Andrea Dykes, CFP

Howard Insurance
6900 Wisconsin Avenue, Ste 450
Chevy Chase, MD 20815

What kind of services does your firm offer its clients?
We offer comprehensive insurance reviews and customized planning, a suite of insurance products to meet our client's needs, and finally, a service model for monitoring the solutions we have put in place. Our approach is holistic and we are very process-driven; before we make any recommendations or talk about insurance products, we have several in-depth conversations with the client about his current financial situation, future goals and areas of concern. Often times, we have these conversations with the other members of the client's trusted advisors as well – the accountant, attorney or wealth advisor. We operate with complete transparency when we make recommendations and discuss products. Our clients are successful and sophisticated individuals and families, many of whom have a team of advisors with which they consult prior to making any decisions. We are proud to be on that team of advisors.

What is some advice for someone searching for an insurance agent?
The insurance world can be confusing, even for the more sophisticated client. Insurance agents can be labeled under a myriad of titles, some of which may not be relevant. When searching for an agent, referrals (such as from a wealth advisor, CPA or attorney) are, of course, a good place to start. It is also good to know whether the agent is an exclusive agent of a particular insurance company, or alternatively serves in a broker capacity, working with several insurance companies. Determining the appropriate fit for your needs is crucial in selecting the right agent. Beyond that, check to see if the agent holds any professional designations such as the CLU, ChFC or CFP. While the professional designation isn't a safeguard against a poor choice of advisor, it is often a sign that the agent has chosen to advance his or her knowledge in the profession by obtaining such credentials.

How does proper insurance coverage tie into an overall financial plan?
Proper insurance coverage is an important part of an overall financial plan, but the role of the coverage depends on the client's current financial stage. For example, a client that we might consider “emerging wealth” would have goals of protecting his/her ability to grow assets, and ensuring his/her family can maintain the standard of living to which they are accustomed. On the other hand, a client that has "established wealth" may be most concerned about preserving what he/she has built for the next generation. Regardless of where our clients are in their financial lives, we share underlying values of integrity, transparency, taking care of family, and being a good member of the community.



Montgomery Writes

WHERE ARE YOU?You need to get off the beaten path to find this piece of Montgomery County history, but the red sandstone should be your first clue. Photograph by Ryan Cogswell

One winner will be randomly selected from all correct answers received by May 10.
Jono Sirovatka of Bethesda recognized the bridge over the Fishladder Channel of the Potomac between Olmstead Island and the C&O Canal and wins the framed print.
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