Center News

New Year’s Resolutions Center Style

On New Year's Day, about 45 percent of Americans will resolve to make 2019 their best year ever.  

Not surprisingly, the most common New Year’s resolution is to lose weight. People also vow to get more organized, exercise more, better manage their finances, and do more good in the world.

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While many of our team’s resolutions fall into those categories, The Center has one rebel.

Angie simply doesn’t believe in making New Year’s resolutions. “I feel like, if it is a good idea, why wait until January to start? For example, losing weight. I’m reducing my carb intake to lose a few pounds before the new year!”

The rest of our team members have taken the tradition to heart. Here are their 2019 resolutions:

  • Jaclyn >> Balance my checkbook more frequently.

  • Matt T >> Give away 10% of my income to charity in 2019.

  • Nick D >> Run another half marathon! Did it back in 2009, but have been a bum ever since.

  • Tim :: In addition to the common resolutions of losing weight and saving more money (not in that order), I have some financial resolutions for 2019.  First, due to last year’s tax law changes, I will review my tax withholding before January 15 to make sure enough has been withheld. Unfortunately, this is a tax trap for many. Next, I plan to review some old life insurance policies. And lastly, my wife Jen and I will finalize a major gift to our alma mater, Albion College – using a donor advised fund, of course!

  • Matt C >> To feed 100 hungry children, plant 100 trees, pick up 100 pieces of trash, mentor 100 kids, and give more than I take.

  • Jacki >> Block weekly time for activities that bring me joy.

  • Josh B >> My New Year’s resolution is to read more books.

  • Lauren >> Use a 529 to save for my son’s future college expenses. We hope he’ll be a college grad in the Class of 2039!

  • Sandy >> To be more intentional with my attention, my time, and my money, in order to make a more meaningful impact on my family and my community.

  • Kali >> Increase my overall savings rate by 5%.

  • Laurie >> Add one extra month to my emergency fund reserves. Being prepared ahead of time for unexpected but necessary expenses gives me a sense of accomplishment. I know that, if needed, I have a Plan B in place!

  • Nancy >> Thanks to Tim’s “Financial Wellness; Estate Planning Lunch and Learn,” I’m motivated to get all my financial documents, such as a will, beneficiary forms, etc., completed, updated, and organized.

  • Gerri >> This year, I am committing to travel more with friends. Many of my friends travel, and since I have made a commitment to do more myself, I think it would be a blast to make some memories together.

  • Andrew >> Spend a minute each morning in appreciation of the things for which I’m grateful.

  • Bob >> Update my estate plan and track my monthly spending budget at least once per quarter.

We hope these New Year’s resolutions inspire you to make a few of your own. And if any of them involve your finances, reach out to one of our team members for support and guidance.

Here’s wishing you a happy and successful 2019!


Donor Advised Fund: Contributions to a DAF are irrevocable. Raymond James does not provide legal or tax advice. Taxpayers should seek advice based from an independent legal or tax professional prior to opening account. 529: As with other investments, there are generally fees and expenses associated with participation in a 529 plan. There is also a risk that these plans may lose money or not perform well enough to cover costs as anticipated. Most states offer their own 529 programs, which may provide advantages and benefits exclusively for their residents. Investors should consider, before investing, whether the investor's or the designated beneficiary's home state offers any tax or other benefits that are only available for investment in such state's 529 savings plan. Such benefits include financial aid, scholarship funds, and protection from creditors. The tax implications can vary significantly from state to state.

Timothy Wyman, CFP®, JD Named to Forbes and Financial Times Lists

Center for Financial Planning, Inc.® is pleased to announce that Timothy Wyman, CFP®, JD has been named to two prominent 2018 financial advisors lists, including Forbes 2018 list of "Best -in-State" Wealth Advisors in Michigan, where he ranked 25th in the state.

Timothy Wyman Forbes Best-in-State Wealth Advisors Michigan

Tim was also named to the 2018 edition of the Financial Times 400 Top Financial Advisers. The list recognizes top financial advisers at national, independent, regional and bank broker-dealers from across the U.S.

