News & Views

April 25, 2023


What Do Our Designations Mean?

by Deb Longseth, Client Service Specialist

Acronyms and abbreviations are everywhere in our culture. An acronym is formed from the initial letters of other words and can be very useful to convey a message, but only if you know what it means. There is a plethora of acronyms behind the names of our planners. When you are looking for a planner, you should consider someone who is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner.

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Money Can Buy Happiness (If Done Right)

By Lance Gunkel, CFP®, CFA, Managing Director

Money and happiness have a complex relationship. I was taught early on that money can’t buy me happiness, but that never seemed quite right to me. When I was in college, waiting until payday from a part-time job to fill my gas tank, I was surely happier when I could fill up my Ford Tempo and go places.

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Market Update

Chief Investment Officer Jason Gunkel explains how falling inflation, high – but steady – interest rates and bank failures all contributed to an interesting quarter for the market in our Q1 market update video.

Q1 Market Update Video 2023


Categorizing Your Spending

Creating a budget and managing cash flow can seem daunting but it doesn’t have to be! Listen to learn more about how focusing on three main categories can set you on the right track in this short Finance Moment Podcast by Senior Associate Financial Planner Jerin Young.

Listen here.

Financial Updates

Schwab Transition Video Update

As we have shared in our annual planning meetings with our investment management clients, the current TD Ameritrade platform is slated to transition to Schwab’s platform in the third quarter of 2023, specifically Labor Day weekend in early September. Chief Investment Officer Jason Gunkel explains more about the overall transition timeline in this new video.


In advance of that transition, please be aware of potential scammers who may use this transition as an opportunity to attempt to get personal information from you. Neither TD Ameritrade nor Schwab should ask for any of your personal information as we are providing that for them. So please don’t provide any sensitive information before contacting us.

Inside Look

NCAA Tournament Recap + Chili Cook-Off

Congratulations to our NCAA Tournament Client Bracket winners! And a big thank you to the 26 clients who participated this year. We’re looking forward to even more participants next year!


The Syverson Strege team held a chili cookoff on April 3 to round out the tournament, with the following awards determined by a panel of special judges:

Winner: Tim Schau, IT Support Associate

Runner-Up: Kara Knaack, Marketing & Communication Coordinator


Exploring Values-Based Investing: Thursday, April 27 from 11:15 a.m.-12:45 p.m.

Join us for this discussion on values-based investing presented by Jason Gunkel, Chief Investment Officer at Syverson Strege. Values-based investing considers an individual’s values by avoiding or increasing exposure to specific companies, sectors or business practices. This event will be held virtually via Zoom. The event is free, but registration is required. Register here or contact Deb Longseth at (515) 225-6000 or

Pickleball with a Planner: Thursday, May 18 from 2-4 p.m. at Smash Park in West Des Moines

We have a few spots left for our first Pickleball with a Planner event, and we’d love to have you join us! Several of our planners (Ben Geiger, Jason Gunkel, Matt Roberts and David Strege) will play. We are looking forward to the camaraderie and friendly competition. We have reserved the east and west pickleball courts, as well as one of the east canopies; and food and drink will be provided. Please RSVP to Deb Longseth, Client Service Specialist, at or by calling (515) 225-6000.

Save the Date!

Be sure to save the date and/or register for the following events:

  • June 13 & 20: Financial Foundations Workshop (in-person and virtual options)
  • Aug. 24: Challenges of Aging: Downsizing (details to come)
  • Sept. 19: Challenges of Aging: Avoiding Scams & Protecting Your Identity (details to come)
  • Sept. 28: Client Appreciation Event – Glen Oaks Country Club, West Des Moines (details to come)
  • Oct. 19: Client Appreciation Event – Southeast Iowa (details to come)
  • Oct. 24: Challenges of Aging: Cooking for 1-2 People & Disease State Shopping/Nutrition (details to come)

Out and About

Junior Achievement Finance Park

To kick off Financial Literacy Month in April, several of our team members volunteered at Junior Achievement of Central Iowa’s Finance Park to help middle school students learn about money management.

Wildwood Hills Ranch

Syverson Strege team members David Strege, Meri Grogan, Jason Gunkel and Tyler Conley recently facilitated a life-size version of The Game of Life that David created to provide financial literacy education to youth at Wildwood Hills Ranch in St. Charles, Iowa. The game comes complete with a financial statement with assets and liabilities, along with a check register to record expenditures and income.


62nd Annual Iowa Prayer Breakfast

Syverson Strege was honored to sponsor a table at the sold-out 62nd Annual Iowa Prayer Breakfast earlier this month. Guests enjoyed hearing a profound Holy Week message from Dr. Crawford Loritts, Atlanta-based author, pastor and host of two national radio programs.

Community Foundation Luncheon

We were proud to sponsor and have a full table of our team members at the annual Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines Celebration Luncheon. The work that this organization does to facilitate philanthropic giving in the community is awe-inspiring, and we’re excited for all they have planned this year! To kick off Financial Literacy Month in April, several of our team members volunteered at Junior Achievement of Central Iowa’s Finance Park to help middle school students learn about money management.

United Way Literacy Kits

Our team built several dozen literacy kits in late March to assist with United Way of Central Iowa’s efforts to increase literacy and the love of reading in our community. It was a great way to wrap-up National Literacy Month!

Syverson Strege
4125 Westown Parkway, Suite 104
West Des Moines, IA 50266
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