Michele Clark
Clark Hourly Financial Planning - Chesterfield, MO Advisor
17295 Chesterfield Airport Road, Suite 200
Chesterfield, MO 63005 USA
Work 636.375.1813
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Garrett Planning Network Retreat 2016

August 8th, 2016

I was recently out of the St. Louis area for a bit while I attended The Garrett Planning Network 16th Annual Retreat which was held in Denver, Colorado. I am a member of the Garrett Planning Network which is an international  group of financial planners that offer planning and investment advice on an hourly basis.  Each member owns their own firm. I have written about the Garrett Planning Network before.  This was the eighth year I have gone.

I attended the conference and earned continuing education credits by going to various educational programs, which I need so that I can keep my designations and licenses such as:

  • CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™
  • NAPFA Registered Financial Advisor
  • CHARTERED RETIREMENT PLANNING COUNSELOR℠

During the four day conference I attended various educational programs such as:

  • Behavioral Finance: Psychology and Economics in Investing
  • Reverse Mortgages in Retirement Income Planning
  • Planning Costs Related to Caregiving
  • Fiduciary Best Practices for Registered Investment Advisor Owners
  • And others

Noted author William Bernstein, a bit of a rock star in our industry, gave one of the Keynote addresses titled “What the Liberal Arts Have to Teach Us about Finance.”  He talked about the difficulty of forecasting, and characteristics of good forecasters.  He discussed economic history; not the usual economic history going back to the market crash of the 20s, or even the tulip bulb bubble.  But economic history going back to biblical times and what conclusions can be drawn from such “longitudinal studies.”

Allan Roth, another well known author and fellow financial advisor delivered the Keynote address “Behavioral Finance: Psychology and Economics in Investing”, wonderfully telling it like it is in his typical style.  He shared financial decision making biases that negatively impact consumers and advisors alike based on academic research and personal observation.

You can see some of the live tweeting that I did at the conference under my Twitter handle @HourlyPlanner.  You do not need a Twitter account.

The Garrett Planning Network, has dozens of conference calls throughout the year, and the members interact on an internal forum to help each other with more complex planning cases on a daily basis.  One of the most beneficial outcomes of my annual trip to this retreat, is getting together with this group, sharing ideas, and getting updates from these amazing colleagues in person.  I am already looking forward to next year!

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Clark Hourly Financial Planning and Investment Management in St. Louis and Chesterfield Missouri has moved

April 19th, 2016

We have just finished moving and we are excited about the change. Though our address is different we as a financial advisor  remain the same.  We are still able to help you on either an hourly basis or ongoing investment management  basis.

New Location

We have moved a couple of exits east on Highway 40. You can find us in the southeast corner of Clarkson Road and Highway 40, behind PF Chang’s off of Chesterfield Parkway East and Elbridge Payne Road.

Our new address is:

Clark Hourly Financial Planning and Investment Management
1415 Elbridge Payne Road, Suite 255
Chesterfield, MO 63017

We are still open Monday through Friday 9-5 by appointment.

Thank you

Thank you to our clients and colleagues who have helped us grow over these last several years.  We look forward to seeing everyone in our new location!

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Clark Hourly Financial Planning: Open Position in St Louis

March 25th, 2016

Exciting news! Our St Louis based company is growing therefore we are looking to add a part-time administrative assistant to our team.

We have engaged an employment search firm to help us identify and hire the right candidate. If you have an interest please submit your resume directly to Executive Business Solutions     to the attention of Amy Whitten.

We are not taking phone calls or resumes directly at Clark Hourly Financial Planning because we are busy helping our wonderful clients.  Thank you for understanding.

Are we a match? Here is a little bit about us and a little bit about the type of person we are looking for.

We are located in Chesterfield Missouri.

We are Fee-Only Financial Advisors which puts us in a select group.   We are paid only by our client.  We do not accept any other compensation such as commissions or referral fees.  Our independence ensures no outside influences affect our recommendations.  We don’t just offer investment management .  We also create highly customized financial plans on an hourly planning / project basis, a rare, but sought after service.

That’s enough about us, what about you?

