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Category: ADPA (Accredited Domestic Partner Advisor)

Focusing on the LGBT community and why it’s important

People have asked me, why are you putting so much effort into this blog and website?
It’s simple, really. I love our LGBT community and want to give back.
My idea for lgbtinvesting.com came one evening when I was at a networking dinner at a local restaurant.

A financial advisor I didn’t know was sitting next to my wife. He started asking her what I did for a living. She told him I was a financial advisor, had my ADPA accreditation and liked to work with the LGBT community.

His response was, “Oh, I have some of those on the books.”
My wife said “Some of what?”
He said “Some of those. Gay people. I have them in my book of business.”

He spoke to my wife like we were things, not people. My wife was very angry, as was I.  I had only heard the tail end of the conversation, but pieced it together pretty quickly. I feel awful for his clients. This advisor doesn’t care about them as people. Heck, he hardly sees them as people. They probably have no clue as to what he really thinks, yet they have entrusted him with their life savings. That probably won’t be a successful relationship for those clients.

It was then that I decided to be a voice.
If I can pass on advice to help you further yourself financially, then I feel pretty good. I mean, if people are running up against a guy like “some of those” out there in the community, then how is anyone going to feel comfortable about having a personal discussion about financial plans and investing?

I’ve met many people who haven’t felt comfortable about coming out to a financial advisor.
Even though parts of DOMA have been struck down, and same-sex marriage is being legalized across the country, it doesn’t mean that everyone loves us… and let’s be honest; folks in the financial services industry have the reputation of being staunch conservatives who aren’t very supportive of the LGBT community. It’s really not a surprise LGBT folks are apprehensive. I’m stilling running into guys like the “some of those” that I met at that dinner. I’m sure people in the LGBT community are seeing it, too.

There are many couples who don’t feel comfortable telling all their business to someone who they aren’t sure accepts them.
They certainly don’t want to give business to someone who will use the money they make to support people who are against the LGBT community. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot! I’m betting if the clients of “some of those” knew what he said, they would be furious!

I want to provide the kind of guidance that will help you make decisions that will be fruitful to your future.
I want everyone to feel that they have a place to turn to get investment advice. I also want everyone to know they have an experienced professional available they can turn to, if needed.
So now you know why I started this blog and try to dispense good, useful information to everyone. LGBT investors need a place to call home.

Questions? I’m happy to answer them!

Sharon L. Herman AAMS, ADPA is the CEO of Silver Key Wealth Management, and affiliated with LPL Financial. www.silverkeywealth.com
An ADPA (Accredited Domestic Partner Advisor) designated Financial Advisor can assist you with your financial planning and investment needs.
The opinions expressed in this material do not necessarily reflect the views of LPL Financial.
Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Silver Key Wealth Management, a registered investment advisor and separate entity from LPL financial.
Ms. Herman may only discuss and/or conduct transact securities business with residents of FL, MI, GA, VA, NJ, TX. www.finra.org. www.sipc.org

 

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2014 Top 5 Businesswoman of the Year Award

Thanks Tampa Bay Business Journal! You made Sharon Herman one of the top 5 Businesswomen of the Year for 2014 in financial services!

We appreciate the recognition and support the community gives us.

Award is based on community volunteerism, business principals and customer satisfaction.

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What is a Leading Economic Indicator and Why is it Important?

Hello LGBT investors! Often, investing terms can make you feel like you are lost in a maze of strange vocabulary. Today I thought I’d tackle one that people talk about on the news frequently.
Leading Economic Indicators
A leading economic indicator is a tracked measurement of economic activity. It’s called leading because these indicators can be used as a tool to help predict how the economy and markets may change in the future.
Why are they important
Economists look at the trends of different leading indicators to see what industries are performing well or are in decline. Leading indicators are one of many precursors as to how the economy may react in the future.

 

Indicators include:
• Building Permits
o If more new houses are being built, people have money and feel confident in their current financial situation.

• Unemployment claims
o If unemployment goes down, more people have jobs.

