Tag Archives: Investment Management




Preparing an “Exit Strategy” like Kobe Bryant

Monday, December 21, 2015

What is your Plan

My phone buzzes on the nightstand. I hate that thing sometimes. I look over and am surprised to see that it’s my son, Brendan, 25, texting me way past my bedtime from his Western Timezone. I grab the phone and slide open the message.

Kobe retiring,” it says. I yawn. Definitely not a necessary text at 10PM.

That’s what happens when you get old,” I reply. I’m awake so I do a quick google search and see that “old” NBA basketball player Kobe Bryant is… only 37. Yikes. I won’t say how old that makes me, but I can’t imagine what it would be like to retire at 37.

He announced it via poem…” says Brendan. He includes the link (1). I save it for later and my head hits the pillow.

Now, none of my clients are professional athletes, and most won’t announce their retirement with a poem, but all of them worry about how they will eventually leave the workforce. For those who own a company, there’s the added pressure of planning for that business beyond their retirement. In a recent meeting, I asked a client (let’s call him Bill) for his vision for his company over the next three to five years. Specifically, I asked if Bill has an “exit strategy” that will provide him retirement income, protect his family and employees, and preserve the legacy Bill invested so much sweat and energy to create. Bill gave me a blank stare. As a small business owner myself, I can understand why.

John M. Leonetti, author of Exiting Your Business, Protecting Your Wealth, says, “Most owners do not have an exit strategy in place because people who run businesses tend to focus a majority of their efforts on being in the game or competing in their industry…[They] understand the logic of planning for an exit, but typically put it off to some unknown point in the future” (2). The task of planning your departure from your business can feel daunting and overwhelming. Like many of my clients, I am a small business owner. My last name is even in the title. As my children were growing up, I joked about who was going to take over the business when I retired. My jokes were left with blank responses. Truthfully, I’m happy to see my children following careers that interest them. For me, it became clear I needed to look outside the family to build a succession plan that best served the company and most importantly, our clients.

Likewise, Bill and I started a process that will provide him with an independent evaluation of his company and a list of strategies to implement to make a sale viable. Based on my 29 years of experience working as a CPA and CFP®, I find that the first step in this process is identifying what the business is really worth and what the client needs from the business to ensure a comfortable retirement.  With this information, Bill can begin to consider all of the sale alternatives. I’ll go into these in more detail in my next post, but for our purposes here, they include the following options:

  1. Internal management buyout
  2. Formal search for a strategic buyer
  3. Private equity
  4. Transfer to the next generation
  5. Growth capital for business expansion

The process wasn’t as hard as Bill imagined once we jumped the mental barrier of the “exit strategy.” The information was available, and the client just needed our team to coordinate his existing advisors to help get the job done.

Kobe will play to the end of this NBA season in April, stretching his public exit strategy to five months. For you and your company, your strategy may be ingrained in your business for the next few decades to ensure you leave at the right time in the best possible situation. As John M. Leonetti says, “For a mature company, the sooner a plan is put in place, the better prepared an owner will be when an exit is available, both personally and professionally.”

Clients work with us because we don’t sell products – we create customized plans based on each client’s unique goals and we continuously reevaluate client plans to ensure they are aligned with changing needs. Our clients rely on us to protect their futures, and we take their trust to heart.

  1. http://www.theplayerstribune.com/dear-basketball/
  2. http://quickbooks.intuit.com/r/business-planning/how-to-plan-an-exit-strategy-for-your-small-business

Emotional Data: The missing link for Robo-Advisors

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Scannell Wealth management

While preparing his income tax return on TurboTax this week, a client called because he owed more than expected and wanted to know why.  Over the phone, we reviewed the TurboTax online questionnaire and determined what caused the higher tax bill. We then reduced it by electing credits he hadn’t considered.  HighTower-Scannell Wealth offers proactive tax planning for our clients, but we are not in the tax preparation business.  My advice to most clients is that TurboTax is a great tool, but they should consult with their CPA because these professional accountants know and understand the law. Paying for objective advice from a CPA is a good investment because it usually saves money.

 

The next day, while discussing estate planning alternatives with a client, I was asked, “Should I go online to draft a will rather than pay an attorney?” I recommend that clients work with a licensed attorney to help implement an estate plan because they have seen and worked on the problems created when estate planning documents are not prepared properly.  When clients need a will, trust, power of attorney, living will or other planning documents, an online questionnaire will not address all of the issues that need to be considered.  Fees paid to an attorney for valuable expertise will protect your family when you are gone.

