Category Archives: CFP

The Importance of 401(k)s.

Pensions are fading fast.  If you work for a private company the chances are good that your retirement plan is a 401(k), not a pension plan.   Even if you work for the government, the chances are that the entity you work for will resemble Illinois eventually.

That leaves you with the responsibility for your retirement.  There are two problems with the 401(k).

The first is that too many people do not participate.  Even when employers match their employee’s contribution, not everyone takes advantage of this “free money.”

The second problem is that most people don’t have enough information on the investment choices they are given in their 401(k).    Investing is complicated.  Most plans offer dozens of choices and few people know enough about investing to use them to create an appropriate portfolio.

Employers are not equipped to provide the information.  Most do not want to assume the liability that giving investment advice exposes them to.  An RIA (Registered Investment Advisor) who is also a CFP™ can provide the guidance people need to make sense of the investment option in a 401(k).   Find a CFP™ in your area.

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Planning makes a difference

Happy senior couple walking on beach

Do you want to have fun in retirement?  Planning can make the difference and it doesn’t have to be difficult.  Working with a financial professional that understands your retirement goals can help you create a plan to make the most of your money – now and in retirement.

The partners at Korving and Company are Certified Financial Planning™ professionals – fiduciaries – who specialize in retirement.  We help people plan their retirement and continue to work with them during retirement.

There are 5 reasons why you should work with a financial professional to create a retirement plan.

  1. Focus on your goals in retirement and how you will pay for them.
  2. Address your concerns and expectations for retirement.
  3. Identify things that could pose a threat to your retirement and manage them.
  4. Feel more educated, confident and in control of your financial future.
  5. To help you navigate the complexity of financially moving into retirement.


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Why People are Scared to Get Professional Investment Advice

Nearly three quarters (71 %) of Americans say some aspect of talking to a financial advisor scares them according to a survey conducted by Harris Poll.

The reasons varied but cost was one of the major factors.

  • 49% said that cost was the top concern. They were scared that talking to a financial advisor will “end up costing me a lot of money,” according to the poll.
  • 47% said they were hesitant to trust a financial advisor with their personal financial information.
  • 41% said they were concerned that a financial advisor would not be able to help them with their finances.
  • Millennials were significantly more concerned about talking to investment professionals than people 45 or older.
  • Nearly four in ten people (38%) avoided taking to a professional advisor because they feared that advisors would give them bad news about their finances.

Here’s the reality. A Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) can actually save people money by helping them make intelligent investment decisions. If that person is also a CFP®, they should be able to provide planning services that span the spectrum from advice on investing, retirement, and insurance, to tax and estate planning. Most advisors simply charge you based on the amount of assets that they manage, and provide all the other services as part of that fee!

If an RIA is going to provide investment guidance, they need to have a complete picture of the client’s financial situation. Just as a physician gives his patients a physical, an investment professional provides his clients with periodic financial physicals.

Finally, professional advisors don’t just dole out the bad news that people fear. If a client comes to us after having made some bad financial decisions, we often help them create a roadmap to help get back on track and headed towards achieving their goal.  Most advisors will provide a free introductory consultation to see if they can help.


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What makes us different?

When most people think about investment firms with tens of thousands of “investment advisors” they think of people who call them up with recommendations to buy a stock or bond for their account.

But what’s the objective? What are you trying to accomplish? Will his recommendation take you closer to your goal, or farther away? What’s his motivation for the suggestion?

Think about getting on an airplane. You want to go the Phoenix. Does the pilot ask you what route you would prefer? How fast he should fly?  How about a detour to Minneapolis?  If he did, you would probably get off the plane. It’s his job to pick the best route in the shortest time and with the least risk.  That’s what you’re paying him for.  You want him to do the flying, you expect him to get you there without your input.

That’s what a real financial advisor does for you. He doesn’t suggest buying or selling stocks, bonds or mutual fund. He picks the best investments that will lead you to your goal and keeps you advised of your progress. He’s not selling investment products, he’s taking you to your destination in the best way possible.

