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Providing precise and collaborative financial guidance

by Dec 7, 2022Advisor Interviews

Providing precise and collaborative financial guidance

by Dec 7, 2022Advisor Interviews

Allen Jenson • Foley, MN​
Caliber Financial Group • SagePoint Financial Inc.
Read full biography below

Proactive Advisor Magazine: Allen, how do you see your firm’s mission?

We recently changed the name of our firm to Caliber Financial Group and are in the middle of the rebranding process. I am the firm’s principal financial advisor, and I am training my son-in-law, Michael Siegler, to become a full-time financial advisor. Michael is already a tremendous asset to our firm, working on administrative, marketing, technology, and customer-service initiatives.

Our mission statement has three key elements. The first is in guiding clients, who live busy lives, to redefine what may have been unclear expectations and to better articulate their financial goals. We do so by fully collaborating with them in the development of a precise and actionable financial plan. The end benefit for them, hopefully, is in identifying a clear and meaningful purpose for their future.

We took great care in the selection of our firm’s new name and branding. “Caliber” refers to the gears of a fine timepiece. They must be very precise and work together in complete synchronization. That is representative of how we would like our relationships with clients to work, as well as the integration of the various elements of a client’s comprehensive financial plan.

What types of clients do you work with?

Our clients are diverse but tend to be more affluent individuals and families. We work with corporate executives, professionals in various fields, and small-business owners. Client ages generally range from about 45 to 75 or older. The average age of our clients is 55, a prime age for getting deeply involved in retirement-income planning.

After more than 35 years in the financial-services industry, I remain driven to provide our clients with an exceptional financial- and retirement-planning experience. I also would like to see our firm continue to grow, with Michael’s assistance. About 10,000 baby boomers retire in the U.S. each day, a trend that will be winding down after 2030. There is a tremendous opportunity to serve a new generation of clients, who, in addition to having their own careers and retirement savings, will be the beneficiaries of the boomer wealth transfer.

We are working hard to expand our client base beyond baby boomers to work with Generation X—and even the millennial generation that follows. I think bringing a younger advisor into our firm will help tremendously in that effort. We recognize that the lifestyles and financial objectives of different generations may vary from those of boomers, as do their preferences in the specifics of how they may want to engage with financial advisors. We want to be well prepared for the changing needs of these potential clients.

We strive to continue to thoroughly address legacy planning with boomer clients—and clients who are even older—and to become familiar with their beneficiaries. We actively ask clients if they would like to involve their children in the financial-planning process. We are constantly trying to involve the next generation in a variety of ways. It is a well-known fact that when wealth passes from the parents to their children, less than 15% keep the same advisor. We want our percentages to be much higher than that. I think this starts with strong relationships across the board and providing outstanding, dedicated service.

Michael Siegler, associate, and Allen Jenson, founder and principal advisor, Caliber Financial Group.

Describe your financial-planning process.

The discovery process is very important, both in a qualitative and quantitative sense. We spend a lot of time early on just asking questions intended to draw clients out on what their lives are all about, their dreams and aspirations, and what will be most important to them in the financial-planning process. We use excellent software that facilitates a collaborative process and allows us to build a goals-based financial plan, develop a thorough retirement-income blueprint, and examine various real-life “what if” scenarios customized for each client.

At appropriate points in the process, we can introduce clients to different professionals experienced in working with our firm, including an attorney and CPAs. This enables us to find the most suitable and complete solutions that we possibly can for clients. We view ourselves as a part of a team with our clients and other trusted professionals, but our goal is to make clients the heroes of their own stories.

Business owners have a lot on their plate, and there are many things they need to think about that the average wage earner does not. While we need to thoroughly cover their personal financial-planning needs and how they relate to their business, we may have different conversations in areas such as their company’s benefits, retirement, and succession planning. A lot of these conversations revolve around their employees: “How can we help you help your employees understand that they’re important to you and are critical to the success of your business?”

We engage with each client in a fashion that is most appropriate to their situation and their financial-planning needs. Our most robust financial plans have several different elements. The first is developing retirement accumulation and distribution strategies. This includes analyzing income needs now and in the future and helping clients determine how they can maximize their lifestyle and personal enjoyment in the future. The second is investment growth and preservation—to build assets for a variety of potential purposes, including funding legacy objectives. We also spend a lot of time comprehensively reviewing risk-management and insurance strategies, estate-planning strategies, and current and future tax planning.

