Schedule your appointment 619.255.9554 info@plattwm.com
Should You Get A Second Opinion From a CFP?

Should You Get A Second Opinion From a CFP?

In almost every industry and nearly every aspect of life, it is common to seek out second opinions. They help you decide if you are getting the best value for the services that you are paying for. Second opinions are especially helpful when making important, life-changing decisions. You would get a second opinion regarding medical advice, so why should your finances be any different? A once over from a Certified Financial Planner, or CFP can keep you in top financial health.

If you aren’t sure about the state of your financial plans or its future, take the time to look around for other options. Remember, your financial plan should be specific to you and your business and be tailored to fit your unique goals. Your CFP should look at all parts of your financial life.

If you are debating whether or not you need a second opinion on your financial strategy, ask yourself the following questions:

A CFP can analyze if the advice you’re getting is in your best interest.

As sad as it may seem, not all advisors work with your best interests in mind. Some may simply want to receive a little extra commission on the products, tools, and annuities they sell you, which in turn can tamper with their advice. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to be sold on bad advice while the “advisor” gets a bonus. But how can you know for sure if the advice that you’re getting is genuine?

Make sure that your financial planner holds a financial planning designation (the most well-known being from the CFP Board). What is so great about a CFP professional is that they have gone, and will continue to go through, rigorous education — the learning process doesn’t stop after the CFP designation is earned.

Instead of solely searching out for a financial advisor, look for the term ’fiduciary’ advisor or Registered Investment Adviser. A person of one of these titles is legally obligated to put your best interests ahead of their own, unlike a broker-dealer. The ‘fiduciary standard’ is that of total and complete, honest protection. 

Last but not least, make sure there are no hidden costs or fees and be upfront with what is in your budget. It’s vital to know exactly how much you are paying for the services that you receive and a reputable advisor will respect that.

A CFP can give you a clear idea of how your portfolio operates.

If you don’t, it’s okay — you are not supposed to be an expert here. However, it is important that your financial advisor explains to you what is and isn’t important within your portfolio. Your financial choices can greatly affect both your short term and long term life, so it’s important to be educated on the basics.

Within your financial portfolio you should:

  • Understand the tax-efficiency of your portfolio including asset location, asset allocation, and tax loss harvesting.
  • Know the level of risk you have and how that risk intersects with and impacts your short-term and long-term financial goals.
  • Be aware of your portfolio’s diversification.

Education of the client is at the core of a healthy financial plan and investment portfolio. At Platt Wealth Management, our ultimate mission is to empower our clients with the knowledge and education to help them understand how their portfolio works and the nuances involved to help keep it running.

A CFP can build a comprehensive financial plan.

Your financial plan should take into account your passions, goals, and pain points. Having a written plan is the first place to start as it will illustrate your goals and how your resources should be maximized in order to help you reach those goals.

Your financial plan should be a roadmap that includes:

  • Where you are now and where you want to be
  • A detailed timeline on how to reach your future goals 
  • A backup plan for events such as fluctuating markets, health concerns, or career changes

What a second opinion from a CFP can reveal.

While the process of seeking out a second opinion may be intimidating, it could be in the best interest of your financial future. A second opinion will allow you to receive a thorough analysis of your investments. This analysis may include how well your investments have performed over time and the state of their health today. It will also reveal what the future has in store for your investments such as anticipated returns and if those expected returns will help you meet your goals.

A second opinion will also help you evaluate the costs you are incurring from your current advisor. Is your current financial advisor discovering new ways to save you money? Is the service you are receiving coinciding with the level of fees you are paying?

If you are searching for an honest, trustworthy second opinion from a fiduciary advisor, look no further. At Platt Wealth Management, we put our client’s needs first and provide completely transparent, fee-only services. Ready to transform your financial future? Give us a call at (619) 255-9554 to set up a complimentary review or email us here.

3 Ways A Financial Advisor Can Transform Your Business

3 Ways A Financial Advisor Can Transform Your Business

A business financial advisor can help you avoid costly mistakes and maximize your business returns.

How can a business financial advisor do this? Business professionals live busy (occasionally hectic) lives consisting of hundreds of meetings, client requests, sales goals, and a list of services to uphold. With other tasks taking precedent, it’s easy to add managing your finances as just another thing to check off your ever-growing to-do list. That’s why a business financial advisor is key to maximizing your return from your business.

