FPA of MN Newsletter – March 2017

Back to Archive

Recap: 11th Annual Career Day & Photo Gallery

The FPA Career Development Committee hosted the 11th Annual Career Day on Friday, February 17th at the Doubletree – Minneapolis. Nick Thunker moderated our panel of financial planners to kick off the day. Thank you to our panel members Ben Wacek, Tiffany Walker, and Ryan Antkowiak! Attendees then participated in round table discussions, mock interviews and resume reviews throughout the day while participating employers conducted interviews of students and career changers. Our day ended with Sandy Zeiszler, an independent LinkedIn Consultant, teaching us important tips and tricks on best uses of LinkedIn.

The Career Development Committee thanks the following employers for participating this year – Accredited Investors, Arete Wealth Strategists, Charterpoint Wealth Strategies, CLA Wealth Advisors, Cornerstone Wealth Advisors, Heritage Wealth Architects, Merrill Lynch, Midwest Secure Retirement, Mindful Asset Planning, and Waddell & Reed.

Thank you to the following FPA member volunteers for taking time out of their day to help nurture the next generation of financial advisors!

Ben Wacek
Tiffany Walker
Ryan Antkowiak
Jeanna Fifer
Ellen Fee
Chad Halbur
Dan Hiebert
John Comer
Scott Nelson
Grant Meyer
The entire Career Development Committee
See the Photo Gallery

Preview: Preview: March & April Chapter Meetings

We have Michael Kitces joining us in March and an interesting discussion on how to help your business owner clients in April (Exit Planning). Even if you do not have business owner clients, you will want to hear this presentation. We will be discussing the psychology and best practices in closely held businesses. It may have application to your practice, in addition to current or future clients. This is a joint meeting with the Exit Planning Institute.
Additionally, are you interested in hearing more on the DOL? Let us know your thoughts. We have a speaker in waiting on the topic as we let the situation play out. If you have a strong opinion on the topic and/or are tired of hearing about it please send me your feedback.
See you on March 21st & April 18th!

FPA Media Training - March 16

Have you thought about ways you can market yourself and your practice better in 2017? Why not go through FPA’s media training program this year and then take part in FPA MediaSource – the automated media query platform that is exclusively for CFP® professional members of FPA! We are pleased to announce that we have opened registration for four All-Member Virtual Media Training sessions this year. Now is your opportunity to amplify your voice and marketing, so register for one of the media training sessions today!

2017 M​edia Training

Thursday, March 16 from 3 to 4:30 pm CT​​

Thursday, June 15 from 3 to 4:30 pm CT

Thursday, September 14 from 3 to 4:30 pm CT​​

Thursday, December 14 from 3 to 4:30 pm CT​​


Submitted by Melissa Glennie - Professional Issues Committee

Optimizers: What are they? What do they do? How do they do it? Are financial planners using optimizers? Should they? Is 2017 the year to implement an optimizer in your practice?

But first, a few words from Harry Markowitz, the 1990 Nobel Prize Laureate in Economics, on ‘How to Lose Money.’Markowitz wrote, “The first advice towards achieving poverty… is to invest in the hottest stocks in the hottest sectors.”

What we should do instead, Markowitz believes, is to squeeze the best returns with the least amount of risk out of portfolios of different asset classes. To do so requires us to analyze the effects of asset risk, expected returns, correlation and diversification on expected portfolio performance. Portfolio optimizers are the engines which help us choose the proportions of various assets to be held in a portfolio in such a way as to make the portfolio optimal – lying on the efficient frontier, and accurately reflecting the investor’s expressed preferences regarding expected return and risk, as measured by standard deviation.

The optimizer output determines the asset allocation which is most likely to get the desired risk and return attributes – and therefore, benefits of asset class diversification – for a particular client.And yet, industry surveys indicate there are many advisers not yet using an optimizer.

I believe 2017 is a good time – yes, right now – to implement a portfolio optimization process within your practice.With our current bull market in equities, this is an excellent time to be discussing portfolio risk with clients, and documenting those discussions.

