Lottery winner minefields: Financial planning, emotions, relationships



The biggest challenge for lottery winners isnt the massive sum of money suddenly dropped into their lap its everything else that comes with it.

“Theyre going to be pulled in a lot of different directions,” Steve Athanassie, financial planner, said. “Dealing with the emotional side is the biggest challenge.”

Shane Missler, a 20-year-old man from Port Richey, claimed the $450 million Mega Millions jackpot Friday. The Jan. 5 pot is the fourth-largest in Mega Millions history, and the second-largest claimed by an individual.

Related coverage: Florida man, 20, claims $450M Mega Millions jackpot

The first thing Missler, who since quit his position at a background screening company, will have to deal with is wrapping his head around his nearly-unfathomable fortune, Athanassie said.

Athanassies firm has worked with lottery winners in previous years. The stress of coming into such winnings is often overwhelming, especially for someone young who hasnt dealt with large sums of money before.

For previous lottery-winning clients, “it was almost like a look of fear,” Athanassie said, “because you all of a sudden have this lump sum that youre not sure what to do with.”

A team of experts, he said, can help with that. The first few things that need to be taken care of are basic: hire a lawyer, an accountant and a financial advisor and begin making arrangements for managing the money. Then comes setting up trusts, investments and potential philanthropic ventures.

Proper management is especially important for clients like Missler who opt for a lump sum. One big check immediately instead of a smaller check every year will pay out the greatest amount, which is an ideal option for someone who knows how to manage and grow it. In Misslers case, thats $281.9 million $211.4 million after taxes.

But it also comes with risk. Having all of the winnings in hand means if the funds are mismanaged, theres nothing to fall back on.

“You think its more money than you could spend,” Athanassie said. “Believe me you could spend it. And people have.”

Taking the yearly payout option is often prudent for someone who isnt as skilled at finances yet.

“If youre taking an annual amount, the worst you could do is spend everything for that year,” he said. “Maybe by the third or fourth year you realize youve made some bad decisions.”

And then theres the interpersonal minefield.

“Young people tend to be more open to suggestion and tend to trust people a lot more than after youre older and youve been burned a few times,” said Rhonda Holifield, a financial adviser with Prosper Financial Advisers.

Missler, like other winners, will likely deal with an onslaught of family, friends and strangers coming out of the woodwork for a piece of the pie. Learning who to trust and learning quickly will be vital.

“He is easy pickings now for somebody that looks at him and sees deep pockets,” Holifield said.

One consideration that will be important down the line for the young winner is securing his funds if he decides to get married.

A prenuptial agreement can protect the winnings, which would be considered solely his because he won them before marriage.

Missler said he plans to move out of Tampa Bay and “(educate) himself to be a good steward of this fortune.”

“I intend to take care of my family, have some fun along the way and cement a path for financial success so that I can leave a legacy far into the future,” he said in a Friday statement.

Contact Malena Carollo at [email protected] or (727) 892-2249. Follow @malenacarollo.

Time’s up for feminine famine in financial planning? – InvestmentNews

There has been some progress.

There are now more than 80,000 certified financial planning professionals, including a record number of 1,250 women who were certified in 2017, according to an announcement by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards this week.

That brings the number of women CFP professionals to 18,578. However, that means women are still underrepresented and constitute just 23% of CFPs — a statistic that has been unchanged for more than a decade.

It’s not just a matter of gender equality. It’s simply good business. Women make up 51% of the U.S. population and they are on the verge of a massive wealth transfer, poised to control two-thirds of the nation’s wealth by 2030. They will inherit 70% of wealth transfer over the next two generations, for a total of $25 trillion.

Given the size of the demographic and its economic leverage, women can no longer be viewed as a “niche” target. Rather, they represent the new normal of financial planning. Increasing the ranks of female financial advisers is one sure way to attract and engage women clients.

“While we are proud that the ranks of CFP professionals continue to increase, we know that more can be done to encourage young people, women and people of color to join this great profession,” said Kevin Keller, CFP Board chief executive, in a statement accompanying the announcement about the 80,000 CFP practitioner milestone, which represents a 43% increase since 2007.

