FPA of MN Newsletter – November 2015

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President’s Message – November, 2015

Recap: Past Presidents’ Reception

Greetings to all,
A consistent theme I hear among FPA of MN leaders I speak to, both current and recent leaders, is what a humbling experience it is to have the privilege of leading such a great Chapter as FPA of MN. I have certainly found that to be the case for myself. We hear all the time from people throughout the country what an amazing Chapter we have in Minnesota. A goal, then, for current leaders is to continue to build on the foundation created by the great past leaders of FPA of MN, to build on their legacy. That is the message that I shared at our recent Past Presidents’ reception that was held on October 22nd at Golden Valley Country Club.

The second annual Past Presidents’ reception (a program which was created by our current Chair of the Board, Julieann Schroeder) had as its theme the topic of member engagement. With a room of Past Presidents’, we had a broad range of perspectives and were able to have a great dialogue on timely and diverse topics such as how best to deliver practice management content, how to effectively engage our out-state members, and how to both be relevant for newer/younger members while not alienating the veteran members of FPA of MN. This insight will be hugely useful as we continue to work to enhance our programs and initiatives and work to make your membership experience as valuable to possible.

For me personally, it was both very insightful and humbling to hear the stories and perspectives of all the great past presidents who attended, from those who served recently to one who served in a predecessor organization from 1974-1976! I want to give a huge thanks to those who attended for taking the time out of their busy lives to continue to give their time and their insights to FPA of MN. We will certainly put their insights and feedback to good use and continue to do all that we can to build on their legacy in continuing to help this great Chapter thrive. Specifically, thanks so much to the following Past Presidents who were able to attend:

  • Shawn Jacobson
  • Paul Kenworthy
  • Kathy Longo
  • Mike Miller
  • Buzz Moen
  • Jason Plank
  • Joan Rossi
  • Janet Stanzak
  • Peter Wielinski

As always, feel free to let me or any of our Board members know of any questions, comments, or concerns that you have. We strive to “ask-listen-respond.”

Steve Gilbertson, CFP®
Accredited Investors, Inc.

Recap: October Chapter Meeting & December Preview

We were pleased to offer two presenters for our October lunch hour chapter meeting. BlackRock and iShares provided us with Dominic Maister, Director of iShares ETF due diligence and Rene Casis, Director of their Equity Smart Beta group.

Both presenters brought a technical approach. Dominic provided insight and advice on ETF trading, and navigating the different ETF features in the marketplace. Mr. Casis provided us with his research and findings of Factor Investing and his firm's work with chasing Smart Beta.

You will be fresh off of your enthusiasm and momentum from Symposium in December, so please join us for an afternoon and happy hour presentation from Katherine Collins of Honeybee Capital. Katherine will present her concepts of using biomimicry to provide resilient, regenerative, and profitable investment strategy. If you had to look up the definition of biomimicry, like I did, then you should be at the December 15, 2:30 pm chapter meeting.

SAVE THE DATE - 2016 FPA Golf & Bocce ball event

Mark your calendars now and block out the day – AUGUST 1, 2016

RAVE REVIEWS from our participants the last time we golfed at Prestwick!

We invite you to experience Prestwick Golf Club for our 2016 FPA golf & bocce ball event on Monday, August 1, 2016. Prestwick is a premier facility known for providing exceptionally friendly service and an impeccably maintained golf course. Prestwick Golf Club is located in the southeastern Twin Cities suburb of Woodbury. This par 72 championship golf course features four sets of tees and large undulating greens. Come enjoy the natural beauty of Prestwick Golf Club.

  • Named Golf Course of the Year … MWGCOA
  • Rated Four and Half Stars and ‘Best Place to Play’ …Golf Digest
  • Rated ‘Top 3 Best Public Golf Experiences in MN’ in 2013… Mpls Star Tribune

FPA of MN Visits UMD Financial Planning Club

On Tuesday, October 6th, FPA of MN members Megan Olson and Blake Faust took a trip to Duluth to visit the University of MN Duluth Financial Planning Club (an FPA University Partner). Megan and Blake promoted FPA membership to the students and helped explain different career paths that are available in the industry. Roughly 25 students were in attendance to enjoy pizza and ask questions.

FPA Professional Development Center is now open and available!

Honing your skills as a knowledgeable, competent financial planners is paramount today in a world where he profession is evolving rapidly. To help, FPA has recently launched the Professional Development Center at OneFPA.org that makes it possible for you to learn in your way. The center integrates everything related to learning and professional development at FPA. Start learning YOUR way today!

Financial Education Committee Update

Thank you to October FPA MN volunteers for the following financial education events:

  • Tubman: Karen Wehner and Amber Miller
  • Gustavus Adolphus College: Tom Luing

There are two big events coming up to support one of our biggest partners, Best Prep. We encourage participation if you are able. Details below:

Best Prep Educational Forum – November 10, 2015 - Grammy Award winning singer, educational activist, and UNICEF ambassador Angelique Kidjo will kick off Best Prep’s 40th anniversary celebration by being the keynote speaker and performer at this event. Following the keynote address, CEO of General Mills Ken Powell will join Ms. Kidjo for an on-stage dialogue covering educational issues. If you haven’t registered already, please considering attending this event in support of Best Prep, a great partner of FPA. Buy tickets here.

