Chapter News

November Meeting Handouts

November 17, 2015

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Below you will find the presentation for our Thursday, November 19th at 8:00am meeting.

Making the Mission Possible

Making the Mission Possible FORMATTED 2

Employment Opportunity – Bouchey Financial Group, Ltd.

November 17, 2015

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Client Service Associate – Client Service position with an opportunity to grow with the firm. The position will be located in our Saratoga Springs office and reports to the Director of Client Services..

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Responsibilities

  • Work with our custodian, Charles Schwab, to complete paperwork for client accounts.
  • Execute client requests regarding transfers, distribution or changes to their accounts
  • Work with new and existing clients handling their requests
  • Complete the daily reconciliation for our portfolio reporting software
  • Assist clients with account logins for multiple sites
  • Administrative duties of answer office phones and greeting clients
  • Document client calls and meetings in CRM system

Requirements

  • Strong written and verbal communications skills
  • Strong organizational and technology skills
  • Team Players who is self-motivated
  • Excellent attention to detail and strong ability to follow a defined process
  • Excellent client service
  • Understanding of the financial services field is a plus
  • Part-time employees will be considered

Bouchey Financial Group is a wealth management firm with offices in Troy and Saratoga Springs. We work with individuals, families and businesses and we currently manage more than $275 million in assets for our clients.

We are an equal opportunity employer offering excellent benefits and opportunities for career advancement. Please e-mail your resume with a cover letter to Angie Gavin (agavin@bouchey.com)

Q & A With Neal Solomon, CFP®

September 28, 2015

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The following interview was respectfully submitted by James Lee CFP®

  1. Congratulations on your appointment to the CFP® Board of Standards Inc. Board of Directors! How did this appointment come about?

I’ve been actively involved with the leadership efforts defining elements of the financial planning profession, and charting its course on a national level for a long time. This has provided me with the opportunity to work closely with many of the finest minds in our profession. Several of the leadership roles in which I’ve served have been visible and known to the public, others have required quieter navigation. Within professional leadership circles, I’m quite well known. I’ve been invited to consider taking top level leadership roles in the profession on many prior occasions, but had declined. Last year some friends reached out again to encourage me to step up, and I decided that the time was right. Also, I think I’m uniquely positioned to bring a distinct perspective to the issues facing the profession today. CFP® Board receives a large number of volunteer applications and there is a lengthy and thorough vetting process, interviews, and ultimately an election. Then I received a phone call congratulating me on being one of the five new Directors elected to take a seat on CFP Board in 2015. Your readers can learn more about CFP Board, and my fellow directors at www.CFP.net.

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2. What does the CFP® Board of Director do?

The Board of Directors is the policy-making and oversight body for the organization, setting the direction of the organization and is responsible for selecting and providing direction to the CEO, who in turn manages the organization and its staff to execute the Board’s policy decisions. The Board sets the applicable standards for education, examinations, experience, and professional ethics necessary for an individual to obtain and maintain the privilege of using the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM and CFP® professional designation marks. The Board provides review of last resort for those who wish to appeal a disciplinary decision

3. How many people serve on the CFP® Board of Directors, what are the terms and how often do you meet?

Presently there are 14 Directors plus the CEO who serves as an ex-officio (non-voting) Director. Most Directors serve four year terms. If a Director is elected to Chair elect in his or her fourth year, they can serve up to six years to fulfil that leadership commitment. There are typically three in-person Board meetings each year, one or more telephonic meetings, committee meetings, etc., plus attendance at select industry conferences at which Directors represent CFP Board. Some Board meetings are at CFP Board headquarters in Washington, D.C. while others are in various locations across the country.

4. How have the other leadership positions you have held in the financial planning field prepared you for your service on the CFP Board of Directors?

