Truth Telling From the Trenches with Certified Financial Planner® Bridget Burgess
Bridget Burgess has worked in the securities and financial advisory industries for more than 30 years. Her ability to identify each client’s unique needs and engage the appropriate financial planning tools allows her to bring clarity, assurance and harmony into her clients’ financial lives.
Using tax-efficient strategies, customized asset allocation formulas and estate planning techniques, Bridget puts in place comprehensive financial solutions that help clients achieve their goals. She then carefully rebalances, updates and fine-tunes in response to client needs and LNWM research and analysis.
Prior to joining Laird Norton Wealth Management, Bridget managed her own financial planning practice. From 2000 to 2011, she was President of Symetra Investment Services, formerly known as Safeco Investment Services, where she also served as Vice President from 1998 to 2000. Bridget started her career at Great Northern Annuity Corp., where she developed investment sales platforms for financial institutions.
She then managed investment sales at Pacific First Investment Services and served as Director of Institutional Marketing at Financial Network Investment Corp.
Bridget is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® and has a B.A. in Business Administration from Washington State University. She is actively involved with the Puget Sound Financial Planning Association, where she served as Board Chair from 2008 through 2010 and as President during 2007. She is also involved with the Family Law CASA serving on the Board's Finance Committee from 2014 through 2017 and now serves on the planning committee.
Where is your business located? Seattle, WA
Where did the idea for your business come from?
The need to pass assets from generation to generation and to manage those investments in the most tax efficient and cost efficient way possible by following plans that make sense.
What is the first thing you do in the morning?
Review immediate needs from clients via email, phone, or mail. Then I prepare for daily client meetings and read the latest news.
What does your workday look like and how do you maximize productivity?
We manage client needs through teams so we all work together to make sure we are doing everything we can for clients. We have client meetings, communication with other employees, field experts, and clients. We set tasks and have weekly and quarterly and yearly goals attached to activities.
How do you bring your great business ideas to the world to serve your clients?
We host client events through the symphony, hold economic updates, network through various industry and local communities, write blogs, host interviews, respond to articles and inquiries, have a wonderful web presence.
What is one trend in business that excites you?
I love that the securities advice industry is becoming more fee focused and that wire houses and broker dealers are dwindling.
What is one strategy that helped you grow your business?
Meet with anyone and everyone and be totally open and honest always. Give to get, offer to run plans and give as much advice as a prospect needs to make a decision.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur and how did you overcome it?
Tech was terribly difficult to manage. Systems were forever changing and clients demanded the latest in reporting and communication methods. On top of that, the broker dealer I was with kept merging and all back office systems would change. I finally joined a privately held firm that runs tech from a centralized place and hires a team to manage updates.
What is one business idea you are willing to give away to this community?
If you are selling a business and are worried about taxes, consider setting up an installment sale to spread out payments, or put the property or practice in a charitable trust, or front load a donor advised fund to take immediate tax benefits in the high tax year. There are smart ways to mitigate your tax bill and we can help.
What is the best $100 you have recently spent?
I bought cards and send out old-fashioned hand written cards to clients for life events.
What is one piece of software or app that helps you be productive?
How do you use it? Money Guide Pro is a fantastic financial planning software system that takes the guesswork out of planning.
What is the best business book you've read and why?
I have to mention six:
The Millionaire Next Door and/or Stop Acting Rich…by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko (both books are great)
One up on Wall Street and/or Beating the Street by Peter Lynch
The Elements of Investing by Charles Ellis
The Little Book that Still Beats the Market by Joel Greenblatt and Andrew Tobias
All of these books take a complicated topic and simplify through stories and real life applications.
What is your favorite quote?
"Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain." Ralph Waldo Emerson
Who inspires you and why?
Warren Buffett. He is a master at communicating effectively and inspiring others to perform.
What are your thoughts on work life balance?
I've always struggled with this. You begin to lose sight of who you are when you spend too much time working. I try to keep weekly work hours to around 50 hours or less but sadly I do always check my email even on weekends so I have not mastered this. Women have to work harder for the same return and respect.
What are three business lessons you've learned so far?
1. Never take it personally.
2. No question is stupid.
3. Always show up.
What is your workspace like?
Tidy office with all the tools I need close at hand.
Last thing you do at the end of your work day
Check the calendar for tomorrow.
What is one thing you can't leave home without?
Floor access badge. Of course, my phone.
What superpower would you love to have to use for good?
The super power that dissipates ego and judgement, and defensiveness and anger and replaces with openness, curiosity, innovativeness, and creativity.
Number of unread emails you have right now?
Anything else you want to add?
I love my work. I love my clients. I love my employees. My goal is to enhance strengths and minimize weaknesses.
How can others connect with you?
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