Average is not good enough … Our goal at Family Investment Center is excellence. We find excellent investment products and supervise an excellent service package. We maintain a library of excellent research materials and financial planning resources. We also demand top safety and security for our clients.
We won’t settle for average. We continually seek top managers or securities and meld them into superior custom portfolios. Each palette of investments is carefully tailored to personal or family goals. We enlist excellent managers, research, resources, and effort for our clients. Don’t settle for average. You deserve excellence.
Please search our blog posts for answers to common investment questions, and we look forward to sharing our knowledge and experience with you first-hand.
What You Need to Know About Your Financial Future as a New Year Starts
If you’re looking to get 2019 started off in the direction of freedom, the Family Investment Center team has some financial planning tips to get you started.
One “big picture” idea is to simplify your financial life. Here are some ways Family Investment Center CEO/Founder Dan Danford advises his clients to put that concept into practice:
This is not rocket science, and the basics are pretty simple. You need to spend less than you make. Buy things that hold value, and use credit thoughtfully (mostly for things that hold or grow in value). Steer clear of anything you don’t understand.
Turn off the business channel on TV. Consider ignoring most of the financial or economic stories in the popular media. While it’s not exactly “fake news,” it’s often full of unneeded drama. Every talking head has an agenda and many of them represent some product or service that might harm you. Don’t be lured into an investment drama vortex.
And remember, adding too much emotion to investing is a dangerous game. In fact, professional advisors are often valued for their ability to see options in a discerning, straightforward way.
Seek professional help when you need it. Mistakes are made when people reach beyond their knowledge. Find out what you don’t already know by talking to an advisor about your questions and ideas. Seeking one that’s commission-free (fee-only) can help boost your confidence level even further.
Inertia is the enemy. When faced with a new financial decision, many people will choose to avoid or ignore. That creates the 401(k) that is never invested, or the abandoned IRA at a bank, or even life or health insurance that will lapse. In many cases, an ignored decision is worse than a bad decision. Decide to decide.
Again, when you can’t make a decision or are afraid you’re going beyond your comfort zone, get the help of a professional. There is no need to feel intimidated – just present the facts and see how an expert can assist you with those hard to make decisions.
Don’t live life like a pinball in a pinball machine. Ignore the constant noise, make deliberate choices, keep it simple and use genuine advice. You’ll find that a long-term approach to financial planning will keep you from bouncing around aimlessly.
At Family Investment Center, we take your freedom very seriously. Our Total Financial Wellness Approach can help you start planning today for your own version of serious freedom. Contact us and let’s get the conversation started about your future.
Partner With Family Investment Center to Begin Your Freedom Journey
If there is one thing our team at Family Investment Center is serious about, it’s helping people find financial freedom. At Family Investment Center, we help people make sense of their money so they can plan for “Serious Freedom.” This mission unites all our efforts under one common goal, and as it was when we opened our doors, it’s a mission that allows us to truly focus on each individual’s vision and goals.
This year, ask yourself “What does your vision of Serious Freedom look like?” Is it a shiny new motorcycle? Spending quality time with family and friends in retirement? Devoting all your energy to your hobbies? Everyone has different goals, and financial situations differ per person, which is why it’s important to partner with an investment advisor that can build a customized plan around your goals and your financial situation.
At Family Investment Center, we treat our clients like friends, not sales marks. As your friendly financial experts, we approach our clients with respect and are devoted to making sure you know exactly what we have planned for you.
Our “Total Financial Wellness Approach” services include financial planning, investment management and retirement planning. Our approach ensures that your money makes sense for you. We remain goal-driven, research-based and commission-free.
When you pick us as your fiduciary, you’ll quickly realize that our services are not about selling products or getting commissions; we are focused on getting you to your serious freedom goals. And that’s what a fiduciary should do – meaning, look out for the best interests of the client first.
Family Investment Center seeks to add real value to every interaction and we build strong relationships. We highlight and share our expertise like a true friend would. We share our own ideas of Serious Freedom while providing tips to better reach your individual goals. Whenever possible, we highlight investment red flags, including the “detours” or “roadblocks” that could sidetrack your path to freedom.
Learn more about what we have to offer by meeting our team. You’ll find we’re a group of professionals who have invested in our education and experience so we can bring more insights to the table. Unlike stockbrokers and commission-compensated advisors, we’re independent and commission free. This year, doesn’t serious freedom sound good in so many ways? Schedule a meeting with us and let’s talk together about what that looks like and how you’ll get there.
