What We Do

When we founded Cedar Brook in 2005, our mission was to overcome a prevailing challenge facing families who wished to plan for and manage their financial affairs. Our industry leads consumers to view planning through a filter of numbers first and foremost. These number-centric conversations are so hollow it becomes tough to get grounded about what makes sense for you personally. How can a plan truly serve you if it’s developed in a vacuum of context?

We believe the solution lies in a philosophy and an approach that we’ve coined The Humanity Factor™. Anyone can chase return or design fancy financial products. In contrast, The Humanity Factor is about learning who you are as an individual, husband, wife or parent; as a leader, mentor or philanthropist. It’s about your relationships, your life’s work, your passions or your contributions. It’s about the families, the advisors and the firm working together toward a common purpose: to honor you as the central figure of your own planning. Only when we know who you are can we prudently and wisely advise you on where to go.

That’s The Humanity Factor™. It begins with Mining Your Bliss™...

Mine Your Bliss™

Too often these, days, life gets filled up with busyness and noise. So many of our actions and responsibilities are geared toward the future, we forget to take stock of today. That’s why we begin each planning cycle with a concept we call Mine Your Bliss. We find that becoming clear and present about your sources of pride and passion naturally stimulates your best thinking about your future.

Importantly, lots of advisory relationships include great questions and deep discussions. We believe it’s crucial to look at the motivation behind the questions – and what the advisors do with the answers. That’s what leads us into our second phase, Cultivate Your Contributions.

Cultivate Your Contributions™

Planning is so multi-faceted, typically there isn’t one right answer. If a plan is created with only one or several advisors’ contributions, there’s a finite amount of intellectual capital feeding the plan. Also, because life, family, career and business are inherently dynamic, we believe planning should be equally so.

We Cultivate Your Contributions on two levels. First, all of the great thinking you did in Mine Your Bliss becomes the foundation for all planning ideas. A great idea isn’t deemed great unless it aligns with your unique vision.

Second, Cedar Brook fosters a learning laboratory internally; a firm-wide culture in which ideas dynamically incubate and grow. In contrast to a single-advisor model that is one-dimensional, we believe that a cross-pollination of intellectual capital becomes a multiplier for the most sound and creative solutions. Celebrating our internal bench strength, we conduct confidential strategy sessions with multiple advisors contributing their creativity and technical expertise to your situation. We also practice what we call learning by walking around – the intentional commitment to getting away from our own work spaces and mingling with our peers to brainstorm and ask What if? These are just a few practical examples of how our invitational approach inspires our full team to dig deep and do their best work on your behalf.

Importantly, the process doesn’t end here. The next crucial phase is The Leadership Lever™

The Leadership Lever™

The Leadership Lever speaks to what comes next in planning. Many processes promise an annual review. Your greatest hopes and dreams get tucked into a leather binder and life regains its daily noise. Yet goals printed on paper are static, and real life is anything but static.

In contrast, we believe that for any endeavor to be successful, it must have active leadership at its core. The Leadership Lever speaks to our belief that planning is a life-long journey – one that’s rewarding and invigorating, not cumbersome or stressful. That’s why we mirror your commitment to your dreams with our commitment to play a leadership role in helping you convert them to achievements.

From a practical perspective, that means being a part of the journey with you as the years and decades unfold. We consistently look for what has changed, what’s new and what’s next. Sometimes your goals or vision change, and if no one helps you pause to Mine Your Bliss, you might not even realize it. On the technical side of planning, changes occur in the tax, legal, financial and economic realms even if your goals stay the same. The Leadership Lever speaks to our commitment to live your plan with you where the rubber meets the road.

Corporate Services

Learn how The Humanity Factor is changing the way individuals and families experience planning... 440.683.9200