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Are You In Awe of Your Advisor’s Sharp Saw? 11.19.2021

According to a 2021 survey conducted by The Harris Poll, about 26% of Americans say their most trusted source for financial advice is a financial advisor, representing an 18% increase from 2020.

With a direct correlation to the shakeup and uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the highly unsettled nature of the U.S. economy, financial markets, and politics still existing today, it comes as little surprise to see this increasing trust and confidence in the counsel of financial advisors.

Conversely, it is also interesting to note that the most trusted source of financial advice known as “Yourself” experienced a 33% drop (!) from 30% in 2020 to 20% in 2021.

Ask virtually any financial advisor: The data presented above supports the anecdotal evidence – during periods of high volatility and uncertainty, people tend to become uncertain and trust themselves less when it comes to their finances and investing. Conversely, in periods of low volatility, rising markets, and higher (perceived) certainty, people become overconfident. Or, illustrated differently:

Why do investors feel smarter and more confident when the markets are rising, and dumber and less confident when the markets are declining? One word: emotions. At Towerpoint Wealth, we believe that one of the central qualities of a skilled financial advisor is the ability to help their clients remain objective, avoid overconfidence, or, on the flip side, depression and hopelessness.

There are more than 275,000 licensed professionals in the United States right now that have “Financial Advisor” (or some derivation thereof) on their business card, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And as is true of many professions, there are a myriad of makes, models, specializations, and niches that these advisors fall into. Additionally, these 275K financial advisors represent a varying cross-section of experience, planning, knowledge, and service.

A core philosophy here at Towerpoint Wealth has always been to focus on and place energy into the professional growth and development of our advisors. Our clients deserve and expect us to not only stay sharp in regards to current economic, financial, and investment trends and developments, but also to consistently be “sharpening our professional saws” in the areas of practice management, behavioral finance, client service, and leadership.

To that end, our President, Joseph Eschleman, our Partner, Wealth Advisor, Jonathan LaTurner, and our Director of Research and Analytics, Nathan Billigmeier, traveled to Music City last week for a three-day Investments Forum, hosted by Dynasty Financial Partners. The venue, the lineup of talent, and the level of content were truly amazing, and the TPW colleagues spent an enriching and enjoyable three days sharpening their professional saws at the conference.

The highlights included:

Click the thumbnail below to see the full agenda of speakers, activities, and content that, in addition to some Music City fun during the evenings, kept Joseph, Jonathan, and Nathan moving for three days!!

Steve Case

Photo boxes, clockwise from upper left: 1.) Jim Nantz 2.) Joseph, Nathan, Jonathan at Loser’s Bar and Grill in Nashville 3.) Howard Marks, Daymond John, Liz Ann Sonders

New Towerpoint Wealth White Paper

After focusing on the topic in our 11.9.2021 edition of Trending Today, our Director of Tax and Financial Planning, Steve Pitchford, authored and published the below white paper, focusing on THREE key ideas to potentially reduce the tax “sting” associated with IRA and other tax-deferred retirement account required minimum distributions (RMDs).

Click the thumbnail below to download and read this brand-new report!

Video of the Week

Our President, Joseph Eschleman, CIMA®, was the featured guest on Laurel Sagen and Shasta Escalante’s Heart 2 Biz podcast earlier this month.

Heart 2 Biz is a weekly podcast focused on local Sacramento professionals and entrepreneurs who “pour their hearts into their businesses.” Focused on finding out not only how people are building and running their businesses, but how they are doing so with integrity and heart.

Click below to watch the podcast, and to hear Joseph’s story of how the permanent Pennsylvania-to-California cross-country adventure he took in 1999 helped to shape his heart and him as a person; and, how his evolution from employee to business owner and entrepreneur has molded his character and overall outlook on life. It’s a great (and crazy!) story with plenty of interesting twists and turns, confirming what virtually every Towerpoint Wealth client already knows to be true – that the energy Joseph pours into his client partnerships and into Towerpoint Wealth has a foundation based on both integrity and on heart!

What’s Happening at TPW?

The ladies of Towerpoint Wealth (our Client Service Specialist, Michelle Venezia, and our Director of Operations, Lori Heppner) enjoyed a nice lunch together earlier this week at Il Fornaio in downtown Sacramento, right here on Capitol Mall!

