Sun Post http://post.mnsun.com Local News for Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Center, Crystal, Golden Valley, New Hope and Robbinsdale Minnesota Wed, 28 Jan 2015 03:55:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 New Hope City Council shooting suspect identified http://post.mnsun.com/2015/01/two-officers-injured-in-new-hope-city-council-shooting/ http://post.mnsun.com/2015/01/two-officers-injured-in-new-hope-city-council-shooting/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 02:00:37 +0000 http://post.mnsun.com/?p=129906 Adam Johnson, left, and Joshua Eernisse were sworn in as New Hope police officers minutes before gunshot rang out in the entryway of city hall Monday, Jan. 26. (Sun Post staff photo by Gina Purcell)

Adam Johnson, left, and Joshua Eernisse were sworn in as New Hope police officers minutes before gunshot rang out in the entryway of city hall Monday, Jan. 26. (Sun Post staff photo by Gina Purcell)

Last updated 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 27.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner has officially released the victims’ and suspect’s names of New Hope’s Jan. 26 city hall  shooting.

Beau Schoenhard, a seven-year New Hope police officer, and newly sworn-in officer Joshua Eernisse were the two officers injured in the attack.

Raymond Kenneth Kmetz, 68, of Belle Plaine was shot and killed after he opened fire on a group of New Hope police officers at a Monday night city council meeting.

According to Police Chief Tim Fournier, city staff and police officers were familiar with the suspect.

Kmetz was a former 40-year resident of New Hope where he had conflict with city staff and police.

U.S. District Court documents indicate that Kmetz was arrested Oct. 3, 2009 by a New Hope officer based on a warrant to arrest for felony terroristic threats.

According to the documents, Kmetz had a history of violent threats.

The arrest resulted in Kmetz being tased for placing his hand in his jean pocket while approaching the officer.

After Kmetz and the arresting officer provided their side of the story, video evidence proved the officer’s story to hold true.

Kmetz’ latest public encounter with New Hope council and staff was at the Aug. 11, 2014 meeting.

He spoke during the open forum claiming the city had forced his family to become homeless and that New Hope police assaulted him and his family.

Kmetz specifically addressed City Attorney Steve Sondrall as well as mentioned Councilmember John Elder during his commentary.

According to Sondrall, all of the cases against Kmetz were dismissed and the city had not proceeded against him for “a very long time.”

Meeting mayhem

On Jan.26, city council had just sworn in two new officers to the department –Officers Joshua Eernisse and Adam Johnson.

Minutes after the two completed the oath of office fellow officers, family, friends and other meeting attendants exited the council chambers.

Fournier said roughly two-thirds of his 34-officer unit was at the meeting that night.

After the glass doors of the chambers were closed, the group continued to converse and congratulate the newest officers. Moments later gunfire rang out.

Councilmember John Elder, a former police officer and current employee of the Minneapolis Police Department recognized the noise and yelled for everyone to get down as Fournier commanded the same from outside the chambers.

The scene at New Hope City Council Monday, Jan. 26 after a lone gunman opened fire on a group of police officers during a council meeting. Photo was taken with a smartphone. (Sun Post staff photo by Gina Purcell)

The scene at New Hope City Council Monday, Jan. 26 after a lone gunman opened fire on a group of police officers during a council meeting. Photo was taken with a smartphone. (Sun Post staff photo by Gina Purcell)

Council members hid behind the large desk as meeting attendants inside the chambers dropped to the floor, lying under chairs.

No more than six shots rang out before the suspect was shot dead by New Hope police. The shooting lasted only seconds but injured two officers and penetrated one of the chamber’s glass doors, spraying shattered glass on meeting attendants.

Shouting could be heard from inside the council chambers as police returned fire, aided the injured and commanded others to get out of harm’s way.

As soon as the shooting ended, New Hope officers radioed the incident to county dispatch. As department after department arrived for support, Plymouth took responsibility to cover New Hope’s calls.

After police had secured the building, everyone inside was ushered to the lower level of City Hall where they waited until further notice. Many contacted their families assuring loved ones they had not been injured.

Eventually, when the entire block was cordoned off, witnesses were moved to West Metro Fire-Rescue District located nearby where the waiting continued. Water, snacks and pizza were provided as individuals waited to be questioned by Hennepin County Detectives.

New Hope City Hall could be found taped off Tuesday, Jan. 27 after a shooting at Monday night’s city council meeting. (Sun Post staff photo by Gina Purcell)

New Hope City Hall could be found taped off Tuesday, Jan. 27 after a shooting at Monday night’s city council meeting. (Sun Post staff photo by Gina Purcell)

Hours after the attack occurred, witnesses were taken one by one to provide statements regarding his or her perspective of the event.

Following questioning, individuals were allowed to return home but could not gather their belongings from city hall as it was now part of a crime scene.

City hall was closed Tuesday, Jan. 27 for further investigation and scene clean-up but is expected to re-open Wednesday.

Several officers involved did not return to work Tuesday. Crystal Police Department is currently taking New Hope’s emergency calls while Fournier aids in Hennepin County’s investigation.

Both injured officers were released from the hospital Tuesday and returned to the department for questioning.

The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office is tentatively planning a media briefing 11 a.m. at City Hall, 4401 Xylon Ave.

The investigation is ongoing.

More information will be provided as it becomes available.