During 2017, 4,930 individuals were certified. One quarter of them —1,250 — were women, a record for the number of new female CFPs certified in a year.

Mr. Keller attributed some of the credit for the record number of new female CFP professionals to the CFP Board’s Center for Financial Planning. The center was established to facilitate the future of the profession and to create a more diverse and sustainable financial planning profession.

With programs like “I Am a CFP Pro,” a job re-entry initiative, and its Women’s Initiative (WIN) Council, the center helps create opportunities for women and people of color to learn about financial planning as a career and, specifically, how to earn the CFP certification. I am proud to say that I have served as a WIN Council member since the panel’s inception in 2013.

It’s not just the financial services industry that is focused on the lack of diversity in the financial planning community. The federal government has taken notice, too.

“Many private sector organizations have recognized the importance of recruiting and retaining minorities and women for key positions to improve their business or organizational performance and help them better meet the needs of a diverse customer base,” the Government Accountability Office (GA0) said in a November 2017 report on management trends in the financial services industry. “However, questions remain about diversity in the financial services industry, which provides services that help families build wealth and are essential to economic growth.”

The GAO report found that while overall representation of minorities in management positions in the financial services industry increased from 17% to 21% from 2007 to 2015, representation of women remained unchanged at 48% of mid-level managers and 29% of senior-level managers.

InvestmentNews is doing its part to foster gender and racial diversity in the financial planning community. Publisher Suzanne Siracuse announced a new initiative beginning this year to provide inspiration, education and awareness around workplace diversity and inclusion through thought-provoking articles, videos, webcasts and columns.

As Ms. Siracuse said in a Jan. 8 editorial: “For the financial advice industry to evolve into a true profession, it must look more like the population it serves — or will be serving over the next few decades.”

Dynasty-affiliated RIA jumps into the M&A space

Dynasty Financial Partners affiliated RIA DB Root has dipped its toe in the MA space for the first time. It made a pair of deals that will position it to grow its retirement business, which the firm says isn’t currently getting a significant amount of attention.

DB Root has been a standalone firm in Pittsburgh since 1994. Founder and CEO David Root says there has always been a desire for MA, but it was a matter of waiting for the right opportunity, which eventually presented itself in the RIA channel.

DB Root joined Dynasty Financial Partners network in October 2015.

“We’re seeing an increasing number of MA transactions taking place in the RIA market and at Dynasty, we look forward to helping firms grow through acquisitions,” says Dynasty CEO Shirl Penney. “The addition of these two new firms to DB Root, fueled by Dynasty’s sales structuring, transition group and capital strategies, puts them in an entirely new position in their market.”

CEO David B. Root says there has always been a desire for Mamp;A, but it was a matter of waiting for the right opportunity.

CEO David B. Root says there has always been a desire for MA, but it was a matter of waiting for the right opportunity.

The financial advisors of R. Applegate Associates and the Paul Abendroth Group are teaming up with DB Root. R. Applegate, which services high-net-worth clients, will remain an independent RIA over the next year with DB Root providing management and expanded support services.

“The reason to have the relationship begin Jan. 1, 2018 under a merging of capabilities and with an ultimate acquisition into the future of 2019 is to give us time to structurally build this the right way,” explains Applegate leader Richard Applegate. “What it does ultimately is it provides my clients and myself with a well-structured succession plan.”

Partnering with Applegate lets DB Root advance its retirement plan advisory business, which Root describes as having been a “minority” part of the business.

“We started it in 2010 with the best of intentions, but our background, our experience, really our expertise is on the client wealth management side,” Root says. “The real synergy is that [Applegate] has substantial, extensive retirement plan advisory experience as a fiduciary dating back over 40 years.”

Applegate also has a meaningful private client high-net-worth wealth management side to its business as well. The combination of the two firms provides DB Root with scale in its local Pittsburgh market but also extends into the Great Lakes region.

