Rancho Santa Fe resident and financial planner Richard Rojeck decided to do some research.
His question: Is there room for another book on personal finance?
“I went to a Barnes & Noble and I counted all of the books in the personal finance section,. There were 154 of them,” Rojeck said in a recent interview at The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe.
“Most of them, even if they were on personal finance, were on investing, and, even if they were comprehensive, they weren’t focused on the wealthy person — the ultra-high net wealthy person.”
Rojeck has been advising clientele at the high end of the income spectrum in a career spanning more than 35 years. It made sense to him to write a book geared to that population. The publishing powerhouse MacMillan agreed.
The result is Rojeck’s “Wealth: The Ultra-High Net Worth Guide to Growing and Protecting Assets,” which MacMillan released on its Palgrave imprint in September.
“I felt compelled to put my thoughts into writing to share my years of experience in this profession and my insights,” Rojeck said. “I felt that I had something to contribute.”
A certified financial planner long affiliated with Lincoln Financial Advisors and its managing director from 2004 to 2016, Rojeck distills his reservoir of knowledge on mechanisms and techniques for preserving and growing wealth into the future in a pithy 125 pages.
He writes in a straightforward, no-nonsense style that facilitates succinct conveyance of information on subjects such as estate planning, investment management, asset protection and income tax. The text is accompanied by numerous graphs and trend charts.
One chapter provides a provocative analysis of how life insurance can be used as a productive tool in financial planning.
In his preface, Rojeck immediately establishes his target audience: “This book is written for the wealthy. About that I make no apologies. ... Labels notwithstanding, these are individuals who have achieved exceptional levels of personal and financial success. And they have contributed significantly to our economy, and often, society as a whole.”
The need for people with personal fortunes to keep a watchful eye on their holdings is particularly relevant now, Rojeck said. Various presidential candidates have broached strategies that theoretically would result in higher taxes on the rich. “Wealth,” however, is apolitical in content with no references to political parties and policies.
Rojeck said he gravitated toward advising the wealthy because “the challenges that come from having money as opposed to trying to get money” stimulated his interest.
“The more complex their situation, the greater my opportunities are to help them,” he said.
While clients typically already have a platoon of advisors, attorneys, brokers, estate planners, investment bankers and so on, they often benefit from having a consultant who is able to look at the big picture and make sense of all the moving parts — which is where Rojeck comes in.
“Their plans are often not coordinated, not integrated, and there are conflicts in their plans,” he said.
Addressing those situations often include developing a strategy for what will happen to the wealth into the future after the owners die, including the division of assets equitably with heirs.
“Their documents often provide, unwittingly, entitlements (to their children), not opportunities, and we talk a lot about the phenomenon which I refer to as shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations,” said Rojeck, himself the father of three adult children.
.“The first generation makes the wealth, the second generation enjoys it, and by the time the third generation is done with it, it’s dissipated. It’s gone, hence back to the shirtsleeves,” he said. “It doesn’t have to be that way. A properly drafted estate plan doesn’t have to cause that outcome.”
Rojeck’s interest in finance blossomed at San Diego State where he earned a master’s in business administration. That followed a six-year stint in the Navy, which brought him to San Diego.
He grew up in Scottsdale, Ariz., and earned a bachelor’s degree at Oregon State before enlisting in the Navy, attaining the rank of lieutenant commander.
“It was a great six-year experience, but I didn’t want to make a career of it,” he said.
When embarking on his career, Rojeck chose to focus on personal, rather than corporate finance. He has worked for years out of the La Jolla office of Sagemark Consulting, a division of Lincoln.
He was chairman of the International Associate for Financial Planning and oversaw a merger that led to the establishment of the Financial Planning Association. He served on its board and was chairman in 2015.
“I enjoy working with people,” Rojeck said. “I felt I was able to make an impact to better people’s lives and I really. enjoyed the consulting nature of it.”
Rojeck’s book is available on amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and more.