]]>
http://post.mnsun.com/2015/01/two-officers-injured-in-new-hope-city-council-shooting/feed/ 0
Market Correction: 5 Moves http://post.mnsun.com/2015/01/market-correction-5-moves/ http://post.mnsun.com/2015/01/market-correction-5-moves/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 22:30:39 +0000 http://post.mnsun.com/?guid=7741feaaaf1257a6d0054b89cfee750c Despite a good 2014, the stock market went through some tough days. At one point in October the Standard & Poor’s 500 was down about 8% from its all-time high reached just a month before, then a few weeks later rebounded to set records.

Such downdrafts will come again. While we are not now in correction mode – generally defined as a 10% or greater drop in an index – does such yo-yoing portend a market correction, and what can you do to prepare?

1. Do nothing. Assuming you have in place a financial plan with an investment strategy, you really need do nothing when a correction occurs. Ideally, you rebalanced your portfolio along the way, and put your asset allocation largely in line with your plan and your risk tolerance.

Making moves in reaction to a market correction (official or otherwise) is rarely a good idea. At the very least, wait until after the big plunge is over.

As quarterback Aaron Rodgers told the fans in Green Bay after the Packers 1-2 start: Relax. The team then racked up a 12-4 season and came within one victory of the Super Bowl.

2. Review your mutual funds. Rough markets are good times to look at various mutual funds and exchange-traded funds in your portfolio. How did they hold up compared with similar investments during the market downturn? When the market changed direction?

For example, during the 2008-2009 market rollercoaster, I looked at funds to see how they did in both the down market of 2008 and in the up market of 2009. If a fund did worse than the majority of its peers in 2008, I expected better-than-average performance the next year. Underperformance during both periods was a huge red flag.

3. Don’t get caught up in media hype. If you watch financial news outlets long enough, you will unfailingly find some expert to support about any opinion about the stock market during any type of rally or dip. This can be especially dangerous for investors who might already feel afraid when markets tank, however slightly.

I don’t discount the great and useful information the media provide, but take much of it with some skepticism. Instead, lean on your financial plan and your investment strategy as a guide during market turbulence.

4. Focus on risk. Use stock market corrections and downturns to assess your portfolio’s risk and, more importantly, your own tolerance for risk.

Assess whether your portfolio held up in line with your expectations. If not, perhaps you take more risk than you planned (whether aware of doing so or not). Also assess your feelings about your portfolio’s performance: If you find yourself unduly fearful about the recent market moves, consider revisiting your allocation and your financial plan once Wall Street settles down.

5. Look for bargains. If you eyed a particular stock, ETF or mutual fund before the market drop, this might be the time to make an investment. I don’t advocate market timing – but snagging a good long-term investment makes an even better deal when that investment is on sale.

Don’t believe me? Then believe investing guru Warren Buffett’s championing of buying low.

Markets always correct at some point. Smart investors factor this into plans and don’t overreact. Be a smart investor.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Roger Wohlner, is a fee-only financial adviser based in Arlington Heights, Ill., where he provides financial planning and investment advice to individual clients, 401(k) plan sponsors and participants, foundations, and endowments. Please feel free to contact him with your investing and financial planning questions. Roger is active on both Twitter and LinkedIn. Check out Roger’s popular blog The Chicago Financial Planner where he writes about issues concerning financial planning, investments, and retirement plans. He is also a regular contributor to Investopedia, has written for US News Smarter Investor Blog and has been quoted extensively in the financial press including The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and Smart Money. Roger is a member of NAPFA, the largest professional organization for fee-only financial advisors in the country. All NAPFA Registered Advisors sign a fiduciary oath promising to act in the best interests of their clients.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

]]>
Despite a good 2014, the stock market went through some tough days. At one point in October the Standard & Poor’s 500 was down about 8% from its all-time high reached just a month before, then a few weeks later rebounded to set records.

Such downdrafts will come again. While we are not now in correction mode – generally defined as a 10% or greater drop in an index – does such yo-yoing portend a market correction, and what can you do to prepare?

1. Do nothing. Assuming you have in place a financial plan with an investment strategy, you really need do nothing when a correction occurs. Ideally, you rebalanced your portfolio along the way, and put your asset allocation largely in line with your plan and your risk tolerance.

Making moves in reaction to a market correction (official or otherwise) is rarely a good idea. At the very least, wait until after the big plunge is over.

As quarterback Aaron Rodgers told the fans in Green Bay after the Packers 1-2 start: Relax. The team then racked up a 12-4 season and came within one victory of the Super Bowl.

2. Review your mutual funds. Rough markets are good times to look at various mutual funds and exchange-traded funds in your portfolio. How did they hold up compared with similar investments during the market downturn? When the market changed direction?

For example, during the 2008-2009 market rollercoaster, I looked at funds to see how they did in both the down market of 2008 and in the up market of 2009. If a fund did worse than the majority of its peers in 2008, I expected better-than-average performance the next year. Underperformance during both periods was a huge red flag.

3. Don’t get caught up in media hype. If you watch financial news outlets long enough, you will unfailingly find some expert to support about any opinion about the stock market during any type of rally or dip. This can be especially dangerous for investors who might already feel afraid when markets tank, however slightly.

I don’t discount the great and useful information the media provide, but take much of it with some skepticism. Instead, lean on your financial plan and your investment strategy as a guide during market turbulence.

4. Focus on risk. Use stock market corrections and downturns to assess your portfolio’s risk and, more importantly, your own tolerance for risk.

Assess whether your portfolio held up in line with your expectations. If not, perhaps you take more risk than you planned (whether aware of doing so or not). Also assess your feelings about your portfolio’s performance: If you find yourself unduly fearful about the recent market moves, consider revisiting your allocation and your financial plan once Wall Street settles down.