How Many Rules Are Too Many in Financial Planning?
In the financial industry, streamlined service matters. It matters a lot.
Providing a consistent, efficient set of steps and strategies is very important when it comes to successfully helping guide clients on their unique financial journeys. As a possible “patchwork” of differing state-to-state regulations for financial planners lands on the table, many professionals are speaking out.
The Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) Board of Standards (CFP Board) has taken a stance in regard to state regulation of planners. Richard C. Salmen, 2018 Board Chairman of the Board of Directors for the CFP Board, Inc., said the CFP Board opposes the state regulations.
Salmen, who is also President of Family Investment Center, stated in an Investment News article that planning has developed as an interstate profession, rather than intrastate, and that many financial planners have clients in multiple states.
With most state legislatures out of session, the CFP Board is lobbying against bills that would seek to regulate the financial planning process at the state level. With a patchwork of legislation that would differ from state to state, it would make streamlined service more time-consuming and complicated for planners helping clients.
“We just don’t see that as the right way to regulate this new profession of financial planning,” Salmen said in the article. Furthermore, according to a survey by the CFP Board, only 13% of CFP® professionals favor a state regulation.
Another issue with state oversight is that some CFP® professionals would have to answer to the Securities and Exchange Commission, state regulators and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Most would be encumbered by having to follow three different organizations’ rules.
While the CFP Board does not take issue with federal regulation, the Government Accountability Office carried out a study on financial planning and the results of that study did not signify cause for legislation requiring federal oversight. The CFP Board enforces educational and ethical requirements for over 80,000 CFP® professionals in the United States.
At Family Investment Center, we’re proud to have opened our offices from day one as fiduciaries – always putting the interests of our clients first and never operating on a commission-based philosophy. Contact us today and let’s talk about your next steps.
Change Your Mindset to Get in a Healthier Financial Planning Position
The best fitness coaches let their clients know that to reach their goals, it takes sticking to a plan, and that a plan is a long-term situation. The coach has the experience required to guide clients through the right exercises and nutrition plans to help them reach their specific goals. Financial planning professionals are similar in their tactics.
Think of your financial planner as your health club instructor for a moment. Your goals can be anywhere from improving your cash flow to managing your taxes or focusing on retirement and estate goals. Maybe you’re more interested in business planning or insurance. When you go to your financial planner, they will have a series of “exercises” that can help you reach your goals.
Your Financial Planner Should Have the Tools You Need
When you go to your health club, they have all the tools you need to develop or tone specific muscle groups. Furthermore, the club has seasoned experts there to show you how to operate the equipment correctly. On your first trip to the club, you’ll likely get a consultation where a fitness coach will help you set goals and develop a strategy for reaching them. The same can be said of a financial planner. They will sit down with you, talk about your current situation, and you’ll together set goals.
Taking Inventory and Keeping Track: Important Roles of a Coach
Your financial planner will listen to you as you talk about your challenges and various ideas. Then, you’ll get a comprehensive financial review to gather all your documents and establish a way to keep everything organized - just as you keep track of your reps, sets, body fat and weight as you track progress at the gym.
Individualized Attention is a Key Element
A fitness coach is able to offer special, customized care – because no two clients have the same body types or challenges. The same can be said of a financial planner – it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach to helping you manage your money and your investments. They’re going to look at you as the individual you are, and do what’s best to get you on track to meet your goals.
At Family Investment Center, we strive to act as financial coaches. It’s our mission to assist our clients in using their money more effectively so they can live the life they envision for themselves. If you’re committed to improving your financial health, contact us today. What are you waiting for?
Since Day One, Family Investment Center Advisors Have Operated as Fiduciaries
Personal finance touches everyone, although some of us devote more time and energy to this area than others. It’s no surprise that the environment across the financial industry
-- from basic banking to 401(k) investing to Social Security - is constantly changing. At Family Investment Center, we keep up-to-date on these changes and how they may affect your financial planning and investment management.
The guiding forces behind these issues can seem far away, but they are not. In fact, St. Joseph plays a powerful role through Richard C. Salmen, CFP®. Salmen is president of Family Investment Center and also serves as 2018 Chair of the CFP® Board’s Board of Directors.
