Tavares | Winter Park | The Villages

Tom Ruggie Selected to Elite Forbes Finance Council


ruggie-web-showcase-forbesfcWe’re pleased to announce our President Tom Ruggie, ChFC®, CFP® has been selected as a member of the Forbes Finance Council. As one of approximately 20 members, he’ll have the opportunity to share financial insights on Forbes.com with tens of millions of monthly readers.

The Forbes Finance Council is an invitation-only community for executives in accounting, financial planning, wealth and asset management, and investment firms. Members are hand-selected by the Council’s community team, who look for executives whose success in a given industry has been recognized publicly by industry organizations, trade publications and other professional peers.

“I’m excited to share my views and expertise with Forbes readers,” said Tom. “This opportunity gives me a wider audience to talk about the unique programs and services we have developed for Ruggie Wealth clients. At the same time, it helps me keep an ear to the ground to learn what’s on the minds of others in the financial industry.

“I look forward to discussing pressing challenges and opportunities and to share insights with the rest of the world that could help to shape it for the future.”

Scott Gerber, founder of Forbes Councils, says, “We are honored to welcome Tom into the community. Our mission with Forbes Councils is to curate successful professionals from every industry, creating a vetted, social capital-driven network that helps every member make an even greater impact on the business world.”

Taking Root: The Story Behind Our Expansion Into The Villages®

tomDid you know that the fastest-growing metropolitan area in the United States in 2014 and 2015 was not an oil town like Houston or Dallas, nor was it a coastal resort town like Myrtle Beach?

It was a Central Florida Baby-Boomer boomtown called The Villages®, a community which more than doubled its population from 51,442 residents in 2010 to a number that soared above 114,000 in 2014.

In The Villages® community, “active seniors” focus on living their lives, not just observing the years go by. With nearly 45 golf courses, 2,500 clubs and activities, abundant restaurants, shopping, entertainment, and world-class healthcare, this community holds a special charm for many interested in spending their golden years in the glow of the sun.

Not only is the community growing, so is its job base, which has expanded by 186% since 2001, according to Forbes Magazine. In addition, personal income growth, largely from assets owned by seniors, has soared by some 60% since 2000, which is 10 times the national average growth rate of 6%.

In other words, this is a prime location for financial advisors who counsel retirees.

Why, then, was I was so reluctant to take our nationally recognized wealth management process – refined over 25 years of helping hundreds of clients preparing for, nearing, or living out their retirement years – a mere 35 minutes down the road to serve residents of The Villages® community? What powerful force was holding me back from opening an office of Ruggie Wealth Management there?

Once I understood the answer to that question, not only was I able to open an office in the heart of that growth area, but I was able to see the rules I live by professionally take root.

So what did I learn?

For more than 10 years I had watched the actions, protocols, and sales tactics of many financial advisors who counsel retirees in Florida. While a core group of quality advisors exists here, I believe those good advisors get overshadowed by individuals who peddle products that line their own pockets, and do so with little or no regard for the needs of their clients.

It would not be too much of a stretch to say that most Florida retirees in communities could enjoy a free lunch – AND free breakfast and dinner, too – almost every day of the week, courtesy of product peddlers, many of whom call themselves “financial advisors.” And, as we know, there just simply are no free lunches.

In fact, according to a report by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), called Protecting Senior Investors: Report of Examinations of Securities Firms Providing “Free Lunch” Sales Seminars (Sept. 2007), between April 2006 and June 2007 the Securities and Exchange Commission audited over 110 firms in high-retiree-concentration states such as Florida, Texas, Tennessee, California, and North Carolina. Overwhelmingly the SEC found that many sales seminars advertised as “educational,” “learning workshops,” and/or stating “nothing will be sold at this workshop” were actually simple fronts for sales pitches even when advertisements did not mention any specific investment products.

Perhaps I was getting in my own way. I simply did not want to establish an office in The Villages® community just to see the reputation I’d worked nearly 25 years to build get tarnished by the perception that we, too, were in the same product-peddling business.

