NAIFA member Ike Trotter, CLU, CASL, ChFC, is president of the Ike Trotter Agency, LLC, in Greenville, MS. He helps his clients gain financial security by providing them with a wide range of financial services, including financial, retirement and estate planning.
Trotter derives a great deal of enjoyment and satisfaction from working with all of his clients, especially his middle-class clients who truly appreciate his financial expertise. “I sincerely believe that I am making a positive difference in their lives by working with them,” he said.
Trotter does not do much “hard-core” budgeting with his middle-class clients. Instead, he tries to get them to focus on the need to save by getting to them emotionally. He also uses plain language in talking with them about money and asking them questions like: How much do you make per year? How much do you owe? What are your financial concerns? What keeps you up at night? In addition, he takes the time to ask them about the hopes and dreams for themselves and their families.
He then asks them to prioritize how they allocate their resources to help them get to where they want to be financially. “I ask them what is important to them—their children’s education, their retirement, etc.,” he said.
His next step is to ask them if they can set aside something every month to get to those goals. “Basically, I take the soft approach when it comes to helping them save,” he said. For example, he will ask them what their primary goals for the year are, and what they are going to do in that year that they did not do the year before in order to get to those goals. “In essence,” he said, “I get them to think about what they can do to move ahead financially and suggest steps to help them get there.
The partial federal government shutdown and the financial devastation it brought to many Americans underscored the need for Americans to always have a financial cushion. “The time-tested advice of having at least 3 to 6 months of income set aside is a sound piece of advice for all of my clients,” he said. “I tell them to always pay themselves first because if they try to pay themselves after paying their bills, they may never be in a position to do so.”
“Many aspects of my work are inspiring to me,” he concluded. “I am inspired when I see my clients achieve financial security and help them see beyond the walls of doubt and despair.”