FPA of MN Newsletter – December 2014

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President's Message - December 2014

Greetings, as I write I realize how quickly time passes when I read the reminder that the next newsletter article is due. Always on the 22nd of each month. Where did the last 30 days go? I clearly have the answer. FPA of MN has been in full swing –

  • Annual Symposium – record-breaking attendance, exceptional speakers, partner participation and many first time offerings. Thank you to the Symposium committee and all other volunteers for helping to ensure another successful event.
  • Formation of a book club kick-off by Professional Issues committee. They have held their initial meeting, chose their first book: The Rational Animal and I understand about 16 members are participating. Clearly confirmation there was a need for this club.
  • Financial Planning Day – another extraordinary event with record-breaking attendance, numerous FPA & CFP volunteers and allied partner attendance. Kudos to the FP Day committee.
  • Chapter Leadership Conference and Alliance Forum – FPA of MN sponsored attendance for 11board and committee members, plus our Executive Director and new assistant. MN also received the outstanding achievement award for our new website development and Financial Planning Day 2013. Kudos to Team Minnesota !!!!
  • Annual Strategic Planning Day - attended by approximately 40 board and committee members. Steve Gilbertson, President-Elect 2014, put together an agenda for a day filled with lively conversation and certainly set the stage for a great start to 2015. Steve, your efforts were exemplary. Thank you.

These events coupled with our usual monthly chapter meeting, board meeting and committee meetings. Whew !!!! We have been a bunch of busy bodies.

Sending Thanksgiving wishes to you and your loved ones. Thank you for your continued membership in FPA and to those of you that volunteer and hold leadership positions we are so very grateful.

To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan and not quite enough time.
-Leonard Bernstein

Warmly, julieann
Julieann Schroeder President, FPA of Minnesota
952-829-0000 x6166
USAdvisors Wealth Management

Member Survey a Success

A huge thanks to all those who completed the recent 2014 FPA of Minnesota member survey. In total, 136 FPA of Minnesota members completed the survey, which was intended to be a starting point in planning our programs and other initiatives for 2015 and beyond. The responses we received were well-distributed among demographics (age, gender, length of membership in FPA of Minnesota, career stage, etc.) and provided great insight into the needs and wants of our members. Winners in the drawing for the $100 Amazon gift cards were Michelle Campbell and Charles Canning. Congratulations!

The survey is part of an overarching theme for 2015 to be intentional and “Ask – Listen – Respond” to the FPA of Minnesota membership in terms of feedback on what it most important to them, how satisfied they are with current programs and suggestions they have for improvement, challenges they are facing in their practices, etc. That information will then be used to inform our efforts going forward in terms of initiatives for FPA of Minnesota.

Please know that if you took part in the survey (and if you respond to other surveys, provide feedback to Board members, etc.), we are reading this information and taking your feedback very seriously in effort to provide you as much value as possible as members of FPA of Minnesota. Thanks again for your feedback and we look forward to “asking, listening, and responding” in the year ahead.

 Five-Week Education Session for Tapestry Wraps Up

Jeanna (Sabers) Fifer and Seth Tenpenny, members of the Financial Education committee, recently completed a five-week session with Tapestry Family Resource Center. Tapestry, a non-profit in south Minneapolis provides resources for young women with children or that are currently. In addition to prenatal and child care services, Tapestry also seeks to provide its clients with life skills, including financial education. The Financial Education committee was able to work with Tapestry leadership to create a four week curriculum that included income tracking, expense management, budgeting, use of credit and debt management. The session was capped off with a one-on-one session with a financial planner for each of the class participants. The feedback from class participants and Tapestry was extremely positive and the Financial Education committee is looking forward to future sessions at Tapestry in the summer and fall of 2015.

Volunteers needed for eMentors 2015 Session

FPA Minnesota is seeking up to 35 volunteers for the winter 2015 eMentors session. This session will begin in January 2015 and consist of six weeks of email correspondence with students at St. Francis High School. Once again, a meet and greet session between mentors and mentees will be scheduled (details of which will be forthcoming). The opportunity for mentors and mentees to meet in person has historically been the highlight of each session!

BestPrep’s eMentors program fosters an email mentoring partnership between professionals and students, leveraging volunteers from a wide variety of career fields. The eMentors program offers a low time commitment, high impact volunteer opportunity for busy professionals who want to make a difference without leaving the office.

Should you have interest in participating in this session or have any questions about BestPrep’s eMentors program, please contact Seth Tenpenny at seth.tenpenny@gmail.com.