Birdies for Best Prep – January 30, 2016. Save the date for Best Prep’s Birdies for Best Prep to be held at Radisson Blu Mall of America. Registration information will be forthcoming.

Connect and learn with your peers with FPA Knowledge Circles

FPA Knowledge Circles are gathering places for likeminded members who want to engage in dialogue about best practices and innovations on particular topics. They provide members with a unique opportunity to hear cutting-edge thinking on specific topic areas that are of keen interest to you. Currently there are Knowledge Circles for Business Success, Estate Planning, International/Cross-Border, Investment Planning, Retirement Planning, Tax Planning and Tax Strategies, Theory in Practice (Academic/Practitioner) and Women and Finance. Learn more and join an FPA Knowledge Circle today!

Access the latest research on Social Security and financial planning

New research from FPA and AARP explored how the experiences and knowledge of future Social Security beneficiaries compare with the experiences and recommendations of professional financial planners related to Social Security’s role in retirement income.

What are the critical issues financial planners will have to address in the coming years? This and other issues are the focus of Financial Planning in 2015: Today's Demands, Tomorrow's Challenges, conducted by the FPA Research and Practice Institute™.

Prepare + Prosper Looking to Fill Their Volunteer Team

Are you a number cruncher who geeks out for making a difference? Passionate about breaking down barriers to accessible financial services? Sounds like you should look into joining the Prepare + Prosper (P+P) volunteer team!

P+P is seeking knowledgeable people like you, interested in sharing your skills to build brighter financial futures for low- and moderate-income Minnesotans by providing free tax preparation and related financial services. P+P works to make sure that their customers not only get the most from their refund but they also provide resources to extend the impact of the “money moment” beyond tax time. As a member of their volunteer team you get to grow your professional skills and see the immediate impact of your time. They offer a variety of volunteer positions; tax knowledge is not required for all.

If you are passionate, skilled, and excited to help people move from financially “getting by” to “getting ahead”, they have a volunteer position for you! Visit their website, for more information or to sign up for a new volunteer orientation. You can also contact Cori Ballew, volunteer resources manager at 651-262-2163.

Are you a number cruncher who geeks out for making a difference? Passionate about breaking down barriers to accessible financial services? Sounds like you should look into joining the Prepare + Prosper (P+P) volunteer team!

CyberSecurity 101: Password Protection

The password management company, SplashData, annually reports on the 25 most commonly used bad passwords. It should be no surprise that the old favorite “123456” maintained the top spot as the worst password. Once again, “password” came in second. This year’s big mover was “12345”, it rocketed up 17 places to displace “12345678” as the 3rd worst password. Along with “12345678”, “qwerty” rounded out the top 5 most common weak passwords.

The good news is that the top 25 worst passwords only accounted for 2.2% of the 3.3 million passwords reviewed. The bad news is that we all have to remember more passwords with each passing year. So the real threat for most people is the reuse of passwords. A 2012 password study showed that the average person has to remember 8 passwords at work, 17 passwords at home but only uses 5 of those passwords on a regular basis. Remembering all those passwords is a pain, having to reset them is an even bigger pain so it is human nature to minimize the headaches and recycle the same easy to remember password over and over.

Recycling of passwords is like the iceberg of cybersecurity due to the “Zombie account” passwords that all online shoppers set up. The actual number of sites that most people use the same old password far exceeds those they use regularly (who has checked their MySpace account recently?). It’s hard to fully appreciate the threat lurking below the surface from all the mom & pop websites have had their data compromised and don’t even know that customer names, addresses and passwords have been stolen.

In 2014, $71 billion was spent on combating hackers, phishing and malware but the most prevalent reason for successful data security breaches is weak or recycled passwords. For the advisor, data breaches are one of those potential nightmares that are too terrible to contemplate. It is therefore imperative to make sure that your office has a password protection policy and implemented password protocols to safeguard client information.

Any password protection policy should –

  • Enforce periodic renewal
  • Minimize password reuse
  • Require passwords be at least a certain number of characters
  • Require a combination of numbers, characters, and cases
  • Prohibit certain words that are easily associated with the user (name, company name etc.)

Chances are you are using two factor authentication in some situations (you have to enter a unique string of numbers generated each time) or even biometrics (using your thumb print to unlock your iPhone). These systems may be safer but they are more difficult to set up and to share in those situations when you really need someone to access a site for you. A real successor to the password that is easy but safe has yet to arrive. Until it does, the best an advisor can do is implement and enforce a password protection policy.

Be an advocate for your business and profession

Do you want to make your voice heard issues that impact your business and profession, but don’t know where to start? FPA has developed a targeted online advocacy tool that allows you to contact your representatives and be heard as part of FPA’s grassroots community. This is a prime opportunity for FPA members to advocate on the state and federal levels with an effective, time-saving tool.