Old Solutions Become Obsolete in the Shutdown Aftermath

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Advisors Need a Fresh Set of Eyes

For long-time clients of Harwood Financial Group, investing confidently in a particularly challenging economy is familiar territory. Those who began working with the Tampa Bay-based firm when it was founded in 2008 needed creative solutions amid the Global Financial Crisis. Robert Harwood, the founder, began pioneering investment management strategies that aimed to buffer clients from the Wall Street rollercoaster.

Heading into the post lock-down period in 2020, Harwood clients are enjoying the advantages of working with a team that is, once again, navigating investors through new waters.

“Moving forward, plenty of opportunities should arise. But the processes will become more difficult— the DIY retirement plan, for example, is a thing of the past. Investors need advisors who are willing to operate out of a new playbook. Believing our industry can just pick right up where it left off in February 2020 seems like wishful thinking,” explains Harwood partner Mike Sorrentino, a Chartered Financial Analyst®.

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Sorrentino, Michael Bartolotta, and Remy Bartolotta teamed up with Robert Harwood in early 2020. “We researched numerous solid advisories and were immediately drawn to Harwood. Like us, Robert has a well-earned reputation for over-the-top-service, goals-based investing, and client education. That’s why Harwood owns an industry-leading client retention rate. The new management team is determined to further elevate this client-focused business model,” Sorrentino explains.

Credibility, Community and Clarity

The first order of business for the new partners is to make sure existing Harwood clients remain on track…whether they are just starting out or nearing retirement. “The world has changed,” says Sorrentino. “We are monitoring portfolios closely, triple-checking investments, and reimagining effective strategies to position clients to beat their goals rather than just the indices. Because we come from diverse backgrounds with extensive training and experience in asset management, markets, insurance, and financial planning, we can offer comprehensive solutions and integrate often underutilized tools.

“What hasn’t changed is the need to thoroughly educate clients. Now more than ever, investors need us to provide clear communication, unbiased information, blunt assessment, and rich understanding. We are investing heavily in advanced communication tools and sophisticated technology, so our clients hear regularly from those who are looking after their money.”

When COVID-19 led to the closure of much of the economy, Harwood held open conference calls for clients every afternoon. The calls were designed to provide accurate information and to eliminate costly investor mistakes caused by panic. What began as an audience of hundreds grew to thousands as Harwood opened the conference calls to the public.

“Focusing exclusively on existing clients only would do them a disservice,” explains Sorrentino. “They don’t live in a vacuum, but depend on the vitality of the communities they work and live in. Strengthening community ties is a top priority for us.”

What’s next?

“Recovery after COVID-19 is coming, and new opportunities are exploding,” concludes Sorrentino. “Once we get our clients through the current crisis, we are poised to begin an aggressive plan to expand throughout the U.S. We aren’t the only advisors out there who are this focused on the client experience, but we do feel we are one of the few that have executed on it. We want to meet other advisors who share our focus and would benefit from the infrastructure we’ve built.”

harwoodfinancialgroup.com | 800.989.1427 | Offices in Tampa, Sarasota, Largo and Dunedin, FL Also serving St. Petersburg and New Port Richey

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