Additionally, DB Root is acquiring The Paul Abendroth Group—financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Advisors Paul Abendroth and Ryan Borucki are leaving Rehmann Financial, a regional CPA firm, to join DB Root. They’ll be based in Toledo, Ohio where they will focus on both wealth management and 401(k) plans.

Abendroth has about $100 million assets under management on the wealth management side, plus another $300 million on assets under advisement. For Applegate’s part, it is coming in with high-net-worth wealth management services of about $225 million and qualified retirement plans with assets under advisement of $4.2 billion of retirement plan assets.

“Merging the three of us together gives us synergies in all areas and expertise in all areas,” Root says. “Putting us all together [brings] more than 250 years of experience.”

A financial plan for the whole year – Business Insider

Financial stability can put you on the right path. But where do you start?  Lauren Lyons Cole, a certified financial planner and senior editor at Business Insider, lays out a year-long guide to gaining your financial freedom. Following is a transcript of the video. 

Lauren Lyons Cole: OK, so you’ve decided to get your financial life together. But where do you begin? The good news is it’s easier than you think. We’ve put together a step-by-step process to walk you through the next year.

My name is Lauren Lyons Cole. I’m a certified financial planner and a senior editor here at Business Insider.

Day 1: Let’s get organized. This step can be challenging for a lot of people, especially if it’s been a while since you looked at your money. Or maybe you never have. But if you don’t know where you’re starting from, there’s no way to track your progress throughout the year. Clear out some time, and get together all your recent statements or all your online login information for your different financial accounts. I’m talking everything, from checking, savings, student loans, credit cards — if you have them — retirement accounts, maybe old retirement accounts from that job you left and you really don’t know where your 401(k) plan went. Get it all together so we can see a full picture of what your money is like today.  If it helps, you can use an app to do this. For the past 10 years I’ve used Mint, which is really useful as a way to see all my financial accounts in one place as well as my day-to-day transactions.

Week 1: Track everything you’re spending on. I don’t want you to make any changes yet because first we have to figure out what you’re doing now so that we can figure how to tweak and optimize your spending so that you can reach your goals. At the end of week one you want to total up what you spent overall and what you spent in each category — food, shopping, drinks, whatever it is that you were buying during the week. Now, compare the total spending to how much you earn in a week, how much you actually take home from your job. If what you spent overall was more than what you earn overall, we’re going to have to work on that. Either way, it’s important to identify which categories are your biggest categories for spending, and which categories you think you can make the most progress cutting back on.

Month 1: It’s time to create a realistic goal and an action plan that you can stick to. Too many people set themselves up to fail when they’re trying to get their financial life in order by choosing an arbitrary spending limit — you know, saying, “Oh, I’m only going to spend $200 on food this month.” But if you usually spend $500 on food, there’s just no way you’re going to cut back that much. Our goal for this month is, of course, to save some money, but even more importantly to figure out exactly how much you can cut back for the months to come so that you’re setting yourself up for realistic success with your budgeting and saving plan. If you usually spend $50 on food but you went an entire week — or multiple weeks — without spending that $50, but you were miserable, that’s not a sustainable plan moving forward. So a good compromise might be to agree to buy your lunch one day a week or maybe even two days a week and bring your lunch the rest of the time. That way you know it is a plan you can stick to.

For the next three months, our goal is to think big picture and prioritize every financial goal you want to work toward. You can’t do it all overnight. By now your spending should be a little bit healthier, and hopefully you’re saving a good amount every month. But what are you going to do with that money? Now is the time to figure that out.  If you have debt, that’s a really important goal to tackle first because debt carries an interest rate with it, which means it gets bigger if you don’t start to pay it down. If you don’t have debt, your retirement savings should be your next biggest priority. But you also need to start saving for an emergency fund. Increase your 401(k) contribution at work by at least 3%, or more, if you can do it. And then turn your attention to getting your accounts in order. Your checking account should always have about double your paycheck, and your savings account needs to have at least three months of living expenses. It can take a while to save up that amount, so you don’t have to do it all at once. And you shouldn’t do it without also saving for retirement. The more you get into your finances, the more you’re juggling a lot of different, competing goals.

