Office Happenings – Winter Edition
By Ronald W. Rogé, MS, CFP®
Welcome to the winter edition of “Office Happenings”. We use this column to educate, introduce people, technology, and operating systems we use, or, plan to use to provide our clients with outstanding services. We also will keep you up-to-date and share with you the things we discover that we believe are useful, educational, funny and just enjoyable.
It’s that time of the year to file your Income Taxes. Please remember not to file them too early, since our custodians often receive corrected dividend and interest information in early March and may send corrected IRS1099 Forms. Filing after March 15th will usually prevent having to re-file your income taxes with corrected information.
In addition, once you file your returns, please send us a copy for our files. Tax returns are very useful to us when planning for your future and investing your money.
Christine Parisi, CFP® and Rosanne Rogé, CFP®, CSA™, RFGsm have figured out a very efficient way of working collaboratively on plan updates and new plans. They are now working with our IT firm to further improve the process, once we move our aging servers to the cloud. More about this later. Bottom line is faster turnaround with improved team input to solve client problems. Christine and Roe have been making so many improvements in the planning process and client communications that they have been referring to themselves as the “Planning Divas.”
You may have noticed some trading in the last few weeks of 2018. Steven Rogé, AIF®, CMFC® and Phil Brucato, FPQPTM were performing an activity called tax loss selling in taxable accounts. This allows us to book losses for tax purposed and re-invest the proceeds in slightly different investments. These losses are then used to off-set capital gains, thus reducing your tax bill.
Phil Brucato, FPQPTM and Michelle Herbst, have been training our newest employee, Darlene Walsh, Client Service Associate. Darlene is taking over many of our money movement and information functions, namely, money transfer requests, deposits, account opening, closing, etc. She is rapidly becoming a very valuable member of our team. Please feel free to welcome her to the team, if you have not already done so. She can be reached at 631-218-0077 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michelle Herbst, our Director of First Impressions, has been busy creating office processes in our Client Relationship Management (CRM) system, replacing vendors with faster, easier and less expensive vendors for our office needs. In addition, Michelle is always speaking with clients when they call in before she passes the call to the appropriate person. She lets the team know through our CRM system any issues our clients may be having with their health, family, friends, etc. This is very helpful for our planning and investing teams.
Sue Rogé, FPQPTM, has been working on improving our on-line communications and marketing efforts. She is creating educational content for our clients and their family and friends. If you are not following us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, please do so. We are posting educational articles on these sites.
In addition, Sue works with me on using internet systems for business development. We have hired vendors to help us improve our effectiveness in our on-line marketing efforts.
We have been in our current office space for 22 years and it needs a refresh, new rugs, wallpaper and paint. We are negotiating with the building’s owner to move our office about 100 yards across the parking lot, to an identical building with larger conference rooms, more efficient use of space and slightly less square footage. Right now, we occupy 4,400 square feet and the new space will be approximately 3,800 square feet and much more efficient.
There is a lot of activity going on here.
First our servers need to be replaced. Instead of replacing them with new servers, which is old technology, we have decided to invest in moving everything into the cloud. While this is more expensive, it is the way business is being done. Many of our software programs are already in the cloud. The cloud is more secure, and everything is backed up as it happens.
Second, we have already launched a more secure password protection software program called OKTA. It allows our employees to login from anywhere without having to type in a password. It can send a verification code to the employee’s cell phone, when it recognizes that the employee is accessing the system from outside the office.
I just finished reading “I Love Capitalism!, An American Story,” By Ken Langone. Ken Langone is the Co-Founder of The Home Depot. This book is a master class in how business really gets done, what it takes to be an entrepreneur and create billions of dollars of wealth. Further, it shows you how to remain a decent, well-grounded person once you achieved wealth. It’s Ken’s life story of how Capitalism helps others and lifts all boats. It’s an easy, fun and educational read. Highly recommended.
Over the holidays, I discovered an album of easy listening that both Roe and I play in our home when entertaining or when reading a good book. The Album is: Cocktail Party Jazz: by Beegie Adair. Our guests always ask “What album is this?”
Roe and I are off to Naples, FL to escape the cold weather. We will be working from our home office. If you are traveling to the west coast of Florida, please let us know, it we would be nice to get together with you.
Over the holidays, Roe and I went to visit Steve, Sue and our grand kids, Ben (10 years old) and Sami (6 years old, going on 40). When we entered their home, Sami gave us a hug and went off with Roe to do something. Ben gave us a hug and stayed with me in the hallway. He said, Pops, why is the stock market going down so much? I paused for a moment, trying to construct an answer for a 10-year-old. I said, Ben, when the market goes down, that means that there are more people selling stocks then buying stocks. There is a shortage of buyers willing to pay the price that the stock is currently trading at. Therefore, the price must go down until buyers show up again willing to buy at the lower price. I asked Ben if he understood that. He said, –Yes! Makes sense. To my surprise, it was clear to me that he understood. Then I explained that the opposite is also true.
Steve recently told me a humorous story about Ben talking about taxes at dinner one night. He stopped and asked this question; By the way, who gets the taxes we pay? To everyone’s surprise, Sami looks at Ben and says, The Government! It’s amazing what kids know these days.
I hope you find this issue of Office Happenings informative. If there is anything you would like us to cover about office operations, our team members, or how we do things in future issues, please send me an email at email@example.com.
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