Andrew Ross Kagan knows first-hand the toll that dementia can take on both individuals and families. The difficulty and emotions he and his family experienced as all four of his grandparents dealt with dementia changed his perspective on preparing for the future. Now, as branch president of Cornerstone Wealth & Tax Advisory Group Inc., he keeps those experiences in mind as he works hard to educate his clients and prepare them for a variety of challenges they might face in retirement.
Andrew shared his thoughts on the importance of educating clients, challenges the industry faces and advice he would give to young agents.
LHP: Why did you choose a career in insurance or financial services?
ARK: The experience I had with all four of my grandparents having had dementia was a big revelation for me. The costs, grief, and hassle associated with long-term care and assisted living were almost unbearable at times. This is what changed my perspective on preparing for the future. I have made it my goal to educate my clients and help them prepare for the future with the best products and services I can offer.
Throughout nearly a decade in the insurance industry, I have had a “do the right thing” attitude with everyone I’ve met. Client-minded plans that create financial security for the future is what I do.
LHP: Describe what you do.
ARK: Keep people’s hard earned retirement dollars in a safe place away from market risk.
LHP: Share an achievement you are especially proud of.
ARK: I feel being nominated for 30 under 30 would be one of them. Besides that, I have completed an Ironman Triathlon and that was pretty difficult.
LHP: What is the biggest challenge that you see in the industry or what is the one thing you would change?
ARK: Honestly, our industry changes so frequently that you have to adapt and almost expect change. Helping people is what I do, so whatever I have to do to achieve that, I’ll make sure that happens.
LHP: What is the biggest opportunity that you see in the industry?
ARK: That’s easy: it’s helping people! I was told a long time ago that the more people you help, the more money you’ll make. It’s safe to say that I’m helping a lot of people these days!
LHP: What do you think millennials are looking for in an advisor? How can advisors best serve this market?
ARK: I think millennials are looking for someone they can relate to and be an example for. I do this all the time, especially in meetings, where I pull up my personal accounts to show clients that we are in this together. Being a fiduciary in all your recommendations helps not only the consumer, but also our industry. So, please put the client first in everything you do.
LHP: What is the No. 1 piece of advice you would give to a young person looking to enter this industry?
ARK: The one piece of advice would be to find a system that works for you and stick with it. Too many times I’ve seen people have a little success that goes to their head. You have to stay humble and focused and you can’t think you have every answer.
I always tell clients that if I don’t know the answer, I will tell them that I don’t know it, but you also have to know where to find the answer. Also, a mentor or someone you can call upon always helps!