At Korving & Company we ask you what your destination is, what your goals and dreams are and then put together a plan … and a portfolio that’s designed to get you there with the least risk in the time of your choosing.  We are Certified Financial Planners (CFP)™

That’s what makes us different from the Big Box stores. Check us out on the web.

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What to look for when getting financial help

What should you look for when you are searching to financial guidance? Finding the financial advisor that is right for you can be difficult. You want someone you can trust; a fiduciary, someone who will put your interests ahead of his own. In some respects, it’s like getting married because a good relationship is open and long-lasting.
To help you in your search, here are a few things to look for.

  • Compatibility: like a spouse, you want someone you can talk to and who shares your view of life. If you are not compatible, you will always be on the lookout for someone else.
  • Philosophy: what is your advisor’s investment philosophy? Is it capital preservation, beating the market, getting a fair return? Is that compatible with what you’re looking for?
  • Strategy: how does your advisor go about achieving your objectives? Do you understand it? If not, ask more questions.
  • Experience: how many years has he been in business? Try to avoid having a rookie learn on the job with your money.
  • Certifications: does your financial advisor have a certificate from the International Board of Standards and Practices for Certified Financial Planners? The CFP™ designation means that he has completed the coursework and passed the test to become a Certified Financial Planner™ certificant.
  • Affiliation: is your advisor an employee of a large financial firm or is he Independent RIA (Registered Investment Advisor). Employees of large financial firms work for their company, an RIA works for you.
  • Compensation: how is your advisor paid? Fees, commissions, a combination of fees and commissions? It’s important for you to know this ahead of time.
  • Reputation: does your advisor have a good reputation in the community? You can also check to see if he has any mark on his record by checking with FINRA.
  • People like you: does your advisor deal with other people like you? This can make a difference in his understanding of the issues you are dealing with.

Finding a good advisor can make the difference between your financial success and failure. He can keep you from making major investment errors and bring you peace of mind. Twice as many people who get professional advice feel very secure about their financial future as opposed to those who do it on their own.   Korving & Company is an RIA whose principals are Certified Financial Planners™ (CFP™).  We are fiduciaries who put our clients’ interests first.  Our objective is to get a fair return.  We have decades of experience. We are fee-only.  We are proud of our reputation in the community.  Are we right for you?  Find out.

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Finding financial guidance for the middle aged executive

Let’s imagine that you’re now firmly on your career track. You’re an expert in your field and have a team of experts to manage some of the complexities of life outside of work.

  • You doctor gives you regular medical check-ups.
  • Your attorney to reviews your estate plans regularly.
  • Your CPA prepares your taxes and suggests ways to reduce them.
  • But there’s something missing ….

You are putting away some serious money and you are getting nervous about market risk so you want to find a good financial advisor. You don’t want a broker who will call you to sell stocks and bonds on commission. You want someone who will create a plan and give you unbiased financial advice. Someone who will manage your portfolio for you – commission free – so that your retirement plans won’t blow up just as you get ready to enjoy independence.

But there’s a dilemma. Just as you feel more comfortable knowing that the pilot on your next flight has spent thousands of hours flying your plane, you want to find a seasoned financial pro who has experience in all kinds of markets. But those years of experience could well mean that he’ll retire before you do! What’s the solution?

Recognizing that continuity is important in a relationship as personal as financial guidance, many advisors have set up teams.

Korving & Company is a good example. Arie Korving has nearly 30 years of experience as a financial advisor. A Certified Financial Planner, he is the author of numerous articles and books on finance and estate planning, he has experience that includes both Bull and Bear markets. He’s seen the investment world from both sides and knows that honesty and experience is what people want in their advisor.

Stephen Korving received his degree in finance from Virginia Tech with a focus on risk management. After graduation he joined Cambridge Associates, one of the country’s leading investment management consulting firms. Cambridge provides guidance to major institutions and the super-rich. A Certified Financial Planner, he teamed up with Arie ten years ago and in 2010 they founded Korving & Company, a boutique RIA (Registered Investment Advisor) focused on providing holistic financial guidance to executives and retirees.

Together they provide decades of experience and a plan to continue to do so for decades into the future.  Check them out.

