American Centurion Financial LLC

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INVESTING IT ALL

American Centurion Financial LLC
Valentina Solomita
Founder and CEO
American Centurion Financial Website

After a 17-year career in the nation’s top level wire-house investment firms, Valentina Solomita, founder and CEO of American Centurion Financial, saw from the inside, how traditional investment vehicles based on financial markets were no longer cutting it. Investors were seeking reliable and more meaningful returns – something the wire houses couldn’t offer. So she decided to strike out on her own to deliver just that – customized investment vehicles that would allow her clients to sleep easy at night knowing that their wealth is not only protected and tax efficient, but growing, and helping others in the process.

Q: What does American Centurion Financial do?
A: American Centurion Financial, LLC, is a completely unbiased independent client-centric registered investment advisor, model with over two decades of professional experience in unbiased wealth management advisory. Our expertise is centered on preserving and increasing wealth through customized portfolio structures and analysis utilizing the best in class in the financial industry and implementing asset preservation strategies. We service and provide solutions to family offices, ultra-high-net-worth clients, organizations, corporations and charitable organizations. We pride ourselves in our holistic approach that encompasses transparent, tailored financial solutions. We are dedicated to working closely with our clients to help them reach their goals, mitigate risk, and protect their family legacies on a national and international basis.

Q: What is American Centurion Financial’s founding mission?
A: Our focus is protection of principal, client’s wealth and family legacy. For example, the less money you lose, the less wealth loss there is, and the greater wealth factor you’ll always have. This allows you to protect and grow your legacy for your family – your children, your grandchildren – and for the philanthropic endeavors you might be passionate about. A high cash flow model is the base of our success. I work closely with each and every single family. Within all the regulation of our financial structure here, we’re able to work on giving them customization. They’re not buying into an existing portfolio because it has the name of “ABC Wire House” wealth management portfolio, and the track record of a portfolio that’s been standing for 20 or 40 years. That’s never indicative, as they say in our industry, of future results.

We are able to offer true cost efficiency. This has led to a client’s utilizing the success of their financial structures to support the next growth of their business and real estate acquisition.  What is equally as important as customization is availing the client a unique, neat fee structure that falls in line with their comfort level, and, most of all, protecting their assets.

Q: What motivated you to work in the finance industry?
A: I am a native Italian. I had the privilege to be sworn into this great country and become a citizen of the USA at the age of 12. I am living proof that the American Dream is one of the most beautiful opportunities in the world. It was very challenging to be raised in an immigrant household and have a tremendous amount of adult responsibility. My parents came to the U.S. with three children. They didn’t speak, read or write the English language. At a very young age I was taking care of the needs in the household and becoming a voice for my parents translating for them. I was handling financial responsibilities most children at such young age couldn’t even fathom. My entrepreneurial father opened up his own private business. I did a lot of answering phones and client service. And I saw the work ethic and the integrity, and worked to help make his business grow. He would always say: “You must never lose your integrity, work hard, stay strong, have respect and give back to make things better.”

These were very important things that meant so much to me, as I watched our family blossom and move forward. I always respected taking care of people. I had an early responsibility for financial knowledge and taking care of people, and I utilized this gift when I began my career on Wall Street. I wanted to give back and create the success for my clients as I had successfully done for my family.

Q: What motivated you to strike out on your own?
A: I was grateful for the opportunity that these wire houses availed me of in regards to growth of my practice, knowledge and honing my expertise in the financial world. However, they all fell short of the most significant area: focusing on the client first and not the firm. During my tenure growing my own client base from the ground floor at these wire houses, I focused on delivering the next level of pure, unbiased advisory and wealth management and protection for all my clients and their families. I became completely disenchanted with the inability of the wire houses failing to aid me in creating my desired customized structures that were focused on my clients’ unique needs. It seemed that the client had to fit the wire house product lines versus fulfilling customized strategies for the client’s needs, which I diligently delivered in advisory. I had a burning desire to fulfill my dream of owning a firm that continually delivered solutions and results with the highest level of service.

