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Rules Designed with a Goal of Financial Success

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Rules Designed with a Goal of Financial Success

A friend I work out with approached me one day as we were leaving the gym.  He asked if we could sit down on a professional basis and visit over breakfast.  He had never sought financial advice from me before and was not a client.  He was utilizing another very well-known company and advisor who also worked out at the same club.  This individual was highly successful and very organized.  I assumed he was being well taken care of by the well-known advisor.

When the day came for us to meet, I was very curious to see what was on Kevin’s mind.  Kevin discussed his present advisor was doing a great job of managing his money. But when he sought “overarching financial strategies” from the current advisory firm, the advisor would suggest he talk to his CPA, attorney, or some other financial specialist.  Kevin said it all boiled down to one question:  “Other than trying to grow my wealth through an investment portfolio, what else should I be doing?”

What a great question!  Too often, every client's financial goal results in a new investment portfolio accumulating another pile of money to address the future need.  In other words, the answer is always the same:  start a new systematic accumulation account of some kind to save the money that will be needed. This requires the client to lower their lifestyle and live on less.  The biggest flaw in this approach is it assumes the accumulation of money is a strategy. Accumulation is not a strategy in and of itself.  It takes more than one financial product to create an “overarching” strategy.  Financial products must be coordinated and integrated to create strategies.

Here is what I told Kevin:  “The answer to your question is easy, but the devil is in the details.

There are 8 things every family should be fully educated about and given the opportunity to say yes or no to implementing.”

In my professional opinion, here are the 8 items that underpin a family’s financial security:

  1. Property & Casualty insurance is designed to protect the insured, not just the insurance company
  2. A strategy to protect your income from sickness, injury, business interruption, and job loss
  3. Estate planning (including Wills & Trusts as applicable) is in order
  4. Appropriate (potentially substantial) amounts of life insurance coverage  
  5. A high savings rate (15-20% of gross income)
  6. Ample liquidity (A cushion of at least 6 months of gross income)
  7. Limited exposure to market volatility in line with your objective and risk tolerance
  8. No bad debt (not over-leveraged)


If a person has all eight of these items in place, they may put themselves in a financial position designed to help withstand a variety of negative economic circumstances.  This does not mean if a person is without all eight items, their financial world will fail.  It probably will not.  But it also does not mean that bad things do not happen to good people because they do. I believe if a person has all eight items in place, they may be better off…at least financially.

This is what makes me different.  I help families and businesses to work through these eight items and make conscious, deliberate decisions regarding each one.  Using a comprehensive economic model, we test and verify various options to implement the eight items.  Every financial product has a place on our financial model. This allows your financial strategy to be modeled and tested.

This process has many potential benefits, such as:   

  1. Building more wealth and/or enjoyment of wealth
  2. Reducing financial risks
  3. Creating more protection from all the “what if’s” that can derail a person’s financial security.
  4. Avoiding impact on your lifestyle by working with your current cash flow


The last thought I left with Kevin is the last thought I will leave with you. Many details underlie the 8 items, and we are busy people.  We move at 80 mph during the week, and because of our families, we move at 100 mph on the weekend.  We are smart people, and we can handle these 8 items on our own. However, because we are busy being the best at what we do for a living, the best spouse we can be, and the best parent we can possibly be, we become vulnerable by default. Life forces us to take our eye off the ball.  Therefore, it makes sense to consider outsourcing these items to a personal CFO.  Someone qualified to help you handle these 8 items and maintain their values throughout your entire life.  This is what I do for the people I have working relationships with. This is what I can do for you.




Not all strategies may be suitable for all investors. Investing involves risk, including loss of value.  No investing strategy can assure a profit or protect against loss in a down market.

Life insurance is subject to certain costs, limitations, terms, and conditions not outlined here.  Investing involves risk, including loss of value.  For Educational Purposes Only - Results may vary.

HTK does not provide tax or legal advice.

This award was issued on 07/01/2023 by Five Star Professional (FSP) for the time period 10/10/2022 through 05/05/2023. Fee paid for use of marketing materials. Self-completed questionnaire was used for rating. This rating is not related to the quality of the investment advice and based solely on the disclosed criteria. 4,274 Dallas-area wealth managers were considered for the award; 336 (8% of candidates) were named 2023 Five Star Wealth Managers. The following prior year statistics use this format: YEAR: # Considered, # Winners, % of candidates, Issued Date, Research Period. 2022: 4,039, 330, 8%, 7/1/22, 9/20/21 - 4/8/22; 2021: 4,007, 323, 8%, 7/1/21, 9/21/20 - 4/30/21; 2020: 4,374, 335, 8%, 7/1/20, 10/7/19 - 4/24/20; 2019: 3,899, 393, 10%, 7/1/19, 10/22/18 - 5/3/19; 2018: 3,851, 338, 9%, 7/1/18, 10/24/17 - 5/21/18; 2017: 2,730, 382, 14%, 7/1/17, 9/26/16 - 4/28/17; 2016: 2,471, 678, 27%, 6/1/16, 11/30/15 - 5/18/16; 2015: 2,862, 684, 24%, 7/1/15, 11/30/14 - 5/18/15; 2014: 5,080, 621, 12%, 7/1/14, 11/30/13 - 5/18/14; 2013: 3,834, 698, 18%, 7/1/13, 11/30/12 - 5/18/13; 2012: 2,688, 654, 24%, 7/1/12, 11/30/11 - 5/18/12.
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Registered Representative of, and Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through Hornor, Townsend & Kent, LLC (HTK), a Registered Investment Advisor, Member FINRA/SIPC. 600 Dresher Road, Horsham, PA 19044 phone: 800-873-7637 Penn Mutual Wealth Strategies is unaffiliated with HTK. HTK is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company. 5607684RG_Apr25

*Winners appearing on this page do not pay a fee to be considered or to win the Five Star Award. Professionals with a digital profile have paid a promotional fee.
Wealth managers do not pay a fee to be considered or placed on the final list of Five Star Wealth Managers. The award is based on 10 objective criteria. Eligibility criteria-required: 1. Credentialed as a registered investment adviser (RIA) or a registered investment adviser representative; 2. Actively licensed as a RIA or as a principal of a registered investment adviser firm for a minimum of 5 years; 3. Favorable regulatory and complaint history review (As defined by FSP, the wealth manager has not; A. Been subject to a regulatory action that resulted in a license being suspended or revoked, or payment of a fine; B. Had more than a total of three settled or pending complaints filed against them and/or a total of five settled, pending, dismissed or denied complaints with any regulatory authority or FSP's consumer complaint process. Unfavorable feedback may have been discovered through a check of complaints registered with a regulatory authority or complaints registered through FSP's consumer complaint process; feedback may not be representative of any one client's experience; C. Individually contributed to a financial settlement of a customer complaint; D. Filed for personal bankruptcy within the past 11 years; E. Been terminated from a financial services firm within the past 11 years; F. Been convicted of a felony); 4. Fulfilled their firm review based on internal standards; 5. Accepting new clients. Evaluation criteria-considered: 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. FSP does not evaluate quality of services provided to clients. The award is not indicative of the wealth manager's future performance . Wealth Managers may or may not use discretion in their practice and therefore may not manage their clients' assets. The inclusion of a wealth manager on the Five Star Wealth Manager list should not be construed as an endorsement of the wealth manager by FSP or this publication. Working with a Five Star Wealth Manager or any wealth manager is no guarantee as to future investment success, nor is there any guarantee that the selected wealth managers will be awarded this accomplishment by FSP in the future. Visit