Category

Financial Planning

My clients LOVE this financial tool!

When I sit down with new clients, I love getting to know them and learning what makes them unique. Whether they are a college student or graduated decades ago … single or married with four kids … I typically observe one common denominator: people are overwhelmed by the complexity of financial planning.

Knowing this, the easy response to them would be, “trust me, I’m a financial advisor!” But that is never my approach. I believe that building trust with my clients is something that should not be taken lightly, especially when their financial success depends on it. I do not want people to nod their head to my advice, then walk out the door without really understanding what I said. I want clients leaving curious, excited, and motivated about ways to set themselves up for success. That means they need to be provided the tools to do just that.

In the last year, I made a couple key investments in my practice. My number one favorite investment will be shared in a future post – stay tuned! My second favorite investment has been implementing a wealth management portal for my clients called Right Capital. Right Capital creates an interactive experience for my clients to link their accounts and assets in one place, view their accounts in real time, and see many “what if” scenarios that they may face in their lives — such as how retiring one year later may impact their situation. By helping them see the benefits of making sound decisions today, they are more likely to stay the course in times of uncertainty. Bonus: it’s an app on your smartphone!

Above, you can see a few screenshots of the many tools that Right Capital provides my clients. Whether they are getting started and trying to figure out how to pay off student loans (debt management), or want to know if they are on track to meet their long-term goals (retirement analysis), this platform helps them visualize the importance of proper planning. I want to make sure my clients understand my job doesn’t end at selecting investments, but also educating them in all facets of their financial picture.

My husband and I, as well as other advisors at Savage and Associates, use this tool too. Having found so much value from it, I couldn’t help but to offer it as a complimentary resource for all my clients!

Would you like to see every detail that affects your financial wellness in one spot? Maybe you are more curious about knowing if you are on track to accomplish your retirement goals? Give me a call directly at 419-725-7201 and I’d be happy to find out together.

About Megan:
Megan Rightnowar got into the financial services business almost five years ago to help individuals and families create a plan for financial freedom. She believes that money doesn’t have to control your life and she helps people live that out.  As an extension of her love for educating clients, she enjoys writing blog posts covering a myriad of financial topics. Megan also teaches finance and personal planning for pharmacy students at the University of Toledo.

*Megan Rightnowar was not provided free services or sponsored by Right Capital. All idea expressed above are her own.

Megan Savage Rightnowar
Direct: 419.725.7201
Office: 419.475.8665
655 Beaver Creek Circle Maumee, OH 43537

Securities and investment advisory services offered through Royal Alliance Associates, Inc. (RAA), member FINRA/SIPC. RAA is separately owned and other entities and/or marketing names, products or services referenced here are independent of RAA.

Brimley earns AIF designation

Investment advisor representative Jonathan Brimley of Brimley & Frisch Wealth Management, a part of Savage and Associates, achieved his AIF® (Accredited Investment Fiduciary) designation from the Center for Fiduciary Studies. This certifies that Brimley has reached expert fiduciary care standards (a fiduciary acts on behalf of an individual or more to manage assets) – and how to apply those standards in their investment management practices. Earning this professional certification involves participating in a rigorous training program, passing a comprehensive exam, satisfying experience requirements, and agreeing to abide by the Center’s code-of-ethics and conduct standards.

Jonathan and his family

“Jonathan always talks about putting his clients first, and this designation is another great example of his unwavering dedication toward those he serves,” stated Russ Karban, vice president and managing executive, Savage and Associates. “For those in the Findlay area, and surrounding communities, are in very good hands with Jonathan as their advisor. It’s no wonder his practice continues to grow each year through so many pleased clients.”

