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Looking Back while Looking Forward as a Financial Advisor

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Looking Back while Looking Forward as a Financial Advisor

By Mike Gertsema, CEO & Wealth Advisor At our daily team meeting this morning, we discussed a client that is a close childhood friend of mine. When I visit with her, I can’t help but think that I’m talking to her like when we were teenagers – offering advice, and giving each other a bad time on how ornery we were. It seems to be easier to communicate with her as though nothing changes over the few decades. It’s really crazy when you think about it because there’s been a lot of life lived over the years and many changes, but...read the full article

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How Estate and Gift Taxes Can Impact Your Financial Plan

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How Estate and Gift Taxes Can Impact Your Financial Plan

Heath Ledger’s death in 2008 is another tragic story of an extremely talented artist gone too young. The unfortunate circumstances of his death compounded the complexity of his estate, leaving lawyers and family in a difficult position.

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How My Firm Elevates Our Client Experience With Texting

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How My Firm Elevates Our Client Experience With Texting

By Mike Gertsema, CEO & Wealth Advisor Texting is something that almost everyone understands these days – but it was foreign to me and a lot of other people about 15 to 20 years ago. Writing this blog reminds me of the time my wife and I decided to give in and get our kids flip phones. Our First Cell Phone Bill We had one in college, one about to enter college and one in high school. I was pretty clueless on which phone-package to purchase – especially since I wanted the kids to use them sparingly and thought it...read the full article

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Designing Your Life (and Your Financial Plan)

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Designing Your Life (and Your Financial Plan)

By Jackie Heater, Director of Client Relations A few weeks ago, I went with my grandson to his college orientation. During the parent session, they recommended a book that each student and parent or grandparent should read: Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life, by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans. Both authors have had very interesting and successful design careers, and are professors at Stanford University. Upon watching a video clip about them and how the book came about I stopped at the first bookstore I passed on the way home and picked it up. I’ve been...read the full article

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How to Take Advantage of Donor-Advised Funds and Special 2020 Tax Deductions for Donations

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How to Take Advantage of Donor-Advised Funds and Special 2020 Tax Deductions for Donations

As a CPA, one of the questions that I have been getting more frequently is, “What is a donor-advised fund?” This is not surprising as the number of individual donor-advised fund accounts has grown by over 50% for the second year in a row, according to the National Philanthropic Trust’s 2019 DAF Report.

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How My Firm Elevates Our Client Experience With Texting

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How My Firm Elevates Our Client Experience With Texting

By Mike Gertsema, CEO & Wealth Advisor Texting is something that almost everyone understands these days – but it was foreign to me and a lot of other people about 15 to 20 years ago. Writing this blog reminds me of the time my wife and I decided to give in and get our kids flip phones. Our First Cell Phone Bill We had one in college, one about to enter college and one in high school. I was pretty clueless on which phone-package to purchase – especially since I wanted the kids to use them sparingly and thought it...read the full article

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What Does Full Service Really Mean – Especially With Financial Services?

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What Does Full Service Really Mean – Especially With Financial Services?

By Mike Gertsema, CEO & Wealth Advisor Raise your hand if you remember the 1985 movie, “Back to the Future.” If you don’t remember it, here’s a recap: Michael J. Fox (Marty McFly) and Christopher Lloyd (Dr. Emmett “Doc” Brown) lived in a small town in California. They were thrown back into the ’50s when an experiment by the eccentric Doc Brown went awry and Marty McFly traveled through time in a modified DeLorean car. Marty found himself traveling back in time by 30 years to the year 1955. There’s a scene where Marty was trying to figure out what...read the full article

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How to do Your Estate Plan, Your Way

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How to do Your Estate Plan, Your Way

By Mike Gertsema, CEO & Wealth Advisor This is going to be an unusual blog about estate planning because instead of discussing the dos and don’ts or going into a lot of legal documents and procedures, I want to discuss estate planning on how I’ve witnessed it with my clients over the last 30 years. I have been blessed to meet a lot of people and have had the honor of fulfilling the final wishes of a lot of clients. Sometimes I end up delivering messages that are not well received by family members, but I do it anyway because...read the full article

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How to Make Charitable Giving Part of Your Financial Plan

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How to Make Charitable Giving Part of Your Financial Plan

COVID-19 caused an economic shockwave that we’ll feel for a long time. Nonprofits, from large global networks to the local churches, have been hit hard, too. In a recent survey of 110 nonprofits, 80% of them said revenue had fallen across the board.

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Using the Right Tools to Create Your Financial Plan

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Using the Right Tools to Create Your Financial Plan

By Mike Gertsema, CEO & Wealth Advisor   Have you ever attempted an improvement project with the wrong tools or less than optimal equipment?  About 15 years ago I decided I was going to play Tim Taylor from Home Improvement – a popular show at the time. The sitcom was based on Tim being a TV “how to” fix it, type guy.

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