Imagine sifting through your company files at the end of the month and you discover an envelope addressed to you. You open it hesitantly; uncertain of what you will find. As it turns out, there’s a check enclosed, written to you for $193,000.00! The words “for your retirement” are typed in the memo.
That’s essentially the scenario in which Houston cosmetic dentist J. Scott Anderson and his wife Gail found themselves after their first year working with us.
The couple carefully analyzed many financial advisors and retirement vehicles when they decided to get serious about their retirement. But they chose to work with Four Quadrants because of our comprehensive approach: that the success of their dental practice is directly related to the dentist’s quality of life and ability to build a retirement savings.
Scott and Gail stopped by recently for their first annual review with us and took a few moments to recount how their first year greatly exceeded expectations.
How would you describe your practice in your own words?
Dr. J. Scott Anderson - I’m a general dentist, and I’ve been doing this about 30 years now. We do what most general dentists do: we see all age groups of patients; we do a little bit of everything. We do a lot of sedation in our practice that maybe a lot of dentists don’t do. I’ve done that for quite a long time. I also do some orthodontia.
I restore and replace mini implants also. We’re on the Northwest end of Houston out near a major suburban mall.
What was it that brought you to us initially?
Dr. J. Scott Anderson - I had first heard of Four Quadrants several years ago, I don’t remember how, maybe a direct mailer, an email or a newsletter. But I had them in the back of my mind for several years. And we got to a point where we needed to get very serious about our retirement, so I went to one of their seminars. After that, I checked in with our financial advisor, checked in with another one, did a lot of due diligence on our own, but we went with Four Quadrants because I felt like they had the most to offer with the complete package. It’s what we needed someone to do for us; we needed to have the guidance they could provide.
You both are pretty young. Gail, were you thinking about retirement too, in the bigger picture?
Gail Anderson - We had used a few different investment vehicles, and some had performed better than others. We were looking into annuities, had heard some pros and cons, but I’m glad we didn’t go that route because it’s a bigger risk than we were lead to believe. In hindsight, we’re glad that we chose the comprehensive approach that Four Quadrants puts fourth.
You just completed your first year with us, what was the first sign this year that things were going to be better with us?
Dr. J. Scott Anderson - For me, it was all the contact that I got from Four Quadrants since day one. Honestly, there’s not a week that goes by that I don’t hear from somebody either by phone or email. You start getting these reports and are talking to people and then you’re several months into this stuff and you start seeing improvement right away.
I said, “This is really working!” These reports showed us in-depth financial areas. The accounting team explained why we need to take a particular route. You start saying “Hey they’re doing what they said they were going to do,” In just a few short months we saw things improve.
Gail Anderson - It’s nice because we’ve signed up with financial entities before and, you know, they lay out the program and they fall short of it, as far as keeping in touch. I was impressed with how well Four Quadrants keeps in touch, not just with Scott but myself, you know? This is the first company that actually wants my input, not just the doctor’s.
It was frustrating at times when these other companies only reached out to him, and then I have to depend on him to tell me what’s going on. They have my email address, and everything is carbon-copied to me so I know what’s going on. I don’t feel like I’m out in the dark.
I work in the office, but sometimes I work out in the front, and he works in the back, and we have a lot going on. Sometimes we don’t always communicate as well as we should, so it is good to have a third-party communicate with both of us so we don’t have to try to fill in the blanks with each other.
This dovetails somewhat with the last question, but what’s been the biggest Value that Four Quadrants has brought to the table for each of you?
Dr. J. Scott Anderson - I think it’s just peace-of-mind that things are being taken care of. Before, we were always wondering if we were doing the right things. But Four Quadrants is so organized, and it’s kind of a one-stop- shop if you think about it. You have the accounting area and the financial advisors; no other avenues that we ever checked into went into the depth that Four Quadrants has gone into. It’s really been amazing to me.
What are some of the things you feel better about that you weren’t able to get a handle on before?
Dr. J. Scott Anderson - The accounting is so much more advanced than the system we had in place before, and so much more detailed than any of the accountants we had worked with - and we’ve worked with several over the years. I have a better understanding of what’s going on and in the past, I didn’t. We’d just meet a couple of times a year with the advisors, and they would say “Hey this is looking good,” but it didn’t mean a whole lot to me.
Gail Anderson - Like Scott said, there’s a peace-of-mind that we have. One thing in the back of your mind you’re always worried about is if we are saving enough; are we putting enough back? What if health issues arise in our later years? How will we respond properly? It’s just something that I think we all naturally worry about.
So it’s nice to have a team of people who are as worried about our retirement as we are.
You can ask any of them about any aspect of the business, and they can all pretty much answer it. They don’t all just defer to someone else. So you can tell they keep each other abreast of what their clients’ needs are, and what our specific personal goals are. It’s nice to know that there’s a team approach, not just one person you hope is keeping everything in line. It’s good to have different people and check and balances. That’s the first sign I saw that this was going to be a good relationship, they get back to you within a matter of hours.
You’ve talked about peace-of-mind, but what’s something you achieved personally or professionally that maybe you wouldn’t have otherwise without our help? Maybe a challenge that we solved?
Gail Anderson - We were able to save $193,000 for our retirement in the first year with you guys. That would never have happened otherwise.
Dr. J. Scott Anderson - Four Quadrants gives us a roadmap to all the points we need to go to and what we need to do in a given amount of time. It can be overwhelming at first, but that’s what they’re so great at identifying — what we need to focus on. Where we’re going to get the best bang for our buck and so that’s nice and refreshing.
With other outside companies, they don’t really know us and where we’re trying to go; they didn’t take the time to understand what our goals and aspirations are. So it’s really nice that Four Quadrants can help us figure that out.
On the horizon, we’ve got some home improvement projects what will mean substantial expenditures. Four Quadrants came up with a way for us to pay cash for them. We had been sitting there wondering where we were going to get the money for this, and after a year of working with us, they came up with a way to be able to get that done for us. Paying cash for home improvements in a year we saved $193,000? That’s pretty exciting.
Gail Anderson - You know when we first started talking about saving more for retirement, I thought Four Quadrants was really going to make us adhere to a strict budget. But we saved more than we ever have in our life, and it was a relatively painless process. We didn’t have to change anything we did, (laugh) I didn’t have to curb the shopping.
This has been a great conversation with you, and I appreciate the time at the end of your meeting. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Dr. J. Scott Anderson - You know it’s just been an outstanding year. I just cannot believe when we came in for this first meeting how well it went, and how much improvement we had in the practice. We had no idea how much money we were going to save. It very much exceeded our expectations.
Gail Anderson - There are some things you think that are counter-intuitive that they suggest and that we would not have done on our own, that have turned out well. We found new ways to think about things that we weren’t aware of previously. It’s really been a blessing to accomplish what we have in a short year.