Brimley specializes in comprehensive goal-based planning for his clients, largely in the Findlay, Ohio market, striving to give them increased confidence and maintainable wealth. To learn more visit: https://www.facebook.com/BrimleyFrischWealth/

The coronavirus and its impact on financial markets

Photo of Chinese Man in surgical mask

As a financial advisor, a big part of my role is to educate clients on the stock market. My job doesn’t end at picking investments for my clients but to openly communicate during times of intense media headlines and market volatility. Whether it’s trade wars, a negative fourth quarter in 2018, an election year, or the current coronavirus panic, I like to make sure my clients hear from me not only when we have regularly scheduled review meetings but when their account(s) are being affected.

Yesterday I sent an email to my clients, and I thought it would be valuable to turn that email into a post that others can gain insight. The subject matter: coronavirus. But from the standpoint of its overall impact on the stock market.

As you may be aware, there has been a growing number of cases throughout China, Italy, Iran, Japan and South Korea. Consequently, the global market has experienced increased volatility. It’s no coincidence – the stock market tends to react when a widespread illness breaks out. Two days ago, February 24, 2020, the S&P 500 declined about 3.5 percent, making it the worst day in about two years.

Regardless, if your reaction to the previous paragraph was “YIKES!”, this does not come as a big shock to the financial industry. Business has been slowing overseas with products/services that come out of the affected countries. I am also going to take a wild guess that you haven’t booked your dream trip to Italy in the past few weeks. The global economy is dipping and the market is reflective of that.

We do not know how long the coronavirus will continue to spread and dominate the headlines. Likewise, predicting the end of this current market volatility is equally challenging. As a silver lining though, we can see in the chart created by Dow Jones Market Data (below) that epidemics have historically not impacted the market for a significant length of time. I think you will find relief that only one of the previous 12 epidemics resulted in negative percent changes of the S&P over a six and 12 month period.

In closing, when it comes to the obstacles we are facing in the market, I’m not fretting and it is my hope that you aren’t either. Focusing on long-term objectives when it comes to investment accounts helps provide clarity in times of uncertainty. In the meantime, I’m praying for effective treatment and prevention and I hope you’ll join me.

Savage’s Frisch earns ChFC® designation

Curtis FrischCongratulations to Savage’s own Curtis Frisch, CFP®, for earning yet another professional designation. He achieved his ChFC® (Chartered Financial Consultant) designation from The American College of Financial Services – the leader in financial services education.

Estate, special needs clients, divorce, business succession, behavioral finance and financial plan development are all part of the preparation for this designation, which prepares an advisor to assist clients on a highly diverse set of financial matters.

Frisch is an owner of Brimley & Frisch Wealth Management – a part of Savage. Their company focuses efforts on individuals and businesses in the Findlay, Ohio market.

Frisch’s niche in the industry is spending necessary, focused time on comprehensive financial plans that analyze cash flow, risk management, investments, taxes, employee benefits, retirement planning, estate planning and education planning.

To learn more visit: https://www.facebook.com/BrimleyFrischWealth/

 

An advisor’s four-part strategy to saving

Megan Rightnowar

Now that we are more than one month into the new decade, let’s revisit the goals that you made: going vegan, hitting the gym, attending church, sticking to your budget, etc.  As we are “adulting,” one New Year’s resolution question I got bombarded with was, “Megan, where do I put the money I am going to start saving?”

I thought this would be a good time to share the specifics of what my husband and fellow financial advisor Nick and I do for our personal finances.  Let’s dive into our four-part strategy!

Megan working with a customer.Annual Review
We sit down once a year for an annual review of our budget. Yup, that’s it.  That’s how often I recommend that my clients review theirs, too.  Money does not have to control your life, and I believe that revisiting your budget once a year is sufficient if you do it right.

Expenses
We get our pumpkin cream cold brews from Starbucks and pull out our budget sheet (see below).  We use this to outline our recurring expenses, including our mortgage, groceries (aka, takeout … your girl can’t cook!), Pure Barre, our sweetest employee, Kerigan, etc.  We then determine if there are any expenses we can eliminate, such as the gym across the street that I have not gone to once. (WHOOPS!) Next, we estimate expenses that do not occur monthly but know will happen throughout the year like hair appointments.  Lastly, we dedicate 10 percent of our income to our church and other charities – SO many people and organizations doing awesome things in our community!

Savings
Now it’s time to add our savings to the mix.  We set aside $416.67 a month to our savings account so that each year our savings grows by $5,000.  We max out our Roth IRAs and Health Savings Accounts (HSA) with monthly contributions to each.  We then put money toward our non-retirement investment account and our LIRPs (Life Insurance Retirement Plan).  As business owners, we must factor in savings for taxes each month too – shoutout to all the 1099 business owners out there!

(Fun!) Income
At the bottom of the budget sheet, we include our take-home pay and then subtract our expenses and savings.  Drum roll please (with my calculator) … we have our discretionary income, aka our FUN money!  Sometimes we may only have $20 left and other times it may be $2,000.  This is my, “Girl, get that dress!” money.  Some months my closet is growing while other months I ask to borrow a dress from a friend (you know who you are!).  Because we have done the hard part first, we have no regrets, and can truly enjoy the money we have earned.

Now that you know our process, let’s get back to you.  Take a deep breath and start your own budget sheet.  Make a commitment to saving so you can have some FUN!  Need help with the savings piece?  Holla at your girl.

Monthly Budget WorksheetSecurities and investment advisory services offered through Royal Alliance Associates, Inc. (RAA), member FINRA/SIPC. RAA is separately owned and other entities and/or marketing names, products or services referenced here are independent of RAA.

What the CFP® Credentials Mean to You

Advisors with CFP credentials

Working with the right investment advisor representative can be critical to accomplishing your overall financial goals. Finding a financial planner with training and competency is essential; so, too, is identifying someone with the demonstrated ability to apply that knowledge to real-life financial planning situations.

Administered by the CFP Board, the CFP® certification process helps the public discern financial planners who have met rigorous professional standards. No wonder the requirements to use the Certified Financial PlannerTM and CFP® designations require so much hard work.

Certification involves a two-part education requirement. First, advisors must complete college-level financial planning coursework approved by the CFP Board. Second, certified planners must also possess a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university.

After meeting the education requirements, advisors are eligible to take the CFP® Certification Examination. The comprehensive six-hour exam assesses a financial planner’s ability to apply coursework to on-the-job situations.

Because CFP® credentials indicate an advisor’s ability to provide financial planning services, certification requires up to 6,000 hours of professional financial-planning-related experience. Advisors may acquire the necessary experience through various roles, activities, and professional settings.

Finally, CFP® professionals must agree to adhere to high ethical and professional standards—and to provide personal financial planning in each client’s best interest.

Finding the right financial planner can be difficult. CFP® credentials can be a good indication of a planner’s commitment to high professional standards and ethical behavior.

Savage associates who have pursued and earned CFP® certification are Dan Finkel, John Campbell, Russ Karban, and Curtis Frisch. You can learn more about each by clicking on his photo below.

Headshot Photo of Dan Finkel

Dan Finkel

Headshot Photo of John Campbell

John Campbell

Headshot Photo of Russ Karban

Russ Karban

Curtis Frisch

Curtis Frisch

The Most Important Question to Ask a Financial Advisor

Savage and Associates advisor, Sean Savage discusses an important question to ask when selecting a financial advisor

Have you ever considered asking a financial advisor… “How is your financial picture?” It may sound like a strange and awkward question to ask; don’t you want to know the answer? I think it is perfectly fair to place a premium on selecting an advisor who has personally implemented a financial strategy in their own life which has proven successful. I think this may be the most important question you can ask a prospective financial advisor that you are considering hiring. The reason why goes beyond the obvious.

Yes, you want to work with someone who knows what it takes to build a strong financial foundation because this is very helpful when dispensing advice. There is another important consideration though. A financial advisor who has built a base of investment assets understands personally the emotion involved with market fluctuations and will naturally have more empathy and understanding of what a client experiences through economic turbulence. This experience is invaluable.

Ask the question.