Here’s our story. We look forward to hearing yours.
Curran Financial PartnersAt Curran Financial Partners, our goal is to educate and empower you to make better decisions with your hard-earned dollars.
Adam CurranAdam Curran is the Founder of Curran Financial Partners. He entered the investment industry at a very young age, working as a runner on the Philadelphia Stock Exchange while going to school at nearby Drexel University. He received a bachelor of business administration degree in accounting and finance and took a job in the hedge fund industry before seeing a need to start his own firm. His mission from the beginning was to serve hard-working families like the one he grew up in, taking the same concepts the wealthiest individuals use and sharing them with Main Street. Adam runs a weekly radio broadcast, “Retire Y’all Radio” and he has published the book, “The Power of a Plan.” He is an Investment Advisor Representative and holds an insurance license in multiple states. Adam's greatest honor is being a husband to Anna Claire and Father to his son Ben and his two dog'thers Alice and Piper.
Paige DuceyPaige Ducey is the Practice Manager at Curran Financial Partners. Paige holds both a securities and insurance license in South Carolina. Paige resides in Mount Pleasant with her husband Brian, identical twin boys, Logan and Kai, and daughter, Kaitlyn. Paige was born and raised in Connecticut and enjoys the warmth and sunshine South Carolina has to offer.
Michael BaerMichael and his wife, Jackie, first met Adam and Claire years ago, attending Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University led by the Currans at a local church in downtown Charleston. He first came on board as the Director of Marketing, assisting in running dinner events, TV spots, radio shows, and much more. Michael is now a Financial Advisor focused on upholding the values of the Curran Financial Partners team. Engaging with families, he assists in eliminating debt while planning for a future retirement with confidence and fervor. His past experiences in customer service, banking, and even time as a semi-professional athlete have helped him develop a cooperative attitude to build mutually trusting relationships. His family is a huge support in his life, including the newest addition in baby Lillian, his wonderful wife in Jackie, and his two pups, Cally and Brady.
Nicole SchultzNicole Schultz is the Marketing Coordinator and Director of First Impressions at Curran Financial Partners. Her responsibilities include managing new client information, reporting on marketing campaigns and maintaining strong client communications. She was raised on Hilton Head Island and has a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from the University of Georgia. Previously, she served as the Marketing Coordinator for a boutique real estate brokerage on Hilton Head Island. She is a licensed Realtor in the state of South Carolina. Nicole lives in Mount Pleasant with her partner Willie and their daughter Ava Kate.
Claire CurranAs part of the firm’s administrative team, Claire welcomes and assists clients in the office and over the phone, schedules appointments, updates client information and provides daily administration support. Claire’s primary role is client assistance, ensuring internal and external customers receive impeccable service at all times. Claire was born in Greenville, North Carolina, and received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. In her free time, Claire enjoys the beach, playing tennis and exploring Charleston with her golden retriever, Alice.
Alice CurranAlice is proud to serve as the firm's Director of Happiness. When clients walk through the door, she is sure to greet them with a wagging tail, and if you're lucky (and holding a treat), she'll shake your hand. In her spare time, Alice enjoys napping, walks on the beach, and getting her belly scratched. She is Adam and Claire's eldest – and, in her opinion, favorite – child.
Top 5 FAQs
We know it can be hard to figure out who you can trust with your hard-earned life savings. Throughout the years, we’ve found there are 5 commonly-asked questions that can help you discover who the right investment advisor is for you.
If an advisor recommends a specific type of investment or a specific company, chances are the advisor is representing his/her own interests, not yours. One of the biggest red flags that screams product salesman instead of valued advisor is if he/she only recommends a certain investment type or product (for example, they only recommend mutual funds or only annuities). Would you trust a doctor who represents a specific pharmaceutical company? Of course not. What are the chances you’ll receive a good financial “prescription” from an advisor who only recommends a single or a couple types of investments?
The only right way to give healthy investment advice is to offer a broad, diversified range of approaches and advice that is custom-tailored for each client, not some cookie-cutter approach. Contrary to much of the “advice” being tossed around, there isn’t a “Swiss army knife” investment product that can solve all of your problems; all investment vehicles have pros and cons. A true wealth advisory team will articulate those pros and cons and custom-blend a holistic investment strategy specifically designed to help you achieve your unique goals.
