SHP Financial Tax Planning

Everyone has an origin story—including SHP. Today’s first episode of the Retirement Road Map® podcast is all about our backgrounds, who we are, and why we hold the values of financial planning so true to our heart.

For us, it’s all about the ripple effect. It’s not just our clients that we’re helping win at life, but it’s their families and friends. We believe what we do here at SHP really does make a difference and can change the lives of many people, both directly and indirectly. 

We share the stories of how we came to this industry, the hard work we did along the way, and how we discovered explicitly what we did not want to be as we created a highly accomplished client-focused financial advisory firm over the last twenty years.

In this podcast discussion, you’ll learn: 

  • The massive trap that so many financial advisors fall into that ends up hurting their clients. 
  • Why Derek, Matt, and Keith launched their own company in their mid-twenties.
  • Why so many clients feel like the victims of a bait and switch after signing on with a financial advisor. 
  • What makes SHP’s five-step planning process to so unique.

Inspiring Quotes

Early on, we realized we had to provide value and information, over and above what we get paid for.” – Matthew Peck, CFP®, CIMA®

There were times where we could have made more money, but we wanted to do what was right for the client, no matter what.” – Derek Gregoire

Resources Mentioned

Read the Transcript

Matthew Peck: Well, all right, everyone, you are in for a treat today because, one, it’s just the boys. So, we got Derek and Keith here. And also, for anyone that does not know the origin story, I mean, I think in those comic books out there, everyone knows like how do these guys get to where they are, how they evolve, and then why we think that planning is just so important. You know what this podcast and/or radio show is going to be about. So, it’s just for a lot of our listeners who already know the story and maybe you’ll get little tidbits here and there. A lot of other people probably don’t know our background and are relatively new to us so we really want to make sure that you know kind of who we are as people, why we hold the values of financial planning so true to our heart, and what we like to call the ripple effect about why what we do is so important because it’s not just our clients that are helping but it’s their families. It’s their friends. And then it’s our employees and the teammates that work here at SHP that we like to think that what we do really does make a difference for a lot of people or a lot more people than you’d like to think.

So, for people that don’t know, I’ll bring on Derek Gregoire. You’ll recognize his voice for anyone that did listen to RKO and BZ and XDK back in the day. And of course, Keith Ellis as well. And then I’m just a random guy, not a random guy, but just Matt Peck, whatever. You’ll obviously know me as well. So, thanks so much for listening. And, guys, who wants to start us off telling our history?

Derek Gregoire: Yeah. Well, a lot of people they always want to know like, “How did you guys even start?” Because it’s been over 18 years so we get that question and I hate almost talking about it because it feels self-serving but people always want to ask us like, “How did this start? Where did you guys start? You have close to 40, 50 employees. Where did this all begin and why? And for me, so we all started at a small company back in 2001, 2002, and I guess we’ll leave the company unnamed for now. But the long story short is I remember that when I graduated college all through high school work, my dad had me plastering, doing drywall. That was his company. I remember during that time, all of his employees would say, “Derek, why are you going to college? Here, Gregoire, you’re going to be plastering when you’re done. Don’t even waste…”

Matthew Peck: I’ve never heard that part.

Derek Gregoire: See, people are learning. And my dad one day he goes, “I knew I had you.” And I said, “What do you mean?” He goes, “We were driving down home from the Cape. It was a long day, hot, and you were in the pickup truck and you looked over and were like, ‘Dad, do you mind if I go to college?’” And he’s like, “Why? What do you see that for? What do you want to do?” And I said, “I don’t know what I want to do. I just know what I don’t want to do and it’s this.” And so, he said, “I knew I had you at that point.” So, long story short, I graduated college. I went for finance. I was in School of Management Isenberg at UMass Amherst back in 2001, 2002, that I thought the job market was pretty good but I was not a good interviewer. It was a file company. I was down to me and one other person and they went with the other person and I would have been stuck at some company in Boston doing like fund accounting. And so, there I was back with my dad, plastering all his employees and laughing, not laugh. Just give me a hard time like, “I told you you’d be back here.” And then so we took a job, all of us, at a place where basically if you fogged the mirror, you could get hired.

