The best advice our fathers gave us

We’re big advocates for (and providers of) formal financial education. Classes, books, blogs, and podcasts all offer great opportunities to learn about how to make, save, grow and spend your money. We don’t think anyone should ever stop learning. We also know that we learn some of the most important lessons before we even leave our childhood homes. In honor of Father’s Day, here are some of the lessons our staff has learned from their dads: Kris Kersten To put money aside every month in a different account for Christmas, a car or a vacation, so you have it available when you are ready to use it and not go in debt! Tanya Winch Pay your bills on time; under almost all circumstances, do not purchase property with an ARM loan; be curious and aware of Uncle Sam’s tax rules; find work you love and/or learn to like the work you are given and, most importantly, be a conscientious & good steward of all you are blessed with. Sam Winch Spend less than you make. Christian Peterson When I was just out of college my father said to me, “Start now saving 10% of your salary and you will retire a millionaire.”  (and a million dollars back then was a lot more money than it is now!) Sandy Shultz My dad always had another job in addition to his full-time job teaching…he saved that money he made from his part-time gigs to pay extra money on the mortgage and would use it for fun things (vacation, boat, etc).  He still calls it his “left pocket money!” Beth Gorr Always have a safety net of a few months of bills – you never know when you are going to need it. No one can take away what you put upstairs. And don’t put off what you can do today to tomorrow. Matt Weyers No one can take away what you put… | Read More »

Sandy Shultz named to the LPL Ambassador Council

Sandy Shultz from Winch Financial, based in Appleton, Wisconsin, announces that she has been named by LPL Financial as a new member of the LPL Ambassador Council Program. Sandy is one of 60 members selected from among nearly 23,000 LPL advisors and institution leaders nationwide for one of three councils designated by the members’ affiliation with LPL. The Ambassador Council serves as a voice for LPL’s broader advisor base and helps deepen relationships with a diverse cross-section of highly dedicated financial professionals. These earnest and respected individuals serve as valuable and well-informed extended community advocates for LPL. Ambassador Council members are important assets to LPL, closely connected to LPL’s strategic roadmap and key executives – sharing their industry experience, offering beneficial feedback and supporting peers by affiliation type. Council members serve a multi-year term and attend a series of in-person meetings during their tenure. They also contribute through year-round ad hoc participation supporting LPL media relations opportunities and other communications, events and initiatives, and by connecting with LPL colleagues on an ongoing basis to ensure their perspectives are brought forward. About Winch Financial Founded in 1981, Winch Financial has developed an education-based, client-centric approach to retirement planning. With an in-house investment management team and dedicated insurance and tax management departments, we offer a unique combination of real wealth management and financial planning. We take the time to build a long-term relationship with each client and, together, we design an action plan to meet each unique goal. About LPL Financial LPL Financial Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: LPLA) was founded on the principle that LPL should work for advisors and institutions, and not the other way around. Today, LPL is a leader in the markets we serve, serving nearly 23,000 financial advisors, including advisors at approximately 1,100 institutions and at approximately 570 registered investment advisor (“RIA”) firms nationwide. We are steadfast in our commitment to the advisor-mediated model and the belief that Americans… | Read More »

Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders Meeting lived up to its hype

Last weekend, we had the opportunity to attend the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Meeting in Omaha, Nebraska.   “Woodstock for Capitalists” is a bucket list item for many investors and we finally crossed this epic event off our lists. For as long as we can remember, our Investment Team has discussed traveling to Omaha to take part in the Annual Shareholder’s Meeting and have the chance to see and hear Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger in person. Of course, our trip was one year too late, as Munger passed away in November, just one month short of his 100th birthday.    It was the first time any of us had been to Omaha and we thought it would be fitting to have lunch at Buffett’s favorite steakhouse, Gorat’s.  Gorat’s isn’t fancy or modern, but reservations were hard to come by and the restaurant was filled with Berkshire Hathaway shareholders from around the world.  A cut-out of Buffett is just inside the door and we could tell why he likes this place so much.  Since Gorat’s is a popular destination in Omaha, they added lunchtime hours to accommodate more people and featured a special menu on Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders weekend, complete with commemorative merchandise.    The scheduled activities started on Friday afternoon with the Shareholder Shopping Day at the CHI Health Center, which featured unique products from Berkshire Hathaway companies including Benjamin Moore, BNSF Railway, Duracell, GEICO, Jazwares, International Dairy Queen, Nebraska Furniture Mart, Oriental Trading, Pampered Chef, Pilot Company and See’s Candies.  We explored the exhibits, enjoying $1.00 treats from Dairy Queen, taking pictures of the Marmon Wasp, cutouts of Buffett in his Pampered Chef apron, and Buffett and Munger outside the Borsheim’s store.    CHI Health Center was also home to the Shareholders Meeting and because of our proximity, we could walk to the arena Saturday morning.  While the meeting didn’t start until 8:45 am, our adventure started before sunrise as… | Read More »

Weathering storms

April in Wisconsin offers countless opportunities to develop life skills like patience and adaptability. A single spring day could feature a romp through all four seasons, with a couple of extras like gnat and lake fly seasons rolled in. The same daily forecast that allows daffodils to bloom can include measurable snow and a wind so brisk it hurts your face. So, you adjust. You wear layers you can remove when the frost burns off, and boots that won’t wilt in the ensuing mud. You prepare for any weather on any given day. Investing is like that too. Days that begin with sunshine and optimism can end with headwinds and dramatic dips. As inflation updates or corporate report nuances swing sentiment, markets react accordingly. Sometimes, they even act inexplicably in their initial runs. So, we build layers into our portfolios, some conservative allocations designed to protect and some more aggressive positions to take advantage of growth opportunities. We mine sectors and industries for long-term investment opportunities. Our investment team members understand both the seasons they face as portfolio managers, and the seasons our clients move through as they make their way to and through retirement. That understanding informs the investment decisions they make. Harry Chapin wrote about the seasons spinning round again and years that keep rolling by. It’s our job and our privilege as investment managers based in Wisconsin to understand and appreciate the swift passage and specific beauty of each fickle season.

Five scams that target seniors

Due to their own diligence and good habits, senior citizens often find themselves targets of scams. Retired people generally have built up an attractive pool of financial resources through a lifetime of hard work. Those assets can attract nefarious people who haven’t been as responsible with their life choices. Additionally, senior citizens can be more trusting, and they may not be as adept with modern technology. All of this means they need to keep up with various financial and technological scams. Here are five scams listed by the U.S. Department of Justice: The Social Security Imposter Scam This is a telephone scam in which the caller claims the victim’s Social Security number has been suspended due to suspicious activity, or because it has been involved in a crime. They ask to confirm the victim’s Social Security number, or they may say they need to withdraw money from the victim’s bank and to store it on gift cards or in other unusual ways for “safekeeping.” Victims may be told their accounts will be seized or frozen if they fail to act quickly.  This can appear as a robocall during which victims may be told to “press 1” to speak to a government “support representative” for help reactivating their Social Security number. They also use caller ID spoofing to make it look like the Social Security Administration is calling. With such trickery, perpetrators convince victims to give up their Social Security numbers and other personal information. The Tech Support Scam Callers claim to be computer technicians associated with a well-known company or they may use internet pop-up messages to warn about non-existent computer problems. The scammers claim they have detected viruses, other malware, or hacking attempts on the victim’s computer. They pretend to be “tech support” and ask that the victim give them remote access to his or her computer. Eventually, they diagnose a non-existent problem and ask the victim to pay… | Read More »