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Small Business

LPL Financial treasures its clients

June 2, 2008
“My biggest passion in doing my business is to keep all my clients,” Jim Maule said. The independent financial advisor with LPL Financial has been in the business about 18 years and owned his own practice for the past seven years. “I have a lot of the same clients that I’ve had for 15, 16, 17 years. A lot of them.”

Maule credits that to regularly meeting with clients and keeping an eye on their accounts.

While Maule advises adults of all ages, retirees are his biggest client base. “At this point we’re preserving their wealth and hopefully growing it a little bit, possibly providing them with an income,” he said.

“Everybody has a different goal,” Maule said of retirees plans.

While some want to pass wealth on to their children, others want to insure their own golden years are well funded, he said.

Maule advises clients through stock market investments by way of mutual funds, bonds, stock management and other options. His speciality, he said, is mutual funds which are diversified collections of stocks and bonds.

“Two of the basic facets of investing to me are diversification and professional management,” Maule said. “They are the biggest reason there is for using mutual funds.”

For Maule, a portfolio is like a symphony.

“I’m like the conductor ... I always want to have one of the best funds there is playing in the first chair within each asset class,” while other assets fall in behind, he said. “That’s my job, to keep everything harmonious and working together.”

Maule works with as many as 150 households a year and gains most new business through referrals. Going through a private financial advisor provides benefits from going through a large firm or online service, Maule said.

“I can spend a lot more time with each client. I don’t have to do the huge volume,” like a broker in a large firm would have to do, he commented.

And while many financial advisors require a minimum amount of money to invest, Maul said he has clients at every investment level.

“I have lots of small clients, small accounts,” he said.

A “small account” is less than about $20,000 or $25,000.

“Most of my clients are the type of people that would be your neighbors, my neighbors,” Maule said.

Although potential investors may be frightened of the stock market’s volatility, “now could be a great time to invest if you have new money, money that is not invested yet,” Maule said. “This is probably a bad time to make changes” to current investments.

Maule encourages investors to remain in the market if the value of their portfolio goes down due to a falling market. An investor may lose money unnecessarily if they sell at the low point.

“The smart investors and the ones that I advise stay with it,” Maule said. “As long as you’re properly invested, properly weighted in each sector and have the symphony going, you don’t make changes at the bottom. You let the market work itself out.”

One aspect Maule said he likes about his job is benefiting his clients’ lives.

“I know I’m helping people. There’s no way I’m not helping people if I’m doing the right thing for them,” Maule said. “And I’m helping them with something they don’t like to spend a lot of time on.”

His fascination with percentages, being detail-oriented and methodical are personality traits to which Maule credits his success.

“Hopefully my talent is like that of a teacher, that I’m helping people understand their investments and monitor them and getting the best result possible,”he said.

When not advising his clients, Maule acts as president of the board of governors of the Lycoming County Historical Society and has been a “big brother” with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lycoming County for five years.

Article Photos

Jim Maule sits behind his desk where he advises clients on stock portfolios and investing.



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