If you are looking to hire a financial security advisor like Robert Yancovitch, you should look at the process like hiring an employee. What’s the first thing you do to weed out potential candidates from those who simply don’t fit the bill? You look at their resume. Here’s what the resume of a financial security advisor worth hiring should look like. Even if you don’t see the person’s actual resume, these are the same types of things you should look and listen for when you interview a potential financial security advisor.
Under this headline, the financial security advisor should have key phrases such as “To help each client reach his financial goals through educated and experienced financial planning advice.” Steer clear of resumes that promise grand things such as “guaranteed financial success” or “no-fail advice.”
Look for a financial security advisor whose resume includes a university degree in a related field as well as professional certification in financial planning. Find out which professional designations he has (is he a Certified financial security advisor?) Earning a professional designation is an indication that the financial security advisor has passed rigorous standardized tests that exhibits his ability to understand and apply the principles of his field.
A CMA designation is recognized around the world as an advanced-level credential earned by those in the financial business who have demonstrated professional expertise in areas such as financial planning, analysis, decision-making, and control as well as professional ethics. These are the hallmarks of a competent and knowledgeable financial security advisor.
Find out what kind of professional experience the financial security advisor has. Do they have any specializations? How long have they worked in the industry? Do they have experience in dealing with clients like you? Getting a clear picture of the level of experience a financial security advisor has will give you a good indication as to whether he is a good fit for you.
Before hiring a financial security advisor such as Robert Yancovitch, find out about his employment, both past and present. Has he always worked for large corporations (and is he tied to a corporation now?) Has he always worked in an independent practice? Does he have partners or associates? This will give you good insight into the type of practice the financial security advisor works in, and whether you will be in a small fish in big pond, or whether your needs will get a higher level of personal attention.
This is a very important section to which you should pay close attention. Look for words like patience, honesty, dedication, good communication skills, easily reachable, commitment to making clients feel comfortable and involved, etc. These skills are just as important as the financial security advisor’s education and professional experience. You do not want to work with an FO who makes you feel rushed, neglected, uncomfortable or who talks over your head with industry lingo and terms that you don’t understand, without taking the time to explain. When it comes to your money and investments, it’s important that you feel involved and that you understand what is going on.
Ensure that the financial security advisor will be easily reachable. If you have questions or directives you’d like to give regarding your investments, you don’t want to have to put on your private detective’s hat to track down your financial security advisor.
With a half-billion-dollar multistate lottery jackpot up for grabs, plenty of folks are fantasizing about how to spend the money. But doing it the right way – protecting your riches, your identity and your sanity – takes some thought and planning.
Making sure you don’t blow the nation’s largest-ever lottery jackpot within a few years means some advice is in order before the Mega Millions drawing Friday, especially if you’re really, really, really lucky.
With a $640 million multistate lottery jackpot up for grabs, plenty of folks are fantasizing about how to spend the money
Q: What do I do with the ticket?
A: Before anything else, sign the back of the ticket. That will stop anyone else from claiming your riches if you happen to drop it while you’re jumping up and down. Then make a photocopy and lock it in a safe. At the very least, keep it where you know it’s protected. A Rhode Island woman who won a $336 million Powerball jackpot in February hid the ticket in her Bible before going out to breakfast.
Q: What next?
A: Relax; breathe; take time to think about your next move. Don’t do anything you’ll regret for the next 30 years, like calling your best friend or every one of your aunts, uncles and cousins. It doesn’t take long to be overwhelmed by long-lost friends, charities and churches wanting to share your good fortune. You’ve waited a lifetime to hit the jackpot; you can wait a few days before going on a spending spree.
Q: So whom should I tell first?
A: Contacting a lawyer and a financial planner would be a lot wiser than updating your Facebook status. Make sure it’s someone you can trust and, it’s hoped, dealt with before. If you don’t have anyone in mind, ask a close family member or friend. Oklahoma City attorney Richard Craig, whose firm has represented a handful of lottery winners, says it’s essential to assemble a team of financial managers, tax experts, accountants and bankers.
Q: Remind me, how much did I win?
A: As it stands now, the Mega Millions will pay out a lump sum of $359 million before taxes. The annual payments over 26 years will amount to just over $19 million before taxes.
Q: How much will I pay in taxes?
A: This partly depends on where you live. Federal tax is 25%; then there’s your state income tax. In Ohio, for example, that’s another 6%. And you might need to pay a city tax depending on the local tax rules. So count on about a third of your winnings going to the government.
Q: Should I take the cash payout or annual payments?
A: This is the big question, and most people think taking the lump sum is the smart move. That’s not always the case. First, spreading the payments out protects you from becoming the latest lottery winner who’s lost all their money. Don McNay, author of the book “Son of a Son of a Gambler: Winners, Losers and What to Do When You Win the Lottery”, says nine out of 10 winners go through their money in five years or less. “It’s too much, too fast,” he says. “Nobody is around them putting the brakes on the situation.”
Q: But what if I’m good at managing the money?
A: Invested properly, the lump sum option can be a good choice. There’s more planning that you can use to reduce estate taxes and other financial incentives. Others, though, say that with annual payments, you are taxed on the money only as it comes in, so that will put you in a lower tax bracket rather than taking a big hit on getting a lump sum. And you still can shelter the money in tax-free investments and take advantage of tax law changes over the years.
Q: Should I try to shield my identity?
A: Absolutely. This will protect you from people who want you to invest in their business scheme or those who need cash in an emergency. Lottery winners are besieged by dozens of people and charities looking for help. “There are people who do that for a living. Unless you understand that, you can become a victim very quickly,” says Steve Thornton, an attorney in Bowling Green, Kentucky, who has represented two jackpot winners.
Q: So how can I protect myself?
A: Again, it somewhat depends on where you live. In Ohio, you can form a trust to manage the money and keep your winnings a secret. In other states, you can form a trust but still be discovered through public records. And a few states require you to show up and receive your oversized check in front of a bunch of cameras, making it impossible to stay anonymous. Steve Thornton set up a corporation in the late 1990s to protect the identity of a client in Kentucky who won $11 million. “No one had done this before, and there were legal questions about whether a corporation can win,” he says. “We were able to hide their names.”
Q: Is it OK to splurge a little?
A: Sure, it’s why you bought a ticket, right? “Get it out of your system, but don’t go overboard,” Don McNay says. But remember that if there’s a new Mercedes-Benz in the driveway, your neighbors will probably be able to figure out who won the jackpot.
Q: How much should I help my family and others?
A: It’s certainly a natural desire to help relatives in need and take care of future generations. But use extreme caution when giving out your money. Jack Whittaker, a West Virginia contractor who won a nearly $315 million Powerball jackpot in 2002, quickly fell victim to scandals, lawsuits and personal setbacks. His foundation spent $23 million building two churches, and he’s been involved in hundreds of legal actions. “If you win, just don’t give any money away, because the more money you give away, the more they want you to give. And once you start giving it away, everybody will label you an easy touch and be right there after you. And that includes everybody,” Jack Whittaker said five years ago.