As financial planners and investment advisors, we all know that we need to document how we are performing our responsibilities as a fiduciary to our clients. This is necessary for a number of reasons. Regulators are increasingly looking for documentation. Without being able to prove our asset allocation construction procedures, monitoring those portfolios, and knowing the client’s situation as well as risk tolerance, we will be in hot water with regulators. And, if one were to find oneself with a client complaint or arbitration, one will need strong documentation to defend oneself. The output of an optimizer would certainly help achieve the documentation needed in such an unfortunate situation.

Without regard to whatever happens to the April 2017 ‘start date’ for the DOL Conflict of Interest Rule, our clients expect us to act as their fiduciary. An Optimizer could be a tool used to evaluate and validate recommendations made to clients. There are many choices of software programs for advisors to evaluate and choose one that best fits their needs.

FPA Members: Financial Planning Software - Access best-of-breed software at the lowest possible rate.

Volunteer Opportunities in April

Junior Achievement (JA)


  • Tues, April 11th; 9 -10:30 am
  • Tues, April 18th; 9 -10:30 am


  • Patrick Henry High School - 4320 Newton Ave N, Mpls, MN 55412
    North Mpls at 44th & Penn very close to Robbinsdale


  • The entire Junior class


  • 16 volunteers are needed on both days (for 13 classes)
    People are welcome to volunteer on just one day, or both days


  • JA Personal Finance
    Focus: earning money; spending money wisely through budgeting; saving and investing money; using credit cautiously; and protecting one’s personal finances.
  • JA Personal Finance lesson concepts:
    Budget, Budgeting, Compound interest, Consumer protection, Credit, Credit cards, Credit reports and scores, Debt, Earning, Education, Expense, Fixed expenses, Fraud, Identity theft, Income, Insurance, Interest, Investing, Lifetime earnings, Opportunity cost, Personal finances, Pay yourself first, Principal, Risk, Risk management, Saving money, Savings, Variable expenses
  • JA Personal Finance lesson skills:
    Analyzing information, Categorizing data, Creativity, Decision making, Evaluating alternatives, Graphic presentation, Oral, visual, and written communication, Prioritizing information, Read for understanding, Using a timeline, Working in pairs, teams, and groups

Questions/more information:
Contact: Karyn Thompson; karyn@jaum.org, 651-255-0050, www.jaum.org

Helping BestPrep Achieve Unreasonable Goals

Submitted by John Comer - Financial Education Committee

When BestPrep asked me to talk about financial literacy to 600 juniors and seniors at Washburn High School, I checked the school’s website to see what I could learn about the school. Initially, I thought it would be nice if they could tell I was speaking to Washburn and not Johnson, Robbinsdale, Armstrong or Woodbury.

I got lucky. On the home page, they proudly proclaimed that one of their graduates was playing in the Super Bowl three days before I was speaking. A graduate of their school not only accomplished the totally unrealistic goal of playing in the NFL, he made it to the pinnacle of success for NFL players in the Super Bowl.

Several years ago I had read EVOKE by George Kinder. One of the key points in that book for me, was his comment on realistic goals. Occasionally, I have heard advisors say that part of their job is to help people set realistic goals. George Kinder said that his job is not to tell clients their goal is unreasonable but to tell them what they will have to do to achieve it.

It was totally unrealistic for Adrian Peterson to expect to be an NFL football player. It was totally unrealistic for Bill Gates to expect to remake office work and become a multi-billionaire. It was unrealistic for Adele to expect to become a major singing sensation. It was unrealistic for Ra’Shede Hageman, the Washburn High School graduate who played for the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI, to expect to make it to the NFL. They all made it.

I am sure Ra’Shede was told many times that his goal was unrealistic. I imagine he also found a few people who would tell him what he had to do to achieve his goal. I am glad he listened to those who told him what he had to do to succeed and I suggest that the students look for people who could tell them how to achieve their dreams.

If you want to help BestPrep provide personal finance education for young people, contact the FPA Financial Education Committee.