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The Whitnell Way    April, 2017

How To Align Your Wealth With Your Dreams

The Three-Phase Process Your Family Can Rely On

By Mia Erickson

I want to tell you a funny story. A few days ago, I was speaking with a client. She told me they had just returned from their vacation home after being with children and grandchildren. While playing Monopoly, a grandchild was trying to decide whether or not to put hotels on certain properties. Her husband said: “You better call Mia first. We never make decisions like that without her.”

We both chuckled when she told me this story. But after thinking about it a while, I recalled how long it took me to build trust with this client. My name came up because I had guided them in making so many important decisions, none of which involved play-money. I took this as a compliment, a sign that I was doing my job.

Many years ago, they came to me with big dreams, quite a few resources but also many tough choices. I helped them build their financial plan and stick to it over time. It wasn’t easy. There were quite a few tradeoffs. But they were committed to achieving certain dreams for their family. Their dreams have come true because we aligned their wealth with their dreams. That’s not as simple as it sounds, yet it is very possible. If you’d like to do the same, here are some of my best ideas to help you.

Click here to read the full article.



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Learn more about Mia Erickson by visiting her bio page.

 

The Whitnell Way    March, 2017

Top 5 Considerations For Wealth Transfer Planning

Why You Should Build A Long-Term Relationship With An Advisor Who Deeply Knows Your Family

By Wayne Janus

Today’s affluent families have many options for choosing investment advice and financial advisors. There is no lack of information, or automated computer systems, available to help them make choices. Yet, as a seasoned financial advisor, my experience is that computer systems may help guide families and their advisors through the stages of wealth accumulation and wealth preservation. However, those systems are not nearly as effective for the final (and in many ways, most important) stage of wealth transfer.

Here—when you are facing some really big life decisions—you need to rely on someone who deeply understands your situation, your values and your family structure. You need someone who is also thoroughly qualified to take action on your behalf to take on the burden of managing documents (like your estate plan) and other professional advisors (like attorneys and accountants). This is how to prevent fear of an uncertain future from piling on top of grief, creating an overwhelming situation for the ones you love. Here are my top 5 considerations for wealth transfer planning.

Click here to read the full article.



Bill Thonn

Learn more about Wayne Janus by visiting his bio page.

 

The Whitnell Way    February, 2017

How A Family Office Reduces Complexity

Affluent Families Need An Integrated Approach To Managing Wealth

By Lisa Olson and Robert Legan

Affluent families who face complexity in their financial lives will find that an integrated family office delivers real peace of mind. Simply put, a family office approach reduces complexity by coordinating key family advisors, integrating disparate financial interests and aligning stakeholders to support critical family decisions. The result is that affluent families can focus on being a family instead of worrying about how their wealth is managed.

But what exactly is a family office? The phrase “office” can have more than one meaning. Office can mean a set of rooms or a building where business is conducted. By this definition, a family office is simply the building where the business of your family is conducted.

There is another definition of “office” that we like much better: a position of duty, trust, or authority, such as the office of the president. By this definition, a family office is an extension of your family and is accorded the duty and trust to act as your fiduciary. How can a family office benefit your family? Here are our perspectives.

Click here to read the full article.


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Learn more about Lisa Olson by visiting her bio page.

 

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Learn more about Robert Legan by visiting his bio page.

 

The Whitnell Way    January, 2017

Is A Family Office Approach Right For Your Situation?

Families With Complex Needs Deserve High-Touch Services

By Robert Legan

“Family offices” are often thought of as the domain of the ultra-affluent. When people think of a family office, they often envision a team of highly skilled people, such as lawyers, CPAs and investment advisors, serving a single prominent American family, such as the Rockefellers. While this has been the common perception over the last several decades, a new trend is emerging that is designed to serve a changing demographic. During the Baby Boomer and Gen X generations, the US witnessed a proliferation of wealth unlike ever before.

The wealth came from several sources including entrepreneurship, professional executives growing corporations and even inheritance. No matter the source, all of these families eventually encounter the same challenge. Complexity. Managing their wealth becomes very complicated and burdensome. I believe that these families would be well-served by the family office touch. But because the term “family office” is typically associated with the ultra-affluent, some people who need the family office approach believe it is out of their reach. I want to change that perception.

Click here to read the full article.



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Learn more about Robert Legan by visiting his bio page.

 

The Whitnell Way    December, 2016

Why Millennials Need A Human Financial Advisor

Robo-Advice Is Good, But Not Enough To Build Lasting Wealth

By Michael Loizzi

There is a lot of talk these days about robo-advisors. The idea is simple. Type in a few parameters about your life, income and goals and a computer system will produce a custom investment plan just for you. This type of guidance is particularly attractive to Millennials, those born between 1981 and 1997, who grew up with more technology than any generation before them.

