HOUGHTON - After 25 years of helping clients develop plans for their financial futures Charles V. "Chuck" Roberts is turning over the reins to his son.
"I'm happy to have the opportunity to carry on the tradition and still be able to live in the Copper Country, which is what I love," said Charles M. "Buster" Roberts. "Keeping the tradition going and working hard for clients is what I think is most important."
As a new franchisee of Ameriprise Financial in downtown Houghton, Buster is continuing to serve the solid client base established by his father, while also accepting new clients.
Ameriprise Financial, located on Shelden Avenue in downtown Houghton.
Calling it his "semi-retirement," Financial Advisor and Certified Financial Planner practitioner, Chuck will maintain the necessary licenses and registrations, however, his position has changed.
"In February of 2010, I became Buster's Associate Financial Advisor," he said. "So, he's running the ship and Dad pops on a case-by-case basis. I still really enjoy sitting in on client appointments."
Buster joined his father as a part of his practice at Ameriprise Financial nearly three years ago, getting up to speed while working alongside his father. He was appointed financial advisor in March 2008 after having passed the Series 7 and 66 exams, which are exams administered by the Financial Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and required to be able to sell securities and other types of investments. He also holds state insurance licenses.
Chuck noted that together they work with about 500 clients who have approximately $43 million invested with Ameriprise.
"There are no rules on how to do this transition so we went and saw everyone together and now they feel as comfortable with Buster as they feel with me," he said.
Buster graduated magna cum laude from Michigan Technological University in 1998 with a degree in business administration and a concentration in finance. His previous work experience includes an administrative position with BHK Child Development, where he was the director of human resources. Prior to that, Buster worked as a bank auditor.
"I felt his background was a big plus when he came on board," Chuck said. "His skills really were helpful."
Chuck is a 1970 graduate of Michigan Tech, where he earned a bachelor's degree in business administration. After Tech, he earned his Certified Financial Planner certification from the College for Financial Planning and began his career Aug. 25, 1985. Back then, the company was called IDS (IDS Financial Services). "It was a very well-known name," Chuck said. "The name has been changed from IDS for many years yet people still call us to this day and say, 'How's my IDS account doing?'"
Ultimately, Chuck worked with Joe Evans and Jim LaBeske, who were also Financial Advisors at the time, to purchase the building on Shelden Avenue.
Services offered by Ameriprise Financial include a wide variety of investment and service options.
Buster said there is no charge for an initial consultation, but financial planning services are available for a fee. The initial consultation provides an overview of financial planning concepts.
"You will receive a written analysis and/or recommendations for which a fee is charged," he said. "Our advisory fees vary depending upon the complexity of a client's needs. Ultimately the client makes the final decision if and how they want to work with us."
In his 25 years, Chuck said he believes his successful clients were those who created financial plans, stuck with them and didn't panic when the market fluctuated.
"The market is affected by fear and greed and we try to help keep clients focused on their long-term financial goals," he said. "As opposed to other models of investing or brokerage operations, we work directly with clients through their tough times."
With the recent market volatility and unprecedented events, Chuck said they did what they could to help people resist the urge to panic and act unwisely.
"This whole business, in my humble opinion, is emotions," he said. "We try to help clients remain focused on their overall goals and remind them that these situations are the exact reason they are active with financial planning. This helps them feel more in control of their emotions so they feel they are better equipped for these unexpected situations. Again, this may all be possible because they have financial plans in place."
Chuck said he's still involved in the business and meets with Buster at least once a week for case study, with or without clients to stay active in the practice.
"We work together and actively collaborate," he said. "I bring my experience and Buster brings his experience and perspective, which I believe really sets us apart from the competition."
Over the years, Chuck said the clients he has enjoyed working with and getting to know have become more like family.
"It's like going to your favorite place to get your car repaired because you know they understand you," he said. "You become like family to them too."
Now 63 years old, Chuck said he's accomplished more than he could have ever dreamed.
His first year in the business, he was one of the top advisors in the country.
"We feel we are successful out of this office and appreciate being a part of a small community," he said. "We genuinely care not only for clients but also their families and the community. We appreciate the loyalty that we have been shown and confidentiality is of course of utmost importance."
Teaching Buster the ins and outs of the financial industry first-hand, case by case came easily to Chuck. Since Buster grew up in the Copper Country and he is well known in the community, he was the natural choice to follow in his father's footsteps.
"I could teach him in a real situation and he would sit and listen to Dad," Chuck said. "And guess what happens now? I sit in on client meetings and I'm learning because the industry has changed so much in just six months. So, now I become the student."
Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. is located at 608 Shelden Ave. in Houghton. For more information, call 482-1778.
Editor's note: This feature is part of a paid advertising package purchased by Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., of Houghton. Businesses interested in being featured on the Business page may call Yvonne Robillard at 483-2220.