Ballin’ on a Budget—Palm Desert’s Beacon Pointe Will Keep Your Finances in Check

Brandt Kuhn and Michele Sarna, Managing Director and Partners at Beacon Pointe Share the Who, What and Why’s of Working With Clients at Beacon Pointe

Written By: Kaitlynn Labit
Photography Provided By: Beacon Pointe Advisors Palm Desert Financial Advisors

Q: How did you two first get involved in financial advising? Palm Desert Financial Advisors

Michele Sarna: My first job out of college was in finance. It’s a fascinating industry and is constantly changing. My jobs always entailed serving people in some capacity, and I’ve always enjoyed solving issues and helping people. Financial advising allows me to do both.  

Brandt Kuhn: In high school, I went with my grandfather to his financial advisor’s office and asked him how he got to where he was.  His reply was to take as many finance classes as I could. While in college, I was an intern for a local financial planner. We also had a CPA in our office, who happened to be one of my college professors, so I took as many of his tax accounting classes as I could, figuring that if I could help clients reduce how much they pay in taxes, that might be just as valuable as an investment return.  After graduating, I knew I wanted to return home to the Coachella Valley and build my business and life here. Continuing with my education and field experience, I became a formally accredited CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ in 2010 at the age of 23, making me one of the youngest CFP® practitioners ever to be able to use the credential marks at the time of obtaining the certification.

Q: As managing directors and partners, you help clients create and develop financial plans, set goals for wealth accumulation and guide them in financial priorities—why have you chosen Beacon Pointe as the business to do this through?

MS: Beacon Pointe’s values align with my own.  The entire firm takes great care and pride in doing what’s best for the client.   

BK: Joining Beacon Pointe has been one of the best decisions that Michele and I have made for our clients, our employees and ourselves. Beacon Pointe’s commitment to excellence is apparent throughout everything we do. From our investment process and manager selection to the collaboration between other partners around the country, Beacon Pointe’s people make the company something we are proud to represent here in the Coachella Valley.

Being a financial advisor over the last 12 years, I have seen the financial services industry go through rapid changes. When I started in the industry, having a website meant that you were “technologically advanced.” Now we are video-conferencing with our clients, implementing electronic document signatures, utilizing apps across different devices to allow our clients real-time access to their investment accounts and financial plans—Beacon Pointe’s culture to evolve and positively embrace technology to best help clients in all aspects of their financial lives is something I am excited to be a part of.

Q: Helping someone with their finances is huge, and I can imagine, sometimes a daunting task—what about this job and working with clients is rewarding to you?

MS: The look of relief on a client’s face knowing they aren’t in this process alone; we will tackle whatever comes their way together; someone understands their needs and desires; and there is no judgment—Brandt and I are not here to make things more complicated, we are here to make life easier for our clients.

BK: My clients and I often get a good chuckle out of the age-old typecast that there are four things we aren’t supposed to talk about in polite conversation, “religion, politics, sex, and money.” Yet now it seems like most people are talking about the first three on Facebook every single day! Somehow, money still seems to be a bit of a taboo subject that people often avoid talking about with their friends, family, even spouses. At Beacon Pointe, we try to debunk this “off-limits” approach to money. During our initial meeting with new clients, we try to ease in the conversation around money.  Money is indeed a personal, sensitive subject matter, and we do our best to make it a comfortable one. Michele and I help clients sort through all the technical jargon and get to what matters most to them, their family and their goals for the future. The most rewarding part of my job is seeing that “lightbulb moment” for a client when they feel that peace of mind, that’s the best part of the day.

Q: What is the mission of Beacon Pointe?

MS and BK: Beacon Pointe is an independent advisory firm dedicated to providing clients with objective, thoughtful investment and financial guidance. The firm is committed to providing clients and their families with peace of mind and the ability to meet their long-term life and legacy goals.

Our firm’s core values (Take Accountability, Trust through Collaboration, Embrace Innovation, Positively Impact our Community, Strive for Excellence, and Advocate for Clients) truly resonate with both of us.

Q: Why is it important for people to invest in working with Beacon PointePalm Desert Financial Advisors

MS: It’s simple: we care.  We work for the client, not our pocketbook.  We are thorough, explaining all options in ways that our clients can understand. We treat every client as if they were the only one we have—complete focused attention. Our clients know they can depend on us.

BK: When it comes to this business, there is no shortage of people saying they have the best investments, can offer a higher return, or have a new hot stock tip to strike it rich. As tempting as some of these ideas are, we know our clients hire us to keep them grounded and accountable to their plans. Chasing investments that are “too good to pass up” won’t get you to where you need or want to go. When clients work with us, we want them to know that we are making thoughtful investment decisions that are going to lead them to reach their life and legacy goals.

Beacon Pointe
73833 El Paseo, Ste 102 Palm Desert Financial Advisors
Palm Desert, CA 92260 Palm Desert Financial Advisors
760.237.8970 Palm Desert Financial Advisors

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