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Q & A: Leading Business Professionals 2014

Jan 30, 2014 02:12PM ● By Cate Reynolds
Image titleQ. What is the most significant value that a qualified Financial Advisor can provide to an individual or family?

A. We believe that utilizing objectivity over emotion is the greatest benefit of using an Advisor to assist clients in reaching their financial goals.  PWP’s association with Wells Fargo Financial Network gives us access to a proprietary application called the Envision® process that enables us to track where our clients are in relation to their goals at any given moment in time.  It lowers the potential for them to experience emotional and less rational reactions to market events and instead puts the focus back on their particular goals that have been developed along with their Advisor.

Eric C. Silk, Managing Partner, Private Wealth Partners, LLC,Certified Financial Planner™

Image titleQ. I recently left my job and am not sure what to do with my 401k?

A. What you choose to do with your current retirement savings can have a substantial impact on your future retirement lifestyle.  You typically have 4 distribution options.  Option 1- Rollover your retirement savings into an IRA. Option 2- Leave your retirement savings in your former employer’s retirement plan.  Option 3- Move your retirement savings to your new employer’s retirement plan.  Option 4- Take a distribution.  Since you have an important decision to make about your retirement savings,  I recommend talking with a Certified Financial Planner™ to help evaluate your options.

Matthew D. Sobocinski, Managing Partner, Private Wealth Partners, LLC, Certified Financial Planner™

Image titleQ. We recently updated our wills and trusts.  How does this affect our beneficiary designations?

A. Beneficiary designations are written instructions that allow you to direct how ownership of certain assets will be transferred upon your death.  Although beneficiary designations appear to be simple, they are powerful tools that deserve careful attention.  When you make a beneficiary designation the transfer is not governed by your will or trust.  The account will pass to the person(s) or entity(ies) you name, in the portions you specify and will not be subject to probate.  Whenever you change your will or trust, be sure to talk with your attorney about your beneficiary designations.

Mark J. Murphy, Managing Partner, Private Wealth Partners, LLC, Certified Financial Planner™

Image titleQ. Why choose an independent financial advisor?

A. Being independent allows an advisor to be free from corporate constraints and allows him/her to concentrate on the client’s needs. The advisor is not forced to promote any particular product and can truly do what is best for the client. With a full cache of products available to us, state-of-the-art technology, and top notch research we are in a position to provide you with the best options to fit your unique needs. Since joining Private Wealth Partners in 2013, the question I have been consistently asked by my clients is, “What took you so long?”

Sherry A. Saucerman, Partner, Private Wealth Partners, LLC,Certified Financial Planner™, Accredited Asset Management SpecialistSM, Accredited Domestic Partnership AdvisorSM, Chartered Retirement Planning CounselorSM

Image titleQ. What’s the best way to preserve my wealth with the markets becoming increasingly complex, volatile, and near an all-time high?

A. With the increasing volatility in the markets, it’s vitally important to employ multiple strategies that seek to minimize downside risk.  Being flexible in your approach and utilizing a tactical strategy that employs risk management and a defined sell side strategy, is critically important to preserving wealth in today’s environment.

Paul E. Peck, Managing Partner, Private Wealth Partners, LLC,Certified Financial Planner™

Image titleQ. I have more than I need to live a comfortable retirement so how should I distribute my wealth during my life and at death?

A. When forming your wealth distribution strategy whether to your heirs or a favorite charity, during your lifetime or at death, a donor should consult with a wealth advisor, CPA, and tax attorney.  An approach you could utilize during your lifetime is to gift $14,000 per person annually up to the lifetime gift tax exemption.  At death there are several types of beneficiary designations to individuals such as a spouse, living lawful children with rights of survivorship or per stirpes.  Any number of trust strategies including living trusts (“inter vivos”), both revocable and irrevocable, or testamentary trusts.  When considering a charity one could choose from direct and immediate gifts, private foundations, community foundations, charitable trusts, and donor-advised funds.  When the right choice is made, all stake holders win – including the donor, his or her family, and the charity.

R. Douglas Wilson, Managing Principal, Private Wealth Partners, LLC, Chartered Retirement Planning CounselorSM

Image titleQ. What is the most important underreported investment story right now?

A. That the economy is improving on the margin and that we may be in the early stages of a secular bull market in stocks. Household net worth is at an all-time high, government spending is becoming less of a drag, business capital expenditures should increase this year, exports are picking up and though mortgage rates have risen, the housing affordability index is still close to its best-ever reading. Since 1900, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has experienced four lengthy (13+ year) consolidation periods where it made no upward progress, the most recent being 2000-2013. The three previous ones were all followed by long-term bull markets.

Don Harrison, Raymond James Financial Services

Image titleQ. I wish to purchase a commercial property to house my business. What if I can’t come up with a 25 percent down payment? Is there any help for me out there?

A. Yes. You might be eligible for financing under the SBA’s 504 loan program where eligible borrowers can receive financing of up to 90 percent of the cost of acquiring a commercial property. There are fees associated with this program, but the SBA fees can be built into the SBA loan.

John Giovanazi, Vice President Commercial Real Estate Lending, Arundel Federal Savings Bank

Image titleQ. How do I pick amortgage lender?

A. Look for a financial institution to guide you through the process, and assist you in choosing the best mortgage for your specific situation. Look for competitive rates, fast decisions, and timely closings. Many people choose a community bank for a lending experience with a personal touch. At Severn you partner with one mortgage expert through the process with the goal of getting you to closing in 30 days or less.

Corey Galinsky, Vice President, Residential Lending

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Q. Regarding the enormous confusion over the Affordable Care Act in 2013, what should individual filers know in preparation for their 2013 taxes?

A. While we are all—both sides of the political aisle—painfully watching or experiencing the botched rollout of ObamaCare, there is nothing on your 2013 taxes that will be directly affected by the law.

Valerie McLaughlin, EA, Qual-i-Tax

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Q. When should I refinancemy mortgage?

A. • If interest rates are two points lower than your current rate.

• Consider refinancing an adjustable rate loan to a fixed interest loan.

• If you are not thinking of selling in three to five years.

Always consider closing fees in your refinance decision. Even mortgages that are advertised as having “no-cost” or “low-cost” closings have closing fees—they’re just not called closing fees. When and if you can deduct mortgage points may be a significant refinancing consideration. Check with your tax advisor before you refinance.

George J. Behr, Jr. President, Arundel Federal Savings Bank

Leading Business Professionals 2014