Financial Advising

Youth sports registration day approaching in Harwood Heights

The board approved a $1,220 payment to Elk Grove Village-based Ziebell Water Service Products Inc. for equipment for the villages water department.

The village paid $530 for village employees George Assimakopoulos and David Koch to attend the 85th annual Illinois Potable Water Supply Operators Association Conference, Sept. 14-16 in Springfield. The organization offers municipal employees updated information on health and safety issues for drinking water and potable water production, current laws and regulations and the operation of drinking water facilities.

Also, $30 was paid to Chicago accounting firm Azavar Audit Solutions.

Village issues general obligation bonds for future retail center

The board approved an ordinance issuing $2.5 million in general obligation bonds for development costs associated with the commercial project breaking ground next month on Harlem and Lawrence avenues. The bonds are being issued as part of an economic incentive agreement with Chicago-based developer Bradford Real Estate Co., the firm building a retail center including a Portillos and an Art Van Furniture on the empty 8-acre lot.

The terms of the distribution of the bonds show the annual interest rate capped at 7 percent, according to an ordinance approved by the village Aug. 11.

Handicapped parking sign to be taken down

The Public Works Department was directed to remove a handicapped parking sign on the 4500 block of North Sayre Avenue.

Zoning variance granted

The board approved a request from a resident on the 4500 block of North Nagle Avenue for a zoning variance that was needed to build a fence in the front yard.

Village to contract with Chicago financial planning firm

The village entered into an agreement with Austin-Meade Financial Ltd. of Chicago for municipal financial advising services.

Next meeting scheduled

The next board meeting will be held at 7:30 pm Aug. 25 at village hall, 7300 W. Wilson Ave., Harwood Heights.

Natalie Hayes is a freelance reporter for Pioneer Press.

Copy online business

New fire station may be funded through USDA

Copy online business

The Future Of Financial Advising Is Through A Goals-Based Approach

The financial advising industry continues to make great strides in developing new research, strategies, and tools that improve advisors ability to serve investors. There is certainly no shortage of discussion about scalable technology that investors and advisors can leverage to cut costs and simplify the investing process.

While these are exciting advances that deserve attention, in my view, the future of financial advising should center on enabling advisors to better identify and realize investors goals.

Advisors need technology tools that empower them to quickly and easily translate each clients unique situation and goals into a custom portfolio. Beyond that, tools that support regular check-ins are needed to build client confidence in the investment strategies employed and to help advisors stay informed of significant life events that could impact goals and investment decisions.

Traditionally, the financial advising industry was oriented around product and account administration, an approach that failed to facilitate the type of conversations that would truly help investors meet financial targets. Under this dynamic, advisors were focused on examining performance of each individual investment product and communicating those results to clients. Fortunately, advisors are beginning to recognize that such an approach presents an incomplete picture that does not get at the heart of investors financial objectives. By shifting the conversation from what is in a clients portfolio to why a particular strategy was chosen, advisors can build confidence by clearly articulating their alignment with investors goals and using terms investors can understand.

We are now witnessing tremendous progress in terms of creating platforms and tools that allow advisors and investors to construct portfolios that are goals-oriented. This requires restructuring and building the approach into the heart of financial platforms through new software development.

At the core of a goals-based approach is facilitating discussions between advisors and investors that help them collectively identify the ultimate investing goal, and then create a plan to achieve that objective. Companies are increasingly turning to this model, establishing portfolio accounting systems that more intuitively understand investors goals.

Take for example an investor whose central goal is retirement. If an investor wants to retire in a decade and needs a certain amount of money, how do we build a portfolio that will get the investor there in that time frame? Rather than directing the client toward an IRA through a single asset manager, advisors using a new portfolio system would recognize that the best way to achieve retirement goals could include more than a single account type or asset management solution.

Establishing a true goals-based platform requires more than just new software and tools it also necessitates a robust communications framework that reinforces the approach. Every element in a platform needs to use language that fosters continuous engagement between the advisor and the investor that assesses the financial goals at hand, and the rate of progress towards intended outcome. In these conversations, word choice, measurement, and context are of tremendous importance, and it is on us as an industry to continue to find ways to create language that complements new goals-based portfolio construction tools.