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Viewing “Generation Now”

Chapter 12

Schwab funded a research study to find out what the next generation – “Generation Now” – believes and how it views the world. They wanted to understand how they view their future, determine their fears, attitudes and behaviors.

“Generation Now” is 30 – 45 years old. They have graduated from college, have a career and are making good money. But as they reached adulthood, the events they grew up with shaped them and their attitudes.

Difficult Navigation

Despite some negative in – going perceptions and attitudes towards financial advisors (at large), most “Generation Now” Investors know that great, unique advisors exist. But it’s just not that easy to find them.

Most rely on word of mouth networks and referrals, and are reluctant to cold call a new advisor based simply on a website, listing or ad.

If I could find one that really was just there to inform me and be a partner in the process rather than trying to steer me into one thing or another that they believe is good for me. I’d rather be educated and allow to make my own decision. I don’t care if they make money off the decisions. But I want to be the one who makes the decision and understands why I’m making it. So if I could find a financial advisor like that who could assist but not to pressure or guide too strongly, then it would be an ideal situation.

This is the twelfth of 12 posts examining Generation Now.

Contact us for a complete copy of the report.

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Viewing “Generation Now”

Chapter 11

Schwab funded a research study to find out what the next generation – “Generation Now” – believes and how it views the world. They wanted to understand how they view their future, determine their fears, attitudes and behaviors.

“Generation Now” is 30 – 45 years old. They have graduated from college, have a career and are making good money. But as they reached adulthood, the events they grew up with shaped them and their attitudes.

Easy prey

Most “Generation Now” investors have, at some point, had a negative experience with some type of financial advisor.

In these times, investors have been misled by advisors, or sold products with hidden fees, only to find out later what had actually happened.

The perceived lack of transparency and honesty in the broader field (of investment services) causes “Generation Now” to approach advisor relationship with caution and a degree of skepticism.

I would say for me to work with a financial advisor, I would want somebody who’s honest. You know, explains to me the fees up front… I just want something that’s real, and not cheesy, and not trying to hide anything, or hold anything back

This is the eleventh of 12 posts examining Generation Now.

Contact us for a complete copy of the report.

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Multi-Generational Wealth Management

The investment industry is concerned with attracting the next generation. As clients age, the issue of who will manage the estate after they pass must be addressed. At Korving & Company we have been fortunate.

First, we have a long-standing and personal relationship with our clients. We know them as individuals, not as numbers on an investment account. That means that when the children come to see us, they usually tell us how much their parents trust us and usually ask us to manage their assets.

Second, we provide great service. Of course everyone claims to provide great service, but we actually deliver it.  We are Certified Financial Planners.  We go beyond managing people’s portfolios to helping and advising them on life’s issues. We have helped people move into retirement homes, buy cars; we help them with social security questions and insurance issues. We help them manage their taxes.  The next generation appreciates the fact that we provide more services than the typical investment advisor.

Third, we manage money with the primary goal of preventing loss. We provide our clients with a fair rate of return on their money. Many younger people have experienced dramatic losses over the last two decades, which include several financial panics. They appreciate being able to invest for the long term without fear.

Finally, the founding principals of Korving & Company are a multi-generational team. We understand the issues of the aging as well as the concerns of the younger generation …. because that’s who we are.

We have even written a book on the subject, BEFORE I GO. For a free look, click on the link.

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Teach your kids about money

Kids learn about money from their parents.

They observe what parents do and what they say about money and pick it up by osmosis.  It’s the same way they learn to talk, and end up talking in the same dialect as their parents.

An article in the Wall Street Journal by Beth Kobliner tells us that

Three out of four American teens lack the skills to decipher a pay stub. That’s just one of the sobering findings from the first international test of teenagers’ financial literacy. American 15-year-olds posted barely average scores, with the U.S. ranking in the middle of the 18 countries whose students participated.

That tells us a lot about the financial skills of the average parent.

What’s to be done?

As a parent of young children, plan to getting better educated about saving, credit cards, debt, investing and all the things that make you financially literate.  If you don’t want to read books on the subject, get help from people whose job it is to educate you, like RIAs who are Certified Financial Planners.

At the very least, you can visit the website: Money as you grow, “20 things kids need to know to live financially smart lives.”

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