 Financials are one of the first areas to start slipping through the cracks as a business gains traction and grows. To avoid heading down the slippery slope of inadequate financial management, we suggest hiring a financial professional.

 

Many business owners avoid hiring a financial planner thinking it will add unnecessary costs, however that is a false reality. Working with a professional business financial advisor can not only save you time and money, but also grant you peace of mind knowing the financial state of your business is taken care of now and in the future. 

 

The benefits of adding a financial planner to your team are endless, but we’ve compiled a list of our top 3 reasons as to exactly how they can transform the way you work.

 

A business financial advisor can help you: manage your employee benefits…for your benefit.

It’s no secret that employee benefits, such as a 401(k), are an important piece of your business. While important, retirement plans can also be a tricky process, demanding a large amount of time and attention that many business professionals simply don’t have.

What can a financial planner do for your 401(k) program?

Consult on the details and fine print of your plan

Maintain the health of your account

Manage current assets

Help establish and reach investment goals

Broaden your investment portfolio

By creating a seamless 401(k) plan, your financial planner is also helping your business minimize employee turnover. It’s true — roughly 40% of employees who work for small businesses said they would leave their current company for one that offers a quality 401(k) plan.

Business owners can also receive a tax break from corporate taxes by having a qualified program in place.

A business financial advisor can: execute strategies and help plan your goals.

Capital is arguably one of the most important aspects of a small business, making their investments a vital piece to their long-term success. A professional can help diversify a business’s assets with the long term goal of yielding higher, long-term returns and lowering the risk of individual holdings. Financial advisors will help you maintain a healthy mix of asset types and classes and manage those assets in an efficient way.

Every business’s goals are different and will require a unique mix of assets. Asset allocation and risk tolerance are key determinants when choosing investments taking into account your business’s goals, cash flow needs, and tax considerations.

A seasoned financial planner will:

Keep your portfolio manageable

Know where your money fits best (ex: stocks, commodities, exchange-traded funds, and/or real estate funds)

Continue to build your portfolio based on growth and economic status

Know when it’s time to cut ties with unprofitable investments

A financial advisor is also able to offer you personal financial strategies such as how and when to retire, to help you choose which investments fit best into your future lifestyle. Whether they are optimizing your capital for future business growth or advising on your retirement plan, a financial planner is the backbone for your future successes.

A business financial advisor can: execute strategies and help plan your goals.

A financial planner will be able to help you brainstorm, set, and execute your business’s financial goals. These goals include but are not limited to: exit strategies, investment aspirations, insurance needs, business set-up/liability, and a comfortable retirement plan

All small business owners will eventually exit their businesses, whether it is to start a new business or to begin the adventure of retirement. Either way, a financial planner can help facilitate these sometimes difficult discussions and decisions to help prepare your business for if/when you are no longer there.

Financial planners can also help keep you organized which in turn will help save the business money so it can reinvest in itself. They can give your business the opportunity to expand and grow through:

Employee training
New hires
Additional programs and/or products

Empowering you is our mission as your business financial advisor.

 

At Platt Wealth Management, our ultimate goal is to empower our clients by providing personalized and seamless financial planning advice and expertise. As a business owner, you wear many ‘hats’ throughout the day, but you are also not expected to be a financial expert. That’s why we’ve developed a four-step financial planning process that is designed to get you where you want to go while providing flexibility to adapt to any changes that may come your way.

Are you looking to strengthen your business or personal finances? Are you ready to save time, money, and gain peace of mind? Look no further — our team is committed to finding you the right solution. Give us a call today at (619) 255-9554 to set up a complimentary review and discuss how a financial planner can fit into your business plan.

 

Are you on track for retirement?

Making sure you will be ready for retirement can be overwhelming. Funding your retirement accounts over the years is just one part of your journey to the retirement of your dreams. A Certified Financial PlannerTM can help you navigate the complexities of financial planning. Talk to a Financial Planner>

Dream. Plan. Do.

Platt Wealth Management offers financial plans to answer your important financial questions. Where are you? Where do you want to be? How can you get there? Our four-step financial planning process is designed to be a road map to get you where you want to go while providing flexibility to adapt to changes along the route. We offer stand alone plans or full wealth management plans that include our investment management services. Give us a call today to set up a complimentary review. 619-255-9554.