 

These questions became apparent today as I read the article “Robo-Advisor growth hits Wall Street” in Yahoo Sports.  The journalist addressed the growth of online “advisors” who offer low cost, technology- based investment management services some believe may replace working with advisors like me. Online firms are successfully leveraging technology to drive down the cost to invest and improve expense transparency, both of which are good for clients.  We’ve used robo-advisor-type services in our practice to deliver low cost and transparency to our clients, lowering our client fees 5 times since 2007 while passing along efficiencies to those we serve.

 

Beyond the cost savings and transparency improvements, can these online companies truly replace the human touch of advisors? I remember watching an online tutorial about Walleye fishing before leaving for my first fishing trip in Canada.  It was informative, but it did not compare with the coaching I received from the fishing guide in the boat on the water. He directed me toward the different strategies and equipment needed for the catch as the weather changed on the lake.

 

I know my clients’ stories, priorities, history, goals and families, and I didn’t discover that by reviewing online surveys. I’m there when clients face unexpected life events, job changes, promotions, or medical emergencies.  I offer advice when they are saving for college, planning for weddings or evaluating the overwhelming alternatives facing their elderly parents. We gather “robo-advisor” financial facts, but it’s the emotional data we gather in personal meetings that allows us to prepare, implement, and monitor comprehensive plans addressing taxes, retirement, cash flow, budgeting, estate planning, insurance and other needs.

 

Your goals and dreams change. Financial products do not. Clients work with us because we don’t sell products – we create customized plans based on each client’s unique goals, and we continuously reevaluate client plans to ensure they are aligned with changing needs.  Our clients rely on us to protect their futures, and we take their trust to heart.

 

Tim Scannell, CPA, CFP TM provides Personal and Business Tax Planning, Estate Planning, Investment Management, and Generational Wealth management to his clients. “Clients work with us because we don’t sell products – we create customized plans based on each client’s unique goals, and we continuously reevaluate client plans to ensure they are aligned with changing needs. Our clients rely on us to protect their futures, and we take their trust to heart.

 

Secure your Data to protect your Wealth!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Earlier this month Anthem reported it was the victim of a cyber attack that exposed the personal information of almost 80 million clients ( you and me). According the the February 21, 2015 issue of National Law Review, class action suits have already been filed “claiming that lax Anthem security measures contributed to this incident”.

Timothy Scannell, Valparaiso Wealth management, HighTower Advisors

Secure your data!

While Anthem has the capital and resources to survive a cyber attack, most small business owners do not.  Recent Symantec research indicated that 60% of the small businesses they studied that were affected by a breach was out of business within 6 months of a cyber attack because the breach expenses and damage to their reputation was too great to overcome.  A 2014 NetDilligence report of 111 actual cyber crime liability claims noted the average payout was $733,109, covering forensic analysis and containment of the breach, notification requirements, legal guidance, public relations, legal defense, legal settlement, regulatory defense, and regulatory fines.

 

McAfee’s June 2014 “Economic Impact of Cybercrime” report stressed that cybercrime is a growth industry because of great returns and low risks for the criminals. My opinion as a business advisor is that your business will likely be directly or indirectly affected by a breach.  Do you and your business have a plan to respond to a cyber data breach? Does the plan address the initial forensics costs related to identifying and containing the breach?  Does it work through the maze of federal and state notification laws to avoid civil penalties?  Assuming you identify and contain the breach and complete all of the notifications, are you ready to handle the harm to the goodwill value of your business that is based on trust and reputation?

 

Our business owner clients have proactive and comprehensive wealth management plans to grow their business and personal wealth but these plans can be ruined if one criminal sees a weakness in your defenses and decides to attack.  Your comprehensive wealth management plan must include a cyber risk plan and analyze the cost and benefits of insuring all or parts of that risk.

 

We’ve worked with business owners who take all the proper security steps for their office network and create a proper plan but then fail to secure the many cell phones their employees and family use that contain confidential business data.  An Infosec 2013 report found that only 26% of mobile users have security software installed while 49% use their personal mobile devices for work. Many protect their computers but not their phones and the business data on them.

