Principal Financial: A Big Value to Small Business

Pamela Secrest
Pamela Secrest
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There’s a word in the English language that can both strike fear or cause joy, depending on the person hearing it. That word is retirement. When people start thinking about retirement, they automatically have questions. Pamela Secrest, a registered financial representative with Principal Financial Group, has heard them all. Will I have enough to retire? Is it too late to start planning for retirement? What should my first step be?

“I’ve been in insurance all my life since I was 20 years old, and I have eleven years of experience in the financial industry,” Secrest says. “People put off things that today don’t seem important.” One of those things is planning for the future.

Principal Financial Group has been around for a long time. Beginning in 1879 in Des Moines, Iowa, Principal Financial now has over 19 million customers in 70 countries. Secrest notes that it is one of the few investment firms that offers investment, life insurance, and retirement products.

One group of people in need of retirement assistance is small business owners. Secrest can provide a free financial analysis for businesses. This analysis focuses on an exit strategy, the point in time when a business owner decides to relinquish control of the business. Secrest and her staff can provide an evaluation that shows how much the business is worth. This is an important service for those who want to sell their business and can answer the question of whether the owner is able to retire on the proceeds from a sale of the business.

Business owners can take advantage of this free analysis by gathering their three most recent business tax returns for Secrest to review. Secrest will ask a few questions such as “Have you established a definite time period to transfer your business to a specific party at an established price?” and “Do you have a buy/sell agreement?” It takes about 15 minutes for Secrest to gather the information she needs. The analysis itself takes less than three weeks.

Secrest then presents the owner with a snapshot of what the business is worth. Secrest remembers one client who wanted to sell the business to a family member who would make monthly payments. Her business analysis helped the owner decide how much the payments would be. Or owners may wish to pass the business along to a child. The worth of the business may be an important part of dividing an estate.

“I hear business owners say all the time, ‘I never thought I would get to retire.’ When they realize what the value of the business is, what they can sell it or trade it for, they feel that they have the freedom to retire one day,” Secrest explains. “While business owners rarely think about this, it’s a real asset to have that information.”

In addition to retirement solutions, Secrest can also help clients with insurance needs. “I grew up in Union County,” she says. “This is where my roots are. I’ve been in insurance for 35 years. The best part of my job is the people I get to work with and help, my business owners and my clients. I especially love working with people I went to school with.”

Secrest stresses the importance of getting to know her clients. “In an emergency situation you don’t want to say ‘I wish I had…’ You want to be able to call someone you trust to help you go through that emergency situation.”

For Secrest, insurance is always about the fit. So many times people hurry into choosing an insurance product rather than searching for the one that suits them best. The cost of coverage is a consideration, but having the correct type of coverage is most important. For example, Principal Financial Group offers life insurance as well as short-term and long-term disability coverage. These products are intended to meet very different needs of the client, which is why Secrest assesses her clients’ needs before issuing any policies.

Principal Financial Group is also ranked as “One of the World’s Most Ethical Companies.” “Our company doesn’t seek to make money at the expense of clients, but rather we view our clients as more than clients. We’re invested in them and for their success,” Secrest explains. “We’re there for our clients when they start their careers and when they end their careers, and on into retirement.”

Forbes listed Principal Financial Group as “One of America’s Best Employers” in 2015, a title that Secrest thinks is well-deserved. “Principal really prepares their registered representatives for success with training programs and mentors. The whole company is geared toward your success.”

Call Pamela at 704-408-4895 to make an appointment today. She will be glad to meet you at your home or office to discuss your business and personal financial needs. You can also visit for more information.

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Candice DuVernois
Candice DuVernois works as a freelance writer while waiting expectantly for her book deal to come through. She wrote her first poem when she was only seven years old, and she hasn't stopped dabbling since. She enjoys writing articles in a lighthearted tone about the good people of Mint Hill, always striving to make them shine. She lives in Mint Hill with her husband, Dave, and her two dogs who she tries to get into the paper as often as possible (the dogs, not Dave). Matthew 22:37-39.