 

So we’re at the halfway point, and hopefully things are still going really well. If not, now is a good time to recommit to all the goals you set at the beginning of this process. And if you have to start over. You can always go back to Day 1 and do it all again. If things are going well, there’s a cool way to track your progress moving forward that you can add to the mix.  I record my net worth on a spreadsheet so that I can track my progress over time. Your net worth is a pretty simple calculation, taking everything that you own minus everything that you owe to arrive at a number. This is called your net worth. Your net worth could be negative. Especially if you have a lot of student loans or credit-card debt. But that doesn’t mean it’s actually negative. If you’re making progress on your goals, it will continue to grow. And that’s a really exciting thing to track.

So we’ve made it to a year. Now is the time to reflect on everything that happened in the past year and how your money has changed.

So we’ve made it to a year. Now is the time to reflect on everything that happened in the past year and how your money has changed. You’ve made it through what is usually the hardest year of dealing with your money. It only gets easier from here. Some months may have been better than others, and that’s totally normal. Every month is different when you are dealing with your money, which is one of the big challenges in working toward getting your financial life together.  Set your sights on what next year will mean for you. And even five or 10 years from now. You’ve earned the right to be very proud, and you’ve earned the right to push yourself even harder for the years to come.

New VP’s appointed; financial planning talk set | Business Notes

New vice president of at RWJBarnabas Health

Brian H. George has been named as Vice President of Musculoskeletal and Spine Services for RWJBarnabas Health. He has worked for RWJBarnabas Health for nine years. He recently served as the Administrative Director of Clinical Operations at Saint Barnabas Medical Center. He will work on costs, quality and outcomes for the Orthopedic Service Line while also working on product improvement and standardization with the Materials Management Division. He will also work closely with the RWJBarnabas Health physician community.

Octapharma USA appoints VP

Former ASD Healthcare President Neil Herson was appointed Senior Vice President of National Accounts and Market Access at Octapharma USA, based in Hoboken.

ASD Healthcare is the largest distributor of oncology and supportive care products to healthcare facilities and specialty pharmacies. Herson developed Octapharma’s national market access and accounts strategy. He is also adviser to senior management in the U.S. on portfolio opportunities and development. For more information, visit www.octapharmausa.com.

Financial planning for small businesses

Conrado Gonzales, JD, a financial planner from Union City, will appear at Son Cubano in West New York,, on Jan. 25 for an interactive networking and learning event.  He will discuss making financial plans in 2018. Integration and implementation of financial plans will also be discussed. The event is free to all but you must register at http://hudsonchamber.chambermaster.com/events/details/chamber-event-networking-learning-event-1517 or email aganess@hudsonchamber.org.

Baconfest returns to Jersey City  

The annual Baconfest World Tour begins Friday, Jan. 12. and runs to Sunday, Feb. 4. Chef Franco Robazetti at Zeppelin Hall in Jersey City has crafted 19 bacon centered dishes inspired by the cuisine of 18 different countries including Mexico’s Bacon Tacos, Canada’s Bacon Poutine, and Italy’s Bacon Bolognese. Also, Zeppelin Hall will serve up past Baconfest favorites like the 50 Shades of Bacon Sandwich and a Bacon Wrapped Tomahawk Steak.Zeppelin Hall is located at 88 Liberty View Drive, Jersey City. For more information please visit, www.zeppelinhall.com

Jersey City a U-Haul growth city

U-Haul locations in Jersey City saw 51.6 percent of one-way truck rental customers coming into the city as opposed to leaving. Jersey City had an 18 percent increase in one-way truck arrivals year-over-year, while its departures rose 14 percent over the same span.

Growth Cities are calculated by the net gain of arriving U-Haul one-way trucks over departing one-way U-Haul trucks for the past calendar year. U-Haul growth data is effective in gauging of how well cities are attracting and maintaining residents.

