We hope you and your family had a wonderful holiday season. As our Bridgeworth family reflects on 2014 and looks ahead to 2015, we are grateful for our many blessings.
It is hard to believe that it was almost one year ago that the entire Birmingham area experienced a series of paralyzing ice storms. Many of our Bridgeworth advisors and staff were stranded at our office during the first storm and enjoyed some bonding time together. Thankfully, all of our extended families, as well as our clients’ families, made it through the storm unscathed – but each with his or her own unique story about the great ice storm of 2014.
In late 2013, Bridgeworth conducted a strategic planning meeting to set the direction of 2014, which included expanding our infrastructure and updating our technology to better serve our clients.
After an extensive search, Julie M. Ellis joined us in early 2014 as Director of Marketing and Business Development. Since that time, she has made her mark on the Firm. In collaboration with Scout Branding and key Bridgeworth advisors, Julie led us through a website update and the creation of new client materials which are now being utilized in client meetings. With assistance from our Marketing Committee, she coordinated several educational workshops and client appreciation events along with a number of “meet and greet” socials with other professionals. Along the way, we created the Bridgeworth blog on the website and launched our holiday charitable giving campaign. We don’t know how we made it without Julie and look forward to her continued influence in helping us grow and protect our Bridgeworth brand.
David Ward joined us mid-year as our Senior Planning Coordinator to help us expand our Planning Department. David is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNING™ practitioner with several years of experience with a local, well respected planning firm. He serves on the national FPA NexGen leadership team and brings valuable perspective to us, particularly as we focus on the planning needs of our young professional clients and the children and grandchildren of our retiree clients. David has already done a great job by creating new planning systems and processes, as well as streamlining existing ones. Earlier this month, Peyton Jones joined the planning staff as Planning Assistant. Peyton is a graduate of the University of Alabama Financial Planning Program and has tremendous analytical and computer skills. He is working to improve our efficiencies in the planning and investment management areas. With 22 CERTIFED FINANCIAL PLANNING™ practitioners and six past or current presidents of the Financial Planning Association, Bridgeworth continues to be a leader in the financial planning industry.
Our Emerging Advisor group consists of advisors who have joined us from other firms or have been in the business ten years or less. This group banned together in 2014 and began meeting monthly to share ideas, host client events, and to gain greater exposure to more experienced advisors within Bridgeworth. This group of advisors just wrapped up a training series, “Planning the Bridgeworth Way,” and are committed to continuing their pursuit of excellence in 2015. The Emerging Advisors represent the future of Bridgeworth and as such, the partners are committed to providing them with the tools and knowledge that they need to continue serving clients at the level expected by Bridgeworth.
The fast pace of 2014 has already carried forward into 2015. We are expanding our Compliance area, added Schwab as another investment custodian, and adding performance software for our high and ultra-high net worth clients. We plan to continue our ever-expanding client education and appreciation events. A few events coming this spring: Social Security Strategies with Elaine Simmons, Elder Care Seminar, Shred-A-Thon and Recycle-A-Thon.
As we gear up for new growth and expansion this year, we are ever mindful that our primary commitment is to you. As we make decisions in all of these important areas, our focus is always on how to provide greater resources, technology, information, and expertise for our clients. We thank you for your continued trust and confidence in us and count you as one of our greatest blessings.
Best wishes for a healthy and prosperous New Year.