5. Look for bargains. If you eyed a particular stock, ETF or mutual fund before the market drop, this might be the time to make an investment. I don’t advocate market timing – but snagging a good long-term investment makes an even better deal when that investment is on sale.

Don’t believe me? Then believe investing guru Warren Buffett’s championing of buying low.

Markets always correct at some point. Smart investors factor this into plans and don’t overreact. Be a smart investor.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Roger Wohlner, is a fee-only financial adviser based in Arlington Heights, Ill., where he provides financial planning and investment advice to individual clients, 401(k) plan sponsors and participants, foundations, and endowments. Please feel free to contact him with your investing and financial planning questions. Roger is active on both Twitter and LinkedIn. Check out Roger’s popular blog The Chicago Financial Planner where he writes about issues concerning financial planning, investments, and retirement plans. He is also a regular contributor to Investopedia, has written for US News Smarter Investor Blog and has been quoted extensively in the financial press including The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and Smart Money. Roger is a member of NAPFA, the largest professional organization for fee-only financial advisors in the country. All NAPFA Registered Advisors sign a fiduciary oath promising to act in the best interests of their clients.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

]]>
http://post.mnsun.com/2015/01/market-correction-5-moves/feed/ 0
Diversification: Now Harder http://post.mnsun.com/2015/01/diversification-now-harder/ http://post.mnsun.com/2015/01/diversification-now-harder/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 19:31:03 +0000 http://post.mnsun.com/?guid=3ffac2c0af4efaae1519a4596ccaccde We hear all the time that spreading our portfolio’s holdings across many classes of assets is the best defense against losses when the bears hit Wall Street. There’s a good chance your diversification strategy may now not work as you intended, though.

Here’s why.

The cornerstone of diversification is a mixture of investments, each of which has broadly differing patterns of strength and weakness. That way, strengths in one investment can potentially offset weaknesses in another at any given time. The greater the difference in performance patterns of any two investments, the bigger the potential benefit from diversification.

Historically, such alternative investments as real property and precious metals provided a non-correlated counterbalance in portfolios to traditional holdings such as stocks. Over the past decade, some investments that once differed significantly began performing more alike; this reduced their potential to offset each other’s ups and downs in your portfolio. As financial instruments and global markets became increasingly liquid and accessible, different asset classes became more closely interrelated.

Correlation is a common measure of the variation in performance between two investments. The closer two investments’ correlation is to zero, the greater their potential to diversify your holdings. In other words, the less alike two investments are, the less they can drop in the same market conditions.

Different asset classes once tended to correlate at a relatively low level. And the correlations they did have tended to vary; even as one pair became highly correlated, others went in the opposite direction.

The chart below shows how diversification potential for U.S. equities and other assets differed over time. The best diversification potential occurred when chart values were relatively near the center (that is, the zero axis). Weaker diversification potential occurred when values fell near to the top or bottom edges of the chart.

The weakest sustained potential occurred when correlation remained near 1.0 for long periods, as in recent years, between U.S. and foreign stocks.

 

The Correlation Picture, 1992 to 2014

Each of the lines above represents the correlation between U.S. stocks and the indicated investment class over time, reflecting annualized 36-month returns for trailing 5-year periods. A correlation of 1.0 means that all changes are synchronized exactly. A correlation of minus 1.0 means that the amount of change synchronizes precisely but that the changes run in opposite directions.

A correlation of 0 denotes no statistically measurable relationship between changes in one set of returns and changes in another. Note: In the chart above the following indexes and benchmarks represent the following stocks:

Convergence of key asset classes’ performance may be clear but the underlying reasons are complex, making potential solutions complex. Some point to the 2008-09 financial crisis or the aggressive explosion of ultra-diversified hedge funds and exchange-traded funds. Others credit the melting borders of international trade. No one answer seems to constitute a sole reason.

Investors need to consider not only the risk and reward potential for each investment category but those categories’ correlations, as well. This lets you know how much of a portfolio can rise or fall at once.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Stephen P. Giulietti, CFP, CIMA, is Senior Vice President - Wealth Management, Financial Advisor at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management in Boston. Contact him at stephen.p.giulietti@morganstanley.com.

The information contained in this article is not a solicitation to purchase or sell investments. Any information presented is general in nature and not intended to provide individually tailored investment advice. The strategies and/or investments referenced may not be suitable for all investors as the appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor's individual circumstances and objectives. Investing involves risks and there is always the potential of losing money when you invest. The views expressed herein are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect the views of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, Member SIPC, or its affiliates.

Stephen Giulietti may only transact business in states where he is registered or excluded or exempted from registration http://www.morganstanleyfa.com/giulietti/. Transacting business, follow-up and individualized responses involving either effecting or attempting to effect transactions in securities, or the rendering of personalized investment advice for compensation, will not be made to persons in states where Stephen Giulietti is not registered or excluded or exempt from registration.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

All indexes cited above are generally considered representative of their broad asset classes. Investors cannot invest directly in any index. Index returns are hypothetical and do not reflect the effects of taxes, fees, commissions or other costs of investing. Returns are calculated from monthly index values between July 1984 and June 2014. Past performance does not assure future results.

 

 

]]>
We hear all the time that spreading our portfolio’s holdings across many classes of assets is the best defense against losses when the bears hit Wall Street. There’s a good chance your diversification strategy may now not work as you intended, though.

Here’s why.

