Center News

Nick Defenthaler, CFP® Named to 2019 Forbes Best-in-State Next-Gen Wealth Advisors.

Nick Defenthaler, CFP® Center for Financial Planning, Inc.® Forbes Best-in-State Next-Gen

Nick Defenthaler, CFP® has been named to Forbes 2019 list of "Best-in-State Next-Gen Wealth Advisors" in Michigan, where he ranked 35 in the state. Each advisor—selected by SHOOK Research—is chosen based on an algorithm of qualitative and quantitative criteria, including in-person interviews, industry experience, compliance records, revenue produced, and assets under management.


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 6,389 advisors considered, 1,489 made the final list in 2019. For more information see www.SHOOKresearch.com.

Our very own Matt Trujillo crowned 2019 Chess Champion!

Gerri Harmer Contributed by: Gerri Harmer

Matt Trujillo, CFP® Center for Financial Planning, Inc.®

The Center’s own Matt Trujillo has added chess champion to his list of accomplishments! Client Service Manager Gerri Harmer recently sat down with Matt to talk about his road to victory at the Michigan Bottom Half Class Championships.

Gerri Harmer: Congratulations on your recent victory! Let me ask you some clarifying questions so the folks at home know what this is all about! First, can you tell us a little bit more about the tournament you just played in and how the championship is decided?

Matt Trujillo: Sure I would be happy to. The tournament is held annually in Lansing, Michigan and is divided into five sections or classes. The lowest section is either for people without a rating (brand new to tournament chess) or a rating lower than 900, and then each section after that is 200 points higher than the previous section.

Gerri Harmer: So were you in the section with the beginners?

Matt Trujillo: No, my section was Class A, which is for players rated between 1800 – 1999. This is considered the top class, so it was definitely stiff competition.

Gerri Harmer: Wow that does sound like some pretty stiff competition. So was it just bragging rights or did you win anything to go with your title?

Matt Trujillo: There is no money in chess unless you are ranked in the top 10 in the world. At my level, it’s a few hundred dollars and a big trophy, but what really motivates me is the bragging rights. It’s a game of strategy and tactics, and I want to be the best.

A ‘Swiss style’ tournament

Gerri Harmer: What was the tournament format like? Was it round robin style, where everyone plays everyone, or a bracket format?

Matt Trujillo: It’s actually neither of those. The way these tournaments work is called a “Swiss Style” tournament. In round one, your section is divided by your rating coming into the tournament. So if there is 50 people in the section, the highest rated player will be paired against the 26th rated player and the 2nd highest rated player will be paired against the 27th highest rated player, and so on and so forth. After round one, winners play winners and losers play losers.

Gerri Harmer: So how many games do you have to win to be crowned the champion?

Matt Trujillo: Every win you get is worth one point, a loss is worth zero points, and a tie (draw) is worth half a point. I finished the event with three wins, two draws, and zero losses, which means I had four total points out of a possible five.

Gerri Harmer: So if you keep winning every round, do you play against someone else that won every round as well?

Matt Trujillo: Yes, that is exactly right. There was a total of five rounds, and going into the fifth round, I had two wins and two draws for a total of three points; however, my opponent had three wins and one draw, so he was actually in first place going into the final round.

Gerri Harmer: Wow! So if you had lost or got a draw, what place would you have taken?

Matt Trujillo: If I had drawn I would have taken 3rd, and if I had lost, I wouldn’t even have had a spot in the winner’s circle. It was truly a must-win situation going into the final round.

Sticking to his game

Gerri Harmer: Did you change your strategy at all given that it was a must-win?

Matt Trujillo: No, I didn’t. Some players will do that and play a more aggressive style when they know they have to win, but I prefer just to stick to my game. I play a certain style that I know really well, and I have found through past experience that if I deviate from that, it usually doesn’t end well!

Gerri Harmer: Good idea to stick to your guns! Did the game last a long time since there was so much on the line?