I bring diverse experience to this new role, beginning decades ago when I served as President of the Greater Capital Region Society of the Institute of Certified Financial Planners – a predecessor of today’s FPA of Northeastern NY, where like you, I’m still a proud member. From there I moved on to national and international leadership roles – Board committees at national ICFP, FPA’s Government Relations Chair (this committee launched FPA’s lawsuit against SEC), Chairing FPA’s Tax sub-committee, Chairing FPA’s Public Issues Advisory Committee, Task Force work on fiduciary, and a Task Force evaluating future potential regulatory schemes for the financial planning profession, among others. Along the way there have been meetings with many people in government including US Senators and Representatives, State Securities Administrators, and an SEC Commissioner. I also did peer review as an Editorial Review Board member at The Journal of Financial Planning for 13 ½ years, and have been an expert witness and consultant to attorneys on litigation matters relating to financial planning.

On the international front, I worked as a Technical Expert representing the United States co-drafting global ethical standards for financial planners. That work was accepted and today is the published international standard for financial planners promulgated by ISO (Organization for International Standards). In 2000 I traveled to China representing the United States as a member of an ambassadorial delegation of financial planning professionals. In 2008 I resurrected that program and created a relationship between FPA and the People to People organization (PTP was originally created by President Eisenhower). I led a 90 person professional delegation to Russia that included about 60 CFP® professionals. That program was so well received that FPA continued it and has since sponsored several other international ambassadorial programs around the world. FPA honored me with its prestigious Heart of Financial Planning Award in part as a result of my creating FPA’s international ambassadorial program and building its format and structure so as to assure that the program would continue.

Shifting to my business experience, I’ve been serving clients since 1983. I’m a Managing Director at WealthPro®, LLC which is my own SEC RIA. I’m also a registered principal with The Strategic Financial Alliance, Inc. (“SFA”), an independent broker/dealer (“IBD”). About a decade ago I decided to leave the IBD firm I’d been with for 17 years, and I searched the country interviewing BD’s to find the right match. A colleague suggested that I call a gentleman in Atlanta, Clive Slovin, the former CEO of a 700-plus RR IBD which had been sold to a major insurer during a buying spree of that era. He was building a new generation BD/RIA. The connection was instant; we both were comfortable with each other’s business philosophy. Shortly thereafter The Strategic Financial Alliance, Inc. (SFA) was founded. I registered with the firm for the securities portion of my business. I was offered equity, and bought in as a shareholder of the parent company, SFA Holdings, Inc. (“SFAH”). Later on I was invited to join the corporate Board of Directors of SFAH. Today SFA has grown its BD, RIA, and some other financial businesses, and is one of the quiet gems in the IBD universe, with about 200 people on staff and in the field, and roughly $4 Billion plus of customer assets. Most people come to SFA through a relationship with someone who knows the firm and recommends it as a good match. We (SFA) are a totally independent firm, owned mostly by our management and representatives, with a few outside investors. As an SFAH Director I’ve had a bird’s eye seat to the workings of a medium sized financial institution, and by extension the IBD/RIA industry.

Last, I’m the CFO of Hearing Care Resources, LLC – my wife’s dispensing Audiology practice in Wilton, just outside of Saratoga Springs. Robin is a Board Certified Doctor of Audiology. So I’m also in the healthcare and medical devices industry, and have learned quite a bit about the workings of the healthcare universe. Occasionally I attend conferences for healthcare practitioners – as a representative of a busy clinical practice. I share an office space with the audiology practice. I wanted a place to meet with clients in the Saratoga area. So when we set the practice up I took a conference room space in the suite as my own, and made it a satellite office. I suspect that it’s the only office in the country where the receptionist will ask you if you are there to meet your doctor or your financial planner.

Overall, I bring a viewpoint to my duties at CFP® Board first and foremost as a planner who talks to clients every day, but also with the perspective gained though all of these “extracurricular” activities.

5. What are the major issues facing the CFP® Board of Directors? (Hopefully, this is general enough).

CFP Board’s Board of Directors are focused on our strategic plan. Known as AGRA, it stands for Awareness, Growth, Recognition and Regulation and Authority. Each of these important on its own and together they represent a vision for the organization and financial planning as a profession.