The cornerstone of diversification is a mixture of investments, each of which has broadly differing patterns of strength and weakness. That way, strengths in one investment can potentially offset weaknesses in another at any given time. The greater the difference in performance patterns of any two investments, the bigger the potential benefit from diversification.

Historically, such alternative investments as real property and precious metals provided a non-correlated counterbalance in portfolios to traditional holdings such as stocks. Over the past decade, some investments that once differed significantly began performing more alike; this reduced their potential to offset each other’s ups and downs in your portfolio. As financial instruments and global markets became increasingly liquid and accessible, different asset classes became more closely interrelated.

Correlation is a common measure of the variation in performance between two investments. The closer two investments’ correlation is to zero, the greater their potential to diversify your holdings. In other words, the less alike two investments are, the less they can drop in the same market conditions.

Different asset classes once tended to correlate at a relatively low level. And the correlations they did have tended to vary; even as one pair became highly correlated, others went in the opposite direction.

The chart below shows how diversification potential for U.S. equities and other assets differed over time. The best diversification potential occurred when chart values were relatively near the center (that is, the zero axis). Weaker diversification potential occurred when values fell near to the top or bottom edges of the chart.

The weakest sustained potential occurred when correlation remained near 1.0 for long periods, as in recent years, between U.S. and foreign stocks.

 

The Correlation Picture, 1992 to 2014

Each of the lines above represents the correlation between U.S. stocks and the indicated investment class over time, reflecting annualized 36-month returns for trailing 5-year periods. A correlation of 1.0 means that all changes are synchronized exactly. A correlation of minus 1.0 means that the amount of change synchronizes precisely but that the changes run in opposite directions.

A correlation of 0 denotes no statistically measurable relationship between changes in one set of returns and changes in another. Note: In the chart above the following indexes and benchmarks represent the following stocks:

Convergence of key asset classes’ performance may be clear but the underlying reasons are complex, making potential solutions complex. Some point to the 2008-09 financial crisis or the aggressive explosion of ultra-diversified hedge funds and exchange-traded funds. Others credit the melting borders of international trade. No one answer seems to constitute a sole reason.

Investors need to consider not only the risk and reward potential for each investment category but those categories’ correlations, as well. This lets you know how much of a portfolio can rise or fall at once.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Stephen P. Giulietti, CFP, CIMA, is Senior Vice President - Wealth Management, Financial Advisor at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management in Boston. Contact him at stephen.p.giulietti@morganstanley.com.

The information contained in this article is not a solicitation to purchase or sell investments. Any information presented is general in nature and not intended to provide individually tailored investment advice. The strategies and/or investments referenced may not be suitable for all investors as the appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor's individual circumstances and objectives. Investing involves risks and there is always the potential of losing money when you invest. The views expressed herein are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect the views of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, Member SIPC, or its affiliates.

Stephen Giulietti may only transact business in states where he is registered or excluded or exempted from registration http://www.morganstanleyfa.com/giulietti/. Transacting business, follow-up and individualized responses involving either effecting or attempting to effect transactions in securities, or the rendering of personalized investment advice for compensation, will not be made to persons in states where Stephen Giulietti is not registered or excluded or exempt from registration.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

All indexes cited above are generally considered representative of their broad asset classes. Investors cannot invest directly in any index. Index returns are hypothetical and do not reflect the effects of taxes, fees, commissions or other costs of investing. Returns are calculated from monthly index values between July 1984 and June 2014. Past performance does not assure future results.

 

 

]]>
http://post.mnsun.com/2015/01/diversification-now-harder/feed/ 0
Your Investment Policy Statement http://post.mnsun.com/2015/01/your-investment-policy-statement/ http://post.mnsun.com/2015/01/your-investment-policy-statement/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 19:30:48 +0000 http://post.mnsun.com/?guid=0b7393e38270bbcab9ceda6fe41a1263 A written statement that outlines your goals and investment strategy is a must for all investors. When market risks arise for real, an investment policy statement helps you stay committed to your plan.

New York Times columnist Paul Sullivan says an investment policy statement is “to a financial plan what a Range Rover is to a minivan. Both will carry your children safely, but only the Range Rover will power up a gravelly mountain.”

Who among us hasn’t had to soldier through some rocky markets from time to time? Whenever markets do turn sickeningly steep, second-guessing your plan is instinct. A well-maintained investment policy statement serves as a reliable touchstone during these risky times, when your human emotions may otherwise overtake your financial resolve.

A 2013 Russell Investments survey found that most financial advisors didn’t use an investment policy statement for all of their clients. One in five didn’t have it at all. This is a significant concern. You may rarely refer to your investment policy statement on any given day, but it’s like a parachute, when you do need it, you really need it.

Your investment policy statement should include detailed, up-to-date descriptions of the factors influencing your ongoing investment experience, such as:

  1. Investor “personality.” Your risk tolerance and other individual challenges and opportunities that shape your investment expectations.
  2. Financial life goals. Your and your family’s desired goals, including tax considerations, dollars and specific time horizons.
  3. Investment approach. How your advisor manages your investment portfolio to advance your goals, including your investment strategy, desirable portfolio holdings and target asset allocations.
  4. Roles and responsibilities. Whom the portfolio is for, your investor rights and responsibilities, and ditto for your advisor.
  5. Procedures. Guidelines for how you and your advisor review, rethink and revise the statement to keep it current.

Besides keeping you on track, on a more practical front, this document comes in handy when you, your family members or others involved in your financial affairs forget the details of your personalized investment strategy. Is my portfolio a 60/40 fixed income/stock allocation or a 70/30? Which accounts are earmarked for retirement and which are for college funding? Is my portfolio on track toward my stated goals or does it need adjustments? A quick check of your statement can answer these questions.