What changed?

A little more than a year ago, we consulted a marketing company in California that helps financial advisory firms across the country and asked them to help us fine-tune our message about the financial planning process we walk clients through. Having just hired a new financial advisor, our goal was to put together some marketing materials for the unique, four-step planning process we call Ruggie WealthCare℠.

The marketing company was very excited about our process and the impact it was having on the financial well-being of retirees. They asked how much of our current and potential client base consisted of retirees. They were shocked to learn of our proximity to The Villages® community. What shocked them even more was that, armed with what they called a “fantastic retirement planning process,” we had purposely avoided having a presence in the huge market that was right in our own backyard.

It was at that moment we made the decision to open an office that would serve people from within The Villages® community. We went in committed to providing the financial integrity, benefit, and value the thousands of retirees living in – and moving to – this area deserved. Instead of worrying about being painted with the same broad strokes as the product-peddlers, we set out to paint a whole new picture of what financial investing and advising should be.

3DBookExcerpted from Tom Ruggie’s newest book, Ruggie Rules. To learn more and pick up a copy of the book schedule a free consultation today by calling 352.343.2700. Our advisory team looks forward to meeting with you.

Ruggie Wealth Named One of Central Florida’s 2016 Best Places to Work

Best Places to WorkRuggie Wealth Management was recently named one of the Orlando Business Journal’s 2016 Best Places to Work, and was featured in the June 24, 2016 edition of the publication.

This recognition is designed to honor the area’s leading employers. The list comprises companies that go beyond the norm to foster an enjoyable and meaningful work environment for their employees, and the competition judges companies based on the results of a detailed employee survey which at least 90% of the employees had to complete for the company to be eligible.

“While we do offer some great perks and have worked hard to create an open, accepting, supportive and fun work environment, having knowledgeable, inspiring, dedicated people with great attitudes is absolutely what makes Ruggie Wealth one of the Best Places to Work,” said Founder and President Tom Ruggie, ChFC®, CFP®. “It’s rare to be able to show up each day and work with such a collaborative team, and fantastic to see our corporate culture recognized by the Central Florida business community.


“I know our future success depends on our continuing ability to attract and retain sharp, talented people who share our values, on investing in the tools they need to help them be successful , and on bringing tomorrow’s technology to them today to support future growth.”

Click here to learn more about the Ruggie Wealth Management team. If you would like to see our current career opportunities, click here.

Market Turmoil Could Create Opportunity

This time the opinion polls got it right. The “Remain” and “Leave” camps were running neck-and-neck coming into yesterday’s U.K. referendum on membership in the European Union and in the event that some 52% of U.K. voters would opt to reject the status quo and pull out. The referendum, while non-binding, is likely to trigger Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union.

Accordingly, markets have responded dramatically. U.K. & U.S. equity index futures have slumped and the British Pound has tumbled to 1980’s levels. Safe havens – such as gold, German Bunds and U.S. Treasuries – are seeing substantial investor demand. The euro has also come under pressure.

Fears of ‘Lehman Moment’ Overblown

While this is likely to lead to higher volatility in the near-term, we caution against reacting as though this were a second “Lehman moment,” as some commentators have suggested.

Still, the U.K. has chosen the rockier of two paths. This piles up the political distractions that have dogged the administration of U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron (who is resigning) and his chancellor, George Osborne. The “Brexit” camp is clearly ascendant but the vote revealed a lack of national consensus. And even consensus would not wish away the complexity of this exit, a “monumental multi-year task” in the words of one legal expert.

Economic Damage Likely to Be Contained

Many of the large companies in the FTSE 100 Index are global rather than U.K. businesses—80% of the index’s revenues come from overseas. This should help insulate them from any domestic downturn and potentially deliver a windfall from the weakened pound. Smaller, more domestically-focused companies are more vulnerable to a fall in consumer demand and higher import costs. That could be a source of opportunity during a sell-off in U.K. assets, particularly if the U.K. makes its new status work over the longer term.