The CFP Board guides 80,000 CFP Financial Professionals, and the new standards they just adopted forever change the national financial landscape. Salmen’s June 2018 article in the prestigious Journal of Financial Planning details the new standards and explains why they are necessary.
In “Raising the Bar: Elevating the Fiduciary Standards for CFP Professionals,” Salmen said the standards are actually 30 very carefully chosen words that “contain a revised financial planning definition that is shorter, without sacrificing clarity, and provides great accessibility for the public.”
“Financial planning is a collaborative process that helps maximize a client’s potential for meeting life goals through financial advice that integrates relevant elements of the client’s personal and financial circumstance,” the standard reads.
Salmen said the CFP® Board’s standards of professional conduct also reflect the commitment that the CFP® professionals make when they uphold high standards. Furthermore, this adherence to standards “raised the bar” for the country’s 80,000 CFP® professionals.
“Consumers expect financial professionals to act in their best interests,” Salmen wrote. “Under the new Standards, anytime a CFP® professional gives advice, a fiduciary standard will apply. This means that CFP® professionals are required to act in the best interest of their clients not only during the financial planning process, which is what we previously required, but at all times when providing financial advice.”
Salmen said the CFP® Board spent more than two years developing, reviewing and deliberating proposed revisions to the Standards, working toward a goal of striking the right balance between serving the public interest and ensuring the rules will be practically applied and enforced.
At Family Investment Center, we established ourselves as fiduciaries on day one of opening our doors. We believe acting in the best interests of the client is the right way for our team to carry out our business model. Make an appointment today to find out how we put this philosophy into action.
Family Investment Center’s Salmen Talks About Financial Advice and a New Rule
The debate around a fiduciary rule is heating up again, which means you’re going to see more about the Certified Financial Planner® (CFP) Board of Standards as its Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct reaches new areas. Also called the fiduciary standard, it’s been widely debated since the Department of Labor created a controversial rule in 2016 that could impact financial advice given by professionals.
Richard Salmen, president of Family Investment Center, is also the 2018 Chair of the CFP® Board of Directors, which means he’s often in high demand as a source for news articles on various financial/investment topics. He was quoted recently in two articles, one in the Chicago Tribuneand the other in Barron’s.
The CFP® voted that the 80,000 CFPs in the United States would have to follow the new fiduciary rule beginning in October 2019. The current standards say that CFP®s only have to follow the fiduciary standard when offering financial planning services. However, in October of next year, they’ll have to act as fiduciaries whenever they’re giving any type of financial advice.
“This is a monumental step forward in the evolution of not just CFP® certification,” Salmen told Barron’s, “but for the profession of financial planning.”
Many investment businesses have already made sweeping changes to comply with the fiduciary rule, some brought lawsuits saying the labor department had overreached in establishing the new rule. The Securities and Exchange Commission is proposing its own fiduciary rule, which willaffect retirement and non-retirement accounts.
Despite rumblings and rumors, the CFP® board decided to take action and not leave anything to question.
“We are raising the bar even higher now with a fiduciary standard that will apply anytime a CFP® professional gives financial advice,” Salmen told the Chicago Tribune.
The debate began following a White House report (Obama Administration) outlining how conflicted advice from investment advisors costs investors billions of dollars per year. However, for those, like Family Investment Center that have always operated as fiduciaries, the new rule only solidifies the way in which they’ve always practiced their profession.
The change in administrations at the White House has caused some back and forth. The Trump administration delayed implementing the Department of Labor fiduciary rule until July 2019.
“For those who want to avoid conflicted advice from investment professionals, always ask if they are held to the fiduciary standard. Make sure there are no hidden fees or commissions to be made off products they recommend,” says Salmen.
At Family Investment Center, we’ve operated as fiduciaries since day one. Contact us today and let’s plan your future.
Dan Danford Shares How Financial Planning is Different for Each Employee
When the Harley Davidson plant in Kansas City closes its doors next year, approximately 800 workers will experience a life-changing event. Financial planning is important for everyone, but when losing a job, it becomes crucial.
As Dan Danford, CEO of Family Investment Center, said in an op-ed in the Kansas City Star, the next steps these employees take will be critical.
Different ages, different number of family members, different financial needs and other aspects make each situation unique. The approach an individual takes to this situation will not be a one-size-fits-all scenario. In fact, Danford notes that it’s a mistake to follow the lead of a colleague.