To complement frank, holistic conversations between advisors and investors, the frameworks and terminology embedded in the technology must reinforce communications tied to investor goals and be free of industry jargon. The stand-out advisors will leverage tools that embody these intentional shifts in dialogue to optimize client relationships and outcomes.

In the next decade, the financial advising industry needs to continue to invest in further developing technology and tools that will help advisors focus on achieving client goals. In turn, successful advisors will continue to demonstrate their value by building lasting relationships with their clients that inform holistic financial advice and enable them to achieve outstanding results for investors and their families.

Natalie Wolfsen is the Chief Commercialization Officer at AssetMark, Inc.

Photo Credit: Ken Teegardin

Copy online business

#TGW: Even (Better) Stephens

Stephens took the initiative, getting players to come into the gym during the off-season and pushing them once there.

Small things as far as leadership, getting to the gym early, pulling a guy with me, thats something I think Ive gotten better on, he said. Ive taken it upon myself, because I want to be a better leader. So Im reaching out to them to see how I can become better. Another guy, [director of player personnel] Mario West, has been great to our team as far as understanding and listening to us. I think hes made a huge difference for this program.

Stephens has been trying to make a difference by taking some of the younger players under his wing, especially 6-6, 190-pound freshman forward Christian Matthews, a Clinton, Md., native and All-Metro DC player at National Christian Academy, who will vie for time at small forward with him.

Christians my guy, said Stephens. We work out right before practice. I make sure I get shots up with him, spend time with him in the evenings and just gett to know him. Were going to be playing the same position, and I think he can be really good.

Stephens, who also saw the possibility of playing Stretch 4 with a smaller lineup, is as positive about the rest of the freshman class.

Theyre hard workers, theyre eager to learn, and theyre open to learning, he said. You can tell that through how they respond to the coaches. Everyone has their own personality, where some guys may need to be spoken to a different way. Im learning that through them even with practice. So Im learning a lot.

Fellow senior, point guard Josh Heath, is impressed with Stephens attitude and work with the youngsters.

His voice is always being heard, and he sets a good example with his actions, too, said Heath.

Those actions have included his body improvement during the offseason through the teams strength and conditioning program.

Stephens believes in Pastner and his staff and listened when they advised him.

[Pastner] along with the assistants, let me know, Hey, Q, I think you can do this better. I do my best to accommodate them. I want to get better so I listen to them, he said. My body has gotten better, and its continuing to get better. That comes with my consistency as far as eating habits and workouts.

[Strength coach] Dan Taylor has done a great job with us, he added. Hes another guy thats been very personal with us as far as regulating our workouts based on how we play. Hes able to watch us and see, We need to get more explosive in this, or We need to become more agile or stretch more. Its become much more personal.

The new system included afternoon pickup games in addition to early morning workouts. Thats an element that has gone over very well and helped in team-building.

This summer we were trying to play a lot more pickup than we have in the past years. Thats been a dimension that weve added this summer, he said. Were building the culture here, but also it helps because we have so many new guys, and we want to learn how to play with one another.

Ideally all this work and play and learning will pay off come the start of training camp and during the course of the season. If anyone knows about dividends and paying off, its Stephens, who learned that in his non-basketball work during his summer internship at Morgan Stanley.

Im with the wealth-management team over there. More like wealth management, financial advising, he said. Its been great to have the opportunity.

He has one final opportunity with Georgia Tech and is planning on helping Georgia Tech cash in.

Its weird thinking four years ago when I came in here, seeing guys like Daniel Miller being the senior. So its been a good experience, he said. Its gone by fast, but Ive learned a lot. I think its coming along. Its been a long summer, some of us are a little banged up, but we had some testing, and weve noticed some results. Thats been good.

Copy online business

Middletown to save $374600 through bond refinance and borrow $3.47 million

The township supervisors authorized professionals from their financial advising firm, Public Financial Management, of Harrisburg, to proceed with the transaction at a recent meeting.

