Gaining Value
Harvest Group, now a Division of United Capital Financial Advisers, LLC, offers “the same hometown feel” with more tools to assist clients in planning for the future
by Phil Gianficaro

The feelings are unmistakable from the moment one walks through the welcoming doors of Harvest Group, a Division of United Capital Financial Advisers, LLC in Langhorne.

They’re feelings of caring, of sincerity, of honesty, of kindness, of attentiveness, of friendship. They’re feelings of having made an immediate connection with Rosemary Caligiuri, the firm’s accomplished partner and managing director who greets clients at her office with a smile and a résumé filled with decades of experience that engenders confidence.

“Our firm is deeply committed to helping clients live their One Best Financial Life®,” says Caligiuri. “We call this Financial Life Management or FinLife®. Simply put, the goal is to act as a coach to improve clients’ lives by helping them make smart financial decisions that help them improve their entire life, not just their net worth. Life/financial choices can have as much impact on a financial future, maybe even more, than investment choices.”

Caligiuri states her business philosophy is not changed but has only been enhanced by partnering with United Capital Financial Advisers, LLC, a national financial life management firm, headquartered in Newport Beach, Calif., with 81 offices in the United States, managing $16 billion in assets.

“Doing business with Harvest Group still feels like home to our clients,” Caligiuri says. “It is still the same office, the same staff, the same hometown feel. We now have better tools through joining United Capital that assist clients in their plans for retirement. We also treat people with a personal, easy style. It’s not just a good way to do business; it’s who we are.”

Caligiuri has long admired United Capital’s approach to business, which, she admits, mirrors hers: to offer a different type of financial experience for the consumer, to truly look at a series of choices people need to make, and to focus on the individual. Blending the financial institutions seemed perfect; conversations began in April 2015, and the deal was finalized by December.

“By partnering with United Capital, we gained better technology tools,” Caligiuri adds. “This included advanced account reporting access for our clients which was most important.”

Technology is moving at the speed of sound. Caligiuri recognizes this.

“Clients want access to their investments, return and financial plan, even on a mobile device. We are in the process of launching this technology later this year for our clients. In addition, United Capital offers us a nonproprietary, robust, cost-effective investment platform,” says Caligiuri, who states independently designed platforms truly help the client, as the planner is not wrongly incentivized. “The consumer is demanding technology. Some are turning to the robo-adviser: algorithms that use automated parameters to invest for clients in lieu of human advisers. These can charge just 15 to 25 basis points (¼ percent). Yet, even the most advanced technologies are incapable of feeling and expressing empathy, let alone exercising nuanced judgement. That makes all the difference to achieving life goals.”

United Capital’s concept of financial planning is exactly the approach Caligiuri and Harvest Group Financial have been taking for decades: financial life management, which improves clients’ lives and helps them make smarter lifestyle decisions. Caligiuri is emphatic about collaborating with clients in an effort to align individuals’ financial goals with their personal values. This is the underlying methodology in United Capital’s Financial Life Management approach.

Wealth Manager John Lindsey, Jr. CFP©, CHFC©, RICP©, says, “Managing clients’ money is incredibly important, but the main goal is to help them manage their whole life. That’s the inherent difference between investment management and us. Most people feel the adviser is managing their financial lives. We put the power in the clients’ hands. We help clients take control of those factors that they truly can control (spending, saving, timing, risk, legacy desires), and give them the power to maximize their lives.”

“We are the arbiters of truth,” adds Wealth Manager Heidi Hirsh, RICP©. “We have the tough conversations about trade-offs. We provide them the tools and guidance to help them make smart choices that maximize their entire life. We teach them not to focus on things they cannot control.” United Capital’s unique approach aligns with why people do and what they do when making financial decisions. The firm’s proprietary financial planning and investment management tools include trademarked strategies such as the Money Mind® Analyzer, which helps people uncover their biases toward money to help them make better choices, and Honest Conversations®, a prioritization exercise that uncovers the clients’ life priorities.

“These are exercises where a client can see what they’ve prioritized,” Caligiuri says. “We often make decisions that aren’t aligned with our personal values. Spouses can’t always agree, and advisers aren’t able to meet their goals. We improve their decision making with our guidance. This is one of the rare moments where couples have a venue to have conversations in our office where those conversations drive their financial plans.”

The client bias is one of insight and awareness. They can objectively “see” how their biases have affected their decisions. They have a deeper understanding of what their values are and what matters to them on the topic of money and their financial life. This is invaluable when navigating volatile times such as Brexit and the many market changes ahead.

As clients have those conversations with Caligiuri and her Wealth Managers, they may find them as comfortable as sitting down over coffee with a trusted friend. They become confidants with the clients’ best interests at heart.

“We strive to make people feel they’re the only person in the world that matters,” says Caligiuri. “That’s because it’s not just about business; it’s about people.”

Caligiuri’s caring for people’s financial health find its roots in her background as a registered nurse. Back then, her patients would ask her questions: “What if I can’t afford my medications? What do I do if my husband loses his job?” These were stressful questions to which Caligiuri didn’t immediately know, but she worked to find out the answers for her patients.

“They were financial questions being asked by my medical patients,” Caligiuri says. “I have always been an incredibly advocate type person. In the medical world, you can’t heal the physical if the patient is under mental stress. I found that no coursework or book work can help figure out any of this.

“I found I loved the financial world, too, and felt I could make a difference,” she continues. “I have the ability to listen to clients’ needs, the ability to look at the holistic picture and the effect of how choices influence the clients’ quality of life. Overlaying that with a good analytical brain to look at numbers and investments—it’s an honor to be the advocate for the clients.”

Caligiuri has earned the Chartered Advisor for Senior Living© and the Retired Income Certified Professional© designations from The American College. These prestigious programs include comprehensive curricula to advisers striving to meet the unique financial needs of today’s clients.

In addition, Caligiuri is also a member of Ed Slott’s Master Elite IRA Advisor Group, a private IRA study group of professionals with extensive IRA experience. This group is required to go through rigorous educational workshops on a continual basis.

Also an educator, radio show host and national speaker, Caligiuri enjoys addressing groups to share her approach to wealth management. She prides herself in providing independent and ethical financial guidance to clients in pre-retirement and retirement.

“The biggest mistake people make in the managing of their money, specifically in terms of preparing for retirement is they don’t have a clear picture of how much they need to be saving,” Caligiuri says. “We ask what retirement looks like for them. What are their goals in retirement?

“Retirement is not a dress rehearsal,” she continues. “My job is to make sure they live between two guide rails: one, to live without fear of running out of money; the other is, we do don’t want to live so far beneath our means that we die with money under the mattress. People don’t have context on those guide rails. They know what they value, but don’t know how to translate it.”

Harvest Group Financial and Caligiuri’s strives to provide clients the best options to help ensure for them a comfortable retirement.

“I can help them navigate the life they want to live,” Caligiuri says. “We are a sum of all our choices, and those choices impact us today as well as tomorrow; to have a clear picture of what we value in life; to put the focus on what is valued most; and to give them an ongoing truth of the tradeoffs of our wants and of our needs. When you have opportunities to have your money provide you with things you value, that’s a life worth living.”

Harvest Group, a Division of United Capital Financial Advisers, LLC
1707 Langhorne Newtown Road, Suite 1
Langhorne, PA 19047

Investment Advisory services offered through United Capital Financial Advisers, LLC ("United Capital"), a registered investment adviser. Securities and additional advisory services offered through Girard Securities Inc., member FINRA/SIPC, a registered investment advisory firm. United Capital and Girard Securities are separate and unrelated companies

Photograph by Allure West Studios