Keith Ellis Jr.: He did a good job of making it seem special.

Derek Gregoire: They seemed like I really had to try. Yeah. And so, we started there. And then when I started there, Keith was there and Matt was there. You guys were already there. And this is like May of ‘02 when I started

Keith Ellis Jr.: Right around there. Yeah.

Derek Gregoire: Right around that point.

Matthew Peck: Yeah. And I just love the idea too of like I vividly remember I was senior in college and just going on to or whatever it was.

Keith Ellis Jr.: Yes. That’s what it was.

Matthew Peck: Was that? Okay.

Keith Ellis Jr.: That’s how I found it too.

Matthew Peck: That’s so funny. They plastered using that original website and we’re talking 2001 so we’re talking early internet before Indeed and all that stuff. And then I remember like, “Okay. I got to get a job out of college.” Diana was a girlfriend at the time, wife now, we were about to go backpacking across Europe. So, it’s like, “Oh, I got to make sure I get a job on my way back,” so all the stress and whatnot. And then going to the interview that you found on and I was like, “Oh, my goodness.” And then they said, “We’d like to make you the offer,” and I was like, “Wow. I really nailed it.” It must be like…

Keith Ellis Jr.: You almost drove off the road.

Derek Gregoire: The salary was amazing. It was zero.

Matthew Peck: Yeah.

Derek Gregoire: The salary of zero dollars was very convincing.

Keith Ellis Jr.: That was really good.

Derek Gregoire: That’s what sold me.

Matthew Peck: Well, I do say or I would say that at least very early on what appealed to me about the whole industry and kind of led us well, these personally kind of what added fuel to fire was the fact that I just love the idea that how hard you work is how hard you get paid.

Derek Gregoire: Yeah.

Matthew Peck: You know, you do no work, you get nothing. And if you do work, you get paid. There’s no office politics or anything along those lines. However, like you guys will attest, I did not realize that the work that we were doing was knocking on random doors and they had this program. I won’t call the name of the program but what it was that you had to write letters to first you called up random people and just said, “Hey…”

Derek Gregoire: “Can I send you a letter?”

Matthew Peck: May I send you a letter of information? Random person says, “Sure.”

Keith Ellis Jr.: Just to get you off the phone.

Matthew Peck: It’s like, “Who is this random person calling me?” And then they agree to receive…

Keith Ellis Jr.: I’m on the do-not-call list, am I?

Derek Gregoire: Yes, I got a great lead. Someone agreed to have me send them a letter.

Matthew Peck: Yeah. I really think the do-not-call list happened four years later because of us.

Keith Ellis Jr.: Because of us. It’s because of us.

Matthew Peck: And then you call that person back two weeks later and say, “Hey, I know I sent you that information you didn’t request.”

Derek Gregoire: You remember what the addressed they did? I mean the color. The color of the writing?

Matthew Peck: I do.

Keith Ellis Jr.: No, actually, I don’t. Red.

Derek Gregoire: Yes, it was a red addressed envelope.

Matthew Peck: Because it really stood out. So, I mean, that was the type of work that we had to do in order to then start off in the insurance world.

Derek Gregoire: And Matt I remember moved to the Boston branch of this company and Keith and I were like we’d sit in like a closet and we’d stay call for a call, call for call. So, we’d literally go back and forth all day until we got enough people that would want to sit down with us for the following week. And it was like…

Keith Ellis Jr.: Just to have a conversation.

Derek Gregoire: Just to have a conversation. And so, over the year or so is actually amazing training because I look at like our team here, I feel like that old person that says, “Oh, remember, I had to walk through the snow and 10 miles to school,” this is the version of it for running a business because our team, we’re lucky enough to have a lot of referrals and through marketing channels, we have a lot of new appointments that are all qualified and have money. And they just sit down with them.

Keith Ellis Jr.: And just good people that we want to open. It’s really, really rewarding.

Derek Gregoire: It wasn’t like that 20 years ago.

Keith Ellis Jr.: Well, no.