There are two key concepts that we always keep at the forefront of the planning process. First, each client is very different, and we pride ourselves on getting to know their individual needs and preferences in developing a customized plan. For example, two families with very similar demographic, income, and asset profiles might have entirely different views on risk assumption, which can impact many areas of their plans. Second, we believe that “retirement” is an outdated term. We prefer to refer to people reaching the point in their lives where working becomes optional, opening up many different possibilities for their continued personal growth and the active lifestyle of their choice.

“… Our goal is to make clients the heroes of their own stories.”

Discuss your broad philosophy on investment management.

We are in the midst of some pretty dramatic changes right now in the financial and economic environment. I want to make sure that I have properly set client expectations and then managed to those expectations. We strive to develop financial and investment plans that can weather financial storms without our clients feeling that their financial future is at risk.

For most clients, our investment planning usually starts with formulating a plan with different buckets that provides a stable and sustainable income stream for the basic lifestyle needs in a lengthy retirement. That plan can take many forms and include a variety of strategies, accounts, and products for different clients, depending on their situation. We closely examine both inflation and tax implications in formulating that piece of the plan. From there, we are usually dealing with assets that can be employed toward a bucket for long-term growth objectives. We believe risk management is crucial in the investment planning for those assets. Since 2008, we have been investing that money differently, with more emphasis on trying to mitigate large portfolio drawdowns and extreme market risk.

We believe that under most scenarios over the long term, actively managed strategies offer a preferred approach to passive money management. Active strategies can have the flexibility not only to rotate among the asset classes and sectors providing current opportunity but also to adjust total market exposure based on current market conditions—even going to cash if that is appropriate.

With active strategies, we can show clients how their portfolio was invested last year, last month, and last week, and compare that to how it is invested today. Those may look different in each time frame, demonstrating how their strategies are adaptive to market conditions. We believe that trusted relationships with sophisticated third-party money managers allow us to continue to do what we do best for our clients: develop and then manage realistic and achievable expectations that will guide them in achieving their overall financial and life goals.

Allen Jenson is the founder and principal advisor at Caliber Financial Group, an advisory firm located in Foley, Minnesota. Mr. Jenson has over three decades of experience in the financial-services industry and enjoys “helping clients find creative solutions for their financial concerns.”

Mr. Jenson is a lifelong resident of Minnesota, growing up in a rural farming community with his parents and three siblings. His family was “close and supportive,” with everyone “working hard at various jobs” around their livestock farm. He says his father set an example for “never letting anyone outwork you,” a lesson that carried through to Mr. Jenson’s athletic career, school work, and business career. He was on the student council in high school and a varsity athlete in football, wrestling, and track and field, winning all-state honors in football. His success as a state champion wrestler led to a full scholarship to the University of Minnesota, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business marketing.

Following college, Mr. Jenson spent several years running a successful home-building company. During this period, he built a home for an established financial advisor. Mr. Jenson later received an offer to join this advisor’s firm, which was a part of a national insurance company. He says he “received excellent training and mentorship, first in insurance products and services, and later in investments and annuities.” His parent company was involved in a series of mergers and acquisitions, and his firm became an independent agency affiliated with SagePoint Financial Inc. Mr. Jenson’s practice has evolved to offering comprehensive financial planning, wealth management, and retirement-income planning to individuals and families. He also offers financial guidance, products, and services to small businesses.

Mr. Jenson and his wife have seven children and four grandchildren. He and his family have fostered 72 children over a period of 18 years. Mr. Jenson has been involved in leadership roles in his church and community. He has enjoyed coaching youth sports and mentoring teens and young adults. He also enjoys hunting, fishing, water sports, and many other outside activities. He says, “Best of all is our time spent with family.”

Disclosure: Securities and advisory services offered through SagePoint Financial Inc., member FINRA/SIPC and a registered investment advisor. Caliber Financial Group is independent of SagePoint Financial Inc.​

Photography by Marla Olivia

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Robust solutions for financial-planning clients

Allen Jenson is the founder and principal advisor at Caliber Financial Group, an advisory firm located in Foley, Minnesota. Mr. Jenson has over three decades of experience in the financial-services industry.

He says, “We engage with each client in a fashion that is most appropriate to their situation and their financial-planning needs. We use excellent software that facilitates a collaborative process and allows us to build a goals-based financial plan, develop a thorough retirement-income blueprint, and examine various real-life ‘what if’ scenarios customized for each client.”

He says his firm’s most robust financial plans may include many different elements, with strategies across these areas:

  • Retirement accumulation.
  • Investment growth and preservation.
  • Distribution and retirement-income planning.
  • Future tax planning.
  • Life-insurance planning and risk management.
  • Estate, legacy, and wealth-transfer planning.
  • Financial plan coordination with legal and accounting professionals.
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