• Inventory changes
o If inventories go down, that means that people are purchasing the goods

• Average weekly hours, manufacturing
o If weekly hours go up, that means the manufacturing plants have more orders to build

• Manufacturers’ new orders, consumer goods and materials
o More new orders means more demand

• Manufacturers’ new orders, nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft orders
o More new orders from businesses means more manufacturing and industrial needs

• Stock prices
o Stock prices go up when consumer sentiment is high and earnings are good.

• Bankruptcies
o If bankruptcies are down it means that less people are having financial issues

• Retail Sales
o People buy more retail items when they have more discretionary income

So the next time you hear a new report about the economy and they discuss leading indicators, you’ll have better idea of what they mean. Plus, you’ll look really smart at your next cocktail party!
How are you feeling about the economy at the moment?

Sharon L. Herman AAMS, ADPA is the CEO of Silver Key Wealth Management, and affiliated with LPL Financial. www.silverkeywealth.com
The opinions expressed in this material do not necessarily reflect the views of LPL Financial.
Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Silver Key Wealth Management, an independent investment advisor. Silver Key Wealth Management is separate entity from LPL financial.
Ms. Herman may only discuss and/or conduct transact securities business with residents of FL, MI, GA, NJ, VA, TX. www.finra.org. www.sipc.org

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The 6 steps for a Good Financial Plan

My LGBT friends – let’s not be willy nilly about how we establish financial plans! Let’s be savvy folks who strive to have financial freedom! My goal is to help the LGBT community have a step up when it comes to investing and retirement planning!
The first thing to do when wanting to gain financial freedom is to come up with a financial plan. Here are the six steps:

steps

Credit Hakan Dohlstrom flickr
Establish a Relationship
You’ll want to find a financial advisor. Someone that you get to know, like and trust. Go interview someone. They’ll be interviewing you, too, to see if both you and they are a good match. Find out how long they’ve been in business. What their philosophy is. Check their history on http://brokercheck.finra.org/Search/Search.aspx FINRA is the governing body over investment folks. You can see if your potential advisor has any disclosures (bankruptcies, complaints, etc.) I suggest using someone who is a broker and an investment advisor. They are fully licensed to dispense advice. Also, strongly think about using someone who is independent and doesn’t work at a firm that uses proprietary products. There isn’t a conflict of interest between the client and the firm when it comes to giving unbiased investment advice.
Gather Information
After you find the advisor, you’ll need to gather all of your financial information. Investment accounts, 401k info, pensions, tax return, social security information. Your advisor will need that at your appointment.
At this appointment, the advisor will talk to you about goals and expectation. What do you want to accomplish? When? These will be quantifiable goals. They will also discuss qualitative goals such as your health, do your children get along well, do you have parents you make have to take care of in the future.
Analyze the Data
Next, your advisor will analyze the data. This is where the advisor takes a look at your big picture and sees where you are currently. She will look at your trusts, wills, budget sheets, tax situation, savings, investments and see where your strengths and weaknesses lie.
Presenting the Financial Plan
After the data is analyzed, your advisor will present you with a financial plan. There will be recommendations on where you need to shore up your portfolio, your life documents (wills/trusts), insurance, etc. They will show you where you need to improve your plan , why it will help and how you can resolve the issue.
Implementing the Plan
Once the plan is presented , and both the client and the advisor are in agreement to move forward, the plan gets implemented. A plan is great, but it has to be implemented to work! There may need to be involvement from other parties, such as CPA’s and Estate Attorneys for plan fulfillment.
Monitor the Plan
Ongoing monitoring of the plan is of utmost importance. An annual review is necessary to ensure that any changes in the plan are made if needed. If you have a major life change in between visits (moving, marriage, change of job) make sure to discuss this with your advisor to keep them in the loop!
Do you have a financial plan?
An ADPA (Accredited Domestic Partner Advisor) designated Financial Advisor can assist you with your choices if you need help from professional.
Sharon L. Herman AAMS, ADPA is the CEO of Silver Key Wealth Management, and affiliated with LPL Financial. www.silverkeywealth.com
The opinions expressed in this material do not necessarily reflect the views of LPL Financial.
Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Silver Key Wealth Management, a registered investment advisor and separate entity from LPL financial.
Ms. Herman may only discuss and/or conduct transact securities business with residents of FL, MI, GA, VA, NJ, TX. www.finra.org. www.sipc.org

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The Rule of 72 and the 4% Draw