In Denver this past Sunday with two friends, our President, Joseph Eschleman, enjoyed watching his favorite football team, thePhiladelphia Eagles, dismantle the hometown Broncos30-13!

A happy moment for our Director of Tax and Financial Planning, Steve Pitchford, our Director of Operations, Lori Heppner, and our Director of Research and Analytics, Nathan Billigmeier.

Charts of the Week

Rivian (Nasdaq: RIVN), the newly-public electric vehicle automaker (backed by Amazon) hit a market capitalization of $100 billion earlier this week – and they haven’t (yet) delivered a single vehicle! This is the largest U.S. IPO since 2014, when Alibaba went public, and makes the company bigger than both GM and Ford.

In the eyes of many investors and market pundits, this further cements the idea that traditional automobiles and automobile manufacturers are going the way of the dodo:

Quote of the Week

Excellent philosophy from IBM’s long-time chairman and CEO,Thomas J. Watson

Cartoon of the Week

In the spirit of what we discussed above about investor (over) confidence, the below cartoon thoughtfully illustrates one of Warren Buffett’s famous quotes:

“You need to divorce your mind from the crowd.”

Trending Today

As the 24/7 news cycle churns, twists, and turns, a number of trending and notable events have occurred over the past few weeks:

As always, we sincerely value our relationships and partnerships with each of you, as well as your trust and confidence in us here at Towerpoint Wealth. We encourage you to reach out to us at any time ( with any questions, concerns, or needs you may have. The world continues to be an extremely unsettled and complicated place, and we are here to help you properly plan for and make sense of it.

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Questions to Ask if Building Wealth is the Task 05.28.2021

As we sit on the eve of 2021’s Memorial Day Weekend, 73% of those in a Quinnipiac poll said their plans are similar to the ones they had pre-pandemic. The light at the end of the pandemic tunnel is getting brighter and brighter by the day!

building Wealth Questions to Ask

We’re looking at plunging COVID-19 case and death rates and widening vaccination uptake rates here in the United States, in addition to an uptake in exuberance and economic optimism by investors that has driven the stock market to all time highs. And, as is typically true during periods of market extremes, the talking heads, market strategists, investment gurus, and even your brother-in-law Frank seem to have all the answers as to why this is happening, and what lies around the corner. Our advice to you: Ignore this nonsense, and ignore them all.

Rather than become enamored by these predictions and/or fall prey to a well-articulated story spun by a seemingly well-credentialed “expert,” we encourage you to tune out this noise, and not worry nor think too much or too hard about interest rates, cryptocurrencies, inflation, China, large caps and small caps, mask mandates, or the U.S. deficit. Don’t worry about what the “new normal” means, and don’t get too worked up about “getting your share” of the possible American Jobs Plan or the American Families Plan stimulus packages (we’re purposefully not even linking to any of these themes). Instead, let’s channel our energy and attention into things that we have control over.

While we do believe you should always be ready for the unexpected, we also feel it is way more important to understand and internalize a number of foundational investing and wealth building principles. Ask yourself if you can succinctly and confidently answer the following questions:

  • Can I remain objective and rational, and recognize when you are being fearful, greedy, and emotional about your money? Your worst investment enemy is usually found by looking in the mirror. The limbic system is a wonderfully complex set of brain structures that deal with emotions, but activating your fight or flight response in reaction to fear, greed, and anger is not conducive to successful investing or successful longer-term wealth building. 
  • Do I understand that my neighbors, friends, and co-workers are perhaps confused and delusional? Not only do they probably spend too much and boast too much about their portfolio, but the chances their financial decisions are rooted in any of the principles listed here are quite low.
  • Am I trying to simply make money, or am I working to build and protect my wealth? We equate the former to gambling, and the latter to investing. While anything can happen on a daily, weekly, monthly, and even annual basis, we believe your odds of success increase significantly if you establish and follow a disciplined longer-term wealth building plan.
  • What am I doing to proactively insulate my downside from a major catastrophe during a market correction? We believe this is way more important than hitting a home run during a period of market strength. While his two rules are a bit binary, the spirit of Warren Buffett’s quote should resonate:
  • Why am I investing, and do I have a plan? For obvious reasons, it is invaluable to not only think through, articulate, and quantify the goals and vision you have for your and your family’s future, but also to have a methodology for how you attend to your personal financial decision-making. And this methodology will be different than your friend’s, neighbor’s, or co-worker’s, as we all obviously have different things that motivate us and that we ultimately want out of life. This is assuming that your friend, neighbor, or co-worker even has a plan at all.
  • Do I recognize that costs, fees, expenses, and taxes matter? At Towerpoint Wealth, we call them “necessary evils” to helping clients grow and protect their net worth. And while we can never eliminate the drag that costs, fees, expenses, and taxes creates, we certainly can work to identify, and reduce, these friction points.
  • Am I aware that saving money is the single most effective way to build my wealth and to retire? While you need to have balance between saving for tomorrow and living your life today, the capital you spend today is capital no longer available to fund your retirement. Saving money equals peace of mind.

