Tag Archives: Axiom Financial

Fiduciary Finesse

Weathering 2020 with Axiom Financial Strategies Group
By Laura Ross

In these times of uncertainty, rapidly changing job situations, and the COVID-19 health crisis, we find our lives changing almost daily. How do you
possibly plan for your family’s financial future? It can be an overwhelming thought, and one you might shove on a shelf for a later day. Not so fast, says Axiom Financial Strategies Group’s founder and partner Vaughan Scott. He says now is the perfect time to plan for financial security. “Ask yourself, do you have a plan?” Scott says, “Do you have faith in that plan? If you don’t, then you better talk to someone with expertise.” Long-term financial planning not only gives you peace of mind, it also helps weather financial
storms like the one we find ourselves in right now. “The general pendulum swings between irrational exuberance and panic,” explains Scott. “The reality is you must have objective data to make informed decisions, and that’s what these plans do. (At Axiom Financial Services) we have ways to reduce the risk. The corrections that occur let us do major repositioning, but it’s always based on a client’s needs or goals. We try to provide as many solutions as possible.” New Albany’s Axiom Financial Strategies Group, led by Scott and his business partner, Mike Grau, has served Southern Indiana, Kentucky, and beyond since 2009. After a long stretch underthe Wells Fargo umbrella, the firm recently began
registered independent investment advisory operations focused on growth, service, integrity,
accountability, and innovation. Scott, a Southern Indiana native and Indiana University graduate, got the bug to help others build wealth by emulating his mom, who was a financial planner throughout the 1980s. “When I got out of college, the person who hired my mom suggested I get some real-world experience,” Scott says. He started working in the business with UBS in 1999 and worked with a team that included Gloria Bommarrito and Abby Wolfe, investment advisors who are still critical leaders of the Axiom team today. “Gloria and I split off to join Smith Barney in partnership with Your Community Bank (YCB) to take over YCB’s investment and trust operations in 2003,” says Scott. “She and I started with a fax machine and a couple computers,” he laughs. When work increased and they needed assistance, Scott asked Smith Barney for help finding someone who had an excellent planning background and was introduced to Mike Grau in 2003. “We built what became our Axiom team in that one conference room,” adds Grau, Axiom partner, certified financial planner, and retirement
income certified professional. His background in accounting and managing client portfolios was the perfect fit. The team clicked, and Axiom Financial Strategies Group was formed in partnership with Wells Fargo in 2009 – just as that year’s financial crisis hit. Today, Axiom serves clients in Indiana, Kentucky, and 14 other states. Scott and Grau have built a team of investment advisors with experience and enthusiasm and have plans for continued
growth. Many Axiom advisors have close ties to Southern Indiana.

“An axiom is a closely held principle or truth,” explains Scott. “We originally operated under our last names, but knew we wanted a name that had meaning.”

Axiom Financial Strategies Group advises
individuals, families, family-owned businesses,
and entrepreneurs through all stages of
financial planning, including wealth growth
and management, 401K investments, strategic
planning, and trusts.

“We have a team of nine advisors who all work
to make Axiom the best,” says Grau. “Our clients
see that. We invite them in, show them how we
work, and even do a complimentary plan first.
We want them to be comfortable with the entire
team and know they are welcomed and respected.”

An axiom is a closely held principle or truth. We knew we wanted a name that
had meaning.”
– Vaughan Scott,
Axiom Financial Strategies Group
founder and partner
Axiom Financial
Strategies Group

101 W. Spring St.
5th Floor
New Albany

Certified Financial Planner Michelle Konkle returned to her Southern Indiana roots to work with the firm. “I wanted to be a part of Axiom,” she says. “The respect and courtesy we give to clients shows we really do care for them. It’s not about production; it’s about working with genuinely nice people who care about their clients.”

Scott agrees, “Our culture puts our clients first. We have a fiduciary mindset, but we also truly function as a team. Most industry advisors have internal competitions, but we just always have the philosophy that if we take good care of our clients and have a good team, we’ll always have a place in this business.” Now more than ever, Scott knows that personal touch is paramount. When the sky seemed to fall earlier in 2020, Axiom mobilized to stay safe, work remotely, and work quickly to secure their clients’ investments as much as possible. “We learned to communicate via email and phone in ways we never did before,” says Scott.

“Mike and Gloria did a phenomenal job with our repositioning when the market was at its bottom. It’s one thing to absorb the shock of the market, but another thing to reposition for recovery. Mike and Gloria completed transactions for over
1,000 accounts in just a few days. As the market has recovered, our clients see the results of that.”

Earlier in the year, Grau and Scott focused on upgrading technology efforts and saw the benefits immediately. “We’ve remained flexible,” Grau says. “Everyone has a long-term plan that we put together the day we start working with them. When markets turn downward, people look at their scores and see their score is still in the target zone.
They can weather the storm, and we position the assets and work with a plan that allows them to see how they are doing. Most people are staying on track, despite the effects of 2020.” That personal touch highlights Axiom’s difference from larger, more national investment firms. Clients choose who they want to work with, says Grau, “We come in every day to serve our clients, our team members, and our community. That’s our mindset.”

“It’s a focus on families,” Scott adds, “It’s more than just a financial business. We take on clients who do cool things and help them grow. I think about what I would advise my family, my parents, my grandparents to do. We help, and we just do
it the right way.”

Strategies to Remember During Times of Uncertainty



1. Humans are irrational creatures. Time and time again we are told to buy low and
sell high. However, when we start to see the balances fall it is human nature to want to
reduce your loses by moving into ‘safer’ assets. Unless you are in dire needs of the funds
within six months, this is not typically an advisable plan. Studies have shown that time
in the market is better than timing the market. If you exit the market during a downturn
and wait for the ‘right time’ to get back in, chances are you have already missed some of
the best days of the recovery. When navigating a bear market, think of it is fighting a fear. Stay calm and don’t make any sudden moves.

