News & Insights

What is the value of the CFP® mark and why is it important?

by Chris Jaccard, CFP®, CFA on 6/17/2014

An article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal calls into question the value of the CFP® certification and other credentials through the eyes of investment advisors and wealth managers. Since the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards has stepped up enforcement of its rules over the past year, it’s easy to find critics in the advisor community. In short, they were catching advisors claiming to work on a “fee-only” basis who were actually receiving commissions and fees.

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posted in BlogGeneral

Should You Get Your Financial Advice from a Private Fiduciary or a Representative of a Publicly Traded Company?

by Jim Freeman, CFP® on 3/14/2014

John Bogle, the founder of Vanguard investments has dedicated his life to putting investors first and driving down the costs of mutual funds. In chapter 13 of his recent book, “Don’t Count On It!” he tells an interesting story of a 1958 court ruling that according to Bogle, “played a definitive role in setting the investment industry on a new course in which manager entrepreneurship in the search for personal profit would supersede manager stewardship in the search for prudent investment return for fund shareholders.”

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posted in BlogGeneralInvestments

What the King of Cyber Fraud Can Teach Us

by Chris Jaccard, CFP®, CFA on 9/1/2013

At a recent conference I attended, I learned a little about the story of Tobechi Onwuhara. Tobe spent years near the top of the FBI’s most wanted list, and after his capture in March, he pleaded guilty to fraud and money laundering. In less than three years, he stole at least $44 million as the mastermind of a cybercriminal crew.

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posted in BlogGeneralPersonal Finance

Self-Discipline Matters More Than IQ

by Jim Freeman, CFP® on 6/14/2013

A research article by Angela Duckworth and Martin Seligman from the University of Pennsylvania showed that self discipline matters more than IQ in predicting academic performance. This does not surprise me. Hard work, discipline and true persistence are a hard combination to beat over the long-term.

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posted in BlogGeneralInvestments

Running Your Family Like a Business

by Ellen Li, MSBA, CFP® on 4/19/2013

My husband and I just celebrated our son’s 1 year birthday in early April. We marveled at his development in just one year and are delighted to see that he has emerged as a little individual. While we couldn’t help but patting ourselves on the back for overcoming many obstacles as new parents in the first year, we realize that there are many more challenges ahead of us. One of the biggest challenges we encounter is the stress from the chaos of family life and finding a good balance between home, work, and personal relationships. Recently I came across a WSJ article entitled “Family Inc.” written by Bruce Feiler. It offers some good tips on organizing the family using a business concept called Agile Development. Here is a summary:

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posted in BlogGeneral

Scrutinizing Costs Leads to Chris Jaccard Being Quoted In the Wall Street Journal

by Jim Freeman, CFP® on 3/22/2013

Last week, Chris was researching Fidelity’s new commission-free ETF offering when he noticed the fine print: They will charge a fee if the ETF is sold within 60 days of its purchase date.

Shortly after researching this, Chris saw a press request stating that Kristen Grind from the Wall Street Journal was writing an article about Fidelity’s new program; so Chris decided to contact Kristen and express his opinion.

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posted in BlogGeneralInvestments

Top 5 Tips to Build a Defense Against Online Fraud

by Chris Jaccard, CFP®, CFA on 11/9/2012

Email Hijack

A few weeks ago I got a strange couple of emails from one of our clients. Unlike the usual “Mugged in London” type of email scams, this one seemed more legitimate — he requested an account balance so he could wire cash to make a real estate purchase.

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posted in BlogGeneral

Financial Alternatives, Inc. named Five Star Wealth Manager

by Jim Freeman, CFP® on 10/16/2012

We are pleased to announce that Financial Alternatives, Inc. has been named a 2013 Five Star Wealth Manager. The 2013 award winners were just announced and they will be included in the January issue of San Diego Magazine. This is a level of excellence achieved by fewer than 7 percent of the Wealth Managers in San Diego.

This selection is the result of a research process that included a regulatory and consumer complaint review, and an evaluation of objective criteria associated with wealth managers who provide quality services to their clients. The Five Star Wealth Manager program is one of the largest and most widely published wealth management accolade programs in North America.

As a 2013 Five Star Wealth Manager, we are receiving an honor that reflects our hard work and dedication to our clients. We wanted to share this good news with you.

posted in BlogGeneral

Simple… And Effective

by Jim Freeman, CFP® on 8/31/2012

I recently saw the handwritten graph above (relating simplicity with effectiveness), and it reminded me of what we do for our clients on a daily basis.

Look at this graph for a minute. What thoughts come to mind? Is there an area of your life where complexity is limiting your effectiveness?

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posted in BlogGeneralPersonal Finance

San Diego State University and The College For Financial Planning Recognized for Excellence

by Jim Freeman, CFP® on 4/27/2012

Chris, Ellen and I were gratified to learn that both San Diego State University and The College for Financial Planning were named as two of 10 standout financial planning educational schools. Chris and Ellen are both graduates of SDSU and I am a graduate of The College for Financial Planning.

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posted in BlogGeneral

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Disclaimer

Posts are general in nature and do not constitute the rendering of legal, investment, accounting or other professional advice.