Towerpoint Wealth Turns Four!

On May 26, 2017, with zero clients and $0 in assets under management, we officially launched Towerpoint Wealth. Classified as a “bold,” “risky,” “fearless,” and “courageous” decision by our clients and colleagues, it fortunately turned out to be a prescient and extremely positive one based on the feedback we continue to receive and strategic growth we continue to experience.

Today, we are approaching $350 million in assets under management, and continue to be thrilled to serve YOU, always striving to expand your peace of mind by helping you remove the hassle of properly coordinating your financial affairs.

What’s Happening at TPW?

The Towerpoint Wealth crew recently spent some time in a professional photo shoot with Tim Engle, of Tim Engle Photography – below is one of our favorite shots from the session.

We hold our collective noses to the grindstone at Towerpoint Wealth ~ 97% of the time. However, the culture we have built at the firm is also predicated on spending time outside the office and having fun together as a work family, which is why we regularly schedule fun teambuilding events.

We had an enjoyable “hooky afternoon” earlier this month, pedaling through midtown Sacramento on the Sacramento Brew Bike, with pit stops at Public House DowntownKupros, and The Golden Bear. A well-behaved and fun afternoon!

TPW Service Highlight – RETIREMENT – Building wealth

We only semi-jokingly say that you can retire any time you want, but will you be able to with the lifestyle and income stream you desire?

At Towerpoint Wealth, we believe that everyone deserves a secure retirement, and we stand ready to help you with a myriad of retirement-specific tools and planning considerations. The cornerstone of this process is the development of a customized retirement and financial plan using our modeling software from RightCapital(R).

Click HERE to review a sample customized RightCapital financial plan.

Additional retirement-specific services include sustainable and tax-efficient retirement income planning, “black swan” event planning and modeling, customized Social Security benefit election optimization analysis, corporate pension modeling and optimization, fixed/variable/immediate annuity analysis, and optimal-retirement-age projections.

Chart of the Week

Real estate values continue to be on fire! Click HERE to watch an excellent video in which our President, Joseph Eschleman discusses the white hot Sacramento real estate market with long-time Sacramento realtor, Brian Kassis.

And while there is no question about the tremendous price increases homeowners have experienced over the past year and a half, the chart below makes an interesting comparison between the value of the stock market (using the S&P 500 as a proxy) and the value of residential real estate (using the Case Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index as a proxy) over the past 30 years.

Understanding the importance of owning both real estate AND equities when working to build net worth, and recognizing that people seem to be more relational to the increases in the value of their home, the chart below from Visual Capitalist is an eye-opener!

In addition to home prices going up and U.S. COVID numbers going down, a number of trending and notable events have occurred over the past few weeks:

As always, we sincerely value our relationships and partnerships with each of you, as well as your trust and confidence in us here at Towerpoint Wealth. We encourage you to reach out to us at any time (916-405-9140, with any questions, concerns, or needs you may have. The world continues to be an extremely unsettled and complicated place, and we are here to help you properly plan for and make sense of it.

– Joseph, Jonathan, Steve, Lori, Nathan, and Michelle

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Five Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became A Founder 02.12.2021

Our President, Joseph F. Eschleman, CIMA®, was interviewed by Candice Georgiadis, a contributing writer to Authority Magazine, as part of her series about leadership lessons of accomplished business leaders. Joseph’s story and message does an excellent job of summarizing not only how passionate and driven he is as President and founder of Towerpoint Wealth, but also the grit, tenacity, and hard work it takes to build and grow an individual advisory practice, and to then pivot, and ultimately build and grow a $300 million boutique wealth management firm.

Click HERE to read the Joseph Eschleman / Towerpoint Wealth story!