Newsletter for November, 2011
In any great story about good vs. evil, there has to be an underdog. The Bible had one with David and Goliath, Star Wars had Luke vs. Darth, the computer business Apple vs. Microsoft (Ed. Note: I don't consider Microsoft evil, but their competition framed the computer business very well). How does this tie in with the very successful ADFP conference held at the Doral Arrowwood in September? It ties in on many levels. Here are three examples: the Professional Protocols and Standards Committee of the ADFP recommends that non-product facing advice as the endorsed method of delivery for a divorce financial plan vs. another financial professional looking to give away their advice in exchange for a product sale. Second, from the client's eyes, what about great work generated from a divorce financial planner that takes into account tax, investment potential, and cash flow issues both now and post divorce vs. a traditional lawyer on lawyer viewpoint, which could risk not taking the client's future finances into account. Lastly, a planner simply adds value given their training vs. the dissolution of value as a result of a myopic methodology that excludes those trained to assist financially. Steve Job's passing was mourned throughout the business community, and with good reason- he changed an industry. Are we, by some measure in our specialized part of the divorce and finance world, doing the same thing? Happy to see that good is winning again.
ADFP Conference Re-Cap
By: Lili Vasileff
Our ninth annual conference of 2011 entitled "Treat Yourself First- Advance Your Skills" was a resounding success. Over 120 attendees from across the US, Canada, and the UK enjoyed the ambiance of the Doral Arrowood resort facility to listen to a strong roster of 14 excellent speakers on a variety of cutting edge topics. Our conference benefitted from the important financial support and relationships with our diverse sponsors and exhibitors. We are grateful for the solid feedback received via conference surveys from everyone there that enables us to initiate conference planning for 2012.
Of particular note is the energy shared among attendees for case study analysis; ongoing emphasis on the ADFP's leadership role in evolving our profession; in depth coverage of both pension and business valuation analysis; and both the basic and advanced tax sessions. We learned also that many people prefer shorter days (many thanks to those speakers who successfully captivated attention after 5 pm!) and shorter individual sessions (reducing allowable CEUs), suggesting possibly that we extend our conference to three days. We delivered a wild kick off on our first day with "Having Tea with the Jabberwocky" by Julie Rivers, who filled our room with masks, bubbles, yoyos and beach balls - the UK boys promptly ruled the fun! We ended on a peaceful note on Saturday with our closing session, "Effective Time Management in the Age of 24/7 Accessibility" with Karin Stewart, who admirably replenished our inner peace.
The truly wonderful outcome from this year's conference is that the ADFP has inspired more experienced and able practitioners to build local chapters in the US as well as given us a developing relationship with international practitioners. As an organization, we are thrilled by our members' participation and encourage you to help us build this dynamic volunteer driven organization to accomplish our mission: making divorce financial planning an integral part of the divorce process. We encourage you to volunteer to help us plan for next year's speakers and sponsors. Please contact us with your interest. See you next year!
Article About ADFP and This Year's Pioneering Award in Financial Planning Magazine
For the past several years, representatives of the financial media have attended and covered our annual conference. Below is a link to an article in Financial Planning Magazine about this year's Pioneering Award Honorees, Dan Cain and Wendell Smith. Congratulations Dan and Wendell!
Financial Planning Magazine: ADFP Honors Family Law Software Founders
Clients' divorces pose big risk for advisers
Third-party specialists may be best bet for spouses and their significant advisers
By Liz Skinner
Featured in InvestmentNews
September 19, 2011
Financial advisers looking to help clients considering a divorce should protect their own liability and send them to a divorce financial planner, according to one of the nation's leading specialists in this area.
A small group of financial advisers have become experts in helping divorcing couples plan their separate financial futures. They help people and their attorneys think about the parties' long-term financial futures, including usually undiscussed issues such as health care costs, college savings, retirement benefits and leaving an inheritance to children, said Lili Vasileff, owner of Divorce and Money Matters LLC and president of the Association for Divorce Financial Planners Inc.
"If an adviser isn't knowledgeable about the state and federal rules about child support, pension valuations and so many issues, the adviser who is trying to be helpful has a big liability risk," Ms. Vasileff told attendees of the FPA Experience 2011 conference in San Diego on Saturday.
Typically, the divorce process itself is contentious and emotional, and attorneys have their own challenges to get clients through the process. A divorce financial adviser works with the attorneys to make sure sensitive long-term financial issues are hashed out as part of any settlement.
"Divorce takes a snapshot of current finances and doesn't look forward," Ms. Vasileff said. "We have developed optimal strategies to resolve and reach practical settlements."
Advisers tapping specialized divorce financial planners are more likely to retain their divorcing clients - albeit as separate parties - because it's pretty much impossible for the adviser to perform these functions and remain neutral, she said. By sending a client to a divorce financial planner, the client gets the expertise he or she needs and "then we send the client or clients back to you," Ms. Vasileff said.
