Dec-Jan Newsletter

Dec-Jan Newsletter

STRATWEALTH Associates Add Even More Expertise to Our Team!

Congratulations to both Luke & Rachel of our Salisbury office for passing the Financial Paraplanner Qualified Professional™ (FPQP™) exam! This designation is achieved by completing a course of study encompassing the financial planning process, the five disciplines of financial planning, and general financial planning concepts, product categories, and terminology. Designees are also required to maintain ongoing continuing education requirements. We are so proud of their accomplishments!

Additionally, congratulations to Charlie, Lenis, Tatiana & Joyce for passing their AIF® exams. The purpose of the Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®) Designation is to assure that those responsible for managing and/ or advising on investor assets have a thorough knowledge and the ability to understand and apply the principles of fiduciary duty, the standards of conduct for acting as a fiduciary, and a process for carrying out fiduciary responsibility. We congratulate Lenis Wilhelmi, Joyce Mahabier, Tatiana Vinogradov & Charlie Walker for receiving their newest set of letters!

Dear Valued Clients, Families, and Friends,

It is with great pleasure that I close off this calendar year with a letter to you from the entire team here at STRATWEALTH. 2019 has been a spectacular year filled with service, success, and growth. As I look back on these past twelve months I am honored to have seen our STRATWEALTH family grow – adding three new associates, one new advisor, and our third and newest office in Annapolis. And while this growth and success is exciting, I know these opportunities are only possible through the amazing families and communities who we are honored to serve. With that thought, I would like to take a moment to thank the people who have provided STRATWEALTH with such an honorable 2019.

Firstly, many thanks to our associates, who have dedicated another year of their lives to driving our business forward. We are a professional family of 32 and it is through each and every associate that our culture of teamwork, innovation, and dedication to expertise & service allows us to exceed the highest standards of care. This year, their hard work was recognized by several industry institutions and experts.

In August, our team was recognized by CityWire, an industry leading independent media outlet, who named STRATWEALTH to its prestigious Future 50 RIA List. This list is an enumeration of 50 outstanding Registered Investment Advisors selected for excellence across a variety of measures. In order for firms to qualify as a Future 50 RIA, they must be SEC registered as an RIA handling private client wealth with between $250 million – $2 billion in assets. Firms were evaluated based on their degree of independence, staff credentials, diversity and inclusion, philanthropic initiatives/community service, investment offerings/capabilities, AUM growth, and firm service offerings. For STRATWEALTH, this award is a tangible symbol of legitimacy to STRATWEALTH‘s collaborative team approach to business in a haracteristically competitive marketplace.

In October, our team was also recognized by Investment News during their 2019 annual best practices awards, winning in the Adviser and Staffing category. This award was independently granted, as Investment News looked at the financial performance of over 300 firms and only the top performers are awarded the 2019 Best Practices title. The award methodology looks at growth in assets and revenue, as well as overall profitability and productivity of staff and advisers. They calculate a composite score for each participating firm, based on those metrics. We are so proud of our team for being recognized at these national levels and thank them for all of their hard work throughout the entirety of 2019. Secondly, a humble extent of gratitude to the communities of Maple Lawn, Annapolis, and Salisbury, Maryland who continue to welcome the STRATWEALTH team with open arms into their organizations and institutions. We are not only honored to call these communities our places of work, but also our home. And it is with gratitude and pleasure that we share later in this newsletter of list of charities that have allowed us to assist in their generous efforts to make our communities better and stronger.

Finally, and most importantly, incredible thanks to you our valued clients. Each year, the opportunity to serve you and your families is what our team continues to be most thankful for. It is through you that we learn how to collaborate, care, and serve – thank you for the continued trust you place in us to serve you as excellently as we can. Although much has changed for the better within STRATWEALTH over not just 2019, but many of the past several years, the core of the company remains the same: STRATWEALTH serves others to make lives better. Thank you for 2019 and we look forward to a prosperous 2020.

Sincerely,
Jay Eichelberger, CFP®, AIF®
Chairman, STRATWEALTH
DISCLOSURE/COMPLIANCE INFO: Please see important disclosure information at https://strat-wealth.com/Disclosures

Many Thanks to the Charities & Organizations that Make our Communities Strong!