 

Create a cyber risk plan for your business and personal wealth and discuss the plan with your family and team of advisors.  Doing so will protect the wealth you are working so hard to grow for your family and future generations. Contact us for tools and resources you can use to create your plan.

 

Tim Scannell, CPA, CFP TM provides Personal and Business Tax Planning, Estate Planning, Investment Management, and Generational Wealth management to his clients. “Clients work with us because we don’t sell products – we create customized plans based on each client’s unique goals, and we continuously reevaluate client plans to ensure they are aligned with changing needs. Our clients rely on us to protect their futures, and we take their trust to heart”.

 

David Karp, Anderson Insurance, since 1939, the foundation of our agency has been to provide quality service and products to our personal and commercial clients.  Our firm conviction is that our client’s best interest is our primary responsibility.  It is important to us today as it was in 1939..

Verify your Social Security Benefits!

Friday, February 20, 2015

When preparing retirement plans for clients, confirming the accuracy of Social Security data and estimating Social Security retirement revenue is very important.  As a process, we ask to review clients’ benefit statements to make sure that their income, taxes and benefits are reported accurately. If your income or taxes are incorrect in your report, it could be a sign that your employer is miscalculating your income, or worse, not remitting your withheld FICA taxes.  If the amount reported by Social Security is greater than your actual wages, it may be a sign that your identity has been stolen and someone is using your Social Security number.  Both problems can cost you benefits, time and legal fees.  To help clients monitor their benefits, we help them register for online statements at www.socialsecurity.gov. Verifying the accuracy of clients’ Social Security information throughout their working career is valuable for clients of all ages because if there are inaccuracies, we must correct them while data remains available from their employers.

 

Verify Your Benefits

Verify Your Benefits

When reviewing your information and benefits, remember that Social Security uses your highest 35 years of income, limits the amount of earnings subject to taxation each year, and uses the same limit when calculating your benefits. Note that the contribution base fluctuates. For example, the contribution and benefit base was $117,000 in 2014 and increased to $118,500 in 2015.

 

Once the accuracy of your information at Social Security and your benefits are confirmed, we work through the complex rules and regulations to help clients create a strategy to maximize their lifetime benefits.  Based on 29 years of planning experience, there are no rules of thumb to use use when making benefit elections.  The specific ages and income histories of spouses, both living and deceased, life expectancy and other assumptions will result in strategy options that are specific to each client.  Due to the complexities of the calculations, we use software designed specifically to analyze and compare their different life long results.

 

Plan wisely, verify the accuracy of your information, consider all options before making your Social Security benefit elections, and lastly, make sure you incorporate Social Security into your retirement plan, regardless of your age.

 

Your goals and dreams change. Financial products do not. Clients work with us because we don’t sell products – we create customized plans based on each client’s unique goals, and we continuously reevaluate client plans to ensure they are aligned with changing needs. Our clients rely on us to protect their futures, and we take their trust to heart.

 

Tim Scannell, CPA, CFP TM provides Personal and Business Tax Planning, Estate Planning, Investment Management, and Generational Wealth management to his clients. “We deliver proactive, objective advice, plans and solutions enabling our clients to reach their unique family goals “.

 

Keith Wolak, CPA is a partner at Hoeppner Wagner & Evans. Keith is a Board Certified Indiana Trust and Estate Lawyer, as certified by Trust and Estate Specialty Board. Hoeppner Wagner & Evans LLP is a law firm with offices in Merrillville and Valparaiso. Visit our website www.hwelaw.com for more information. DISCLAIMER: This publication is not intended to be legal advice but is presented for informational and educational purposes only. The facts and circumstances of a specific legal issue are unique and you should seek legal advice for your specific questions or concerns. No attorney-client relationship is created.

 

Don’t Jeopardize Entry Level Opportunities

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

This week, President Obama directed the Labor Department to create rules aimed at increasing overtime pay for salaried employees.  As I read about his plan, I drifted back to 1984 after graduating from the University of Illinois, starting work in downtown Chicago, and leaping into the vast ocean they call a career.  I was suddenly left to create your own path.   I had worked many hourly-rate jobs (and a classic paper route) to that point, but now I was entering the “salaried, professional” world.

