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What Starbucks and Financial Planning Have in Common

Mark Smith, CFP®, CPA/PFS, CIMA® - Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Personal Financial Planning | M.J. Smith and AssociatesWe all know that coffee is typically an integral start to any day – and when you ask people how they like their coffee, there are frequently many different answers and preferences.   

One company that has capitalized on this is Starbucks, which has become a household name when it comes to getting your favorite cup of coffee or beverage.  Founded in Seattle, Washington in 1971 and growing to operate in nearly 24,000 locations worldwide, Starbucks has become an American business success story. 

With a business model that has been dialed-in over the years, Starbucks understands how to deliver a high-quality product to meet the needs of its customers every time at just about any location in the world. From the ingredients they use to the training of their team – what makes Starbucks unique is their tested and refined approach over decades of experience that focuses on quality and customer satisfaction.  This has no doubt gotten them to where they are today with a very loyal customer base. 

Just like everyone’s morning cup of coffee, financial planning should not have a “one size fits all” approach. Planning for your future is something that needs to be considered very carefully as every individual is unique and should have a customized plan that fits the needs of specific goals and objectives. And, when it comes to the team you have in place to help you navigate through this, it’s highly important that they are trusted, proven and skilled to make sure that you are protected.


Like Starbucks, M.J. Smith and Associates has a business model that has been tested and refined for many years. With nearly four decades of financial planning experience, we have continuously worked to perfect the processes and procedures of our asset management approach with a clear focus on our customers.   We value our client relationships that we have built over the years and we work diligently to ensure that your individualized needs are met.  With M.J. Smith and Associates, you get:

  • A highly-trained team of professionals: We know that you’re only as strong as the team you put in place. That’s why we only hire and train a team of professionals that can provide the best and most consistent wealth management experience available to you. The assets and management of all portfolios are monitored at the “firm level” to ensure that every one of our employees can help address whatever service you may require.
  • An Investment Committee: We have put in place an Investment Committee that meets monthly to maintain a tightly controlled and carefully monitored list of approved investments to give our customers confidence. No advisor or employee may select or recommend an investment that is not on the approved list.
  • Customized solutions tailored to specific needs: We listen carefully to your situation to truly understand what you need through a collaborative understanding of your current financial situation, risk tolerance and needs. Then we create an asset plan that is specific to you. We continuously work with you to refine and update, if necessary, based on your needs.

I encourage you to download a recent article I wrote on being Your Financial Tailor, which details how we compare to Starbucks’ business model and the process we take to understand, analyze and assess our client’s exact individual situations.  Feel free to also contact us for more information on how we can continuously help you meet your financial needs.



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