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                      June 2012 Newsletter

FPA of Pittsburgh Newsletter
Newsletter Subtitle
Month Year



This month brings more exciting news about our Chapter, upcoming events, and benefits for our members. We encourage you to read on and take advantage of the great opportunities available to you. 
In This Issue
President's Message
A Message from Andy Sykes: Who Should Serve As a Trustee?
2012 Heart of Financial Planning Award
Upcoming Events
CFP Exam Scholarship Opportunity
June Membership Milestones

A Message From Our President, Ruth Forsyth: 


Click Here to see a message from Governor Tom Corbett


Oh What A Night!


Our inaugural "Saluting Service" was indeed something to be proud of! The weather gods blessed us and we enjoyed a great picnic on the patio of Soldiers & Sailors, browsed the Great Hall of the museum and were entertained by the Brass Choir of the Trinity Jazz Orchestra. The auditorium program began with the 6th Regiment U.S. Colored Troops Drum Corp followed by an inspiring speech by Lt. Col. (ret) Barry Bridger. We then honored all 23 nominees by asking them to the stage and viewing a special video of their accomplishments. Honorable mentions went to Stephanie Sellinger and Anton Uzonyi and the First Class Patriot Achievement Award was given to Thomas Fitzgerald. A $10,000 check was presented from FPA to The Veterans Leadership Program in honor of Mr. Fitzgerald. Last but not least, we were treated to a fabulous concert by The Trinity Jazz Orchestra, featuring American Idol semi-finalist Adam Brock and our very own Carmen Petote! Truly, it was an entertaining evening and wonderful tribute to our veterans!


I want to thank all of you who helped with this Herculean effort by volunteering your time, spreading the word, reaching out to your contacts for cookies and grills and ROTC kids........the list goes on and on.   A HUGE thank you goes to Darla Main for coming out of FPA semi-retirement and agreeing to chair this hairy beast.  She had no clue what she was agreeing to and we absolutely could NOT have done it without her!


As a board, our goal for Saluting Service was to present our FPA chapter in a positive way through community service and to increase the awareness of the FPA to the public. Here are some of the ways we accomplished that:


                Facebook - if you haven't been on it yet - be sure to visit it now.  There are many photos of the event and a video clip of the nominees that was shown on Tues.  Turns out we are the 1st FPA chapter to have a Facebook page.  The last statistics I had was that we had a total of 131 likes, 64,675 friends of fans, 60 talking about us and 1141 weekly total reach.  Now that this page has been created, we can use it to promote other events to our members and the public.

                Tribune Review - 2 separate ads ran in Sunday editions - 1 calling for nominations (we received 25) and 1 promoting the 5/22 event.  Additionally, a full page 2 sided insert appeared in the Sun. May 20th edition.  All of these ran in the Pittsburgh and Greensburg editions.  Additionally a feature story and photo of one of the nominees ran on Tues. May 22nd highlighting the reception the night before, promoting the event that night and listing all of the nominees (there were also quotes from several).  Another smaller story ran on Fri. May 25th announcing the winner and the FPA donation to VLP.

                Reception on May 21 - at Carnegie Library in Carnegie.  Attended by most nominees, their spouses, nominators and spouses, sponsors and guests and guest speaker.  Very informal but seemed to be enjoyed by all who attended.  No one was in a hurry to leave and it was a great way to get to know the nominees and their personal stories.  Nominees were very honored by their nominations.

                Saluting Service 5/22 - Over 500 registered to attend!  That being said my guess is that our attendance was actually closer to 350-400.    Speaker, emcee and band have all gone out of their way to tell me how honored they were to be a part of the event and would love to participate again next year!


Lastly I want to share some excerpts of emails that we have received:


From Veterans Leadership:


I remain overwhelmed and so very grateful from yesterday evening's program.  It was indeed a reminder of why we do what we do and why it matters so much.  I want to extend my thanks to you and the FPA for also doing what matters, and for honoring our region's heroes in such an extraordinary way. The program was outstanding.  


VLP will use the donation to assist Veterans who need help with employment, housing, or other supportive services that will help them reintegrate back into the community.


