Looking back and looking forward
The turn of the calendar is a natural time to reflect on the past year and look forward to the new year. We work hard to make this a special place for clients and our team and in 2019 our efforts were noticed more than ever. It seemed like every month, we were receiving wonderful recognition for our efforts with clients, our team or the financial planning profession and we believe we are one of the most decorated firms in the country.
In 2019, we were named:
- One of the 75 “Best Places to Work for Financial Advisors” in America by Investment News
- One of the Top Independent Advisory firms by Financial Advisor magazine
- One of the Top Independent Advisory firms by Advisor HQ
- To the “Fast 50”, a list of the fastest growing privately held companies in Orlando by the Orlando Business Journal
- To the “Seminole 100”, a list by the FSU School of Business of the fastest growing privately held companies owned or co-owned a Florida State alum
We also received one of the most prestigious awards in our field, the 2019 Trailblazer IMPACT AwardTM from Schwab Advisor Services. (Note: We are not owned by or affiliated with Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (“Schwab”), and our personnel are not employees or agents of Schwab). Schwab chose us to recognize over 20 years of efforts to improve the quality of advice, raise the bar for ethics standards, and advance the financial planning profession. We have long been a leading advocate for professionalizing financial planning. Schwab, which works with over 7,000 independent advisory firms in the U.S., made a $15,000 donation on our behalf to the Foundation for Financial Planning, which helps power pro bono efforts of the financial planning profession.
In addition, we can highlight efforts of individuals within our firm.
- Investment News tapped Charlie Fitzgerald to pen a piece on the importance of fostering financial literacy once he and the Financial Planning Association (FPA) of Florida succeeded, after several years of lobbying, in getting Florida to mandate a personal finance elective course in all public high schools.
- Mike Salmon was elected to the Board of Directors for the Central Florida chapter of the FPA.
- In an extensive Investment News issue dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the meeting that started the financial planning profession in 1969, Dan Moisand was featured as one of “twenty most influential men and women” in the history of financial planning. The recognition comes largely based on Dan’s service as national President of the Financial Planning Association and the group’s successful fight against the Securities and Exchange Commission for lowering standards.
That’s a lot of fantastic recognition. How did this all come to be? Well, it didn’t happen overnight. It took years of work and in time, people noticed our adherence to some bedrock principles.
Our firm’s foundation is built upon bedrock principles
Independent fiduciaries to all clients at all times – When we say we “work for clients,” it isn’t a marketing slogan, it is a legal fact. No one owns us. We are not under contract to perform services with anyone other than our clients. On most days, we can assemble all of the owners of this firm in one room in under an hour. We NEVER ask our clients to accept a lower standard of care because we NEVER take off our fiduciary “hats” to switch to being salespeople for any third party.
Objectivity – We are legally free to recommend any product from any provider anywhere in the world. No one pays us a dime other than our clients. We are paid only by clients to serve only our clients and never via a commission or other third-party compensation. Any product we recommend is recommended based solely upon its merits and its fit with our clients’ needs.
We are paid only by clients to serve only our clients and never via a commission or other third-party compensation.
Accountability – We hold ourselves to the highest standards of conduct and willingly put ourselves on the legal hook to adhere to those standards.
Breadth –Coordinating all the areas of one’s finances is the best way to improve a client’s current and future situations. We offer advice on a very broad array of financial planning subject areas, including planning to and through retirement, paying for college, investment management, insurance, tax management, and aging and estate planning issues.
Depth – If you have worked with a brokerage firm, insurance company, or bank “adviser”, somewhere in the fine print is a disclaimer such as, “XYZ firm does not provide tax advice. See your tax advisor for details.” At MFT, we have three Enrolled Agents, licensed by the IRS itself, to not only give tax advice but stand behind that advice and represent taxpayers before the IRS. Depth of advice is so important to us that while the CFP® marks are the premiere credential for financial planners, at our firm, obtaining the certification is a minimum requirement for becoming one of our advisors.
Continual improvement – We invest heavily in developing and maintaining very high skill levels for all members of our team. We have brought continuing education providers into our offices. We send several different staff members to a variety of conferences including our financial planners, our administrative team and our operations specialists.
What’s coming in 2020?
The above principles are of such high value and have provided such great results, we will keep our focus on our clients with every bit of vigor as we have in the past. We hired two new sharp enthusiastic team members in Orlando in 2019 and are looking to increase our Melbourne staff in 2020 as well.
We are committed to providing our clients with all the resources we can muster. Hopefully, 2020 will be a good year but there is always the potential for it to provide stresses. As we warned in the summer, 2020 is an election year and it is easy to get fired up over it. There will be many new ideas, proposals, potential tax code changes, promises, and threats debated. Add to that some strong personalities in both parties and we have a recipe for anxiety. The best defense against all the hubbub is a good plan and a long-term perspective. Our plan is to continue to be “A sanctuary from the noise®” for our clients and role models for our profession. That approach has helped our clients weather some very challenging periods in the past and should serve you well in the long run no matter how wild the short term may get.
