Mark Carruthers believes that everything begins with a plan, although he never envisioned having a practice that focused almost exclusively on retirement planning.
“I don’t think it was a conscious decision,” says the 43-year-old from Garnerville, New York. “Over the last three years, more and more of my business has become solely retirement based. It was a natural evolution. People are looking at their retirements and, unless their company [offers] a pension, they are saying, ‘How am I going to fund my retirement?’”
In January, Carruthers changed his business name from Financial Horizons to, simply, Mark Carruthers CFP, in order to brand himself instead of a business name. In addition, he changed his logo and slogan to reflect retirement planning. “[With the logo], we tried to incorporate my lifestyle–mountains, skiing, and outdoor activities–with colors and themes to evoke retirement planning,” Carruthers says.
Carruthers has been in business for the last 10 years, and manages $12 million for about 150 clients, with around $10 million earmarked for his clients’ retirement. Affiliated with Genworth Financial Services, he recommends no-load mutual funds, I-shares, or commodity funds to the 90% of his clients in the accumulation phase. Even during the accumulation phase of a client’s financial life, he says, a retirement plan needs to be in place.