Timothy Wyman Financial Times Top Financial Advisers 2018 FT400 Ranking March 2018

"Being named to these two 2018 top financial advisor lists is a reflection of Tim's excellence and leadership with clients," said Sandy Adams, Partner and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™. "Tim likes to say, what we do at The Center is to help people with their life's most important financial goals."

In addition to working directly with clients and helping them achieve their financial goals, Tim also acts as Branch Manager, Partner and member of the firm’s Business Operations Committee. Tim is an active member of the Small Giants community whose mission is putting people before profits. Having gone through Leadership Oakland's program, Tim now serves his community as a member of their Board of Directors.

As with any milestone, we are pleased to share with you, especially because Tim is such a driving force and inspiration to the culture you feel when you come into the office. Thank you to you, our clients and friends, for being a part of The Center team.


The Forbes ranking of Best-In-State Wealth Advisors, developed by SHOOK Research is based on an algorithm of qualitative criteria and quantitative data. Those advisors that are considered have a minimum of 7 years of experience, and the algorithm weighs factors like revenue trends, AUM, compliance records, industry experience and those that encompass best practices in their practices and approach to working with clients. Portfolio performance is not a criteria due to varying client objectives and lack of audited data. Out of 21,138 advisors nominated by their firms, 2,213 received the award. This ranking is not indicative of advisor's future performance, is not an endorsement, and may not be representative of individual clients' experience. Neither Raymond James nor any of its Financial Advisors or RIA firms pay a fee in exchange for this award/rating. Raymond James is not affiliated with Forbes or Shook Research, LLC.

The FT 400 was developed in collaboration with Ignites Research, a subsidiary of the FT that provides specialized content on asset management. To qualify for the list, advisers had to have 10 years of experience and at least $300 million in assets under management (AUM) and no more than 60% of the AUM with institutional clients. The FT reaches out to some of the largest brokerages in the U.S. and asks them to provide a list of advisors who meet the minimum criteria outlined above. These advisors are then invited to apply for the ranking. Only advisors who submit an online application can be considered for the ranking. In 2018, roughly 880 applications were received and 400 were selected to the final list (45.5). The 400 qualified advisers were then scored on six attributes: AUM, AUM growth rate, compliance record, years of experience, industry certifications, and online accessibility. AUM is the top factor, accounting for roughly 60-70 percent of the applicant's score. Additionally, to provide a diversity of advisors, the FT placed a cap on the number of advisors from any one state that's roughly correlated to the distribution of millionaires across the U.S. The ranking may not be representative of any one client's experience, is not an endorsement, and is not indicative of advisor's future performance. Neither Raymond James nor any of its Financial Advisors pay a fee in exchange for this award/rating. The FT is not affiliated with Raymond James. For more information see www.SHOOKresearch.com.

Links are being provided for information purposes only. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse, authorize or sponsor any of the listed websites or their respective sponsors. Raymond James is not responsible for the content of any website or the collection or use of information regarding any website's users and/or members.

Autumn Greetings and Center Updates

Tim Wyman Contributed by: Timothy Wyman, CFP®, JD

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On behalf of everyone here at The Center committed to serving our clients and each other, we hope that you and your family had an enjoyable Labor Day weekend filled with family, friends, and fun!  While The Center wasn't quite yet founded in 1894, since then the first Monday in September has been a national holiday meant to honor the contributions workers have made to the well-being of our country. For many, Labor Day is also considered the unofficial end of summer.

Fortunately, endings also lead to exciting beginnings; Good-bye Summer and Hello Fall! It's back to school time for the kids (happy parents), the college football season kicked off, and of course the cider mills start pumping out donuts and cider – our favorite!

We want to thank you for the opportunity to work for you as well as share some of the changes and happenings here at The Center.  Much has changed in our 33-year history, but like the celebration of Labor Day, much has stayed the same.