But there’s a problem, a hidden piece of the puzzle that might not be intuitive to Millennials. It’s harder to build meaningful levels of wealth today than ever before in our nation’s history. I believe most Millennials will never achieve their wealth goals without a real human being guiding them over time. Here are my reasons.

Click here to read the full article.



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Learn more about Michael Loizzi by visiting his bio page.

 

The Whitnell Way    November, 2016

Robert Legan Now Leads Family Office Services

Ultra-Affluent Families Well-Served Through His Experience

By Robert Legan

Whitnell is pleased to announce that Robert Legan is now leading the Family Office Service team. His background in working with ultra-affluent families made him the obvious choice for this role. For those who may not be aware, the Family Office Service team at Whitnell works with a select group of ultra-affluent families who have complex financial needs.

As families grow in wealth, they often begin to share ownership of assets among numerous nuclear families across multiple generations. This requires harmonizing the goals of various family members across generational boundaries and between family lines. Family leaders often turn to specialized professional advisors including attorneys, accountants, investment consultants and insurance specialists. But even this can create complications. Coordinating the efforts of numerous professional advisors requires management. Ultra-affluent families need a strategic partner to get all advisors on the same page and pulling in one direction. This is why Whitnell provides Family Office Services.

Click here to read the full article.



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Learn more about Robert Legan by visiting his bio page.

 

The Whitnell Way    October, 2016

Preparing For The Unexpected

How To Comfort The Ones You Love

By Craig Janus

This is a hard subject for me to talk about. Yet, I feel like it’s really important and something I can’t simply ignore. I hope you will receive my message in the spirit in which it is intended: ideas to provide comfort to your family and loved ones should something tragic take place.

I started thinking about this topic recently because a friend of mine passed away. He was young, only in his 30s. He was in the prime of his life and had so much to look forward to. But in an instant, his life was over. His premature passing was completely unexpected and it devastated his family. I grew up with this guy and know his family really well. It has been very hard to watch them suffer.

My friend did not have a wife, children or major financial commitments. He also did not have a will or an estate plan. This means his family will have to figure everything out concerning his finances. I see this more often than you might realize.

However, it is not only premature passing that has the potential to wreak financial havoc on a family. Long-term disability can have the same effect. My point is simply this. None of us are promised tomorrow or even a healthy tomorrow. But there are steps you can take to protect the ones you love from financial devastation. Here are my ideas to help you prepare for the unexpected.

Click here to read the full article.



Bill Thonn

Learn more about Craig Janus by visiting his bio page.

 

The Whitnell Way    September, 2016

Why I Have Great Hope For The Future

It’s An Exciting Time To Be Alive

By Robert Peckenpaugh

Some people turn on the evening news and watch stories that leave them with little hope for the future. I can certainly understand this. You and I could outline a litany of events that drain one’s confidence in the world as a good, safe and just place: terrorism, natural disasters, crime, political leaders who miss the mark and even scandals in the financial services industry.

It would be easy to be discouraged. But I have come to believe that one’s outlook about the future is a choice. You get to decide what you believe about the future. This is a choice that only you can make. I do not discount or deny the bad things that exist in the world. They are very real. But the good things that exist in the world are very real too. Hopefully, the good things will outweigh the bad things.

Let me tell you why this matters. What we believe about the future determines how, or even if, we invest in the future. Your investments in the future will be directly proportionate to your confidence in the future. I want you to move ahead with confidence.

When I talk about the future, I’m not just talking about the events that will happen someday to some future someone. I’m primarily talking about how you’ll live, what you’ll experience and how you’ll feel about everyday life 10 years from now, 20 years from now and beyond. I’m also talking about how your children and grandchildren will experience everyday life.

I have great hope for the future life that your family and mine will live. How can I possibly say this? What is the source of my hope? Let me explain.

Click here to read the full article.



mia erickson

Learn more about Robert Peckenpaugh by visiting his bio page.

 

The Whitnell Way    August, 2016

How Do I Fit It All In?

Financial Guidance For Busy People

By Christy Pedersen

I recently moved from condo living in downtown Chicago to a single-family dwelling in the suburbs. This included a number of life changes for me. I love being outdoors in our yard when the birds sing. I enjoy the smell of freshly mown grass. It’s comforting to hear the cicadas and see families spending time together. I have friendly neighbors who’ve welcomed us with smiles, handshakes and even home grown tomatoes. The suburbs really do seem to support quality family living.

As much as I love my new life, there are many new demands on my time. Before moving, I daydreamed about all the hours I would spend reading under the pergola amongst the honeysuckle or playing board games as a family. That dream hasn’t quite come true.

Instead, I now spend more time than I anticipated weeding the garden and attending a larger home. The visits from friends and neighbors, which I enjoy, take more time than I expected. I did not foresee standing water in our basement and the time it would take to fix the plumbing and electrical.

