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In This Issue
President's Message
Pro Bono
Call for Volunteers
New FPA/NEO Web site
Happy Anniversary
Board of Directors
Mark McCandless, CFP, CPA

President Elect:
Molly Balunek, CFP

Patrick Hanratty, CFP, CPA/PFS

Kevin Kroskey, CFP

Mary Farrell, CFP
Mario Gigante, CFP, CPA, AIFA
Ken Paull, CFP
Pamela Sandy, CFPzzr

Bill Russo, CFP
Upcoming Program Dates
March 18, 210
Topic:  "Securities Fraud and the New Environment of Regulation"
Speaker:  Kelly Igoe
Ohio Division of Securities
2CE Approved
8 - 10:30 a.m.
Click here to sign up on-line

April 15, 2010
Topic:  "Pilgrimage to Warren Buffett's Omaha"
(Book Event)
speaker:  Jeff Matthews, Author
Place:  Joseph Beth Booksellers/Bronte Bistro
Legacy Village
3 - 6 p.m.

May 20, 2010
Annual anetworking Event
Topic:  "Networking with Social Media"
Michael DeAloia
Place:  The Club at Key Center
127 Public Square
3 - 6 p.m.

June/July/August 2010
No programming held

September 16, 2010
Annual Ethics Program
Speaker:  Patrick Kuhse

October 18, 2010
FPA/NEO Symposium
Place:  LaCenter
7:30 a.m. - 5  p.m.

November 18, 2010
The State of the Profession
Panel event
panel:  TBA
Place:  Lockkeepers
2 - 6 p.m.
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American Funds

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Ohio Tuition Trust

Prudential Annuities

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Tri-C Corporate College

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FPA/NEO March 2010 Newsletter

President's Message
by Mark McCandless, CFP, CPA

How the heck are we going to get out of this mess?

My clients, a husband and wife, and their daughter, were sitting at the table in our large conference room.  They have been with my firm for many years and appreciate our guidance.  As we started our meeting, the husband made an observation about the news he watches and all of the problems facing the country.  He then asked (with reference to our country): "How the heck are we going to get out of this mess?"  We had a discussion about the "mess" we are in.  I told them I also have many concerns.  I mentioned a recent seminar I attended. The speaker was David M. Walker, President & CEO of The Peter G. Peterson Foundation (www.pgpf.org), former Comptroller General of the United States and CEO of the Government Accountability Office (GAO).  You may recognize David Walker's name from the film "I.O.U.S.A.".Mr. Walker has written a book titled: Comeback America: Turning the Country Around and Restoring Fiscal Responsibility.  While I had not yet read the book, I told my clients about some of the issues he raised in his speech:

       Our country has moved from an opportunity society to an entitlement society.

       The government has made too many unfunded promises.  About the Social Security Trust Fund he says there is no "trust" in it and it is not "funded".  We are facing crises in unfunded promises related to Social Security, Medicare, and State and Local Government pensions.

       50% of our public debt is foreign owned and this percentage would be higher without Federal Reserve action.

       The single largest line item on the federal budget in 12 years will be INTEREST EXPENSE.  This assumes interest rates will stay where they are right now at historically low rates.

       Our tax system is so complex that government officials cannot prepare their own tax return.  He thinks Congressmen should be required to prepare their returns WITHOUT TAX SOFTWARE. (I really like that one!)

I related to my clients a discussion I had with a friend of mine who is also a CPA.  I expressed some of my own feelings about what is going on in the country.  I told him about the many clients who express worry but I couldn't quite put my finger on the root of their concern.  My friend stated that most of his clients are worried about the future of capitalism.  Is the perceived erosion of capitalism at the root of many of our concerns?

At this point in our lively discussion, turning to my clients, I said: "I really don't know how the United States is going to get out of this mess.  The important thing is how has your financial planner (me!) helped you to avoid this mess?"  Our clients reminded me of how well we had taken care of them since they joined us many years ago.  We chatted about how their portfolio is structured to adapt to a changing world as well as a changing country.  They know that their portfolio team looks forward to assessing opportunities and risks rather than relying mainly on hindsight.  Our clients appreciate how we are transparent in terms of reporting their portfolio returns net of the fees they pay to us.  I mentioned one of my favorite areas, income taxes.  Keeping an eye on tax changes and helping them to minimize taxes has been an important role in their financial security.  We regularly discuss estate planning and risk management with them.  We want to ensure that the assets accumulated during their lifetime are protected and ultimately will be distributed in accordance with their wishes, while minimizing the estate taxes and fees, which often deprive heirs of inheritances.  Through it all, we have monitored cash flow to help maintain their retirement lifestyle.  Our guidance allowed them to purchase a new residence while simultaneously providing financial assistance to a family member.  

