Fred Helfrich is a retired Certified Financial Planner who formerly worked for SYM Financial Advisors. He worked for the financial advisory firm for over an impressive 41 years. As a financial planning expert, Fred has mastered the art of wealth management, investments, estate planning, and financial advice. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Hanover College and earned his CFP in 1986 from the College for Financial Planning. Since retiring in 2021, Fred has discovered a passion for riding a bicycle over long distances and has pedaled hundreds of miles since.
Fred joins me to discuss the state of the financial industry, his career at SYM Financial Advisors, and what life has been like after retirement. He shares the experiences that shaped his youth and describes how technology has changed the financial landscape over the last decade. He shares his takeaways from working with a wide variety of clients, especially those going through tough times. Fred also discusses other skills he’s cultivated beyond financial advising — and his passion for long-distance cycling.
“There were situations where I wasn’t the answer. You have to be willing to man up and admit to the client that they can be better off somewhere else.” – Fred Helfrich
This week on Executive Decisions:
- The experiences that shaped Fred’s younger years
- Why Fred prefers to work with people over computers
- The challenges Fred faced in his career and how the industry has changed since he started
- Fred’s advice to his younger self
- Handling demanding clients and tough conversations as a business leader
- Lessons learned from working with different people
- Working with clients who are going through a terrible life event
- The qualities and traits Fred has observed from the many clients he’s worked with
- Fred’s thoughts on teaching kids about money early
- Common financial problems Fred wishes more people were prepared for
- Other skills Fred is known for, beyond financial advising
- How retirement has changed Fred’s perspective on life
Our Favorite Quotes:
- “Body language adds up. It’s going to impact the way clients react with you in the long haul.” – Fred Helfrich
- “You don’t get to be a high level executive without having strong people skills.” – Sarah Delahanty
- “Sometimes, staying cool and collected in stressful moments is important.” – Sarah Delahanty
Connect with Fred Helfrich:
About SYM Financial and Executive Decisions Podcast
Executive Decisions is a show for business leaders. In each episode, host and financial advisor Sarah Delahanty sits down with executives and local experts who serve them. Together, they tackle some of the harder questions that business leaders face today. From inspiring creativity in the workplace, to managing company politics, to making the best choices with executive compensation, taxes, and lifestyle — our show delivers stories and lessons learned across many industries and lifetimes.
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