Why a Financial Plan Competition?

January 31, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: IARFC Posts 

By David Stitt

For professionals who believe in the need for having a plan to guide an individual, it is important that young people entering the industry have knowledge and experience in how to develop a comprehensive financial plan that informs, educates, and motivates clients to take appropriate action in order to meet their goals.

Every profession needs a steady stream of educated new entrants in the field to replace those who leave. The average age of planning organizations is getting older and there is a real need for new, fresh blood to reenergize and to be ready to carry on as the older professionals retire. If a prospective employee has specific experience in actually putting together a comprehensive financial plan, they will be in a much better position to step in and contribute to an organization from the beginning.

As one might expect, submitted plans in our past competitions have represented many different approaches to solving the issues of the case. That is both encouraging and challenging when judging the plans. There is not only one answer and there is a lot of room for creativity in terms of how to most effectively deal with the issues at hand.

A good plan must accurately reflect the facts of the case, clearly explore the challenges in meeting the client’s objectives, not be biased for or against any particular product or service, show a solution that moves the client closer toward their objectives, and motivates the client to take action rather than confront them with more questions.

As the IARFC Plan Competition enters its judging stage, we look forward to reviewing the efforts of this year’s participants. A panel of highly qualified and experienced Registered Financial Consultants will judge the submitted plan and select two finalists. Judging criteria:

20% Correct insertion of the case data and the “soft information”
20% Understanding of the problems, including any incomplete data
40% Recommendations made (the logic, priority and suitability
10% Physical construction and design of the written plan
10% Supplemental text and illustrations.

A secondary judging panel will then judge the competing finalists and will consider their personal presentation as additional judging criteria.
The personal presentations will be by live web presentations and the winner determined by the secondary judging.

Conceal and Carry or… Add Pork and Legislate

January 10, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: IARFC Posts 

By Ed Morrow

Currently I live in one of the most Republican of Districts, Ohio #8. It is so gerrymandered that there is no effective opposition to our current Representative, John Boehner. Unfortunately neither the Speaker of the House nor any other member of the Republican Congressional majority have read the U.S. Constitution where it is clearly stated who has the responsibility to correct fiscal foolishness.

Article 1 – Section 7

All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other Bills.

The Constitution does not say: It is the responsibility of the President to develop a budget. The job of the President was historically conceived as being the chief employee charged with carrying out the wishes of the deliberative body – the Congress.

Why doesn’t the House of Representatives simply write a balanced budget, submit it to the Senate and adjourn? Because they all want to stuff more pork into any bill! For example, the Compromise Fiscal Cliff Deferral Bill did not solve anything. It just postponed decisive actions. When the public is not watching, more pork will be inserted. Where is the attention of Congress?

Impact on all of us.    This is how Congress tries to get in their priorities. Ideally you want this all done through regular order and the normal appropriations process. We’ve been jumping from a debt ceiling crisis to government shutdown crisis to whatever crisis comes next.

Write your Congressman.  Don’t bother to write mine – he does not acknowledge inquiries. Frankly I am not very optimistic that your congressional servant will read your letters either.

Where’s the Good News?  I am certain that we will receive more bad news and more poor performance in Washington until we get fed up and do what the founder of the IARFC, Jack Gargan, said we need to “THRO – Throw the Hypocritical Rascals Out.”

Many families are concerned.  There is more disillusionment and fear than I have known in my lifetime. And yet, America still leads the world in new products and new medical procedures. America is where most persons in the world want to live. But some are frozen into inaction.

Businesses are challenged.  Some are under great stress and that goes for many financial consultants. Costs of doing business are escalating much faster than revenues. If that applies to you, then I think you should consider what has worked for Americans for over 300 years – work a bit harder, work a bit smarter, strengthen bonds with others like you and hang in there until we turn the corner.  Some businesses are doing well, accumulating a surplus, approaching retirement, postponing estate planning and are without a succession plan. They are concerned, but ultimately optimistic that the USA will survive the current economic conflicts.

Business owners are your ideal prospects.  Why? They are accustomed to paying fees, they believe in insurance and conservative investments. They will quickly tell you if things are not doing well and that you should come back later. If you could only add one new business owner client every quarter how much would you earn? What if you added one per month?

Maybe we all need to ignore the political and economic situation and just concentrate on one area we can for sure get powerful results – more business owner clients.

CE @ SEA™ – Venice, Italy to the Divine Mediterranean

January 8, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: IARFC Posts 

Join us for our next cruise to Venice, Italy. The cruise will take place from May 25th – June 1st, 2013.  To sign up for the cruise, visit our website at http://www.iarfc.org.

Welcome IARFC Members

January 5, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: IARFC Posts 

Welcome to the IARFC Blog.  In this blog, you will find interesting articles concerning IARFC members, financial advice as well as numerous helpful financial resources.