Ruth, Darla.....and the FPA: Again, please accept my thanks, especially on behalf of the Veterans we serve. Yesterday's program was meaningful, substantial, and impactful--something real and tangible to honor those who serve and sacrifice on behalf of us all.  




Albert H. Mercer

Executive Director


Veterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania, Inc.


From wife of Tom Fitzgerald - 1st Class Patriot Achievement Award Winner:


Hi Ruth!  Tom and I really enjoyed the evening.  Everyone we talked to said it was a great evening.  The band was exceptional!   That really is a nice event your organization is doing.  Tom was totally surprised!  The award itself was very nice too.  I am really thankful Tom was the recipient of the award.  I wish you much success in the future with the event!  Thank you again!!




From one of our nominees:


It was great to meet so many nice folks.  I was honored to have met with and shared conversation with Lt.Col. Bridger as I have always held a special place in my heart for the prisoners held in North Viet-Nam.  I know we as Marines talked about them while in country and hoped someone would come up with a mission to get them out and home.  There would not have been a problem in getting volunteers for that mission.


Knowing what they went thru makes my wounds feel very small as they also had to feel deserted by their own being held for so long.  At least my fellow Marines were with me and I them on the occasions of battle and especially for the wounded and the dead.


I hadn't the chance to search the Hall of Valor before last night and while going thru found one of my own who was killed Nov.12, 1969 and received the Medal of Honor posthumously.  His name was Ralph Dias Jr., and what he did that day on the side of that mountain was incredible.  Most of us had joined the Marine Corps right out of High School and knew where we would be heading and most were just 18-20 years old like Ralph.  I believe he was 19 as I on that day.  I was a Lance Corporal and fire team leader at the time and Ralph a member of a fire team in another Platoon.  He had been in my squad for about a month but was sent to the other platoon just weeks before his death due to low manpower in that Platoon.  I've kept his picture and citation all these years in a place of honor along with the names of all of our men killed.


I've seen so many things thru 10 years in the Marine Corps and 31 years as a policeman and am grateful for having been associated with the many wonderful men and women I've come to know.  Please feel free to give my email address to anyone involved in the program and especially Lt.Col. Bridger.


Thank you for the Prayers.  My wife seems to be improving by the day since receiving the Anointing of the sick last week as I continue to pray for a complete healing.


Semper Fidelis,


Patrick Keally


There are many more messages like this from members, attendees and participants.  We made a difference and had an impact on those we honored, those who participated and the organization we benefited with our donation.  For that I think we can all be proud!


Click Here to see message from Governor Tom Corbett 




A Message from Andy Sykes:

Who Should Serve as Trustee of Your Client's Trust?


By Andrew G. Sykes, Esq. of Sykes Elder Law, LLC



Estate planning trusts are increasingly popular, even among middle-class clients, for their effectiveness in avoiding probate, protecting assets, helping disabled family members, and providing for minor or spendthrift children.

Many of these trusts will remain in place for 5, 10, 20 years or more. Who will serve as trustee during that time?

Initially, the person who sets up the trust (the "settlor") often likes to serve as trustee in order to have as much control as possible. That's standard with most revocable trusts. But what about an irrevocable trust? Some lawyers have concerns that such a practice would endanger the asset protection goals of the trust, but there is no prohibition against a settlor serving as trustee. (See, "Irrevocable Pure Grantor Trusts: the Estate Planning Landscape Has Changed," 61 Syracuse L. Rev. 119, 128 - 30.)

Eventually, the settlor will probably need to have a successor take over when the settlor becomes unable to serve. In some cases, someone else serves from the beginning because the settlor lacks the skills to manage a trust or prefers not to serve for some reason.

Who should your client choose for this important role?

A family member often serves as trustee for a number of reasons. First, there is often a trusted family member, such as an adult child, who already helps your client with financial matters. Using that person fit naturally into the current family scheme. Second, the client usually has a high degree of trust in a close family member. Their goals may be very similar, such as ensuring that the settlor is provided for during the settlor's lifetime, and that the estate is preserved as much as possible for the next generation. Third, the family member may perform as trustee for little or no compensation.

