Boxing Out the Big Brand Financial Institutions

Stephen & Associates Provides A Personalized Path To Building Wealth

There’s no shortage of big box financial institutions clamoring to manage your money. They’re everywhere and their logos adorn gleaming skyscrapers and glamorous stadiums from sea to shining sea. But there’s a small, independent firm on Music Row whose team of advisors offers a level of service that goes well beyond a quarterly financial statement.

It’s called Stephen & Associates (S & A) and for nearly three decades this unobtrusive outfit has been helping clients from all walks of life achieve their financial goals. “It doesn’t matter if you earn $30,000 a year or if you make millions, people have many
of the same problems, regardless of their net worth,” says S & A Vice President Michael Mercurio. “As your income increases, so do your obligations. Higher standards of living come with higher expenses, taxes, and debt.”

Daniel Stephen founded the firm 28 years ago. When Dan was a young man, his father died, leaving his mother in a situation that was less than ideal. After seeing his mom struggle, he swore that this would never happen again to anyone he cares about.
It’s a mindset closely shared by each of the firm’s seven members. “When we first met, Dan told me, ‘This firm operates on the simple and truthful premise that we care for our clients as we would want to be cared for.’”

When it comes to financial planning, Mercurio says that it’s important for clients to take the long view. “Professional athletes do not become professional on day one,” he says. “There’s no special piece of equipment that makes them professional. There’s no one perfect financial investment either. Take for instance the popular 401(k) plans. They are easy to do and have several advantages. Most folks, however, are unaware of their disadvantages. We work with our clients to minimize those disadvantages so they can achieve their maximum financial potential.”

At Stephen & Associates, Mercurio says it brings great joy seeing a client become educated and emerge with a strong peace of mind and financial security. “Sometimes it brings tears to my eyes,” he says. “No one should suffer. I don’t want anyone to be in a bad place.”

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