• Why "The Pit" is Important to Our Clients

    by Jerin Young CFP® CKA® Senior Associate Financial Planner | October 18, 2022

    For most of my time working at Syverson Strege, my workplace has been my cubicle in, what we all lovingly refer to as, “the pit."

    According to the Webster Dictionary, a pit is a hole, shaft, or cavity in the ground.

    Several books in the Old Testament of the Bible refer to a pit as a large hole in the ground used to catch wild animals, collect water for drinking, or act as a dungeon or prison.

    According to Investopedia, the trading floor at a stock exchange is sometimes called the trading pit where brokers buy and sell different securities in the pit using the open outcry system, which uses vocal cues and hand signals.

    The Syverson Strege “pit” is unlike most of these descriptions. So, let’s answer a few of your questions.

    What is “The pit?”

    “The pit” is a central work location at the Syverson Strege office. Check out a video view of “the pit” at timecode 1:08 of this video tour of our office.

    How did “The pit” get its name?

    According to Chief Investment Officer Jason Gunkel, “I started working here in 2004 and I think 'the pit' already had its name by then. We were working across the street in a different office but it had a similar configuration with a set of cubicles in the middle where the Associate Financial Planners sat. In fact, the name has survived three different office locations!"

    “It was a play on words in reference to the trading pit of a stock exchange where traders buy and sell securities. It was meant to be a joke in that a trading pit can get very rowdy where as our work is much calmer with a long-term focus. It might have also been a joke in that we work in “the pit” while the Financial Planners have personal offices that surround us."

    “I don’t know who to exactly credit with the term. Some more recent AFPs tried to rename 'the pit' to 'the nerve center' in reference to where all of the work gets done or the nucleus of the office, but that never really stuck. The name 'the pit' still lives on today!”

    Who works in “the pit?”

    Lance Knaack, Associate Financial Planner

    Mike Murkins, Senior Associate Financial Planner

    Jennifer Scheck, Associate Financial Planner

    Ryan Simpson, Associate Financial Planner

    Jerin Young, Senior Associate Financial Planner

    What kind of work goes on in “the pit?”

    Associate Financial Planners provide important support to the Financial Planners in the development of comprehensive plans and service to our clients. Our duties include:

    • Preparing documents for financial planning and investment meetings,
    • Gathering data from clients in preparation for their Annual Planning Session (APS), 
    • Implementing follow-up items after client meetings, 
    • Completing various planning and investment projects, 
    • Some of us serve on the Planning Committee or Investment Committee. 
    • Investment trading: Trading duties consist of processing contributions and distributions, running weekly cash rebalances to generate cash for systematic distributions, and investing cash that is deposited. Quarterly rebalances of accounts, with the assistance of the Investment Committee, are performed to ensure that accounts stay within the tolerance of their applicable model allocations.

    Why is the work in “the pit” important?

    According to Chief Planning Officer Matt Roberts, “The work that goes on in 'the pit' is vitally important to the construction and maintenance of our clients’ financial plans and/or investment portfolios. We rely heavily upon the associate financial planners to help develop comprehensive plans for our clients.”

    If you have the need for a comprehensive financial plan and would like to benefit from the great work of our employees who work in “the pit,” call us at 515-225-6000 for a no-obligation, confidential, complimentary consultation with one of our credentialed planners.

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