 Huge Thank You to Financial Education Committee Volunteers!

I want to take this opportunity to thank the members of the Financial Education committee for all their work and effort this year. I would also like to thank each of the volunteers who participated in the Financial Committee’s efforts to improve the level of financial education in our community. Together we….

  • Worked with over 50 students through two sessions of the eMentors program;
  • Facilitated four financial education sessions on managing personal finances and managing debt at Comcast for 60 employees;
  • Participated in Minnesota Business ventures;
  • Worked with Tapestry to organize and conduct four financial education sessions and provide one-on-one assistance;
  • Participated in Financial Planning Day and
  • Conducted a small group budgeting session a Jeremiah House


Member Media Training
December 11 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Want to become a “go to” source for journalists?

FPA is hosting another all-member virtual media training on December 11th, 3:00 pm CST. Over the years FPA has become a ‘go to’ resource for members of the industry and mainstream media who are writing about personal finance and the financial planning profession. Once you have attended a FPA media training session, you are then approved to respond to the media queries which are sent out by the PR committee chairperson, Kristy Gusick. FPA members who are CFP® professionals and attend this media training program can participate in FPA media queries that are sent daily.

Each 90-minute media training program, conducted by FPA Director of Communications Ben Lewis, covers the essentials in working with journalists, including:​

  • How to pitch story ideas to reporters;
  • What you need to do to prepare for interviews;
  • How you can improve interview performance;
  • The tactics for ensuring you maintain a great reputation with reporters;
  • Representing FPA and the organizational messages; and much more!

Click here to take advantage of this member benefit.

What are the Benefits of your FPA Membership to your Business?

As a young advisor new to the profession, FPA has been a great opportunity to network with a large variety of financial professionals, both new to the business and veterans of the industry. The members of the FPA create a very nurturing environment through their ongoing willingness to provide help and support.

In addition, the FPA provides a great opportunity for members to become engaged and active in our financial planning community through their various committees, allowing us to serve in areas that we find important and want to contribute to and give back to. Working with other members of the FPA allows us to collaboratively come together with our knowledge, resources, and expertise to work towards improving our industry right here in MN.

I am proud to be a part of an organization that holds the same values as myself – always putting the client first.

Derek Grant, CFP®
Derek N. Grant, CFP®
Grant Wealth Management Group

2015 Advocacy Day at the Minnesota State Capital

The Professional Issues Committee has set February 24th as the date of the 2015 FPA of MN Advocacy Day at the Minnesota State Capital. The 2014 Advocacy Day was a great success despite being the Committee’s first organized get together of FPA of MN members with state legislators and regulators. The format for the 2015 Advocacy Day is still being planned but preliminary efforts are towards increasing face to face time with Department of Commerce officials and examiners.

Advisors who fall primarily under the auspices of the SEC or FINRA may consider developing relations on the state level of little use. There are numerous ways though that state regulations impact advisors and probably more importantly their clients. Consider the manner in which the State of Minnesota determines residency for tax purposes. There have been several high profile court battles lately between the Minnesota Department of Revenue (Revenue) and taxpayers challenging Revenue’s contention that the taxpayers are residents of Minnesota and must pay state taxes. While the State’s residency rules have not changed in over 3 decades, the state’s addition of the 9.85% tax bracket in 2013 is incentive for some high earners to establish residency in another state. A November 12th, 2014 Star Tribune article also states that some lawyers believe that Revenue is being more aggressive in scrutinizing out of state residency claims.

Revenue uses 26 criteria to establish residency that cover everything from the number of days spent in the state to the location of one’s place of worship. While none of those criteria involves the location of a taxpayer’s financial professionals, there is concern that clients may seek to establish new professional relationships outside the state in order to bolster their change of residency. To head off any “client drain”, the Minnesota Bar Association is looking to have wording added to the State’s residency regulations. The phrase to be added would direct Revenue and the courts to disregard the location of a taxpayer’s attorneys, certified public accountants or financial advisors when determining residency.

This is the second attempt to add the wording as it failed to get passed last year (See HF 3167, Article 3, Section 8). The Bar Association has reached out to the FPA of MN to garner support for the bill. While FPA of MN has not taken a position for or against the bill, it does point out that there are all sorts of issues at the state level that warrant the attention of advisors of all types. The Committee hopes to make FPA of MN Advocacy Day a first step for getting many advisors involved their state’s legislative process.

