BOSTON BOUND - Times Republican

BOSTON BOUND - Times Republican






• Mike Donahey: It’s a beautiful day.

• Pictures: Spring scenes.

• Plus: Runner Larry Walden and




OF THE Times-Republican | MarshallTimes | April 2008 | 2


Publisher ..............................Mike Schlesinger

Managing Editor.............................Ken Larson

Marshalltimes Writer ..................Mike Donahey

Marshalltimes Columnists...........Debra Oetker,

Kileen Rezac, Lon Walker, Phyllis Mazour

Marshalltimes is a monthly magazine published

by the Times-Republican, Marshalltown, with

offices located at 135 W. Main St.,

Marshalltown, Iowa 50158. Marshalltimes is

inserted into the Times-Republican monthly.

For more information, please call or write:


c/o Times-Republican

135 W. Main St.

P.O. Box 1300

Marshalltown, IA 50158


All articles and information contained herein are

the property of the Times-Republican. Permission

for use or reproduction must have prior

approval in writing from the publisher.

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Spring scenes from Marshalltown High

School’s tennis courts, Leonard Cole field

for a soccer match and the Linn Creek

Recreational Trail are displayed. • 4


Staff writer Mike Donahey, who also writes

a column for Marshall Times and Past

Times, recalls the talents and skills of former

Des Moines Register columnist Chuck

Offenburger and one of his memorable

columns. • 3


Staff writer Mike Donahey sat down with

Marshalltown athlete Veronica Demmel

recently and talked about her training for

the 2009 Boston Marathon, family and the

strong friendships she has developed with

other area athletes and runners. • 6-8

COVER PHOTO: Demmel is pictured competing in the

Chateau St. Michael one-half marathon held in Bothell, Washington.

Contributed photo.

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I was out taking pictures on April 14

around Marshalltown High School and

the Linn Creek Recreational Trail for

the April, Marshall Times “In Picture”

segment. The weather was warm,

highlighted by extended sunshine,

something we have not seen much of

this spring. The sky was a light blue,

again, somewhat of a rarity this spring.

But it was all to be enjoyed and taken

advantage of.

The beautiful day brought to mind

former Des Moines Register columnist

Chuck Offenburger’s “it was a Chamber

of Commerce day” line or something

similar that he used in describing

such a day. It also made me think back

to his writing talents.

A Shenandoah native, Offenburger

authored a Register column called

“Iowa Boy.” It had a prominent place in

the newspaper and was popular with

readers. He left the Register some time

ago and last I heard he was working

for The Iowan magazine.

I read his column often. Offenburger’s

beat was the state of Iowa and he

did good job writing about the Iowa

people and places he encountered in

his travels. His subjects were usually

the everyday, mundane things that

people easily could relate too. For

example, he developed a reputation for

writing about our state’s best tasting

cinnamon rolls and then annually

awarded prizes based on their taste,

size, amount of frosting, or other

notable features. Or he might have

written about his encounter with the

long-time owners of a neighborhood

grocery store in their challenges

against a corporate grocery store down

the block, or a farm couple that had

been married for 75 years. It was

folksy material and Offenburger wrote

in conversational style that was easy to

read. Not only could he write about

those things and make them interesting

column after column, he had in my

opinion a talent for observation. He

could see details in his subjects that

were noteworthy. Additionally, he had

a good sense of humor to mix in as


One of his best efforts was a column

he wrote describing the day he and his

siblings had to move his mother out of

her house into a nursing home. It was

the same house he had grown up in

and that the family had resided in for

years. He described how hard it was to

help her mom move somewhere else

and leave the home empty, presumably

to be sold. Offenburger made you

feel like you were there witnessing the

sad event. He wrote that column many

years ago but I remember it well.

His "it was a Chamber of Commerce”

day in describing an ideal day

weather-wise is also something I

remember. Offenburger's criteria for

such a day were: sunny, blue skies,

warm temps with low, or no humidity.

Chamber of Commerce, of course,

referred to the local Chamber of Commerce

office in the town his latest story

was based in being fortunate in showcasing

their in that kind of ideal weather.

