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Wealth Management: Independent vs. Everyone Else

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When the time comes to get help with wealth management, who should you trust with your nest egg?

Provided by Meld Financial, Inc.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="to registration form - text" _builder_version="3.0.105" background_layout="light" saved_tabs="all" global_module="1444"]

Click here to register for our next event, "Investment Planning: From Growth to Income".

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Detail - Text" _builder_version="3.12.2"]You’ve decided it’s time to get help growing your investments and planning for retirement, so you’re enlisting a professional. Of those proficient in this arena, you may choose a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER to guide you in securing your future.Good. That’s step #1 in securing your financial future. Step #2 is deciding who you want to trust with that process.In the world of wealth management, you have two main choices: You can hire one of the “big guys” to manage your investments. Or you can hire an independent wealth management firm.The choice is different for everyone and depends on each person’s financial personality and situation. And there are a few key elements to consider as you weigh your options.

What do the big banks and large investment firms offer compared to independent wealth management firms?

Typically, the main selling point of wealth management services at large institutions is consolidation. If you’re already using a specific bank for all your other financial needs, you may be inclined to add wealth management to the mix, in the interest of keeping everything under one roof.Another way the large institutions acquire customers is through massive marketing programs. You likely see their names on the internet, television or social media on a regular basis.We get it; the allure of simplification can be attractive, and familiarity can be comforting. However, with that simplification comes the likelihood for conflicts of interest. The conglomerate structure promotes an opportunity to cross-sell wealth management customers on other services or point them to internal funds over external ones. That becomes a problem when it boosts the bank’s bottom line but does not serve the best interests of the client. In some cases, it’s not even legal. This sales system is known as “closed architecture,” and, as one expert told the Financial Times a few years back, it’s one in which the clients lose out:
The problem is that, as banks build up big internal asset management businesses, pressure to encourage clients towards internal funds. [This] maximizes the institutions’ profits at clients’ expense.
Many banks claim to have open or guided architectures in place, which means some or most of the funds they recommend come from external asset managers. But many agree that it’s hard to verify those systems are actually functioning as promised.Given all those potentials for conflicts of interest, as well as recent scandals, it can be hard for some clients to trust that the advice they receive from a large institution is truly in their best interests.

Where will I get the highest level of service?

There are very few guarantees with investment advice, no matter which wealth management option you choose. That’s why it’s important to get to know a prospective advisor before making a commitment.That said, there are a few considerations that could impact the level of service you receive from a wealth manager.At the big banks and large investment franchises, you will be one of many customers. This can have an impact on service level. Wealth managers at larger institutions also tend to focus on asset growth, rather than taking a more holistic view of a client’s financial situation. This is mostly because of the incentive structure at the institution. The bottom line is wealth managers at large banks and investment firms can have lots of clients and various quotas to hit. That’s not always good news for the investor.Independent wealth management practices are generally small businesses built on relationships. That structure makes customer service paramount. The independent advisor can’t rely on market dominance, name recognition or huge marketing budgets to bring new business in; their best bet is keeping current customers happy. That is generally a good situation for an investor.Independent practices also lack the complex and competitive incentive structures in place at larger institutions. Not to mention, their services are generally more focused around their client’s specific situation. Their main incentive is to create investment plans focused on helping customers protect and improve their financial future.

When it comes to reliability, which option is best?

Some clients believe the most reliable wealth management option comes with a larger institution — a firm that has a long history, a large market presence and many individual advisors who can step in to help if someone else steps out.But size, history and market presence are not always accurate predictors of long-term viability. Just look at the recent financial crisis, which claimed longstanding institutions such as Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns. Those organizations were fixtures on Wall St. with billions under management, and they were gone in the blink of an eye.And while many institutions have a large number of advisors, each is simply focused on their own Individual clients. Whereas most Independent firms have numerous advisors and specialists focused on their clients.

So, how do I choose what’s best for me?

Talk to prospective advisors before you decide where to invest your hard-earned dollars. Ask the tough questions and get the answers you need to make the right choice. Make sure you understand your advisor and the strategy he or she has for your finances. The most important thing is that you are comfortable with your wealth manager and their organization as a whole. There’s a lot at stake — your retirement, your future — and you want to invest with confidence.At Meld Financial, we are independent wealth managers and we’d love the opportunity to get to know you. Join us at one of our upcoming Meld University events or make an appointment to visit our office. We can’t wait to meet you and introduce you to our unique strategy we call Situational Investing, which is an integral feature of our comprehensive wealth management services.[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="to registration form - text" _builder_version="3.0.105" background_layout="light" saved_tabs="all" global_module="1444"]

Click here to register for our next event, "Investment Planning: From Growth to Income".