Reminder: Our December 16 member meeting is our “Allied Professionals” meeting. This is a perfect time to invite your favorite estate planning attorney or tax advisor to both show off this remarkable FPA chapter and to share professional issues with them. You and your guests will be treated to presentations by Tom Brakke, CFA, a noted authority on investment practices and fiduciary issues.  The topics (Part I: Investment Beliefs, Assumptions, and the Standard of Care and Part II: Analyzing Asset Management Firms) are of interest to professionals involved in providing advice related to their clients financial planning. And there is a social hour after for networking!
Register Today

FPA of MN Book Club Update

The FPA of MN Book Club met for the first time on November 11th to establish the book club’s format and choose its first book. The book chosen is The Rational Animal: How Evolution Has Made Us Smarter Than We Think by Douglas T. Kenrick and Vladas Griskevicious. The book club will be meeting next at 4:30 on Tuesday, January 6th at 7500 Highway 55 in Golden Valley (lower level conference room). Hope to see you there.

November Chapter Meeting Recap: Demystifying the AMT, Kiddie Tax, & our new Medicare Taxes: Turning Tax Traps into Treasures

There have not been many major changes in federal income tax legislation recently, but there are still many tricky planning traps and opportunities to be aware of on behalf of our clients. At the November meeting, Mr. Thomas Brinker, Professor of Taxation at Arcadia University shared some of the most common traps and opportunities created by the complex nature of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC).

The first potential trap discussed had to do with the “kiddie tax”. High income earners may look at transferring income to children at lower tax brackets to reduce the tax burden, but they need to be aware of when and how the kiddie tax may affect those transfers. One lesser known caveat to the kiddie tax is the fact that the tax applies to full-time students up to age 23 if their earned income is less than or equal to ½ of his or her support, and unearned income exceeds $2,000. This provision may cause families to wait until the child is 24 years old before transferring income generating assets. The “kiddie tax” has various nuances that a taxpayer should be aware of before affecting such transfers.

The Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) of 2008 made some changes to the way the gain on the sale of a personal residence is applied. Section 121 of the IRC allows up to $250k ($500k Married Filing Jointly) of gain from the sale of a personal residence to be excluded from income if the taxpayer has owned and occupied the home as a principle residence at least 2 of the 5 prior years. Due to the HERA of 2008, section 121 disallows use of the exclusion on the sale of a principal residence that has been allocated to “non-qualified” use such as use as a vacation home or rental property. This is just one of a list of potential changes to the way section 121 is applied over the last few years. The specific circumstances should be run by a qualified tax advisor to determine the correct filing procedure.

Other items discussed that a financial planner will want to be aware of include the Medicare tax for high income taxpayers. In 2013 an additional Hospital Insurance Tax of .9% was introduced for taxpayers with income in excess of $200k ($250k MFJ) along with the 3.8% Medicare surtax on the lesser of net investment income or MAGI over the threshold amounts ($200k individual; $250k MFJ). And no discussion of tax traps is complete without mentioning the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). The point worth noting on AMT is the indexing of income exemption amounts due to the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 which will help lower the number of people being affected by the AMT.

There may not have been any major changes to federal tax regulations in the past year, but taking notice of potential hidden traps and opportunities can go a long way in helping a client steer clear of trouble and reach their goals.

FPA of Minnesota Career Day 2015

Are You Looking to Hire? Looking to be Hired? FPA Career Day is designed to simplify the process for you!

Career Day brings together established financial planning professionals and those newer to the industry with a day of speakers, workshops, discussions and interviews. Join us!

For Employers
This is a great opportunity for you to meet and interview top talent among student graduates and career changers.

Expanding your firm by hiring a new employee, whether for an internship or full-time position, is a difficult and time-consuming task. Determining the responsibilities for the new hire, establishing a career path for the individual, and the actual interview process can take months of planning and consideration. Perhaps the most difficult obstacles, from the business owner's perspective, are finding quality candidates, coordinating your schedule with theirs, and then allocating hours of time to actually interview them.

Firms participating in Career Day will have access to the resumes prior to the event and will provide the Career Development Committee with a list of the attendees they'd most like to interview. The schedule provides the opportunity to meet up to ten candidates for twenty-minute interviews. Space will be limited to the first 10 firms who respond, so please respond immediately to reserve your space.

For Students and Career Changers
Attend this day to learn more about the financial planning profession, meet FPA members, and interview with area planning firms.