Elsewhere, the economic impact is likely to be felt most keenly in Europe and, in the words of one Federal Reserve Bank president, to have only “moderate direct effects on the U.S. economy in the near term.” Again, we expect an excessive market reaction to be a potential source of opportunity.

The Retirement Distribution Strategy Works

While the media and pundits will talk about “Brexit” for days to come, clients often want to know how they will be impacted. It is for reasons like this we crafted the Retirement Distribution Strategy process almost 17 years ago. By allocating resources needed over the next 10 years into lower volatility strategies we look to insulate a critical component of income generation assets, from the natural volatility that markets bring.

We look to this spike in volatility as an opportunity and will continue to monitor the situation and take action accordingly. Please feel free to contact your Ruggie Wealth advisory team at (352) 343-2700 with questions or concerns.

Financial Times Names Ruggie Wealth Management to 300 Top RIAs in the U.S.


tomEach year, the Financial Times—one of the world’s leading media organizations focused on international business and economic news—publishes a listing of the “300 Top Registered Investment Advisors”. Ruggie Wealth Management is honored to be included on the 2016 list.

This recognition is based on data gathered from RIA firms, regulatory disclosures, and the FT’s research. The listing reflects performance in six primary areas, including assets under management, asset growth, compliance record, years in existence, credentials and accessibility.

This recognition is also a direct result of the outstanding relationships our firm has had the privilege to build with our clients. We thank you for your trust and ongoing support and look forward to many productive years of working together.

To access the full, 16-page special report, including the list of FT 300 RIAs, please click here.

Thanks again,

Tom Ruggie, ChFC®, CFP®

For those interested, click here to download the national press release issued by RWM in response to receiving this honor.

First Quarter Market Review 2016

Tom Ruggie states near the beginning of this video regarding the first quarter of 2016, “If you paid attention to the media, the emotions of the market probably drove you berserk.” It’s accurate to say the Markets in the first quarter of 2016 had a very difficult start. In fact, the first three weeks of 2016 had the worst performance to start the year in the history of the Market.

And although around Mid-February we started seeing a rebound, as Tom points out, “the media profits from sensationalizing any hint of negativity.”

You will want to watch this information-filled video commentary which talks specifically about Ruggie Wealth Management strategy and market news relevant to your investments, Tom shares a positive message about long-term investment strategies and encourages us to not buy into the ‘click-bait’ negative headlines.

Questions? Call our advisory team at (353) 343-2700

Tom Ruggie, ChFC®, CFP®, and Morgan Hatfield of Ruggie Wealth Management Have Both Received the 2016 Five Star Wealth Manager Award

“I believe we have earned this distinction because we take the time to understand our clients and their needs and take our fiduciary responsibility to put their needs above our own very seriously.”

Five Star Professional is pleased to announce Thomas H. Ruggie, ChFC®, CFP®, president, and Morgan Hatfield, retirement specialist, of Ruggie Wealth Management have been chosen as Five Star Wealth Managers for 2016.

Five Star Professional partnered with Orlando magazine to recognize a select group of Orlando-area wealth managers who provide quality services to their clients. Thomas H. Ruggie, ChFC®, CFP®, and Morgan Hatfield are featured, along with other award winners, in a special section of the May issue.

“It’s an honor to be recognized for this award,” said Thomas Ruggie of Ruggie Wealth Management. “I believe we have earned this distinction because we take the time to understand our clients and their needs and take our fiduciary responsibility to put their needs above our own very seriously.”

Ruggie Wealth Management provides services to individual and corporate clients, as well as to a select group of endowments and foundations. As the flagship company of Ruggie Capital Group, Ruggie Wealth offers a broad range of services and products to help clients achieve their financial goals. Ruggie Capital Group is now developing a multifamily office to expand their continuum of services to high-net-worth clients.

“The research behind this award is extensive with each wealth manager being thoroughly vetted from numerous angles. We are proud to showcase these distinguished professionals,” says Jonathan Wesser, Research Director, Five Star Professional.