Having these sorts of details laid out in plain view is especially important if you are unable to handle your portfolio, and a spouse or other family member must take over the decision-making. With an investment policy statement to reference, the person acting in your place can resolve questions that might otherwise be difficult to answer.

In short, an investment policy statement gives you both the big picture as well as the granular details in writing. This way, come what may, everyone can best act in synchronized concert toward the same goals: yours.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Sheri Iannetta Cupo, CFP, is a principal of SageBroadview Financial Planning with offices in Morristown, N.J., and Farmington, Conn. The SageBroadview blog covers a wide range of financial planning and life topics.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

]]>
A written statement that outlines your goals and investment strategy is a must for all investors. When market risks arise for real, an investment policy statement helps you stay committed to your plan.

New York Times columnist Paul Sullivan says an investment policy statement is “to a financial plan what a Range Rover is to a minivan. Both will carry your children safely, but only the Range Rover will power up a gravelly mountain.”

Who among us hasn’t had to soldier through some rocky markets from time to time? Whenever markets do turn sickeningly steep, second-guessing your plan is instinct. A well-maintained investment policy statement serves as a reliable touchstone during these risky times, when your human emotions may otherwise overtake your financial resolve.

A 2013 Russell Investments survey found that most financial advisors didn’t use an investment policy statement for all of their clients. One in five didn’t have it at all. This is a significant concern. You may rarely refer to your investment policy statement on any given day, but it’s like a parachute, when you do need it, you really need it.

Your investment policy statement should include detailed, up-to-date descriptions of the factors influencing your ongoing investment experience, such as:

  1. Investor “personality.” Your risk tolerance and other individual challenges and opportunities that shape your investment expectations.
  2. Financial life goals. Your and your family’s desired goals, including tax considerations, dollars and specific time horizons.
  3. Investment approach. How your advisor manages your investment portfolio to advance your goals, including your investment strategy, desirable portfolio holdings and target asset allocations.
  4. Roles and responsibilities. Whom the portfolio is for, your investor rights and responsibilities, and ditto for your advisor.
  5. Procedures. Guidelines for how you and your advisor review, rethink and revise the statement to keep it current.

Besides keeping you on track, on a more practical front, this document comes in handy when you, your family members or others involved in your financial affairs forget the details of your personalized investment strategy. Is my portfolio a 60/40 fixed income/stock allocation or a 70/30? Which accounts are earmarked for retirement and which are for college funding? Is my portfolio on track toward my stated goals or does it need adjustments? A quick check of your statement can answer these questions.

Having these sorts of details laid out in plain view is especially important if you are unable to handle your portfolio, and a spouse or other family member must take over the decision-making. With an investment policy statement to reference, the person acting in your place can resolve questions that might otherwise be difficult to answer.

In short, an investment policy statement gives you both the big picture as well as the granular details in writing. This way, come what may, everyone can best act in synchronized concert toward the same goals: yours.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Sheri Iannetta Cupo, CFP, is a principal of SageBroadview Financial Planning with offices in Morristown, N.J., and Farmington, Conn. The SageBroadview blog covers a wide range of financial planning and life topics.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

]]>
http://post.mnsun.com/2015/01/your-investment-policy-statement/feed/ 0
Special Olympics fundraiser is Feb. 15 http://post.mnsun.com/2015/01/special-olympics-fundraiser-is-feb-15/ http://post.mnsun.com/2015/01/special-olympics-fundraiser-is-feb-15/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 17:14:29 +0000 http://post.mnsun.com/?p=129878 A bowling fundraiser to support Special Olympics Minnesota begins at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 15, at Doyle’s Bowling & Lounge, 5000 W. Broadway Ave., Crystal.

Afterward, a lunch and prize raffle will be held at the Crystal VFW Post 494, 5222 56th Ave. N., Crystal. Prizes will be awarded for bowling performance.

The event is sponsored by the Crystal Lions, and all proceeds will be donated to the Special Olympics.

The cost for the fundraiser is $20, which includes three games of bowling, shoe rental and lunch afterward.

Info: 763-537-8148.

]]>
http://post.mnsun.com/2015/01/special-olympics-fundraiser-is-feb-15/feed/ 0
COLUMN: Enrollment and capacity changes impact our facilities http://post.mnsun.com/2015/01/column-enrollment-and-capacity-changes-impact-our-facilities/ http://post.mnsun.com/2015/01/column-enrollment-and-capacity-changes-impact-our-facilities/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 17:00:05 +0000 http://post.mnsun.com/?p=129924 By Aldo Sicoli

Robbinsdale Area Schools remains a district of choice for families living in our seven-city boundaries. Our strong and steady enrollment over the last five years, coupled with exciting program changes, have veered away from past projections and accelerated our need to re-examine our long-range facilities plan.

Robbinsdale Area School Superintenden Aldo Sicoli. (Submitted photo)

Robbinsdale Area School Superintenden Aldo Sicoli. (Submitted photo)

When analyzing the next five years of enrollment and capacity, we are anticipating a need for significant facilities changes in several of our buildings just to keep pace with our conservative growth.

During discussions of our facilities challenges, our school board members have analyzed and discussed how we ended up in this place when seven to 10 years ago we faced declining enrollment that resulted in closing schools.

We have certainly experienced a turnaround in the past five years, some of which is a result of decisions and intentional action from our school board.