Advisers also may be able to avoid clients' bursting into tears over these issues in their offices, something that is a regular occurance during sessions with the divorce financial planner, she said.
The 200 members of the Association for Divorce Financial Planners provide divorce planning as fee-only services and have completed specialized training in divorce procedures and rules.
Brittney Castro, a financial adviser with Perennial Financial Services LLC, specializes in working with women, many of whom are divorced or in the process of a divorce. She attended two of Ms. Vasileff's sessions at the Financial Planning Association's conference.
"As someone who specializes in working with women, I see that divorce financial planning is something that's very needed," Ms. Castro said.
ADFP Members Jerry Cohen, Cinda Jones and Lili Vasileff Featured Speakers at 2011 FPA Conference
The group presented three panels during the 2011 FPA Conference in San Diego, CA - September 15th - 18th. See the recap below!
First Session- Presented by Jerry Cohen, Cinda Jones and Lili Vasileff:
Presented a power point presentation: "Partners In Divorce: A Inside Tour of Divorce Financial Planning" . Description: Financial planning is an essential part of every divorce settlement. Learn about the role that financial planners who specialize in divorce play in mitigating effects of divorce on budgeting, investing, taxes, financial projections and estate, retirement and college planning. Offered for 1 CFP CE Credit.
Second Session- Presented by Lili A. Vasileff:
"Divorce, Boomers and Financial Planning: The Beginning or the End" power point presentation. Description: Dividing a marital estate just on the cusp of retirement years makes creative problem solving imperative and pushes the legal envelope into unchartered territories. Learn about the implications of divorce on budgeting, investing, taxes, financial projections, estate planning, retirement planning and college planning. Offered for 1 CFP CE.
Third session- Joint Community Building by Jerry Cohen and Lili A. Vasileff:
"Divorce Across Borders" An interactive dialogue with peers from across the globe on divorce and financial related issues.
On behalf of the ADFP, Lili Vasileff stated "...the opportunity to present a few sessions at the international annual conference of the FPA 2011 was exciting and indicative of the presence the ADFP is making in the financial profession with our peers. We look forward to enhancing partnership benefits for our mutual members. We continue to grow and strengthen this affiliation on behalf of our members."
Long Island Chapter Meeting: Tuesday, November 15, 2011
8:30 - 10:30am
TOPIC: "Support Related Issues"
Jerome A. Wisselman, Esq.
Wisselman, Harounian & Associates, P.C.
1010 Northern Boulevard, Suite 300
Great Neck, New York 11021
516-773-8300 ph 516-773-8304 fx
Where: Suffolk County Bar Assoc in Hauppague
(go to www.scba.org for directions)
Coffee and light breakfast served.
Cost: $15 members, $25 non-members
RSVP to: Maria Carrara at CarraraM@optonline.net or Call Maria at 631-776-1308
This is the last meeting for 2011. We will resume again in 2012. Please come and bring suggestions for speakers for 2012.
Innaugural Boston Chapter Meeting - November 10th
Chris Chen will be hosting the Innaugural Boston Chapter Meeting on November 10th The continuing ed portion of the meeting will be about the new Massachusettes Alimony Law, and implications for financial planning. Contact Chris Chen at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
The ADFP Is Now Social!
The Association of Divorce Financial Planners is now forming a presence on social media. We have a LinkedIn Account and a Facebook Page. We created these profiles as a part of our commitment to increase awareness of our industry and to increase referrals to our members.
In order to make these profiles successful we need to keep them interesting and engaging. Feel free to post interesting articles or blog posts that you have written that will help people going through divorce. Visit each site frequently to help guide people going through divorce (and potential clients!) understand how divorce financial planning can help them.
Before you can participate you need to join each community. Below you will find instructions.
NOTE: You must already be in Facebook and LinkedIn to join each group.
1. Go to www.LinkedIn.com
2. Sign in using your credentials.
3. Go to the search bar on the top, right-side of the screen. Click on the drop-down menu and select "Groups."
4. Then type "Association of Divorce Financial Planners" and you will see it in the list.
5. Select the group and look for the "Request to Join" link.
1. Go to www.facebook.com
2. Sign in using your credentials.
3. In the search bar at the top of the screen, type "Association of Divorce Financial Planners."
4. Click on the word "Like" on the top of the screen. In Facebook you join the community by clicking "Like".
Both the Facebook and LinkedIn groups are open so feel free to invite other professionals and anyone else you think may benefit from the information we are sharing there.
Other Divorce News:
Practical Considerations with Divorce
Will My Pension Count in Divorce Proceedings?
Maintenance in Separation, Divorce
November 2011 Event Calendar: