BROOKINGS — Financial adviser Cam Jones of the financial services firm Edward Jones in Brookings has received the certified financial planner, or CFP, certification, granted by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards.
Becoming a CFP professional expands a financial advisor’s knowledge base in the following areas:
In addition to the education and examination components of certification, Jones also has committed to abiding by the CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct.
Jones and Branch Office Administrator Chelsea Heckel can be reached at 605-627-1044. You can also visit Jones’ website at www.edwardjones.com/cam-jones.
NORMAL, Ill., Aug. 23, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Announced by founder Krista McBeath, McBeath Financial Group, renowned for delivering concierge-level financial planning services, is solidifying its commitment to top-tier financial guidance with the exact addition of two CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals to its Bloomington-Normal team. While Julie Karstens has freshly achieved her CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification, Zack Brewer entered the team already possessing this respected designation.
Zack Brewer, a CFP® professional who joined McBeath in May, is an established financial planner in the Bloomington-Normal, serving for nearly a decade on the wealth management team of a prominent regional bank before joining McBeath Financial Group in May of 2023. Earning his prestigious CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification in 2019, Zack's commitment to clients shines through his personalized approach to comprehensive planning and extensive expertise in wealth management.
Julie Karstens, a cornerstone to McBeath Financial Group with her leadership, work ethic, and remarkable financial planning and tax planning skills over the past two years, recently achieved her CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification. With a total of ten years of experience at a prominent local bank, Julie also holds the designation of Certified Trust and Fiduciary Advisor (CTFA), which she earned during her time in the bank's wealth management and trust department before transitioning to McBeath Financial Group in 2021.
"These new team members epitomize the level of excellence we strive to offer our clients," commented Krista McBeath, founder of McBeath Financial Group. "With CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals like Julie and Zack, we are in an even stronger position to serve our clients' diverse financial planning needs."
McBeath Financial Group embraces financial advisory relationships with select families and individuals seeking to grow and preserve their wealth, sustain a comfortable lifestyle, and leave a legacy. They are passionate about delivering tested financial planning strategies and sound investment management services with clarity, confidence, and integrity.
To learn more about McBeath Financial Group, visit mcbeathfinancial.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, and CFP® (with plaque design) in the United States, which it authorizes use of by individuals who successfully complete CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements.
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SOURCE Krista McBeath
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Working with a financial expert can kickstart your savings through avenues you don’t even know. A financial advisor can help you identify ways to increase your retirement readiness without sacrificing your current standard of living through optimized tax-efficient investments.
Despite advisors offering a leg up, approximately 40% of workers said they didn’t know who they could go to for financial or retirement advice, and just one-third of workers and retirees work with a professional financial advisor according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute. Here are all the ways your retirement savings can benefit from the help of a financial advisor.
To put it simply, a financial advisor is a professional who provides clients with financial advice. There are many types of financial advisors, but some of the most commonly used for retirement planning are certified financial planners (CFPs), chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and chartered financial consultants (ChFC). Areas of expertise and costs vary by type of advisor.
Financial advisors focus on retirement planning work with their clients to create long-term goals and outline what steps they need to take to meet those goals. As a result, financial advisors can benefit your retirement savings in the following ways.
Over time, your income and investments will—hopefully—grow. You’ll owe taxes on the profits from your investments, known as capital gains taxes, when you sell investments or assets. You can also benefit from making certain types of investments now that can reduce your taxable income. A good financial advisor or certified public accountant (CPA) will recommend tax optimization strategies to minimize your tax burden.
For example, a financial advisor may recommend one or more of the following strategies based on your income and tax bracket:
It’s hard to overstate how much of a difference proper tax planning can make in your eventual retirement balance.
If you invest $10,000 today and continue to contribute $20,000 every year for the next 30 years, earning a 10% average annual return with a 24% top marginal tax bracket, here’s what your final balance would look like based on the type of account you have.
A financial advisor can help you identify which accounts are available to you and determine how to prioritize your investing in each. High earning years may be better for contributing pre-tax dollars. Low earning years may be the time to contribute to Roth accounts and complete Roth conversions. A financial advisor will be able to tell you how much to contribute to each and when.
As an investor, deciding what types of investments to invest in and what percentage of your portfolio should be invested in each asset class—such as stocks, bonds and cash or cash-like assets—can be one of the most difficult and important decisions you can make.
A financial advisor will review your current financial situation and develop a portfolio based on your goals, age, current savings, monthly contributions and risk tolerance.
For example, the asset allocation for someone with decades until retirement may be 80% invested in stocks and 20% in bonds to take advantage of market growth over the long term. But someone closer to retirement age typically cannot take on so much risk, so their focus may be on preserving their money with modest gains. For those investors, their portfolios may be 85% bonds and only 15% stocks.
As you save and invest for retirement, your portfolio’s asset allocation can shift over time as market conditions change and the value of your investments fluctuate. For example, bond prices may decrease, driving down the value of the bonds in your portfolio, and stock prices may increase. You need to rebalance your portfolio to ensure it’s aligned with the right level of risk to maximize returns.
With portfolio rebalancing, your financial advisor will monitor your investments and adjust your portfolio by buying or selling assets to maintain the agreed-upon asset allocation.
Although you can rebalance your portfolio yourself, portfolio rebalancing can be a time-consuming process, and it requires constant monitoring of your investments. Having an advisor handle it instead can simplify your finances and make it easier to stay on track.
Once you enter retirement, you may be unsure of how much money you can safely withdraw from your retirement fund and the impact of those withdrawals on taxes. An advisor will help you create a withdrawal strategy that satisfies required minimum distribution requirements and also allows you to have enough income for your lifetime.
If you’re panic about your money not lasting long enough, your advisor will also work with you to create a budget and spending plan. If your savings are insufficient for your retirement goals, your advisor may recommend other strategies, such as delaying retirement or reducing your withdrawal amount to extend your savings and supply your investments more time to grow.
With Social Security, your advisor will work with you to determine when is the best time to begin receiving payments and, if applicable, how to handle spousal or survivor benefits. If you have a pension, an advisor can help you decide between taking a lump sum payment or accepting annuity payments.
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Retirement planning can be a complex process, and if you find it challenging or overwhelming, the expertise of a financial advisor can be invaluable. Your advisor can provide you with a personalized, strategic roadmap to help you reach your goals. And as your needs change or major life events happen, your advisor can help you adjust accordingly so you can retire in comfort.
Even if you don’t find planning for retirement challenging, checking in with a financial advisor throughout your working years can help you ensure that you’re staying on track. A good financial advisor can help identify ways to make your financial life more efficient so you can save more without feeling deprived.
Who wants to use a check? Quite a few people, thank you very much.
Total check payments hit $27.23 trillion in 2021, according to the Federal Reserve, or about 21% of all non-cash payment values. That ain’t all grandma birthday presents. (That same report from the Fed showed that as the average check volume has increased, the number of checks used is dwindling.)
Checks, then, are an important, albeit dwindling, form of payment that you’ll probably end up using from time-to-time. The key is to know the different types of checks at your disposal, when to deploy which one and what costs are involved.
Roughly one thousand years ago, an Iranian traveler named Nasir-i Khosrau made use of a sakk – written instructions from a merchant telling his bank to make a payment from his account.
Checks look much different today, but the basic concept has held constant.
At its core, a personal check is a declaration of payment from the issuer to the payee that orders a financial institution to pay the amount of money noted on the check to the person who’s named as the recipient of the check.
The party writing the check only has a few clear obligations to get the payment process rolling, including:
You can also add any clarifying note to the payee on the “Memo” line in the lower left, such as “for services rendered.”
The check can be cashed at the bank that issues the check (where the bank may charge a small fee if the payee doesn’t have an account at the bank) or be deposited at the recipient’s bank, where typically the payee typically must wait one to two business days for the check to clear for domestic banks. If the check is international it may take up to six weeks to be available, sometimes longer.
Some retailers, especially big box stores and major grocery store chains, will also allow you to either cash a personal check (again, with a modest service fee attached) or pay for goods with a personal check.
While historically bank customers had to pay for their checks, and many still do, many banks, such as Ally and Chase, issue checks gratis.
Banks and credit unions also offer cashier’s checks where the funds needed are backed by the issuing bank and not the customer’s bank account. These checks often used for big-ticket purchases, like a new home or a new vehicle.
To get a cashier’s check you’ll need to go to the bank with your government-issued ID, the name of the person you are paying, the exact amount you wish to pay and any memo note you want to include.
Once at the bank, you’ll speak to a teller who will create the check and the funds will be withdrawn from your account, or you can pay cash. The bank will hold these funds until the check is cashed.
You’ll receive the check and a receipt. For security’s sake, hang on to the receipt until the check clears.
Expect to pay a service fee of around $10 to $15, although fee figures may waver from bank to bank, and some financial institutions do offer free cashier’s checks to regular customers.
Payment recipients who want to be sure an incoming check is legitimate can request a certified check. Like a cashier’s check, a certified check is usually used for a large purchase.
With a cashier’s check, the funds are drawn from the bank’s account. A certified check, on the other hand, is drawn on from a personal account. Still, a certified check shows that the bank Verified the funds were in the account at the time of issue. The funds are ‘earmarked’ for payment of the check.
By having the paying bank certify the check is coming from a bank account with enough money to cover the purchase, that payee has less risk of experiencing a bounced check.
To get a certified check, the payer must have an account at the bank that issues the certified check. Most banks require you to go to the branch in person to get a certified check. This is because it physically stamps your paper check, so it will need you to provide a check from your checkbook. If you are unable to visit your bank in person, call and see it is able to do it over the phone.
When you go to your bank to get a certified check, you’ll need a government-issued ID and your checkbook. You will fill out the check at the bank in front of the teller and he or she will stamp the check to certify that you have the funds in your account to cover the check.
Also, be prepared to pay the issuing bank or credit union a service fee of between $10 and $20, depending on the financial institution.
A personal check is a form of payment where the payer issues a paper statement with a specific payment amount, a specific date and the names of the payee and payer included on that statement.
Unlike cashier’s checks or certified checks, there is no ensure the check won’t bounce due to insufficient funds which represents a risk to the payee. This is why so many personal checks are used for more modest financial amounts.
A cashier’s check guarantees there are sufficient funds in the account to cover a payment. It does so by immediately withdrawing the funds from the customer’s account and using funds from the financial institution’s own account.
A certified check also guarantees there’s enough funds in an account to cover a check payment, but it is restricted to using funds only from the paying customer’s account. The money is not withdrawn from the customer’s account until the certified check is cashed.
In 2022, U.S. banks and credit unions filed 459,851 “suspicious activity reports” for check fraud, according to the Richmond Federal Reserve. That’s significantly up from 249,812 SARs filed in 2021.
Identity thieves can easily access the information that shows up on a personal check, such as name, address and a financial institution’s routing number. Stolen checks often come right out of USPS mailboxes.
Once that data winds up in a fraudster’s hands, it’s relatively easy for criminals to misrepresent themselves to financial institutions and write fraudulent checks or forge checks in another person’s name. The way banks and credit unions operate, it may take weeks for financial institutions to flag a check fraud case, and by that time, the perpetrators are long gone.
Another common check fraud scheme is to approach victims online and ask the victim to deposit a check and return some of the funds back to the fraudster. The victim sends the fraudster money and then the check bounces. Leaving the victim out whatever funds they had sent. This scam resulted in $770 million in losses in 2021.
To prevent check fraud, consumers should never share personal data with anyone they don’t know and never respond to email or texts asking for personal data.
If you do accept a check from a stranger, do not agree to return funds to them. You can also call the issuing bank and verify that the funds are available before depositing a check.
If the bank cannot verify the certified or cashier’s check there’s a good chance fraud is involved. In that scenario, don’t accept the check and report the incident to the bank that issued the check and report it to your own bank, as well.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Personal, business and payroll checks are typically valid for 180 days. Some checks will state on the check that it is good for 90 days.
Take a check in your name from your bank and write the date, the name of the payee, the amount (both numerically and alphabetically), your signature and, on the lower left side of the check, write a note on why the check was written. Keep records of all checks in case you need clarification later on.
