Dear Clients and Friends,
As we start this new year, I want to thank each of you for the contribution you made to our growth and the loyalty you have shown by choosing The Main Street Group as your financial partner. We are well aware that you could have made a different decision.
LET ME SHARE WITH YOU THE HIGHLIGHTS OF 2016:
- We created a new company brochure that we believe tells our story, our mission and our strengths, and we’d love to share it with you.
- We now have a year’s experience in managing the challenges of becoming our own Registered Investment Advisory firm. The advantages this new status offers you are many, and we will elaborate on them in our next meeting.
- In January 2017, we will celebrate our 11th year working with LPL Financial, our broker-dealer. We have grown to be one of their largest branches, which affords us an enhanced service level when resolving frustrations. The importance of this level of access and attention cannot be overstated!
- We now have Charles Schwab and Company, Inc. as a secondary custodian of your assets. Schwab offers an array of investment vehicles and strategies, as well as a technology platform of great renown in our industry.
- We have witnessed, as of April 10th, 2016, the Department of Labor’s launch of sweeping new regulations requiring every financial representative, regardless of company, to “act in the best interest” of the client. Loosely labeled the “Fiduciary Rule,” this legislation builds in yet another layer of protection that your assets are being managed fairly and in your best interest. We, at The Main Street Group, have always worked in the best interest of our clients because it is the right thing to do. Now, we are under a legal requirement that increases our liability.
To that end, we have spent a great deal of time and money to address those areas in your financial world that other advisory firms may not examine. As our 2017 initiative, we will address your total financial picture in the following ways:
1. STRATEGIC PARTNERS
Need a will or trust agreement prepared or reviewed? Feel as if you are paying too much in taxes? Faced with suffocating college loan payments? Have real estate questions relating to an upcoming purchase? Have a disagreement with the IRS? Need help deciding on care providers for an aging parent? We have assembled a group of professionals in many fields who can offer advice, give a second opinion, or directly assist you with a problem. If you believe you are getting competent advice from your other advisors, then do not interrupt a good partnership. But if you have questions, we probably have good answers.
*The strategic partners we work with are not affiliated with The Main Street Group or LPL Financial.
2. MONEYGUIDE PRO
There are many individual decisions that you make with regard to your finances, and often times you have 5-6 different advisors. Your home & auto insurance professional doesn’t talk to your life insurance professional, who doesn’t compare notes with your CPA or your attorney, who certainly doesn’t interact with your mortgage lender, who has probably never met us, your financial advisor. Actually, some of these people may not have even checked in with you in the last year. You get the picture.
This portrayal of financial confusion may seem like an exaggeration, but you’d be amazed at its prevalence, which is why we now offer the industry’s leading financial planning program. With the help of MoneyGuide Pro, you will be able to see everything you have in one place, and we can help to make sure that every area of your financial world is examined in context. This holistic approach will allow us to give you pertinent advice as your financial “primary care physician” so that you know which financial “specialists” you need to see, when and why.
The software is very intuitive and user friendly. However, if you do not have an email address, are not internet savvy, or would simply appreciate “live” help, we are more than happy to complete the plan with you in person at our next meeting. We truly believe that MoneyGuide Pro can help give you the greatest chance of both mitigating your financial stress and achieving your lifestyle goals.
3. BENEFICIARY AUDIT
Following the uploading of your financial analysis, you will receive an explanation of our new beneficiary audit campaign. We intend to make sure your insurance and other assets go to your chosen heir(s).
This brochure tells several stories of people we know whose children were left nothing because the beneficiaries of life insurance and IRA accounts were not up to date. It will also tell the steps we intend to take on your behalf to verify that everyone you love gets the benefit of your wishes.
4. WHO WILL CARE FOR YOU OR YOUR LOVED ONES?
With 10,000 Baby Boomers turning 65 every day (a trend expected to continue at this pace for 13 more years), our nation is facing a health care crisis. Assuming normal mortality, we’ll have approximately 4.5 million seniors needing some kind of assistance as they age.
As your financial and life planning firm, we are committed to having this conversation with you. The Main Street Group has no agenda and we will respect whatever decisions your family makes. But you have to have a plan before a major illness strikes.
So, we have a great deal to talk about as we head into 2017. The difficulty we will have is setting up a time with you to address these emotional issues. Human nature is what it is and nothing is more telling than a survey that has been conducted every few years by the Financial Planning Association. This association discovered many years ago that…”the average American family spends more time each year planning their vacations than they do planning for the tough realities of life.”
Our responsibility at The Main Street Group is to help you balance your planning so these realities of life do not get in the way of your vacations.
My best to each of you and your families as you enter 2017. Take care!
Steven G. Crawford
Chief Executive Officer