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Wealth Management Specialists

Summer 2018

NEWSLETTER


C O N T E N T S

Craner

Ryan

commonly

shares

gimmicks

seen

tricks pg. 3

and

pg. 3

Don't Fall for this Radio Sales Pitch

by Ryan Craner

Ryan talks SOS (second opinion service)

and gimmicks to avoid

pg. 5

Planning, Emotions, and Drastic

Actions

by John Park

John shares his secret to avoiding

potential mistakes and keeping emotions

out of planning

pg. 7

A Message to Post-Millennials

by Tom Craner

School debt and the dilemma it causes to

post-millennials

pg. 9

Retirement Wordsearch

by Jackie O'Shea

Can you find the hidden retirement

terms?

pg. 10-11

Meet the Team

Introducing the new members of the

office

pg. 3

Don't Fall for this Radio Sales

Pitch

S T R A T E G I C P L A N N I N G G R O U P | 2


FALL FOR THIS

DON'T

SALES PITCH

RADIO

By Ryan Craner

Taking the client advocate and consumer protection approach, Ryan has always viewed every

client as a long term and very important relationship.

ver the past few years

several Strategic Planning Group

clients have contacted me

requesting an SOS (Second

Opinion Service)

O

regarding

proposals pitched to them or their

extended family or friends by

various insurance sales

organizations in Utah. These

pitches are coming via selfproclaimed

“gurus” on the radio,

at dinner seminars and more.

Once I examined the sales

proposals, it didn’t take long to

identify them as an old insurance

gimmick that has been repackaged

and repurposed. Once again,

aggressive salespeople are out

pounding the pavement looking

for fresh clients.

Insurance Company Tricks

On the surface many of these

pitches appear to be valuable

insider-only nancial strategies

that eliminate all the taxes on your

401(k) and IRA accounts. As you

proceed through their sales

process you will quickly discover

that the actual underlying strategy

is to liquidate and pay full taxes

and penalties on most or all your

retirement investment assets.

Then you take what is left after full

taxation and use it to make a

massive premium payment on

usually one large illiquid cash

value life insurance policy from

only one life insurance company.

The nal outcome is far different

than all the come-ons and one-

liners that make it all sound like

your “retirement salvation.”

Radio Guru’s

On the radio every weekend you

will hear this endless diatribe

about magical “tax free,” “risk

free,“ and “safe money”

investments. They may go on and

on about how risky traditional

retirement investments are. They

tell stories about years,

didn’t take long to

It

them as an

identify

insurance

old

that has

gimmick

repackaged

been

repurposed.

and

S T R A T E G I C P L A N N I N G G R O U P | 3


When

(SOS).

as

something

like 2008, that people were “wiped

out” and destroyed their

retirements. These same so-called

advisors also talk about “social

security secrets” that only they

know… These secrets supposedly

can give you tens of thousands of

dollars of social security income

over the course your retirement.

This is obviously a ploy to get

people to contact them. This may

come as a surprise to you, but the

Social Security Administration

does not have secret strategies

that only some people know.

There are some choices to make

and there is some strategy to use,

but there are no secrets that only

these salespeople know. Any

knowledgeable advisor can help

you with social security decisions,

and the Social Security

Administration itself is available to

help with your choices. These

insurance agents and salespeople

love to exploit people's fear of a

market drop. They tend to overemphasize

the risk of a market

downturn.

Let’s be realistic, people can (and

do) damage their retirement by

making foolish mistakes in their

retirement investments. People

who over concentrate in single

speculative stocks or make huge

bets on other risky investments

certainly can get “wiped out”.

When using a diversified and longterm

disciplined approach there

certainly will be down years,

however over the long-term the

down years are very unlikely to

destroy or “wipe out” any

investors.

You might be asking, “Why in the

world would anyone allow

themselves to get sucked into this

sales pitch?” It really boils down to

consumers failing to seek an

objective and competent second

opinion. What exactly is the

problem with this gimmick?

