burns of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, (4) Christopher Rogers of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and (5) Eric Dexter of Wells Fargo.