Client Newsletter 4Q19
Client Newsletter 4th Quarter 2019
Getting Ready for the Holidays
Letter from the President: Petr Burunov, CFP®
Dear Ambassador Family,
This summer was a whirlwind.
On July 9th, I received a heartbreaking call from my family in Sacramento. My cousin was in a fatal motorcycle accident. Passing away at the young age of 38, he left behind 2 small children and a pregnant wife.
As his family relied on my expertise to talk through his business and personal finances, it quickly became clear that most of his ideas, wishes, and plans were in his head, and not on paper. I watched his wife struggle to make sense of things. This young, vibrant family thought they had plenty of time to plan and prepare for the future, but instead found themselves in complete disarray.
While dealing with the pain of losing a loved one, the family quickly discovered that my cousin’s business didn’t have a succession plan. Many documents were missing or didn’t even exist. This hindered maximizing the business valuation and added stress to his family. Should something happen to you, would your family be able to pick up where you left off?
Life is so fragile.
This is a great reminder to all of us, that planning is a MUST. Check that your documents are in good order with clear instructions. Make sure your accounts and property are titled according to your wishes and with the most current information. If possible, help your loved ones avoid probate, a time-consuming and costly process.
You can save them so much stress and chaos.
We’re watching your money.
Throughout 2018, we started to take profits on some investments due to rising concern in going forward performance and deteriorating fundamentals of certain companies.
A number of clients called, asking us why we were selling some really good names. During those conversations, I heard a common theme that people get emotionally attached to well-known companies that pay dividends.
Nearly a year after selling some of these positions, a number of these companies are trading well below where they were last year. Others were forced to cut dividends, just to survive.
My number one goal is to watch out for you and your families.
Dividends are a nice way to get extra income, but we must consider other factors:
- Can the company maintain and/or grow its dividend?
- Is their market share vulnerable to competition?
- How does it hold up under a slowing global economy? (See the investment letter)
Year-End Planning Ideas.
Going back to my previous point, our goal is to look after our clients, especially at the end of the year. We want to make sure each client, who is over the age of 70½, satisfies their RMDs. Don’t forget to include RMD’s from all retirement accounts. It happens more often than you’d think. And please, don’t wait until the last minute.
As we talk with you and your families, we encourage our clients to stick to your budget, especially during the holidays. For those wanting to give to charities, we want to help you make sure your donations are made in a tax efficient way. We encourage you to give your time and heart to causes you passionately believe in.
When you experience a big change that could impact what we’re doing, please let us know. It’s important for us to consider your individual situations as we help you manage your family financial health.
My goal is to see your life full of purpose.
I hope you enjoy the rest of the year with your loved ones. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Petr Burunov, CFP®
President / Wealth Strategist