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As some of you may remember reading in last December’s edition of The Heron, my seven-year-old, Charlie, asked for a pair of Rocket Boosters from Santa. We were definitely scratching our heads, wondering what he meant and spent a considerable amount of time trying to lower his expectations. Although my wife and I were sweating it for weeks, we also knew it was an opportunity to discuss being grateful for family and friends, and in the end, last year was a wonderful Christmas – even without Rocket Boosters. 

You probably also remember how dismal the markets were last December. In the same post, I also discussed hoping for a last-minute “Santa Claus Rally” to bring relief to the struggling stock markets. For both Charlie and my clients, I was really hoping to deliver some sort of holiday cheer, but as we all learn in life, sometimes we need to lower our expectations. Although I didn’t quite deliver the “Santa Claus Rally” last year, the market has certainly rallied a bit in 2019 and I am grateful that I am not once again discussing market volatility – or having to try to deliver Rocket Boosters. 

During this past year of “relative calm” in the markets, the team here at PFG has continued to be focused on partnering with clients to develop financial plans that take into consideration the unfortunate, but inevitable ups and downs of the market by balancing allocations. To help put volatility in perspective for each individual, we introduced a new tool, Riskalyze. With a short assessment, we can identify the level of risk acceptable to you with unparalleled accuracy. It’s been a great tool, guiding our discussions and helping us really understand each client’s unique tolerance for risk.      

We’ve also been able to focus on making all aspects of our client experience better, and we’re excited about what we’ve achieved. The launch of Freedom7, our 7-step financial planning process, which includes Riskalyze, has been the highlight of our year. While helpful for new clients, it’s equally beneficial for existing clients making the ongoing process of financial planning more digestible. If you didn’t get a chance to see our video highlighting the steps, take a moment to check it out here. Right now, we’re working on implementing online scheduling on our website so that making an appointment in 2020 will be easier than ever. We’ll be sure to let you know when it is live and available to use.   

During the past year, I’ve been encouraging clients to come in for a checkpoint meeting, so we can make sure your allocations are right, and you are prepared for market uncertainties as well as any ups and downs in life. If you haven’t been in lately, make 2020 the year you reengage in your financial planning.  It’s a continuous process and it’s why we’re here. From all of us at PFG, we wish you a very happy holiday season and the best 2020 possible!

We hope to see you soon!

Todd M. Wike, CFP®
Managing Partner, Potomac Financial Group
2018 RJFS Chairman’s Council Member*

The information contained in this material does not purport to be a complete description of the securities, markets, or developments referred to in this material. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Any opinions are those of Todd Wike and not necessarily those of Raymond James. Expressions of opinion are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss regardless of strategy selected. Keep in mind that individuals cannot invest directly in any index, and index performance does not include transaction costs or other fees, which will affect actual investment performance. Individual investor’s results will vary. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Future investment performance cannot be guaranteed, investment yields will fluctuate with market conditions. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse the services or opinions of the various podcasts or applications discussed in this material. Chairman’s Council Membership is based on prior fiscal year production. Re-qualification is required annually. The ranking may not be representative of any one client’s experience, is not an endorsement, and is not indicative of advisors future performance. No fee is paid in exchange for this award/rating. Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®,CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, CFP® (with plaque design) and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.