A comfortable home, a great career and a strong family and social life are all part of the American Dream. My colleague David Peckenpaugh recently wrote an article about this. However, I now have a better understanding of why my clients often come to me with a pressing question.

When I sit down with certain clients, particularly those with growing families who seem to be solidly living the American Dream, I often find that there is a layer of anxiety underlying their success. While they have certainly achieved much of what they set out to achieve, they also seem to cope with a high degree of stress. What is the source of that stress?

When we finally get to spend a few moments together, they often share stories that indicate they, too, are struggling to fit it all in. The challenge they face is that they have so many decisions to make, so many opportunities that interest them and so many things that are important and valuable to them. If you are struggling with trying to fit it all in, I’d like to offer some ideas here to help you.

Click here to read the full article.



Bill Thonn

Learn more about Christy Pedersen by visiting her bio page.

 

The Whitnell Way    July, 2016

The American Dream Is Not Dead

But It May Be Harder To Achieve Today

By David Peckenpaugh

It has become more fashionable of late to say that you can’t get a square deal anymore in the United States. Whether from the political left or right, the message seems to be the same. If you work hard, play by the rules, pay your taxes, live within your means, invest for the future – in other words if you do everything right – you still may not be able to achieve the American dream.

The left likes to blame the one percenters. The right seems to suggest that somehow the entire system is rigged. Their message is that the odds are stacked against you, so why even try? The political candidates say, in so many words, vote for me and my party and we’ll fix it for you. We’ll give you back the dream. But do you really trust the government with your financial future?

The other element to this theme is that somehow Wall Street and big business are the problem. Some people like to create a contrast between Wall Street and Main Street, the haves and the have-nots. They seem to say: if you are from Main Street you can no longer trust Wall Street, or anyone in the investment business for that matter.

Owning a home no longer seems to be a key part of the dream following the collapse in prices experienced during the financial crisis. The value of a college education has been challenged by some, as the costs seem to exceed the benefits and the level of student loan debt is staggering. It seems unlikely that much of it can be repaid. Many people no longer believe that they can trust the stock market to reach their financial goals. With interest rates so low, savings accounts and bond investments aren’t the answer.

I will be the first to admit that achieving the American Dream is now more complex. It may require you to take more risk than it has in the past. Yet, I am not willing to concede that the dream is dead. It may not be easy, but then again I don’t believe it ever was easy. But is it possible? Absolutely yes. Over the years we have helped many clients put a strategy in place to help them achieve their goals. Almost 40 years ago I met a man who lived this dream about as well as any I have seen. I’d like to tell you his story.

Click here to read the full article.



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Learn more about David Peckenpaugh by visiting his bio page.

 

The Whitnell Way    June, 2016

Whitnell's Perspective on Brexit

Why It’s Wise To Stay The Course

By Bill Thonn

Last week the United Kingdom approved a referendum to exit the European Union. Most of the polls, analysts and markets had expected the vote to go the other way, so the response globally was decisively negative. The British pound, the Euro and all major stock markets declined sharply. While no one knows what the outcome will be, here is our perspective of the impact on the economy and markets.

Click here to read the full article.



Bill Thonn

Learn more about Bill Thonn by visiting his bio page.

 

The Whitnell Way    May, 2016

Why You Should Consider Your Parents’ Financial Advisor

It Might Just Be What You’re Looking For

By Michael Loizzi

There are many wonderful things about growing up in an affluent household. The creature comforts are great. You don’t have to worry about money. Your parents typically can afford to invest in all sorts of things that help you achieve your potential, like private schools, personal tutors, music lessons, travel and even college tuition.

But there is a challenge I’ve come to recognize after working with several children of affluent parents. Successful parents often cast a very long shadow. It can be quite difficult for the children of affluent parents to step out and chart their own course, to stand on their own two feet, so to speak. The measuring rod of anything they accomplish will always be their parents’ success. That can be a very long rod indeed.

This is one of the major reasons that I believe children of affluent parents decide not to partner with their parents’ financial advisor. They often have concerns about privacy and control. I’d like to give you an alternative perspective. I believe you absolutely should consider your parents’ financial advisor. Here are my reasons for saying this. Here are also my suggestions about how to realize all of the benefits your parents have experienced from a close working relationship with a financial advisor, while mitigating those things that concern you.

Click here to read the full article.



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Learn more about Michael Loizzi by visiting his bio page.

 

The Whitnell Way    April, 2016

Will You Be Happy After Selling Your Business?