Transitions and Continuity

The firm's four partners, Matt Chope, Sandy Adams, Laurie Renchik, and myself, continue to be committed to upholding The Center's organizational culture and passion for client service. Recently, Melissa Joy transitioned out of the firm.  Over the years Melissa held a variety of roles, most recently as Director of Marketing and financial planner.  Our strong foundation established by our founding partners, all whom have successfully retired, provide guidance and grounding during periods of change. In addition to the firm's four partners, we have a deep bench of talented professional advisors, supported by a dedicated in-house investment department and terrific client service group to ensure continuity.

Awards and Recognition

The Center has once again been recognized as a Great Place to Work by Crain’s in addition to being named one of the Best Places to Work by InvestmentNews. I was also named to Forbes Top State-by-State Advisors List for 2018 in Michigan and to 2018 Financial Times 400 Top Financial Advisors. I don’t mention the last two awards to toot my own horn, but rather to demonstrate the strength, dedication, and commitment of The Center team.

Awards are cool and we are very proud of the recognition. More importantly, this type of recognition allows us to attract top talent to provide world-class service and strive towards our core purpose of improving lives.

Center Growth

Since you’re already here, why not stay a little longer and take a look around our refreshed website. You’ll find some new videos and pictures. There are also a few more folks than when The Center started in 1985; the growth has been consistent and measured as we do our best each day to serve you. The graphic below showcases The Center and its growth in a more visually pleasing way.

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Making decisions in the best interest of our clients is at the core of The Center. It all goes back to where we first began, our humble beginnings of Marilyn Gunther, Dan Boyce and Estelle Wade championing comprehensive financial planning to improve lives. The Center's current team of 28 embraces this awesome responsibility each day. In the end, we appreciate that our firm is about people - our firm is about you.

As we move into autumn, we wish you a colorful season of happiness and much success. As always, feel free to reach out if we can be of service. We love to hear from you!

Sincerely,
Timothy Wyman, CFP®, JD
Managing Partner

Timothy Wyman, CFP®, JD is the Managing Partner and Financial Planner at Center for Financial Planning, Inc.® and is a contributor to national media and publications such as Forbes and The Wall Street Journal and has appeared on Good Morning America Weekend Edition and WDIV Channel 4. A leader in his profession, Tim served on the National Board of Directors for the 28,000 member Financial Planning Association™ (FPA®), mentored many CFP® practitioners and is a frequent speaker to organizations and businesses on various financial planning topics.


Crain's Cool Places to Work recognition program honors employers that go the extra mile to make employees feel appreciated.

InvestmentNews “2018 Top 50 Best Places to Work for Financial Advisers”, March 2018. The Best Places to Work for Financial Advisers program is a national program managed by Best Companies Group. The survey and recognition program are dedicated to identifying and recognizing the best employers in the financial advice/wealth management industry. The final list is based on the following criteria: must be a registered investment adviser (RIA), affiliated with an independent broker-dealer (IBD), or a hybrid doing business through an RIA and must be in business for a minimum of one year and must have a minimum of 15 full-time/part-time employees. The assessment process is compiled in a two part process based on the findings of the employer benefits & policies questionnaire and the employee engagement & satisfaction survey. The results are analyzed and categorized according to 9 Core Focus Areas: Leadership and Planning, Corporate Culture and Communications, Role Satisfaction, Work Environment, Relationship with Supervisor, Training, Development and Resources, Pay and Benefits and Overall Engagement. Best Companies Group will survey up to 400 randomly selected employees in a company depending on company size. The two data sets are combined and analyzed to determine the rankings. These awards are not representative of any one client's experience, are not an endorsement, and are not indicative of advisor's future performance. Neither Raymond James nor any of its Financial Advisors pay a fee in exchange for this award. InvestmentNews, the Best Companies Group, and Crain's are not affiliated with Raymond James.