In 2008, it was difficult to fund all the schools and buildings we had. Our school board made decisions needed at that time, based on the best knowledge and projections available to them. Over the past six years, we have saved money from options implemented from those decisions.

The facilities challenges that we experience today are primarily due to increased enrollment or decreased capacity since 2008.

Increased enrollment is a good problem for us to have; however, it brings with it facilities challenges because many of our buildings are relatively full. Student enrollment followed projections 2008-11. Since 2011, we have seen a spike.

There have been some changes that we hoped for in our planning and there are some reasons for enrollment changes that were hard to anticipate in long-range planning that occurred over six years ago.

Free full-day kindergarten was approved in 2013 by the Legislature throughout the state of Minnesota. Our families have jumped at this opportunity to send their students to a full-day program.

We have seen an increase in kindergarten enrollment that exceeded past projections. Additionally, we now have more kindergartners than seniors graduating, which will help sustain strong enrollment.

Another change that has been a game-changer is the expansion of school-based preschool/pre-kindergarten (pre-K) programs. Nationally, there is more of a demand for pre-K programs and we see that same trend in our district.

We know that when students are prepared for kindergarten they have a higher likelihood of success in school. We believe the expansion of pre-K is likely to continue, and school-based programs will be in high demand. Families that use school-based pre-K generally stay enrolled in our district, which increases retention.

The successful opening of the School of Engineering and Arts in 2012 was another catalyst for the steady enrollment we see in the district today. This popular magnet school has helped us retain resident families at higher levels and recruit more non-resident students to the district.

In addition to enrollment increases over past projections, we are also experiencing decreased capacity in our buildings compared to previous years because of changes in several of our programs. Full-day kindergarten, the growth of pre-K programs, middle school extension classes and lower class sizes have contributed to decreased capacity in our schools.

Full-day kindergarten and the growth of pre-K programs require more classroom space than our facilities have traditionally provided. The community and our district are proud to boast our lower-than-average class sizes.

Five years ago, we found a need to reduce our class sizes to better serve families. We believe this lower student-to-teacher ratio is necessary to maximize student learning and maintain a competitive advantage.

Other capacity changes have been felt in our middle schools with the elimination of study halls to add more math and reading classes. Additionally, adding a Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) magnet program at Robbinsdale Middle School has changed the way some space is used in that school.

As we plan for future enrollment and facility needs, we know there are implications for all our stakeholders. In upcoming months, our goal is to convene a community group to further study our future facility needs.

Providing students with a great education that prepares them to be career and college ready is at the forefront of our current discussions.

My best days are the days I spend in our schools. Schools are an important resource for all our families and the community at large. I invite you to visit our schools and see first-hand the great things taking place every day.

 

Aldo Sicoli is the Supt. of Robbinsdale Area Schools.

]]>
http://post.mnsun.com/2015/01/column-enrollment-and-capacity-changes-impact-our-facilities/feed/ 0
Snowshoe under the moon in Golden Valley http://post.mnsun.com/2015/01/snowshoe-under-the-moon-in-golden-valley/ http://post.mnsun.com/2015/01/snowshoe-under-the-moon-in-golden-valley/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 16:00:54 +0000 http://post.mnsun.com/?p=129616 Brookview Golf Course is hosting a snowshoeing excursion under the moon 7-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 4, at the course, 200 Brookview Pkwy.

The walk is open to individuals 16-years-old and older.

Participants will learn the history of snowshoeing and different styles commonly used.

No experience necessary. Snowshoes will be provided.

Fee is $12 for residents of Golden Valley, New Hope, Crystal and Robbinsdale; $19 for nonresidents.

Info: 763-512-2345.

]]>
http://post.mnsun.com/2015/01/snowshoe-under-the-moon-in-golden-valley/feed/ 0
Robbinsdale Area Schools enrollment numbers virtually unchanged from last year http://post.mnsun.com/2015/01/robbinsdale-area-schools-enrollment-numbers-virtually-unchanged-from-last-year/ http://post.mnsun.com/2015/01/robbinsdale-area-schools-enrollment-numbers-virtually-unchanged-from-last-year/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 14:24:45 +0000 http://post.mnsun.com/?p=129862 Increased enrollment predicted through ‘18-’19 school year; White students continue to flow west

A report delivered to the Robbinsdale Area Schools Board of Education on Jan. 20 details current school district enrollment, future enrollment trends and enrollment projections through Jan. 1, 2019.

The report, which is a more in-depth version of one that was delivered to the board earlier in the school year, states that total enrollment is virtually unchanged from the previous school year, and that roughly 70 percent of students who live in the district choose to attend school there, a number it claims is “comparable” to other suburban school districts.

Current enrollment

Enrollment in the school district has held steady around 11,800 students for several years. The exact figure is 11,821 as of Jan. 1, down a total of six students from the same date in 2013.

RS29NWenrollment-01The Jan. 1 number is smaller than the 11,911 students enrolled on Oct. 1 of this year.

The district’s enrollment increases sharply in the first few weeks of each school year, then gradually trends downward as the year progresses.

Dennis Beekman, the district’s executive director of technology and creator of the report, explained the initial rise is new students “moving in” as the school year begins. The steady downward trend is attributable to students leaving the district as families move, they drop out or leave for other reasons. Beekman added that both trends, which are apparent each year in the district’s day-by-day enrollment data, are typical.

The district has 919 students enrolled in all-day Kindergarten, which was fully implemented statewide this school year. This year is the first that the program is fully implemented in Robbinsdale schools, as well, Beekman said. It was available to roughly half of the district’s students in 2013-14.