Our role as planners is to help and grow our clients' wealth by integrating the various facets of financial planning.  We help them create and implement individual life plans and goals.  Achieving goals is a lot like trying to put together a complicated puzzle.  You not only need all of the pieces but you need the right pieces in the right places to finish the puzzle.  As my clients left the office that day, I told them that I intended to use their quote in my article.  I'm not sure they thought I was serious.  Well, I was!

As planners we help our clients avoid "the mess" by helping them put together the puzzle. We don't pick up individual pieces and say "I wonder how this fits?"  We turn over the puzzle box and look at the big picture!  As we complete the puzzle, I hope our clients feel that one of the most important pieces is the one that has the FPA logo on it!

Pro Bono:  Another Success
By Mary Farrell, CFP

Our FPA/NEO / Cleveland Saves brainstorming session was great.  Thanks so much to Pamela Sandy, Karen Bordonaro and Allen Porter who came out on that snowy Wednesday evening to participate.  Over Happy hour drinks and lively conversation, the five of us were able to provide some solid suggestions and advice for ways Cleveland Saves can improve on their mission.  In addition to this event as part of Cleveland Saves Week, there are other programs in the works.  Link to Cleveland Saves  Keep a look out for more information on their Shred It Event coming in April.   At this event, Cleveland Saves will promote the proper disposition of confidential documents.

Picking up momentum is the coaching program with The University of Akron.  Ten planners have stepped up to volunteer to partner with the students in Doug's finance class.  This is a significant first step in developing a strong relationship between the University of Akron and our FPA chapter.  More importantly, through, the students are so looking forward to working with professionals and getting some real-world experience.
Call for Volunteers
We want to develop more ways to reach out to our members and bring people together.  Social Media is gaining prominence and a terrific tool to share information and build relationships.  We need the help of volunteers to establish a social media presence for our chapter.  Members who are familiar with Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter are welcome, but anyone with an interest in learning about and using these tools is welcome.  Please contact Molly Balunek at 216.839-5134 or mbalunek@invernesswealth.com
New FPA/NEO Web site!
By Kevin Kroskey, CFP

We are happy to announce that our chapter Web site has received a much-needed makeover.  The new site will be more fully integrated with FPA National and will still have chapter-specific information on meetings, initiatives, and our sponsors to just name a few.  While our www.fpaneo.com domain will still be active and redirected to the new site, the domain transfer hasn't been complete just yet.  However, you can peruse the redesigned site at www.fpanet.org/Chapters/NortheastOhio/Remember, members can provide job postings that we will include at no charge on the site.

Our chapter thanks Kevin Kroskey for all of his help in getting our Web site up and running!
Happy Anniversary

30 Years
John W. Lesjak, CFP

27 Years
Michael G. Shinn, CFP
Michael J. Lesjak, CFP

26 Years
James R. Kickel, CFP

17 Years
Paul A. Hrisko, CFP

15 Years
Lawrence W. Pelland, CFP, CLU

13 Years

Edward L. Fouch, CFP

11 Years

Samantha Ospelt, CFP

10 Years

Mario C. Giganti, CFPzr, CPA, AIFA

9 Years

Margie C. Carpenter, CFP
Matthew T. Carbone, CFP

8 Years
Edward J. mazza, CFP

7 Years

Charles J. Avarello, CFP

6 Years
David W. Demming, Jr., CFP
Kenneth J. Paull, CFP

4 Years
John C. Hindman, CFP
Joe L. Flinner, CFP, CRPC
Jack Zugay, CFP
Emily a. Drake, CFP
Philip G. Moshier, CFP
Jacqueline S. Glasscock, CFP
Daniel J. Lauletta, CFP, ChFC, CLU, LUTCF
Michael F. Cleary, CFP
Anne T. Palmer
James F. Henyey, CFP
Douglas B. Robinson, CFP
Michael D. Andrews, CFP, EA, CPA

3 Years

Brent R. Horvth, CFP

2 Years
Andrew I. Hayek, CFP
Charles Grimm, CFP, CPA/PFS

1 Year
Paul D. Guerra
Mark M. Tepper
Cherie Mason