Why Both Spouses Should Attend the Financial Planning Meetings

Why Both Spouses Should Attend the Financial Planning Meetings

Financial planning meetings are opportunities for both spouses to ask questions and confirm their financial plan.

 

During a marriage, many of the household tasks are divided. Finances tend to be one of these tasks. One person takes care of them, and the other pays little to no attention to it. In some cases, one spouse handles the daily money chores of buying groceries and clothes for the kids. The other manages the investments, including the retirement accounts.

There are a number of reasons why the non-financial spouse doesn’t deal with the money or investments.

In the US, money management is still considered to be included in the “male duties”. There’s no particular reason why men have to deal with the money, but it’s often the case. Over half of married women report leaving the dollars to the “dudes”. Surprisingly, millennials are most likely to do so.

Sometimes people never learn how to deal with their finances. Now they’re afraid, either of money itself or that they would make the wrong decisions. Some consider it all a numbers game, and they don’t enjoy dealing with numbers. Or they just find finance boring.

Whatever the reason, both members of a couple should attend the meetings with their financial planner.

 

When you attend the financial planning meeting, you get to know the financial planner.

 

Most fee-only fiduciary planners (like the ones at Platt Wealth Management) are looking for long-term relationships with their clients. They want to get to know their clients better to ensure the financial plan reflects the reality of the household.

Even if one spouse doesn’t manage the money for the marriage, they’re still one of the decision-makers in the household. Their questions and tastes should also be reflected in the plan. Good financial planners want to find a balance between risk and reward that satisfies the household. If one is very aggressive and can handle a lot of loss on paper, and one can’t, then the conservative spouse is in for a lot of sleepless nights!

A fiduciary financial planner wants to answer their clients’ questions. Even the ones the spouse thinks are stupid or that everyone else knows the answer. Most people probably don’ t know the answer, so no one should feel bad for asking!

In the past financial advisors sold products on commission, and they were interested in buying and selling stocks to generate those fees. That’s not how it works anymore, and financial planners specifically are focused on the plan and not the products.

Not only do fee-only planners avoid selling products, they don’t want to. They want their clients to be comfortable enough not to panic when the market drops. Whatever questions need to be asked so that doesn’t happen, they’re happy to answer.

10 Questions You Need to Ask

Figuring out if your financial advisor is a fiduciary can be difficult. Banks, investment brokers and insurance companies might call themselves financial planners, but do they have your best interests at heart? If they are offering financial planning or investment management for “free”, you have the right to know how they are getting paid and how that affects the advice they give you.

Attending financial planning meetings together means a higher chance of success for your financial plan.

Honestly, there’s no use spending all the time and energy to come up with expenses and goals for a financial plan if you’re not going to implement the steps necessary.

Usually a plan requires some work on the client’s part to reach their goals. There may be things the planner recommends outside of the investments.

For example, one or both of you may need to max out your retirement contributions. Or change investments inside your 401(k). Or pull back on current spending to make sure that you have a comfortable retirement.

If you don’t accomplish these things, the plan won’t work. But in order for the steps to be carried out, both partners need to agree to them.

You may find that your idea of retirement or legacy is quite different from your spouse’s. It would be very helpful to know that ahead of time! Your planner can help you figure out what your mutual goals are so both of you commit to making them possible.

That can’t take place unless both of you are in the discussions. Neither of you wants to sacrifice for something the other person wants but you don’t. To make the plan work, you’ll need to come together as a team. One spouse avoiding the plan development isn’t the right answer.

Are you on track for retirement?

Making sure you will be ready for retirement can be overwhelming. Funding your retirement accounts over the years is just one part of your journey to the retirement of your dreams. A Certified Financial PlannerTM can help you navigate the complexities of financial planning. Talk to a Financial Planner>

Attending financial planning meetings together means both spouses will feel prepared if they find themselves alone.

 

The truth is, most women will have a period of time when they’re the only money manager in the household. Although women tend not to handle the finances in a heterosexual marriage, it’s especially important that they have a grasp on the overall financial picture. You may be used to having your husband deal with your money.

But what happens when they aren’t able to make decisions for you? Or you don’t want them to?