The FT 400 was developed in collaboration with Ignites Research, a subsidiary of the FT that provides specialized content on asset management. To qualify for the list, advisers had to have 10 years of experience and at least $300 million in assets under management (AUM) and no more than 60% of the AUM with institutional clients. The FT reaches out to some of the largest brokerages in the U.S. and asks them to provide a list of advisors who meet the minimum criteria outlined above. These advisors are then invited to apply for the ranking. Only advisors who submit an online application can be considered for the ranking. In 2018, roughly 880 applications were received and 400 were selected to the final list (45.5%). The 400 qualified advisers were then scored on six attributes: AUM, AUM growth rate, compliance record, years of experience, industry certifications, and online accessibility. AUM is the top factor, accounting for roughly 60-70 percent of the applicant's score. Additionally, to provide a diversity of advisors, the FT placed a cap on the number of advisors from any one state that's roughly correlated to the distribution of millionaires across the U.S. The ranking may not be representative of any one client's experience, is not an endorsement, and is not indicative of advisor's future performance. Neither Raymond James nor any of its Financial Advisors pay a fee in exchange for this award/rating. The FT is not affiliated with Raymond James.

The Forbes ranking of Best-In-State Wealth Advisors, developed by SHOOK Research is based on an algorithm of qualitative criteria and quantitative data. Those advisors that are considered have a minimum of 7 years of experience, and the algorithm weighs factors like revenue trends, AUM, compliance records, industry experience and those that encompass best practices in their practices and approach to working with clients. Portfolio performance is not a criteria due to varying client objectives and lack of audited data. Out of 21,138 advisors nominated by their firms, 2,213 received the award. Neither Forbes nor SHOOK receive a fee in exchange for rankings. This ranking is not indicative of advisor's future performance, is not an endorsement, and may not be representative of individual clients' experience. Neither Raymond James nor any of its Financial Advisors or RIA firms pay a fee in exchange for this award/rating.

Just Kickin’ It

Raya Chope Contributed by: Raya Chope

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The Center is dedicated to living and encouraging a healthy, active lifestyle. So this year, we decided to take it to the next level and join a kickball league offered through an organization called, Stay & Play Social Club (SPSC). The season started out a little rough for our team. We lost a few games in a row, but that certainly didn’t discourage The Center spirit (we just had to warm up first). Once the team started to get a feel for the tips and tricks of the game, we eventually became one to beat. I suppose the saying is true: with all great failures, come great success. With that being said, we lost in the championship game, but ended up coming in third place! We can all agree that this was one of the most fun, team-building opportunities we have participated in.

If you’re interested, SPSC provides various sports leagues and tournaments for adults (21+) as a way to stay active, engaged and involved, all while having a great time doing so. Once a year, they present ‘Kicks for Kids’, a one-day, adult, charity Kickball Tournament that raises money to support healthy environments for children to stay active, and build valuable social and emotional skills through play.

As for team Just Kickin’ It, we will be back for the championship win next year!

Raya Chope is a Client Service Administrator at Center for Financial Planning, Inc.®


Any opinions are those of Raya Chope and not necessarily those of Raymond James. Expressions of opinion are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. Raymond James is not affiliated nor endorse Stay & Play Social Club or Kicks for Kids.

Nick Defenthaler, CFP® Named to Forbes list of “America’s Top Next-Generation Wealth Advisors” for second year

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For the second year in a row, Nick Defenthaler, CFP® has been named to the Forbes list of “America’s Top Next-Generation Wealth Advisors.” The list, which recognizes advisors from national, regional and independent firms, was released online July 25, 2018.  

“I’m ecstatic to once again be recognized as one of the top next generation financial planners in the country.  It’s truly a privilege to serve such amazing clients and to be surrounded by an incredible team of professionals here at The Center.” Defenthaler said. 

Nick specializes in working with clients who are closely nearing retirement or currently retired.  He has a passion for helping clients throughout the retirement transition and working with them to develop a sound, tax-efficient retirement income and portfolio decumulation strategy.  In addition to meeting with clients, Nick is the Director of The Center’s Financial Planning Department, a member of the firm’s Operations Committee as well as a frequent speaker and writer on various financial planning and investment related topics.

 Email Nick to set up an initial meeting.  Learn more about our process here.

