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Behind the List with Donald M. Healey Sr.

Donald M. Healey Sr. is president of The Healey Group Inc. He was recently inducted into the Signator Investors Inc. Hall of Fame.

Q:What is the first step you recommend in retirement planning?

A:The first step is to gain a complete understanding of the client’s objectives. How we do that is through a thorough data-gathering process. That way we’re able to find out the client’s objectives, what’s their timeline horizon, what their risk tolerance is, what’s their goals.

What is the most important thing you teach when you instruct CPAs, financial planners and life insurance agents?

One is, using the terms in the street, is know your customer, in this case, know your client. Having an understanding of the client’s financial objectives, where they work, where their employment is or the business that they may own, what’s their family situation, would give one a clearer picture. Then, our ultimate goal regardless of who is providing the service is the recommendation should be correct for the client based on their current information and their current needs. It shouldn’t be driven by a product, it should be driven by the client’s needs.

You have received industry honors and awards for your work. What does this mean to you?

It’s very humbling. The awards are really about being recognized by your peers. As we all question how we do and are we staying up with the big boys in the big leagues, some of these awards give you the opportunity to see the type of work we’ve done over the years is good, solid fundamentals, which we try to instill in our people here at work and we still are exercising.

It’s also nice to get acknowledgment that in this industry we’ve been able to compete in a fair environment and still be acknowledged as someone that has done a pretty good job over the years.

It’s not something I get up every day and say, “This year I have to get to the hall of fame.” The only reason we got there is because of the quality of clients we’ve been able to work with. That is the whole picture. It’s not one individual, it’s all the people here in our office plus our clients that have helped us get to those levels.

What advice would you give to a new business owner?

I suggest that they surround themselves with quality people, advisers they can trust. That would include a good attorney, good accountant, good insurance and investment professional. They together as a team can help this business owner grow his or her business due to the expertise they have in their field. So in lieu of trying to go it alone, the theory is to build a good team around them of good-quality advisers.

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