I focused all efforts during my final two years at U of I on an accounting degree, with a goal of becoming a CPA.  It sounds odd as I say it now, but prior to working as a CPA in an entry level position, I had never actually known or really talked to a CPA. Internships weren’t part of my recommended curriculum, and I worked various campus jobs to cover my tuition.  Finding mentors to help guide me thorough my career options in this mysterious sea of opportunities was a major goal of mine at that time.

As I look back, the most valuable lessons at my first job out of college occurred when I arrived early, went to lunch with co-workers and stayed late, beyond the traditional eight-hour work day.  I traveled often to the on-site audits and shared many meals, including dinners, with clients and co-workers.  Valuable time was spent talking to and networking with peers, managers and clients who shared their experiences and guided me through conversation, advice and great examples.  It was during a “working-dinner” conversation with my senior manager at Ernst & Whinney that I decided the CPA career path options were not for me.

Proponents of the new overtime rules will tell me that I was cheated by not getting paid for those extra hours beyond the forty per week and my “Millennial” kids will tell me that I was exploited by “The Man.”  Thirty years in business tells me otherwise.   Had my firm been required to pay me for those hours, they would have eliminated the early mornings, client meals and “working-dinners” that gave me the mentorship, networking opportunities and career knowledge I needed very much at that time.  I wouldn’t have met the three people who have been the greatest business mentors of my life and who taught me the value of entrepreneurship and hard work. My goal in 1984 was to work in an entry level position where I could learn, practice my skills, and find great mentors and role models who could help me advance my career, so I could support my family.  My goal in 1984 wasn’t to be a staff accountant for life

Career Networking

The Wealth Management processes for our client families use many of those “entry-level” lessons I learned back then.  Often, an entry level or even unpaid job is where children and grandchildren gain the confidence, mentorship, skilled networking opportunities and experience they need to ultimately receive wealth in a way that fosters their development and lifetime goals.  I advise my clients to mentor their loved ones and pass on their expertise; it is the greatest form of sharing wealth.

For the beneficiaries of your wealth to catch their personal, professional, financial or other trophy fish, create opportunities for them to find the mentors, experience and advice that will help them catch their dream fish. More importantly, they will have control over how they catch it, choosing the rivers and streams or oceans they fish in.

Tim Scannell, CPA, CFP TM provides Personal and Business Tax Planning, Estate Planning, Investment Management, and Generational Wealth management to his clients. “We deliver proactive, objective advice, plans and solutions enabling our clients to reach their unique family goals “.

Does the receiver know the play?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Like many Americans this weekend, I sat down with friends to watch a few NFL playoff games.  Although my favorite Chicago Bears fell short of making the playoffs this year, I still needed to get my football fix and collect the many stories of amazing catches and comebacks that will be shared this week at lunches, around the office and in client meetings.

 

As I watched Andrew Luck’s Colts battle Tom Brady’s Patriots, I marveled at how these incredible quarterbacks manage and lead successful teams to victory.  I see similar qualities in the great business owners I work with who visualize, plan, and lead great companies to success.  Brady and Luck have much in common with many of my clients who successfully combat adversity and overcome challenges to create and manage their family wealth based on their unique family goals.  I see myself on the sidelines and in the huddle with my clients, proactively offering independent advice and solutions to advance their family goals and protect them from taxes, market risks, and storms on the horizon.

 

These two quarterbacks, like the family leaders I work with, get the limelight as they should.  My thoughts during the game, though, were mostly with the Colts and Patriots’ receivers playing on the field.  What if Andrew Luck and the Colts’ coaches didn’t tell the receivers what plays they were calling? Would they know where to go to catch the pass?  If Tom Brady called an audible as a result of an impending rush, but didn’t tell the receivers why and where to go, would the play work?  It seems absurd to think that any team has a chance of success without training their receivers to know the play, run a route, catch a pass, and identify a defensive scheme, yet this is how most families prepare to transfer their wealth.

 

Advisors often create strong teams of CPA’s, attorneys, bankers, insurance professionals, investment managers and other advisers to prepare great plans for the smooth and efficient transfer of assets to beneficiaries.  Yet many allocate very little time and resources to make sure that the ultimate beneficiaries know the plan, are ready to receive wealth and are in the best position for success as they receive it. ”Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations” is how Americans describe the high failure rate of wealth transfers, and the biggest cause of that failure is a lack of preparing heirs to receive the wealth.