When it comes to Awareness, we want more consumers to be aware of the CFP® certification. The nearly 72,000 CFP® professional in the United States have worked hard to achieve the designation and they want people to know they have it. To create greater awareness, CFP Board began a Public Awareness Campaign in 2011. This integrate advertising and public relations campaign is national in scope and is intended to have our target audience – known as the Mass Affluent Initiator – recognize the CFP® certification as the highest standard in financial advice. Our campaign for 2015 is actually just getting underway now and you should expect to see our advertising on national cable television stations, on NPR and ESPN radio, on popular websites and in national magazines. We will also be running another “flight” of advertising in the fall.

Growth is a key focus of the Board. Frankly, there aren’t enough CFP® professionals to meet the needs of the American public. With 10,000 people a day becoming eligible for retirement over the next 20 years, the need is greater than it ever has been for ethical and competent financial professionals. This is where the growth of the CFP® certification is so important. While we have experienced 30 percent growth over the last seven years and have an 18 percent share of all financial advisers, we are seeing the number of advisers go down, according to Cerulli data, and this will eventually produce a workforce shortage. CFP® Board is working hard to reverse this trend as it will help increase the number of CFP® professionals. We have several initiatives underway we think will help increase our ranks. One of them is the online Career Center that we began earlier this year. It serves as a resource for people to learn more about the certification and financial planning as a career. It also provides a marketplace for those looking for a job or internships and those companies looking to hire them. We are also working closely with firms of all sizes to encourage them to hire CFP® professionals as they represent the best of the industry and provide consumers the knowledge they need to meet their financial goals.

When it comes to Recognition and Regulation, CFP® Board is working with the FPA and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors in the Financial Planning Coalition to advocate for policies that protect investors and promote financial planners. Specifically, CFP® Board and the Coalition have been advocating for financial planners to be regulated just as they are in other professions such as law or medicine. Moreover, the Board is also interested in seeing that the certification is recognized by policymakers, regulators and other thought leaders. We believe that the more they know about the certification, the more respected it will be and we will also be in a stronger position to advocate for our issues.

Last and certainly not least, the Board is committed to CFP® Board being the Authority in financial planning. This is something we feel is very important for the long-term health of our profession, especially when it comes to providing educational opportunities for aspiring CFP® professionals. Currently we have more than 220 educational institutions across the country providing either a certificate, undergraduate or graduate program that prepares students to sit for the CFP® certification exam. We need more programs, especially at business schools, to be developed so that not will students have an opportunity to learn, but that there will be places for educators to teach and conduct research. To that end, we are looking at the feasibility of starting a Center for Financial Planning that will serve as a home for academic research as well as serving as a platform for initiatives that increase the diversity of CFP® professionals.

As one can tell, we are working very hard to advance the profession. We are firing on all cylinders and the Board is engaged in driving the organization forward. We are looking at a very bright future for the CFP® certification and the profession.

6. Can you tell us about your practice?

I have many clients who have been with me for decades. My preference is to serve middle America, what I call “real people” dealing with the money issues in their lives. I’m about as independent as one can be in a hybrid business model. Between my RIA and the relationship with the SFA, the menu of offerings and capabilities that I can tap into is very broad. Most important after 32 years of doing this – it’s still fun. I still get a thrill out of seeing that I’ve helped someone. I’m very fortunate to have excellent staffers – who have been my teammates for decades. We maintain an unpretentious and comfortable environment. We pass on the pomp and circumstance that some prefer and simply want our clients to see us as their “money issues team”. We enjoy maintaining a home-town feel, even with clients living all over the country. In a different era I’d be like the small town doctor, looking after his communities’ well-being. It’s meaningful work.

