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The SD-PFS*Ticker
Vol 1, Issue 3June 2011
SDWMA Pie Pusher 2
Dear Clients and Friends:

Welcome to the third issue of the SD-PFS*Ticker!
 

As we head into summer with vacations ahead, let's take some time to keep our financial house in order. This newsletter will provide some ideas and helpful online resources for getting organized and being prepared for the unexpected.
 

As always, please feel free to call us with any questions at 412-261-3644.

Disasters Happen -- How Prepared Are You?Witch under house
... Nancy Skeans

 

We are only half way through this year and already billions of dollars of damage has been dealt to the United States due to severe flooding along the Mississippi River and numerous deadly tornadoes.  Severe weather-related disasters generally spare those of us who live in Western Pennsylvania, but other types of tragedies are a fact of life.  As your financial advisor, we want to take this opportunity to give you a few tips that will help you get your house back in order in the event disaster should strike.  Please pass these along to your family and friends including the website link that we have provided in the toolbox: FEMA Emergency Advice.

 

Most disasters occur with little or no warning, so an important part of disaster recovery is being prepared to the extent you can at all times.  Could you gather all your important documents with ten minutes' or even an hour's notice?  We recommend you gather your information now and store it in a container that locks and is durable, fireproof and waterproof.  This container should be light enough to carry and stored in a safe area of your house that is quickly accessible.  If your container is not waterproof, use self-sealing plastic bags to protect your documents.

 

As you go through this list, you may already have the original documents stored in a bank safe deposit box.  That's a great start; however, you may still want to have copies of the documents accessible to you in the event you cannot easily or immediately access your safe deposit box.

 

Here are a few items you should have:

 

         Cash or travelers checks.   Keep only enough to last for a few days of living away from home for food, gas, or a hotel-local ATMs may not be working. You should have an emergency fund with a few months' worth of living expenses established at a bank or in a money market account.  This way, if you're away from home and possibly away from your work for awhile, you have cash reserves available.

 

         Identification.  Put in Social Security cards (not just the numbers) for all the members of your household, including your children.  Keep your expired drivers license here too.  Include birth certificates, passports, adoption papers and any citizenship records.

 

         Insurance policies. You'll want the originals or copies of policies for homeowner's or renter's coverage, vehicles, medical and long-term care coverage, life insurance, and disability, among others. You should also include a contact list for your insurance agents and companies.

 

         Legal documents. Include your wills (or copies), living wills, powers of attorney, marriage certificates, divorce and child custody agreements, military records, and titles to your home and vehicles (including campers, boats, motorcycles, etc.).

 

         Financial accounts.  Create a summary of account numbers and contact numbers for your investment and banking accounts, loans, credit cards and other bills. This information can be obtained from your monthly statements.  If you keep your financial records in your computer, be sure to store a copy of your latest backup in this box.

 

         Household inventory.  It is difficult to remember all of one's possessions and know their value, let alone document it to the insurance company-particularly all the little things that can add up if you have to replace it.  The easiest method to inventory your possessions is to photograph or videotape them.  One advantage to a videotape is that you can voice record the approximate value of items and state the model and serial numbers.  You'll especially want to have written, professional appraisals for valuables such as jewelry and antiques.

 

Besides financial documents, you may also want to store negatives of family photos; medical information such as prescriptions, doctors' phone numbers, and immunization records; and phone numbers for family and friends.

 

By now, this box getting pretty heavy.  If you are tech-savvy, a computer and scanner will allow you to store copies of many of your important documents on a CD or USB flash drive.  Wealth Management clients also have access to a personal secure vault where many of these items can be saved electronically.

 

Rebuilding your life after a disaster can be a daunting task.  However, advance planning and preparation can go a long way toward making the recovery process faster and easier.  After you get your information in order, be sure to update it at least once a year.  Even the best organized recovery materials will be of little use if they are out-of-date.

                 Pencil

We recently conducted our first Client Audit survey and are happy to say we had a completion rate of approximately 50%.  The goal of the survey was to gain a better understanding of your needs and to ensure that the service we provide meets or exceeds your expectations. 

 

We are pleased and honored that our clients gave us an overall satisfaction rating of 4.9 out of a possible 5 points!  We have worked very hard to deliver our services and those results are extremely gratifying.  We can, of course, always find room for improvement and are in the process of analyzing the results and implementing changes based on your suggestions.

 

Again, we want to thank everyone who took the time to complete the survey.  The individual feedback and comments were also very helpful.

 

We appreciate your commitment to Schneider Downs Wealth Management Advisors and look forward to better serving you in the future.

 

 

The Schneider Downs Wealth Management Team

Don, Nancy, Beth, Patrick, Theresa, Vicky, Karen and Nancy
Quotation Marks

"I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination." 
(Jimmy Dean)

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"Washington: A Life"
by Ron Chernow


In this unique biography, Ron Chernow takes the reader on a page-turning journey through all the formative events of America's founding. With a dramatic sweep worthy of its giant subject, Washington is a magisterial work from one of our most elegant storytellers.

Links within this newsletter are for informational purposes only.   
Material does not necessarily represent the views of SDWMA, and all information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representations as to their completeness or accuracy.