Last year, before the complete rollout, 496 students were enrolled in all-day Kindergarten, about 54 percent of all district kindergartners.

This year, only a small handful of families have opted out of all-day Kindergarten, pushing that percentage nearer to 100.

Beekman’s report also predicts that 12,156 students will be enrolled in the school district on Jan. 1, 2019.

Enrollment trends

The percentage of school aged students residing in the district who attend the district’s schools – referred to as the district’s “capture rate” – has hovered just above 70 since the 2008-09 school year.

Beekman said that constant rate is attributable to a host of variables that can push and pull capture rates.

RS29NWactexcused-03“Every year it’s some other things … For example, this year we made some headroads in terms of all-day Kindergarten” he said. A new charter school “came online” in the past year, however, which lowered the potential capture rate gain.

The state average capture rate is 78 percent, according to the Minnesota Education Statistics Summary for the 2013-14 school year.

The gap between district and state-wide capture rates could be as narrow as 72/78, depending on whether one counts the district students who enroll in multi-district programs, such as Intermediate District 287 or the West Metro Education Program.

Beekman said that the district’s lower capture rate is attributable to greater school choice in first and second-ring suburbs. School districts in greater Minnesota may have fewer options outside of the nearby public school and, thus, fewer students leaving their home district.

Twelve percent of Robbinsdale school district students attend other public schools, compared to 17 percent at Hopkins, 11 percent at Osseo and 5 percent at Wayzata, according to the report. Those three other districts were chosen, in part, because they are adjacent to Robbinsdale Area Schools, Beekman said.

Prior to 2008-09, the number of students attending district schools declined by nearly 1,200 due to the advent of open enrollment and relatively low birth rates in the late ‘90s and early 2000s.

“Additional school choice through charter schools was a big deal,” Beekman added.

In the 2014-15 school year, there are 14,936 potential students living in the district, of whom 10,488 attended a Robbinsdale Area school.

The Minnesota Department of Education reported that 1,486 students open enrolled into the district and 2,765 open enrolled out of the district in the 2013-14 school year.

Those students who leave the district have increasingly gone to other public schools and charter schools since the 08-09 school year.

In the current year, 1,572 students left the Robbinsdale district for another public school district, up from 1,237 in 08-09. The number leaving for charter schools has increased from 619 to 942 in that same timeframe.

Most students who leave the school district in favor of a neighboring one head to the Hopkins or Osseo districts.RS29NWenrollment-02

481 students living in the Robbinsdale district opted to attend a Hopkins school, up from 318 in 08-09 and 269 in the 2005-06 school year. Another 333 students leave for Osseo Area Schools, up from 212 in 08-09.

The most popular charter school destination for students who would otherwise attend a Robbinsdale Area school is Prairie Seeds Academy in Brooklyn Park, which enrolls 153 district students this year and has “experienced the largest growth since 2007,” the report states.

The number of students not attending the district in favor of private schooling has remained relatively constant, having increased from 1,345 to 1,368 from the 08-09 year to the present one.

Other options – such as home schooling or attending the West Metro Education Program’s schools – have remained relatively stable, as well.

Demographics

Of the resident students who left Robbinsdale Area Schools for other public school districts in 2014, nearly half self-identified as white, according to department of education data supplied to the Sun Post.

Relatively few white students elect to enter the district, however, while other ethnicities enter the district at a similar rate to which they leave for others.

Of the 2,765 in-district students who attend other public schools, 1,335 are white, 945 are black, 227 are Hispanic, 223 are Asian/Pacific Islander and 35 are American Indian

RS29NWenrollment-03Students entering the school district from neighboring ones are 398 white students, 937 fewer than white students who leave. Another 709 black students, 144 Hispanic students, 193 Asian/Pacific Islander students and 35 American Indian students enter the district, according to the education department’s data.

A 2013 analysis conducted by the University of Minnesota Law School’s Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity states that large, increasingly-diverse districts like Robbinsdale, Osseo and Anoka-Hennepin see predominantly white students move to “other, less diverse districts.”

That study used enrollment data from the 2009-10 school year. It goes on to say that Robbinsdale schools lost 362 students, 70 percent of whom were white, to Hopkins.

Hopkins, in turn, lost white students to the Minnetonka and Edina school districts, the study claims.

 

Contact Joe Bowen at joe.bowen@ecm-inc.com

]]>
http://post.mnsun.com/2015/01/robbinsdale-area-schools-enrollment-numbers-virtually-unchanged-from-last-year/feed/ 0
Golden Valley tapping into the brewery scene http://post.mnsun.com/2015/01/golden-valley-tapping-into-the-brewery-scene/ http://post.mnsun.com/2015/01/golden-valley-tapping-into-the-brewery-scene/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 09:40:06 +0000 http://post.mnsun.com/?p=129642 GV22NWtaproom-2BWAfter learning about a party interested in bringing a taproom to Golden Valley, city staff began looking into amending the alcoholic beverages licensing and regulations chapter of the city code.

According to the council, the change in code has been eyed for a year or two. With other timely issues to review, the council continued to put the task on the back burner.

“When (the council) had our retreat almost a year ago, we thought this was one thing we’d like to see in Golden Valley and unfortunately we didn’t get to work on it at the time,” said Councilmember Steve Schmidgall. “But recently a party has come forward and expressed interest in establishing a brewery and a taproom in Golden Valley, so we kind of got the incentive to get cranking on this. I think it would be a great asset to our community. I’m very enthusiastic with this and would like to see this go forward.”