75% Of Business Owners Are Not

By Robert Legan

I read an interesting statistic the other day, although I did find it somewhat disturbing. According to the Exit Planning Institute’s Readiness Survey (2013), 75% of business owners “profoundly regretted” selling their business 12 months after the deal. To me, this is very sad to hear. I’m privileged to work with a select group of entrepreneurs and I know how much passion and energy they bring to their businesses. They pour their lives into these enterprises.

They look forward to the day when all of their hard work will culminate in a transfer of equity to someone else. But all too often, that moment is followed by disappointment. Why? In my experience, there are three major reasons that business owners are not happy after they sell their company. They don’t have a life-after-business plan, don’t maximize the value of the business and don’t prepare themselves nearly well enough from a personal financial stand point.

If you are a business owner who is thinking about one day transferring your equity, or if you care about someone in this situation, here is my best advice about how to achieve the best possible outcome for this important goal.

Click here to read the full article.



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Learn more about Robert Legan by visiting his bio page.

 

The Whitnell Way    March, 2016

Do You Need A Financial Quarterback?

Complexity In Your Financial Life May Require It

By Mia Erickson

I had a really great moment the other day with a client. We got together to talk about some updates to their plan and in so doing, I had a chance to think about how far this family had come. You see, they’ve been my client now for nearly 20 years. And in that space of time, we’ve seen tremendous changes in their lives and their financial situation.

As I was driving away from our meeting, I couldn’t help but reflect on the differences between their financial situation today and where they were back then. This reminded me of the importance of having a plan and sticking to it over time. But that’s not the only thing I pondered.

I wondered how their situation would have turned out if I had not been there with them all along the way? This couple never made an important financial or life decision without consulting me. I always felt a sense of partnership with them, like we were all pulling in the same direction. The more I thought about it, the more I realized how important our long-term association has been for all of us. I’d like to share with you the five biggest benefits that my clients realize from our close relationship.

Click here to read the full article.



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Learn more about Mia Erickson by visiting her bio page.

 

The Whitnell Way    February, 2016

How To Forge Ahead In 2016

Lessons Learned From Winning Baseball Teams

By Brian Henderson

As I watched the Super bowl recently, I was reminded of different teams I played for while growing up. In team sports, there are certain fundamental principles that come to life. Teamwork prevails over a star player. Execution matters more than raw talent. Experience comes with age. Defense wins championships. But the football season is now over and baseball is just around the corner. I find myself exhilarated by the start of the season. Of course it doesn’t hurt that I’m a lifelong Cubs fan and we have a lot to be excited about.

Baseball and financial success probably have a lot more in common than you might realize. At the start of a major league baseball season, 30 teams will vie for the title. But only one will win it. In the same way, early in life, most people dream of achieving their financial goals, but very few will actually realize their dreams. What do baseball and financial success have in common and how can you stack the odds in your favor? Here are my perspectives.

Click here to read the full article.



Bill Thonn

Learn more about Brian Henderson by visiting his bio page.

 

The Whitnell Way    January, 2016

When The Markets Throw You Lemons, Make Lemonade

Strategies To Take Advantage Of Today’s Opportunities

By Wayne Janus

Lately I’ve been meeting with clients over luncheons. I hear the concern in my clients’ voices during these conversations. Let’s be honest. The markets have been rough for quite some time now. This could last a while and no one can really say when things will improve. But I want to provide a perspective here that I think might help you see things in a different light.

The clients who took my advice during the downturn of 2007 and 2008 prepared themselves for a financial opportunity that only rarely comes around. After 2008, for nearly 7 years, we saw the markets climb consistently. They tasted the sour lemons of 2007 and 2008 and turned that into sweet lemonade. I believe major market corrections provide opportunities for people who are prepared to take a long-term perspective and make the kinds of investments that will pay off in years to come. How do you do this? Here are my perspectives.

Click here to read the full article.



Bill Thonn

Learn more about Wayne Janus by visiting his bio page.

 

The Whitnell Way    December, 2015

What’s The Difference Between Information And Advice?

How Technology Is Changing The Way We Serve You

By Bill Thonn

I recently Googled “year-end tax planning” and got back 91 million results. Talk about overwhelming! This time of year there are an abundance of very useful tax tips and strategies for year-end. But here’s one you may not have heard. I recommend that you sit down with your advisor to look at the big picture and not just a set of uncorrelated tactics.

Why have a conversation when you could just type in a search term and get all kinds of great advice? Because the advice you get will not be customized to your unique situation, your family, your goals. Technology is a great tool if you use it where it is best suited. But sometimes technology is not the answer, but a means to getting the answer. Here are my perspectives.

Click here to read the full article.



Bill Thonn

Learn more about Bill Thonn by visiting his bio page.

Year-End Tax Strategies To Consider

Four Case-Studies That Might Help Your Situation

By Craig Janus

Year-end is here and you’re probably thinking about what you want to do with your money. You might be considering gifts to family, charitable contributions, investments in tax-deferred accounts and other options. What you may not realize is that the taxation picture has become more complicated than it’s ever been before. What often seems like the obvious choice may not, in fact, be the best option for your unique situation.