2. Diversification is key in any market cycle. By diversifying your assets, you will be
able to limit potential negatives felt when one invests in only one security or industry.

3. Keep investing. While it is difficult to watch the balance of your 401k fall, you must
remember that this is the best time to invest. Depending on an individual investor’s
situation this may be the time to continue contributions and even possibly increase
contributions. Buying during periods of volatility can have tremendously positive
impacts on your portfolio later in life. We often recommend that investors dollar cost
average due to the uncertainties and inability to time the market. This means that they
will systematically invest a certain amount over a specified period. Please contact us or
your financial adviser to discuss if this option is right for you.

4. Don’t invest money you don’t have. While it is great to increase your
401k contribution or start to invest in your favorite store/restaurant, etc.
when their stock price falls. Remember to only invest what you can afford
to lose. If you are not comfortable with the potential of losing the money,
then do not invest it. Now more than ever, it is crucial to have your 3-6
months of emergency reserves set aside. These funds are not to be used for
investment purposes.Extol+Summer+2020_Page_70_Image_0001

5. Consult with a financial professional. When trying to navigate the
waters of investing, consulting with a professional is the nest idea. Most of
us have been through this before and can provide to you real life examples
and industry respected resources as we help you develop a financial plan
to not only navigate the current state but achieve your future goals.
While “stay the course” may be the last thing you want to hear from your
financial advisor, it is oneof the pinnacles of a long-term strategy. If you
would like to discuss investment options or create afinancial plan of your
own, you can reach us at (812) 913-7701.

This report was prepared by Axiom Financial Strategies Group, a federally registered investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. Registration as
an investment adviser does not imply a certain level of skill or training. The oral and written communications of an adviser provide you with information about which
you determine to hire or retain an adviser. This is prepared for informational purposes only. It does not address specific investment objectives, or the financial situation
and the particular needs of any person who may receive this report. Neither the information nor any opinion expressed it so be construed as solicitation to buy or sell a
security of personalized investment, tax, or legal advice. For more information please visit: https://adviserinfo.sec.gov/ and search for our firm nam



So, you said, “I do,” – but what does that mean about accepting your soon-to-be’s stuff, too? 

Regardless of how much you’ve both accumulated, combining two households into one can be a chore and a major headache, and lead to unnecessary strife. Here are some tips to make the transition easier. 


Prior to the merger of your life together, it’s time to look at everything you own. Overwhelmed? Devote 20 to 30 minutes each day to make piles and put them in designated areas that are labeled LOVE, LEAVE and WAIT. 

Keep what you LOVE. Get rid of what you label as LEAVE, and hold onto the WAIT list with a promise you’ll revisit within a time frame you and your beloved can agree upon. 


Donating, selling and recycling your extras is best, but if you have a bunch of stuff you just want to get rid of, 1-800-Got-Junk is your jam. Seriously. You point and they make it disappear.


Moving into a new home and want help on melding two households into one? Ask your Realtor for input. They know everything and everyone. 

Our Advertising Partners in the News

German American Bank Announces $20,000 Gift to Community Montessori

German American Bank has given a donation of $20,000 to support Community Montessori Public Charter’s expansion project, “Casa dei Curiosity,” to construct a building addition. The building will allow the school to host large group presentations in a facility designed for this purpose, including theater productions, parent and community education events and other large group gatherings for the school.

Community members interested in the project can visit www.shiningminds.com/donate to view a short video about the project or to give a financial contribution to support this innovative addition. Interested individuals or organizations can also contact Melissa Weissinger, expansion development coordinator, at mweissinger@shiningminds.com or 812.948.1000 ext. 1230.

Axiom’s Vaughan Scott Recognized for Outstanding Achievement

Vaughan Scott of Axiom Financial Strategies Group of Wells Fargo Advisors in New Albany has been awarded the FFI GEN (Global Educational Network) Advanced Certificate in Family Business Advising (ACFBA) by the Family Firm Institute. The certificate is presented to individuals who have achieved comprehensive professional knowledge and gained significant expertise that can be used as value to family business owners and family wealth clients.

“Through completion of the certificate program, Vaughan has gained a deeper understanding of the needs of family-owned enterprises and the many roles family business and non-family members play, “ said Judy Green, president of the Family Firm Institute. Participants have access to cutting edge information and resources for exploring the core disciplines — behavioral science, finance, law and management science — and steps for forming collaborative teams. FFI provides multidisciplinary educational programs to advance family enterprises worldwide by enabling collaboration between family enterprise practitioners and academics, creating a global network of professionals.

Lisa Newbanks of  Rodefer Moss Promotednewbanks

Rodefer Moss & Co, PLLC promoted Lisa Newbanks to principal on Jan. 1. Lisa works in the firm’s New Albany and Louisville offices, and was previously a senior manager in the firm’s audit practice.

“What clients experience when they work with Lisa is a personification of Rodefer Moss’ service philosophy of listening better, trying harder, and caring more,” said Doug York, Rodefer Moss president. “Lisa’s promotion to principal is well-earned, and we congratulate her on what she has accomplished.”

Newbanks earned her Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Indiana University Southeast. A professional accountant for 17 years, she specializes in audits of not-for-profit organizations, employee benefit plans, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) projects, governmental entities, and small businesses.

Licensed to practice as a CPA in Kentucky and Indiana, Newbanks is a member of the Indiana CPA Society; the Kentucky Society of the Certified Public Accountants, the AICPA, and currently serves as a committee member of the INCPAS Peer Review Program. She is also active with Junior Achievement.