A severe lack of investment

diversication: There are people

that lack a properly diversied

retirement portfolio. This would

consist of a variety of different

investment institutions and

myriad investment options. In this

insurance gimmick all of your

retirement investment money is

usually put into a single life

insurance company policy.

sure to utilize

Be

Planning

Strategic

Second

Group’s

Service

Opinion

as your

important

future is

financial

the line, you

on

never have

should

“take someone’s

to

for it.”

word

A loss of liquidity: Most of these

life insurance policies have

expensive and long-term

surrender or early withdrawal

penalties. In many cases, 15-20

years into the future.

Exorbitant internal fees and

expenses: Remember, these are

life insurance policies where the

built-in cost for the life insurance

coverage is deducted from your

principal every month on an

increasing scale — the older you

get, the bigger the cost.

Claims of higher taxes in the

future: One of the ways

insurance sales people talk

consumers into these maneuvers

is the claim that you will be in a

higher tax bracket down the road.

This approach can avoid the

problems of lack of diversication,

loss of liquidity, exorbitant fees,

and lack of competitive return.

Keep in mind that most people as

they enter retirement certainly do

pay less tax, and are in lower tax

brackets than before retirement.

The bottom line is this—For

more than 20 years I have been

warning my clients about these

gimmicks, and I am not alone. You

can hear the same concerns and

advice from consumer advocates

like Dave Ramsey and Clark

Howard.

Lately, there seems to be a

resurgence of the aggressive hype

and promotion of these

maneuvers. You must be on your

guard. Remember the adage, “If it

sounds to good to be true, it

probably is.” If you, or anyone you

know, is ever approached with a

proposal like the ones I have

described, or with any signicant

nancial recommendation, be sure

to utilize the Strategic Planning

Group’s Second Opinion Service

(SOS). When something as

important as your nancial future

is on the line, you should never

have to “take someone’s word for

it.”

S T R A T E G I C P L A N N I N G G R O U P | 4


EMOTIONS,

PLANNING,

DRASTIC ACTIONS

AND

By John Park

From investments to complicated retirement strategies, he works to educate and advise

his clients on making smart financial decisions.

ave you ever spent time

diagnosing yourself on the

internet? There are so many selfhelp

medical resources out there.

It is almost a curse. I

H

occasionally

find these resources helpful, but

sometimes I need to avoid them.

I’m normally not a hypochondriac,

however, after 30 minutes on

WebMD, I feel like I have every

illness known to man. I start to

wonder if I contracted some rare

illness that’s only been diagnosed

five times in history. Ok, maybe it’s

not that extreme, but you get the

point.

If I feel like my health and wellness

are not optimal, I really need to

see my trusted doctor. After all, a

person’s health can be a very

emotional subject and our

conclusions can often be wrong.

Thankfully we are limited in the

damage we can do to ourselves

with medical self- diagnosis. Could

you imagine what would happen if

you could call the pharmacy and

prescribe yourself dangerous, life

altering drugs, because you read

about a potential problem online?

Perhaps it’s best to involve a

professional in such an important

and emotionally charged subject.

Naturally, there are comparisons

between this example and

investment management. It makes

sense that we get scared and

upset about investments and our

money in general. Money is a

means to an end. It provides

financial stability, pays for our

living costs, medical costs, etc.

Money is an important factor to

anyone planning for or living in

retirement. At the same time, it’s

an emotionally charged factor.

a majority of what

If

hear and read

we

our money is in

says

it’s only

danger,

to be

natural

worried.

The world of finance is precarious.

You can quickly sign up for a long

term and illiquid investment or

take action that causes massive

taxation and penalty with just a

few mouse clicks. You can find a

less than qualified “professional”

to assist you in the damaging

actions.

Let’s examine what leads to

financial self-diagnosis and drastic

action: If a majority of what we

hear and read says our money is

in danger, it’s only natural to be

worried. Many clients are already

disciplined and wise enough to not

fall for the fear-mongering tactics

of the news media, insurance sales

people, and commission-based

investment advisors. The media

and sales people often rely on

such tactics to have any hope of

getting you to subscribe to their

advice. If they can’t convince you

that you are in trouble or in need

of what they know, why else would

you pay them any attention?

