Suwanee’s Aileron Investment Advisors, a comprehensive financial planning firm run by father-daughter team Bill and Cindi Porter, has the tools you need to invest in your future.
By: Alicia Carter | Photos by Karl Lamb
Walking into the Aileron Investment Advisors office is like walking into a good friend’s home. The space is warm and inviting; the conference area’s dark wood accents are lit up by a fire crackling in the fireplace on a particularly cold and windy day. The offices of Bill and Cindi Porter bookend the meeting area, decorated with neatly stacked copies of the books Bill has published over the years, including the most recent, 24 Investment Strategies, which was co- authored by Cindi. The father- daughter team offer their clients what they’ve coined as comprehensive financial planning. “We look at someone’s entire financial picture, which I think is what really distinguishes us from other firms,” Cindi says.
Aileron is an alternative to those large institutions that often lack the personalized attention a smaller firm can provide. “I would say that we look to be, for a lot of people, the quarterback, so that there is one person who is making sure all of the puzzle pieces are fitting together,” Cindi says. Those puzzle pieces include 401Ks, tax returns, insurance, properties, and other aspects of a person’s financial identity that are crucial to navigating the waters of investment opportunities. Aileron then takes that information and forms a plan for services such as comprehensive retirement planning, investments such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, as well as life insurance and annuities.
The rise of Aileron
Dr. Bill Porter, CLU, ChFC, got his start in financial planning in 1971, the same year that Cindi was born. Other than the first year of his career, in which he worked within a company, he has always been independent. This independence afforded Bill and his wife the opportunity to move to Germany, where they lived for 12 years.
When it was time to return stateside, Bill, who is originally from Miami, chose Atlanta to be close to his grandchild. At the time, Cindi was teaching special education in Lawrenceville, and was contemplating taking a year off to have her second child. Bill encouraged Cindi to use that time to obtain necessary licensing and certifications needed in financial planning; to see if it might be something she would enjoy as a career. Cindi was hesitant at first. She had enjoyed being a teacher and did not have any prior experience in the financial industry. Plus, she knew a family business could be tricky.
“It felt like someone asking me to be a rocket scientist,” Cindi says. “But I took him up on the offer and quickly found that we enjoyed working together and that I really enjoyed this type of work, I found it gratifying.
Bill and Cindi began working together in 2001, and during that time Cindi spent her days shadowing Bill, taking advantage of the unique opportunity to ask questions and soak up as much of his knowledge as possible. After a few years, Cindi, now a Certified Financial Planner, began to take on clients. “For the first few years I was in more of a client service role. After I had been entrenched in the business for over five years, I began developing my own clientele.”
When Bill returned from Germany in 2001, the company was starting anew, and the primary focus was on retirees and pre-retirees. However, over time Cindi began to notice an interesting pattern as her clientele, while completely unintentional, had grown to be predominantly female. “A large percentage of my clients are single women, whether they are widows, divorcees, or women who have never been married,” Cindi says. “I frequently have widows referred to me. I have found that many feel uncomfortable using the same planner that their husband used. I am often told, ‘I don’t even know what questions to ask, let alone understand what’s being discussed, it’s uncomfortable.’ Whereas in our office they have a comfort level of knowing, ‘I don’t have to know it all.’”
Those clients don’t have to know it all because Cindi takes very good care of them. “I find that when I sit down with women of all ages, there is a comfort level, not necessarily because I am a woman, but because of the level of care and personal attention,” she says, which again harkens back to the individualized and extremely thorough service Aileron provides. “I’m not hanging curtains in someone’s home; there’s no room for error. A large number of our clients are retirees. There is no new income coming in — it is what they have accumulated over their working career, again, there is no room for error.”
Invest in your future
If you’re interested in working with a financial planner, Cindi suggests looking for a referral. “A good source can be a friend or family member who has been working with a planner for any length of time,” she says. “The majority of our clients are referred to us by other clients.”
She also recommends the CFP® website as another good place to start. “The CFP® website is a great way to search in your area — or even if you were trying to find a financial planner for, say, your mom who lives in Orlando, you could go on to look for a planner in that area. The website provides information on what each planner specializes in so you can be sure it’s a good match.”
If you are serious about working with a financial planner who has years of experience, you may want to visit Aileron Investment Advisors. Through comprehensive financial planning, and individualized service, Aileron Investment Advisors has been helping people in Suwanee invest in their future for many years.
Securities and advisory services offered through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC (MAS), member FINRA/ SIPC and a Registered Investment Advisor. MAS and Aileron Investment Advisors are not affiliated entities. Investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal. Insurance and annuity product guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company.