Tag Archives: Financial Advisor

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.

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

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.

What Are Ruggie Rules?

3DBookThe Ruggie Rules are the rules I live by professionally and insist my team live by as well. They are not just part of our firm’s culture. They are part of our lives.

Whether you use our services or not, we want you to be able to benefit from the Ruggie Rules. Use them as a basis of comparison before you select an advisor. If you’re considering making a change from your current advisor, use them to develop a checklist or to frame the questions you want answered. I won’t deny that these rules place the way we do business in a good light. Once you understand what’s behind them, we think you will agree that they make companies that adhere to them the types of firms you WANT to do business with.

Ruggie Rules advocate on behalf of investors. In the case of those nearing or entering retirement, they don’t just address growing and preserving your wealth, they look at growing and preserving your quality of life and peace-of-mind throughout your golden years.

To Your Continued Success!
Thomas Ruggie

To learn more about receiving a copy of Ruggie Rules, call us at 352.343.2700 or simply fill out the online form in the sidebar on the Ruggie Rules landing page.

New Year 2016/Fourth Quarter Market Review 2015

New Year 2016/Fourth Quarter Market Review 2015

Welcome to our New Year 2016/Fourth Quarter Market Review for 2015, in which Tom shares his insights on the current markets, last quarter's markets and looks at 2015 in the rearview mirror. He also addresses Ruggie Wealth's investment strategies moving forward. We know you may have questions, and as always we're here to answer them. Transcript: Welcome to our end of the year 2015 commentary. While I normally cover the past quarter’s activities, I would be remiss if I did not discuss the first three weeks of January.The start of this year has certainly been ugly. As I am sure you are all well-aware, we are off to quite a negative start to 2016. In fact, this year’s start is the worst start in the history of the market to a new year.So what is going on? Where are we going? What are we doing and what should you do?The market continues to be weighted down by two factors: China and Oil with a small dab of uncertainty in Fed monetary policy.I’m not going to talk too much here about these factors as we have been commenting on them every week within our weekly commentary. However, it is our belief:-Oil pricing will stabilize over the next month or so bringing stabilization to the market along with it. While we are well aware of the downside created by having too much oil supply (who would have thought this years ago?), what the market has yet to acknowledge is the equal and opposite upside this provides to many companies and certainly to us as consumers. There is a notion called consumer surplus, which means due to certain circumstances, there is a surplus created in cash flow for consumer almost like a tax savings. Cheaper oil is providing this to us as is exponential technology.-We also believe China will stabilize though this may take a bit longer as they will need to tweak their fiscal and monetary policy. Again, we do not see this as a long-term detriment to investing in the broad market.Finally, we believe domestic economic indicators will continue to be positive but probably not positive enough to temper short-term fears until we see some stabilization in the problem areas. In our opinion, the worst we would expect to see is a 20% downside to the market, which is already down about 10%. Frankly, I would be surprised if it hit this level but the momentum is certainly negative right now. Even if the downside for stocks may be 20%, we see more potential upside than downside over the course of 2016. Twenty percent is the definition of a bear market. Bear markets are usually accompanied by recessions, which few experts believe a recession is likely for the US in 2016. As mentioned last quarter, pullbacks (10%) and bear markets (20%) are a very natural part of market cycles. So what are we doing? By and large, we have left all of our portfolios intact. We made a slight adjustment to take some risk off the table in our more moderately managed portfolio and made a tactical adjustment in our more aggressive portfolio. If we believe things have much more downside, it is possible we would continue to scale down on a few positions while, at the same time, we are looking for an opportunity to get slightly more aggressive within our Dynamic Growth portfolio. You may recall; we took 10% out of equities in this portfolio last April, at a market high and we would like to put this money back to work during this downturn. So what should you do? Well here comes the pep talk. You should do nothing. You should not be watching the markets on TV, checking the balances on-line and some of you should not even open your statements. You will drive yourself crazy doing this. You pay us to be driven crazy and believe me; this is where we earn our pay. Having been through dozens of downturns in my 25-year career, I believe we know the solutions though it certainly does not make things any easier. I do want you to feel free to call our office if you have questions or would like to discuss your personal situation. However, I’m confident we have put a proper strategic plan in place for you and I’m also confident things will ultimately work out as expected.I will focus minor attention to Q4 of 2015 as I’m sure most of you are much more interested in today and tomorrow as compared to last quarter.As ugly as 2016 has been thus far there was no great news for 2015 either. A couple of articles from a weekly Investment newspaper I receive are titled: World’s richest people lost $19B in 2015 while another title is: The year that stocks, bonds, and cash failed to thrive and finally a third from the same paper: Outlook 2016: Optimism Prevails. The year started out positive but around April it turned negative, and although we had a bit of a turnaround in Q4, we were never able to get back to the highs we enjoyed early in 2015.For the quarter, capital markets rebounded as US equity was up 6.1% putting the Russell 3000 index just above break-even for the year at a positive .5%. Overseas international markets underperformed the US posting a 4.7% return for the quarter but a negative .4% for the year. The fourth quarter marked the Fed’s first rate hike since 2006, significant because monetary policy finally turned to one of tightening. The hike was evidence of the Fed’s confidence about the status of and prospects for the U.S economy. It will be interesting to see where they go from here considering our start to the year.US equity styles were all positive for the quarter but mixed for the year with the US large, mid and small value holdings all posting losses of 1.4%, 3.8% and 7.1% for the year. From a sector standpoint, it was a mixed bag as well with Consumer Discretionary leading the way up 10.1% while Energy was down 21.1% and Materials were down 8.4%.As already mentioned, international struggled as well with Emerging Markets posting a loss of 14.6% for the year.Fixed income was relatively flat for the year with the aggregate bond market up .5%, and high-yield bonds were the worst performing at a loss of 4.5%.I won’t focus in on this Kaleidoscope put together by one of the management companies we utilize, but it provides a quick rundown of the major asset categories and for 2015 it reads like this:Russell 1000 Growth up 5.67%Balanced Index up .59%Aggregate Bond up .55%International Index down .39%Russell 2000 Growth down 1.39%Russell 1000 Value down 3.83%Russell 2000 Value down 7.47%Again, in summary, a disappointing 2015 across the board.In closing, given the pullback we’ve already experienced in 2016, I wanted to provide you with an interesting statistic. Over the past 36 years, the average intra-year decline was 14.2% per year. In other words, if we were to look at the worst period over every year for the last 36 years and average it out, there was an average drop in the market during the year of 14.2%. Yet the market finished positive 75% of the time or 27 out of the last 36 years.I again invite you to contact us with any questions, thoughts or concerns. And thank you for your continued trust and confidence.