Offenburger might have used April

14 as a “Chamber of Commerce day"

and if he would not, I would firmly ask

him to reconsider.

I knew we were on to something

that day, when in walking to my car at

11:30 a.m., I sensed that I did not need

my heavily lined trench coat (which

also serves as a raincoat) for what

must have been the first time in

months! The long, cold winter followed

by this spring’s many cold, blustery

and wet days had made its use seem

almost second-nature, like hair on a

cat or a dog. Just the day before, I had

been chilled just stepping into our

unheated garage, as the north wind

had found every crack under the

garaged doors to make for a cold car

seat. The week before the Marshalltown

area had experienced strong,

cold and blustery winds from the north

mixed with rain that was more typical

of November than April.

Memories of that recent weather

made it even more fun to ditch the coat

in the backseat to take pictures of people

using the Linn Creek Recreational

Trail and then up to the MHS courts to

watch my youngest daughter and her

teammates play tennis against longtime

rival Ames. All in warm sunshine.

It's too bad Offenburger wasn't there to

enjoy it.

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3 | April 2008 | MarshallTimes | Times-Republican Times-Republican | MarshallTimes | April 2008 | 4

A Closer Look At

Photos by

Mike Donahey

Spring Activities



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5 | April 2008 | MarshallTimes | Times-Republican Times-Republican | MarshallTimes | April 2008 | 6





April 20, 2009 is exactly one year

away. Veronica Demmel of Marshalltown

knows she will be in Boston making

ready to run in the 113th annual

Boston Marathon. Larry Walden, also

of Marshalltown, wants to join Demmel

and run too.

While the marathon’s Web site lists

April 20, 2009 as the tentative date,

there is nothing tentative about Demmel’s

interest in running the event or

her passion for running. Demmel qualified

for the event last October at the

Des Moines Marathon.

Her passion for running and the

need to train for competitive events,



such as marathons and triathlon,

results in Demmel accumulating many

miles in a year. In 2007 Demmel estimates

she ran about 1,400 miles.

She has run in events including Marshalltown’s

Grimes Farm Fun Run,

several Drake Relays events, the

Super Jock N' Jill Half Marathon in

Washington state and the Vancouver

International Marathon. However, the

Boston Marathon will be the most prestigious

marathon she will compete in. It

is the world’s oldest annually contested


Deservedly, the race receives international

media attention, extensive

national media coverage and substantially

more national sports-related coverage.

As to be expected, track and

field media along with runner’s publications

thoroughly cover the event. For

years the marathon has attracted world

class athletes who are induced to participate

by the competition, the

marathon’s legendary status and also

because of the prize money awarded.

Over $10 million dollars in prize and

bonus money has been awarded since

1986 according to the marathon’s Web


The Boston Marathon is also selec-

tive. Not just any athlete, casual runner,

or marathoner can compete.

According to Walden, a three time

Boston Marathon participant, the

Boston Marathon is unique because

athletes must post a certified, qualifying

time standard that corresponds to their

age group simply to enter. For example,

a male between the ages of 45 to 49

must run a qualifying time of three

hours, 30 minutes or less. A female of

the same age must post a qualifying

time of four hours or less.

This is not required for other wellknown

marathons like those held in

Chicago, New York and Los Angeles,

said Walden.

“Anyone can enter, say, the Los

Angeles Marathon, walk in it and then

say they ‘ran’ in the marathon,” Walden


“Boston is a well-organized

marathon, you are assigned chutes to

enter the race based on your qualifying

time. The people ahead of you have run

faster than you.”

Conversely, many entrants in the

2007 Chicago Marathon were simply

called to the starting line. Elite, world

class marathoners were given front row

positioning. When

the race began, a

huge swell of runners

were moving

out slowly.

The Boston

Marathon also differs

itself from other

marathons by limiting

the number of

participants. The

2008 event, to be

run tomorrow, was

limited to 25,000

registrants, according

to information

posted on its Web

site. The Chicago

Marathon had

45,000 people register

of which 9,133

did not run according

to a marathon

press release provided

shortly after

the event. According

to the October 8, 2007 Chicago

Tribune, 35,867 runners showed

up at the starting line.