A simple example is the kind of

cliché news tease we frequently

hear: “Tune in at nine to find out

what unsuspecting everyday

household item can harm you and

your family!” One might ask

themselves, do I want anything

bad to happen? Obviously not.

Well, guess I better tune in at

nine.

Another common example are the

swarms of advisors who pay for

radio and online advertising. They

might say things like

“learn how to protect your

investments from devastating

crashes” or “find out how to get

wealthy from this secret.” One

might ask themselves, do I want to

protect my money? Yes. Do I want

to be wealthy?

Yes. Well then, I better subscribe

to whatever this person is saying

and selling. It is usually easy to

S T R A T E G I C P L A N N I N G G R O U P | 5


ecognize the absurdity of these

tactics; although, sometimes we

can’t help it. We are bombarded

with terrible advice and cheap

sales tactics in all areas of our

lives. Over the decades,

advertisers have learned to

become sneaky and use subtle

tactics. They often rely on fear and

other emotions to get you to buy.

They will make bold predictions

and pretend to know the future.

Occasionally these charlatans

appear to be right. The markets

have never opened on January 2nd

and gone straight positive until

December 31st. You hear the

naysayers declare a market pull

back or crash is imminent (their

definition of “crash” is very broad).

you. It’s ironic that money in

general needs to be handled

logically and wisely, yet it is one of

the most emotional subjects we

deal with. Just as with medicine,

it’s wise to involve a third party

with your crucial fiscal decisions.

to

Remember

remain level

always

and logical

headed

it comes to

when

finances and

your

Don’t

investments.

the onslaught of

let

and

marketing

deter

schemers

you.

sustainable food storage, you

don’t set it on fire because a food

shortage started.

When trouble starts, you need to

hold onto your existing plan. Don’t

abandon it. Realize that you’re

prepared and need to avoid

drastic actions. Stay the course.

Stick with the plan. It will work!

Because we tend to have intrayear

pullback and cyclical action in

the markets, the naysayers are, on

a rare occasion, right. They may be

wrong most of the year, but

eventually they seem right.

Remember the saying “even a

broken clock is right twice a day?"

Well these doomsday fools are

indeed broken clocks.

Remember to always remain level

headed and logical when it comes

to your finances and investments.

Don’t let the onslaught of

marketing and schemers deter

Please remember, although we

don’t get emotional about

investments and finances, it

doesn’t mean we don’t care or are

not vested in your well-being. It is

the opposite. It’s because we care

so much about your financial wellbeing

and security that we focus

on being diligent and prudent with

your investments. One of the ways

we demonstrate our focus and

dedication to our clients is how we

react to volatile markets. We know

that wise planning is done ahead

of time. We help you develop a

diversified and disciplined

approach to investing up front,

before anything else. It is

this blueprint and groundwork

that helps us.

"A goal

without a

plan is just

a dream."

Dave Ramsey

Once we have developed and

agreed to a disciplined plan, the

last thing we want to do is

abandon it when times get rough

or appear to be rough. I often

equate smart financial planning to

food storage. You don’t wait until

a famine happens to develop a

contingency plan of food storage.

By then it is too late. You’re in

trouble. At the same time, if you

have built a long-term and

S T R A T E G I C P L A N N I N G G R O U P | 6


MESSAGE TO POST-

A

MILLENNIALS

By Tom Craner

With client relations and customer service experience going back nearly a decade, Tom has a

proven track record of genuine care for our clients.

am a millennial. I am among the

generation of people that,

according to PEW research is the

most educated generation to date.

29% of millennial men, and 36%

I

of

millennial women have at least a

bachelors degree; and many more

have partial or unfinished postsecondary

schooling. Educating

institutions offer many more fields

of study today than they used to.

Additionally, a robust federal loan

program, scholarships, grants, and

private lenders ensure that many

can secure money for higher

education as soon as they

graduate high school. My

generation has access to more

college degrees, more fields of

study, and more ways to receive

funding for college than ever

before.