 

Working with the Institute for Preparing Heirs, we help our clients start the conversations among family members, and we give clients the tools needed to prepare heirs to receive and manage wealth in a manner that fosters their development and lifetime goals. Family meetings are tools that can promote communication and trust among family members and can be used to teach financial responsibility to heirs.  Contact me for a sample “Family Meeting” agenda.

 

To catch the personal, professional, financial or other trophy fish you want for your family, make sure your heirs are prepared to receive your family wealth.  Doing so will give your family more control over the river and streams or oceans you fish in.

 

Tim Scannell, CPA, CFP TM provides Personal and Business Tax Planning, Estate Planning, Investment Management, and Generational Wealth management to his clients. “We deliver proactive, objective advice, plans and solutions enabling our clients to reach their unique family goals “.

 

Scannell Wealth Management is a team of investment professionals registered with HighTower Securities, LLC, member FINRA, MSRB and SIPC & HighTower Advisors, LLC a registered investment advisor with the SEC. All securities are offered through HighTower Securities, LLC and advisory services are offered through HighTower Advisors, LLC.

Nurture the Spark in People Around You

Friday, September 6, 2013

As I watched Brendan perform in his last Northwestern University Titanic improv show, I had so many feelings and emotions. Was it really four years ago when Nancy and I left Brendan at Northwestern  to start a new chapter in his life? Could it be ten years ago when Brendan was in seventh grade that we drove him to Chicago for Saturday improv classes at Second City in Chicago?  We can take credit for seeing the spark and finding the kindling, but Brendan worked the fire like an Eagle Scout. We were just one source of oxygen or kindling that helped his performing spark turn to a burning desire. His respect now for how hard it can be to achieve success is a result of the path he chose to take over the past ten years.

 

I read in the book Freakenomics that you need to work at something for 10,000 hours before it becomes second nature. Brendan and his Puma Mama teammates had definitely invested the 10,000 hours plus over the past four years to make last Friday night the best performance we’ve seen for this team.  It looks so natural and easy, yet having watched Brendan learn his craft over the past ten years, I know that’s not the case. I’m excited to watch the next chapter of his story as he begins another 10,000 hour track in Los Angeles with a few of his Titanic teammates.

 

Reflecting on Brendan’s passion and hard work, I think about the clients I’ve worked with as they move from one chapter to another in their lives.  I work with clients as they get married, start careers and families, save for their children’s college, plan for and maintain financial independence and then ultimately pass their wealth to their families and favorite charities.  I help clients as they start, grow and transform their businesses, and I help them pass the business to family and key employees when they are ready to retire.   As they enter each stage of life, closing one chapter and starting a new on, the tools and techniques used to help them achieve their goals change, just as the world, laws, and markets change around us.  I give clients the tools that help spark their unique passions and goals, but ultimately it is the clients’ perseverance and hard work that makes them successful.

 

When planning for the transfer of wealth to the next generation, often the biggest fear is how children and grandchildren will respond to receiving wealth.  Do they appreciate how much effort went into creating wealth and will they respect it?  Will the inheritance they receive be used to improve their lives or will it hurt them?  The key to successful generational wealth preservation is establishing processes aimed at discovering the unique spark in each member of the family and then making plans to have the wealth be the kindling needed to light that spark.

 

Keep your eyes open to discovering the spark in the people around you.  Doing so will help them catch the personal, professional, financial or other trophy fish they are after.  More importantly, they will have control over how they catch it, choosing the rivers and streams or oceans they fish in.

 

Tim Scannell, CPA, CFPTM provides Personal and Business Tax Planning, Estate Planning, Investment Management, and Generational Wealth management to his clients. “We strive to deliver transparent, proactive, independent, and comprehensive planning and communications to the families we work for”.

 

Scannell Wealth Management is a team of investment professionals registered with HighTower Securities, LLC, member FINRA, MSRB and SIPC & HighTower Advisors, LLC a registered investment advisor with the SEC. All securities are offered through HighTower Securities, LLC and advisory services are offered through HighTower Advisors, LLC.

Who is up for Selling Hotdogs on the Beach

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

So there I was ready to teach a class full of 4th graders about entrepreneurship.  I had carefully prepared my presentation, but as I heard the teacher instructing the students to listen to me for the next few hours, I thought she was making a big mistake.  What do I know about 4th graders other than I was one 41 years ago!  As the 26 students looked at me, I wondered if I would connect with at least one future entrepreneur in the group.