Additionally, 10,934 runners

started but did not finish of which

a number were impacted by the

severe heat and humidity. It was

the hottest Chicago Marathon on

record, but 24,933 entrants finished

the race.

When asked why she is running

in the 2009 event and not

the 2008 event, Demmel responded

quickly. She wants to run the 2009

event with her good friend Walden. But

before the two can look forward to a

joint effort, Walden must finish his training,

then compete in the 2008 Grandma’s

Marathon this June in Duluth,

Minn. To compete in Boston he must

complete the Grandma’s course in four

hours or less.

Demmel is not just spectating, she is

helping Walden train for the Grandma’s

Marathon by running with him. On a

recent cold and windy Saturday, seemingly

too cold and windy for mid-April,

both set out from Marshalltown’s Community

Y at 7 a.m. and ran 18 miles.

Nor is the early morning run unusual.

On some week-day mornings Demmel,

Walden and others can be seen leaving

the Community Y building at 5:30 a.m.

Demmel and Walden run year around

and are joined by a number of other

men and women that share Demmel’s

and Walden’s passion for running.

Walden said he got “goose bumps”

from the excitement of running the three

Boston Marathons and those that train

year around might be expected to get


Demmel, far right, is seen running next to pacer Wade Stewart, near right, at the Des Moines

Marathon last October as friend and fellow runner Nova Ebersole, far left, yells encouragement.

goose bumps from some of the frigid

temperatures Central Iowa experienced

this past winter. However, Demmel and

Walden said they and others were not


Walden said he sold a lot of ice-gripping

shoe clamps, called “ice joggers” to

his fellow runners and they worked well.

Equally important as the ice joggers

in winter is the support runners receive

from family members and fellow runners.

Demmel can count on husband Jim

and her children, Celeste and Luke for

support or companionship in some

events. Pam Walden, Larry’s wife, supports

his efforts.

Sitting at a table in Demmel’s home,

both Demmel and Walden stated that

there were several Marshalltown men

and women that they consider as talented,

competitive runners that have

helped them succeed.

Not only are the talents of other runners

respected, the camaraderie developed

over time has developed into

friendships and race day support they

said. For example, Wade Stewart of

LeGrand, ran with Demmel during the

Des Moines Marathon.

“Wade wanted me to qualify for

Boston so he ran with me as a “pacer”

in Des Moines,” Demmel said.

Other runners from the Community Y

were there to cheer her and other Marshalltown

runners on.

Walden, in his 2005 Boston

Marathon remembrance book, credits

runner Lindsey Wade for helping him


Demmel, a native of Chile, started

running for exercise and has been a

competitive runner for a number of

years. She stopped when her two children,

Luke, now a Marshalltown High

School senior and member of the MHS

boy’s track team and Celeste, who was

an MHS runner and swimmer, were

young, but resumed five years ago. She

met Jim while running at college. Himself

an active runner, he has run with

Veronica in several events. Jim’s father

was an active runner for years too.

Demmel has also competed in Gladbrook’s

Cornman triathlon, which

require participants to swim, bike and

run in that order.

“Biking is not my forte,” Demmel said

candidly. “Biking is the hardest part of

the triathlon for me.”

Dave Vajgrt and Lisa Gassman of

Marshalltown, who also periodically run

with Demmel, also bike during the summer

and Demmel has joined them as

part of her training.

Demmel devotes much of her time to

running but has family, employment and

community obligations too. She makes

time to watch Luke compete and she

works for McFarland Clinic’s Marshalltown

office as an interpreter. She is a

member of Marshalltown’s Assistance

League, where she recently helped that

organization with its annual thrift sale

which helps fund a number of charitable

initiatives in the Marshalltown area.

From now until April 20, 2009 Demmel

will have run approximately 1,400

miles. No doubt Demmel will relish the

opportunity to run the 26 miles, 385

yards at Boston.


Contact Mike Donahey at 641-753-6611 or mdonahey@

7 | April 2008 | MarshallTimes | Times-Republican Times-Republican | MarshallTimes | April 2008 | 8


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Area runner says



It was about 25 years ago that Marshalltown

runner Larry Walden said he

experienced a life-changing event. He

signed up for an evening fitness class

at the Community Y. Walden was then

employed as an assembly worker at

Fisher Controls. He said he had done

little, if any, exercising up to that point.

