Define and strive to reach your financial goals with the team of Wealth Management Advisors through CUSO Financial Services, LP (“CFS*”) at Elevations Credit Union. We help members create a strategy that fits their lifestyle and budget. Learn more about Scott Herrmann, CFP® and how he provides financial guidance for Elevations members at the Boulder Diagonal Branch.
Financial planning goes beyond numbers for Scott Herrmann, CFP®. He prefers to take a holistic, big picture view to truly understand how members want to invest their money in themselves and their families.
From discussing investment and insurance options to preparing for life after retirement and planned giving to a favorite charity, Scott is ready to share options that align with each member’s individual needs and wishes.
Building financial roadmaps for all ages
When Scott chats with an Elevations member about their financial plans, the conversations tend to focus on dreams and personal values in life. Then, he figures out the financial component to help make those visions a reality.
“My job is really about helping others, which is what I enjoy most about it. And in terms of helping others, it’s creating a financial plan,” he commented. “We don’t have any requirements that you need to have a certain amount of money or be a certain age.”
All you need is a goal. Scott says as people get closer to retirement, they tend to have a greater need for planning, but he also visits with young couples looking for ways to best manage their personal finances and map out a plan for their future.
“Once we’ve got the goals down, then it’s a matter of setting up accounts that are in line with the goals,” Scott explained. These might be short-term, long-term, tax-advantaged or tax-sensitive accounts. As you work together, a tangible plan starts to materialize.
Scott laughs as he explains that a wealth advisor is essentially a Chief Financial Officer for your life. You make the decisions, and the CFO presents the options that are in your best interest to execute your plans.
Shifting his career focus from profits to people
Prior to joining the team of CFS Wealth Management Advisors at Elevations Credit Union seven years ago, Scott lived and worked abroad for Deutsche Bank, and then with Lehman Brothers. His investing career took him to offices in Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia and Toyko, where he engaged in various roles over the years from international management trainee to business manager and analyst for fixed-income trading and strategic planning.
Eventually he felt something was missing in his jet-setting career. The roles he was working in put more emphasis on enhancing shareholder value than working individually with clients to help plan for and achieve their goals.
“I came to realize I really wanted to help people. And the personal financial planning process is about empowering people through helping them make decisions that improve their financial health. I find that process really rewarding,” Scott reflected. “I think the most important intangible benefit that we offer is peace of mind through the planning process. That’s not something you can just go and purchase.”
He says over the years he’s noticed the people he works with express their gratitude for this relationship-building approach to wealth management at Elevations. Scott enjoys getting to know the members he works with over time and building a bond based on trust.
One service Scott is proud to discuss with members is socially responsible investing, or working with companies that are advocates for principles that align with the member’s values. For example, someone who supports environmental causes may appreciate investing in companies that reduce carbon emissions, use water more cleanly and efficiently, and promote the use of renewable energy. An equality advocate may prefer to partner with businesses that promote gender equality and have an ethnically and racially diverse staff. Socially responsible investing often aligns with ethical, social, sustainability or societal movements.
“It’s amazing how we can align the goals of the members with things that are good for society at the same time through responsible investing,” Scott added. “It’s a chance for companies, I think, to reform themselves along the lines that are important to the people that are investing in them.”
Teaching Colorado youth about financial literacy
Scott also enjoys volunteering with the Boulder Valley School District to teach financial literacy to children in elementary, middle and high school. He does this via Junior Achievement’s economics for success program.
“Junior Achievement is an organization that I really respect and have worked with for many years. Various businesses donate money to help support it, and professionals donate their time to teach,” he explained.
Scott’s favorite program is the Junior Achievement Finance Park program, where middle school and high school students spend a day experiencing simulated real-world situations they will encounter as adults, such as buying a car, investing money, shopping for insurance, paying rent or setting up a monthly budget.
“They’ve got a certain amount of income. They may have debt. Then they have to decide how they’re going to allocate their scarce resources in line with their values and the values of their family,” Scott noted. “What they realize is that their plan doesn’t work perfectly in the real world. Things are more expensive or aren’t offered exactly as they would like them. So they have to adjust.”
Although Junior Achievement may provide insights for children, adults can benefit from these lessons as well, especially when experiencing a life change such as marriage, divorce, a new job, retirement or when receiving an influx of funds as a beneficiary.
Is it time to revise your life’s roadmap?
If you’d like to schedule an appointment to chat with Scott, please call his assistant Sheli at 303.247.8984 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Scott is happy to visit with members in person at the Boulder Diagonal Branch, by phone or by video call.