Matt Trujillo: Every game of the tournament lasted a long time, and the final round was no different. Every game I played was right around four hours long.

Gerri Harmer: Four hours long? I don’t know if I could sit still for that long! So when is your next tournament?

Matt Trujillo: Ya, it definitely takes a high level of patience and mental discipline to compete at this level! Good question about my next tournament…I’m not really sure. I was planning on playing in the Michigan Open on August 30th, but that is labor day weekend, and Diane and the kids want to go up north, so that tournament is off the table! I might play in a few small, one-day tournaments, but the next big one will probably be in January 2020.

Gerri Harmer: Well congratulations again on this accomplishment, and best of luck to you in January!

Gerri Harmer is a Client Service Manager at Center for Financial Planning, Inc.® She specializes in client service, event planning, and marketing.

Timothy Wyman, CFP®, JD Named to Financial Times 400 for 2nd Consecutive Year

Timothy Wyman, CFP®, JD Named to Financial Times 400 for 2nd Consecutive Year

Center for Financial Planning, Inc.® is pleased to announce that Timothy Wyman, CFP®, JD has been named to the 2019 edition of the 2019 Financial Times Top 400 Financial Advisors. The list recognizes top financial advisers at national, independent, regional and bank broker-dealers from across the U.S.

In addition to working directly with clients and helping them achieve their financial goals, Tim also acts as Branch Manager, RJFS, Partner and member of the firm’s Business Operations Committee. Tim has recently been appointed to the Albion College Endowment Investment Committee and 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.


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 2019, roughly 1000 applications were received and 400 were selected to the final list (approximately 40%). 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.

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.

Any opinions are those of Center for Financial Planning, Inc.® and not necessarily those of Raymond James.

InvestmentNews Best Places to Work for Financial Advisors Award

2019 Investment News Best Places to Work for Financial Advisers

InvestmentNews has, for a second, consecutive year, named Center for Financial Planning, Inc.® in Southfield, Michigan, among its Best Places to Work for Financial Advisors.

Each year in April, the publication honors financial advisory firms across the U.S. that maintain a balance of fun events for employees and top service to their clients. The Center ranked 12th out of the 50 firms recognized.

“We are a close-knit team of fun-loving, hard-working people,” said Managing Partner Timothy Wyman. “We are dead serious about our work, but we know it is healthy to have fun and goof off when the moment calls for it. The Center is, flat out, a fun place to work.”

The Center’s core values include caring about the internal client just as much as the external client. Healthful catered lunches, a stress-reducing ping pong table, and time off for volunteer work are among the components of its happy and healthy work environment.

This, in turn, motivates The Center’s team members to demonstrate a passion for personal growth. Dedicated professional development plans are reviewed at least quarterly, and employee-run committees plan regular social and wellness events.

Wyman said, “A long-standing effort to meet needs as they arise are part of The Center’s DNA and that won’t be changing any time soon.”


Source: InvestmentNews “2019 Top 50 Best Places to Work for Financial Advisers”, April 2019. 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. The award is not 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. InvestmentNews and/or Best Companies Group is not affiliated with Raymond James.

Matthew Chope, CFP® Named to Forbes 2019 Best-in-State List

Center for Financial Planning, Inc.® is pleased to announce that Matthew Chope, CFP® has been named to Forbes 2019 list of "Best -in-State" Wealth Advisors in Michigan, where he ranked 59th in the state.

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“Matt’s clients are his top priority,” said Sarah McDonell, a Client Service Associate who works closely with Matt. “He genuinely cares about their success and helping them reach their financial goals.” 

In addition to helping individuals and families with financial planning, Matt also works with local corporations and non-profits on strategic planning and business management decisions. He oversees and manages several local endowments and is a member of the Financial Planning Association of Michigan, The Estate Planning Council of Metro Detroit, and the CFA Society Detroit.