Matthew Peck: And that’s sort of a question I have just out of curiosity and I don’t think any one of us knows but like is it the same? Because I think the biggest thing a lot of business owners will run into this or people will kind of appreciate it, and sorry to our producer over here, but millennials will have this sort of reputation of feeling entitled that like, “Okay. Hey, I worked here for three months. I should be getting a promotion now at this point.”

Derek Gregoire: Evan, he said he wants to make a million dollars in two months from now, right? So, not just right away. He said, “Give me a few months and I’ll ask for that.”

Matthew Peck: So, as you mentioned, Derek, well, it’s just like what we used to do back in the day, it’s like I feel compelled to tell people about what we had to go through because, yeah, I mean, where we are now is just, I mean, it’s a tribute to all of your guys and all of our hard work. But where we are today versus where we first began is just as night and day as you can get.

Keith Ellis Jr.: And to kind of flip the switch on that and not to skip ahead but what I didn’t like about that experience was the fact that you sat in a boardroom every Friday and they’re up promoting this one particular product or this one particular thing that you had to kind of push.

Derek Gregoire: Yes.

Matthew Peck: Yes.

Keith Ellis Jr.: And it was almost like and I know we’ve used this analogy in the past, but it’s like, hey, look, we own a shoe store, right? And all we have is size 9s and someone has a size 13. We’re going to do whatever we can just to kind of squeeze that size 9 on that size 13. I think that’s where the three of us took a look at this and said, “Is this the right thing? Is this the right path forward? Do we want to continue here?” Again, I think that’s what led us to how we do planning today. And I don’t want to skip a lot of the story but I really think that experience was great from a training standpoint and very humbling and just from propelling. I don’t know the word to use, I guess, but like it really kind of set the tone for where this thing is gone, I guess.

Derek Gregoire: Well, Keith being like 6’5 280 back then, he had the cops called on.

Keith Ellis Jr.: I didn’t know the cops called on me because I knocked.

Derek Gregoire: He knocked on a door and they were like, “Who is this person?”

Keith Ellis Jr.: And they just never answered the door. And all of a sudden a cop car swings around the corner and, “Sir, what are you doing here?” And I said, “Well, I mailed them a letter.”

Matthew Peck: Well, I’m selling insurance, I swear.

Derek Gregoire: Yeah. So, basically, at that point, we were like, “Wait a minute.” We have done pretty well there but like he said, it was one company you had to kind of offer their stuff and no one else’s stuff. And it’s like that isn’t fair, especially early on you don’t know. You’re naive. But then as time goes by, you’re like, “Wait a minute. There are so many other options that they’re sheltering us from that we didn’t even know about.”

Keith Ellis Jr.: And guess what? They’re better for the client.

Derek Gregoire: Correct.

Matthew Peck: Yeah. Well, that’s the thing, too. I mean because we were falling into a trap that I think a lot of even today people with their advisors fall into, which is like have you ever noticed that your advisor will only talk about what they get paid for? So, you might ask them about Social Security. They’ll say…

Keith Ellis Jr.: “Well, call Social Security.”

Matthew Peck: Yeah. “That’s not my area of expertise.” Now, if you ask them about insurance products, back in the day, we would tell people all day long about this insurance and that annuity and this long-term care and this life insurance back 20 years ago. But nowadays and, again, to keep to what you’re saying, I don’t want to skip too far ahead, but I think early on realized that, okay, we have to provide value and information more than just what we actually get paid for. And even for people that listen to the podcast talking about health insurance with groups like Brabo Benefits and Scott Hokanson or taxes with Peter Roach and his CPA firm out of…

Keith Ellis Jr.: Helping people plan their escape plan and their legacy strategies. You’re right.

Derek Gregoire: We don’t charge for coordinating any of that. That’s the thing is you want to give value beyond what you get paid for.

Keith Ellis Jr.: No, absolutely.

Derek Gregoire: So, back to 2003, remember around the summer, I was 23. I think Matt was 24 and Keith was 25.

Keith Ellis Jr.: Yes.