As soon as you see the shimmer of a slick-looking marketing sheet with impressive historical returns, your antennae should go up. Although it may sound surprising, this is a danger sign because this proves the advisor consistently recommends the same investments to each and every client. You deserve to be treated like a human, not a number. How could your unique challenges and aspirations be like every other client? For years we’ve struggled when asked this question because we don’t have a one-size-fits-all plan. We believe in taking great care and time in tailoring each investment plan, because you are unique and no two clients are the same. The optimal, holistic approach to managing wealth is not only to take into account the investment strategies, but also make them tax efficient by reviewing the tax return each year and crafting a personal pension plan so you’re confident you won’t run out of money in retirement. We call this Total Wealth Management.
There are three ways financial advisors get paid for their advice, and each approach has pros and cons.
Fee-only advice is when you pay a one-time flat fee for a physical financial plan document. Fees often generally range from $500 to $10,000 or more depending on the complexity of your plan. When paying a flat fee, it’s important to understand what value you’re receiving for the fee you’re paying. The downside to paying a flat fee for a financial plan is that most of the time you’re responsible for actually implementing the plan, kind of like buying the blueprint for a house but you have to buy all the materials and build it yourself.
Another popular approach to paying for investment advice is fee-based management. This typically is a percent fee levied on your portfolio in return for professional management. Fee ranges are all over the map, but generally average somewhere between 1-2.5% of the total value of the investments being managed. (Note: paying a management fee to someone to pick a portfolio of mutual funds can be costly! Easily 3-4% or more a year in fees!) The most crucial component to deciding whether a fee is low or high is what value you’re getting from paying the management fee. If the portfolio is closely mimicking the overall market, it’s probably not worth paying for an advisor, but if the advisor tends to generate reasonable returns regardless of the market’s temper, you may have a winner. The downside to fee-based management is that even in troublesome years in the market, the advisor still gets paid, so it’s important to hire advisors who can weather the bad times.
The more popular option (by many advisors) is to earn a nice commission by recommending a fund or similar investment. There’s great confusion surrounding commission-based compensation, but it may not be all bad for you because there are two types of possible commissions: one type comes out of your pocket (a sales load, usually 3-6% of your investment right off the top) and the other is paid from the company’s pocket (paid to the advisor from the company he/she is recommending – the commission is considered a marketing expense by the company). Either approach, however, naturally can create a conflict of interest for the advisor to recommend the option that pays him/her the most, which is why it’s critical to hire only an independent advisor who is legally bound to be a fiduciary (i.e. to put your interests above and beyond theirs). Be sure to ask your advisor or the one you’re considering if they are a true fiduciary. In its simplest form, a fiduciary is required by law to do what is in his/her clients’ best interests; not what’s in his or her company’s best interests. This sounds reasonable, right? CFOs of major companies are fiduciaries, church and nonprofit treasurers are fiduciaries, and even your doctor is a fiduciary because he/she must give you advice designed to make you healthy. So shouldn’t the person managing your money also be a fiduciary?
What’s the best option to pay for quality wealth advice? A combination of them. A true wealth advisor will offer any of the three or a blend of them based on your personal preferences.
All businesses go through different stages of growth, and the financial advisory business is no different. During their early years, financial advisors will accept any client who has two nickels to rub together and can fog a mirror, but as their business grows, matures, and becomes more sophisticated, smart wealth managers will set an investment minimum that you must meet to work with them. If an advisor accepts clients of all ages and investment sizes, how could they possibly create a compelling client experience for you and the rest of their clients?
In any business it comes down to the choice of quantity or quality. For example, big box stores focus on quantity (herding a high volume of customers) and the customer experience suffers greatly, whereas a boutique shop focuses on quality (serving the right customers) and their client experience is second to none. We purposefully choose to create the boutique experience for our clients because we would rather give each member of our client family the care and attention they deserve and desire.
If an advisor can’t answer this question clearly, find the exit door. Quickly. An advisor cannot be all things to all people and still be exceptional at what they do. As in the medical profession, it’s important to seek out the advice of a specialist when your situation demands it. For example, if you want to reduce your debt and you hire an advisor who specializes in people ages 50+, chances are you have the wrong advisor. Conversely, if you’re seeking wisdom on how not to run out of money in retirement and your advisor doesn’t specifically specialize in creating retirement income plans, chances are you won’t receive the best advice. The key is to align yourself with the financial advisor who specializes in people just like you!
We recognize we’re not the right fit for everyone - nor do we want to be - and not everyone is the right fit for our client family. We believe that you can only be the best at what you do if you specialize. We specialize exclusively in helping people near/in retirement, beneficiaries and trustees, business owners, and do-it-yourselfers.