Our Vision and Values
To: Our Client Family
In our quest to build the best wealth management firm in the Lehigh Valley (or the world, for that matter), I spend a lot of time on our values, our culture, and the quality of our people because I believe that these things, and the experiences our clients have working with us, are vitally important – just like our credentials and expertise are important.
That’s why I was so pleased to see the results of our recent client survey, where the number one term used to describe us was “caring”. Number two was “knowledgeable”. It reminded me how our office manager Reta likes to say “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”
So, the purpose of this letter is to share our vision for the future. We are growing! We opened a second office in Bethlehem just this week and hired a new associate, Jonathan Ritter, CPA, CFP®, at the beginning of this year. It is important to me that as we grow, we retain our character, values, and “feel”. Our mission is to help you achieve satisfaction, joy, and meaning for yourself and the people you care about, free from financial anxiety — to help you live your best life!
So we continue to strive to be a friendly place where people of all backgrounds and levels of financial experience are respected, listened to, and cared for. Our office must be a safe place where you can ask anything – from the most basic financial question to the most complex – and know that you’ll get answers you can understand, in an environment of respect. We must have smart, capable advisors who are committed to your interests. These would be people with the highest levels of education – designations like the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification, the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), and the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) credential. We must be accessible and responsive, and we should work together as a team, both with other advisors inside our practice and with your outside advisors (like attorneys and accountants) with a cooperative attitude.
We must be there for you – not only for the rest of your life, but beyond, to ensure that your wishes – the plans you made – are carried out. So, we can’t be one person. Why? Because people go on vacation. People get sick. Sometimes, sadly, people die. By organizing our firm as a high-performance team, our firm will go on, even if one of us can’t.
So, what does all of this mean? What am I trying to say? Specifically:
We’re not going anywhere! I’m 43 years old, healthy, and hope to work at least another 25 years (I love what I do!). Reta is committed to staying on for at least another 5 years (hopefully many more), Justin (at age 30) hopes to have another 35+ years ahead of him at Milestone; and Leslee, our financial planning assistant, is also younger than me and has a long and promising future ahead. Our newest associate Jon is age 30 with 8 years of industry experience and very strong tax and financial planning expertise. We have an internal succession plan so if something happens to me, the firm will continue.
We are committed to only hiring the best and brightest – both from the standpoint of technical expertise and training, but even more important, the character of our people. I have interviewed a lot of financial advisors and am shocked by how many are more interested in themselves than in the people they care for. Those people will not work here.
We are committed to having convenient locations to make it easier for our Lehigh Valley clients to meet with us, so we’ve opened a second office in Bethlehem, PA. We also have lots of clients outside the Lehigh Valley and are investing in technology to make it easier for us to “meet” by phone while sharing and reviewing documents as though we are face-to-face.
We are selective in the clients that we choose to work with to ensure we are not rushed and we have the time to really listen and provide the highest quality of advice and service. And we only work with nice people – like you! We call it our “no schmucks for bucks” policy! It’s what ensures that when you call, we didn’t just get off the phone with someone who was not so nice who ruined our day. That policy also makes this a great place to work!
I hope you can feel my excitement. I am proud of the progress we have made over our 17 years in business. I am filled with gratitude at the fullness of life and the relationships that I and our team are privileged to share with each of you. And I am incredibly excited about what the future holds!
Continued success and warmest regards,
David S. Coult, CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®, CPFA