This is why you need to be talking to a professional to get good tax advice. I’d like to show you in this article some case studies where the obvious choice may not be the best choice.

Click here to read the full article.



Bill Thonn

Learn more about Craig Janus by visiting his bio page.

 

The Whitnell Way    November, 2015

How To Think About Today’s Market

Perspectives On Investing Now

By Robert Peckenpaugh

I’m thinking of an acquaintance who made some financial decisions that he wishes he could take back. Let’s call him Hal, which is not his real name. As an engineer, Hal had substantial wealth that he invested in the stock market. He watched the markets rise with glee. But in 2008 and 2009, when the markets tumbled, his emotions got the best of him and he sold everything. After the market rebounded, Hal did not reinvest. He felt burned from the volatility. Needless to say, within a year, Hal had huge regrets.

Today many people feel that market volatility has made long-term investing, even any kind of investing, unadvisable. Do you feel this way? Do you believe that this is a bad time to be in the markets? I want to share an alternative perspective with you.

Click here to read the full article.



mia erickson

Learn more about Robert Peckenpaugh by visiting his bio page.

How To Help Your Adult Child Through A Divorce

Key Considerations For Emotional And Financial Health

By Christy Pedersen

I recently helped a client guide his adult child, a daughter, through a divorce. I watched the two of them struggle with issues including custody of children, the emotional burden of the breakup and how to protect the adult daughter’s financial interests.

Divorces are difficult and can drain a person’s energy and focus. This is where a parent can be a real help to their child, if the child is willing. In my experience, a parent can actually strengthen the bond with their child, and even their grandchildren, through a divorce. I’d like to share some insights with you that I believe can help your family through this difficult time.

Click here to read the full article.



Bill Thonn

Learn more about Christy Pedersen by visiting her bio page.

 

The Whitnell Way    October, 2015

What To Do During Market Volatility

What Actions Should You Take Now?

By Mia Erickson

When I was a little girl, a bee stung me one summer day. As an adult, when I hear a bee flying by, I sometimes feel that sting again. This is what psychologists call phantom pains. I have a sense that many people are struggling with their own type of phantom pain right now. The downturn of 2008 left people with a stinging sensation that is hard to forget. Any market volatility brings back those feelings.

Some financial advisors will tell you that doing nothing is the best course of action during market volatility. However, I know that doing nothing just doesn’t feel right. When things go in directions we don’t like, our natural inclination is to take action. So what action should you take during this time of market volatility? What actions should you avoid? Here are my recommendations.

Click here to read the full article.



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Learn more about Mia Erickson by visiting her bio page.

Finding Certainty In An Uncertain Time

What To Do When The Markets Make You Nervous

By Michael Loizzi

As I begin this article in the early days of October, 2015, I am well aware of how the markets have performed since June of this year. In fact, I’ve been making a lot of phone calls over the last couple of weeks, speaking with our clients about their goals. I hear nervousness in people’s voices, and rightly so. The sting of the market declines from 2008 and 2009 are still very real for people. Those kinds of losses are hard to forget.

But this leaves me with a question. How should you respond to recent market volatility? Are there any steps you can and should take and if so, what are they? Here are some key considerations to help you find certainty in an uncertain time.

Click here to read the full article.



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Learn more about Michael Loizzi by visiting his bio page.

 

The Whitnell Way    September, 2015

Prepare Now For An Uncertain Future

How To Protect Your Family From The Unpredictable

By David Peckenpaugh

Twenty eight years ago I was standing in the maternity ward at the hospital, holding the hand of my new-born daughter Jacki. What I didn’t know, at that time, is that 28 years later I would be in yet another hospital standing by Jacki’s side. But this time, I would be holding her hand as she lay in the intensive care unit of a hospital for 12 days, unable to speak or open her eyes as a result of a traumatic brain injury.

These are the moments that test us, that demand our undivided attention and that put everything else in perspective. While in that hospital with Jacki, her fiancé and our family, we held our complete focus on supporting her and each other. I hope you never face a situation like mine. But I’ve lived long enough to know that none of us can predict the future. We never know what life will bring our way and we must plan accordingly.

Click here to read the full article.



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Learn more about David Peckenpaugh by visiting his bio page.

Are You Ready To Transition Your Business?

Key Considerations For Business Owners

By Robert Legan

I’ve had the privilege of working with entrepreneurs to transition their business to others, and I’ve noticed a disturbing trend. Many business owners may be unprepared to transfer their business when the time comes to sell. This not only delays the liquidity event, it can also have a material negative impact on the value of the business.