It would seem believable that,

due to these conditions, the

millennials will inevitably end up

smarter and more successful than

previous generations; but if more

education is supposed to be

making millennials more

successful, then why is it that

millennials are living at home with

their parents 50% more often than

the previous generation? Why

then, despite being a major part of

the workforce, most millennials

are unable or unwilling to

purchase a home? Why is it that

millennials between the ages 25

and 34 earn 20% less than their

Boomer parents did at the same

age? Why is it that $1.1 trillion of

the total $3.6 trillion dollars of

consumer debt is held by the 21-

34 age group? Why is it that 52%

of the 21 to 34 age group, when

surveyed, expressed worries of

defaulting on any loan over the

next 12 months? These questions

aren’t easy to answer without

multi-varied analysis, but there is

one factor that stands out above

the rest: student loan debt.

According to CNBC, the average

student debt for the older

millennials (30-39 years) is $34,000

on average and affects around 12

million people, whereas the under

age 30 demographic has around

24 million people affected by

student debt amounts above

$22,000 on average. This means

that a staggering one out of ten

Americans rack up student loan

debt amounts over $22,000 before

ever entering their career field.

Compounding the issue is

that most college graduates aren’t

working in the field which they

went to college for and are often

earning too little to unbury

themselves from their immense

debt. The real kicker (and

something the post-millennials

should be aware of) is according

to a survey done by Accenture,

over 50% of all college graduates

say that the careers they are

working in don’t require a degree

what-so-ever. That’s one out of

two college grads who wasted

their time and money getting a

degree they are never going to

use.

Adding to the college dilemma is

the fact that tuition at public

universities has more than

doubled since 1984, even after

adjusting for inflation. Despite

this, college tuition has become

much more accessible than it was

at its advent. This is due to the

ease with which one can borrow

from the various federal student

loan programs. In 1958, under the

National Defense Education Act,

student loans were only offered to

those studying Science,

Engineering, or Education. Now,

however, you can borrow money

for any major at any university or

college. You can also borrow for

private, for-profit schools, which

generally offer certification or

licensure, rather than an official

degree. Kids graduating high

school often jump right into

borrowing for school without ever

considering a much cheaper trade

school, or simply joining the work

force and gaining the much-

S T R A T E G I C P L A N N I N G G R O U P | 7


needed experience most careers

demand. They very often sidle

themselves with massive debt,

even before figuring out what they

want to do with their lives, or

whether they need a degree to do

it. Our society pressures kids to go

to college as if it’s the only way to

succeed.

The current axiom that our youth

must take on immense debt to get

a college degree, no matter what

their particular circumstances, is

destructive for millennials in the

long run, especially in regard to

retirement. Simply put, generating

substantial amounts of debt early

on dramatically affects your ability

to retire. Let’s say you spend your

20’s getting a degree in a field

where skill and experience are far

more requisite. Once you graduate

you will spend, on average, $350

per month on your student loans

for the foreseeable future. While

you were busy growing debt,

someone else worked their way up

in the same field, saved $350 per

month, and acquired valuable

experience along the way. If you

read my last article, then you will

know that a dollar saved now

is worth much more than a dollar

saved later, assuming you invest

and grow your money to beat

inflation. If you spend half of your

adult life in severe debt, you may

have very low chances of retiring

on time, if at all. Not to mention,

the wonders of compounding

interest are working against you,

instead of for you.

Many of the people in my

generation are faced with the

harsh reality of attempting to

overcome a seemingly

insurmountable mountain of debt,

acquired by following the wellintended

advice of people who still

believe college is like it was in the

past; back when it cost half or a

third as much, in today’s dollars,

for young professionals to acquire

a specific skill or knowledge

necessary to their career path.

While reasonable and legitimate

fields of study still exist, and

should be pursued, they are

awash in institutions that, for the

price of one young person’s

future, offer a lot of useless

degrees or tack on pricey

“free elective” classes which are

anything but free and

elective. Despite this, hope is not

lost for those of us millennials

who fell into the college debt trap.

If we get serious about retirement,

set some realistic goals and make

the necessary sacrifices, we can

still retire at a reasonable age. It

won’t be easy, however, and it

requires immediate action. See my

last article for more insight.

