As you may have heard in the news, Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade have reached an agreement for Schwab to acquire TD Ameritrade. The combined company will retain the Schwab name, and will reflect the best that each legacy firm has to offer, including leading wealth management and trading platforms.
For now, the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the second half of 2020. During that time, there should be no impact to how you work with us or TD Ameritrade Institutional.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out. If you would like to learn more about the transaction, visit www.amtd.com for details.
Sandy, Carol and Erin
As the weather turns colder and the holidays approach, our animal loving hearts can't help but think of the poor animals who will be in the shelters this year. We are collecting donation items starting now until January 10th for pets in need. Every little donation counts and adds up!
Items that we can accept:
MEDICATIONS- They accept dog, cat and people medications. Expired medications are fine too.
Baytril, Albon, Biaxin,
Azithromycin, Fungal Meds,
Lixotinic, Frontline, Revolution
Ear & Eye Infection Medications
Pain & Anti-Inflammatory Medications
We will be shipping the medications to an organization that helps in disaster relief areas.
New or gently used items such as:
These items will be dropped of at a local SPCALA location to be distributed by DART (Disaster Animal Response Team) where they are needed the most.
Sending out a quick reminder that we offer free shredding for our clients! We utilize a company who is certified so you can be sure that your personal information is safe. You can drop it off to our office anytime. If you have a lot and it's too heavy to carry up to our suite, give me a call and I will come down and get it.
Have a wonderful weekend!
In a recent blog we notified you about a cell phone SIM swap scam that is happening. The thought of what someone could do to your financial life by hacking your phone is frightening. This week a couple of the major cell phone carriers have announced that they will now start offering insurance to their customers in order to protect them from the aftermath of these types of scams. It's worth it to check with your provider to see if they offer this product.
Here is another article from the FTC that will give you a little more detail about the scam and some tips on how to protect yourself.
Asset Planning continues to grow and now our managed assets are just under 310 million dollars.
We deeply appreciate our clients referring new friends and family members to us. To keep up with our growth, we added two new team members.
Meet Joey Gonzales, our operations manager. Joey has over 10 years’ experience in the financial services industry working for both boutique and large RIA firms. As an Operations Manager, he enjoys building processes that help drive efficiency making the most of technology for the firm. He will also be working as a wealth manager research analyst. When Joey is not streamlining workflows, he enjoys traveling to Japan and perfecting his 10k run. Joey earned his bachelor degree from Azusa Pacific University and is currently pursuing his CFP® certification.
Our newest team member is Akanksha Arora and she is in her senior year at California State University, Fullerton as a Financial Planning student. She is focused on the financial planning process and helping clients reach their financial goals. She will be learning planning and observing in client meetings with all of us. Her ultimate goal is to take the CFP® exam next summer. While at CSUF she became president of the Finance Association and the Indian Student Association. In her free time, she loves to dance, cook new vegetarian recipes, and spend time with loved ones and her puppy by the beach.
Just when we thought we were safe by setting up two-step authentication on our accounts, hackers are getting smarter and scamming us in a different way. The new scam is when a hacker calls your cell phone service provider, pretends to be you and says that you lost your phone and need to activate the new one. They do this by having enough personal information about you to convince the cell phone provider that it is really you. Once they have this information all your texts, phone calls and anything else you receive on your phone will be transferred to their phone and yours will be deactivated. So, all those text messages you receive when logging into your accounts will go directly to the new phone and right into the hacker's hands. This is scary stuff. Please read the following article with the detailed information on the scam and ways to protect yourself from having it happen to you.
Until very recently there was really no estate planning direction on how your social media and online accounts should be handled after you pass away. If you're like me, I have multiple social media accounts and have opted to go paperless on every account that I can. Though this is the most convenient option for us now it may pose a problem when you pass away and there are no instructions or information left for your loved ones. I recently listened to a webinar hosted by TLD Law that gave out some great information and tips on how these digital assets should be handled.
First, we'll talk about what digital assets really are. Digital assets are considered any electronic record that is stored in an online account, not the online account itself. For example: You have a Gmail account, the Gmail account and address are not considered a digital asset. The digital assets would be any emails, pictures or other files in the email account.
Here are some other examples of digital assets:
Airplane Miles, Social Media, Software Licenses, Websites, Cryptocurrencies and any other digital file stored with in an online account or your computer; think Shutterfly, iCloud etc.
One quick way to ensure that your digital assets are taken care of after you die is buy completing a Power of Attorney specifically for those digital assets. The Power of Attorney should have a digital assets provision in it.
If you have a trust in place you should check it to see if there is a provision for digital assets. If the trust document was drafted before 2017 it likely does not, and you will need to amend the trust accordingly.
In the trust and power of attorney documents you should give clear instructions on how you would like your digital assets taken care of when you pass away.
By law, anyone you give this responsibility to will have a fiduciary duty of care, loyalty and confidentiality to uphold. What that means is that they are not allowed to share any personal information that has not already been made public.
A lot of online sites have either legacy contact information or inactive user account manager options that you can set up in your account profiles. Whoever you designate will be contacted after a certain length of time, usually chosen by you, where your account has not been active.
It's important to note that by giving some power of attorney over your digital assets, the companies that hold that information are not legally required to give them access to the online accounts. It is very important to compile an ongoing list of all of your online accounts as well as passwords and keep it in a safe place that your trusted person knows about. Downloading this information onto a hard drive and keeping it in a safety deposit box or fireproof safe are a couple of options. If you simply just give someone this information without the proper legal documents their attempt to log into your account may be misconstrued as computer fraud and may be prosecuted. Especially in the case of elderly parents or grandparents, because there is a heightened awareness of elderly abuse.
There is a ton more information and tips online. I highly encourage you to do some research and get these provisions in place.
Watching the news coverage of Hurricane Dorian this past week as well as the fire in Murrieta, had us sympathizing for the people in their path, what they were going through and how their lives would be affected by these natural disasters. Naturally, this also made us start thinking of our own preparedness for a natural disaster. We recently posted about creating your own emergency kits for your homes. Another thing to think of is what happens to your home and other belongings that were damaged during one of these incidents. It's important to periodically review your insurance policies to make sure that your coverage is sufficient. Our lives are constantly changing, which means you could have recently done a remodel to your home or purchased a brand-new computer. Will your homeowner's insurance cover these new and improved items? One way to make sure is to keep an updated inventory of your personal belongings as well as any documentation for upgrades you have done to your home. Without this documentation your homeowner's insurance may just pay you the basic value of these items and you will not recoup the increased value. One tip I read about, and which seems like the easiest way to inventory your property is to walk around your home with your phone and take a video of each room with its contents. In the video you would show the items of most value and explain what they are. Not only will this prove the items existence, but most phones are hooked up to a cloud-based recovery system. So even if you lose or damage your phone in a disaster the video will be saved to the cloud. Obviously, you would not want to share this video with anyone and should keep it private. No posting to social media sites like FB or Instagram as this could make you a target for break ins. Even if you "know" everyone on your friend lists. We still recommend keeping physical documentation either in a fireproof box, safety deposit box or a flash drive but it never hurts to have more proof. You may also want to look into additional flood and earthquake policies. Maybe you decided to skip these policies when you first bought your home because they can be pricey, or you went with a higher deductible. Now would be the time to get a check up to see if these supplemental policies are right for you.