If you are a business owner over the age of 40, I’d like to give you some key insights to consider now so you can start to prepare for your business transfer. Even if you think this may not happen for another decade, these insights will help you be ready when the time comes.

Click here to read the full article.



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Learn more about Robert Legan by visiting his bio page.

 

The Whitnell Way    August, 2015

Case Study

Family Receives Sound Financial Guidance Through Liquidity Event

How To Invest Proceeds Might Unite Or Divide Husband And Wife

Andy is a 43-year old executive in the garment industry. He is an intelligent and capable senior leader in a private company which is about to be acquired. Andy’s equity is about to be worth more money than he and his wife ever thought they would make. But Andy has an important decision to make. Should he take the equity and invest it or should he roll it over into equity in the acquiring company? Both options are attractive and have risks. His wife wants to be conservative. Andy wants to roll the dice. This case study shows how we helped this family analyze and develop the best possible plan for their goals.

Click here to access the case study.

 

The Whitnell Way    July, 2015

Four Strategies To Take Advantage Of Low Interest Rates

How Might These Benefit Your Situation?

By Brian Henderson

Interest rates are still pretty attractive compared to previous decades. In fact, today’s low interest rates provide some opportunities that may not come around again for a very long time, potentially in our lifetimes. This raises some important questions. How can one take advantage of low interest rates? What strategies might work for your goals? What steps might you take now that might not be available or attractive in the near future? In working with wealthy families over the last few years, we have utilized four strategies that work very well in a low interest rate environment. Will these ideas work for you or your family? Let’s explore this together.

Click here to read the full article.



Bill Thonn

Learn more about Brian Henderson by visiting his bio page.

Webinar

How To Transfer A Successful Family Business To The Next Generation

Seven Key Areas To Build Your Action Plan

With Robert Legan, Senior Vice President

Transferring a family business is very complex because it changes three things that are near and dear to you: your business, your family and your wealth. This is one of the most significant financial decisions that you will ever make. More importantly, this event could substantially alter the very fabric of your family for better or for worse. How you handle this process could mean the difference between a prosperous business that a united family is ready to lead for generations or an unstable business that is the center of disharmony and soured family relationships. Join Robert Legan as he walks you through the seven key areas where you need to take action.

Click here to access the webinar.

 

 

The Whitnell Way    June, 2015

A High School Fast-Food Job Might Contribute Over 2 Million Dollars To My Net Worth

How To Help Young People Learn The Power Of Investing Early

By Craig Janus

The children of affluent parents sometimes struggle with saving and investing. My parents helped instill some principles in me as a young person that have paid real dividends. I’d like to tell you a story of how my high school fast-food job will impact my net worth over time. The reason I want to tell you this story is because I hear a common concern from my clients when we have a meeting. Many of them are worried that their children do not really understand the importance of financial discipline and investing for the long term. This is probably much simpler and easier than you realize. I’m hoping that my story might make conversations about financial discipline easier and that it will inspire young people to take simple steps that can have a huge impact on their future.

Click here to read the full article.



Bill Thonn

Learn more about Craig Janus by visiting his bio page.

Case Study

Minority Share-Holder’s Equity Protected After Unexpected Passing Of Partner

Family And Business Relationships Preserved, Income Needs Addressed

Fred is a 62-year old entrepreneur who is now facing a very difficult situation that puts his net-worth at tremendous risk. Fred is the minority share-holder in a steel manufacturing business that comprises the majority of his net worth. The business is worth more than 50 million dollars. The majority share holder, Steven, recently passed away, very unexpectedly, without clear documentation about how his equity should be handled. Fred is now in business with Steven’s widow who needs lifetime income. But Fred does not have the capital to buy out her equity. The future of their business, Fred’s net worth and their strong family ties are at stake.

Click here to read the case study.

 

The Whitnell Way    May, 2015

Will Your Family Ruin Your Retirement?

How To Reduce The Risk Of Aging Parents And Adult Children Consuming Your Retirement Income

By Christy Pedersen

When I meet with clients, I consistently hear this question: Christy, how do I know if I will have enough? I can usually help these clients build a retirement plan based on some standard analyses and projections using known factors, thing we can predict today. However, two great unknowns may have a major impact on your retirement: the financial needs of aging parents and adult children. Many clients fear they will not be able to meet their own long-term financial goals while still honoring their deep commitment to aging parents and adult children. I’d like to provide some insights to help you increase the likelihood of retirement success while also providing for loved ones.

Click here to read the full article.



Bill Thonn

Learn more about Christy Pedersen by visiting her bio page.