Cashier’s checks always clear in one business day. Some personal checks do clear in a day, but many personal checks take several days to clear. International checks may take weeks to clear.
Both certified checks and cashier’s checks are guaranteed by banks and thus are safer and more reliable than personal checks.
What is a CPA? And when might you need one? Although these accounting pros usually come to mind when it comes to filing income taxes, they can help with quite a few other things.
CPA stands for certified public accountant. It’s a credential an accounting professional can earn to demonstrate expertise in their field. Becoming a CPA requires passing an exam and fulfilling several education and experience requirements.
Internationally, accounting professionals with similar education and credentials are called CAs, or charted accountants.
To earn a CPA title, candidates must pass a 16-hour test called the Uniform CPA Examination. Before taking the exam, they must also meet an education requirement. Typically, that means completing 120 to 150 hours of credited coursework, with a minimum of 24 hours focused on accounting and 24 hours focused on business courses .
Becoming a CPA means meeting specific experience and ethics requirements, too. The state usually sets those parameters, but generally, you can’t officially be called a CPA until you’ve apprenticed under one for at least a year
Once an accountant has earned a CPA license, some work is required to maintain it. Many state boards ask certified public accountants to take additional courses throughout their careers to keep their skills sharp and up to date.
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The certified public accountant exam, formally called the Uniform CPA Examination, is a nationally administered test that sets the standards for the skills and knowledge CPAs must possess.
The exam has four sections: auditing and attestation, business environment and concepts, financial accounting and reporting, and regulation. To pass, candidates must earn a score of at least 75 on each section.
People often think of CPAs when they think about tax preparation and filing, but these professionals can work in several industries, depending on their focus. This can include tax planning, financial reporting or working as an accountant for a private or public company.
CPAs are often the people who are called in to conduct audits — assessments of a business’s paperwork and financial statement. They can also hold chief controller or chief financial officer (CFO) positions, depending on their skill level and education.
Typically, an accountant is a person who has a degree in accounting from a higher education institution. However, this is not an official requirement because the general term “accountant” is largely unregulated in the U.S.
Accountants can provide similar services to a CPA, but CPAs are distinct from accountants in a few ways:
If you’re wondering how a CPA can assist you with taxes and whether you need one’s help in the first place, you can start by asking: Why do I need help, and what kind of help do I need?
If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to filing, many resources can walk you through how to file your taxes. Once you’ve got the basics down, you might find that quality tax software is often helpful enough to get your annual tax forms in — some taxpayers may even be able to do their taxes for free.
Calling in a tax-focused CPA could make sense if you’re struggling to figure something out about your tax life, have complex needs or have questions you could use extra guidance with. If you need to file for a tax extension, for example, because you need extra help with your paperwork, a tax pro can help you to get back on track.
Certain people, such as business owners and those who are self-employed, might find working with a CPA beneficial because CPAs can also provide small-business tax advisory services, aka big-picture tax and financial planning, that might be particularly helpful to these taxpayers.
Financial Advisor Lauren Sukut, of the financial services firm Edward Jones, Sidney, MT, has received the Certified Financial Planner(TM), or CFP®, certification, granted by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board).
Becoming a CFP® professional expands a financial advisor's knowledge base in the following areas:
• Financial management
• Tax−sensitive investment strategies
• Retirement savings
• Insurance planning
• Education planning
• Estate considerations
In addition to the education and examination components of certification, Sukut also has committed to abiding by the CFP® Board's Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct.
Edward Jones is a leading financial services firm in the US and through its affiliate in Canada. The firm's nearly 19,000 financial advisors serve more than 8,000,000 clients with a total of $1.8 trillion in client assets under care at the end of June 2023. Edward Jones' purpose is to partner for positive impact to Excellerate the lives of its clients and colleagues, and together, better our communities and society. Through the dedication of the firm's approximately 52,000 associates and our branch presence in 68% of U.S. counties, the firm is committed to helping more people achieve financially what is most important to them. The Edward Jones website is at edwardjones.com, and its recruiting website is careers.
To paraphrase the famous line from “Jaws,” “We’re going to need a bigger moat.”
