Tag Archives: financial management

87665813

How Financial Professionals Can Better Cater to Women

Historically, women have been viewed as secondary decision makers in financial situations – a sorely outdated posture that’s quickly evolving at most financial institutions. However, the insight alone isn’t sufficient enough to attract and retain more female clients. Many financial professionals are still struggling with their approach to working with and catering to women. What has traditionally worked with men isn’t necessarily ideal for their counterparts.

The need for financial institutions to adapt is apparent now more than ever, as women are increasingly taking on the role of household CFO, playing a much greater role in both daily money management and long-term financial planning. Data from the May 2013 BMO Private Bank Women’s Study reveals:

  • Seventy-six percent are either primary decision makers or share ownership of decisions related to savings, investments and retirement
  • Fifty-two percent of Arizona women work with their spouse or partner to decide which banks and financial institutions they will use
  • Ninety-four percent of Arizona women take charge or share decisions equally with their spouse or partner regarding groceries, children’s clothing and other everyday necessities

Yet even with this financial clout, many women are still lacking quality financial guidance. The BMO study also found 66 percent of women do not use the services of a financial advisor – even though women tend to outlive men and may require much more financial support in their elder years. A recent study from Boston Consulting Group found that once a woman’s spouse passes away, one of the first things she does is fire her financial advisor. There’s an obvious gap that needs to be filled, especially as a record number of women are earning graduate and professional degrees, launching new businesses and rising in the corporate ranks.

To better cater to women, financial professionals need to consider the following:

  • For women, money is a tool to accomplish goals; it’s not the goal. Women typically focus on preserving wealth and protecting their family’s financial future, whereas men tend to be more concerned with the acceleration of wealth, such as the rate of return and performance of investments.
  • Women reject traditional “sales” approaches and value relationships. Women like to ask questions and be part of the financial conversations. They do not want to be talked “at,” as is often the case. They reject typical sales approaches and prefer to engage in a meaningful, two-way dialogue, and connect by sharing personal stories. During the decision-making process, they gather information from many sources, consult with friends and may take longer to make decisions than men.
  • Women communicate differently than men. Women are looking for clear, honest and relevant communication. They want to be spoken to in a conversational style and treated with the same respect and dignity that their male counterparts receive.

When dealing with couples, both women and men need to be engaged. In situations where a spouse or partner is present, it’s important to bring both into the conversation. Financial professionals also need to overcome misconceptions that women are not as financial or investment savvy as their spouses or partners. Condescending tones, words and body language – whether intentional or not – is a surefire way to turn off women.

When financial professionals take time to understand women’s needs and outlooks, all parties benefit. Individuals and couples can find more comfort and security with their financial advisor, and in turn, women are more likely to remain loyal to their financial institutions and provide referrals.

 

April Ward is Regional Director, Wealth Advisor for Stoker Ostler, a part of BMO Financial Group. The Scottsdale wealth management firm provides comprehensive financial planning services to affluent individuals, families, small-to-medium-sized institutions and non-profit organizations. She can be reached at april.ward@stokerostler.com or (480) 890-8088.

market volatility

The Impact of Market Influences

Many investors often question what influences the markets and what influences are most critical to pay attention to. There is no easy answer because there are several factors that can manipulate the markets and no one particular factor controls the direction. It’s a combination of several influences such as corporate performance, government- monetary policy, geopolitics, and investor psychology. Also, today’s media attention is much broader, and with the internet individuals and institutions have access to more information at greater speeds. The fundamentals are still the same as they were years ago, but the access to information has significantly changed.

Corporate performance is a vital influence on the stock market and can be one of the major factors of market shifts. The primary driving force of a company stock is based on the company’s performance or other wise known as its corporate earnings. So it’s important for investors to understand that corporate performance, whether it is negative or positive, can impact the markets. Especially if a negative or positive trend occurred through out the same sector.  A recent example of this was just a few years ago during the housing bubble, we experienced significant growth in real estate companies, a few years later we experienced the very opposite as the real estate sector plummeted.

Another direct influence is by government, monetary policy can tighten, loosen or change interest rates to slow growth or increase growth of our economy. For example, by tightening policy and raising interest rates we can reduce the amount of money in our financial system (restricting growth). Whereas, by loosening policy and reducing rates, we maybe able to spark growth in our markets and increase borrowing.