Years later, Walden has run in

three Boston Marathons and is training

to qualify for his fourth. He estimates

that he now runs about 30 to 50 miles

per week. He does not suffer from

high blood pressure or other ailments

usually associated with semi-retired

individuals like himself.

When he needs to see a medical

professional, he says he does not

need to see a physician, it is a staff

person at Marshalltown’s Sports Plus

Medicine and Physical Therapy Center

for running related concerns.

Walden retired from Fisher Controls

in 2003 after 36 years of service and

now drives a school bus part-time for

the Marshalltown Community School


“Anybody can run,” Walden said. “If

you can run one-half a block, that is a

good start. The following week you will

be running a block. Soon it will be up

to two blocks and in a matter of time

you will be running a 5K (kilometer)


Walden knows that running is good

for him physically, mentally and socially.

Important to Walden and to Veronica

Demmel, one of his friends and current

training partner, are the friendships

developed with other runners.

“Most of my friends are runners

from the Community Y,” he said.

Walden, Demmel and other runners

can be seen several mornings a week

leaving the Y around 5:30 a.m. and

then returning later to enjoy a cup of

the Y’s complimentary coffee. Before

they head to the showers or home,

they sit down at the Y for a time of fellowship.

There is much laughter. It is

obvious that they respect and like

each other.

The respect does not begin or end

at the Y doors. They have run together

at events in Des Moines or served as

“pacers” for other runners. If not running

in the event, they are their to

cheer on their comrades at the contest.

Such was the case last October

when a group of them went to Des

Moines for that city’s marathon. Demmel

qualified for the Boston Marathon

at that event.

Walden knows the Boston

Marathon well and it is evident from

his training regimen that he hopes to

compete in it again.

He has a memento book from the

2005 Boston Marathon full of pictures

which details a chronology leading up

to the race. In the beginning he pictures

and credits runner Lindsey Wade

who helped him train for the 2004 Des

Moines Marathon. His time of 3 hours

36 minutes in turn, qualified him to run

at Boston.

According to the book, 20,000 runners

were registered to run in what

was the 109th Boston on April 18,

2005. The start time was the traditional

12 noon in Hopkington, Mass.

Walden completed the event in four

hours 23 minutes.

In the back, are pictures of

Walden’s grandchildren, holding pictures

that read “Way to Go Gramps”

and “Great Job Gramps!!”

Walden flipped to a page in the

book that was captioned Team Hoyt.

Walden explained that a dad and his







QUESTION: Shouldn’t we prohibit

teen age drivers from using cell

phones while driving?

ANSWER: The January/February

issue of AAA Living has a very good

article regarding this issue written by

It’s about the hobbies

I enjoy on the weekends.


Grandview Heights

910 E. Olive Street, Marshalltown, IA

Ph. 641-752-4581

Q: What is Respite Care?

A: Grandview Heights will admit a person for a “short

period of time” into our Dementia Unit or our care facility to

relieve full time care givers for 2 days or more as desired.


Central Iowa’s

Daily Newspaper.


Timothy C. Smith. According to Mr.

Smith, nearly 50% of all teen age

drivers have admitted to either talking

on a cell phone or text messaging

while driving. When you couple that

with the statistic that over 50% of all

teen drivers are involved in a police

reported crash in their first year of

driving, it presents a very scary situation

for parents. I know, my son now

drives to school. So, what can we

do? The answer is, and I agree with

Mr. Smith’s article, is to educate

teens and take away distractions like

passengers, alcohol, tobacco, iPods,

and food. We also need to educate


it all

and save


The Times-Republican


the teens that the use of cell phones

is not allowed while driving. We also

need to set the example by the way

we drive and eliminate the distractions

as much as possible. I feel this

is the better route than trying to create

unenforceable ordinances that

restrict the use of cell phones.


On another note, the question

keeps coming up as to what to do at

a four-way stop intersection. The

basic rule of thumb is to yield to the

car to your right and take turns, one

car at a time per direction, passing

through the intersection.