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Hello my savvy LGBT investors! Here’s a handy formula that I think you’ll find helpful. It’s called the rule of 72
72 pic

Credit: Kristy Hall
The Rule of 72 helps you figure out how long it will take to double your money
It’s pretty easy. First, take your rate of return on your investment.
For this example, let’s say you are getting a 10% return.
Divide 72 by that number.
In this case 72/10 = 7.2
The answer (in this case 7.2) is the number of years it will take for you to double your money.
Let’s do another one!
8% return
72/8= 9
So it’s 9 years to double your money.
So those people who have “safe” investments, like CD’s, that pay .5% interest?
It will take them 144 years to double their money!
That’s why you don’t want to put your long term money into short term investments!
I’m not saying that market volatility doesn’t play a role. It does. Certainly some years your portfolio will perform different than others. You may get 20% one year and -10% in others. Again, depends on you and your investments. But it’s handy for illustrative purposes. The rule of 72 is purely a mathematical concept and does not guarantee investment results nor functions as a predictor of how an investment will perform. It is an approximation of the impact of a targeted rate of return. Investments are subject to fluctuating returns and there is no assurance that any investment will double in value.
Why do you want to know this?
First off, you look pretty impressive at cocktail parties. But more importantly, you can use another rule of thumb that I like to use for an “off the cuff” calculation.
Many consider the safe standard to withdraw money from an investment account is a rate of 4%.
Now this isn’t written in stone. It can be higher, it could be lower. It all depends on what your investments are and risk tolerance. The 4% is a “be safe” sort of guideline.
You can use this to figure out how much money you will need for retirement.
Of course, this is a ballpark estimate. I have to emphasize ballpark.
Another example: If you need to pull of $30,000 a year off of your investment accounts, that means you’ll need to have $750,000 saved.
Using 4% as our draw rate:
30,000/.04 = 750,000
Where 30,000 is how much you want to take out of the account each year
The .04 is the 4% draw rate
The 750,000 is the resulting amount of principal with which you need to start.
Like I said before, this is not a hard and fast rule. Things like risk tolerance and investments in your account will make a difference. Certainly don’t use this formula as a substitute for a real financial plan. It might make you feel better about the amount you currently have saved. Maybe it will have you strive to save more.

An ADPA (Accredited Domestic Partner Advisor) designated Financial Advisor can assist you with your financial planning and investment needs.
Sharon L. Herman AAMS, ADPA is the CEO of Silver Key Wealth Management, and affiliated with LPL Financial. www.silverkeywealth.com
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Silver Key Wealth Management, a registered investment advisor and separate entity from LPL financial.
Ms. Herman may only discuss and/or conduct transact securities business with residents of FL, MI, GA, VA, NJ, TX. www.finra.org. www.sipc.org

 

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Buy Quality Investments

Hello my LGBT friends! I hope this blog post finds you well.

In my last blog, I spoke about getting a game plan together. Now I’m going to talk about investing.

My belief – buy quality investments and be well diversified.

QualityAndValue

Your underlying investment strategy will only be as sound as the investments you buy. You wouldn’t build a house on quicksand and expect it to be sturdy, right? Same goes for your investment portfolio. Have a good foundation.

When looking at stock type of investments, look for companies that have been in business for a long time (I usually look at companies with at least a 10 year track record) and have a history of increasing dividends. That may be a good indicator of a company with a good financial record.

Diversify!
Don’t buy stocks in just one sector. Spread the love!  You may want to pick companies from different sectors to balance out your portfolio. If you are starting out, I don’t recommend having more than 5% of your portfolio in any company. So even if you really like Coca Cola, Pepsi and Snapple, you might not want to buy all three of those companies. They do the same thing – make beverages.  If you do decide to buy all three of those companies, buy them in smaller amounts so that sector doesn’t go over 5% of your portfolio. Make sense?

Stock Sectors include:
•    Basic Materials
•    Conglomerates
•    Consumer Goods
•    Financial
•    Healthcare
•    Industrial Goods
•    Services
•    Technology
•    Utilities

To break it down even more, each sector has sub sectors –for example, Utilities include the sub sectors of electric, water, natural gas.

So remember, quality and diversify your holdings. Do you have a favorite stock?

