20 Years of Building Tomorrows
Marshall, Murray & Associates, a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services Inc., has spent the past two decades helping clients realize their dreams
by Dana Dobson

When financial advisors Ryan Murray and William P. (Bill) Marshall founded Marshall, Murray & Associates in Langhorne, they knew that their combined skills were going to change lives. What they didn’t realize, but had hoped, was that their business would still be going strong 20 years later, and it proves what they have always believed: Good relationships grow over time.

Marshall, Murray & Associates is a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services Inc. that helps clients shape the retirements of their dreams. The firm specializes in strategies for asset management, retirement and income distribution planning, and estate planning.

The secret to their longevity? The team at Marshall, Murray & Associates agrees it’s because they take their relationships with clients very seriously—even personally.

“Bill and I knew we’d be great business associates because we both felt a strong commitment to helping clients attain financial peace of mind,” says Murray, whose numerous professional certifications include Certified Fund Specialist, Certified Retirement Planning CounselorSM, Certified Annuity Specialist® and Certified Long Term Care. Marshall’s certifications fit hand in hand with Murray’s certifications and charters: Chartered Financial Consultant®, Chartered Life Underwriter®, Certified Retirement Planning CounselorSM and also as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM practitioner.

Murray adds that working with clients is more than just about just money or achieving financial goals. “We talk about families—theirs and ours—and it creates a bond that is far beyond business,” he says.

The practice delves in deep to gather a strong understanding of each client’s unique situation. In crafting a plan for a client’s dream retirement, the team takes a conservative approach, assuming each client will live to the age of 100, while factoring in a 15 to 20 percent increase to their projected expenses.

“This caution, coupled with preparation, is done so our clients don’t view investments that tend to fluctuate—stocks, for example,” says Marshall.

Over the past two decades, Marshall and Murray have built a client foundation based on the benefits of thinking “long term.” Time, according to Murray, is one’s best friend when planning for retirement. As time passes, the advisors remain proactive and collaborative on behalf of their clients, establishing relationships that last through life’s ups and downs.

One of those “downs” came in 2008, when the market took a dramatic downturn. “Bill and I focused on showing our clients that we were there to help them through the difficult times,” says Murray. “It was not about solutions but about understanding—reaching out to answer questions, explore clients’ needs and welcome calls at any time of day or night. Our commitment to all aspects of financial planning must have worked, in that our client-satisfaction scores increased at a time when the markets were shaky.”

In an Ameriprise customer-satisfaction survey administered when the recession was in full swing, Murray scored a rating of 94 percent, while Marshall earned a rating of 91 percent—healthy scores at a time when people were especially frightened about their financial well-being. In addition, 80 percent of the practice’s clients came to them by way of referral during the downturn.

Further, in 2010 and 2011, Murray received the Five Star Wealth Manager Award, which is given to fewer than two percent of wealth managers in the Philadelphia area. The award acknowledged Murray for his high level of customer service, integrity, knowledge and six other key areas of satisfaction based on clients’ personal experience. Advisors are also reviewed in terms of regulatory and judicial actions and by a panel of financial industry peers.

When there are unpredictable changes in the market, Marshall and Murray show clients what the impact of those shifts may do to their investments.

“Many advisors spend a lot of time reviewing and discussing investments and seeking to make sure that their clients have the right allocation of investments,” Marshall explains. “While we feel that’s very important, we find there’s not a lot of emphasis placed on what to do with those investments in retirement. In other words, how will you take distributions from those investments? What might be the tax consequences? How will you take withdrawals from your investments when the market is volatile?”

As advisors in the Ameriprise family, Marshall, Murray & Associates fosters the firm’s unique Dream > Plan > Track >? approach, which is founded on the principle that financial planning starts with one’s dreams, not just the numbers.

“Just as the market changes, clients’ dreams change throughout life,” says Marshall. “Our client relationships are developed to be ongoing. Plans, priorities and life itself are always changing and must be continually evaluated on the road to achieving one’s dreams.”

Ameriprise Financial has additionally introduced an exclusive and innovative way to discuss retirement with clients, called the Confident Retirement? approach, which Marshall, Murray & Associates has embraced.