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.92" src="https://meldfinancial.com/wp-content/uploads/logo.png" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" module_class="no-shadow" /][et_pb_text admin_label="Meld Contact Info - Text" _builder_version="3.0.101" background_layout="light"]

Meld Financial, Inc. may be reached at:

205-967-4200

meld@meldfinancial.com

P. O. Box 43626

Birmingham, AL  35243

www.meldfinancial.com

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Fine Print - Text" _builder_version="3.12.2" text_font_size="10px" custom_css_main_element="font-size:10px important!;"]

Securities offered through Triad Advisors, LLC .  Member FINRA/SIPC.

Advisory services offered through Meld Financial, Inc.

Triad Advisors and Meld Financial are not affiliated.

This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note - investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]


Weekly Economic Update - August 13, 2018

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Meld Financial, Inc. Presents:

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Weekly Economic Update

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Weekly Quote
[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Wkly Quote Detail - Text" _builder_version="3.12"]“Do not accustom yourself to use big words for little matters.-Samuel Johnson[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Weekly Tip - Text" _builder_version="3.0.86" background_layout="light" text_font="Alegreya SC||||||||" header_5_font="Alegreya SC||||||||" header_5_font_size="24px"]
Weekly Tip
[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Weekly Tip Detail - Text" _builder_version="3.12"]This year, the Internal Revenue Service eased the “use it or lose it” rule on Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs). In the past, funds you directed into an FSA had to be spent by the end of a year or else they would be forfeited. The I.R.S. now permits you to carry over as much as $500 in FSA funds into the next year, but your employer must elect to allow this option.[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Weekly Riddle - Text" _builder_version="3.0.106" background_layout="light" text_font="Alegreya SC||||||||" header_5_font="Alegreya SC||||||||" header_5_font_size="24px"]
Weekly Riddle
[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Weekly Riddle Detail - Text" _builder_version="3.12"]A cargo truck hauling a load of lumber can carry 2 tons. It approaches a bridge with a sign, which notes that the bridge can support up to 2 tons of weight. The driver sees the sign and reckons that the bridge should hold up under the weight of the truck. Is the driver right?[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Last Week Riddle - Text" _builder_version="3.0.106" background_layout="light" text_font="Alegreya SC||||||||" header_5_font="Alegreya SC||||||||" header_5_font_size="24px"]
Last Week's Riddle
[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Last Week Riddle Detail - Text" _builder_version="3.12"]Gary drops an egg onto a sidewalk. The egg doesn't break after falling 3 feet. Why?[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Last Answer - Text" _builder_version="3.0.86" background_layout="light" text_font="Alegreya SC||||||||" header_5_font="Alegreya SC||||||||" header_5_font_size="24px"]
Last week's answer:
[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Last Answer Detail - Text" _builder_version="3.12" custom_padding="||224px|" custom_padding_phone="||24px|" custom_padding_last_edited="on|phone"]The egg is dropped from a height of more than 3’, so after 3’ of falling, it has not yet broken.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="3_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Detail - Text" _builder_version="3.12" background_color="#ffffff"]August 13, 2018INFLATION AT 2.9%, CORE INFLATION AT 2.4% Friday, the Department of Labor reported these annualized gains through July of this year for the Consumer Price Index. Both the headline and core CPIs rose 0.2% last month, matching the consensus forecast of economists polled by Reuters. The yearly core inflation increase is the largest on record since September 2008. (The core inflation reading leaves out food and energy costs.) The Producer Price Index was flat in July, with the yearly advance declining slightly to 3.4%; the core PPI rose 0.3%, resulting in a 2.8% annualized gain.1,2HOW IS EARNINGS SEASON GOING?Ninety-one percent of S&P 500 companies have reported Q2 results so far. FactSet, the respected stock market analytics firm, reports that 72% have surprised to the upside in terms of sales and 79% have topped earnings expectations. Weighing actual earnings results and future projections, FactSet estimates a 24.6% “blended” earnings growth rate for the second quarter. On Friday, the forward 12-month P/E ratio for the S&P 500 was 16.6; that compares to an average of 16.2 across the past five years.3OIL FALLS FOR A SIXTH STRAIGHT WEEKWTI crude last suffered such a losing streak in 2015. Friday, it settled at $67.63 on the NYMEX, even after a 1.2% advance during Friday’s trading session. Some commodities investors believe that the emerging trade war will reduce demand for energy products.4NASDAQ ADVANCES, S&P and DOW RETREATThe possibility of the U.S. doubling tariffs on Turkish aluminum and steel sent stocks skidding worldwide, Friday, as diplomatic disagreements between the countries took on an economic aspect. Of the three major Wall Street indices, only the Nasdaq Composite posted a weekly gain, rising 0.35% to 7,839.11. The S&P 500 fell 0.25% in five days, settling at 2,833.28 Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the week 0.59% lower at 25,313.14.5,6THIS WEEKSysco announces Q2 results Monday. | Advance Auto Parts, Agilent Technologies, and Home Depot present earnings on Tuesday. | On Wednesday, July retail sales numbers are out, along with earnings from Briggs & Stratton and Cisco. | Nordstrom, Nvidia, and Walmart share quarterly results on Thursday, as Wall Street also considers new data on initial jobless claims and July homebuilding activity. | The University of Michigan’s initial August consumer sentiment index appears on Friday, plus the Conference Board’s latest leading indicators index and earnings from Deere & Co.
% CHANGEY-T-D1-YR CHG5-YR AVG10-YR AVG
DJIA2.4015.8812.8211.48
NASDAQ13.5526.0922.8422.13
S&P 5005.9716.2013.5011.71
REAL YIELD8/10 RATE1 YR AGO5 YRS AGO10 YRS AGO
10 YR TIPS0.780.400.331.80
Sources: wsj.com, bigcharts.com, treasury.gov - 8/10/186,7,8,9Indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. These returns do not include dividends. 10-year TIPS real yield = projected return at maturity given expected inflation.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.0.86" custom_margin="0px|||" custom_padding="0px|||"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Forward to friends - Text" _builder_version="3.0.86" background_layout="light" text_font="Alegreya Sans SC||||||||" header_font="Alegreya SC||||||||" header_font_size="48px" background_color="#dddddd"]

