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Columbia Inspired

Creating Strong Relationships

Jul 20, 2022 12:11AM ● By Angela Davids

Shaun and Patricia Eddy, and Kirsten Calambro, make up the Oxford Planning Group, an independent financial planning firm in Woodstock, MD. Shaun is the CEO and a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) with 25 years of experience. Patricia is the COO and Chief Compliance Officer, with more than 20 years of managing all aspects of client services, business operations, and oversight. Kirsten, also a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), is currently completing her masters in Personal Financial Planning. 

The couple married in 1985 after meeting at work and have two grown children. Shaun and Tricia have worked together for over 20 years and have forged the tightest bond.

The Early Days of Independent Financial Planning

After several years with other firms, Shaun established a firm with several partners in 1992. Patricia joined that firm in a management role. While other firms operated with a commission-based model, Shaun and his partners shifted to independent financial planning — a unique approach at the time, where planners charge a fee based on a percentage of the portfolio's value. The success of the client and planner are linked.

When Shaun sold his interest in that firm to start Oxford Planning Group in 2016, he took that approach to the next level by transitioning to a fee-only firm. That way, they can provide completely objective advice, unlike a broker working for a large corporation who receives a commission for selling a particular stock or mutual fund. The client's best interests always come first at the Oxford Planning Group.

Strong Relationships Contribute to Strong Portfolios

"We have clients we've known for 20 years and others who are just getting started with investing or planning for retirement," Shaun said. "Getting to know our clients extremely well is the best way to help them meet their objectives throughout the many stages of their lives."

Oxford Planning Group develops plans genuinely unique to the individual or family.

"If we had 10 people around a table and they all had the same jobs and circumstances, we might give them 10 different sets of advice," Shaun said. "Their personalities may differ, along with their comfort level for risk, their lifestyles, and their goals for the future. Everything we learn about clients will influence the guidance we give and the education we provide."

Oxford Planning wants to be a part of every financial conversation, whether simple or complex. But, unlike many other firms, they make communication easy by staying available and approachable.

"It seems like a simple thing, but we answer our phones, and you're going to talk to one of us — someone who already knows you," Shaun said. "Our clients even have our cell phone numbers."

Oxford Planning Group stands out because they don't wait for clients to reach out first. Instead, they are extremely high-touch, contacting clients throughout the year and inviting them to virtual and in-person meetings just to check-in. They also send a weekly online newsletter and update their blog frequently to provide the most current market information and sound planning advice. 

Handling the Current Market Challenges

No one can predict where the market will go, but an experienced planner like Shaun provides invaluable insights. Even advisors with 10 years of experience may face a market downturn for the first time.

 "If you work with an advisor you trust, be patient and follow their plan," Shaun said. "If they don't have a plan, have them evaluate what's going on with your investments. Are they working the best way possible for your circumstances? There are plenty of investment opportunities right now, but people need to work with the right planner to know how to take advantage. We welcome anyone to call us for a free assessment."

Sponsored by Oxford Planning Group

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