“It’s similar to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, a pyramid that shows humans’ most basic needs at the base and moves upwards from food and sleep to creativity and respect,” says Murray.

The Ameriprise model has four tiers, starting with covering the essentials, then ensuring the desired lifestyle, preparing for the unexpected and, finally, leaving a legacy.

“At least one study shows that baby boomers are giving financial assistance to their adult children as well as to their parents,” says Marshall. “What they don’t realize is the financial impact this could have on them if something devastating happens. At this stage, financial flexibility is important, and boomers should consider their own long-term-care plans.”

The top of the pyramid—leaving a legacy—includes actions such as financial gifts to family members, charities or other causes close to the heart.

“Clients who accumulated assets require estate planning strategies that address control and leverage,” explains Marshall. “They need to make sure there is a power of attorney, living will or something in writing that passes those assets on. Income and estate taxes will also reduce the amount that is passed on, and we can discuss the options to help clients ensure the proper beneficiary designations are in place.”

This Confident Retirement? approach is one more example of how Marshall, Murray & Associates applies a deep understanding of their clients to the solutions, strategies and tools developed to meet their clients’ retirement needs.

“Strong relationships are so important,” says Murray. “If there’s anything we’ve realized in our 20 years in business, it’s that simple principle. We are grateful for all of the wonderful relationships we’ve built over the years.”

“We’re going to continue watching our clients’ children go to college and achieve their goals,” adds Marshall. “It’s a privilege and a pleasure. To the next 20 years!”

Marshall, Murray & Associates, A private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.
2300 E. Lincoln Highway, Suite 705
Langhorne, PA 19047
For more information or to schedule an appointment, 215-757-7600 ext. 401, or visit ryandmurray.com or williampmarshall.com.

Ameriprise Financial and its representatives do not provide tax or legal advice. Consult your tax advisor or attorney regarding specific tax or legal issues.

The survey score is based on responses gathered within the preceding two years. The survey rates Ameriprise advisors on overall satisfaction, financial knowledge and other criteria. A score averages all responses and may not represent a particular client experience. A minimum number of responses are not required for a score. Working with this advisor is not a guarantee of future financial results. Investors should conduct their own evaluation of a financial advisor.

Investment products, including shares of mutual funds, are not federally or FDIC-insured, are not deposits or obligations of, or guaranteed by any financial institution and involve investment risks including possible loss of principal and fluctuation in value.

Ameriprise helped pioneer the financial planning process more than 30 years ago. Our unique Dream > Plan > Track >® approach is about more than just numbers, it’s both science and art. We have more financial planning clients and more CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals than any other company in the U.S. based on data filed at adviserinfo.sec.gov and documented by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. as of Dec. 31, 2012.

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and federally registered CFP (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.

The Five Star Wealth Manager award, administered by Crescendo Business Services, LLC (dba Five Star Professional), is based on 10 objective criteria: 1. Credentialed as a registered investment adviser or a registered investment adviser representative; 2. Actively employed as a credentialed professional in the financial services industry for a minimum of five years; 3. Favorable regulatory and complaint history review (please note unfavorable feedback may have been discovered through a check of complaints registered with a regulatory authority or complaints registered through Five Star Professional’s consumer complaint process*); 4. Fulfilled their firm review based on internal firm standards; 5. Accepting new clients; 6. One-year client retention rate; 7. Five-year client retention rate; 8. Non-institutional discretionary and/or non-discretionary client assets administered; 9. Number of client households served; 10. Education and professional designations. Wealth managers do not pay a fee to be considered or awarded. Once awarded, wealth managers may opt to purchase additional profile ad space or related award promotional products. The award methodology does not evaluate the quality of services provided. The award is not indicative of the award winner’s future performance. *To qualify as having a favorable regulatory and complaint history for this award, the person cannot have (1) been subject to a regulatory action that resulted in a license being suspended or revoked, or payment of a fine, (2) had more than a total of three customer complaints filed against them (settled or pending) with any regulatory authority or Five Star Professional’s consumer complaint process, (3) individually contributed to a financial settlement of a customer complaint filed with a regulatory authority, (4) filed for bankruptcy, or (5) been convicted of a felony.

Investment advisory services and products are made available through Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., a registered investment adviser.

Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA and SIPC.

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