Congratulations to Aaron Bauer, CFP®

Congratulations to Aaron Bauer, an investment analyst and financial advisor here at Winch Financial, who recently earned his CFP® designation. The CFP® designation requires some of the most rigorous standards in the industry. In fact, the Certified Financial Planning board bases its highly selective licensing on what it calls the four e’s – education, exam, experience and ethics. Regarding education, the board requires candidates to complete coursework on financial planning through a CFP Board Registered Program and hold at least a bachelor’s degree in any discipline from an accredited college or university. After completing the coursework, each applicant must pass a 170-question, multiple-choice exam that consists of two 3-hour sessions over one day. The exam includes stand-alone and scenario-based questions, as well as questions associated with case studies. Candidates also need to complete either 6,000 hours of professional experience related to the financial planning process, or 4,000 hours of apprenticeship experience that meets additional requirements. Lastly, and most importantly, each CFP® must maintain high ethical and professional standards for the practice of financial planning, and to act as a fiduciary when providing financial advice, always putting the clients’ best interests first. We’re very proud of Aaron and fortunate to have him on the Winch Financial team.

Just Joshing

Josh Tatum’s infamy straddles three centuries thanks to a financial scheme that apparently netted him $15,000 and inspired the U.S. Treasury Department to recall and then re-design the Liberty Nickel. If you’ve ever used the phrase “just joshing around”, you’ve referred to Mr. Tatum. Young, enterprising and, by some accounts, both deaf and mute, Josh Tatum took advantage of some similarities between the nickels minted in 1883 and gold pieces worth five dollars. Both coins were the same size and had remarkably comparable designs. At the time, the word “cents” did not appear on the nickel. So, as the story goes, Josh enlisted a friend of his to help him electroplate the nickels so he could pass them off as gold. He simply purchased low priced items, paid for them with the nickel that looked like a $5 gold piece and then collected the change. By some accounts, he wracked up more than $15,000 with this scheme, or more than $337,737.00 by today’s standards. Eventually, Josh was caught and charged but not convicted. His apparent defense was that the merchants were responsible for recognizing the value of the coins he handed over to them and, as a deaf mute, he never said anything to mislead them. He said he viewed the extra change he received as a gift. The opportunity to pass these nickels off as more valuable gold coins came and went very quickly. The U.S. Treasury first released the “Liberty Nickels” on Feb. 1, 1883 and, by March 11 of that same year, they began re-casting them with a design that included the word “cents” on them. If you’re planning to celebrate April Fool’s Day by “joshing around”, remember the origin of that phrase and always be sure to double check any financial transactions you make.