“Good choices depend on thoughtful analysis of some personal issues,” Danford said.
For example, current financial status must be taken into consideration: Is the person married or single? Do they have other family income, such as a spouse who works and can take care of health insurance? Is there an emergency reserve in the bank they can count on until another job is secured? If a job isn’t immediately available, how long can they go without a steady paycheck? These are all important financial planning questions.
“Younger workers may face a big mortgage and a houseful of children,” Danford said.
“Older workers may have health limitations or fewer job prospects. Some workers nearing retirement age anyway may choose not to seek another job.”
Taking Care of Health Insurance
COBRA benefits offer a short-term solution for health insurance, but it comes at a price and it’s not very flexible. Because Harley Davidson offered good insurance, former employees will probably face a situation where their premiums will be high in comparison, which will impact the budget.
Young workers will have access to individual policies that don’t have all the bells and whistles older folks require, so they can probably save some money there. However, anyone with a spouse and children will need something more extensive, and COBRA only covers them for around 18 months.
The Retirement Plan
While it’s tempting to dip into that 401(k) plan while unemployed, it’s not recommended because the costs are high in a number of ways. As you likely already know, you’ll have to pay taxes, state and federal, on funds you withdraw. Second, when you pull money out of your 401(k), you’re negatively impacting the ability of that vehicle to build up compound interest, which sets you back months, if not years. A better choice would be to borrow money elsewhere.
Adjusting the Budget
Danford notes that it’s always tough for workers to scale back a comfortable lifestyle. However, given the fact that these employees will have had many months to prepare for this situation, they can begin gathering information.
“How much adjustment is needed?” Danford said. “Where can you adjust without disrupting your lifestyle and needs? Are there things you can do to boost your emergency fund or savings? Can you sell unused items? Empty the garage or basement, perhaps?”
Finally, Danford offers that, “trauma is likely to be short-lived. Unemployment in the United States is low and good workers are in demand everywhere. It is likely employees will find new work faster than it seems.”
For more information about financial planning for you and your family, contact Family Investment Center today.
Family Investment Center Now Offering Expanded Financial Planning Services
Family Investment Center is expanding its financial planning offerings, and a nationally-known professional in the investment industry has joined the team to carry this work forward. Richard C. Salmen, CFP(R), CFA, EA is leading a new team of investment professionals from a Family Investment Center office in Lenexa, Kansas.
Salmen brings a high-impact resume and national recognition to the Kansas City region. As of January 1, 2018, Richard C. Salmen serves as president of Family Investment Center and will lead the financial planning services. Salmen’s credentials include CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® Professional and a Certified Trust & Financial Advisor (CTFA). He received the CFA Institute Board of Governors Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) charter. As an Enrolled Agent (EA), he is authorized to represent taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service at all levels.
Salmen’s previous experience includes serving as the Chief Executive Officer of Northern Financial Advisors, a Detroit, MI, fee-only financial planning and investment management firm. He graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the University of Nebraska at Kearney and was a graduate business scholar while receiving his Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the University of Kansas.
In 2006, Salmen began a three-year term as a member of the national board of directors for the Financial Planning Association (FPA) based in Denver, Colorado, ultimately serving as national President in 2009. In 2010, he served as FPA national Chairman. In November 2014 he was elected to serve a four-year term on the Board of Directors for the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc., beginning January 1, 2015. He is the 2018 Chair of CFP® Board’s Board of Directors.
As a true multi-tasker, Salmen is a retired air traffic controller for the Federal Aviation Administration and also spent 14 years as a member of the Army Reserves, finishing his career at the rank of Captain. Read more here in this Kansas City Business Journal article.
Salmen’s accolades are commendable, but it’s his experience in financial planning that caught the eye of Dan Danford, CEO of Family Investment Center. Danford said in a recent news release that Salmen will expand on existing financial planning services. “This broadens the scope of Family Investment Center to solve client challenges at different levels of goals,” Danford said.
Furthermore, Salmen, like everyone at Family Investment Center, has operated as a fee-only, or commission-free, advisor. He will maintain that model as he works with Family Investment Center out of Lenexa. Areas of financial planning offered by Salmen and his team include tax preparation; estate planning; business planning; insurance planning and risk management; cash flow management; and goal setting.
If you’re interested in 2018 being the year that money makes sense, contact our team at Family Investment Centertoday. It’s time to start doing more of what you love.