 No one gets married planning to split up later, but divorces do happen. The fastest-growing demographic for divorce is those over 50. In other words, it can happen to you. Which doesn’t mean it will.

It’s not just divorce that affects who manages the money. Given that women tend to outlive men, there’s a good chance you’re going to outlive your husband. He might also be incapacitated, even briefly, by an accident or something else.
Wouldn’t it be a smart idea to be prepared? Avoid struggling with the finances on top of everything else if something happens.

Wouldn’t it make your life easier if you were already familiar with the financial planner? You ‘d be comfortable calling them for help. Planners can provide guidance on whether you need to do anything to the portfolio, or start the withdrawals, or whatever you might need to get through.

It would be a relief to have one thing you didn’t have to worry about because you already knew and trusted your planner. The easiest way to do that is to go to the meetings and develop a relationship with them.

Have you and your spouse scheduled your financial planning meeting yet? If not, please email us or call 619.255.9554. We’re excited to talk to both of you about planning for your future!

Dream. Plan. Do.

Platt Wealth Management offers financial plans to answer your important financial questions. Where are you? Where do you want to be? How can you get there? Our four-step financial planning process is designed to be a road map to get you where you want to go while providing flexibility to adapt to changes along the route. We offer stand alone plans or full wealth management plans that include our investment management services. Give us a call today to set up a complimentary review. 619-255-9554.

Tax Deadlines and Valentine’s Day Tips

Tax Deadlines and Valentine’s Day Tips

We put together a quick honey-do and tips list for February tax and romance deadlines.

 

It may seem contrary to think of Valentines Day and Tax Day at the same time, but for financial planners, it makes perfect sense. Whether you are single or together with someone, you want to have a feel-good plan for that romantic holiday, and the same goes for the IRS. If you want to have a smile for tax day, that means getting started on important deadlines now.

Tax deadlines and romantic tip #1: Get started early.

 

Although it’s not March yet, now that you’ve received (and/or sent out) your 1099s, consider getting your taxes done. Or as much as possible, if you’re waiting on K-1s or other tax reports that take longer to reach you.

The earlier you get your taxes done, the less likely it is that someone will file a fraudulent report using your tax ID and collect a refund. Here are some more tips on avoiding what’s called “tax identity theft”.

You can get started early for Valentine’s Day. Planning takes research, collaboration, organization and action.

1. Research and reconnaissance.

2. Gift shopping and wrapping. Rough draft of love letter.

3. Reservations and confirmations of scheduled events.

4. Final draft of love letter.

5. Enjoying time together.

 

Tax deadlines and romantic tip #2: Get the right data.

Your gains and loss report is an important component to your tax return showing the amount of capital gains tax that you may need to pay. As a reminder, tax is owed on the gain if you sold any securities: the difference between what you paid for it (basis) and the price you sold it.

If you sold at a loss instead, use it to reduce the amount of overall gain, and pay less in tax. If your losses exceed your gains by more than $3,000, you can carry them forward into future tax years to offset future gains as well.

A realized gain/loss report provides you with the information about the gains and losses you “realized”, which are what’s taxable. Your unrealized gains and losses are only on paper and won’t become taxable until you sell them.

If you held the security for at least one year before selling, you’ll be taxed at the capital gains rate. This tax depends on your income; those earning less than $78,750 (married filing jointly) pay no capital gains tax. Between $78,750 and $488,850 the tax is 15%, and for those earning over that amount it’s 20%.

Securities held for less than a year are subject to the short-term rate, which is the same as your marginal tax rate.

We also advise getting reliable data ahead of Valentines. Are you sure your romantic partner wants chocolate and a card? Do a little research. Listen closely to your significant other or get together with friends for a brainstorm. Find out what they really want to do. Make Valentine’s Day unique to you. From our own research, cards are out and vacations are popular.

 

%

People who want to go on holiday for Valentines Day.

%

Spend Valentine's evening out with friends.

%

Filers who owed no income tax in 2018

Tax deadlines and romantic tip #3: Be generous.

 

Companies can capitalize Valentines affectionate glow. Bring in breakfast or pass out custom candied hearts with branded encouragements. If you want to show more love, let staff out early to spend time with family and friends. Go big by increasing your company contributions to employee corporate pension plans.

Employer contributions for partnerships and S-corps are due by March 15 (unless your business is filing an extension).