Just as we continually focus on your financial well-being, the STRATWEALTH team also contributes to the welfare of our communities. We are humbled and honored to announce that contributions have been made to these worthy charities during 2019:

Allen Lions Club
Peninsula Regional Medical Center
Annapolis by Candlelight
Providence Center
Anne Arundel Medical Center Foundation
Rotary Club of Salisbury
Anne Arundel Volunteer Center
Salisbury Sunrise Rotary Club
Banner School
Salisbury University Foundation
Bright Minds Foundation
Severn School
Chesapeake Leadership Foundation
Shore Leadership
Community Action Council of
Howard County
St. Mary’s Parish School
Community Foundation of Carroll County
Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure
Community Foundation of Eastern Shore
The Banner School
Community Players of Salisbury
The Salvation Army
Friends of the Lighthouse
The Zaching Against Cancer Foundation
Girls on the Run of Central MD
USA Bobsled/Skeleton Foundation
Historic Annapolis
Wicomico County
Howard County Bar
Wicomico County Humane Society
Howard County Chamber of Commerce
Wor-Wic Foundation
Junior Achievement of the Eastern Shore
Young Life
Maryland Therapeutic Riding
ZGK Foundation
and many more …

Stay Cyber-Safe This Holiday Season!

If you’re anything like me, you are probably visiting more retail websites during this holiday season to complete your holiday shopping in time and for the best price! However, with the increase in online shopping during this time of year, it’s important to increase your awareness and knowledge about safe online practices. Here are my top 5 tips for you to stay safe online this holiday season:

  • Only shop or visit reliable websites that have the https:// in the address bar. The “S” indicates that the information you enter (including passwords and credit card information) is secure.
  • Never click on unknown links or open unknown attachments in your email. Be aware of scam emails that are asking you to verify your credentials or enter personal identifiable information. Often times fraudulent emails are asking you to act quickly or sound threatening – these are definitely red flags and the email should be ignored. The best rule of thumb is when in doubt, throw it out.
  • Ensure your passwords for all log ins are complex and unique. Be sure to periodically update your password for your cell phone lock screen, home Wi-Fi, and website logins – especially any websites that have personal information like email, online banking, and e-commerce sites that hold onto your credit card information.
  • Check credit card and bank statements regularly to make sure there are no fraudulent charges.
  • Your judgement is always the first line of defense – if an email or website looks or feels wrong, it probably is and should be dismissed.

Happy Holidays to all and we wish you a wonderful – and secure – holiday season!

This article was written by Kayla Crays, Director of Technology and is provided by STRATWEALTH

Stick to Your Plan!

Market downturns can be quite unsettling. And like many unsettling experiences, facts and information are the key to remaining calm. Although past performance is not a guarantee of future results, it can be prudent to use history as a measuring gauge for what to expect. If you better understand market fluctuations, you can better stick to your financial plan. Here are a few historical examples to remember:

  • The stock market averages one -14% decline annually. However, much of the time it still ends the year positive. For example, 1980 saw an intra-year drop of -17%, 1998 saw an intra-year drop of -19%, and 2003 saw an intra-year drop of -14% — and yet all three years saw positive returns. Another prominent example, 2009 the market went down 13% in January and February yet ended up +26% by year end. The takeaway: don’t panic.
  • Daily dips of -2% or more happen about 5 times each year.
  • About every 5 years or so markets decline- 30% or more.
  • Markets have positive returns annually about 75% of the time.
  • Over long periods, markets significantly beat inflation based on historical averages.

Often it’s hard to ignore when movement in the market seems like doom and gloom. TV networks make money from sensationalizing negativity in the market, but as you now know, declines in the market are common, and most of the time, short-lived. One key to success in long-term investing, is having a long-term mindset. Save this sidebar and read it again throughout the year(s), whenever you feel unsettled.

Sources: JP Morgan Asset Management, Capital Research and Management Company

This article was written by Luke Smith, NPQP® Nexit Strategist and is provided by STRATWEALTH

Thank You!

As 2019 comes to a close, we would like to thank all those who have referred your valued friends, family members, clients and associates to our STRATWEALTH advisors. Your referrals allow us to assist as many members of our communities as we can, and we appreciate you entrusting us with such a sincere honor. It is our absolute pleasure to help families anticipate and prepare for their ‘Next’. If you know an individual or family who may benefit from our services during this holiday season or in the New Year, please do not hesitate to reach out to your STRATWEALTH advisor soon.

Team Update!

STRATWEALTH Welcomes Natalie & Erik!

STRATWEALTH would like to send a warm welcome this holiday season to our newest team member, Erik Szabocsik, CFP®. Erik joins STRATWEALTH as a Nexit Strategist and Financial Resident with several years of experience serving clients. Erik, who resides in the Annapolis area with his wife, is looking forward to meeting you the next time you visit our office on
Bestgate Road!

Additionally, the STRATWEALTH team welcomes Natalie Jairath! Natalie joined STRATWEALTH as an Experience Coordinator in May of this year, and is soon to step into a new role as a 401(k)/ Qualified Plans Specialist this December. Natalie comes to us with over 12 years of experience in the private wealth management industry. She has a BS in Financial Economics and a BA in Information Systems. Welcome to our team, Natalie!