Derek Gregoire: And we were like, “You know what, we should start a company,” and just we didn’t know what to do but our hearts were in the right spot. We wanted to provide more options, have just more availability for our clients in terms of what we were offering. And so, that’s when we started in Pembroke on Schoosett Street and Scott Hokanson, Brabo Benefits was all Hokanson Building, whatever, and on the top second floor, we had some corner office. It wasn’t a pretty spot but it was a cool transition because they helped us coordinate. You know, the rent was pretty cheap and it was a good transition. And the thing that I realized at that point, I’ve told this a million times to clients is that when the three of us worked together at that point, I was always like I saw situations come up and we couldn’t afford anything more than a Subway sandwich at that point.

Keith Ellis Jr.: And only the Veggie Delight. We couldn’t afford the meat.

Derek Gregoire: We couldn’t afford the meat. And I remember but in all seriousness, I remember like I knew we were going to be okay because I saw there were times where we could have just made money to make money. And I saw you guys. I was like, “I can control myself. I know I’m going to do the right thing,” but I didn’t know you as well as obviously 20 years later. But at that point, I was like, I saw you guys operating in a real capacity like, “Hey, we’re going to do terrific for the client no matter what.” I remember at that point, I was like, “You know what, we’re going to be okay.” It might take us a while, which it did, but we’re going to be okay. And so, we started in that building in 2003.

Keith Ellis Jr.: It’s funny because Scott was in here a couple of weeks ago and he was describing the seating arrangements in Schoosett Street and how upstairs where we were there were just filing cabinets everywhere and we built like little desk areas in between the filing cabinets. And he was calling it like whack-a-mole.

Derek Gregoire: Everyone pop up.

Keith Ellis Jr.: Like, he’d run up the stairs and be like, “Keith,” and I’d pop up and/or, “Derek,” you’d pop up. So, it was a pretty funny description. I never thought of it like that. I got a kick out of it.

Matthew Peck: Yeah.

Derek Gregoire: And then so in 2005, we actually left there and moved into actually this building in Plymouth, just different side of the building. I think it was around ‘06 we had our first employee, which was Giselle, who’s still with us to this day.

Keith Ellis Jr.: Yeah, a lot of our clients love her, they know her very well, and she’s been with us forever. And to see that familiar face is nice for the clients too.

Matthew Peck: We used to joke around that it was a water view but you had to sort of stand in a certain corner of one room, and then you’d be able to see a slight sliver of Plymouth Harbor. Yeah. That was our second office.

Derek Gregoire: And I think since that time, I think the evolution of SHP has really just been how every year we’ve tried to add more value, right? And I think sometimes people get nervous, not nervous, but they ask us, “You have now 41 employees. Ten years ago, you had five or six. What’s the reason?” And I think like you said, Matt, there are so many things that we want to plan for that stuff that we don’t get paid for. But if you serve people in that way, you’re going to get taken care of just in how you treat people by referrals and so forth. So, that’s why we built out a team of portfolio experts, a team of planning experts, a team that works on the estate planning, health insurance, tax planning. And I know we’re skipping ahead here on the story but the value is where what we’ve always tried to add on each year.

Keith Ellis Jr.: Yeah. People always ask, “You continue to hire. Am I still going to work with you?” Yes, of course. But like they don’t ask where you’re hiring. And it’s really just to support, provide additional information. You know, people have a question. I get clients that ask me questions about everything, anything from mortgages, real estate agent. You name it, I’ve been asked it. Do I know a carpenter in the area? A plumber in the area? And I’m finding that for them because the resources that we do have, the goal that we set out, in my opinion, was to be all things to certain people, all things to the families we work with. And that’s really what we try to do.

Matthew Peck: Well, it is along the same line, in similar to way back when I was loving to share that story about how even back then we weren’t after every last penny and after every last dime and every last commission, it was like, “No, let’s do the right thing.” And it was also along the lines of doing what we’ve said we’re going to do or just say, “Okay. Hey,” when people came on, we never wanted or at least personally, I’m sure you guys will agree and I hope that our listeners haven’t experienced this where they say they kind of got a dog and pony show or what’s it?

Derek Gregoire: Bait and switch?