Q: What do you see as the biggest emerging trend in the wealth management space, whether it is a new service or product or an emerging need of your client base?
A: An emerging need is non-correlated asset investing. A non-correlated asset is something not reliant upon the financial securities markets – the stock and bond world – going up in order to make you money.

American Centurion Advisors focuses on real estate and distressed properties. It focuses on going in, acquiring properties at extremely excellent value, and redeveloping those properties. Again, that goes for the appreciation factor. Urban development is a very, very big focus. Basically, it’s focusing on properties that are not giving an ideal setting to any town or municipality in which they are located. They need to be cleaned up and redeveloped to create new opportunity for that town, that city. The best example of that would be Brooklyn. Brooklyn is an incredibly beautiful, booming metropolis with businesses that are flourishing and providing a terrific place for the next generation of entrepreneurs. Along with that, it’s got terrific sports and entertainment centers, like the Barclay Center. That’s the perfect example of really what can happen. First comes the vision within you, then the commitment of hard work, integrity, persistence, against all odds, and the ultimate is the realization of your creation.

This is all about helping people grow, helping their companies grow, helping them find the financing they need, and giving them better strategies.

Q: Describe how American Centurion Financial differentiates itself in the marketplace?
A: Education and transparency is at the core of it all. We create and follow detailed disciplines so our clients and a client’s family office always know what they own. It is quite interesting what we are able to discern through our in-depth approach. The education and transparency and opening them to a comprehensive approach is streamlined. It is a wonderful experience to say to them, “Here is what you have,” and most of the time they are somewhat surprised. “And here is what I’ve understood you need, so here’s is the customized solution created for your family that will make it to happen for you. “Let’s go through everything until you understand it.” Then, we lay out the strategy and execute.

This has been the conservative nature of education and utilizing resources in the marketplace. We’re unbiased, so there isn’t any resource that we cannot bring to the table if it fits what the client needs, versus only being able to select resources within a stall of proprietary products and then call it diversification.

Q: Explain your approach to wealth management. How has this approach helped your company weather market fluctuations, retain clients and grow?
A: The reality is that with an intelligent hard asset, cash flow, utilization of the capital markets and the best in class strategies out there you have a great wealth building strategy that stands the test of time.

We don’t want to say to a family, or an investor, “You’re really diversifying here because now we’re going into another wealth management strategy,” and that wealth management strategy happens to utilize the same securities. But again, it’s stocks and bonds. It’s large cap, mid cap, small cap, and they’re calling it diversification because now they wrapped it in a product called a closed end fund versus a product called a mutual fund. I always feel like I’m in a jungle with a machete. People resist hearing the truth. They want to believe that the latest and greatest closed-end fund strategy is going to give them the best thing because they have a couple of big names behind it. They also want to believe that a passive strategy which may have a lower cost is going to help them achieve their wealth factor. That is a true myth and not the core reality of building wealth and protecting it.

Q: What is the vision for the future of the company?
A: My goal is to continue to grow, steady and strong, and get to a point where we will commit to annually allocate a percentage of our revenue to charities. There will be a consistent focus on which charities we choose to fund, but also an open door for other charities to gain funding as well.

I certainly enjoy the wealth factor and helping everyone build that wealth, but the true gift comes only when you give back. Do onto others as you would have others do unto you is the core of our mission, in it’s pure essence, giving to create a multitude of good things for all.

Q: If you were to give one “free” piece of advice to individuals (client or non-client), what would it be and why?
A: Give the opportunity to the professional who is self-made and truly willing to give you the time to make a difference in their professional, financial life for their family, for their legacy. Slow down and don’t be sidetracked by the myth of the large, corporate name over the door. That is an illusion. That’s an illusion that may send them down the wrong road where there’s no distinction between them, their particular family and their needs, and any other numbers of families that are walking through that door.

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