It is important to stress to the client that the trustee has important responsibilities and fiduciary duties. Reliability and trustworthiness are therefore crucial. Many family members are honest and trustworthy enough to perform this task, but keep an eye out for indications of family disharmony, addiction problems, and mismanagement in other areas of life.

Naming co-trustees can address concerns about the ability of any one trustee to serve competently and responsibly. Clients also wish to name co-trustees for other reasons, such as not wanting to single out any individual child. Whenever a trust names co-trustees, it should specify whether each co-trustee may act independently, without the signature or consent of the other co-trustee, or not. Having non-independent co-trustees can help ensure responsible action, but clients must balance that goal against the burdensomeness of always obtaining two signatures to take any action.

A corporate trustee can often be a good choice. While generally more expensive, a corporate trustee can bring professionalism and expertise that are well worth the cost. Trust officers have experience making distributions, filing tax returns, and keeping accurate accounts of their activities. A corporate trustee also offers longevity - the bank or trust company will likely be around in 25 years and able to serve, while a family member may not.

Like most estate planning issues, there is no one answer that works for all clients. They rely on the sound advice from their lawyer and financial advisor to make good choices.


2012 Heart of Financial Planning Award
The Heart of Financial Planning Award is not just any old form of recognition.  It's an esteemed acknowledgement of an individual or a gorup who has used FPA's Core Values of competence, integrity, dedication to relationship building and stewardship to contribute to the financial planning community and/or the public.

Nomination Forms for this award are available at www.FPAnet.org

The Award recognizes indivudual professional (e.g. CFP(r), attorney, professor, journalist), financial planning firms, FPA chapters, or organizations who engage in extraordinary work, contributing and giving  back to the financial planning community and the public through financial planning.  Award recipients embody the heart of financial planning and represent FPA's Core Values.  Award recipients will be recognized at FPA Experience 2012 as well as through other FPA media outlets (press releases, social networking sites, etc.).

It would be an honor to the individual and the Pittsburgh Chapter to have someone from our Pittsburgh membership be nominated and win this esteemed award.  
Mark Your Calendar!!
Future Upcoming Events:

September 5th.    Investment Conference

October 18th.       Financial Four'um

November 7th.     Practice Management Conference

December 6th.     Code of Ethics Conference
 Taking the CFP Exam in JULY???


Win a scholarship to Keir's Live CFP Exam Review with materials!


Keir Educational Resources, a leading provider of professional education will award one scholarship per FPA chapter for the July 2012 exam cycle.


 Successful candidates may choose their location at any live 4 day reviews. See locations and dates at www.keirsuccess.com.


Materials are included, and the retail value of this prize is $925.00


Click HERE to APPLY!!!

Membership Milestones

Congratulations to the following FPA of Pittsburgh members who reached membership longevity milestones in June:


Samuel D. Kramer-      20 Years

John E. Baker-              15 Years

Robert K. Ruby-            5 Years


We look forward to seeing you at an upcoming event!  Need more information or have a question?  Visit the chapter website at www.fpapittsburgh.org or contact us at fpa.pittsburgh@verizon.net.
Quick Links
FPA Automatic Renewal Policy

The FPA is excited to announce that you are now able to sign up for automatic renewal of your FPA membership!


If you sign up for automatic renewal, your membership will renew in the month that it is due and in the subsequent years going forward.


Click here to sign up for automatic renewal today!


Planners under the age of 36 are encouraged to contact Michael McGrath or Stephanie McElheny to find out about the great opportunities available through NexGen. 

Attention FPA Sponsors!!!

Are you interested in sponsoring the Pittsburgh Financial Planning Association or one of our events?


Interested parties may  contact John J. Harm III for a copy of our 2012 SPONSORSHIP BROCHURE.


Media Training

If you would like to qualify to respond to requests for media interviews, click here  to access the mandatory training, complete the Media Participation Agreement , and then contact Ruth Forsyth to be added to our Chapter's media response list.


To qualify to speak to the media, you must be a CFP in good standing, a member of FPA, and have a minimum of 3 years experience as a financial planner. 


Media Interview Tips    

First Class Patriot Achievement Award


Sign up for tickets and invite your clients!


Volunteers Needed For This Event!