Matthew Peck: Yeah, bait and switch. Thank you. You know, where it’s like, “Okay. I was told they were going to do this, this, and this for me but then they never really did it. You know, they talked about doing it but they never really did it.” And it was always crucial to me because especially as we expanded into all of those areas. I think you said like plumbers and mortgages and all these things like we don’t do those things personally but we want to make sure that the clients came to us as a complete resource because it’s all tied together. And I think a crucial part was just following along the evolution was making sure that we had those five steps, making sure that people knew that they had an income plan built out and that took a look at their pension analysis, Social Security, expenses, their investment plan. You know, Derek, you mentioned it quickly, I mean, not only do we have our own portfolios but we have this investment committee and team that’s there to provide high quality…

Derek Gregoire: That’s all they’re doing.

Matthew Peck: Yeah, right. That’s all they’re doing.

Derek Gregoire: They’re not meeting with clients. They’re not doing all the other stuff. Like, a lot of firms, the person who you’re meeting with is also managing the portfolios.

Matthew Peck: Sorry to interrupt, Derek. They’re maybe not managing portfolios but like, “Oh, yeah, that group set in New York.”

Derek Gregoire: Or some random third party.

Matthew Peck: Yeah. Or they have zero connection with the people that are actually making those decisions.

Keith Ellis Jr.: Right.

Derek Gregoire: And it’s higher cost.

Matthew Peck: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And then obviously tax planning, when you saw Peter Roach and healthcare planning with Hokanson and then legacy planning with Attorney McManus, Attorney Car, Attorney Court.

Keith Ellis Jr.: Yeah. Melinda Court.

Matthew Peck: Melinda, thank you.

Derek Gregoire: But think about even like, so we’re now 2021, almost 2022, think back even in ‘07, ‘08, ‘09, as we were evolving, we started saying, “Hey, we want to provide tax planning and income planning and all these five areas.” And we did it to the best that we could but we didn’t have the ability to deliver on it to the extent that we can now, if we’re going to be honest with ourselves, right?

Matthew Peck: No, true.

Derek Gregoire: And so, we did the best we could but now that’s where a lot of the hirings come from because every client we want to not leave any stone unturned. And so, if you missed the episode we have with Peter Roach on the podcast, just listen to that. I mean, we had so many areas of value that can be added when it comes to tax planning and whether it’s Roth conversions, tax-loss harvesting, the backdoor Roth, the mega Roth, after-tax planning, and a 401(k). My point is one person or a small office, and I’m not bashing any small office, trust me, I know they do good work, but to deliver on all these areas, you need support.

Keith Ellis Jr.: You need a team.

Matthew Peck: Well, that’s the other part too. It’s like, here, you have these other advisors that it’s almost like they’re too big and you don’t have that connection with them. And then you have really these individuals sort of, for lack of a better word, mom-and-pop shops where it’s like, “Okay. Well, what happens if something happens to you?” Because I think the other part, too, and we’re planners, and not to talk health or whatever it is, but more so that we knew that we weren’t going to be here forever. So, what happens if we got hit by a bus? You know, part of the reason that we grew was to make sure that our clients, they had their own succession plan, they had their own idea that no matter what happens, it’s not just Matt or Keith or Derek. SHP as a whole is going to be there for them and for their spouses if they were to pass away, too. I mean, yeah, that type of continuity and that’s what we’ve been building all these years towards.

Derek Gregoire: And I guess we can say now it’s enough about us but really we’re trying to on this show, right, we’re really…

Keith Ellis Jr.: I think it’s a good setup to kind of let people know who we are. So, then you start to continue to go do this to get an idea.

Matthew Peck: Testify. It’s that testimonial.

Derek Gregoire: Hopefully, you get a lot of good laughs out of that. But, basically, if you think about what the goal of the show is to help, we’re going to dissect in the future in every area of our five-step process. It’s income, investments, taxes, healthcare, legacy but think of income. Just on income alone, there’s how to create the retirement budget. What are fixed expenses versus inflationary expenses? What are discretionary expenses? Travel, how do you build that into the budget properly? Then you have how about Social Security? When do you take Social Security? That’s a whole topic. Then it’s pension. Do you have a pension lump sum versus income? What does that look like? Then it’s how do you invest to cover your income gap? So, just in one little world and I can go on and on, that’s four or five different topics that we have to dissect that we can’t do in one show but these are all areas that we’re going to work on going forward to go through all these small areas every time.