On Jan. 6, City Clerk Kris Luedke presented staff’s recommended changes to the code regarding alcoholic beverages licensing and regulations.

In order to allow taprooms and brewpubs within the community, the city must add three new license types to the code.

• An off-sale small brewer license would allow brewers to serve up to 3,500 barrels of malt liquor per year.

One condition upon earning this type of license is that the malt liquor must be produced and packaged on the premise with specific packaging requirements known as growlers. Hours of operation must be consistent with other off-sale establishments which operate 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

• An on-sale brewer taproom license allows a brewer to serve up to 3,500 barrels of malt liquor annually.

The conditions with this license also include the requirement that the malt liquor be produced and packaged on the premise in specific packaging. No other alcoholic beverages may be sold or consumed on the premise. City staff proposed that the hours of operation be consistent with what is currently allowed with an intoxicating license. Hours of operation are likely to be 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Saturday.

• A brewpub off-sale malt liquor license would allow a brewer who holds an on-sale intoxicating or 3.2 malt liquor license for a restaurant to be operated in the place of manufacture.

This license also requires the malt liquor be produced and packaged on the premise with special requirements. Hours of operation would be 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday.

When discussing brewpubs and taprooms, it is often difficult to differentiate, officials point out.

Although the differences are identified within the license descriptions, the language can be difficult to understand.

In short, a taproom is a bar in a brewery that does not serve food, offer guest beers or carry spirits. You cannot purchase beer for off-premise consumption at a taproom.

Brewpubs allow a brewery to sell beer for off-premise consumption but are limited in how much beer is distributed annually. A brewpub can carry guest beers, serve food and have the option to carry spirits.

The council had few comments or questions regarding details of the changes before ultimately approving unanimously.

The ordinance was presented at the Jan. 20, meeting for second reading.

In addition to reviewing code changes, the council also reviewed suggested licensing fees.

Staff researched fees of other metro cities and recommended that an on-sale brewer taproom license be $600, an off-sale small brewer liquor license be $200 and a brewpub off-sale malt liquor license also be $200. Licenses will need to be renewed and fees paid each July.

City Council had no issues with the fees and provided approval. This item will return in front of the council Jan. 20.

On Dec. 22, the planning commission approved changes to the zoning code in order to allow properties to utilize these licenses. Those changes were also presented to the council Jan. 20.

 

Contact Gina Purcell at gina.purcell@ecm-inc.com

]]>
http://post.mnsun.com/2015/01/golden-valley-tapping-into-the-brewery-scene/feed/ 0
Wings hope to improve section seeding potential http://post.mnsun.com/2015/01/wings-hope-to-improve-section-seeding-potential/ http://post.mnsun.com/2015/01/wings-hope-to-improve-section-seeding-potential/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 05:00:49 +0000 http://post.mnsun.com/?p=129911 Armstrong-Cooper's Jessica Halverson (No. 39) has the second-highest goal total on the team with ten. (Sun Post staff photo by Matthew Davis)

Armstrong-Cooper’s Jessica Halverson (No. 39) has the second-highest goal total on the team with ten. (Sun Post staff photo by Matthew Davis)

Armstrong-Cooper’s girls hockey team doesn’t want to see its season end as abruptly as last year in a first-round section loss to the eventual state champion.

Seeking to improve its record for a better seed this season in the upcoming Section 6AA tournament, the Wings beat Totino-Grace 3-1 on Tuesday, Jan. 20 but fell in a heart-breaker to Spring Lake Park 1-0 on Friday, Jan. 23. A-C has a 9-13-1 record overall with an 0-2 mark against Section 6AA teams. Benilde-St. Margaret’s has similar 9-12-2 record with just a tie against section teams.

The Wings will get a monster challenge on Tuesday night with No. 3 Maple Grove (20-1-1) at 7 p.m. on the Crimson’s home ice. Besides being a section matchup, the Armstrong-Cooper could see the Crimson again next week depending on the tournament seedings.

It makes Saturday night’s game at North Metro, another 6AA team, all the more important for the Wings. A-C will have a last chance of at least finishing with more points against section opponents than the Red Knights. The Wings take on the Stars at the Brooklyn Park Community Center at 7 p.m.

North Metro beat the Wings 5-3 at New Hope Ice Arena in their last meeting on Jan. 6 but haven’t won since with five-straight losses. The Stars have gone 1-8-1 in their last ten games.

Armstrong-Cooper, 5-5 in its previous ten contests through Monday, took care of business against Totino-Grace with three unanswered goals on Jan. 20. Tori Adams and Isabella Reeve each scored power play goals in the second period at Parade Ice Arena. Kinsley Kehlenbeck and Holly Enderle each had an assist as the Wings went ahead 2-1.

Kehlenbeck gave her time a 3-1 cushion in the third period on an unassisted goal at 15:33 in the period. Paige Kopka had a .957 save percentage in goal along with 22 saves.

Angel Hillstrom likewise turned in a strong goaltending performance for the Wings on Jan. 23 against SLP. She had 26 saves and a .963 save percentage.

Unfortunately for A-C, they couldn’t capitalize as they had only 17 shots on goal for the game. SLP broke the 0-0 tie early in the third period and held on for the win.

In order to avoid increase the odds of avoiding Minnetonka (18-5) or Maple Grove (20-1-1) in the first round of Section 6AA, the Wings will need its goal scoring to reemerge at North Metro on Saturday.

 

Contact Matthew Davis at matthew.davis@ecm-inc.com

]]>
http://post.mnsun.com/2015/01/wings-hope-to-improve-section-seeding-potential/feed/ 0