My name is Matthew Knee and I’ve been with New Hampshire Financial Services, LLC for the past 3 years where I act as a team leader and an Insurance & Retirement Specialist. I have 4 areas of expertise I specialize in:
Defensive Insurance Planning
Retirement Income Planning
Asset Protection Systems
Small Business Employer Assistance Programs and Cash Balance Plans
I’m licensed to do more; however, this is my niche market. I know them inside out upside down and backwards.
I’ve been in the insurance and retirement world for the past decade as of December 2019. I started off as an intern my freshmen year while going to school at UNH. To be frank, originally, I did not like the industry. I was an intern that dealt with all the back-office paperwork. It wasn’t the most exhilarating internship imaginable.
I didn’t decide to stay in the industry until my second or third year after I earned the right to be in client meetings. This is where I saw firsthand the value that could be provided and how much having a financial plan benefited the clients, we service. It's the part of my career I fell in love with.
That’s when I decided that this is what I wanted to do with my life. I’ve lived my life by serving others and I define my own self-worth by the value I can create and the degree of positive impacts that I can deliver to those I choose to surround myself with and those I chose to do business with. Personally, I would rather go broke doing the right thing than make a buck doing something that violates my integrity.
During my ten year I have worked at multiple firms – both small and fortune 100 large. Some of these were small mom and pop firms such as Sterling Financial and Primary Financial Care Providers – based in Concord, NH. Others were larger such as Ameriprise, Voya, TD Ameritrade, and Northwestern Mutual.
I know that seems like a lot, however in this industry once you’re licensed you run your own practice within all these companies. Moving from company to company is only a matter of re-papering all the accounts. As I learned and developed, I made all these moves for the same reason – so I could increase the benefit that I brought to my clientele based on what each company was offering at each time.
Unfortunately, one problem rang true with all these partnerships and it’s one at a fundamental level that I feel plagues the industry. It’s the agent versus broker relationship.
For those that are unaware, there are two main types of 'producers' or people who have client interaction in the industry. Captive agents and independent brokers.
Agents are just that, an agent of the company that they’re representing. These are the most prevalent in my industry. Though most agents do have the ability to provide solutions outside of their respective companies, most don’t. Their job is to provide solutions that their companies own. They’re provided incentives to provide solutions from the company product line, and they need to make production quotas in order to retain their alignment with that company.
At a fundamental level, this shifts the focus of the producer to selling instead of planning. At its core, an agent represents the company through the financial advisory process – NOT the client or consumer.
An independent broker on the other hand is an independent contractor that is contracted with many companies – often hundreds. There aren’t as many of these in the industry as they don’t have the financial backing that large companies provide to the producer’s office. There are no commission incentives for recommending products from certain companies. Inversely they don’t have quotas to meet. This keeps an independent broker’s focus on planning at a fundamental level – never to sell. A broker represents the client while providing solutions that best handle the client’s needs and objectives.
That’s how I came to be at New Hampshire Financial Services, LLC. Here we operate as a team of specialized independent brokers who collaborate together in order to maximize the value we provide. Our only allegiance is to our clients and to our community.