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 29,334 advisors nominated by their firms, 3,477 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. 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. Any opinions are those of Center for Financial Planning, Inc.® and not necessarily those of Raymond James.

Timothy Wyman, CFP®, JD Named to Forbes 2019 Best-in-State for the 2nd Consecutive Year

Center for Financial Planning, Inc.® is pleased to announce that Timothy Wyman, CFP®, JD has been named to Forbes 2019 list of "Best-in-State" Wealth Advisors in Michigan for the 2nd consecutive year, where he ranked 53rd in the state.

2019_tw_forbes.jpg

“What’s most impressive to me is Tim’s ability to explain complex topics to clients to help them navigate through important financial decisions,” said Jeanette LoPiccolo, CFP®, an Associate Financial Planner that works closely with Tim. “He is as easy-going and friendly as the neighbor next door and so enthusiastic to help our clients and our community.”

In addition to working directly with clients and helping them achieve their financial goals, Tim also acts as Branch Manager, RJFS, Partner and member of the firm’s Operations Committee. Tim has recently been appointed to the Albion College Endowment Investment Committee and 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 its Board of Directors.


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 29,334 advisors nominated by their firms, 3,477 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. 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. Any opinions are those of Center for Financial Planning, Inc.® and not necessarily those of Raymond James. Raymond James is not affiliated with any of the organizations named above.

International Women’s Day Celebration Challenges Women to Find Their Tribe

Laurie Renchik Contributed by: Laurie Renchik, CFP®, MBA

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The Center team recently commemorated International Women’s Day by hosting a gathering in Southfield to celebrate and support women’s achievements in our community and throughout the world.

In keeping with the theme of building personal and professional networks, over 150 attendees enjoyed networking opportunities before and after the keynote delivered by Joscelyn Davis, Founder and President of Jade Strategies.  Ms. Davis inspired her audience with personal stories and research-based strategies for visionary women who want to advance and lead.  Acknowledging that barriers exist, Ms. Davis provided fresh ideas and easily implemented action steps to help women cultivate a tribe of trusted advisors, mentors, and colleagues.

Aligned with the keynote message, The Center has a long history of supporting women in leadership roles.  In fact, two of our three founding partners are women, as are three of our five current partners.  Statistics bear out that women have very few role models at the top, and we are proud to be an exception to the rule!

Understanding the challenges women face is a worthy endeavor, and we wholeheartedly thank all those who joined us for our International Women’s Day celebration here in Southfield, Mich

Laurie Renchik, CFP®, MBA is a Partner and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ at Center for Financial Planning, Inc.® With 20 years of industry experience, she specializes in proactive retirement planning and helping clients assess risk in their portfolios.


Raymond James is not affiliated with nor endorses Joscelyn Davis and/or JADE Strategies.

New Partner to Start Off the New Year

We are excited to announce Angela Palacios, CFP®, AIF®, as the newest Partner at The Center! She follows in the long tradition of strong female leadership that began with Founding Partners Marilyn Gunther and Estelle Wade. Our team looks forward to working with Angie in her new leadership role.

Angela Palacios, CFP®, AIF® Partner at Center for Financial Planning, Inc.®

Let’s take a look back at her time at The Center and how this promotion will affect our operations.

Part-time Associate to Department Head

Angie joined The Center team 10 years ago as a part-time Investment Research Associate, after having her daughter, Lilly. She served as Director of Investments before advancing to partnership.

“I got in on the ground floor of operations, so I got to do a lot of behind the scenes work and focus on investments,” she said. “The Center really allowed me to do what I have a passion to do.”

Laying the Groundwork for Success

Right out of college, Angie earned her CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification, awarded in 2003. A Master’s in Business Administration from Nichols College followed in 2007, and she earned the Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®) designation in 2017.

As a CFP®, she has trained to not only understand the analytics side of financial planning, but also the client’s side. The AIF® designation means that Angie complies with fiduciary standards of care and prudent investment practices.