The Forbes ranking of “America’s Top Next-Generation Wealth Advisors,” developed by Shook Research, Data as of 3/31/2018 SHOOK Research considered advisors born in 1980 or later with a minimum 4 years relevant experience. Advisors have built their own practices and lead their teams; joined teams and are viewed as future leadership; or a combination of both. Ranking algorithm is based on qualitative measures derived from telephone and in-person interviews and surveys: service models, investing process, client retention, industry experience, review of compliance records, firm nominations, etc.; and quantitative criteria, such as assets under management and revenue generated for their firms. Investment performance is not a criteria because client objectives and risk tolerances vary, and advisors rarely have audited performance reports. Rankings are based on the opinions of SHOOK Research, LLC. Neither SHOOK nor Forbes receives compensation from the advisors or their firms in exchange for placement on a ranking. Raymond James is not affiliated with Forbes or Shook Research, LLC. This ranking is not indicative of advisor’s future performance, is not an endorsement, and may not be representative of individual clients’ experience. Out of 5,832 advisors considered, 1000 made the final list in 2018.Center for Financial Planning, Inc. is a wealth management and financial planning registered investment advisor located in Southfield, Michigan. Founded in 1985, the firm has ten financial planners and 29 total team members who work with more than 900 clients; the firm manages more than $1.1 billion in assets under management. Securities are offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Center for Financial Planning, Inc. Center for Financial Planning, Inc. is not a registered broker/dealer and is independent of Raymond James Financial Services.

Webinar in Review Blog: Staying Safe with Best Practices

Contributed by: James Brown James Brown

In today’s technology environment, information is just a click away. Sadly, bad guys looking for your information are just a click away also. Good security practices can protect you from becoming prey while you are on the Web.

The Center for Financial Planning, Inc.® offers some best practices on how to protect your accounts and your information.

Basic Security Hygiene: (Minute 1:15)

  • Prevention
  • Updates
  • Firewalls
  • Safe Browsing

Mobile\Wireless Security: (Minute 6:50)

  • Limit your transactions
  • Make sure the network is the right network
  • ·Turn off what you are not using

Passwords: (Minute 11:10)

  • Bad Practices
  • Good Practices

Final Solution: (Minute 25:00)

  • Your Backup Plan
  • Backup best Practices

James Brown is an IT Manager at Center for Financial Planning, Inc.®

Taking Security Seriously

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Ever wonder what steps we take to ensure the security of your information?

This is a topic we take very seriously here at The Center. There are a variety of ways we work to ensure the privacy of your data. One of the steps we took was to hire our IT Manager, James Brown. James brought with him not only an in-depth knowledge of networks, hardware, and software but also an eye for security best practices. A core value of our firm is to seek continuous learning. While we have a large number of individuals on staff who seek new certifications on the topics of investment management and financial planning, it is also just as important in the world of technology and security. While James possessed a large amount of knowledge on the topic of security, he felt it is important to remain on top of the latest threats. This is why he sought to obtain the CompTIA Security+ certification.

In “non-geek speak” CompTIA Security+ certification is an assessment of an IT professional’s cybersecurity skills in risk management, disaster recovery and computer security best practices.

CompTIA Security+ is a vendor-independent global cybersecurity certification for IT Security professionals. Security+ certified professionals have proven competency in:

  • Network security
  • Threats and vulnerabilities
  • Compliance and operational security
  • Cryptography
  • Access control/identity management
  • Application, data and host security

This is not an easy test to pass, let alone on your first try! So join us in congratulating
James on achieving this! We know he spent countless hours for the benefit of you, our
client, studying to pass.

In addition to James, we also have an excellent resource available to us in security through
our relationship with Raymond James. James requested that Raymond James perform a
scan of our externally facing addresses and ports. This is a vulnerability assessment that
checks for a variety of ways a hacker could make their way into our system and gain access
to your data. After their threat assessment, we were found to have no vulnerabilities, a
clean bill of health so to speak.

James will be sharing some of what he has learned in his upcoming webinar on “Staying
Safe with Computer Best Practices

Angela Palacios, CFP®, AIF® is the Director of Investments at Center for Financial Planning, Inc.® Angela specializes in Investment and Macro economic research. She is a frequent contributor The Center blog.