Sleep-Wake Center earns accreditation 

The Sleep-Wake Center at Hackensack Meridian Health Palisades Medical Center has earned a 5-year accreditation from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.  Sleep facility accreditation through the AASM includes accreditation for all types of sleep testing.

The Sleep-Wake Center at Hackensack Meridian Health Palisades Medical Center is located on the hospital’s campus in the Medical Office Building, located at 7650 River Road, Suite 220, in North Bergen. For more information, call 201-854-5412.

Bayonne Seniors hear health educator

A healthy diet, exercising and seeing one’s doctor regularly are three practices residents can take to avoid type II diabetes and related issues it causes, a CarePoint Health-Bayonne Medical Center representative told attendees of a presentation at Bayonne’s 56th Street Senior Center on Dec 8.

Though he stated that type II diabetes had become an “epidemic” in the country,  community educator Edward McKenna told the group of more than 25 people that avoiding it is something people can control because it can be prevented by proactive lifestyle choices.

Here’s your year-long guide to financial stability

Financial stability can put you on the right path. But where do you start?  Lauren Lyons Cole, a certified financial planner and senior editor at Business Insider, lays out a year-long guide to gaining your financial freedom. Following is a transcript of the video. 

Lauren Lyons Cole: OK, so you’ve decided to get your financial life together. But where do you begin? The good news is it’s easier than you think. We’ve put together a step-by-step process to walk you through the next year.

My name is Lauren Lyons Cole. I’m a certified financial planner and a senior editor here at Business Insider.

Day 1: Let’s get organized. This step can be challenging for a lot of people, especially if it’s been a while since you looked at your money. Or maybe you never have. But if you don’t know where you’re starting from, there’s no way to track your progress throughout the year. Clear out some time, and get together all your recent statements or all your online login information for your different financial accounts. I’m talking everything, from checking, savings, student loans, credit cards — if you have them — retirement accounts, maybe old retirement accounts from that job you left and you really don’t know where your 401(k) plan went. Get it all together so we can see a full picture of what your money is like today.  If it helps, you can use an app to do this. For the past 10 years I’ve used Mint, which is really useful as a way to see all my financial accounts in one place as well as my day-to-day transactions.

Week 1: Track everything you’re spending on. I don’t want you to make any changes yet because first we have to figure out what you’re doing now so that we can figure how to tweak and optimize your spending so that you can reach your goals. At the end of week one you want to total up what you spent overall and what you spent in each category — food, shopping, drinks, whatever it is that you were buying during the week. Now, compare the total spending to how much you earn in a week, how much you actually take home from your job. If what you spent overall was more than what you earn overall, we’re going to have to work on that. Either way, it’s important to identify which categories are your biggest categories for spending, and which categories you think you can make the most progress cutting back on.

Month 1: It’s time to create a realistic goal and an action plan that you can stick to. Too many people set themselves up to fail when they’re trying to get their financial life in order by choosing an arbitrary spending limit — you know, saying, “Oh, I’m only going to spend $200 on food this month.” But if you usually spend $500 on food, there’s just no way you’re going to cut back that much. Our goal for this month is, of course, to save some money, but even more importantly to figure out exactly how much you can cut back for the months to come so that you’re setting yourself up for realistic success with your budgeting and saving plan. If you usually spend $50 on food but you went an entire week — or multiple weeks — without spending that $50, but you were miserable, that’s not a sustainable plan moving forward. So a good compromise might be to agree to buy your lunch one day a week or maybe even two days a week and bring your lunch the rest of the time. That way you know it is a plan you can stick to.

For the next three months, our goal is to think big picture and prioritize every financial goal you want to work toward. You can’t do it all overnight. By now your spending should be a little bit healthier, and hopefully you’re saving a good amount every month. But what are you going to do with that money? Now is the time to figure that out.  If you have debt, that’s a really important goal to tackle first because debt carries an interest rate with it, which means it gets bigger if you don’t start to pay it down. If you don’t have debt, your retirement savings should be your next biggest priority. But you also need to start saving for an emergency fund. Increase your 401(k) contribution at work by at least 3%, or more, if you can do it. And then turn your attention to getting your accounts in order. Your checking account should always have about double your paycheck, and your savings account needs to have at least three months of living expenses. It can take a while to save up that amount, so you don’t have to do it all at once. And you shouldn’t do it without also saving for retirement. The more you get into your finances, the more you’re juggling a lot of different, competing goals.

