Aaron Safier, the founder and CEO of Sapphire Wealth Advisory Group, is not a traditional advisor who focuses on numbers. After devoting 15 years of his career to finance and 9 years to the advisory side, he is known for carrying a level of compassion in all the work he does. Aaron says that his goal has always been to find the right solution for each of his clients. In fact, he believes regardless of a client’s financial circumstances, everyone deserves a 30-minute conversation. When working with clients, Aaron makes it clear that he wants to educate them on what they are doing and why they are doing it. This approach has put him in standing as a professional advisor and as a coach. However, what is most important to Aaron is that his clients know him as their advocate and not as a disinterested third-party.
After eight years of working for another financial planning agency, Aaron decided to start Sapphire Wealth Advisory Group (“SWAG”). Based in New York, the focus of the financial planning firm is working in three primary markets. First, Aaron works with individuals and families who are facing what he calls “levels of financial complexity.” These are clients who are earning more money than they did in college, but now they must make important decisions about saving, purchasing a home, investing, etc. Therefore, Aaron’s job is to essentially help in managing their cash flow and helping them plan for their futures. He works one-on-one with each client to customize suitable plans and strategies for accomplishing each person’s objectives.
Another important area of focus is working with families that include children with special needs. This sort of planning requires a level of focus and keen understanding in the different facets that are involved. Having close partnerships with attorneys and accountants who also work to help these parents raises the bar for the type of planning the group does. Therefore, Aaron strives to develop and to maintain partnerships with other knowledgeable professionals who work with these families so that they may collaborate to comprise the best possible plan of reaching their common objective.
The third area of focus for Aaron and SWAG is working with entrepreneurs. These are individuals who started a business and are concerned with their ability to provide benefits or other incentives for their employees. In order to assist these clients, Aaron considers each business owner’s unique circumstances and then creates customized benefit packages for each company’s employees. It is only by taking the time to listen to each of his clients that he can ensure their complete satisfaction.
So far, Aaron has built his practice via organic growth and referrals. He knows clients work with him because of the intangible value he provides. Over the next couple of years, he plans to build a boutique-style family office as his clients’ circumstances are becoming more complex (such as lifestyle, hitting milestones, and receiving an inheritance.) As a result, he found that
he would rather provide additional value by creating an office that would recruit specialists in different areas to work closely and collaboratively with clients for a “one plus one = 3 affect”. Aaron and his wife have a 4 and a half year-old son, and they are expecting their second child in a December, so he understands the importance of being authentic and keeping things simple. Aaron is not considering an amalgam of variables when he works with his clients; there is a human touch to everything he does.
Originally published in Top 100 People in Finance