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[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Contact Info - Text" _builder_version="3.0.86" background_layout="light"]

Meld Financial, Inc.

P.O. Box 43626

Birmingham, AL  35243

Phone:  205-967-4200

Email:  Meld@meldfinancial.com

www.meldfinancial.com

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Securities Offered by - Text" _builder_version="3.0.106" background_layout="light" saved_tabs="all"]

Securities offered through Triad Advisors, LLC. Member FINRA/SIPC.

Advisory services offered through Meld Financial, Inc.

Triad Advisors and Meld Financial are not affiliated.

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Disclosure Detail - Text" _builder_version="3.12" text_font_size="10px" module_class="fine-print-post-text"]This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. The information herein has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note - investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All market indices discussed are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment. Indices do not incur management fees, costs and expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. NYSE Group, Inc. (NYSE:NYX) operates two securities exchanges: the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) and NYSE Arca (formerly known as the Archipelago Exchange, or ArcaEx®, and the Pacific Exchange). NYSE Group is a leading provider of securities listing, trading and market data products and services. The New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (NYMEX) is the world's largest physical commodity futures exchange and the preeminent trading forum for energy and precious metals, with trading conducted through two divisions – the NYMEX Division, home to the energy, platinum, and palladium markets, and the COMEX Division, on which all other metals trade. Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic instability and differences in accounting standards. This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. MarketingPro, Inc. is not affiliated with any person or firm that may be providing this information to you. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional.CITATIONS:1 - cnbc.com/2018/08/10/us-cpi-july-2018.html [8/10/18]2 - reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy-inventories/u-s-producer-prices-unchanged-in-july-idUSKBN1KU1JH [8/9/18]3 - factset.com/hubfs/Resources%20Section/Research%20Desk/Earnings%20Insight/EarningsInsight_081018.pdf [8/10/18]4 - bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-10/oil-set-for-sixth-weekly-loss-as-u-s-china-trade-war-escalates [8/10/18]5 - thestreet.com/markets/stocks-slide-amid-currency-crisis-in-turkey-14679908 [8/10/18]6 - markets.wsj.com/us [8/10/18]7 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=8%2F10%2F17&x=0&y=0 [8/10/18] 7 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=8%2F10%2F17&x=0&y=0 [8/10/18] 7 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=8%2F10%2F17&x=0&y=0 [8/10/18] 7 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=8%2F9%2F13&x=0&y=0 [8/10/18] 7 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=8%2F9%2F13&x=0&y=0 [8/10/18] 7 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=8%2F9%2F13&x=0&y=0 [8/10/18] 7 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=8%2F11%2F08&x=0&y=0 [8/10/18]7 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=8%2F11%2F08&x=0&y=0 [8/10/18]7 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=8%2F11%2F08&x=0&y=0 [8/10/18] 8 - treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyield [8/10/18] 9 - treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyieldAll [8/10/18][/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]


Special Social Security Filing Strategies

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For People Born Before January 2, 1954

By Patricia L. Burris, CFP®, Vice President, Corporate & Retirement Plan Services - Meld Financial, Inc.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="to registration form - text" _builder_version="3.0.105" background_layout="light" saved_tabs="all" global_module="1444"]

Click here to register for our next event, "Investment Planning: From Growth to Income".

