In order to accurately introduce our firm and what we do, let’s dive into some background on our president and founder, Larry Heller CFP®, CPA. Larry initially wanted to be an accountant, so after graduating from Boston University, he obtained his CPA and started working for a “big 8” accounting firm. After three and a half years, he realized he wanted to do something else. Since accounting was helping people after the fact, he wanted to do something in the planning phase instead. While in college, his father passed away and he was left with his mother who was a homemaker. He also had a younger sister. Concerns about their future started to arise and it led him to think about a financial plan for their family. This eventually would be his starting track to a career in financial planning.
During the time he transitioned from being a CPA to getting a CFP®, while financial planning industry was just in its infancy stages. He worked in investments and insurance for a large firm but soon realized that large financial institution did not always have the best interests for his clients. So, Larry started to build his own practice.
Early in his financial planning career, Larry met a sports agent and started getting interested in financial planning for athletes. He worked with athletes for 10 years. However, the commuting time to NYC and traveling to other cities to meet with the athletes was taking him away from his family for too long.
He then decided to move his practice to Long Island and started working with families, corporate executives, and pre-retirees.
He focuses on Complete Financial planning, not just stocks and investments. Many of his clients have various financial goals and the firm’s job is to make sure that everything is done well for the clients’ peace of mind. His ideal client is someone 5-10 years before retirement and thinking about their “second life.” They also have at least a million dollars of investable assets, and are looking for a holistic plan to their financial plan, and our evidence-based approach investment strategy.
A Growing Business
Many of Larry’s clients have come through referrals. Heller Wealth Management has done good work for our clients and the referrals have helped bring more clients in. We are a fiduciary and fee-based. Having these qualities and helping others has helped us earn more popularity through the years. We also grow our business through centers of influence by working with accountants and estate tax attorneys. We often refer clients to each other. Heller Wealth Management even acts as the financial planning department of some firms we work with.
Much of what Heller Wealth Management does in terms of client education, we do in 1-on-1 meetings. We talk a lot about investment philosophy, and while we are the experts, we also want our clients to understand the concepts. We usually meet with clients once or twice a year, and sometimes offer specialized classes like social security, seminars to accountants, and more!
The firm is grounded in evidence-based financial philosophy which is backed up by Nobel Prize winning research. Many of our philosophies come from Eugene Fama and his study on Dimensional Fund Families. We are not an active firm that tries to guess the market but instead uses asset allocation, tax minimization, and rebalancing strategies. We review and monitor portfolios quarterly and adjust accordingly.
Larry has three children, and while they were young, he spent a lot of time with them going to events, traveling, golfing, and more. Now that his children are in college, he spends time travelling with his wife, golfing, and playing tennis. He also does charity golf events as a way of giving back. Many people see him as introverted, but he happens to be very comfortable speaking to crowds.
To retain his CFP designation, it requires continuing education and he does well to maintain it. Larry considers his mom as his hero, as she kept the family together after his father died. She started working again, kept the family together, and was able to get him through college.
If he had all the money in the world, Larry would’ve considered a career in coaching, as he was very interested in basketball and even coached his kids when they were younger. His favorite person in history is Winston Churchill, just for the sheer amount of achievements he was able to achieve during his lifetime.
For Larry, having a balance between work, life, and his family life is the definition of success. He also values being able to give time to his family while maintaining a nice lifestyle. He recommends clients to get a plan together that reflects what they want in life. He’s a strong believer in the idea that if you write a plan down, you are more likely to achieve your goals. He encourages clients to visualize their goals, explore what they want out of life, and (with our help) plan accordingly.
Larry doesn’t hold to any specific mantra or motto – but lives by sticking to the plan and paying very close attention to detail. His proudest achievements are his family, and being able to do what he loves – helping different families achieve their life goals throughout his career.