When Refine Wealth Strategies founders David J. Klein, CFP®, CLU, ChFC®, RICP; Brian Kelly, CLU, ChFC®, RICP, CASL; and Larwin W. Kauffman CFP®, CLU, ChFC, met in the early 2000s, they didn’t anticipate starting a business together. Fortunately, fate intervened—with a bit of help from 41-year NAIFA member Terry McTigue, CLU, ChFC®, who recruited all three to Northwestern Mutual.
The Power of Collaboration
When they founded Refine Wealth Strategies on July 1, 2022, Klein, Kelly, and Kauffman each brought more than 15 years of experience in their own area of expertise. Together, the trio uses each’s individual skills to ensure that their clients have a comprehensive financial plan in place. Klein describes the agency’s philosophy: "We don’t start with the numbers,” he begins. “[We start] by getting to know them—getting to know their family, their values, what they care about, and what they want in life. It’s all about the relationship.” Refine Wealth focuses on helping people accomplish their goals. Kelly describes their client relationships as partnerships, saying, “A lot of people don't take the time to think about where they're going. I think that's a lot of our talent and skill—asking those questions, making them think about it.”
The Value of NAIFA
Klein, Kelly, and Kauffman each joined NAIFA not long after entering the insurance and financial services industry and they all cite networking as one of the most valuable benefits of NAIFA membership. Kelly says, “Being able to interact with other folks in the business and see their perspectives gives us a more well-rounded approach to clients.” Klein adds, “Even though we might be representing different firms, we're all pulling in the same direction, and with the same goal of helping improve financial literacy, financial independence, and financial stability for our clients. By banding together, we can be stronger and help deliver that to our clients.”
The Importance of Political Advocacy
Kelly has served as Political Involvement Committee Chair at the local and state levels and knows the importance of political advocacy for protecting Main Street USA and industry as a whole. “There are a lot of different moving parts that impact how we can serve our clients and the cost to them, and there’s a lot of overlap among [state and federal legislation].” He continues, “Understanding what those are, understanding how they impact our practice, and being in a position to advocate for our industry and our clients is key.”
Maintaining relationships with elected officials is also a crucial element of advocating for clients, says Kelly. Most conversations with legislators are laying groundwork, he says, but that relationship-building is essential for when pivotal legislation is proposed. “I've been in the position to make phone calls to U.S. representatives when something critical is happening,” Kelly says. At those times, he can help legislators understand the immediate impact and future implications of the law they’re considering.
Klein adds that political involvement helps advisors provide their clients with the most accurate information, saying, “What keeps me motivated and excited is knowing that our clients' needs are going to grow and evolve and change; educating ourselves and staying on top of changing laws, tax situations, and planning opportunities; and being out ahead of where their needs are and being there to meet those needs when they come across them.”
A NAIFA 100% Agency
Continuing education is one of the key benefits of NAIFA membership for Refine Wealth Strategies advisors, says Klein. “We live and work in a career that requires constant growth and constant improvement.” Kelly adds, “We have some younger and less experienced advisors on the team, so the training opportunities will broaden their horizons.”
Kauffman sums up the agency’s approach, saying, “We know we have to be involved in professional organizations that are agencies of change and agents of change, and we think NAIFA is that for Refine Wealth Strategies.”
We're #NAIFAproud to welcome Refine Wealth Strategies as a NAIFA 100% Agency and look forward to working with the team to protect Main Street USA.
To learn more about Refine Wealth Strategies, please visit: https://www.refinewealth.com/