 

So we’re at the halfway point, and hopefully things are still going really well. If not, now is a good time to recommit to all the goals you set at the beginning of this process. And if you have to start over. You can always go back to Day 1 and do it all again. If things are going well, there’s a cool way to track your progress moving forward that you can add to the mix.  I record my net worth on a spreadsheet so that I can track my progress over time. Your net worth is a pretty simple calculation, taking everything that you own minus everything that you owe to arrive at a number. This is called your net worth. Your net worth could be negative. Especially if you have a lot of student loans or credit-card debt. But that doesn’t mean it’s actually negative. If you’re making progress on your goals, it will continue to grow. And that’s a really exciting thing to track.

So we’ve made it to a year. Now is the time to reflect on everything that happened in the past year and how your money has changed.

So we’ve made it to a year. Now is the time to reflect on everything that happened in the past year and how your money has changed. You’ve made it through what is usually the hardest year of dealing with your money. It only gets easier from here. Some months may have been better than others, and that’s totally normal. Every month is different when you are dealing with your money, which is one of the big challenges in working toward getting your financial life together.  Set your sights on what next year will mean for you. And even five or 10 years from now. You’ve earned the right to be very proud, and you’ve earned the right to push yourself even harder for the years to come.

Equisoft Announces Two Strategic Acquisitions that Further Enhance its B2C and Financial Planning Offerings

MONTREAL, Jan. 10, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ - Equisoft, a leading global provider of digital business solutions for the insurance and wealth industries, is pleased to announce the recent acquisition of two companies that will contribute to strengthening its competitive position across its portfolio of wealth management solutions.

Apeiron Software Limited: Enhancing Equisoft’s Financial Planningand Investor-facing Offerings

At the end of 2017, Equisoft officialized the acquisition of ApeironSoftware Limited, a Toronto‑based software developer best known for its advisor-and investor-facing RetireWare© platform. FirePower Capital acted as Apeiron’s financialadvisor in the transaction.

Apeiron has over 20 years of experiencedesigning and developing web-based risk management, financial planning and retirementplanning software for financial institutions, advisors and their clients. Thecompany provides banks, brokerage firms, mutual fund manufacturers and insurerswith cost-effective configurable solutions based on an extensive portfolio ofretirement planning tools.

“Today, financialinstitutions need to differentiate on customer experience,” says JonathanGeorges, Vice President, Wealth Management Solutions at Equisoft. “Investor-facingtechnology platforms provide them with a great opportunity to deepen the levelof engagement they have with their clients, while helping advisors offervalue-added services.”

The Apeiron offering ranges from smallapplications to large-scale systems, and includes licensing for white-labelproducts. Apeiron’s state-of-the-art financial planning tools and groupretirement tools can be integrated in company portals to help investors setgoals and monitor progress.

“Apeiron is opening a new chapter in its development,” says Marc DesRosiers, President of Apeiron, a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and aFellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries. “We look forward to takingadvantage of Equisoft’s industry and technology expertise to bring our currenttools to the next level, better serve our clients and set a course for thefuture growth of our business.”

Planist Ltd.: Adding More Depth to Equisoft’sFinancial Planning Solutions

In early January, Equisoft also acquired Montreal-based Planist Ltd. knownin the Quebec marketplace for its financial planning web portal.

Planist is a strategic analysis tool designed toassess the overall financial health of a client, to design a retirementplanning strategy or to ensure the suitability of specific investment products.By leveraging Equisoft technology, the Planist portal has offered advancedfunctionalities in a simple, easy-to use platform that has helped advisors andfinancial planners provide high quality recommendations to their customerssince its inception in 1999.