How To Talk To Your Children About Premarital Agreements

Preserve Your Relationships And Family Wealth

By David Yavitz, Attorney and Guest Columnist

Scientists tell us that the human brain does not fully form until around age 27. When I reflect on certain decisions from my youth, I know they are right. But like most young people, I believed I was capable of making rational decisions. Through my law practice, I help affluent families protect their wealth with premarital agreements. When parents and adult children talk about this topic, they often have very different perspectives. The conversations can become intense. If you want to institute premarital agreements to protect your wealth, but you are concerned about how this will impact your relationship with your child, here are some ideas to foster productive conversations that achieve your goals.

Click here to read the full article.

 

The Whitnell Way    April, 2015

Lessons Learned From My Father’s Honor Flight

How To Know If An Advisor Is Acting In Your Best Interest

By Bill Thonn

Last year my family and I watched our father board an Honor Flight bound for Washington D.C. He and ninety other veterans were surrounded by volunteers who would take care of their every need on the journey. The Honor Flight program, I believe, is a great example of Americans at their best. But as a financial services professional, I cannot help but compare Honor Flights to my own industry. I believe many people question whether or not there is any honor left in financial services. I can’t blame them. Wall Street scandals, Ponzi schemes, government bailouts and SEC violations have cast a cloud over this industry. This raises an important question. Who can you trust with your wealth and how do you know you can trust them? I’d like to provide some food for thought on this topic.

Click here to read the full article.



Bill Thonn

Learn more about Bill Thonn by visiting his bio page.

Webinar

How To Transfer A Successful Family Business To The Next Generation

Seven Key Areas To Build Your Action Plan

With Robert Legan, Senior Vice President

Transferring a family business is very complex because it changes three things that are near and dear to you: your business, your family and your wealth. This is one of the most significant financial decisions that you will ever make. More importantly, this event could substantially alter the very fabric of your family for better or for worse. How you handle this process could mean the difference between a prosperous business that a united family is ready to lead for generations or an unstable business that is the center of disharmony and soured family relationships. Join Robert Legan as he walks you through the seven key areas where you need to take action.

Click here to access the webinar.

 

The Whitnell Way    March, 2015

Case Study

Private Family Business Successfully Transfers To Next Generation

A Complex Array Of Issues Are Addressed Through A Consultative Process

Ralph is a 72 year old man from the Midwest who is the second generation owner of a very successful food processing company. His oldest son is now CEO of the company and his daughter is VP of sales. However, he has two other children who need to be taken care of as he transitions the business. He also doesn’t want to cede complete control just yet. Ralph wants to leave the business to his children and grandchildren as a family legacy. But he is concerned that they cannot afford to buy it from him. He is also well aware of potential tax consequences. However, he is not aware that he is placing everything he cares about at risk by taking no action.

The case study tells the story of how we help business owners effectively transition successful companies to the next generation and maintain family unity through the process.

Click here to read the full case study.

Are You Fearful That Global Events Will Sink Your Investments?

How To Respond To The European Debt Crisis And Other Geopolitical Events

By David Peckenpaugh

The news these days about geopolitics and the global economy feels rather glum. The European Union is struggling to deal with debt-laden countries like Greece and Spain. Russia and the Ukraine are at war. Our leaders are trying to make decisions about how to respond to ISIS and a growing level of instability around the world. Should these events change the way you invest? Is your wealth prepared to withstand the uncertainty and volatility these events produce? I’d like to offer you my perspectives.

Click here to read the full article.



wayne thumb

Learn more about David Peckenpaugh by visiting his bio page.

 

The Whitnell Way    February, 2015

How Do I Help My Adult Children Learn Financial Discipline?

Why You May Want A Partner For This Job

By Michael Loizzi

When I sit down with clients today, I am hearing a consistent theme. My clients who have adult children now often want to know how they can help those children adopt the financial disciplines that allowed the parents to achieve success. These parents know that their children will one-day inherit a large portion of wealth and they want them to be prepared to be good stewards of that wealth. This is not as easy as it may sound. If you or someone you care about is struggling to achieve this goal, I might recommend that you consider us as your partner in this endeavor. Here are my reasons.

Click here to read the full article.



wayne thumb

Learn more about Michael Loizzi by visiting his bio page.

Five Reasons Business Partners Need Formal Contingency Plans

They Protect You, Your Partners, and Your Families

By Robert Legan

Many successful private businesses are owned and managed by a limited number of partners. Sometimes these partners are family members or life-long friends. Other times the business partnerships formed after trusted working relationships were fostered. But I’ve noticed a dangerous trend in these types of businesses. It seems many do not have formal agreements in place to protect the business owners from unforeseen circumstances that could dramatically impact them and their families. I believe this is a mistake. I’d like to share my perspectives with you.

Click here to read the full article.



wayne thumb

Learn more about Robert Legan by visiting his bio page.