Checks must be received by April 10th if mailing to PWM. Checks should be made payable to the custodian and reference the account number and tax year in the memo section.
If mailing directly to the custodian, it must be received by April 15th.

Wires and ACH contributions must be in the account and posted by 1:00 pm PST on April 15th. Clients should not wait until the last minute to send in the wire or ACH due to the volume of requests. The custodian may not be able to post the contribution until after the deadline.

April 15 is the deadline for C-corps and sole proprietorships, unless you file an extension. In general, the contribution is due by your filing date.

Otherwise, if you’re filing extensions, the due dates are September 15 and October 15, respectively.

If you would like to open a new corporate pension, please give us a call. You will need to get new account paperwork to us by March 27th.

Are you on track for retirement?

Making sure you will be ready for retirement can be overwhelming. Funding your retirement accounts over the years is just one part of your journey to the retirement of your dreams. A Certified Financial PlannerTM can help you navigate the complexities of financial planning. Talk to a Financial Planner>

Platt Wealth Management offers financial plans to answer your important financial questions. Where are you? Where do you want to be? How can you get there? Our four-step financial planning process is designed to be a road map to get you where you want to go while providing flexibility to adapt to changes along the route. We offer stand alone plans or full wealth management plans that include our investment management services. Give us a call today to set up a complimentary review. 619-255-9554.

Dream. Plan. Do.

Financial Planning and Investing for Women

Financial Planning and Investing for Women

We’ve put together some ideas for women to get comfortable talking about financial planning and investing.

This is the first article in a series on Women Investors.

Women face many unique challenges when it comes to personal finance and investing. One big challenge is that money is a taboo topic for women. By one estimate, 90% of women will be solely in charge of their money at one point in their lives. It can be hard to take control of your financial situation if you don’t feel comfortable talking about it.

According to research by Fidelity, 80% of women investors refrained from talking about money with people close to them, citing reasons like it’s too personal or uncomfortable, or not wanting people close to them to have that knowledge. Only 47% of women said they would be comfortable talking about money with a financial professional.

These statistics are seemingly at odds with results from the same study that showed a huge majority of women would like to become more engaged with financial planning and learning more about money and investing.

With these statistics in mind, we put together a quick list of ideas to help you start talking about your money, finances, and investments.

 

Find your tribe of women investors.

Find a community of people that you trust to discuss financial issues. If you have specific goals (like saving more or getting out of debt), surrounding yourself with like-minded people can give you support and encouragement. A group of women can help you feel comfortable enough to ask questions and learn from each other.

Learn more about financial planning for women.

Commit time to learning more about personal finance, investing and financial planning. There are many books and online resources dedicated to helping people learn.  Start with our video series on Financial Fundamentals.

 

Ask your financial advisor questions.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions if something is confusing or if there are terms you aren’t familiar with. A good financial advisor knows that it is important that you understand your finances and investments for you own security and peace of mind. 

Be compassionate to yourself when relearning how to talk about money.

Understand that most people feel some discomfort talking about money, not just women. Personal finance reveals how you spend your money and what is important to you in your life. Talking about it is deeply personal and emotional. You might have to take a hard look at your upbringing and social or cultural teachings about money. If you were taught that it isn’t polite to talk about money or if finances were a source of stress in your family, you may have to relearn some of the beliefs that you were raised with. This can be difficult, so be kind to yourself as you go through this process. 

Find a financial advisor who understands women investors and their unique concerns.

Find a financial profession that wants to understand your situation and your concerns, answer your questions in a non-judgmental way, and explains your options with the pros and cons of each course of action.

Would you like to receive more tools, resources and education? 

Sign Up

In a couple of weeks we will have a secure portal for you to sign in and view the full Women’s Alliance Round Table presentation, along with questions and answers from coworkers, tools and downloads for your continued financial journey.

Would you like to receive our informative Newsletter?

9 + 10 =

Platt Wealth Management offers financial plans to answer your important financial questions. Where are you? Where do you want to be? How can you get there? Our four-step financial planning process is designed to be a road map to get you where you want to go while providing flexibility to adapt to changes along the route. We offer stand alone plans or full wealth management plans that include our investment management services. Give us a call today to set up a complimentary meeting. 619-255-9554.

Dream. Plan. Do.

Login

[ultimatemember form_id=”1899″]

×