Protect Yourself from Financial Scams

It seems we hear about new financial scams on such a regular basis, from healthcare and income tax scams to Target store credit card breaches to general email phishing scams, that most of us hardly bat an eye at them anymore. Protecting your identity is an important issue, now more than ever before. In today’s digital world, where information is at our (and not to mention, potentially dangerous hackers’) fingertips, it is imperative to know how to prevent becoming the latest victim of a financial scam, and how to check up on your credit to know if a breach on your identity has in fact occurred. The key is to be aware of the potentially harmful schemes ahead of time so that you are prepared to properly avoid them, as well as continually staying on top of your personal information in case your identity is ever compromised.   Tax Scams Tax season has proven to be a time of year that many scammers use to prey on individuals in the midst of their tax preparation. Below are a few tax-time Read on! →

MARKET-VIEW 4TH QUARTER 2013 – January 2014 Newsletter

After a great year for the equity market in 2013, investors are looking to 2014 and wondering what to expect in the year ahead.  The economy appears to be gaining momentum as we head into 2014 and may soon enter “escape velocity” – meaning our recovery moves into expansion and does not require excess monetary stimulus (no quantitative easing) which could bring the expectations of tighter monetary policy into investors’ minds.  A secular bull market is likely intact but the risk of a 5-10% correction this year is elevated. These gains came in the face of ongoing macro challenges, illustrating again that stocks often like to climb a “wall of worry”.  The past year started with a government crisis and an agreement regarding the fiscal cliff.  Throughout the following months we saw political problems in Europe, an international crisis in Syria, another US government shutdown, a botched rollout of the Affordable Care Act and the word “taper” entering our investment lexicon.  Stocks kept powering higher however, with only brief pauses along the way. This bull market is now the 6th Read on! →

Let’s Talk Retirement

The years prior to retirement are full; full of saving and working and managing the day-to-day.  For some individuals, their dream of retirement is simply a matter of turning off the endless stream of full days.  Their goal is to get out of the rat race and they haven’t thought beyond that last day of work.  Others envision very specific retirement days filled with golf, travel, volunteering and spending more time with grandchildren.  Considering that retirement is a time of numerous transitions and the post-retirement stage could last 30+ years, it only makes sense to plan ahead and communicate with your significant other about your envisioned retirement to help make this stage of your lives as successful and fulfilling as possible. Consider what might happen if you don’t communicate ahead of time: John was a corporate executive, traveled frequently for business, but concentrated on providing for his family’s needs and saving to secure their future.  His wife Jane, worked in advertising, managed the home, their kid’s schedules and volunteered with her favorite causes.  John arrives home one night as his Read on! →

Cheryl Sherrard quoted in MSN Money: “A ‘sandwich generation’ twist: retirees helping adult kids”

January 21, 2014: Cheryl Sherrard, CFP® and Director of Financial Planning for Clearview Wealth Management quoted in MSN’s Money section in an article titled, “A ‘sandwich generation’ twist: retirees helping adult kids.” An excerpt from the article is below, and you can read the full article at MSN.com by clicking here.  If one’s nest egg is being tapped at high levels in the early years of retirement in order to help launch adult kids, that could have an outsized effect on a retiree’s financial future. “I believe parents need to understand the difference between assisting and enabling their children, as well as the potential damage they are doing to their own futures by using too many of their own assets on supporting adult children,” says Cheryl Sherrard, a financial planner with Clearview Wealth Management in Charlotte, North Carolina. After all, if parents eventually run out of savings as a result of their generosity, the financial responsibilities for their care will likely fall right back on the kids. Says Sherrard: “I tell my clients the greatest gift they can give their Read on! →

Liquidity Events Tied To Succession Planning in a Small Business

Recent market strength has increased the value of many small businesses. Increased values often bring succession planning to the forefront as owners see opportunity to cash out when their business value is at or nearing a peak.  If a business is sold, then the challenge becomes what to do with the proceeds. There are many ways a business can be sold.  Two that come to mind are selling the entire business and receiving a lump sum or selling the business in phases, securing payment over several years.  Choosing which is best might be a reflection of the business’ maturity and/or where the owner may be in his or her career cycle.  Consideration must also be given to the type of business and how business cycles influence valuations.  Said differently, if the value has peaked and is significant, an owner may elect to cash out regardless of where they are in their career cycle. When considering a lump sum, a business owner should reflect on whether he or she wants to stay involved and how that might influence the value.  A Read on! →