 

The Whitnell Way    January, 2015

The Five Biggest Mistakes People Make When Transferring A Family Business To The Next Generation

How You Can Avoid These Costly Mistakes

By Robert Legan

While family businesses provide tremendous benefits, they also present challenges. One of the biggest challenges comes into play when a senior family member, often the primary equity holder and sometimes the founder, decides to retire. Transferring a family business from one generation to the next comes with challenging financial and personal issues. In fact, due to family dynamics, this single event could destroy the very fabric of the family if it is not handled well. I would like to illustrate the five biggest mistakes I see people make during a transfer so you can avoid them.

Click here to read the full article.



wayne thumb

Learn more about Robert Legan by visiting his bio page.

Plan, Process And Partner

How To Balance The Many-Faceted Demands On Your Wealth

By Mia Erickson

Many people make new year’s resolutions, if for no other reason than to set a course for the near future. But I wonder how you’ve done against your resolutions in the past. If you are like most people, you hit the mark on some and missed on others. But this raises an important question, especially as it relates to your wealth. How will missing the mark on certain financial goals impact other goals? You see, every financial decision impacts other areas. If you are uncertain about how to answer this question, I think you need the three Ps: plan, process and partner.

Click here to read the full article.



wayne thumb

Learn more about Mia Erickson by visiting her bio page.


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MIA ERICKSON - view full bio

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“I'm really passionate about building an integrated plan for my clients. Taxes, retirement, investments, estate planning and so much more. I care about getting the details right.”

 

The Whitnell Way    2014

 

How To Prioritize Your 2015 Wish-List
A Framework For Getting The Most From Your Reflection Time

By Brian Henderson

A Fable Of The Lion And The Deer
Who Is Your Partner In The Storms Of Life?

By Robert Peckenpaugh

2014 Year-End Strategies
Optimize Your Financial Situation While Maximizing Gifts

By Michael Loizzi

What To Do After Your Liquidity Event
It’s Surprising How Many People Do Not Realize Peace Of Mind

By Robert Legan

How To Really Build Wealth – Part 2
Identifying And Overcoming Controllable Impediments To Wealth Creation

By Wayne Janus

Why Should Investors Be Cautious Now?
Lessons Learned From The Shores Of Lake Michigan

By David Peckenpaugh

How To Really Build Wealth – Part 1
Identifying Seven Non-Controllable Impediments To Wealth Creation

By Wayne Janus

You Don’t Need A Financial Plan – You Need Financial Planning
What’s The Difference?

By Mia Erickson

Transitioning Strategies For Family-Owned Businesses
How To Think About A Wealth Plan That Takes Care Of The Family

By Robert Legan

Is A Market Correction Coming?
Lessons Learned From A T-Ball Championship

By Brian Henderson

Should You Be Nervous?
How Can You Know You Have Enough For Retirement?

By Michael Loizzi

Five Ways to Pass on Wisdom to Younger Generations
Making the Most of Teaching Moments

By Robert Peckenpaugh

ROI: Return On Insight
Three Ways “Being Known” Benefits Our Clients

By Bill Thonn

I Am Optimistic About The Future
It Is Better Than You Might Think

By David Peckenpaugh

How Do I Retire With My Current Lifestyle?
Hint – A High Income Is Not The Solution

By Mia Erickson

How To Build A Great Financial Team
Start With Your Financial Quarterback

By Robert Legan

Don’t Count On Mom And Dad’s Money
Five Steps To Developing Complete Financial Independence For Young Professionals

By Michael Loizzi

Are You An Investor Or Speculator?
Who You Listen To May Be The Deciding Factor

By David Peckenpaugh

How Compliance Protects You
The Many Steps We Take To Secure Your Information

By Debbie Grudzien

Why Does Your Money Need A Team?
The Importance Of Team Planning For Wealth Building

By Robert Legan

Did You Miss Out In 2013?
Is This A Time To Change Strategy?

By Brian Henderson

 

 

The Whitnell Way    2013

 

A Reflection Resource For The Holidays
Use This Guide For Those Rare Quiet Moments

By Mia Erickson

Four Tax Strategies To Maximize Wealth
Use These Strategies To Retain More Wealth

By Wayne Janus

The Value Of Continuity
Why It Matters To Clients And Us

By Bill Thonn

Pay It Forward
How To Be A Great Mentor

By Robert Peckenpaugh

Risk – Friend Or Enemy?
Is It Necessary To Achieve Your Goals?

By David Peckenpaugh

Is Your Greatest Asset At Risk?
Protect Your Business and Net Worth

By Robert Legan

Should You Switch Companies?
Twelve Key Areas To Evaluate Before You Jump

By Brian Henderson

Will My Children Ever Be Truly Financially Independent?
Seven Steps To Help Them Make The Transition

By Mia Erickson

The Financial Impact Of Divorce
Things To Consider Before You Divorce And How To Re-Build After

By Wayne Janus