I was intrigued when I first learned about the Junior Achievement Our Region program because it uses hands-on activities that introduce students to entrepreneurship with a secondary focus on social studies, geography, business, economics, ethics, writing and math.  I wanted to volunteer, but I wondered what I was in for when those 52 eyes stared up at me.

The fun began when we played the “Hot Dog Stand” game.  We reviewed the basics such as how important it is for businesses to make money, and we had a lively discussion about what businesses do with the money they make. Then I separated them into groups of five to figure out how to sell hotdogs at the beach. The nine-year-olds fascinated me as I watched them discover all the tasks involved in selling a simple hotdog. With the profits, most agreed that they should buy more hot dogs to sell the next day, but a few chose to buy iPhones or shoes and saw the consequences.

The kids identified why business owners need to find employees with good people skills, pay them fairly, and need to be good and ethical community members. The students also learned how pricing, marketing and food costs affect profit and the ability to support families.  For a few in the group, the hot dog stand became personal as they shared stories about their parents who worked so hard in their businesses.  When I started the program, I hoped to connect to just one aspiring entrepreneur, but the children taught me that I had underestimated them.  I saw the entrepreneur spark in most of the kids that day, and I hope I fed the flames!

I spend most days preparing, implementing, monitoring and adjusting comprehensive plans to manage wealth that my clients have accumulated.  We navigate complicated tax rules, law changes and volatile markets for clients and proactively adjust their plans accordingly, so they can live independently and pass wealth to their family and favorite charities.  We offer programs like Our Region to our clients’ children and grandchildren to prepare them for inheriting the wealth their parents and grandparents have accumulated.  As these children learn how hard it is to earn, accumulate and then keep wealth, they will be better prepared to inherit it.

At the head of the class, I listened to 4th graders talking about landscaping, lumber, food, shipping and other businesses they wanted to start.  If this class has anything to say about it, our future is bright if the youth find mentors who can help them navigate the complications of business. When you see the entrepreneurship spark, give it what it needs to nurture that burning desire as early as possible. If we have more entrepreneurs creating jobs, more people will catch their personal, professional, financial or other trophy fish they are going after, and more importantly, have control over how they catch it, choosing the rivers and streams they fish in.

Tim Scannell, CPA, CFPTM provides Personal and Business Tax Planning, Estate Planning, Investment Management, and Generational Wealth management to his clients. “We strive to deliver transparent, proactive, independent, and comprehensive planning and communications to the families we work for”.

Entrepreneurs will make your day!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

While vacationing recently in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, I wanted to test my skiing skills on Mt. Warner.   By chance, I stumbled across the One Stop Ski Shop in downtown Steamboat, and I met a group of expert ski entrepreneurs.  John fitted me for ski equipment in a way that displayed his passion for skiing and his desire to make sure I got the most of my skiing experience.  I sensed that the owner and his two employees relish their independence in running a business that is in tune with their outdoor lifestyle.   Their web states, “We’re not greedy. We aren’t in this to get rich; we’re in this so we can live here and ski a lot, so if you spend your dough with us, we get to eat occasionally!”  So I helped feed them that day. :)  Wealth Management, Fly Fishing, Entrepreneurship, Investment Planning, Estate Planning, Tim Scannell, Valparaiso, Hightower Advisors!

Twelve inches of new snow arrived that night and snow was expected to fall all the next day. Armed with new ski equipment and very little skill, the next morning I stood in line for the first gondola ride to the top of mountain.  Friends who are more expert skiers took the day off because they prefer “visibility” when they ski (silly).

As I rode the chair lift to the top of the mountain, the snowfall was thick and blinding.  I could see only one, maybe two skiers in the chairs in front of me.  As I exited the chair at the top of the mountain, I could hear more skiers than I could see. The temperature was cold, but the sweat caused by my anticipation and excitement kept my gloves toasty warm.  Whether due to bravery or ignorance, I started down my first of many runs that day with almost child-like glee. I skied Mt. Warner for the next six hours, and the whole time, I was engulfed in adrenaline, laughter, terror, excitement, fear and lots of fun. John’s tips and recommended equipment made the difference.  I’d had my best ski experience ever because of a chance connection with a passionate entrepreneur and my openness to his ideas.