An ADPA (Accredited Domestic Partner Advisor) designated Financial Advisor can assist you with your choices if you need help from professional.

Diversification does not guarantee a profit or protect against loss.

Past performance doesn’t guarantee future results.

 


 

Sharon_Herman_HeadshotSharon L. Herman AAMS, ADPA is the CEO of Silver Key Wealth Management, and affiliated with LPL Financial, the largest independent broker/dealer* in the United States. www.silverkeywealth.com

The opinions expressed in this material do not necessarily reflect the views of LPL Financial.

Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Independent Financial Partners, a registered investment advisor and separate entity from LPL financial.

Ms. Herman may only discuss and/or conduct transact securities business with residents of FL, MI, GA, VA, NJ, TX. www.finra.org. www.sipc.org

*Financial Planning Magazine (June 1996-2013 based on total revenue)

 

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Developing A Game Plan

OK, my LGBT friends! First things first! You need to develop a game plan. What are your financial goals? Do you want to retire at a certain date? Take a dream vacation? Provide an education for your children or grandchildren?

Even Godzilla had a game plan!

Godzilla
Photo by: futuristmovies.com

You need to know what you want to accomplish before you set out and start to randomly invest money
If you were going to bake a cake, you’d make a list of ingredients that you need. Then you’d probably check your cupboards to see what you already have. After that, you’d go to the store and buy the rest. It wouldn’t make sense to go to the store and buy random ingredients and hope you end up with the right things to bake a cake…. Same goes for setting up a plan for investing your money. Write down what you want to accomplish and when and choose investments that match your timeframe and risk tolerance.

You need to be patient with your investments!
There are quite a few investments to pick from in the investing universe. – Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, alternative investments. Diversity is key. You need to be disciplined about saving money and patient with market returns. Don’t abandon a plan because of short term market setbacks. I suggest you speak to an LGBT financial advisor with an ADPA designation to assist you with your plan, if you are seeking professional assistance!

Your game plan should be looked at periodically. Have your goals changed? Are there life events happening that change our long or short term goals? If so, then maybe your investment strategy needs to change with it.

What are some of your goals?

 


 

Sharon_Herman_HeadshotSharon L. Herman AAMS, ADPA is the CEO of Silver Key Wealth Management, and affiliated with LPL Financial, the largest independent broker/dealer* in the United States. www.silverkeywealth.com

The opinions expressed in this material do not necessarily reflect the views of LPL Financial.

Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Independent Financial Partners, a registered investment advisor and separate entity from LPL financial.

Ms. Herman may only discuss and/or conduct transact securities business with residents of FL, MI, GA, VA, NJ, TX. www.finra.org. www.sipc.org

*Financial Planning Magazine (June 1996-2013 based on total revenue)

 

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What is an ADPA and Why is it Important to LGBT Investors?

CDs

By Sharon L. Herman AAMS, ADPA

The ADPA (Accredited Domestic Partner Advisor) accreditation is a specialty designation that can be earned through the College for Financial Planning.

The accreditation addresses the unique financial planning needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals, as well as heterosexual couples who have chosen not to marry. Specifically covered are factors and situations that cause financial planning for domestic partners to be different from financial planning for legally married spouses, including wealth transfer, taxation, retirement planning, and estate planning issues; as well as alternative planning strategies for these situations.  www.cffpinfo.com/adpa.html

There are differences in financial planning for couples that live in states that do and don’t recognize same-sex marriage.

Working with someone who is specially educated and certified to know and understand these differences can help domestic partners and married couples pursue their financial goals in a more optimal manner.

 


 

Sharon_Herman_HeadshotSharon L. Herman AAMS, ADPA is the CEO of Silver Key Wealth Management, and affiliated with LPL Financial, the largest independent broker/dealer* in the United States. www.silverkeywealth.com

The opinions expressed in this material do not necessarily reflect the views of LPL Financial.

Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Independent Financial Partners, a registered investment advisor and separate entity from LPL financial.

Ms. Herman may only discuss and/or conduct transact securities business with residents of FL, MI, GA, VA, NJ, TX. www.finra.org. www.sipc.org

*Financial Planning Magazine (June 1996-2013 based on total revenue)

 

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