Reliable Financial Advice and Expertise Is Available From Petrone Associates, Inc.
FINANCIAL FUTURE: “We enjoy helping people. We really do care about our clients, and we help them prepare to be financially successful. We take our responsibility as advocates for our clients very seriously.” Michael G. (right) and Andrew E. Petrone are advisors with Petrone Associates, Inc., the company founded by their father, Thomas Petrone.
By Jean Stratton
Financial peace of mind cannot be overestimated. Volatility in the stock market, the government shut down, job insecurity — these are just some of the current challenges causing economic anxiety and uncertainty among many people today.
Whether it’s worry over the next paycheck, finding college funds for the kids, or confronting retirement needs, people are seeking ways to find financial security and establish a safety net.
Petrone Associates, Inc. is a longtime Princeton company that has always focused on its clients’ needs, and offers a diversified program to clients not only to grow their financial assets, but to keep them safe in case of emergency.
“We do not focus on just one aspect of a client’s finances; we look at the overall big picture,” explains Petrone Associates Financial Advisor and Certified Financial Planner Michael G. Petrone.
A family business, established by Thomas Petrone in Princeton in 1970, Petrone Associates is located at 2 Research Way (just off College Road), with a satellite office at 20 Nassau Street.
Still active in the firm, Thomas Petrone has been joined by his sons, Michael and Financial Advisor Andrew E. Petrone, who are now associates in the company.
Helping clients in the full spectrum of financial planning has always been the goal of the firm. As its mission statement points out: “Our mission is to get to know and understand your needs, wants, and long-term goals. We want to help you develop, implement, and monitor a strategy that is designed to address your individual situations.”
The company has always tried to be cognizant of the diverse individual needs of each client and the challenges each confronts.
“We understand the challenges families face today. From managing debt to saving for college to retirement, these personal finance challenges can be overwhelming. Our commitment is to utilize all of our resources to help you pursue your goals.”
Whatever the client’s financial circumstances and goals are, careful planning is crucial, the brothers emphasize. “A financial plan starts with a review of the client’s current financial position and an assessment of progress towards meeting the client’s financial goals and priorities. A plan typically includes cash flow planning, retirement planning, investment planning, risk management/insurance, and tax strategies.”
The firm has always emphasized a team approach, points out Andrew Petrone. “Over the years, we have found that a team approach can be an effective method to help clients who have a wide variety of needs as they maneuver through a complex financial-services world. No one strategy fits everyone, which is why every client gets our undivided attention — from planning to execution to follow-up.”
Michael Petrone adds, “Also, recognizing that everyone encounters challenges along the way, we strive to anticipate and address those situations as they occur. We want to keep you on track toward a meaningful and purpose-driven financial future.”
Both brothers have unique backgrounds, which add depth and dimension to their financial expertise.
Michael practiced law in the Princeton area for 10 years before turning his attention to the “family business.” In addition, he served as law clerk to the Honorable Thomas F. Shebell, Jr., presiding judge, Appellate Division, New Jersey Supreme Court in 1994-95.
As a certified financial planner, he counsels clients in many areas, with a focus on retirement planning, investments, and insurance. Health care is another area of interest, and he is the author of the articles, “Long-term Planning” and “Health Insurance — Change on the Horizon,” published in Mercer Magazine.
“Retirement planning is a big issue for many clients,” he reports. “Many of them are in their 40s and 50s, and they are focusing on this. The sooner you start to prepare for retirement, the better.”
“Save as much as possible in your working years, ideally at least 15 percent of your gross income,” continued Michael Petrone. “There is a general consensus that pre-retirees should aim for 70-80 percent of gross income replacement in retirement. Take advantage of employer matching in qualified retirement plans, and save in a diversified way among the tax-deferred, taxable, and tax-free accounts.”
Diversification in portfolios is a very important priority, note both brothers. “High volatility in the stock market causes anxiety. There is less risk if people have a diversified portfolio. It is also important that the portfolio matches up with a client’s personal risk tolerance. That can be different for an older person looking toward retirement than for a younger person with years of active employment ahead.”
Andrew Petrone has also had an interesting career both in real estate and politics leading to his role at Petrone Associates. He has served as project manager for the New Brunswick Development Corporation, and as an officer of the New Jersey Committee for Economic Growth.
In addition, he spent time in the New Jersey political world, including assisting and advising candidates in campaigns for the state legislature.
As a financial advisor, he focuses on investment advisory services, retirement planning, and risk management. He also has extensive experience in estate planning for high-net-worth clients.
He has been recognized 11 separate years as a Leaders Club qualifier, and he is a multiple-year winner of the Million Dollar Roundtable — the premier association of financial professionals. He has led numerous seminars for CPAs in the areas of retirement, qualified retirement plans, and risk management strategies.
Petrone Associates has clients of all ages and backgrounds, including those of high net worth and those just launching their careers.
“Younger clients are often the children of our older, longtime clients,” reports Michael. “We have many loyal clients, including different generations in the same family. They have come to rely on our knowledge, experience, and perspective. For example, we have seen two substantial bear markets (economic downturns) in 2001 and 2008. And then there has been a turnaround. This has given us perspective and the ability to guide our clients through these times.”
Clients are generally very knowledgeable about their finances, point out the brothers. “There is a highly-educated group in Princeton and the area, but they still all need help with a variety of financial strategies and plans. For instance, the tax and estate planning laws can change dramatically and be very challenging. You have to stay up-to-date on everything.
“We look forward to continuing to give good advice to our clients, and help them be more successful.”
In addition to Petrone Associates’ financial expertise, the company has always taken a major role in community service by contributing time to various organizations and to supporting charities.
“We continuously give back to the community,” says Michael Petrone. “We are part of the community. We grew up here, we live here, our children go to school here. I served as a board member of Princeton Little League for eight years, and served as chairman of the Princeton Recreation Board in 2011-12.
“Andy is responsible for the firm’s philanthropic efforts, including support for the Children’s Home Society of New Jersey, Mercer Street Friends Food Bank, and Elijah’s Promise Soup Kitchen.”
Petrone Associates is a company that has stood the test of time in many ways, and it continues to be dedicated to helping current and new clients “walk down the road to financial well-being.”
Hours are Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and by appointment. (609) 452-9292. Website: www.petroneassociates.com.
Securities products and advisory services offered through Park Avenue Securities LLC (PAS), member FINRA, SIPC. 2019-72666.