As guests arrived at the Lighthouse Restaurant in Cedar Lake Wednesday evening, they were greeted by the friendly faces that make up Oak Partners, a glass of wine, and a scenic view of the lake outside. The special guest for the evening was economist Robert Stein, who is currently the Deputy Chief Economist at First Trust Advisors L.P., a financial services firm based in Wheaton, Illinois.
Oak Partners has been in the community for over twenty years helping residents make informed decisions about retirement and wealth management, so bringing in an expert like Stein is central to their ethos of client education and service. This is one of forty events they host every year for their clients, which range from the purely fun to the more educational.
“It’s a breath of fresh air to have everyone here and for our clients to meet and see each other and have a chance to mingle. Most didn’t come here with each other, but they have a chance to meet and talk. We think it’s important to let them know that we don’t have a transactional approach towards them, it’s relationship based,” said Joe Starkey, Financial Advisor with Oak Partners.
Stein has an impressive resume, having worked as Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the U.S. Treasury Department and also with the Senate Budget Committee on Capitol Hill, among other work in Washington, D.C. With all of the experience he has accrued in the financial world, guests could be certain they were going to hear from an informed expert.
“It’s important to expose clients to experts in the industry and give them differing views on the markets and where things are heading. We want to make sure they aren’t just getting our point of view, it’s an opportunity to put 80 to 100 people in the room and educate them on important topics,” said Starkey.
As for what topics Stein was going to discuss in the evening’s talk, there was a wide territory to cover. Everything from what clients should be wary of, to where fears might be overstated. This was the fourth time that Stein has worked with Oak Partners in a similar capacity, so making the talk relatable, comprehensive, and informative was his goal.
“It’s great. I like being able to talk with people in the Midwest. Most events like this are to other financial advisors, so it’s nice to do this in front of investors. It’s an honor to speak to them directly and get the pulse of what investors are thinking,” said Stein of what he enjoys about speaking for Oak Partners and their clients.
Guests were served their first course as Stein began his talk, walking between the tables and engaging with attendees as he spoke. Topics ranged from inflation, mortgages, federal debt, tax rates and much, much more as Stein presented statistics, data and informed speculation on market direction. The talk was measured and thoughtful, with Stein showing how and where data could be misleading, and encouraging clients to look not only at mole hills of individual data points, but at the mountain itself.
Guests listened intently and were encourage to ask questions after the talk, which many took advantage of, eager to hear Stein’s thoughts on issues that could affect their retirement or investments in the future.
As a company that values client interaction and communication, getting this much engagement with a guest speaker is encouraging for their goal of informing clients.
“I find it engaging to get to know everyone and hang out with them at these events. Informing and connecting with our clients is always a great experience for me. It’s probably my favorite part of the job honestly,” said Crystal DeHaven, Director of Client Experience for Oak Partners and a driving force behind organizing the night’s events.
Without a doubt, guests were more entertained and informed on the complex world of wealth management than when they walked in, thanks to Stein and the dedication of Oak Partners to their clients’ financial futures.
Securities and Advisory Services offered through SII Investments Inc., Member FINRA, SIPC a Registered Investment Advisor. Oak Partners, Inc. and SII Investments are separate and unrelated Companies.
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