News & Notes
NEW Tax Code Changes: Some significant changes to the tax code were made when the SECURE Act was added to the budget bill over the holiday break. Highlights include changes to the age for starting Required Minimum Distributions to 72 and a significant change to how non-spouses must handle inherited IRAs, Roth IRAs and retirement accounts. If you were subject to RMD in 2019, you are still subject to RMD. There is no need to take immediate action. We will have rundowns of various aspects of the new law and share our thoughts on the strategic implications in future posts.
CFP Board: Dan Moisand has been elected to serve a four-year term on the Board of Directors for the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc., beginning January 1, 2020. CFP Board owns the certification marks CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and CFP®. Dan is no stranger to CFP Board service. From 1999-2001, Dan helped write the original set of Practice Standards for CFP licensees. He has written questions for the CFP certification exam and in 2008, served as Chairman of the Discipline and Ethics Commission, the body that oversees the disciplinary process for CFP licensees accused of ethical violations.
Congratulations to Mike Salmon, CFP® Mike was elected to the Board of Directors of the Central Florida chapter of the Financial Planning Association. Mike is the fourth of our shareholders to serve on this board.
New 2020 Retirement Plan Limits, Tax Rates, Tax Brackets, and Standard Deductions:
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced cost-of-living adjustments for 2020. Here are a few highlights. The 2020 limits are as follows:
- 401(k) Deferral Limit – Increase from $19,000 to $19,500
- 401(k) Catch-up Deferral Limit – Increase from $6,000 to $6,500
- Defined Contribution Plan Maximum Annual Additions – Increase from $56,000 to $57,000 (or $63,500 with catch-up)
- IRA Contribution Limit – No change. Remains $6,000
- IRA Catch-up Contribution Limit – No change. Remains $1,000
For changes to limits affecting other plans see the IRS announcement of 2020 Limitation Adjustments at
The IRS also released the 2020 Tax Tables and Brackets. The rates have not changed but the brackets have been adjusted for cost of living increases. The standard deduction is slightly higher.
Please remember to call us: When anything significant happens in your life, including changes in your finances, family, or health that could affect your financial plan, please let us know so that we can adapt our planning and portfolio work for you accordingly. Also, if you ever fail to receive a monthly statement for one of the Schwab Institutional or TD Ameritrade Institutional accounts under our management, please let us know so we may assure the respective custodian delivers your statements promptly.
The Team at Moisand Fitzgerald Tamayo, LLC
Moisand Fitzgerald Tamayo, LLC is an Orlando, FL and Melbourne, FL based fee-only financial planner serving central Florida and clients across the country. Moisand Fitzgerald Tamayo, LLC specializes in providing objective financial planning, retirement planning, and investment management to help clients build, manage, grow, and protect their assets through all phases of one’s life and the many transitions in between.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss anything further, please give us a call or send us a note.
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Important Additional Information & Disclosures
Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by Moisand Fitzgerald Tamayo, LLC-“MFT”), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful.
Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from MFT.
Please remember that if you are a MFT client, it remains your responsibility to advise MFT, in writing, if there are any changes in your personal/financial situation or investment objectives for the purpose of reviewing/evaluating/revising our previous recommendations and/or services, or if you would like to impose, add, or to modify any reasonable restrictions to our investment advisory services. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. MFT is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. Tax advice is given only to clients and only when agreed to by MFT. A copy of the MFT’s current written disclosure Brochure discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request.
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Please Note: Limitations: While MFT does NOT pay for recognition, awards, or publicity, neither rankings and/or recognition by unaffiliated rating services, publications, or other organizations, nor the achievement of any designation or certification, should be construed by a client or prospective client as a guarantee that he/she will experience a certain level of results if MFT is engaged, or continues to be engaged, to provide investment advisory services. Rankings published by magazines, and others, generally base their selections exclusively on information prepared and/or submitted by the recognized adviser. Rankings are generally limited to participating advisers. No ranking or recognition should be construed as a current or past endorsement of MFT by any of its clients. ANY QUESTIONS: MFT’s Chief Compliance Officer remains available to address any questions regarding rankings and/or recognitions, including providing the criteria used for any reflected ranking.
Historical performance results for investment indices, benchmarks, and/or categories have been provided for general informational/comparison purposes only, and generally do not reflect the deduction of transaction and/or custodial charges, the deduction of an investment management fee, nor the impact of taxes, the incurrence of which would have the effect of decreasing historical performance results. It should not be assumed that your MFT account holdings correspond directly to any comparative indices or categories. Please Also Note: (1) performance results do not reflect the impact of taxes; (2) comparative benchmarks/indices may be more or less volatile than your MFT accounts; and, (3) a description of each comparative benchmark/index is available upon request.