I’ve crossed paths with avid entrepreneurs like John more times than I can count, and I learn something positive from each encounter. I recently prepared a comprehensive estate and income tax plan for a business owner who introduced me to an idea that will enable me to help clients teach their children how to handle inherited wealth.  In the 26 years I’ve assisted families pass wealth to the next generations and favored charities, I’ve learned that the primary reason why some plans fail is lack of processes needed to transfer the experience and knowledge needed to receive, protect and grow the wealth that is inherited.  My client gave me another tool that I will now pass to my clients because I was open to learning new ideas.

To catch the personal, professional, financial or other trophy fish you are going after, keep your eyes and ears open to new ideas, especially when you run across a passionate entrepreneur. Each mentoring experience will help you determine the best way to catch that fish. And as an entrepreneur yourself, you will have control over how you catch it, choosing the rivers and streams or oceans you fish in.

Tim Scannell, CPA, CFPTM provides Personal and Business Tax Planning, Estate Planning, Investment Management, and Generational Wealth management to his clients. “We strive to deliver transparent, proactive, independent, and comprehensive planning and communications to the families we work for”.

Scannell Wealth Management is a team of investment professionals registered with HighTower Securities, LLC, member FINRA, MSRB and SIPC & HighTower Advisors, LLC a registered investment advisor with the SEC. All securities are offered through HighTower Securities, LLC and advisory services are offered through HighTower Advisors, LLC.

 

HighTower Advisors LLC, its affiliates and HighTower Advisor’s Financial Advisors do not provide tax or legal advice.  You need to consult your legal and tax professional when making any investment. 

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Should we accept the way the ball bounces?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

This week I read The Icarus Deception, a great book by Seth Godin. In the book, Godin argues that there are a number of “rules” passed on to us by society that aren’t necessarily good guides as we navigate our rapidly changing world.  They might also be harmful tools to share with the next generation as they compete in this global information economy.  As I read the book, I thought about words of wisdom that my parents passed to me like “better safe than sorry” or “good things come to those that wait”. While some big fish might swim to your boat and take your lure, is that the best strategy?

Most of what I know about fishing and hunting I’ve learned from my great friend Buzz.  When fishing with Buzz in Canada, I’ve watched him change lures and cast a dozen times before I get my first lure in the water.  He has a great deal of patience, but he would never wait for good things to happen to him. He has a vision of what he wants to catch and will not wait for a fish to come by his line. Buzz will actively change strategies to find and catch his trophy fish.  You have to be quick to keep up with him, but if you are, you will typically be where the fish are. While it is possible that he misses trophy fish by changing lures or moving to different locations too quickly, my experience with Buzz tells me his proactive style creates success on the water, and his fishing journey are certainly more exciting than others’.

Twenty-seven years of planning for clients’ wealth has taught me that good things don’t necessarily come to those who wait to properly plan.  Clients’ needs and goals change from year to year as they pass through different stages of life.  Plans originated at the start of your career cannot possibly address all the issues you face as you look to retire.  New laws that impact your goals are added and changed every year, so plans need to be updated as laws, tax rules and financial markets change.  I have witnessed the struggles family members face because parents waited too long to make their plans that would help their family get prepared to inherit wealth. Moreover, if you aren’t adjusting your income and estate tax plan to respond to IRS rule changes, you will unnecessarily transfer wealth from your family to the IRS.

As I look at the cartoon below, I think about the risks in following someone else’s path, having no path at all or waiting for luck to come your way  Should you just keep your nose to the grindstone and accept the way the ball bounces?  I don’t think so.  To catch the personal, professional, financial or other trophy fish you are going after, don’t wait for good things to happen.  Proactively step out of your comfort zone to prepare and implement a plan to catch your dream fish.  A plan will give you more control over how you catch it and the rivers and streams or oceans you fish in.

Wealth Management, Fly Fishing, Entrepreneurship, Investment Planning, Estate Planning, Tim Scannell, Valparaiso, Hightower Advisors!

Tim Scannell, CPA, CFPTM provides Personal and Business Tax Planning, Estate Planning, Investment Management, and Generational Wealth management to his clients. “We strive to deliver transparent, proactive, independent, and comprehensive planning and communications to the families we work for”.

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