Get to Know Jacki Roessler, CDFA® Certified Divorce Financial Analyst

Contributed by: Jacki Roessler, CDFA® Jacki Roessler

Financial errors in divorce are unfortunately as common as the divorce rate in the United States. Several factors contribute to that today including the increase of “grey divorce” (divorce over the age of 50), tax law changes just put into effect by the current Administration, as well as complications in the way we save for retirement and local housing market value fluctuations.

However, none of the above factors are as significant as the real issue for most errors, which is the underlying emotional currents that impact divorce settlements. After all, these aren’t simply business entities breaking up. The break-up of a marital estate is fraught with emotional factors that impact a couple’s ability to make sound financial decisions.

That’s where a divorce financial advisor comes in. CDFA’s, or financial professionals who have received specialized training in the financial and tax aspects of divorce, may be an invaluable member of any team of divorce professionals. Working hand in hand with attorneys, CDFA’s guide clients to make decisions based on black and white numbers, projections and sound financial information - not psychological attachments to the house or the pension. 

I’ve been privileged to work as a CDFA for over 24 years, and it’s just as rewarding today as when I first received my designation.  Often, clients will come to me with a plan in mind. They’re determined to keep their home. They are on the fence about returning to the job market because they’re not sure how much income they need to target. Most often, they’ve received a settlement from the other side and didn’t know how to evaluate it. “Is this a good deal for me?” is the most common concern I hear. Once we work on their post-divorce budget and review long-term financial projections together, they have clarity. It allows them to make a decision based on a position of knowledge. Even if they can’t afford to keep the house, they feel empowered having that information today. Also, focusing on the “business” side of the divorce is often good therapy to get their mind focused on the positive aspects of the new life ahead of them.

Jacki Roessler, CDFA® is a Divorce Financial Planner at Center for Financial Planning, Inc.®

Center Stories: Bob Ingram, Financial Planner

Contributed by: Robert Ingram Robert Ingram

Money and finances can be very emotional topics and they can certainly seem confusing in today’s busy and complex world.  We all may have different emotions when it comes to money, emotions that shape how we manage our finances.  To me, financial planning is not just numbers on a spreadsheet or a group of investments in an account.  It is your own evolving roadmap to help guide you in making confident decisions in the face of uncertainties, concerns, or even exuberance.  A strong financial planning relationship is about helping you develop your life goals, truly understanding your personal situation and priorities, and taking steps to make the most of your resources to help achieve your goals.

I hope the video helps you get to know a little more about me and how I work with clients here at The Center.  If I can be a resource for you, please don’t hesitate to contact me!

Robert Ingram is a Financial Planner at Center for Financial Planning, Inc.®

The Center Feels Honored to be Considered One of the Healthiest in the State

Contributed by: Gerri Harmer Gerri Harmer

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The room was buzzing all night. We felt blessed to be invited to the Governor’s Fitness Award Gala and very humbled by our fellow nominees. We were excited to attend as one of the three nominees in the Healthy Workplace – small business category.

Al Kaline and Senator Stabenow were honored for the Vern Seefeldt Lifetime Achievement and the John Dingell Outstanding Public Official. They did not compare to a 20-year-old boy who pitches with one hand, a female army pilot who is making it her mission to help veterans coming home, and a 102-year-old veteran who challenged Lila Lazarus and Lt. Governor Brian Pauley to a pushup challenge onstage and won.

There were many amazing and courageous stories of overcoming obstacles, accomplishing great feats and positively influencing others. Race directors, communities and people coming together for the purpose of living healthier lives. We learned Michigan is ranked 35th in the health and wellness arena. We can do better. Those honored are leading the way to get us moving again.  We left ready to put on our tennies and bring everyone with us. We hope you’ll join the movement.

Read more about the winners and their inspiring stories here.

Gerri Harmer is a Client Service Manager at Center for Financial Planning, Inc.®


Links are being provided for information purposes only. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse, authorize or sponsor any of the listed websites or their respective sponsors. Raymond James is not responsible for the content of any website or the collection or use of information regarding any website's users and/or members. Raymond James is not affiliated with the Governor's Fitness Award Gala.