“This acquisition will allow Equisoft to enhance its flagshipproduct, WealthElements, by leveraging some of Planist’s advanced financialplanning functionalities, such as retirement income replacement analysis,estate planning, simulation of cash flows in a holding company, and detailedlife insurance needs analysis to name a few,” added Jonathan Georges. “Thisacquisition will also benefit Planist’s client base, by bringing sustainabilityand a strong commitment from a well-established company to continue to support theloyal Planist user base.”  

“We are excited by all the new possibilities theseacquisitions bring,” says Equisoft CEO Luis Romero. “Both of them fit perfectlyin our corporate strategy to enhance our investor-facing and financial planningofferings. Our clients are increasingly seeking such tools to help advisorsbetter serve their customers, so we definitely plan on integrating some ofthese functionalities into our existing front-end solutions, WealthElements andInsuranceElements.” 

About Equisoft
Founded in 1994, Equisoft offers advanced digital business solutions toits clients in the insurance and wealth management industries to support theirgrowth. The firm develops and markets innovative front-end applications (InsuranceElementsand WealthElements) featuring industry-leading user interfaces andstate-of-the-art technology. In addition, Equisoft is an Oracle InsurancePolicy Administration integration partner for some 20 carriersglobally. To complete this unique offering, Equisoft brings extensiveexperience in data migration through its subsidiary Universal ConversionTechnologies (UCT). Equisoft has a growing team of nearly 300 specializedresources based in the USA, Canada, Latin America, South Africa and India. Website:equisoft.com

About Apeiron
Founded in 1996, Apeiron develops innovative, web-based financial mathematical models and software that help individualsmake informed retirement planning decisions for their future. Apeiron’s scalablecustom solutions have the flexibility to be integrated in all existing deliveryplatforms. Apeiron’s advanced tools are tailored to the needs of financialservices companies, advisors and their client base, in order to support properplanning and promote value-based decisions. Website: retireware.com

About Planist
Founded in 1999, Planist Ltd. offers a unique financial portal thatprovides access to all the analytical tools needed to create comprehensivefinancial plans and strategies. Planist is dedicated to helping financialservices professionals deliver the best possible financial planning analysis,tools, and recommendations. Website: planiste.ca

 

 

SOURCE EquiSoft

Steven Merrell, Financial Planning: Feeling nervous about the market?



By Steven Merrell

Financial Planning

Q: The market just finished a very strong year and I’m feeling a little nervous that the bottom might fall out. Should I take my profits and move to the sidelines?

A: I understand why you might feel nervous. Even casual investors know that market rallies don’t last forever. However, if you want to be a successful long-term investor, you need to settle your mind on one very important principle: time in the market is more important than timing the market.

Most of us remember the market meltdown in 2008. Some of us remember other market debacles. Since my first job as a government bond trader in 1986, I have experienced the dot com bust in 2000, the Russian crisis in 1998, the Asian crisis in 1997, the Mexican peso crisis in 1994 and Black Monday in 1987. During each crisis, many people sold their stocks and ran for cover. Those who did eventually regretted it.

Since the bottom of the 2008 financial crisis, the SP 500 has advanced nearly 300 percent, excluding dividends—an average annual gain of nearly 16.9 percent. Since Black Monday on October 19, 1987, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 1,354 percent, or roughly 9.25 percent per year. Similar stories can be told about the recovery from other market crises.

Try to remember that markets favor the long-term investor. Those who try to side step market corrections may avoid some painful downturns, but they almost always miss the market’s upside. While they wait for the optimal re-entry point, the market rallies right past them and they are left on the sidelines wondering how to catch a moving train.

A much better approach is to settle on a long-term strategy and then stick to it. Don’t worry about the market’s ups and downs. A well-diversified portfolio of high quality investments will be strong enough to withstand market downturns and deliver compelling returns over time.

Q: I have always been a long-term investor, but now I am approaching retirement. Should I switch to a more conservative portfolio?

