CPS Investment Advisors Takes Care of Clients and Invests in the Future
Having the trust of your clients and your employees is what Peter Golotko is most proud of as president and CEO of CPS Investment Advisors in Lakeland.
“We’ve been growing quite a bit. The trust people have coming in, they know about us, hear about us. They understand we try to do the right thing every day,” said Golotko, who has worked at the investment and financial planning company for 33 years and held the top job since 2015.
CPS was founded in 1975 by the late Chas P. Smith and has grown to 55 employees. They offer everything from investments and financial planning to tax preparation.
A Full-Service Investment Firm
“Investments are when we buy stocks and bonds for clients,” Golotko said. “They hire us to do investments and turn over their money to us so they don’t have to make any decisions.”
Then, the company tailors its advice based on the client’s financial goals. “If that’s retirement at 60, we tell them they have to save X number of dollars and get X returns to retire with financial independence.”
Being a full-service business, “everything here is in sync,” said Erica Lupercio, marketing and business development coordinator. “We have a team with various expertise. We have a CPA on staff. Every part of your financial life is under one roof.”
What the company doesn’t do is wills and trusts. But, it can help clients develop a plan before they visit an attorney; they will even join clients at the attorney’s office to ensure the plan is set up correctly, Golotko said.
Golotko says Smith’s legacy lives on in the advice he gave him. “Always tell the truth and always do the right things, no matter how much it costs. If you can do that, you won’t have to worry about what you said and your business will continue to grow. That stuck with me from Day 1. He was an extraordinary businessman.”
The firm’s employees are fiduciaries, acting on behalf of the client and acting solely in their best interests.
“That’s extremely important. We can’t collect a commission. We’re completely unconflicted. Nobody tells us what to buy; the client pays us,” Golotko said. “We have to act in their best interest every step of the way. I see these people in our community; I have to make sure we’re making a positive impact in their lives and we’re doing the right thing.”
He said the average American would recognize 100% of the stocks they sell, and they pay great dividends. If someone owns stock in a brand name store, they are more likely to shop there and support the stocks they own, he said.
“They understand how they make money off the stocks, how corporations make money, why it’s in their portfolio. When the market goes down, they’re not going to panic. If you understand what you own, you’re not going to make that knee-jerk reaction.”
CPS offers durable products, the kind you find in many local stores, Golotko said. “So when the markets get rocky, we go back to the basics. Panic really causes the market to do wild things.”
Appealing to Young People
Golotko works hard to attract young people to introduce them to the company and get them in the habit of saving. This also helps in ensuring his advisers keep their skills polished.
As for younger investors, advisors ask them if they’re saving enough or participating in their company’s 401(k).
“We provide advice for them specifically. We’re trying to prime the pump for 20 years from now. If we put them on the right path, they will remember us. We spend money upfront so we have more business in the future.”
Lupercio said working with younger adults is an investment in the community. For instance, CPS partners with Emerge, a local organization geared toward those in their 20s, 30s and early 40s, to hold workshops on investing. It also holds workshops at CPS and offers speakers to meet people where they are.
“If you do the right things when you’re young, compounding will take care of it,” Golotko said. “We have a great community. We may as well help people build wealth and have financial security.”
The company goes out of its way to help clients. “We’re so involved in their financial lives that if the husband passes away and the wife has never written a check in her life, we will do that for the family. We try to go above and beyond the call of duty,” Golotko said.
Golotko owns part of a 500-acre tract of mined land in Fort Meade that he uses to host special events to benefit area nonprofits.
“We’re fortunate to be in this community. If it weren’t for Publix, it would be a different landscape. But other business owners make sure services for people who need it are funded,” Golotko said.
In February 2022, the company held a sporting clays tournament at a course he designed at his Fort Meade ranch. A woman from the event’s beneficiary, Peace River Center, said Polk Countians take care of their own. “That’s what I see in this community. That’s why we like to participate and make sure we do our part,” Golotko said.
Golotko hosts four or five events a year for anyone who asks. Those that have held events there include Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine, the Central Florida Speech & Hearing Center, Flight to Honor and United Way of Central Florida, among others, Lupercio said.