America’s Retirement Store opens first NoCo location

A new financial strategies company has opened its doors in Loveland, situating itself in a decidedly casual and unassuming storefront meant to put its prospects at ease.

America’s Retirement Store, a division of Greenwood Village-based Presidential Brokerage, opened its offices within the Promenade Shops at Centerra in early February. A grand opening took place earlier this month. The company has three other locations.

Like a lot of other retail financial services firms, America’s Retirement Store provides investment advice to what its Loveland advisor, Ken Weinman, calls “Middle America,” everyday investors who need help navigating various investment strategies.

Unlike some of its competitors, the location is made to feel like a customer’s living room, with comfortable couches, a television and refreshments taking the place of a typical office.

A glass wall separates the front room from a classroom that can seat as many as 50 people for America’s Retirement Store’s monthly classes.

The one-hour classes are offered on Thursday nights and then repeated Saturday mornings every month at the store, and cover topics such as maximizing Social Security, working with an asset management firm and more.

“We just want to pass along information that will be useful,” Weinman said. “And people ask good questions. People are smart. They just aren’t used to being treated that way.”

The company also makes use of various media channels to spread its messages beyond the glass-walled classroom in Loveland. It provides market updates and commentaries for outlets such as KOA and KHOW radio in Denver and KVOR in Colorado Springs.

Presidential has similar plans laid out for the Northern Colorado market, and will partner with Northern Colorado 5, a satellite office of Cheyenne, Wyo.-based KWGN Channel 5 located in Fort Collins, to provide “ARS-TV.”

The classroom within the America’s Retirement Store facility is equipped with production tools that will allow the company to air 30- to 60-minute segments on Sunday mornings on similar topics to those provided on-site.

An exact start date has not yet been specified, but Weinman said the topics at hand would be discussed in language meant for the layman to understand.

The company strives to create relationships with clients, finding out what their investment experience in the past has been and what they want for their future before finding the proper tools to help them plan for a more secure retirement.

The location employs six advisors, along with support staff, and is in the process of staffing up further. The Greenwood Village office employs about 20 people; Presidential Brokerage also has offices in Colorado Springs, as well as California and Minnesota, Weinman said.

“There is no easy road to riches,” said John DuPriest, CEO of America’s Retirement Store. “But the average American family is constantly being sold a bill-of-goods. Buy-and-hold has left many investors high and dry over the past 10 or 15 years.”

The company is able to offer customers a wide range of financial products because of a relationship with First Clearing, a division of Well Fargo, according to Dan Lempe, company president. Customers can buy annuities, insurance, money management services and more, Lempe said.

Financial literacy addressed by community partnership

Many in the financial service industry see the lack of financial literacy as one of the biggest problems that needs to be addressed in order to correct the issues that cause recessions.

Local agencies, though, are working to correct the problem.

Denver-based Public Service Credit Union in April partnered with the Colorado State University Extension office, the United Way of Larimer County and Larimer County to host a series of financial literacy workshops through Make Change NoCo, a community-centric movement aimed at helping the public better understand their finances. The classes were held on topics including credit, credit scores and important factors to consider when purchasing a car.

Those classes ran through the last full week in April, but Make Change NoCo offers services year-round.

At MakeChangeNoCo.com, anyone unsure about their finances can access financial education opportunities across the region. In addition to offering classes, the organization distributed a newsletter aimed at financial literacy titled “Money Matters.”

Molly Armbrister covers banking for the Northern Colorado Business Report. She can be reached at marmbrister@ncbr.com or 970-232-3139.

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