August 2017 
Copyright Ivan Mikhaylov

Greetings from Woodward Financial Advisors. We hope you've enjoyed a fantastic summer! Here at WFA, we recently welcomed a new team member, John Day, whom you can learn more about below. Additionally, you will find several guidelines to consider as you think about how to best leave your legacy. Finally, read about the "travels" of your portfolio and some of the things happening behind the scenes at Woodward Financial Advisors. 
Get To Know John Day, CFP® Article1
 We're delighted to announce that this past spring, John Day, CFP®, joined the Woodward Financial Advisors Team as a Financial Planning Associate. Read below to get to know John a bit. Of course, you can always find official team member bios on our website.   

1.  What is your favorite recipe to make? Kale salad with a dressing comprised of olive oil, lemon, and Bragg's Liquid Aminos. The other ingredients are avocados, red onion, sprouts, and sunflower seeds.
2. What book are you reading right now? Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance
3. Favorite weekend activity? Hiking
4. Favorite vacation destination? Italy is my favorite place I have been but the NC coast is always a nice getaway
5. Favorite restaurant in the Triangle? Caffe Luna in Raleigh (Italian)
6. Favorite sport to play/watch? Lacrosse
7. Favorite board game? Scrabble
8. Best concert you've been to? Pearl Jam
9. Favorite movie? American Beauty
10. What's the last country you traveled to outside the US? Mexico
11. What was your first job? I worked for a commercial painting company in high school
12. Have you ever dressed up as a mascot? If so, which one? Yes, the Easter Bunny
Communicating Your Wealth Transfer Plan to Heirs Effectively: A Guideline to Assist You in Making Your Legacy a RealityArticle2.1
"If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail."  -Benjamin Franklin

Whatever your wealth transfer plan is, you should share your intentions with your family and/or other inheritors. If children are involved, bringing them into the process when they are younger can be beneficial, both in terms of teaching them how to think about money and to ensure that your plans and legacy are carried out per your intentions. But even with grown children, there's still no time like the present! 

One thing that will help this process is consistent family meetings. Depending on your comfort level, the family meeting could be as simple as making sure that everyone knows where important documents and contact information for attorneys, accountants and financial planners are located. Those who wish to share more might consider discussing actual account values, investment philosophy, gifting strategies, and philanthropic goals and activities. As you gain confidence in your family meetings make sure you are thinking about the other items, such as an Ethical Will and Digital Assets. We hope this guideline will spur some aha moments!

Planning the Family Meetings
Ideally, the family meeting is an open forum where you can review your plan with family, allow individuals to speak up and voice their ideas, and address questions to avoid confusion later. A few tips to a successful family meeting include:
* Pick a date that overlaps with another family get together, such as the holidays or a vacation.
* Determine who should be involved ahead of time. Make sure the appropriate people are included and that conversations are kept confidential.
* Conduct the meeting as if it were a business meeting. Draft an agenda and try to avoid distractions.
* Keep family members accountable for their specific roles.

Location of Important Documents and Contact Information
Make sure the location of the will, and other important documents, is known to the appropriate people, particularly your executor. One of your executor's main duties is carrying out your final instructions for distributing property, according to the will. Your executor should also know how to contact your key advisors, such as your Financial Planner, CPA, and Estate Planning Attorney.

Final Wishes
Have you thought about whether you want to be buried or cremated? What type of memorial service do you want to have? This is vital information that should be included in your will and communicated through the family meeting. If not, making these decisions for you will become an additional burden to family and friends during an already difficult time.

Ethical Will
Consider creating an ethical will, which is a way to communicate important personal, nonmaterial matters to heirs. Some examples of topics you may consider include:
* Important family traditions
* Meaningful family or religious ceremonies
* Values that you wish to pass on to the next generation
* What you hope people will remember about you
* Your feelings that you might not have shared with others
* Your hopes for the future
You may want to specify who should and should not read the will, and you may want to prepare different versions for different family members.

Don't forget about your Digital Assets
The world we live in is increasingly digital. The definition of digital assets is constantly changing but commonly includes:
* Thumb drives and cloud storage
* Email passwords and history
* Account information and passwords for financial assets
* Photos, scrapbooks, music, videos
* Social media accounts
The Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act requires you to have specifically included a provision in your estate planning documents granting access to a third party. Make sure your intentions for digital assets are included in your estate plan. It is also important to familiarize pertinent family members with the breadth and complexity of your digital assets.

Next-Level Topics
Depending on your situation and comfort level, consider some the following topics at future family meetings:
* Current value and makeup of the family portfolio.
* Estate planning documents that have been created and the purpose each document serves.
* Annual gifts and/or general living allowances. This can be a great way to help younger heirs build financial responsibility.
* Transitioning the family business. Which family members will be part of the business and are committed to its long-term success?
* Charitable initiatives you support currently and down the road. Getting family members involved in the research and recommendation of a charity is a great way to get them on board.
* Values around spending.

Starting the conversation with your heirs is the hardest part. Having a solid grasp of your feelings about money will help you create a tangible wealth transfer plan and make the conversation that much easier. Everyone's plan will be different and should include your family values, history, and goals and wishes for future generations. Communicating your plan, in its entirety, to the next generation is key in making your final wishes come true.

Globetrotting Portfolio GlobetrottingPortfolio
As summer ends, we're starting to hear about the wonderful travel stories and experiences from clients. 

Your inv  estment portfolio did some travelling, too, and not just domestically. There is a world of opportunity in both stocks and bonds outside the United States: the US makes up just over 50% of the global stock and bond markets.

And while the investment story over the last few years seems to start and stop with Large US companies, we know that's not always the case. In fact, during the 10-year period from 2000-2009, Large US stocks decreased in value by 9.1%, while International Stocks gained 17.5% and Emerging Markets stocks gained 154.3% [1]. And year-to-date through July, Emerging  Markets (25.5%) and International Stocks (16.2%) are outpacing US stocks (11.6%). 

Accordingly, we thought you might want to see a few photos from the summer travels of your globally diversifi ed portfolio.  

[1] "Large US stocks" is measured by the S&P 500 Index, "International Stocks" is measured by the MSCI World ex-USA Index (net dividends), and "Emerging Markets" is measured by the MSCI Emerging Markets Index (net dividends). Investors cannot invest directly in an index; fees associated with funds that track these indices would reduce investor returns. 

Behind the Scenes at Woodward Financial... BehindTheScenes
  • WFA received two notable recognitions over the past several months, including Indy Week's 2017 "Best Financial Advisor in Orange and Chatham County" and being named one of the top 500 Wealth Managers in the U.S. by Financial Advisor magazine.
  • In May, Allison Palmer attended Financial Advisor Magazine's "Invest in Women 2017" conference in Dallas, Texas. This conference is the leading forum nationwide to explore, discuss, and learn about issues that are meaningful for women financial advisors and female clients. Sessions included panel discussions on financial planning issues especially relevant to female clients and general practice management.
  • The American Board of Pediatrics invited Jim Miller and Veronica Pflueger to present a workshop on retirement planning and Social Security to their team of about 50 people on Monday, July 10th at their headquarters in Chapel Hill, NC.

A picture from the WFA Team's recent trip to a Durham Bulls game. The Bulls won the game against the Charlotte Knights 4-1 that evening! 
Thank you for reading our summer e-newsletter.  

Woodward Financial Advisors