Martha’s husband of almost 60 years passed away shortly before I started working with her. There were a number of financial issues to address after his death, and I was able to help take those off her shoulders so she could focus on coming to terms with her great personal loss.
For years, the Social Security Administration has mailed out annual statements to inform you of the benefits you or your loved ones will receive upon your retirement, disability, or death. It has been a great service to have this mailed regularly so that you can stay up to date on what to expect under the three different benefit formulas.
Meet Michael Green, Jr., a wealth manager at Pinnacle Advisory Group.
With Tax Day arriving tomorrow and national elections on the horizon, the controversy over tax rates is again in the news. Last year, the issue was highlighted by Warren Buffett discussing his own rates. Much was made at the time of the non-partisan Tax Policy Center’s research in publishing average effective tax rates for individuals at different income levels.
A good 99% of Pinnacle’s assets under management come from our private wealth management business. However, we think this percentage is going to decline over time as a new kind of client is discovering Pinnacle Advisory Group. Institutional investors, including professional financial advisors who want to outsource their money management business, along with platform providers — those companies in the business of providing a variety of money managers to other institutional investors — are beginning to knock on our door. The interesting thing about this dynamic is that firms who are primarily in the business of providing investment services often have large and expensive sales forces whose job is to call on platform providers and “sell” the firm’s investment offerings. The Chief Investment Officers of platform providers spend their time trying to deflect the overwhelming amount of sales calls they get from investment companies. If you are in the business of making money by charging fees on assets under management, one of the best way to do it is to get your investment product offered on a platform where the provider essentially sells your services for you (and who often has a large number of investment advisors looking to them to do the due diligence on the investment managers). It’s a good system. Platform providers offer excellent money management firms to investment advisors and investment companies hire a sales force to get their product distributed on as many platforms as possible.
Last month a grandson of one of our clients called me with the sad news that his grandfather had passed away. I knew his health had been fading over the past year, so while I was sorry to hear it, I wasn’t entirely surprised. It was a difficult conversation, as those things are, and the only comfort to come out of it was the fact that the elderly man had prepared for this day through proper planning. By keeping all of his documents current and in good order, he was able to ensure that his assets would pass to his loved-ones according to his wishes.
Margaret was in her early 70s when she first walked into our office, looking healthy and able-bodied, but upset. Her beloved husband had been diagnosed with advanced Alzheimer’s Disease, and she’d recently had to put him in a care facility. The house where they’d lived together for 30 years was empty without him, and she struggled with loneliness.
On July 29, 2011, my father died in a single car accident, leaving my 73 year old mother — and his children and grandchildren — behind. While my mother has a great network of friends, this is a time of change and transition for her. She must get used to cooking for one, being alone in the house, and managing what used to be done by two (while my father was not all that helpful, he did do some things). Fortunately for her, she was already handling the household affairs, so she has a good understanding of the domestic finances. Not everyone is so lucky.
As we move through the last days of December, with its cold nights and warm family cheer, we should take a moment to think about what New Year’s resolutions we might make to improve our financial lives in 2012. Here are three items you may not have considered.
Meet Jeff Troll, one of the expert wealth managers at Pinnacle Advisory Group.