Our government has the control of changing our markets through policy and interest rates but we also can experience market shifts through geopolitical changes as well. New government regulations, trade policy, and global relations can open or close the doors to growth in our markets. This has become a key factor in the last few decades as we’ve become more of a global economy and countries now rely on each other more.

 

Most of these factors can be controlled in some way but our investor sentiment about the markets changes as a result of these influences. Investor sentiment is a critical piece in sustaining a healthy economy so keeping close tabs on investor psychology is important. Typically, we are either quite optimistic or very pessimistic about the markets. As a result, investors will either sell or buy depending on how investor’s feel. This usually can be seen during times of a bear market or a bull market.

These are just some of the primary reasons why our markets may shift and will continue to in our future. I find it best to understand a client’s particular situation and clearly identify specific goals to help weed out the factors that can influence decisions.

 

Michael Cochell  is associate vice president of Jacob Gold & Associates. This information was prepared by Michael Cochell of Jacob Gold & Associates Inc. and is for educational information only. The opinions/views expressed within are that of Michael Cochell of Jacob Gold & Associates Inc. and do not necessarily reflect those of ING Financial Partners or its representatives. In addition, they are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Neither ING Financial Partners nor its representatives provide tax or legal advice. You should consult with your financial professional, attorney, accountant or tax advisor regarding your individual situation prior to making any investment decision.

 

Time is money

Miller/Russell & Associates Gains 4 New Partners

Miller/Russell & Associates, one of the leading independent investment advisers in the Southwest, announced today that four key executives have been made partners of the firm.

Miller/Russell & Associates moved to an independent, partner-ownership model in 2012 to create a long-term internal succession plan that would preserve the firm for future generations.

“We are thrilled to welcome these four dedicated individuals as partners at Miller/Russell & Associates,” said Mark Feldman, CEO and managing partner. “Each brings his or her own unique talents and strengths to the team, and has continually proven to be a valuable asset to the firm. We are committed to cultivating our own team members to become not only the future leaders, but also the future owners of the firm.”

Russ Bucklew joined Miller/Russell & Associates in March 2005 after spending more than 20 years in business development, investment services, wealth management and banking. As partner, he will continue to provide investment and wealth management to high net worth individuals and institutions in Las Vegas and Southern Arizona. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and also maintains a professional license with the Washington Bar Association.

Ken Garrett joined Miller/Russell & Associates in February 2013. Garrett’s career includes more than 30 years of experience as a tax consultant, including eight years at Grant Thornton LLP. He will continue to cultivate the firm’s tax services practice, which provides income and estate tax services for individuals, families and their related entities, as well as private businesses. Garrett is a Certified Public Accountant licensed to practice in Arizona and New Mexico.

Maureen Rzeppa, chief administrative officer, joined the firm in February 2002 after working as controller of a privately owned electronics surveillance company. She will continue to oversee the finances, compliance and practice management functions as a managing partner. Rzeppa is a Certified Public Accountant and has earned the designation of Investment Adviser Certified Compliance Professional®.

Dave Westra joined Miller/Russell & Associates in October 2006 after spending several years as director of finance for eFunds and Avnet. Westra’s primary responsibilities will continue to focus on providing investment advisory and consulting services to corporations, non-profits, foundations and individuals. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and also holds the Accredited Investment Fiduciary® designation.

The firm’s remaining interest is held by CEO and Managing Partner Mark Feldman, Managing Partner Brad Lemon, Managing Partner Christina Burroughs and Miller/Russell & Associates’ client Marketplace One, LLC.

Time is money

Miller/Russell & Associates Gains 4 New Partners

Miller/Russell & Associates, one of the leading independent investment advisers in the Southwest, announced today that four key executives have been made partners of the firm.

Miller/Russell & Associates moved to an independent, partner-ownership model in 2012 to create a long-term internal succession plan that would preserve the firm for future generations.

“We are thrilled to welcome these four dedicated individuals as partners at Miller/Russell & Associates,” said Mark Feldman, CEO and managing partner. “Each brings his or her own unique talents and strengths to the team, and has continually proven to be a valuable asset to the firm. We are committed to cultivating our own team members to become not only the future leaders, but also the future owners of the firm.”

