FIC Blog

We believe in – and live by – a philosophy of excellence.

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 do Financial Planning and Fitness Strategies Have in Common?

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?

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Did You Catch These Changes the IRS Made in 401(k) Investing?

Retirement Planning With 401(k) Investing: A Quick Review

 

Now that 2018 is more than halfway completed, were you aware that you can increase the amount you put into your 401(k)? If not, there’s still time. Each year, the IRS assesses what the contribution limit should be, which is an important number for those focused on 401(k) investing for their future. For three years, the IRS held the limit to $18,000 per year. For 2018 and until they make another change, the limit will be $18,500. This means that investors can make changes to how much they contribute at any time, as long as their elective contributions don’t exceed $18,500.

It’s also important to note that if you’re age 50 or older, you can take advantage of something called the “401(k) catch-up,” which allows an extra $6,000 per year to be invested into the account. This amount remains unchanged, but it’s still a useful tool for those who got a late start investing for retirement.

If you’re self-employed or own a small business, you will also see a change in the amount you can save in your SEP IRA or solo 401(k). It goes up from $54,000 to $55,000. If your employer lets you take advantage of after-tax contributions in your 401(k) investing, you will also be able to take advantage of that increase to $55,000.

Furthermore, the phase-out of deductibility for IRA contributions will also change. There will be an increase to income phase-outs adjusted to the gross income limits for those interested in the saver’s credit. Unfortunately, the limit to your individual retirement accounts will remain the same at $5,500 per year. This has gone unchanged for six years.

Your IRA catch-up (age 50+) opportunities also remain unchanged at $1,000. However, your deductions for IRA contributions to a traditional IRA are phased out at higher income levels. You can still contribute if you’ve earned too much to get a deduction, but it’s going to be non-deductible.

Are you interested in the savers credit? You can get the savers credit if you and your spouse file jointly and make up to $63,000. This is an increase from $62,000 last year. If you’re filing as the head of the household, the limit will increase by $750.00 from last year to $47,250, and from $31,000 to $31,500 for singles and married couples filing separately.

There are a number of ways to get ahead on your retirement goals. To make sure you don’t miss a step, contact us at Family Investment Center. As a fiduciary, we’ve always acted in your best interests – so let’s talk about your goals and let us show you the ways you can reach or exceed them.

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President of Family Investment Center Talks About Revised Standards in Journal of Financial Planning

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.

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What do Soccer’s Biggest Event and Your Investment Strategies Have in Common?

Putting Together a Game Plan for Your Investment Strategies

 

World Cup season recently wrapped up, and even though the United States didn’t qualify this time, soccer fans across the country and the world we’re living, breathing and talking soccer outcomes day and night. What does the World Cup have to do with your investment strategies?  More than you might think! Here are a few soccer strategies that are also great tips for your investments:


Seek Professional Guidance

All good soccer players know where they excel, and they don’t stray from their comfort zones very often. If you want a good striker, Pele famously filled that position for his teams. So how does that analogy work for investing? When it comes to choosing someone to manage your money, you’re probably not going to ask a painter to do it, right? You’re going to ask a trusted investment professional who knows all about the various investment vehicles that will work best to help you meet your goals.

Don’t Stray From the Plan

When soccer players get emotional, things don’t usually go well. In most cases, it’s a red card that comes flying out of the ref’s pocket and into the air. This is generally in response to a flagrant penalty, which results in the player being taken out of the game.

When investors become emotional, similar things happen, only it’s more severe than being taken out of a game – it could sink your life’s savings. Many investors get nervous when the market becomes volatile. They make rash decisions and pull out of an investment as it falls, never getting the chance to make that money back when the stock rebounds.

Don’t stray from the plan, and remember that it’s a long-term situation, not a short-term process.

Know When to Readdress Your Strategy

In professional soccer, the coach doesn’t make substitutions without a plan. Therefore, when a substitution is made, it’s only after serious thought. The same is true in your investment strategies. While an emotional investor will make many changes to their investments, a wise investor will only do that when it’s necessary. For example, as you age, shifting your money to less risky investments may be the best strategy for you.

At Family Investment Center, we’ve helped people across all walks and stages of life develop investment strategies that work toward their goals. As it was in our beginnings, and as it still is today, we’re commission-free and focused on your success. Contact us today and we’ll discuss our approach to see if it’s a fit for you, whatever season of life you’re in.

 

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How You Get Financial Advice Will Change in the Future

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.

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