Together Everyone Achieves More

We love team sports here at Winch Financial, where we are soccer moms and baseball coaches, football fans and basketball players. We wear our team colors proudly, especially on football Fridays. Many of our Saturday mornings start early and usually involve a trip to a field or diamond. On Sunday, you’ll find us at Lambeau Field or gathered around our television sets, cheering for our beloved Packers (except for a rogue and nameless team member who likes to root for the Bears). At the office, we’re team players too. We have dedicated departments (teams within our team) for insurance, taxes, client services, marketing, financial planning and investing. We gather frequently for office-wide meetings, and we enjoy a good birthday party or pre-game tailgate as often as we can. Our team approach extends to our clients. Behind every advisor stands an experienced client service representative, a highly qualified investment analyst, and specialists in the areas of risk management and taxes. A recent study by PriceMetrix asserts that advisors working in team grew at a healthier pace than those working solo. This makes sense to us. In the past 12 years, as we’ve dramatically increased our staff, we’ve also quadrupled our assets under management. In the challenging world of finance, it’s nice for us to work with friends and brainstorm with people who have earned our respect. It’s even nicer for our clients, who benefit from an effective combination of one-on-one meetings with a trusted advisor, and innovative solutions developed by an ambitious team. Call us today to see how effective our approach can be to help you reach your retirement goals. Together Everyone Achieves More. Go team!

Shame on the Shysters

The Internet has become a playground for tech savvy hustlers who masquerade as legitimate media sources and provide too-good-to-be-true financial tips to private investors…for a price. Preying on an age-old combination of greed and fear, these so-called financial experts use phrases like “crash alert system” and “secret market calendar” to lure unsuspecting victims of potential fraud. Frankly, we’re appalled, particularly when these scam artists quote the Bible in an attempt to peddle their wares. Consider the offensive irony of someone who quotes Timothy in his promotional material, “The love of money is the root of all evil” and then charges $97 a month for financial newsletter he didn’t write and a thinly disguised advertisement he promotes as an educational video. We’re all for education. We maintain several subscriptions to financial newsletters and generally find them to be informative, useful resources. Nothing irritates us more, though, than the fakers; the shiny pop-up videos edited to look like legitimate media interviews; websites that mimic familiar news sources; scholastic white papers that quote not a single legitimate source. We urge caution across the board when accumulating necessary financial information. Don’t click on links that arrive unsolicited in your email in-box. Read the information in a website’s footer before subscribing to anything within the site. Check the source of information you suspect may be too good to be true. Lastly, look for an advisor with a fiduciary responsibility to his or her clients before you trust your hard-earned money to anyone.

P.E.C.K. your way to financial health, a newlywed’s guide

It’s Spring; wedding season is upon us!  Weddings usually bring happy thoughts of holding hands and romance and new lives.  But, that is only a small percentage of what actually goes into being married.  The majority of marriage is grunt work, not romance.  One of the touchiest parts of being married is money – who earns it, what it means, where it’s kept, when it’s saved and how it’s spent. Money is a subject that will continue throughout your whole marriage.  Before you get married, you most definitely want to talk money.  It does not get easier to broach once you’re hitched.  It is just good common sense to know about your intended’s money language, money comprehension and money fitness.  It’s hard to do but if the tough questions can’t or won’t be answered, then you may have a much larger problem on your hands.  I have heard people say that feels too awkward or out of bounds or threatening and sometimes even shameful to talk about money.  But, it is simply imperative to your marriage’s health to ask each other hard questions and answer honestly.  You will need to keep the money dialogue going without ridicule or eye rolling!  We all grew up differently and need, expect and want different things from money.  So, let’s talk about it. There are so many different aspects of marriage money that we’ve put together a series of questions for the bride and groom to be.  We are calling it PECK, as in: Practical, Emotional, Contractual and Kids marriage questions that every couple needs to discuss before marriage.  It might even save you from making a disastrous decision.  Today we are tackling the P, as in Practical questions, you need to ask each other. We’ll cover the Emotional, Contractual and Kids aspects of the PECK program on consecutive Mondays here on this blog. We begin with the nine most bare bones, practical questions… | Read More »

Investment team stays busy during corporate earnings season

What is earnings season?  Every quarter, publicly traded companies are required to file a report stating their sales and earnings as well as to provide a general business update.  For lack of a better description, it is like a quarterly report card.  Typically earnings season starts a few weeks after the completion of the calendar quarter and runs for approximately four weeks.  At Winch Financial, the Investment Team is busy sifting through all of the various earnings reports and listening to management conference calls summarizing the business results of the first quarter of 2014 and analyzing the operating direction for the remainder of the year. Earnings season is an important time in the Investment Department.  It presents an opportunity to analyze the most recent financial statements of a company and get a key read of operating results and direction.  For our stock and bond investments we want to make sure everything is on track with our forecasts.  Earnings season also gives the Investment team the opportunity to evaluate trends in corporate America and reposition our holdings, if necessary, to capitalize on emerging trends.  It also provides the Investment Team with the data it needs to develop new financial models and assess individual company valuations. Just like a child’s school report card, an earnings report provides insight into a company’s strengths, weaknesses and opportunities.  While it is still early in earnings season, our initial read shows companies handled the impacts of a harsh winter effectively. Importantly, corporate America sounds confident a pick-up in economic activity in the developed markets will accelerate as the year progresses.  The one worrisome trend is a general slowdown in activity in emerging markets.  Overall, companies appear well positioned and confident on future business activity.  Winch Financial remains optimistic the bull market for stocks is still intact and we are seeing clear signs of acceleration in economic conditions.  Lastly, Winch Financial is expecting interest rates to start… | Read More »

Seven financial tips for celebrating Earth Day

With our obvious fondness for ginkgo trees here at Winch Financial, we are big fans of Earth Day. We support efforts to protect our planet and to encourage its people to achieve a healthy lifestyle. We want our clients to enjoy long lives, fulfilling retirements and good health. Toward those goals, we offer the following tips. Buy locally. We live in a four-season climate that recently suffered through one of the longest winters on record. Still, we like to buy locally produced food whenever possible.  The shorter the distance from food source to table, the fresher the taste and the higher the concentration of nutrients. We also like the idea of supporting our local merchants. Park the car. When possible, we like to walk or bike rather than drive. Our CEO Christina Winch starts each morning with a brisk walk around the free range farm she owns outside Appleton. Other employees walk or ride their bikes to work when possible. Not only does this save on fuel cost and emissions, it also allows you to feel a little sun on your face and breathe a little fresh air into your lungs during a busy work day. Plant a little something. The gardens our employees plant grow in a range from large fields to patio containers, but they all encourage a connection between the earth and the consumer. I have an indoor herb garden that makes my family room smell delicious year-round. You can feel an extra sense of pride when you eat something you’ve grown yourself.  It’s also increasingly important to understand your food source and the fertilizing process used to grow it. Educate yourself. We have a library of books on financial and physical health here in the office and we’re happy to share. A little research will help you decide which habits are healthy and which may be passing fads, Turn off the faucet. You’d be surprised how… | Read More »