November 2012

John Rush & Associates – A Gentle Touch Builds A Better Machine

Author: Kitty Bartell | Photographer: Mark Staff Photography, Photography By Anne

The inner-workings of any functioning machine are a combination of insightful design, well-fitting parts, and a ready supply of fuel. Some machines are complex configurations of metal and grease and oil, while others are simpler, but no less ingenious layouts of wires and plastics and mysterious invisible connections. In order to keep the metal and grease chugging along, or the finely-tuned wires humming, a skilled engineer must be in the driver’s seat. Quite possibly, the most complex machine of all is the one made up of people and information and personality.

Ameriprise Financial’s John Rush and Associates has mastered the engineering of just such a machine. A Lowcountry resident since 1998, John Rush is celebrating his 15th anniversary as an Ameriprise Financial advisor and has built the trust and confidence of his clients by engineering a team with unmatched credentials and experience. His team includes Jennifer Sabella, paraplanner and Lynette Rush, marketing and client relations (and John’s wife), who each holds their federal and state securities licenses, making John Rush and Associates one of very few financial planning firms where, no matter which team member you are working with, you are working with a fully licensed advisor.

The fuel supplied to make this team run is a powerful combination of experience, serious financial know-how, and a touch of girl power. The team knows that this last item is no small asset to the firm. Studies have shown that neither men nor women feel overwhelmingly confident when investing, and women are particularly gun-shy about the process. In a study conducted in 2011, only 26 percent of women were confident when making investment decisions, compared to 44 percent of men reporting confidence.

Relating to clients and reading the signals they bring to their interactions helps Jennifer and Lynette lay a foundation to better assist John in providing each client with the best financial advice for their particular circumstances. What this team has discovered mirrors what studies have shown. “Women tend to ‘feel’ about things; men tend to ‘think’ about things. The result is that Lynette and I have a more ‘feeling’ relationship with our clients,” Jennifer said.

John calls it the “gentler touch,” which is an excellent complement to the professional credentials the two women in this office bring to the table. “We’re on the phone and we’re hearing the client’s needs before John hears it,” Lynette said.

“Clients are surprised by the depth of knowledge that Lynette and I have. They’re expecting John to answer their questions when, 90 percent of the time, Lynette and I are able to handle it,” Jennifer explained. “This helps John understand the client’s needs more. We’re more comfortable exploring clients’ feelings, and it makes it easier for John to do what he does best.”

“It takes some client training to help them understand that Jennifer and I are qualified to answer their questions and do the work, but once they get it, they’re thrilled,” Lynette said.

Jennifer and Lynette say their ability to bring a softer touch to the complex world of finance is particularly beneficial when working with women whose life circumstances have changed, and they have to start making financials decisions on their own. “As a woman, I can better explain things to them and help them understand something they haven’t had to understand previously,” Jennifer said. “So when they do talk with John it’s not as daunting.”

>John Rush

“Often these clients are terrified,” John said. “Jennifer is the first person they are working with and talking to. She keeps everyone informed, working with families and the client’s children. She is phenomenal at that.”
Working with clients in all stages of life makes their work interesting and rewarding. Jennifer describes what they do as, “putting the roadmap together.” She explained,

“Our financial planning clients really enjoy their relationship with us. The financial planning gives them something tangible. They get excited to see that they are reaching their goals.”
“This is what makes what we do fun,” Lynette said. “We sit down with a client in their 30s or 40s, and we get to plan it all the way through. Goals are set for college and retirement. We look at what the goals are and when the client needs to get there.”
However, according to Lynette, “Due to the demographic make-up of the area, the majority of our clients are pretty far down the road in planning their retirement or are living out their retirement, and protecting these nest eggs is a big part of what we do.”

Protecting nest eggs and building on them is at the heart of what John Rush and Associates does through financial planning with its investment and insurance products. Many of the firm’s clients have seen it all, from the drops in the 1940s through the 2008 crash. The team understands that a collaborative approach with these market-savvy investors can be beneficial.

“The amount of information out there is mind-boggling,” John said. “Clients often bring us something they’re interested in. We’ll do the research and find out if it’s a good buy. The client’s objectives are our objectives, and they understand that we have the experience and resources to provide them with the best information possible.”

John Rush has proven his engineering prowess by building a team with a surprising complement of components. The gentler touch combined with professional expertise, credentials, and insight, makes this machine a smooth-running, customer service-oriented resource for investors. Jennider knows how well the feeling-thinking approach is working. “After seven years, you just have a bond with your clients; you get to know them so well. I really enjoy what I do because of the relationships I have with everyone. They’re not just clients; they’re friends and extended family.”

John Rush and Associates is located at 1533 Fording Island Road, Suite 328, Hilton Head Island. For more information, call (84) 837-1220 or visit November, John Rush and Associates will be working with The Deep Well Project, delivering Thanksgiving meals to families in need on Hilton Head Island and participating in a food drive to benefit Bluffton Self Help. For more information on these projects, please contact the John Rush and Associates team.

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