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In This Issue
President's Message
Photos from February program
Lord Abbett Article
March 21st Program
Job Opportunity
Upcoming Program Dates

March 21

Valleyview, OH  44125
8:00 a.m.
Full breakfast buffet
8:15 a.m.
Program to follow
"Crack the Code:  Working with Women of Wealth"
presented by
Christine Miller, 
T.D. Ameritrade
"2013 Economic and Real Estate Outlook"
presented by
Kevin White, CFA
Cole Real Estate Investments

April 18 
Valleyview, OH  44125
8:00 a.m.
Full breakfast buffet
8:15 a.m.
"Seniors in Transition"
presented by
Connie Stone, CFP
Stepping Stone Financial, Inc.
Rachel A. Kabb-Effron, Esq., 
Certified Elder Law Attorney
The Kabb Law Firm

Joint FPA/NEO Program
with the Estate Planning Council
"Legislative Update"
presented by
Matthew F. Kadish
Location:  The City Club
850 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH
Time:  12:00 - 1:30 p.m.
No Programming 

Thanks to Our Partners  & Sponsors 
 Gold Partners:
*Berson-Sokol Agency
*Charles Schwab Advisor Services

*Realty Capital Securities, LLC

Silver Partners: 
*American Funds
*Camelot Portfolios
*Cole Real Estate Investments
*Hylant Group
*Lord Abbett

*Ohio Tuition Trust
Security Benefit
*Security 1 Lending
*TD Ameritrade

*Trust Company of America
*Weitz Funds

If you would like to be a partner or a sponsor, please e-mail the FPA/NEO office at fpaneo@aol.com or call 440.899-5055 

Board of Directors 
Ken Paull, CFP

President Elect:
Adrienne Love, CFP

Kara Downing, CFP

Karen Bordonaro, CFP

Janice Cackowski, CFP
Laura Malone
Tina Myers, CPA, M.Tax
David Robertson, CFP
Douglas Robinson, CFP

Molly Balunek, CFP 
Join Our Mailing List
Job Opportunity

Szarka Financial has been serving individuals, retirees, both large and small businesses, and unions in Northeast Ohio since 1982.  We differ from our competitors in many ways.  Most importantly, we focus on financial planning - not achieving sales quotas, and work in our clients' best interests.  Also, we provide a team approach to planning, providing personal attention every step of the way.  Finally, we provide customized solutions for our clients helping them to meet their financial goals.


Szarka Financial is a client-centric firm that empowers its staff and Advisors to develop and implement effective methods to bring exceptional value to all clients.

As our business is heavily dependent upon referrals from centers of influence and existing clients, helping to create a unique and memorable "Szarka experience" for each caller or visitor to our offices is of the highest priority.


Thus, our ideal candidate for this position will need to be able to demonstrate, beginning with their cover letter and resume, the following characteristics, skills and competencies:


* Answering each and every phone call with a smile in their voice 


* High degree of: energy, self-motivation, creativity, problem solving, willingness to assist and support all Financial Planners and any of our team members with a task, without being asked. 


* High degree of attention to detail


* Exceptional organizational and time management skills 


* Ability to work independently, but with understanding of when it is time to seek assistance from other team members or senior management 


* High degree of proficiency with Microsoft applications (Office, Windows) and ability to learn new proprietary software applications quickly and completely. High degree of overall PC proficiency 


* Ability to apply - with staff, advisors, COI's, prospects & clients - exceptional interpersonal skills while maintaining a high degree of professionalism. 


* Strong project management skills 


* Ability to quickly add value to the Szarka team


Click this link for the complete job description, and where to submit a cover letter and resume.


FPA Anniversary
10 Years
Charles J. Avarello
FPA/NEO March 2013 Newsletter
President's Message

Ken Paull, CFP



Hello, everyone! I hope the year is off to a great start for you! Your chapter representatives have been busy this past month with several endeavors that you may find of interest.