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9 | April 2008 | MarshallTimes | Times-Republican Times-Republican | MarshallTimes | April 2008 | 10






Winter brings a number of driving

hazards, but one of the most hated is

the pothole. An encounter with one

can leave damaged tires, wheels and

suspension components in its wake.


You’ve got 30 seconds

to make a case for

your product or service.

Potholes can occur in any region or

climate, but at this time of year, they’re

especially prominent in areas known

for ice, snow and below-freezing temperatures.

The freezing and thawing

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cycles allow moisture to seep into the

road surface which causes the road to


There’s not much that can be done

to prevent the deterioration of the driving

surface, but there are some things

you can do to protect yourself:

Try to limit your travel to roads you

know very well. That knowledge could

keep you from hitting a pothole and

seriously damaging your car.

When driving at night, try to drive

on well-lit roads so you can see the

road surface.

Slow down and give yourself a

chance to see the pothole and avoid it.

If you hit a pothole, carefully inspect

your tires and wheels for possible

damage. Note how your car handles in




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the aftermath. If it pulls to one side or

if you feel a wobble in the steering,

you may need to have your car

checked by a mechanic.

If you must hit a pothole, do your

braking before impact. There’s less

damage when a tire is rolling than

when it is skidding over a hole during


While damage caused to a car by a

pothole may be covered under the collision

portion of the State Farm auto

policy, there are some things to

remember. If the damage to the vehicle

is to the tire only, it is not covered.

Damage to the vehicle is subject to the

collision deductible.

For more safe driving tips, visit

disabled son made up the team. The

picture shows a lean, muscular man

pushing his son in an elongated

wheelchair with a longe tongue coming

from the wheelchair. A small bicycle

wheel is at the front, attached to

the tongue.

“It’s a Good Life!” reads the writing

on the vehicle wheels. According to

Walden, the boy would be responsive

to his dad while being pushed, so his

dad continued his efforts of jointly running

and pushing, culminating with an

appearance in the Boston.

Walden said he plans to keep running

as long as he is able. “I am

addicted to running,” he said.

He and Demmel spoke of a “runners

high” that is experienced after a

practice run or contest. Walden said

the feeling of utopia is dramatic after

competing in an event, because one

is really pushing.

“It is a feeling of like being on top of

the world,” he said.


Contact Mike Donahey at 641-753-6611 or mdonahey@

Don’t give out your

password to anyone.

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Asset Allocation Can Help Protect

Your Portfolio

Over time, the value of stocks can

go up and down. Bond prices fluctuate

with interest rates, as do other types of

fixed-income securities such as certificates

of deposit and investments in

money-market accounts. Predicting

which investment vehicles are likely to

perform better than others at any given

point time is next to impossible. So

how do you choose investments for

your portfolio?

The answer is to follow a riskreduction

strategy called asset allocation.

By dividing your dollars among a

variety of investments, you can

decrease the likelihood that all the

investments in your portfolio decline at

the same time. Of course, by the same

token, it’s also unlikely that every

investment in your portfolio would go

up at the same time.

Essentially, asset allocation diversifies

your portfolio among several distinct

asset classes. These include

stocks, bonds, real estate, money markets,

cash and more. Within these

general categories, these asset classes

may also be divided into several

more subcategories.

Stocks, for example, may be broken

down into domestic stocks of small

companies (small-cap), medium-sized

companies (mid-cap), large companies

(large-cap) and real estate. International

stocks are also part of the mix,

including stocks in developed non-U.S.

countries and less-developed (emerging

market) countries outside the United


Classes of bonds may include conservative,

moderate and aggressive

(high-yield) bonds. Conservative

bonds generally include federal and

state government bonds. Moderaterisk

bonds include bonds issued by

high-credit-quality corporations. Highyield

bonds typically are issued by corporations

with lower credit ratings,

offering higher interest rates to

investors in exchange for a commensurate

level of risk.

Stocks are securities that represent


ownership in a company. You might

want to invest in stocks if you believe

the price of the stock will increase and

thereby the value of your investment

will increase. Another reason to invest

in stocks would be to collect dividends.