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Detail - Text" _builder_version="3.11.1"]If you were born before January 2, 1954 you may be able to have your cake and eat it too as far as Social Security goes. By this I mean, you may be able to file what is known as a restricted application for spousal benefits and receive 50% of your spouse’s (or ex-spouse’s) primary insurance amount (PIA) between the ages of 66 and 70 and let your own benefit grow at 8% per year. Then at your age 70 you refile a regular application and receive 132% of your PIA.In order to take advantage of this special filing strategy, the following conditions must be met:

Example of How a Restricted Application Works

Jack and Jill are married, they are both age 66, which is their full retirement age for Social Security purposes. Jack’s PIA is $2,000 per month and Jill’s is $1,500. Jill filed for Social Security at her age 62 receiving a reduced benefit of 75% of her PIA or $1,125. Jack files a restricted application for spousal benefits at his age 66 allowing him to receive 50% of Jill’s PIA, or $800. Note the spousal benefit is based on the spouse’s PIA and not the reduced amount they received because they filed early.At Jack’s age 70, he should then refile with the SSA on his own record. At this point he will receive 132% of his age 66 PIA, or $2,640 plus any cost of living increases the SSA applied between his ages 66 and 70.

How to File A Restricted Application

If you are filing on a current spouse’s record, a restricted application for spousal benefits can be submitted online at ssa.gov. If you are filing on a divorced spouse’s or deceased spouse’s record, you will need to apply in person at the SSA office. If divorced, you will need to take a copy of your marriage certificate and divorce decree. If your spouse is deceased, you should also take a copy of your marriage certificate and the death certificate.If you can file online, I strongly suggest you do so since it’s relatively easy. However, if you file online, beware there is no question that asks if you are filing a restricted application. To do this, you will need to answer yes to the following question:

If you are eligible for both retirement benefits and spouse’s benefit, do you want to delay receipt of retirement benefit?

If you are full retirement age and we determine that you are eligible to receive both a retirement benefit and a spouse’s benefit, you may choose to delay receiving your own retirement benefit and receive only the spouse’s benefit for now. O Yes   O NoAt the end of your online application, there will be a comments section where I suggest you enter, “I am filing a restricted application for spousal benefits only and wish to delay receipt of benefits on my own record”. This is to confirm to the SSA that yes, you know what you are doing and truly want spousal benefits only.

Don’t be Surprised if You Receive a Letter from the SSA

Often when people file for SSA benefits and the application will not provide the maximum benefit the filer is entitled to at that time, the SSA sends a letter to the applicant. The letter tells the applicant that if they switch to benefits on their own record, they will be entitled to more. You of course will already know this and intentionally filed for reduced spousal benefits allowing you to let your own benefits grow at 8% per year. However, the letter from the SSA can be confusing so don’t let it change your intentional filing strategy.The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 changed the rules for filing Social Security benefits thus this technique is only available to folks born before 1/2/1954. Some folks like me were born a little too late and can’t take advantage of the restricted application strategy. Me, I was born a year too late, but my brother was born in 1953 so in 2019, when he turns full retirement age, I’ll be sure he’s aware of this filing strategy so at least one of us siblings can have our cake and eat it too.[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="to registration form - text" _builder_version="3.0.105" background_layout="light" saved_tabs="all" global_module="1444"]

Click here to register for our next event, "Investment Planning: From Growth to Income".

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.92" src="https://meldfinancial.com/wp-content/uploads/logo.png" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" module_class="no-shadow" /][et_pb_text admin_label="Meld Contact Info - Text" _builder_version="3.0.101" background_layout="light"]

Meld Financial, Inc. may be reached at:

205-967-4200

meld@meldfinancial.com

P. O. Box 43626

Birmingham, AL  35243

www.meldfinancial.com

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Fine Print - Text" _builder_version="3.11.1" text_font_size="10px" custom_css_main_element="font-size:10px important!;"]

Securities offered through Triad Advisors, LLC .  Member FINRA/SIPC.

Advisory services offered through Meld Financial, Inc.

Triad Advisors and Meld Financial are not affiliated.

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