Shares of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway have returned 14% year-to-date, compared with a 15.5% rise for the S&P 500. Over the past 5 years, however, Buffett’s holding company is up 71% compared with the S&P 500’s 53% return. Go back even further, and Buffett’s baby really blows away the benchmark index.
Much of Buffett’s long-term success derives from his ability to identify companies with what he calls “economic moats” surrounding them. Buffett, who turns 93 at the end of August, explained his moat principal at the 1995 Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting: “We’re trying to find a business with a wide and long-lasting moat around it, protecting a terrific economic castle with an honest lord in charge of the castle.”
As Buffett describes it, the moat can stem from the company being the low-cost producer in a particular area, having a technological advantage, or it could simply be “because of its position in the consumers’ mind.”
In its 13F filing last week, Berkshire revealed its stock portfolio — worth about $351 billion — comprises 55 positions, with Apple making up nearly half. Other top holdings include long-time Berkshire favorites Bank of America, Coca-Cola and Chevron.
Brandon Rakszawski, director of product management with VanEck, said the VanEck Morningstar Wide Moat ETF (MOAT) was designed to capture the concept of “wide moat” stocks even though Buffett is not affiliated with the fund, which is up 19.5% year-to-date and 69.5% over the past five years.
“He’s served as a bit of an inspiration for Morningstar’s embrace of economic moats and trying to assess whether that company has an economic moat,” Rakszawski said. “So while he’s not behind endorsing or puppeteering this particular strategy, he has certainly been an influence in the market and behind the strategy.”
Do as the Oracle of Omaha says, not as he does. At least that’s what financial advisors tend to believe when it comes to Warren Buffett.
Nicholas Bunio, a certified financial planner at Retirement Wealth Advisors, is an unabashed fan of Buffett, having listened to his market wisdom for years. That said, Bunio advises wealth managers not to try to copycat Buffett’s market moves.
“Buffett is investing for Berkshire Hathaway, a company that could, theoretically, last forever. You and I won’t live that long. We have finite resources with finite ends,” he said.
Similarly, Mark McEvily, CIO and managing partner at Jessup Wealth Management, said the risk tolerance, investment objectives and time horizon of Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway are very different than the average advisory client.
“Buffett has endured massive drawdowns throughout his career because of the risk he has taken. Our average client, on the other hand, could not endure that type of volatility in their accounts,” McEvily said.
Jon Swanburg, president of TSA Wealth Management, said that while Buffett’s market moves and stock picking aren’t specifically relevant to his business, he certainly shares his general investing philosophy. In Swanburg’s view, no investor has been more quotable in his consistent advocacy for holding stocks for the long-run and tuning out the noise.
“When the rest of the investment world is trying to convince retirees they need to be panic about everything, we can always cite something Warren Buffett has written or said during his career that is calming and accurate in the moment,” Swanburg said.
Buffett’s pearls of wisdom, as opposed to his stock picks, are also the attraction for Steve Oniya, financial advisor with OM Investments.
“I don’t personally make decisions based on his daily moves. Everyone’s situation, including risk tolerance or time horizon, and perspectives can be different,” said Oniya. “But I do keep in mind many of his long-term perspectives and life lessons when circumstances are a fit.”
Rory O’Hara, founder and senior managing partner of Ausperity Private Wealth, also said he doesn’t tail Buffett’s individual stock picks, but agrees with his investing principles, especially his famous quote, “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.”
“That’s the basis for our rebalancing strategies,” O’Hara said.
For David Demming, founder of Demming Financial, Buffett’s appeal is more about his value philosophy than his cult of personality.
“We have been strong proponents of value investing for more than forty years. Benjamin Graham was the professor who mentored Warren Buffett and wrote ‘The Intelligent Investor.’ Many of our managers have been disciples,” Demming said.
Finally, Greg Halter, director of research at Carnegie Investment Counsel, said that even though he is not a “die-hard proponent” of everything that Warren Buffet does, he does seek companies that share many of the attributes Buffett has espoused for decades, most notably those that have a durable competitive advantage, or DCA.
Or in Buffett’s vernacular, an “economic moat.”