Some of your responsibilities would include

  • Greet our clients as they arrive for appointments
  • Answering the phone
  • Process daily mail
  • Set appointments with clients and prospective clients
  • Scan documents, complete paperwork and new account forms
  • Filing, shredding
  • Returning client and prospective client calls
  • Researching customer service questions
  • Assist with creating and sending monthly email newsletter

Qualifications

  • Strong Microsoft Excel, Word, Outlook skills
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Great follow through
  • Positive and upbeat.
  • Previous experience in the industry a plus, but not required
  • Familiarity with Redtail, Morningstar Advisor Workstation, MoneyGuide Pro, Mailchimp a plus, but not required

 

This is a part time position, for 15 to 21 hours per week, depending on the candidate’ s availability. We will work with you to set up a fixed schedule with your input.  Perhaps you would like to work 3 days a week.  Or maybe you would like to come into the office after you put your children on the bus and be home when they get off the bus; in that case you might want to spread your hours over 4 days.  Or perhaps you are thinking of retirement and looking to work part time so you can spend time with grandkids, friends, and hobbies.   The idea is to work together to create a schedule that fits your needs and takes care of our clients.

For more details about this position and/or to submit a resume go the page set up for this open position by clicking on Executive Business Solutions  .  Submissions should be directed to the attention of Amy Whitten.

If this is not the right fit for you, please spread the word.  Thank you!

 

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Michele Clark in the News: St. Louis Post Dispatch about Retirement

March 24th, 2016

In the St Louis Post Dispatch article “Gallagher: Can You Afford to Retire?” Jim Gallagher discusses a recent report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that estimated how much of your pre-retirement income one would need for retirement spending. I shared my experience with helping pre-retirees plan for retirement and how surprised people are by how expensive healthcare can be in retirement. Especially when you look at the impact that inflation has on it over time.  I also shared the figures I used when planning for retirees who do not have employer provided retiree healthcare.

Healthcare expenses are a significant portion of retirement spending and can prevent people from being on track for their retirement goals. In order to get on track you usually have to make adjustments such as;

1) increase the amount you are saving toward retirement, or

2) consider a later retirement age, or

3) spending less on other financial goals in retirement

or some combination of those three variables in order to reach your most important financial goals in retirement.

Jim also included information that I shared with him about the most common mistake I see when potential clients come in and would like me to double check their math to see if they can afford to retire. It is that they have added up their sources of income such as portfolio, Social Security, pension, etc. and compared it to their expected expenses their first year of retirement and since the two numbers (income verses expenses) finally match up they think they can afford to retire.  I know that that is a dangerous assumption because I have run so many financial plans and I have a lot of experience seeing the impact of inflation therefore I know that in a few years the income sources will not be covering the expenses due to the different inflation assumptions for income sources versus expense items.  For example Social Security income we assume will inflate at 2% while healthcare expenses we assume inflate at 6%.  The better course of action is to run a Monte Carlo analysis to determine if your money will last a lifetime and if not what changes to the three variables listed above would need to be made.

Some clients that initially hire me discover that they are already on track to make all of their retirement needs, wants, and wishes come true. But for most folks, we must create a plan with action steps to get there.  I have noticed that some people who thought they were on track were not, and some people who thought they were not, were.  Give yourself enough years before you would like to retire so that you can create the retirement for yourself that you deserve.  Especially considering what you now know about healthcare expenses and inflation!

 

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Michele Clark Quoted in the News: LearnVest article about saving for retirement

February 27th, 2015

In the LearnVest article online this week “30 or Bust?  What Retirement Really Looks Like When You Put Off Saving” the article discusses the advantages of starting retirement saving in your 20s, and ways to ramp up your savings if you are starting in your 30s.

The majority of the reading audience is self-directed investors that are looking for financial education, probably not going to hire an advisor, and definitely need to know how to best help themselves. She asked me when she interviewed me if I thought that people should use online retirement calculators.  I told her, “yes!”  They should use everyone one of them that they could get their hands on.  I told her that in the online calculators that I have seen, there are usually one or two assumptions that I don’t like, but if you can do several of them that would give you a better picture than not doing planning or doing just one.

One challenge that I have as a professional financial advisor is that the majority of clients that come to me for retirement planning are coming to me in their 50s or sometimes in their 60s and they have never estimated how much they need for retirement.  Therefore some of the plans I do require some kind of adjustment in expectations:

1) saving more between now and retirement than they thought they needed to or

2) retire a little later than they hoped or

3) spend less than they had imagined they would,

or a combination of the three.

Which work out fine, and clients go away feeling relived to know what needs to happen to be on track.  But if they pulled up calculators when they were 20 or 30 and did some preliminary estimates, wow!  The results would be terrific.  And I am seeing more 20 and 30 year olds coming to see me for help with balancing financial goals.

I was so thrilled to participate in this article.  Financial journalists reach so many more investors than financial advisors ever could.  I am so glad that this message can get out.  Saving early has a big impact!

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