|Grodin Marks 25th Year in Business||| Print ||
|Thursday, 22 December 2011 16:26|
PHOTO BY LINDA SANDSMARK
David Grodin and Mary Grodin at the financial firm Mary started 25 years ago.
By Linda Sandsmark
San Leandro Times
Financial planner Mary Grodin is celebrating the 25th year of her San Leandro business.
When she started out, men dominated the world of finance.
“When I started out, this was not really a woman’s field,” says Grodin who writes a bi-weekly financial column for the San Leandro Times. “At first, I worked out of my house, and the trunk of my car.”
Eventually, Grodin was able to sublet space in Gateway Plaza. She gradually built up the business and moved to an office in a larger building on Washington Avenue.
Grodin worked in that office for 17 years, but when her son David decided to come work with her five years ago, they needed more space. They’re now located on Catalina Street, near Otis Spunkmeyer Cookies.
“This field requires a lot of education,” Grodin says. “I did traditional financial planning for the first 10 years, but now we look at total planning for everything that happens in life. I like people and like to help people. We meet people from all kinds of different professions. It’s fascinating.”
The Grodins go above and beyond the investments covered by typical Certified Financial Planners. They also help with life insurance, disability, long-term care, wealth creation and management, small business planning and business succession planning services and special needs planning.
Grodin points out that financial planning has become increasingly complex. At the beginning of her career, she didn’t even need a securities license. (In those days there were less than 500 mutual funds, and now there are about 8,000.) To keep pace with the constant changes, Grodin is now a Certified Financial Consultant, Certified Funds Specialist, Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow, Certified Long Term Care advisor, Registered Investment Advisor, and Special Care Planner.
David Grodin also has an MBA in finance and has worked in corporate finance and as an entrepreneur before joining the family business. He is the treasurer of the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce and is its Chair-elect for 2012.
“It’s a do-it-yourself life,” says David. “With the disappearance of so many pensions, the next generation will have to really plan for their own futures. I love this business, and have a certain amount of life and business experience to add to our services. People are trusting us with their money, and that’s a big deal.”
The Grodins utilize a “PS&G” model, meaning Protection (insurance, wills, trusts, etc.), Savings (including money market, CDs, savings bonds, tax-deferred and tax-free savings), and Growth (stocks, municipal bonds, real estate and tax shelters).
The protection component is the moat around the castle and is just as important as savings and growth, Mary Grodin says.
In addition to their in-office services, the Grodins give informational classes in retirement planning at the College of Alameda. The class is kept lively with real-life examples from the company’s experience. The next class will be presented at the end of January 2012. (Cost will be $34, plus a $25 workbook.)