Russ Bucklew joined Miller/Russell & Associates in March 2005 after spending more than 20 years in business development, investment services, wealth management and banking. As partner, he will continue to provide investment and wealth management to high net worth individuals and institutions in Las Vegas and Southern Arizona. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and also maintains a professional license with the Washington Bar Association.

Ken Garrett joined Miller/Russell & Associates in February 2013. Garrett’s career includes more than 30 years of experience as a tax consultant, including eight years at Grant Thornton LLP. He will continue to cultivate the firm’s tax services practice, which provides income and estate tax services for individuals, families and their related entities, as well as private businesses. Garrett is a Certified Public Accountant licensed to practice in Arizona and New Mexico.

Maureen Rzeppa, chief administrative officer, joined the firm in February 2002 after working as controller of a privately owned electronics surveillance company. She will continue to oversee the finances, compliance and practice management functions as a managing partner. Rzeppa is a Certified Public Accountant and has earned the designation of Investment Adviser Certified Compliance Professional®.

Dave Westra joined Miller/Russell & Associates in October 2006 after spending several years as director of finance for eFunds and Avnet. Westra’s primary responsibilities will continue to focus on providing investment advisory and consulting services to corporations, non-profits, foundations and individuals. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and also holds the Accredited Investment Fiduciary® designation.

The firm’s remaining interest is held by CEO and Managing Partner Mark Feldman, Managing Partner Brad Lemon, Managing Partner Christina Burroughs and Miller/Russell & Associates’ client Marketplace One, LLC.

the-retirement-savings-crisis-featured

The Retirement Savings Crisis – Infographic

If you are not saving as much as you should for retirement, you are not alone. Numerous surveys indicate that a staggering number of Americans are not saving enough for a comfortable retirement and many American workers are saving little or none of their income. The visualization below highlights the lack of preparation that will negatively impact a large number of Americans as the population ages and millions of baby boomers reach retirement age in the next few years.

the-retirement-savings-crisis

[stextbox id="grey"]

Infographic Credits, courtesy of MastersInAccounting.Info:

Source: MastersInAccounting.Info

[/stextbox]

Household Rainy Day Funds Still in Short Supply - Infographic

1 In 5 Americans Have Less Than $100 In Savings To Cover An Emergency – Infographic

The annual CashNetUSA survey of 1,000 Americans conducted by online lender CashNetUSA shows 22 percent of Americans have less than $100 in savings to cover an emergency expense while 46 percent report having less than $800. The survey documents a consistent percentage of individuals with varying socio-economic backgrounds living paycheck to paycheck again this year.

View the infographic below and read more here.

Household Rainy Day Funds Still in Short Supply - Infographic by Nivene

[stextbox id="grey"]

Infographic Credits, courtesy of CashNetUSA:

Source: CashNetUSA.com

[/stextbox]

value of money

Will Your Beneficiaries Beat the Odds?

Two-thirds of baby boomers will inherit a total $7.6 trillion in their lifetimes, according to the Boston College Center for Retirement Research — that’s $1.7 trillion more than China’s 2012 GDP.

But they’ll lose 70 percent of that legacy, and not because of taxes. By the end of their children’s lives — the third generation — nine of 10 family fortunes will be gone.

“The third-generation rule is so true, it’s enshrined in Chinese proverb: ‘Wealth never survives three generations,’ ” says John Hartog of Hartog & Baer Trust and Estate Law, (www.hartogbaer.com). “The American version of that is ‘shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations.”

There are a number of reasons that happens, and most of them are preventable say Hartog; CPA Jim Kohles, chairman of RINA accountancy corporation, (www.rina.com); and wealth management expert Haitham “Hutch” Ashoo, CEO of Pillar Wealth Management, (www.pillarwm.com).

How can the current generation of matriarchs, patriarchs and their beneficiaries beat the odds? All three financial experts say the solutions involve honest conversations – the ones families often avoid because they can be painful – along with passing along family values and teaching children from a young age how to manage money.

• “Give them some money now and see how they handle it.” Many of the “wealth builders,” the first generation who worked so hard to build the family fortune, teach their children social responsibility; to take care of their health; to drive safely. “But they don’t teach them financial responsibility; they think they’ll get it by osmosis,” says estate lawyer Hartog.

If those children are now middle-aged, it’s probably too late for that. But the first generation can see what their offspring will do with a sudden windfall of millions by giving them a substantial sum now – without telling them why.

