"GRANDPA’S ADVICE" spoken by James H. Braziel
When I started in the investment business, I initially turned to Carol’s grandfather Don Smith for advice. Grandpa had been the farm advisor in Tehama County and he offered to do some research for me. He talked with a lot of farmers and to his surprise he found their biggest financial problem was taxes. He knew of several second and third generation farmers that had farms that were heavily in debt due to estate taxes. This was alarming to Grandpa and he suggested that I learn more about this area. Not being interested in that area at the time, I paid no attention to Grandpa’s advice.
Three years into the business one of my farming clients died, which financially devastated the family. His wife and two children were forced to sell all of their stocks, empty their savings, and borrow heavily against the farm to pay the estate taxes that were due. I then realized if I wanted to help my clients with their investments I would need to learn about all aspects of their financial life. I began learning ways to assist families with their estate and income tax planning. Almost 50 years later we still find it to be the most valuable service we provide.
We still keep Grandpa’s picture on the wall of our office to remind us how important it is to work towards solving the client’s problems first and if we keep that in mind, our success will follow. It is one thing to say you are going to help families keep their wealth intact. It is another thing to accomplish it.