Companies pay dividends as a way to

compensate shareholders for their

investments. Dividends can also be a

way to generate income.

Bonds represent a loan to a company

or other entity. Bonds have fixed

terms and fixed interest rates. They

typically generate a higher income

stream and are historically less volatile

than stocks.

Cash and cash equivalents are considered

the third basic asset class.

This class includes investments such

as short-term certificates of deposit

and money-market instruments. Holding

cash as part of your allocation can

be a way to park your money while

waiting for an appropriate investment

opportunity. It can also be used to hold

funds for emergency use.

So how do you decide which combination

of investments is right for you?

Start by asking yourself the following


· Objectives – What are your financial

goals? Do you want to retire early

or build your dream house? How much

money will you need to save to accomplish

your goals?

· Risk Tolerance – Can you stomach

fluctuations in the market? Do you

want a steady return with little risk?

· Time Horizon – Will you retire in

five years? Fifteen? Are you ready to

send your child to college next year or

in 10 years?

· Cash Flow – Do you need a

steady flow of income now from your

investments, or can you continue to

put your money away for a few more


Answering these questions will

help both you and your financial consultant

decide what kind of asset allocation

will help you meet your goals

and then choose specific investments

that match your appropriate allocations.






Back in 2001, the Economic

Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation

Act triggered a gradual

increase in the dollar threshold

of estates subject to the estate

tax. In tax years 2007 and 2008,

estates valued at more than $2

million may be taxed as much as

45%, while in tax year 2009, the

threshold will increase to $3.5

million. The year after that, the

tax will be repealed for a year. In

other words if you were to die in

2010, there will be NO estate

tax. However, in 2011, unless

Congress acts, the party is over.

The estate tax will revert back to

the previous rules reflecting up

to 55% on estates at a significantly

lower threshold - $1 million.

Going backward tends to

be the legislators most common


While bills continue to swirl

around Congress and many

expect a Band-Aid of some sort

before 2011, no one seems to

believe that the so-called “death

tax” is likely to be eliminated

altogether. That makes it tough

for individuals to set a clear

course for their own estate planning.

If you suspect your estate

or the estate of relatives you

might inherit from may fall prey

to the estate tax, it makes sense

right now to enlist the help of

experts. Assets may be expected

to grow over time, and your

estate may turn out to be larger

than you may think. Here are

some things to keep in mind as

you discuss you options with

your estate and tax specialist


You may want to consider an

Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust

or ILIT. Whether you need it for

estate liquidity or for other purposes,

an irrevocable life insurance

trust can be created to

keep the proceeds of the insurance

out of your taxable estate.

An added benefit is that such

trusts may permit spousal

access to the cash value of the

policy. Yet note the word “irrevocable”

– meaning you can NOT

change you mind once the decision

to use the ILIT is made.

In addition or instead of, you

may consider a grantor-retained

annuity trust or GRAT. This is an

irrevocable (there’s that word

again) trust that is popular

among families with assets that

are expected to increase,

because such appreciation can

be passed on to heirs with minimal

tax consequences.

A gifting strategy is another

good choice but limits you a bit

more than the ILIT or GRAT however,

it gives you the flexibility to

determine from year to year the

gifts you wish to make. Under

current law, unlimited amounts

can be left to a spouse or to

charity free of federal estate tax.

Other heirs can currently receive

a total of $2 million, tax-free,

when deaths occur in 2007 or

2008. If you assets are over the

estate tax limit, it might make

sense to devise a gifting strategy

that spends down your total taxable

estate while still allowing

you a comfortable lifestyle. You

may gift $12,000 annually to anyone

and as many individuals as

you wish without having to file a

gift tax return. And, if you are so

inclined, you may consider making

direct payments for someone

else’s medical bills or education

tuition. No gift tax applies in the

last scenario, so payments can

be unlimited.

11 | April 2008 | MarshallTimes | Times-Republican Times-Republican | MarshallTimes | April 2008 | 12




Hey, not everyone knows the difference between a Phillips and a

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when it comes to protecting your nest egg. That’s why we give our

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you construct your portfolio. Call us today

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Financial Consultant

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