A: Retirement planning is tricky business. Most people have an innate understanding that shorter time horizons usually call for more conservative investments. But don’t fool yourself. Even though you are close to retirement, you still have a lot of life ahead of you. You need to make sure your investment horizon incorporates accurate assumptions about your longevity.

According to the Social Security Administration, a male age 65 has a 22 percent likelihood of living to be at least 90 years old, while a 65 year-old female has a 34 percent chance of living to age 90. If you are married, there is a 49 percent chance that one of you will live to be 90 years old. Therefore, when it comes to retirement around age 65, you should plan with at least a 25-year horizon in mind.

At the same time, you must consider some near-term realities. How much income will you need in each of the first five years? That money should be invested in short-term bonds or CDs with maturities roughly matching the periods when you will need the money. As your horizon lengthens, you should add more equities to the portfolio to cover longer-term periods. You can also add a qualified longevity annuity contract to help assure adequate income for the far distant years.

Steven C. Merrell is an investment adviser and partner at Monterey Private Wealth, Inc., in Monterey. Send questions concerning investing, taxes, retirement or estate planning to Steve Merrell, 2340 Garden Road Suite 202, Monterey 93940 or steve@montereypw.com.

Time’s up for feminine famine in financial planning?

There has been some progress.

There are now more than 80,000 certified financial planning professionals, including a record number of 1,250 women who were certified in 2017, according to an announcement by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards this week.

That brings the number of women CFP professionals to 18,578. However, that means women are still underrepresented and constitute just 23% of CFPs — a statistic that has been unchanged for more than a decade.

It’s not just a matter of gender equality. It’s simply good business. Women make up 51% of the U.S. population and they are on the verge of a massive wealth transfer, poised to control two-thirds of the nation’s wealth by 2030. They will inherit 70% of wealth transfer over the next two generations, for a total of $25 trillion.

Given the size of the demographic and its economic leverage, women can no longer be viewed as a “niche” target. Rather, they represent the new normal of financial planning. Increasing the ranks of female financial advisers is one sure way to attract and engage women clients.

“While we are proud that the ranks of CFP professionals continue to increase, we know that more can be done to encourage young people, women and people of color to join this great profession,” said Kevin Keller, CFP Board chief executive, in a statement accompanying the announcement about the 80,000 CFP practitioner milestone, which represents a 43% increase since 2007.

During 2017, 4,930 individuals were certified. One quarter of them —1,250 — were women, a record for the number of new female CFPs certified in a year.

Mr. Keller attributed some of the credit for the record number of new female CFP professionals to the CFP Board’s Center for Financial Planning. The center was established to facilitate the future of the profession and to create a more diverse and sustainable financial planning profession.

With programs like “I Am a CFP Pro,” a job re-entry initiative, and its Women’s Initiative (WIN) Council, the center helps create opportunities for women and people of color to learn about financial planning as a career and, specifically, how to earn the CFP certification. I am proud to say that I have served as a WIN Council member since the panel’s inception in 2013.

It’s not just the financial services industry that is focused on the lack of diversity in the financial planning community. The federal government has taken notice, too.

“Many private sector organizations have recognized the importance of recruiting and retaining minorities and women for key positions to improve their business or organizational performance and help them better meet the needs of a diverse customer base,” the Government Accountability Office (GA0) said in a November 2017 report on management trends in the financial services industry. “However, questions remain about diversity in the financial services industry, which provides services that help families build wealth and are essential to economic growth.”

The GAO report found that while overall representation of minorities in management positions in the financial services industry increased from 17% to 21% from 2007 to 2015, representation of women remained unchanged at 48% of mid-level managers and 29% of senior-level managers.

InvestmentNews is doing its part to foster gender and racial diversity in the financial planning community. Publisher Suzanne Siracuse announced a new initiative beginning this year to provide inspiration, education and awareness around workplace diversity and inclusion through thought-provoking articles, videos, webcasts and columns.

As Ms. Siracuse said in a Jan. 8 editorial: “For the financial advice industry to evolve into a true profession, it must look more like the population it serves — or will be serving over the next few decades.”

Gibbs joins ARGI financial planning firm

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