As for those in the post-millennial

generation, who are beginning to

graduate high school now, I have a

simple question: How can you

ensure that you are not wrecking

your chances of retirement by

borrowing frivolously? For that I

have a few, more specific answers:

1. Make a plan, have a direction,

and know what you want to do

with your life: Many of us feel

unsure about our plans, and it can

be paralyzing; but there is a way to

break out of that paralysis. It

starts with taking yourself more

seriously and discovering yourself.

Spend some time alone, away

from the distractions of the

internet. Begin to write in a

journal. Talk to parents, siblings,

and friends regarding what they

notice about your personality,

good and bad. Develop some

strong insights into your own

unique and individual

temperaments, strengths, and

weaknesses. Find out what

success is for you specifically.

Define it, in words, on paper. Do

all of this, meaningfully, and you

will have a much easier time

deciding what career and/or

lifestyle fits you. To put it simply,

don’t make major life-altering

decisions for yourself, without

knowing who you are first.

2. Understand what education

you require for your career:

After getting to know yourself and

developing a vision of your future,

you can decide whether college is

required for you to achieve what

you want. If you want to work for

NASA, or study micro-organisms in

a lab at the CDC, then you may

want to go get a degree. However,

if you are leaning toward learning

a trade, like an electrician, a

plumber, or a violinist, then you

may not need a four-year degree

and $30,000 in loan debt. Just find

a job or an internship in the field

you want, get the necessary

licensing, and get to work.

3. Try to Avoid loans: If you do

end up college bound, assess

whether you need or want to get

the degree from a pricey high-end

university, or if a community

college will suffice. You may want

to look into the field you’re

planning on getting a degree in to

see if it has a growing and healthy

work force and that the pay is

commensurate with the cost of

the education. When paying for

college, utilize every grant,

scholarship, relative, friend, and

piggy bank to help avoid taking

out loans for as much of the cost

as possible.

In conclusion, my post-millennial

friends, I want you to succeed. You

are the only one who has control

of whether you will spend your

70’s and 80’s working or sipping

pineapple juice on a beautiful

sandy beach. You likely won’t win

the lottery, find a genie in a bottle

or discover rare-earth minerals

buried in your backyard. Good

luck generation Y, and Godspeed.

S T R A T E G I C P L A N N I N G G R O U P | 8


By Jackie O'Shea

WORD SEARCH

RETIREMENT

S T R A T E G I C P L A N N I N G G R O U P | 9


THE TEAM

The people of Strategic Planning Group work closely as a team to foster an unambiguous

and clear path forward. Our team is integral to ensuring that our principles towards

MEET

investment planning and management of your estate are effectively implemented.You can

trust that the combined decades of experience shared by our advisors will always be

utilized by our staff to ensure success in your Strategic Plan.

Y A N C R A N E R

R

President & CEO

Ryan founded Strategic Planning Group to help consumers

avoid piecemeal planning and simply buying products and

instead create an all-inclusive written Strategic Plan. A

Strategic Plan is to your financial life what a blueprint is to

building a home. This custom approach which began as a

simple idea has grown Strategic Planning Group into a trusted

and established firm.

Wealth Management Advisor

M A T T N E V E

Wealth Management Advisor

Account Trading and

Operations

J O H N P A R K

T O M C R A N E R

S T R A T E G I C P L A N N I N G G R O U P | 1 0


Client Services

Client Services

Client Services

J A C K I E O ' S H E A

J E N A O L N E Y

J E S S E C A H A L L O W S

"Your

like

retirement,

song, should

a

a unified and

be

harmonious

composition."

S T R A T E G I C P L A N N I N G G R O U P | 1 1


Located on Historic Main Street in Bountiful

Now

services are offered through Strategic Planning Group, a Registered Investment Advisor with the SEC. Securities offered through Purshe Kaplan Sterling Investments, Member FINRA/SIPC.

Advisory

190 South Main Street

Bountiful, UT 84010

(801)627-2200

Retirement Planning Specialists

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