Financial advisors form new name
Action Financial Strategies pools clout of three key planners
By Mike Mathes

Common professional training. Common financial planning vision. Common resources.

It only makes common sense that a trio of experienced financial advisors pool these strengths together to benefit their clientele.

With that objective in mind, three New York Life agents, operating under the roof of CRW Financial Services, have formed a new name known as Action Financial Strategies.

Brian Ruh, Greg Fictum and Brad Ruh believe the common sense synergy of their combined professional background brings great value to clients seeking financial advice.

All three New York Life agents have worked under the same roof at CRW Financial Services. Yet, the creation of their new name—Action Financial Strategies—communicates the kind of service they provide to their clients.

Process driven approach

Action Financial Strategies focuses on a “process-driven approach” that has been key to their success as New York Life agents.

“We developed this name out of a desire to communicate more effectively with the public what we do,” Brian Ruh said.

Ruh’s unique position as a 24-year veteran of New York Life brings the clout of the Nautilus Group into the organization. A service of New York Life, the Nautilus Group is a team of highly credentialed professionals that supports their financial advisors to provide another level of financial planning expertise for clients. Nautilus advisors come from several professional realms of financial and legal services.

Both Ruh and his son, Brad Ruh are financial advisors with Eagle Strategies, another New York Life service that provides world class money management opportunities for their clients. All three advisors are graduates of the Coaching Series provided by New York Life.

“We believe in helping our clients build strong financial futures,” Brian Ruh said. “We have adopted the theme, ‘Putting your future into action.’”

Well-versed coaching

All three financial planners take the same approach to working with clients. Their process emphasizes a commitment to advising the client, as opposed to transaction-based service.

This commitment is based on their common training via the Coaching Series, offered by New York Life. The

Brian Ruh

Mr. Ruh has been a New York Life agent since 1989, and is associated with New York Life’s Wisconsin General Office in Madison. B rian has also consistently qualified for many of New York Life’s top awards for outstanding levels of production. Brian has also earned several industry accolades, including a seat at the Million Dollar Round Table for the past fourteen years (MDRT is recognized throughout the industry as the standard of excellence in life insurance sales performance), reaching Top of the Table (highest level of MDRT, achieved by less than 1 percent of the industry’s professionals around the world), has been among the top fifty in the nation for 12 consecutive years, and also President of the NYLARC, agent of the year for the last 19 years in the Wisconsin General Office, and has won both the National Sales Achievement Award (National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors -NAIFA’s award for top producers, recognized for writing large numbers of life and health policies) and the National Quality Award (measure of persistency records show that the policies sold stay in force and dedication to clients’ financial goals and protection) for the past 19 years. Brian has also served as New York Life’s President of the Agent Advisory Council, on the Board of Directors for The Nautilus Group, (a service of New York Life Insurance Company) and on the Board of Directors for NYLARC (New York Life Agents Reinsurance Company). Brian Ruh and his wife, Gina are the parents of three sons, Brad, Benjamin, and Brenton and they reside in Kiel, Wisconsin.

Coaching Series is a year long training series that provides a focus on business planning, succession planning, and working with clients that have substantial net worth.

“It involves learning a process that allows us to do individualized planning for our client base,” Fictum said.

“We are all versed in the same methods of helping our clients. By operating under a new title, we are portraying this consistency to our clients.”

Brad Ruh noted, “The whole intent is to stress building long-lasting relationships with our clients. We want them to take an active role in planning for their success.”

As part of the advisory process, the Action Financial Strategies “coaches” want to bring the team’s full set of re-

Brad Ruh

Brad’s financial planning background started at the University of WI –La Crosse in 2005 where he r eceived a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance. He went on to work for Wells Fargo Financial in Illinois, however after a short time there, he left in 2010 to join New York Life Insurance Company and Eagle Strategies LLC as a Financial Planner, offering investment advisory services, financial planning and a complete array of financial products. Recently, he has completed the ChFC (Chartered Financial Consultant Designation) program through the American College. He looks to complete the CFP (Certified Financial Planner) designation in July as well as start the AEP (Accredited Estate Planner Designation) through the American College by year end. “I feel it is of utmost importance for advisers to continue to set their own bars higher and higher when bringing sound financial advice and strategies to our clients and prospects,” he said. Brad is an active member with the Lion’s Club, a member of NAIFA (National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisers), and enjoy spending time with his daughter Evelyn and wife Sharisa. He looks forward to helping grow our advising practice to new and higher levels.

sources to bear for its clients. “We aren’t accountants, tax professionals or attorneys,” Fictum said.

Instead Action Financial Strategies will continue to coach and advise clients along with the help of those other professionals in a team approach to planning.

As part of the wider Action Financial Strategies team, they have the ability to share the “bench strength” of the Nautilus Group, Eagle Strategies and New York Life for all of their clients.

Greg Fictum

In his 10th year in the financial services industry Fictum is a graduate of the “Coaching Series” which is a year-long course focusing on the client’s goals and aspirations whether those clients need financial direction, are ready to retire, are years from retirement, business owners or executives with special emphasis on strategies that maximizing the current laws and regulations. An advanced planning team backs up the Coaching Series graduates and can be utilized when people work with Fictum. When it comes to the financial industry people have a lot of questions because they don’t understand it, are intimidated by it or don’t have an interest in it. Many times it’s a combination of the three, but putting all of the information into plain English for people is Fictum’s goal so they understand what they have, what it does, and why they have it.

In the business world his entire professional life he is also CLTC (Certified Long Term Care) certified and focuses on one of the biggest issues facing people in the future –Long term care. Small business owners also benefit from working with Greg as they plan to pass the businesses along to the next generation or position their business for sale to a third party. “Small businesses are facing a lot of outside pressures now we have to work extra hard to make sure they can reach their short-term and long-term goals.”

For over 15 years Fictum coached football at New Holstein as an assistant and co-head coach. Raised in the area he lives in New Holstein with his wife Colleen and children Grace and Noah.

Action Financial Strategies will have two offices. In addition to its main office in the CRW building in New Holstein, the firm will also have an office in Green Bay, located at 801 Hoffman Road, Suite 112.

The second office is seen as an opportunity to expand clientele services into the Fox Valley and Green Bay areas, in addition to the traditional Eastern Wisconsin markets these three planners have always served.