7. Who is your hero and why?

I have many heroes. In the investment business I’d have to say the late Sir John Templeton who I had the opportunity to know during the early years of my career. Fellow FPA member, and longtime friend, Dick Pinder was with me several of the times I met Sir John. Not only was Templeton one of the most successful, and pioneering investors of his era, but he was also generous in sharing his wisdom and experience. He had a way of distilling complexity into simplicity. And he was gracious enough to take an interest in me while I was a young man building a career. I learned sensible investment approaches from Sir John, the value of patience, of thinking globally, and of paying attention to value. He also offered me some business advice that I still follow. He was humble and soft spoken, and I had the genuine treat of knowing him. So, I guess Sir John would be my investing hero. I have other heroes for other areas of life.

8. Do you have any reading recommendations for our FPA members?

As a Director on CFP® Board’s Board of Directors – so I’d be remiss if I didn’t recommend reading the CFP Board’s Standards of Professional Conduct. Also, I’d recommend tuning into the webinars that CFP® Board offers following each Board meeting. Those offer insight into what CFP Board has been doing. Also, do your CE and eat your green vegetables.

I do read quite a bit, mostly non-fiction, biographical and historical works within a pretty wide range, and I try to follow current events closely. On the purely recreational side, I’ve been reading Daniel Suarez’s work and would suggest The Daemon and its sequel as bubble gum read – that has real substance underneath. That one is purely for fun.

9. What do you like to do in your spare time (if you have any!)?

Robin and I like to travel. We have been around the world many times. So you might find us tracking big cats on a safari in Brazil, Botswana or India, chatting with the King of Bhutan during his coronation, or exploring an art gallery in Santa Fe. This summer we will be north of the Arctic Circle in northern Iceland. It’s a big world out there and we haven’t run out of places to explore yet. We also do some charitable work, we have five feline children, nephews and nieces to enjoy, and often after a long work week a quiet dinner and a movie. We enjoy the arts – and of course this region has great opportunities for concerts and theater. We also love our Adirondacks, which I like to call “our” back yard.

10. What opportunities are there for our FPA members to become more involved with the CFP® Board?

One of the great things about CFP Board are the many opportunities that CFP® professionals have to give of their time and talent. In addition to the Board of Directors, we have several Councils and a Commission that people can seek to volunteer for. People can seek to be part of the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission, which enforces our Standards of Professional Conduct. And our Councils include the Council on Education, Council on Examination, the Public Policy Council and the newly created Women’s Advisory Council. Speaking of which, CFP Board has an initiative underway to increases the number of women CFP® professionals as the percent of women who are CFP® professionals – 23 percent – hasn’t budged in 10 years! In addition to the Councils, we have opportunities for CFP® professionals to serve as Women Advocates – these are people who want to talk with young girls, college students and others about a career as a CFP® professional. And of course throughout the year we have pro bono opportunities around the country where CFP® professionals can sign up and give back to their local communities. I would encourage FPA members to get involved and go to www.CFP.net to look for more information about volunteer opportunities.

September Meeting Handouts

September 22, 2015

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Here you will find the power point presentations for both presentations given by Carolym McClanahan this Thursday, September 24th at 8:00am

FPA NENY 20150924 Health Care Planning NY McClanahan

FPA NENY 20150924 End of Life Planning NY McClanahan

FPA Annual Conference Registration is Now Open

July 23, 2015

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Register now to attend the advanced technical conference for CFP® professionals – the FPA Annual Conference – BE Boston 2015 that will be held on September 26-28 to gain new practice management knowledge, skills and resources. The schedule is jam-packed with insightful sessions that will help attendees be more knowledgeable professionals and better business owners. A Business Consulting Lounge will be available for attendees to schedule appointments to meet with some of the profession’s best consultants and coaches! It will be a great opportunity to talk about your business challenges and gain valuable insight into marketing, technology, success planning, business planning and much more. Registration is open and members can now save with terrific early bird pricing. Advanced pricing ends on August 14. Register today!