To bring the highest quality financial planning and investment management advice to everyone.
Interview with Brian Grigg, CFP®, founder of Grigg Financial Solutions
Many people want to know who they’re dealing with in any business that involves trust, perhaps especially when it comes to money management. Can you tell us something about yourself that helps us understand who you are?
First, I’m a family guy. I love my family. I have a daughter from a prior marriage that I adore. She’s 25 and in graduate school for psychology, hoping to open a counseling and psychology office. I’m in a relationship with a woman I love very much. She has two wonderful children and we all have a great modern family life together. We live in the Towson area.
Regarding business, I actually started Grigg Financial Solutions because of my family values. My 33 year working history has many years providing advice to clients and many years working for financial institutions, designing and distributing retirement products. My years at corporate involved significant travel and created strain on my life, my marriage, my relationships. Sadly my marriage ended and it forced me to put a lot of thought in to what brings joy and purpose to me. More business travel away from home was not it. My family and friends are. I also truly enjoy my professional field and helping people with their financial resources – that is, advising people on the best possible paths for their financial success. And, I learned through the years that independence is important to me in providing the very best advice. And so, I left a high paying corporate position and started an independent financial planning practice. I’m doing what I love to do.
What is your experience?
First, I’ve been in financial services my whole career, starting in 1985. I believe I’m a little unique in that I’ve been substantially on “both sides”, i.e. corporate and retail. This helped me develop a unique insight in to how financial products are built, marketed and offered in financial services. I consider this a significant value to my clients.
I spent more than 20 years as an officer and business leader for two insurance companies, Sun Life Financial and Fidelity & Guaranty Life. I led efforts with both of these companies to sell over 25 billion in retirement products. I was tasked with developing the right products and getting results. In their fields, both achieved top 5 market share under my leadership.
I have about 10 years as a sales manager and general agent with two leading financial services providers, John Hancock and Guardian Life. I hired, trained and managed many successful financial services representatives.
My experiences were complemented with my education, creating an awareness and expertise with financial concepts that I use every day for the benefit of my clientele.
Why is education so important in financial planning?
I’m a believer that anyone who offers professional advice do so within the context of continuous learning and development, especially within the financial planning field. I have a lot of designations that demonstrate that I am committed to a lifetime of learning.
It is, however, difficult to initially communicate the value of such designations, since many don’t understand financial services credentials. But, whenever given the chance I encourage clients and prospective clients to do the research and discover what is involved in achieving specific financial services credentials.
Here are what I consider most important:
- The CFP® mark is the mark of excellence, takes years to earn, requires experience, extensive testing and has ongoing continuing education requirements. Go to www.cfp.net for detailed information. You can also validate that my standing is current and in good order. My license is #063530. I earned the CFP® mark in 1999.
- I also have several professional designations from the American College of Financial Services, a leader in financial services education. I earned the ChFC, CLU and CASL designations from 1994-2007. You can go to www.Americancollege.edu to find out more.
- Masters, Business Administration, University of Massachusetts, Lowell. UMass Lowell was an excellent place for me to get an MBA. The program focused on statistics and process… very useful for financial planning. I graduated in the top 10% of my class in 1995.
- Completed the CFA Institute level 1 exam. Rarely does a practicing planner pursue such a rigorous designation. I offer this again, to demonstrate my commitment to learning for the benefit of my clients. And, I love it. Call me a geek! Go to www.cfainstitute.org. My ID is #8637458.
How Do I Find Out More About You?
- Regarding industry registration, with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) I am an Investment Advisor with Foundations Investment Advisors. My license number is CRD#2291150. You can go to www.brokercheck.finra.org and look up any advisor currently or formerly registered with the SEC or FINRA. You can view backgrounds and complaint histories. Use the CRD#. You will note that I was previously a registered broker with Series 6,7, and 63 licenses as well as Series 24, Registered Principal. I purposefully do not carry these licenses anymore, which are required to perform commissionable investment business. My investment practice is fee only and earns advice fees, not commissions.
- I am also a licensed life and health insurance agent in many states. My Maryland license number is #100046735. My national Insurance Producer Registration number is #1353580. You can go to http://www.mdinsurance.state.md.us/Consumer/Pages/CompanySearchInstructions.aspx. Look under “producer” to find me.
What Plans Do You Have for Grigg Financial?
I plan on building out GFS with a partnership structure (similar to many law firms). The idea is to build with people who have similar values and who are committed to providing the best advice available.
I’d also like to hire GFS portfolio managers. The core people will be required to have appropriate experience, performance history, and qualifications, including the prestigious CFA designation. The idea here is to complement and enhance existing money managers with additional styles.
And finally, I’m hoping to build deeper synergies with outside sister professions that share values toward providing exemplary advice and service. Comprehensive financial planning is a multi discipline profession. It’s important to have legal, accounting and other disciplines as part of any comprehensive approach. I think of it as helping clients through professional stations of financial planning.
Why Should I Trust Grigg Financial Solutions?
Education and experience are certainly part of it. After all, you want to know that your advisor knows what he’s talking about. But, evaluating character is a large part of getting to trust. I hope this interview has helped with both of these criteria.
Finally, it’s important to know that I am independent on purpose. It’s important to me that my advice is not influenced by obligations or ties to any person or entity with the exception of the client. My advice is focused on what is in your best interest. Look up “what is a fiduciary?” to find out more.
Schedule Your Appointment with
Phone (410) 842-1214
Investment Advisory services are offered through Grigg Financial Solutions, a registered investment advisor.