The keynote session features Sabrina Lowell, CFP®. Apart from being a Certified Financial Planner, Sabrina is also Chief Operating Officer at MOSAIC Financial Partners, Inc., a wealth advisory firm based in San Francisco, CA. As a long standing member of the Financial Planning Association (FPA), she chaired FPA Experience in 2013 with over 3,000 financial professionals in attendance and previously spearheaded session tracks for the FPA National Conference (2007, 2012). She twice chaired the FPA NorCal Conference (2010, 2011), served on the national Consumer Advisory Group and the Professional Development Advisory Group task forces, and participated locally on the SF FPA Career Development Committee and SF FPA Speaker’s Committee.

As a past President of NexGen, a national organization supporting young financial planners, she chaired its 2008 national conference. As an advisor, her mission is to help clients feel like they have a solid framework for making informed decisions during times of transition, focusing on debt management, comprehensive financial planning, Social Security and Medicare planning. In 2014, Sabrina was named to the 40 under 40 list by Investment News. Sabrina has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal’s Smart Money Magazine, CNNMoney.com, Talking Money with Jean Chatzky, Dow Jones News Wire, Money Magazine, Financial Planning Magazine, Investment News, AdvisorMax.com, Today’s Advisor, The Minneapolis Star Tribune, Investment Advisor, and The Journal of Financial Planning.

Sabrina received her BA in business from Principia College, and holds a Certificate in Personal Financial Planning from the UC Berkeley Personal Financial Planning Program. She has also taken classes through Golden Gate University towards a Master’s in Taxation.

In addition to interviews with planning firms throughout the day, there will be opportunity for roundtable discussions, resume review, mock interviews and networking.

Register by Monday, February 2 (Early Bird); Monday February 9 (Final Registration)

Friday, February 27, 2015
7:30 am – 3:00 pm

DoubleTree by Hilton
Minneapolis - Park Place
1500 Park Place Boulevard
Minneapolis, MN 55416

Employer – FPA Member: $225
Employer – non-FPA Member: $275

Student/Career Changer: $10 Early Bird until February 2
$25 Final Registration after February 2, until February 9

If you submit your registration after February 9, you may attend, but will not be guaranteed any interview slots.

December Member Discount - careerbuilder

Deeply discounted job postings to attract, hire, and retain top talent

Whether you need to attract candidates or if you'd like our experts to go all the way through the interview process with you, we've got a plan to meet your needs and help you hire the right candidate.

Option #1 - $249.99

  • 1 Career Builder job posting for 30 days
  • 1 Hiring Assessment

Option #2 - $349.99

  • 1 Career Builder job posting for 30 days
  • 4 Hiring Assessments

Hire for Success - Staffing Solutions*
Hands on help to attract, hire, and retain top talent to drive your business

*Basic Package & Premium Packages Available

December Member Discount - Staples

Up to 70% off office, breakroom & tech products, plus FREE shipping

With exclusive discounts on Ink, Toner, Paper, Breakroom and Technology products - PLUS everyday savings on most products featured on Staples.com, Staples Advantage is the business products supplier that can provide everything your business needs to thrive.

We make it easy to buy every item your business needs at a competitive price. Only Staples Advantage provides you with a combination of exclusive deep discounts on hundreds of essential business products, PLUS additional low pricing on almost every item you'll find on Staples.com. With Staples Advantage, you'll consolidate and reduce spending on all the categories that matter to your business. Like light cleaning, breakroom, technology, furniture and more.

Regardless of industry or size, businesses have a lot in common - like wanting to save time and money on essential products and services. That's why Staples Advantage provides every customer these important benefits:

  • Deep discounts on hundreds of essential business products
  • 12% minimum discount on standard items
  • Free standard shipping on all orders
  • A single point-of-contact when important issues arise
  • Consultation on technology, space planning and safety
  • Exclusive pricing on copy and print, and customized promotional items

Online Ordering
Our private Web sites offer instant access to a customized assortment of products, with features that make ordering easy and give you maximum control over spend. Including:

  • Order tracking, status and proof of deliver
  • Saved shopping lists for frequently ordered items
  • Ink and toner finder to help you match the right products to your machines
  • Online returns to save you time

In Store Discounts
Register a credit card which can be used for purchases at any Staples Retail Store. Once registered, you will receive your company's negotiated discounted price or the store price, whichever is lower.

Please note that this program is through the Staples business division which is separate from the Staples retail division. Prices on the business division offer price guarantees on specific items which can be supplied to you by Staples Advantage.