Copy online business

Determining your retirement income needs

Copy online business

Keeping your new driver safe at back-to-school time

TAMPA (FOX 13) – As teens who got their licenses over the summer hit the road to school, getting them insured can hit you in the wallet. Recent surveys show that your insurance can go up nearly 100 percent when you add that teenager.

Thats a big jump, obviously, and something you want to prepare for before it actually happens, offered AJ Smith of Smart Asset financial advising.

Stats show young drivers are involved in more accidents, backing up the higher rates, but she says there are some steps you can take to cut costs.

First, many insurers will offer discounts if your teen takes a defensive driving course.

Next, the type of car makes a difference.

Your teen may be pushing for a brand new fancy car, but it actually costs more to insure those so maybe start off with one thats still safe but not quite as new, continued Smith.

And finally, getting good grades can pay off. Some insurers will actually give you a discount if your child does well in school.

When it comes to keeping new drivers safe, there are also a growing number of apps.

For example, Drivescribe notifies parents of dangerous driving and awards your teen points that are redeemable on Amazon for safe driving. Drivesafe.ly Pro makes your teens phone hands-free and voice activated. And Mamabear lets parents see where their kids are all the time via GPS tracking. It notifies you if certain speeds are exceeded, when kids arrive and leave preset places, and even lets you see social media interaction.

Most offer free trial periods so you may want to test-drive a few to find the one that suits your family the best.

Copy online business

Nine essential tips to save on higher education

Copy online business

Why retirees need their adult children to buy insurance

Copy online business

Sonora area group launches a new radio station

First envisioned more than a decade ago, a Sonora-area radio station with a focus on local arts and culture is set to begin broadcasting before year’s end.

After an intricate dance with the Federal Communications Division, the Tuolumne County Arts Alliance and a handful of local citizens have acquired a call sign for the station, KAAD-LP, and will broadcast out of a basement transmission studio in the Sonora Dome on FM 103.5.

With an official unveiling and fundraiser scheduled for the evening of Sept. 24 in downtown’s Coffill Park, and the launch on Thursday morning of an official website – KAAD-LP.org – the visionaries behind the project are celebrating the station as a triumph of community spirit that fills a vital need for a sharper regional and local identity.

“A pretty good block of the Mother Lode has never really identified itself,” said David Purdy, a former instructor of theater at Columbia College and a driving force behind the new station. “We hope that out of this place, out of the ashes, will come something that my kids and grandkids and great grandkids can stay for and be part of, that it doesn’t just become a series of golf courses, but that there remains that historic flavor.”

Constance O’Connor, executive director of the Arts Alliance, said she believed that Radio KAAD would provide “another voice for our community,” one that underscored diversity and captured the mission statement of the Arts Alliance: “To promote the arts and arts education in Tuolumne County, thereby enriching the lives of its residents and visitors.”

Once up and running, Radio KAAD will feature a mixture of original and syndicated content every day of the week from 6 am until 11 or 12 pm

In a broadcast studio inside a nearby Cassina High School classroom, a color-coded programming schedule displays dozens of shows with wide-ranging themes: a daily local news program; veterans’ programs; a show on local Latino culture called “Corridos”; a half-hour financial advising program hosted by Bob Vance of Vance Capital; a rock climbing show with appearances by local expert climbers; and dozens of music programs with original and, in some cases, live recordings.

Purdy said he and his wife, Ellen Stewart, also for many years an instructor of theater, had drawn on their deep relationships with the Mother Lode region to pick or create the programming.

Both have lived here for 50 years, he said, adding that Stewart is a fourth generation local: her great-grandfather once worked on and operated a section Sonora Pass near the Kennedy Meadows entrance.

“Somehow we wanted to reflect in the considerable variety of the programming both the physical characteristics and the nuances of the physical environment,” he said. “But more importantly, the people that we have had the privilege of knowing and teaching and directing and working with.”

Because KAAD-LP 103.5 is “low power,” users will be able to pick up a clear signal only while inside a roughly a 35 square mile area stretching from Columbia in the north to Chinese Camp in the south, and from the western shores of New Melones Lake in the west to Standard and Phoenix Lake in the east.

