Experience – Trott Brook Financial was founded in 2002. The firm manages over $125 million dollars in brokerage and advisory assets for over 250 families. Our team has over 50 years of combined financial planning and investment management experience. Jim Steffen entered the financial services business in 1991 with Mass Mutual.
Competence – Our advisors have undergraduate degrees in business, economics and finance from the University of St. Thomas and St. Cloud State University. In addition, both Jim Steffen and Ted Erhart hold the Certified Financial Planner (CFP ®) designation which is considered by many as the highest standard in the industry.
Ethics – Perhaps the single most important criteria for choosing a financial advisor is trust. At Trott Brook Financial, we take this very seriously. Our conduct is guided by the universal maxim, “One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.” Further as CFP® certificate holders, we have committed to uphold the principles of integrity, objectivity, competence, fairness, confidentiality, professionalism and diligence. Our professional conduct has been rewarded over-time by the steady stream of referrals we receive each year from existing clients.
Objectivity/Independence – Objective advice can be challenging to find in the world of personal finance. The reason is simple, many professionals in the industry are employed by, or affiliated with, a large financial institution that have banking and or insurance businesses. The fact is, banks and insurance companies have products to sell. Regardless of the policies these firms employ, it is impossible to eliminate even an unconscious desire by some advisors to favor the firm that signs their paycheck. Clients can take comfort in knowing Trott Brook Financial is a Registered Investment Advisory firm whereby we have no associations with banks, insurance companies or mutual fund firms. In our view this arrangement creates the best environment for giving objective advice and acting in a fiduciary capacity.
Investment Philosophy – Our investment philosophy is most heavily influenced by the teachings of Warren Buffett who has amassed perhaps the best investment track record in history. We prefer investing in things we understand. We favor the simple and proven over the sophisticated and speculative. We also prefer working with investment managers who have a sizable stake of their own money in the game. In other words, we like it when others have some “skin in the game.” It is our view that these basic principles, over time, yield the best results for investors.