Government Relations Update


A very important piece of legislation facing our profession is the Jobs 2.0 HB-59 (mentioned in last month's newsletter last month's newsletter), which could potentially have an adverse effect on FPA members and their clients. We have been closely monitoring a provision in the biennial budget bill that would apply a 5% sales tax to accounting, financial consulting, and other services that were previously exempted.


Dave Robertson, CFP, Director of Government Relations, provided an update on the proposed bill at last month's member meeting. He stated that our chapter, in conjunction with other Ohio chapters, is in the early stages of determining how best to utilize our resources to prevent a tax on the services we provide our clients. Collectively, each Ohio chapter has been working diligently with FPA's legislative lobbying firm, The Raben Group,The Raben Group, to help us to develop the best strategy to address this issue. As you know, our theme for this year is "Speaking as One Voice," and we need your support and voice to be heard on this issue now more than ever. I encourage you to contact your state representative contact your state representative directly, or let Dave know if you have interest in participating in future legislative efforts on behalf of the FPA. This is an opportunity to further strengthen the role that FPA plays in state issues in Columbus, and it has led to the discussion of forming an FPA Ohio statewide coalition with the other chapters. As more details become available over the next few weeks and months on this issue, we will continue to keep you apprised.



Student Chapter Volunteers Needed


For the past 4 years, members of our chapter have graciously volunteered to provide a case study for students taking the University of Akron's financial planning Capstone Course. Each student is assigned a case study and presents his or her financial plan to the FPA volunteer member in April. What a great way to mentor and inspire a new generation of financial planners! If you would like to volunteer for the spring semester, please contact Doug Robinson, CFP, CFP, Director of Student Relations, by Thursday, March 21st.   


FPA NexGen Community Is Growing


Speaking of young professionals, we are looking to grow our FPA NexGen community within our northeast Ohio chapter.  FPA NexGen, intended to be a community of the next generation of financial planners, works in affiliation with FPA to provide the tools and knowledge that harness the power of collaboration between new and seasoned planners.  With a goal to create a community of young and enthusiastic professionals, we are actively seeking FPA members under the age of 36 to join this growing group at no additional cost. Check out the video on YouTube!


If you would like information on joining NexGen or know a young advisor that could benefit from this type of organization, please contact Marissa Beyer, CFP® or Elizabeth Verner, CFP®.



Annual Symposium Is Coming Soon


Symposium Chair, Nancy Radzyminski, CFP, and the Symposium Committee have already met and begun organizing our Annual FPA Symposium, which will be held on October 14, 2013 at La Centre in Westlake. They have assembled an outstanding list of speakers with a variety of timely topics.  Stay tuned for more details in the coming months!


Grow the community. Grow the profession. Grow FPA!


In February, we helped to welcome new members who joined our chapter in 2012 with a social gathering sponsored by Camelot Portfolios. In the first event of its kind for our chapter in over six years, it was a great way for new members to meet our board and learn more about the benefits of being a part of the FPA organization. We look forward to holding more of these social events in the future!

Did you know that you can receive discounts on your annual membership dues by referring current CFP professionals, allied professionals, educators and students enrolled in CFP Certificate Programs? Learn more about our
 Member-Get-A-Member Program. 


If you are passionate about our profession and would like to volunteer on a committee, please email or call me at (216) 831-4900, or speak with one of our board members at any of our upcoming meetings.


            We look forward to seeing you at our March program!

RECAP of our February program:

Tax Code Alphabet Soup - Made Easy by Howard Kass

By:  Janice Cackowski, CFP


As we are all aware by now, our U.S. Tax Code has undergone many changes.  Congress did not make things less complicated and more efficient; on the contrary!  Congresses passing of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA) at the final hour of 2012 permanently extends some individual income tax brackets that were due to phase out, yet adds some new brackets for high income earners.  ATRA extends current capital gains rates, but not for everyone.  ...and there's more.


Due to the personal exemption phase-out (PEP), exemptions are phased out for taxpayers with AGI above a certain level.  EGTRRA repealed PEP and TRUIRJCA extended that repeal.  ATRA now permanently extends PEP ... whew!  Are you with me?