Posted by Ruggie Wealth Management on Thursday, January 21, 2016

Welcome to our New Year 2016/Fourth Quarter Market Review for 2015, in which Tom shares his insights on the current markets, last quarter’s markets and looks at 2015 in the rearview mirror. He also addresses Ruggie Wealth’s investment strategies moving forward. We know you may have questions, and as always we’re here to answer them.

Transcript: Welcome to our end of the year 2015 commentary.

While I normally cover the past quarter’s activities, I would be remiss if I did not discuss the first three weeks of January.

The start of this year has certainly been ugly. As I am sure you are all well-aware, we are off to quite a negative start to 2016. In fact, this year’s start is the worst start in the history of the market to a new year.

So what is going on? Where are we going? What are we doing and what should you do?

The market continues to be weighted down by two factors: China and Oil with a small dab of uncertainty in Fed monetary policy.

I’m not going to talk too much here about these factors as we have been commenting on them every week within our weekly commentary. However, it is our belief:

-Oil pricing will stabilize over the next month or so bringing stabilization to the market along with it. While we are well aware of the downside created by having too much oil supply (who would have thought this years ago?), what the market has yet to acknowledge is the equal and opposite upside this provides to many companies and certainly to us as consumers. There is a notion called consumer surplus, which means due to certain circumstances, there is a surplus created in cash flow for consumer almost like a tax savings.
Cheaper oil is providing this to us as is exponential technology.

-We also believe China will stabilize though this may take a bit longer as they will need to tweak their fiscal and monetary policy. Again, we do not see this as a long-term detriment to investing in the broad market.
Finally, we believe domestic economic indicators will continue to be positive but probably not positive enough to temper short-term fears until we see some stabilization in the problem areas.

In our opinion, the worst we would expect to see is a 20% downside to the market, which is already down about 10%. Frankly, I would be surprised if it hit this level but the momentum is certainly negative right now. Even if the downside for stocks may be 20%, we see more potential upside than downside over the course of 2016. Twenty percent is the definition of a bear market. Bear markets are usually accompanied by recessions, which few experts believe a recession is likely for the US in 2016. As mentioned last quarter, pullbacks (10%) and bear markets (20%) are a very natural part of market cycles.

So what are we doing? By and large, we have left all of our portfolios intact. We made a slight adjustment to take some risk off the table in our more moderately managed portfolio and made a tactical adjustment in our more aggressive portfolio. If we believe things have much more downside, it is possible we would continue to scale down on a few positions while, at the same time, we are looking for an opportunity to get slightly more aggressive within our Dynamic Growth portfolio. You may recall; we took 10% out of equities in this portfolio last April, at a market high and we would like to put this money back to work during this downturn.

So what should you do? Well here comes the pep talk. You should do nothing. You should not be watching the markets on TV, checking the balances on-line and some of you should not even open your statements. You will drive yourself crazy doing this. You pay us to be driven crazy and believe me; this is where we earn our pay. Having been through dozens of downturns in my 25-year career, I believe we know the solutions though it certainly does not make things any easier. I do want you to feel free to call our office if you have questions or would like to discuss your personal situation. However, I’m confident we have put a proper strategic plan in place for you and I’m also confident things will ultimately work out as expected.

I will focus minor attention to Q4 of 2015 as I’m sure most of you are much more interested in today and tomorrow as compared to last quarter.