The firm has offices in Tavares, Winter Park and The Villages®, FL.

The Five Star Wealth Manager award, administered by Crescendo Business Services, LLC (dba Five Star Professional), is based on 10 objective criteria: 1. Credentialed as a registered investment adviser or a registered investment adviser representative; 2. Active as a credentialed professional in the financial services industry for a minimum of 5 years; 3. Favorable regulatory and complaint history review (unfavorable feedback may have been discovered through a check of complaints registered with a regulatory authority or complaints registered through Five Star Professional’s consumer complaint process*); 4. Fulfilled their firm review based on internal standards; 5. Accepting new clients; 6. One-year client retention rate; 7. Five-year client retention rate; 8. Non-institutional discretionary and/or non-discretionary client assets administered; 9. Number of client households served; 10. Education and professional designations.

Wealth managers do not pay a fee to be considered or awarded. Once awarded, wealth managers may purchase additional profile ad space or promotional products. The award methodology does not evaluate the quality of services provided and is not indicative of the winner’s future performance. 632 Orlando wealth managers were considered for the award; 120 (19 percent of candidates) were named 2016 Five Star Wealth Managers.

*To qualify as having a favorable regulatory and complaint history, the person cannot have: 1. been subject to a regulatory action that resulted in a suspended or revoked license, or payment of a fine, 2. had more than three customer complaints filed against them (settled or pending) with any regulatory authority or Five Star Professional’s consumer complaint process, 3. individually contributed to a financial settlement of a customer complaint filed with a regulatory authority, 4. filed for bankruptcy, or 5. been convicted of a felony.

For research methodology information visit http://www.fivestarprofessional.com.

“The Buck Starts Here” – Tom and Christopher Ruggie in Healthy Living magazine

Tom Christopher RuggieRuggie Wealth Management President Tom Ruggie and his son Christopher appear on the front cover of Healthy Living magazine published by Akers Media.

In an article titled “The Buck Starts Here,” written by James Combs (Photos by Fred Lopez), Tom shares insights on how he and his wife Kim have raised their children (Gina and Christopher) to make sound decisions and to be intentional with their financial fitness.

This easy to read article provides a refreshing perspective with many practical applications parents will find helpful and encouraging.

Ruggie Rule #1: “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.” (Video)

Ruggie Rule #1: "If it seems too good to be true, it probably …

Ruggie Rule #1: "If it seems too good to be true, it probably is." – Today we kick off our new video series based on Tom's popular new book "Ruggie Rules for choosing and working with a financial advisor." Watch this short video where Tom explains the premise of Ruggie Rules and how to avoid financial strategies that are "too good to be true." To learn more about how to set up an initial free consultation and obtain your copy of Ruggie Rules, please visit www.RuggieWealth.com/ruggie-rules or call us at (352) 343-2700. Ruggie Rules is also available for purchase online at Amazon.com.

Posted by Ruggie Wealth Management on Monday, March 7, 2016

Ruggie Rule #1: “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.” – Today we kick off our new video series based on Tom’s popular new book “Ruggie Rules for choosing and working with a financial advisor.” Watch this short video where Tom explains the premise of Ruggie Rules and how to avoid financial strategies that are “too good to be true.” To learn more about how to set up an initial free consultation and obtain your copy of Ruggie Rules, please visit www.RuggieWealth.com/ruggie-rules or call us at (352) 343-2700. Ruggie Rules is also available for purchase online at Amazon.com.

Check Out The Ruggie Wealth Management Facebook Video Archive

Would you like to see Tom’s quarterly analysis and opinion on the markets? How about learning more, directly from him, about his new book “Ruggie Rules”? You can do all of that by watching the videos we have uploaded and organized on the Ruggie Wealth Management Facebook video archive. The RWM video channel is another resource that Tom and the staff want to provide current and future clients. These videos will keep you current on relevant information that may affect your financial strategy. After watching a few of the videos, let us know what you think!

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