Financial Planning: Everything You Need to Know About Your Money (Almost)
The guide to managing your finances, in good economies and bad.
(In a word, be patient.)
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Frederick J. Dawson, ChFC, CLU
Vice president, Bassett, Brosius & Dawson
Known for his musical abilities and volunteerism, as well as his financial acumen, Dawson has appeared on CNBC’s “Money Talk” and the Financial News Network’s “Financing Your Future.” He’s also a frequent guest on radio shows. He’s received the Jefferson Award for Public Service and his band, Club Phred, has raised about $875,000 for charities.
In these economic times: “Unless you need all your money right now—and most people don’t because they’ll need it 10, 20, 30 years from now—stay put. If you look at the markets over time, from ’29 to 2002, which was almost as ugly as it is now, they always come back. So maintain your investments in a high-quality, diversified portfolio that’s managed professionally.”
THE DELAWARE ADVANTAGE
Known for its corporate-friendly climate, Delaware is also a trust-friendly state. Delaware does not place time limits on a properly structured (or perpetual) trust. Assets transferred to an exempt dynasty trust will benefit descendants without incurring an additional gift tax, estate tax or generation-skipping transfer tax.
There is no state income tax on income accumulated in an irrevocable trust, provided no beneficiary is a Delaware resident. There’s also no state income tax on capital gains earned by that trust.
Delaware also does not tax trust income distributed to nonresident beneficiaries. (The income is subject to the laws of the beneficiary’s state of residence.) Nor does Delaware assess a tax on the value of public and private securities, bonds, units, copyrights or other intangible property held in a trust.
R. Clifford Berg, CLU, ChFC, AEP
Vice President, Financial House
Active in the industry since 1974, Berg has served as president of the Delaware chapter of the Society of Financial Service Professionals and of the National Association of Insurance Financial Advisors on both the state and county levels. He’s a past president of the Estate Planning Council of Delaware and currently serves on the national executive committee of NAIFA. He’ll be the national president for the 2009-2010 term.
In these economic times: “Stick with your original game plan, unless your goals have changed, and communicate with your planner. If you don’t need the money for awhile, you shouldn’t be selling out now. The market will come back. To take a loss now makes absolutely no sense.”
Cynthia Hewitt, CIMA, CRPC
First Vice President, Investments and Wealth Advisor Global Wealth Management Group, Merrill Lynch
Listed among the top 20 female financial advisors in 2004 by Research Magazine, Hewitt was recently named one of “America’s best financial advisors” by R.J. Shook in his book “The Winner’s Circle.” For the past three years, she’s been listed on Barron’s Top List of Women Financial Advisors, and she is a founder of the Fund for Women in Delaware.
In these economic times: “Keep things in perspective, if possible. Despite the negative short-term developments, this too shall pass. Things happen. They’re scary. But they don’t last forever. Be alert to opportunities, if you’re in a position to do so.”
H. Murray Sawyer Jr., JD
President, Westover Capital Advisors, LLC
In October Sawyer was named by Worth magazine as one of the 250 top wealth advisors in the country. A practicing lawyer for 35 years, Sawyer managed the pension and profit-sharing funds for his own firm, where he spent some time as a trust and estate planner. He was so good at it, wealth management became his primary focus, thus Westover Capital Advisors was born in 2000. “I use the way you’re trained to think as a lawyer to better serve my clients.”
In these economic times: “Avoid volatile stocks and undue exposure to equity markets while they’re falling.” Consumer staples such as healthcare, utilities and food companies generally perform well, no matter what the economic climate. When the economy goes bad, cut back investments in risky stocks such as financial companies.
Sherman L. Townsend
Peni G. Warren
The Townsend-Warren Group, Merrill Lynch
As in real estate, many financial planners team up within companies. Together, Townsend and Warren offer a combined 60-plus years of service. Townsend, who started his financial services career in 1971, is one of the founding members of the Delaware Community Foundation. He’s been a University of Delaware trustee since 1988. Warren, who has 26 years of financial consulting experience, joined Merrill Lynch in 1982.
In these economic times: “The key thing is to maintain sufficient liquidity to meet your needs for the next 12 to 15 months,” Townsend says. “But if you are a true investor, there are a lot of new opportunities out there. You need to have a three- to five-year vision. There will be a change in the leading stocks. And there are lots of companies, despite the economy, that are still making money every day and paying dividends.”
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