Hills and mountains obstruct and weaken the signal, which comes from an antenna attached to the top of the Sonora Dome.

But those with internet will be able to tune in from around the world.

“It’s local, but the great thing is that anyone with a connection to the internet can pick it up anywhere — even in Lithuania,” said Ellen Stewart, a theater producer and director.

It was Stewart who chiefly designed the website, where users will be able to stream the station online. She said it had been months in the making, but reflected years of planning.

“We’ve been staggering of and on this website … since April,” she said. “We haven’t worked on everything everyday, but it’s been in our lives for years now.”

Even without the aid of the Internet, ambitions for KAAD do not cease with the Dome. With luck, the broadcast could one day be bounced through repeaters in town centers throughout the region, potentially reaching a far wider audience, according to Purdy.

A project long in the making

In 1999, O’Connor described her vision for the Sonora Dome.

The stately white building that looms over downtown Sonora has been largely vacant since the 1970s, when state regulations forced Sonora’s grammar school to relocate to a new campus on Greenley Road.

For a span of years it housed the Tuolumne County Superintendent of Schools staff, but since 2011 or 2012 it has been used primarily to store school records.

Classrooms that once housed elementary school kids and later county staff are now piled high with knick knacks and antique furniture: dusty paintings, garden implements, even a couple old wooden derby racers.

One floor above, an auditorium that resembles a ballroom is eerily still, dust and plaster sprinkling the floor.

Lamenting the decline of the handsome building, O’Connor pushed for an influx of resources to the Dome, suggesting that it could serve as a hub for a host of arts and community services, from the Tuolumne County Art Museum to the Visitors Bureau to the Chamber of Commerce.

It was a vision that never came to pass. But out of it emerged Radio KAAD.

“That’s kind of how it started,” O’Connor said in an interview Thursday morning. “I had written a paper for my vision for this. And sort of buried in it was the idea that we could have a broadcast station.”

Enter Dave Purdy and Ellen Stewart. Lifelong adherents of the arts, they had long hankered for a radio station of their own, but strict stipulations from the Federal Communications Commission had barred them from applying.

Typically the Commission only allows non-commercial radio station applicants to apply once every 10 years or so, and to do it then during a mere two- or three-week window.

That window opened up in late 2013, and Stewart and Purdy seized it. Through a partnership with O’Connor and the Tuolumne County Arts Alliance, which has lent the radio station its crucial nonprofit status, they speedily filed an application for a license to the FCC.

In February of the following year, they heard back: the license was all theirs.

Since then, the Arts Alliance, Stewart and Purdy have teamed up with the Sonora Union High School District to rent space at the base of the Sonora Dome to use as a transmission studio, and have used crucial grant money from the Sonora Area Foundation to purchase radio equipment. They have also rented a small classroom on the campus of Cassina High School, and have plans to convert it into a broadcast studio complete with a green room and recording equipment.

Although the station intends to remain all-volunteer, funding could pose dilemmas for long-term sustainability. Plans for the moment call for the generation of revenue through sponsorships from local businesses and organizations, local fundraisers, and membership drives.

Still, daily on-air programming calls for a lot of maintenance, Stewart said.

For now the top priority remains making it to the debut broadcast. Stewart and Purdy have set a tentative date of Nov. 1, but there is much work to be done first, including retrofitting the broadcast studio at the leased Cassina High School space and recruiting programmers and other technicians.

“Now we are just now at the place where we are opening this up to programmers,” said Stewart, who plans to do on-air dramatic readings of writings by local authors, among other programs. Purdy, too, plans to be on the air.

While current programming plans are extensive, they could be just the beginning.

O’Connor said that Radio KAAD would be a perfect conduit for Poetry Out Loud competitors, or local high schoolers who compete annually in poetry reading competitions.

And while Radio KAAD for the moment has not been able to work out an arrangement with Sonora High School on a proposed media and journalism course, O’Connor is hopeful that, too, is in the cards.

“It’s exciting,” said O’Connor. “It really truly feels like the sky is the limit.”

Copy online business