Over the past decade, Angie has become a trusted member of our team. She founded our Social committee, a group that plays a large part in making The Center a wonderful – and award-winning – place to work. We are a family, and Angie makes sure that value is never forgotten!

Angie also created, designed, and implemented the Center for Financial Planning smart phone app, which is currently in the final stages of development.

An Offer of Partnership

Managing Partner, Timothy Wyman, invited Angie to become a Partner because of the work she was already doing. Of course, her new role comes with additional responsibilities, but she will also continue to work on a foundation built over the last decade.

“Angie exemplifies all that we look for in a new partner,” Wyman said. “From day one, Angie has acted like an owner, by being a self-starter and self-manager. Angie shows passion for The Center’s Mission and Vision and most importantly models The Center Values each day. Moreover, Angie is dedicated to helping create a great place to work and shows the utmost respect for all of us. She works tirelessly to bring success to the entire firm (we before me) and has a ‘whatever is needed’ attitude. We are so fortunate that Angie has accepted the partner invitation!”

A Bright Future

Angie will continue to oversee the firm’s Investment Department and Technology department, while adding Compliance function oversight. She looks forward to getting involved with the planning and implementing of The Center’s strategic vision. She will also maintain her role as Chair of the Social committee.

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM and federally registered CFP (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification re-quirements.

Important Information for Tax Season 2018

As we prepare for tax season, we want to keep you apprised of when you can expect to receive your tax documentation from Raymond James.

Important Tax Dates for 2018 Tax Season

Form 1099 mailing schedule 

  • January 31 – Mailing of Form 1099-Q and Retirement Tax Packages

  • February 15 – Mailing of original Form 1099s

  • February 28 – Begin mailing delayed and amended Form 1099s

  • March 15 – Final mailing of any remaining delayed original Form 1099s

Additional important information

Delayed Form 1099s

In an effort to capture delayed data on original Form 1099s, the IRS allows us to extend the mailing date until March 15, 2019, for clients who hold particular investments or who have had specific taxable events occur. Examples of delayed information include:

  • Income reallocation related to mutual funds, real estate investment, unit investment, grantor and royalty trusts; as well as holding company depositary receipts

  • Processing of Original Issue Discount and Mortgage Backed bonds

  • Expected cost basis adjustments including, but not limited to, accounts holding certain types of fixed income securities and options.

Amended Form 1099s

Even after delaying your Form 1099, please be aware that adjustments to your Form 1099 are still possible. Raymond James is required by the IRS to produce an amended Form 1099 if notice of such an adjustment is received after the original Form 1099 has been produced. There is no cutoff or deadline for amended Form 1099 statements. The following are some examples of reasons for amended Form 1099s: 

  • Income reallocation

  • Adjustments to cost basis (due to the Economic Stabilization Act of 2008)

  • Changes made by mutual fund companies related to foreign withholding

  • Tax-exempt payments subject to alternative minimum tax

  • Any portion of distributions derived from U.S. Treasury obligations

What can you do?

You should consider talking to your tax professional about whether it makes sense to file an extension with the IRS to give you additional time to file your tax return, particularly if you held any of the aforementioned securities during 2018.

If you receive an amended Form 1099 after you have already filed your tax return, you should consult with your tax professional about the requirements to re-file based on your individual tax circumstances.

You can find additional information at https://raymondjames.com/wealth-management/why-a-raymond-james-advisor/client-resources/tax-reporting.

As you complete your taxes for this year, a copy of your tax return is one of the most powerful financial planning information tools we have. Whenever possible, we request that you send a copy of your return to your financial planner, associate financial planner, or client service manager upon filing. Thank you for your assistance in providing this information, which enhances our services to you.

We hope you find this additional information helpful. Please call us if you have any questions or concerns about the upcoming tax season.

Please note, changes in tax laws or regulations may occur at any time and could substantially impact your situation. Raymond James financial advisors do not render advice on tax or legal matters. You should discuss any tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional.

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.