Keith Ellis Jr.: We’re going to continue to bring on guests to provide extra value, be over and beyond our expertise, so yeah, we’re excited to do this.

Matthew Peck: Well, into that point, too, that’s why I love the new medium. You know, like, I guess we are old men in the sense that we’re just doing, well, we’re expanding into podcasts. We’re really developing more of a podcast as compared to just a radio show that was a podcast. Point being is that we have much more time to develop these ideas, develop the ideas of things like safety income growth, develop ideas of Roth conversions and how that works because right now I’m up to my neck in Roth conversions because towards the end of the year and you got to make sure they’re all in. Even estate planning, I think I remember talking about like islets and establishing estate tax or even when Peter was here for that episode, it’s like we’d have a chance to really talk about Massachusetts estate tax, and that issue. And so, it’s just being able to really expand on these ideas I think are going to be so helpful for the listeners to get better value out of spending the time and giving us your hard-earned time for us to tell you kind of how we make the sausage if you will.

Derek Gregoire: Yeah. Even like earlier today, I was coming from another appointment where we’re doing succession planning. So, we had myself, the CPA, the two owners of the company, and the attorney that’s handling this. And that’s a whole other discussion that a lot of clients have to face is like I’m the owner of a business or I’m multiple owners and if something happens to you, what does that look like? Who gets what? Is there voting shares versus not? We know this very well but how does that look to the next generation? Or if you have one person that has equity as a child, do they have voting rights to make decisions on the day-to-day? So, even succession planning is another area that we want to try to help people with if you own that business. It depends on if you have a business or not. But I’m saying there are so many areas of retirement planning, business planning, succession planning to get into

Matthew Peck: Millennial or Gen-X planning. They were also part of it. And what we’re going to hopefully do is have different advisors coming on with certain topics of the week or topics of the month if they will. As I mentioned, one of our great advisors, Zeke, he helps out with the millennials. So, what we’ll try to do is, I mean, there are so many areas. And so, we’re just so, so excited to really get started and think I don’t know if you guys have any more words on the history of SHP or if we’re ready to kind of wrap this one up and then we’ll be able to move on to something more in-depth per episode. But thanks again.

Derek Gregoire: Yeah. Looking forward to…

Keith Ellis Jr.: Looking forward to keep going.

Matthew Peck: All right. Have a great day.


No statements made during the Retirement Road Map® podcast shall constitute tax, legal, or accounting advice. You should consult your own legal or tax professional on any such matters. Information presented is for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies.  Investments involve risk, and unless otherwise stated are not guaranteed. Our Investment Advisory Services are offered through SHP Wealth Management LLC., an SEC registered investment advisor.  Insurance sales are offered through SHP Financial, LLC.  Our advisors and insurance reps may offer clients advice and/or products from each entity. No client is under any obligation to purchase any insurance product.

The content presented is for informational purposes only and is not intended as offering financial, tax, or legal advice, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Some of the informational content presented was prepared and provided by tMedia, LLC, while other content presented may be from outside sources believed to be providing accurate information. Regardless of source no representations or warranties as to the completeness or accuracy of any information presented is implied. tMedia, LLC is not affiliated with the Advisor, Advisor’s RIA, Broker-Dealer, or any state or SEC registered investment advisory firm. Before making any decisions you should consult a tax or legal professional to discuss your personal situation.Investment Advisory Services are offered through SHP Wealth Management LLC., an SEC registered investment advisor. Insurance sales are offered through SHP Financial, LLC. These are separate entities, Matthew Chapman Peck, CFP®, CIMA®, Derek Louis Gregoire, and Keith Winslow Ellis Jr. are independent licensed insurance agents, and Owners/Partners of an insurance agency, SHP Financial, LLC.. In addition, other supervised persons of SHP Wealth Management, LLC. are independent licensed insurance agents of SHP Financial, LLC. No statements made shall constitute tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own legal or tax professional before investing. Both SHP Wealth Management, LLC. and SHP Financial, LLC. will offer clients advice and/or products from each entity. No client is under any obligation to purchase any insurance product.
Was this information helpful? Should we publish more like this?