“I had a client who gave both children $500,000. After 18 months, one child had blown through the money and the other had turned it into $750, 000,” Hartog says.

Child A will get his inheritance in a restricted-access trust.

• “Be willing to relinquish some control.” Whether it’s preparing one or more of their children to take over the family business, or diverting some pre-inheritance wealth to them, the first generation often errs by retaining too much control, says CPA Kohles.

“We don’t give our successor the freedom to fail,” Kohles says. “If they don’t fail, they don’t learn, so they’re not prepared to step up when the time comes.”

In the family business, future successors need to be able to make some decisions that don’t require the approval of the first generation, Kohles says. With money, especially for 1st-generation couples with more than $10 million (the first $5 million of inheritance from each parent is not subject to the estate tax), parents need to plan for giving away some of their wealth before they die. That not only allows the beneficiaries to avoid a 40 percent estate tax, it helps them learn to manage the money.

• “Give your beneficiaries the opportunity to build wealth, and hold family wealth meetings.” The first generation works and sacrifices to make the family fortune, so often the second generation doesn’t have to and the third generation is even further removed from that experience, says wealth manager Ashoo.

“The best way they’re going to be able to help preserve the wealth is if they understand what goes into creating it and managing it – not only the work, but the values and the risks,” Ashoo says.

The first generation should allocate seed money to the second generation for business, real estate or some other potentially profitable venture, he says.

Holding ongoing family wealth meetings with your advisors is critical to educating beneficiaries, as well as passing along family and wealth values, Ashoo says. It also builds trust between the family and the primary advisors.

Ashoo tells of a recent experience chatting with two deca-millionaires aboard a yacht in the Bahamas.

“They both built major businesses and sold them,” Ashoo says. “At this point, it’s no longer about what their money will do for them — it’s about what the next generations will do with their money.”

Sign4

Brubacher is fueled for success

Joan Brubacher is a gas.

Well, she knows gas – and how to account for it.

“Growing up in Kansas, my dad was a fuel distributor,” said Brubacher, chief financial officer for Resolute Commercial Services, a Scottsdale-based receivership and corporate renewal firm,. “He also loved math, just like me.”

At only 14, number-loving Brubacher was working as her father’s bookkeeper. By college, the self-proclaimed tech geek would choose to crunch numbers for life, earning an accounting degree from Kansas State University.

Recruited by Ernst & Whinney (now Ernst & Young) out of college, gas would continue to drive Brubacher – one of her first audit clients was a convenience store and fuel distributor.

And it wouldn’t be her last.

After putting in her time with the Big Four – and getting married – Brubacher joined her father in the family business as its CFO.

“My father, husband and I decided to grow the business together,” said Brubacher. “In less than a decade, we grew from one to 19 locations statewide.”

Eventually, however, Arizona would come calling when her husband decided to take a great business opportunity in the Valley in 1989. For the first time since she was 14, Brubacher had nothing to account for except her husband and two young daughters.

Embracing her inner tech geek, she eventually earned CFO positions with several high-tech companies over the next two decades. One company – iGo – she would help take public in the 2000s. While working on the IPO, she became friendly with colleague Jerry Foster.

“He was a staunch supporter of the community – and his passion was contagious,” said Brubacher.

Before she knew it, she had joined Foster as a member of the board of directors for Junior Achievement of Arizona as well as branched out on her own, volunteering on the board with and serving on several committees for the Fresh Start Women’s Foundation and Financial Executives International, among others.

And after the IPO, Foster had other plans for her as well.

“Jerry had co-founded Resolute Commercial Services in 2008 as a receivership organization assisting businesses with complicated debt and other issues in the midst of the recession,” said Brubacher.

She joined Resolute as CFO in 2009 and has helped expand the firm into California, Nevada and Texas. Most recently, she has also helped drive the business in another direction.

“Often, receivership can be avoided if we can get in and help a business early enough,” said Brubacher, who has spearheaded this proactive approach over the past year on behalf of lenders and debtors alike.

Among her biggest clients – convenience stores and gas stations, of course. She has assisted more than 30 locations nationwide already in addition to physician practices, car washes and construction businesses, among others.  Brubacher finds that her background in finance and operations makes her uniquely qualified to assist businesses with their operational and financial issues, regardless of the industry.

“Life really does come full circle,” said Brubacher.