Spring 2017 Newsletter

Spring 2017 Newsletter

To our community of investors:

After the long cold winter we are all ready for some long nights and that first scent of spring.  It seems that we count down for this time of year and then it flies by in the blink of an eye.  This spring we all need to savor every day.  Take walks. smell all the flowers in bloom, spend those long nights with family and friends.  Truly enjoy every minute of the spring!


A note from Scott:

After an unusually long and very cold winter, it’s so nice to feel some warmth on your skin and hearing a few birds singing and seeing people about walking with sweaters or light jackets.  That’s the signal of spring to me.  As Leo Tolstoy was quoted as saying “Spring is the time of plans and projects.”  Like many of us, Robin and I will be making a list of what projects we need to complete around the house.  It seems we typically only finish a few of the many projects we set out to complete.  We are also expecting another grandchild at the end of May.  Josh (my son) and Jenelle are expecting.  Little Grayson is going to have a playmate.  Have a great Spring!


Thank you for trusting in our services at the practice.
Practice Highlights
If you haven’t heard the news yet, we launched our new website this quarter.  We have received a lot of great feedback.  Check it out if you have not already, www.sjkwealthmanagement.com  A great new feature of our new site includes a new section call “Latest Insights.”  You can find interesting articles written by us at SJK Wealth Management.  Each month we focus on a different topic that we think might benefit you, our community of investors.
For example this month we focused on retirement planning and featured an article about saving in your 50’s.

5 Tips to Successfully Spring Clean your Finances

Although it felt like spring in February and now it feels like it’s December in Alaska; believe it or not, spring is right around the corner and I’m going to introduce you to a new type of Spring Cleaning.  This doesn’t involve organizing your garage, cleaning your gutters, or dusting off shelves.  Instead, I’m going to give you a few helpful tips on how to effectively “spring clean” your finances this season.  With tax season becoming a distant memory and all the exciting return paperwork fresh in your head, now is the perfect time to look over your personal finances.


Check your credit score
When’s the last time your checked your credit score?  This sounds like a no brainer but some individuals have no idea what their credit score is and haven’t checked up on it in years.  Sites like creditkarma.com make it quick and easy to check your score for free.  If you see any mistakes give the bureaus a call and have them corrected.


Review outstanding debt
It’s wonderful if you’re debt free, but many us are not.  If you can afford to, continue to take chunks out of your debt.  If you have a lot of outstanding debt, paying off those with high interest rates first is usually the most effective way to reduce your balance.  The sooner that you’re able to pay down your mortgage, student loans, etc., the sooner you will be able to start contributing more to your retirement/ savings accounts and building towards your financial goals.


Evaluate your investments and financial goals
When was the last time you spoke with your financial advisor, or reviewed your retirement accounts?  Make an effort to start putting more away.  Whether you’re contributing $100 or $1,000 a month, any increase will make a big difference in the long run.  Review your investment allocation as well and make sure you are implementing a strategy that suits your specific goals.  Have you changed jobs recently?  Consider the following options:
  • Leave the money in your former employer’s plan, if permitted;
  • Roll over the assets to your new employer’s plan, if one is available and rollovers are permitted;
  • Roll over to an IRA; or
  • Cash out the account value


Review your insurance coverage
Take a look at your life and health insurance policies and make sure that you are sufficiently covered.  Do you have kids heading away to college in the next year or so? In the event that something might happen to you, would you be able to cover this expense?  Review your home and auto coverage and shop around for lower rates if they are available.  Have you undergone a major renovation to your home recently?  Adjust the value of on your homeowner’s policy to reflect this improvement.


Organize important documents and shred ones your no longer need
Things that you can trash within a few weeks include ATM receipts that have been recorded, bank deposit slips, and credit card statements. The IRS suggests that you hold on to your W2s for seven years. If your sub 2009 W2s are sitting in the filing cabinet gathering dust, it’s probably ready for the shredder.  Likewise, a solid organization system for important documents is invaluable.  Compile annual retirement account statements, legal documents, passports, etc. and organize them in a way that allows for easy access.

Written by Justin Sinisi



Family Financial Map 

Planning a thoughtful and effective transfer of family wealth can be challenging.  The worksheet included will help you create a map of your family to identify those who are most important or dependent on you.  We are constantly working to help with legacy planning in our office for all of our clients.  If you have not had the conversations with us already, please call to plan a time to discuss in detail to give you peace of mind and to help avoid any common mistakes.

Spring Wine Suggestions 

Scott’s Wine Pick:

Muirwood Chardonnay

As the sun heats up and we all end up outdoors this spring (I know our California and Florida clients – you have been outdoor all year) enjoy this bottle with shrimp and scallops or a hearty salad with walnuts, mango and avocado.  Its somewhat oak edge gives added body and complexity to the fruit-forward notes of ripe mango, juicy green apple, lychee and pineapple. Balance of oak, acidity and bold tropical fruit are intertwined in this bold wine. – Enjoy!
 Chris’ Wine Pick:
Trimbach Riesling
The change in the weather has some chemical effect on my senses.  Something in the air changes my preference to lighter, white wines.  This one is a classic and easy to find at the state stores (even though that is mattering less and less).  Wines from the Alsace region of France are just better and Trimbach has been doing it since 1626.  For some reason we tend to associate Rieslings with dessert or sweet wine, this one will change your opinion.  
Wine Enthusiast says “While this has a tight corset of freshness and structure, expressive notes of peach show their exuberance. The palate again reveals tautness, shot through with lemon purity while the peach delightfully plays around them.