ATRA increased and indexed AMT exemptions; there are modifications to the Estate Tax; there is a continuation of phaseout amounts for AMT; a repeal of "Pease" limitations; increased exemptions & reduced phaseouts all over the code! ... are you hanging in there?


With all seriousness, attempting to explain and understand the changes made to our tax code is tedious and confusing.  However, at our chapter's February breakfast program, Howard Kass, Tax Partner at Zinner & Co., LLP, explained the changes to attendees in detail with ease, answering questions effortlessly, and even added humor to (dare I say?) a dry subject.


Howard has been gracious enough to release his Power Point presentation to our chapter members.  It has been uploaded to the FPA Connect community created exclusively for our chapter entitled "Northeast Ohio." I strongly suggest all members review the Power Point and use it as a reference when working with clients. 


A big "thank you" to Howard for sharing his wisdom with our community.

FPA/NEO February Program photos
 Laura Noble (Camelot Portfolios) David Robertson 
Howard Kass elizabeth/marissa  

The Lord Abbett Inflation Focused Strategy:
A Targeted Approach to Inflation Protection


In late While the recent pace of inflation has been tame, the ingredients exist for an inflationary environment that could erode the returns on fixed-income investments.  In the past, investors wary of this prospect may have found opportunities in Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS).
The opportunities in TIPS may be fading, however.  The secular trend of declining interest rates has pushed TIPS yields into negative territory, and the securities' lengthy durations could pose notable risks should interest rates rise from their current, historically low levels.
In contrast, the Lord Abett Inflation Focused Strategy can provide a targeted approach to inflation protection with a total return that seeks to exceed the rate of inflation over a full economic cycle with reduced interest-rate risk.  Using a combination of short-duration credit securities and swaps based on the Sonsumer Price Index (CPI), the Strategy seeks a positive level of real income and capital appreciation during periods of accelerating inflation. 

Thanks to Jonathan Weitz of Lord Abbett for providing this article. 


March 21, 2013 Breakfast Program


8001 Rockside Road

Valley View, OH  44125

8 am Registration

8:30 am Announcements with 2 individual programs to follow

11:00 am adjourn  



"Crack the Code:  Working with Women of Wealth"


Presented by Christine Miller, Strategic Relationship Consultant

T. D. Ameritrade


Program details:
  • How to work with Women of Wealth
  • Seizing the Opportunity
  • Women of Wealth Research Study:  Key Findings
  • How You Can Create Trust:  Strategies for Engaging Women of Wealth
  • Case Study
  • How TD Ameritrade Instutional Can Help
Christine Miller is a Strategic Relationship Consultant for TD Ameritrade Institutional.  Through practice management and consulting engagements, Christine helps TD Ameritrade
advisors build better businesses, grow their assets, increase referrals, retain clients, and navigate the increasingly complex, yet powerful, technology landscape.  

"2013 Economic and Real Estate Outlook"
Kevin White  
Presented by Kevin White, CFA, COLE Real Estate Investments
The are a number of of risk factors to consider as you explore non-traded REIT offerings.  Some of the risks associated with investing in non-traded REITS include:
  • Absence of a public market for these non-traded securities and the lack of liquidity 
  • No guarantee that investors will receive a distribution  or return of capital 
  • Conflicts of interest facing the REIT, its advisors and its affiliates 
  • Dependence on an advisor to select investment and conduct operations for the REIT 
  • Payment of significant fees to an advisor, affiliates and broker/dealers
  • Economic factors affecting the real estate market that may negatively impact the REIT's tenants and their ability to pay rent
  • If a REIT fails to qualify as a REIT for federal income tax purposes, the net asset value and cash available for distribution to the REIT's stockholders could materially decrease and adversely affect the return on an investment. 
Kevin White, CFA serves as Senior Vice President, Investment Strategy & Research at COLE Real Estate Investments. In  this role, he is responsible for providing strategic analysis in support of the investment process, articulating Cole's views on the U.S. economy and commercial real estate markets, and assisting in leading Cole's research and strategy organziation.


Cost:   $35 FPA/NEO Members  $60 Non-members
Click here to register on-line