As ugly as 2016 has been thus far there was no great news for 2015 either. A couple of articles from a weekly Investment newspaper I receive are titled: World’s richest people lost $19B in 2015 while another title is: The year that stocks, bonds, and cash failed to thrive and finally a third from the same paper: Outlook 2016: Optimism Prevails.

The year started out positive but around April it turned negative, and although we had a bit of a turnaround in Q4, we were never able to get back to the highs we enjoyed early in 2015.

For the quarter, capital markets rebounded as US equity was up 6.1% putting the Russell 3000 index just above break-even for the year at a positive .5%. Overseas international markets underperformed the US posting a 4.7% return for the quarter but a negative .4% for the year.

The fourth quarter marked the Fed’s first rate hike since 2006, significant because monetary policy finally turned to one of tightening. The hike was evidence of the Fed’s confidence about the status of and prospects for the U.S economy. It will be interesting to see where they go from here considering our start to the year.

US equity styles were all positive for the quarter but mixed for the year with the US large, mid and small value holdings all posting losses of 1.4%, 3.8% and 7.1% for the year. From a sector standpoint, it was a mixed bag as well with Consumer Discretionary leading the way up 10.1% while Energy was down 21.1% and Materials were down 8.4%.

As already mentioned, international struggled as well with Emerging Markets posting a loss of 14.6% for the year.

Fixed income was relatively flat for the year with the aggregate bond market up .5%, and high-yield bonds were the worst performing at a loss of 4.5%.

I won’t focus in on this Kaleidoscope put together by one of the management companies we utilize, but it
provides a quick rundown of the major asset categories and for 2015 it reads like this:

Russell 1000 Growth up 5.67%
Balanced Index up .59%
Aggregate Bond up .55%
International Index down .39%
Russell 2000 Growth down 1.39%
Russell 1000 Value down 3.83%
Russell 2000 Value down 7.47%

Again, in summary, a disappointing 2015 across the board.

In closing, given the pullback we’ve already experienced in 2016, I wanted to provide you with an interesting statistic. Over the past 36 years, the average intra-year decline was 14.2% per year. In other words, if we were to look at the worst period over every year for the last 36 years and average it out, there was an average drop in the market during the year of 14.2%. Yet the market finished positive 75% of the time or 27 out of the last 36 years.

I again invite you to contact us with any questions, thoughts or concerns. And thank you for your continued trust and confidence.

Ruggie Rule #8: “Engage A Financial Team”

Transcript: Hi, I’m Tom Ruggie with Ruggie Wealth Management, a local investment advisory firm providing customized financial planning for nearly 25 years, here with Ruggie Rule #8, from our latest book.

Engage A Financial Team: Whether in sports, business or personal finances, you want a team backing you up. Members of your financial team should help ensure each investment decision is made within the context of your overall financial strategy.

Call today for your free consultation and copy of our new book, Ruggie Rules. Experience the Ruggie Wealth difference.

To learn more about receiving a copy of Ruggie Rules, call us at 352.343.2700 or simply fill out the online form in the sidebar on the Ruggie Rules landing page.

Ruggie Rules #4 – “Insist on an RIA who works in your best interest.”

Transcript: “Hi, I’m Tom Ruggie with Ruggie Wealth Management, a local investment advisory firm providing customized financial planning for nearly 25 years, here with Ruggie Rule #4 from our latest book.

Insist on a registered investment advisor who works in your best interest. We must legally and ethically put your best interests ahead of our own, and are legally answerable to state or federal authorities.

Call today for your free consultation and copy of our new book, Ruggie Rules. Experience the Ruggie Wealth difference.”

To learn more about receiving a copy of Ruggie Rules, call us at 352.343.2700 or simply fill out the online form in the sidebar on the Ruggie Rules landing page.

Ruggie Rules #3 – “Experience Counts”

Transcript: “Hi, I’m Tom Ruggie with Ruggie Wealth Management, a local investment advisory firm providing customized financial planning for nearly 25 years, here with Ruggie Rule #3 from our latest book.

Experience counts.

Whether an advisor has spent many years in the business matters. Part of the value we bring to our clients is the perspective we’ve gained from working with OTHER clients. You don’t want your advisor using your money to learn on the job.

Call today for your free consultation and copy of our new book, Ruggie Rules. Experience the Ruggie Wealth difference.”

To learn more about receiving a copy of Ruggie Rules, call us at 352.343.2700 or simply fill out the online form in the sidebar on the Ruggie Rules landing page.

Third Quarter Market Review 2015

Welcome to our Third Quarter Market Review for 2015. In this video Tom Ruggie shares an overview and analysis of the markets as well as Ruggie Wealth investment strategies over the past quarter. He also shares some of our accomplishments and goals moving forward. Thank you for watching and for the opportunity to help you reach your financial goals.

In the video, Tom also mentions the book launch of “Ruggie Rules.” We are very excited about this book and to learn more about picking up a copy, please visit https://www.ruggiewealth.com/ruggie-rules/ for more information.