Thursday, December 4, 2008

Preparing For The Second Leg

Hi Everyone! All of us at the NAPFA Consumer Education Foundation is getting ready to kick-off the second leg of the Your Money Bus tour. The tour will resume in Tampa, FL on January 20-22, 2009 and will feature free financial advice events for consumers throughout the area. As we make the necessary arrangements we will keep you posted through the tour website at at the Tour Schedule page.

Until the tour resumes, please feel free to submit questions to NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisors on the tour website by clicking on Virtual Tour. You can post a financial question and an advisor will post a response within a couple of days.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Video Logs from Today's Stop in Columbia, SC

Clay Williams, CFP

Eddie Kramer, CFP

Laura Scharr, CFP

Wrapping Up The First Leg In Columbia, SC

Well, today marks the final stop of the tour's FIRST LEG (we will be resuming the tour after the holidays in Tampa, FL on January 20, 2009). The bus today is in Columbia, SC and we are having a great time getting the word out to residents down here about the need for reducing debt and increasing savings.

Here are some photos from the stop today. We will have some new video later!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Video Logging From Atlanta!

These great video logs are coming in from Atlanta as our advisors escape the cold rain and let people know what is going on during today's events.

As always, these videos can be found on the tour's YouTube Channel!

Bobbie Munroe, CFP

Helga Cuthbert, CFP

Jeff Bernier, CFP

Mark Gibbs, CFP

Photos From Atlanta!

It is a COLD and WET day here in Atlanta, but we are plugging away with the Your Money Bus tour stop on November 24th. The day started off with a great appearance on NBC in Atlanta before heading over to the Georgia State Capitol Building for our free advice event.

More pictures to come later!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Here Come's Your Money Bus - Atlanta!

The Your Money Bus tour is headed to Atlanta for a full-day of FREE advice and information for residents throughout the Atlanta area. The state government was gracious enough to allow us to host the free financial advice event on the grounds of the capitol building, so be sure stop by tomorrow (November 24th) in the morning and early afternoon to ask our volunteer financial advisors a question.

To learn more about the tour schedule while we are in Atlanta, or to learn about upcoming stops, visit the tour schedule page at Simply go to the "Tour Schedule" page or just click HERE.

We'll see you in Atlanta!

Your Money Bus on WBTV (CBS) in Charlotte

Check out this great video of the Your Money Bus tour as it appeared in Charlotte on November 21st!

Click the photo to go to the story.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Some New Video Log Posts From Charlotte!

Cheryl Sherrard, CFP

Jay Eich, CFP

John Gugle, CFP

The Bus Is Now In Charlotte. Photographic Proof!

This bus is in Charlotte, NC today doing a stop in conjunction with Goodwill Industries. More than 100 people from the Charlotte community RSVP'd to talk with an advisor today at Goodwill's offices. The latest reports from Charlotte is that the volunteer advisors are very busy and look forward to talking with more people throughout the day!

Video Log Entries From The Richmond Stop

Check out what some of these advisors had to say about the stop in Richmond!

David Marotta, CFP

Ed Hoppe, CFP

Marshall Groom, CFP

Matt Illian, CFP

Wrap Up From Richmond

Hi Everyone. Richmond was a terrific stop on November 20th. We were located for our free advice event at the historic Byrd Theatre in Carytown then shifted over to the University of Richmond for a workshop. The Byrd Theatre was a great backdrop for the event and one we want to visit again VERY soon!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Couple of Video Log Posts From YouTube

Be sure to check back at often as we are going to be keeping track of the Your Money Bus tour as it travels from coast to coast. One of the website's features is a video log featuring thoughts from NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisors. These videos are posted on the website under "Video Log" and can also be found at the Your Money Bus YouTube Channel.

The following are two new posts - one from Washington, DC and the other from New York City. A special thanks go out to Blaine and Paul for taking the time to participate!

Next Up...Richmond, VA

The bus has arrived in Richmond, Virginia today to get ready for the free financial advice event and symposium at the Byrd Theatre in Carytown and the University of Richmond, respectively. The events will be held on November 20th, so check out the following schedule and come on down for free advice and information to get your financial well-being in order:

10:00 am to 3:00 pm - Free advice event at the The Byrd Theatre in Carytown (2908 W. Cary Street, Richmond, VA). Bring your financial questions and sit down and chat with a financial advisor to get your answers. Be sure to also pick-up a handy toolkit full of information on debt reduction and saving.

6:30 to 8:00 pm - Symposium on "Understanding Debt, Saving and Your Financial Well-Being" at the University of Richmond. The event is free and open to the public and will cover financial literacy, debt reduction and saving strategies. The symposium will be held in the Jepson Alumni Center, University of Richmond, VA.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Great Final Photo From Harrisburg

The stop is Harrisburg was very successful and one of our volunteers wanted to show everyone what a beautiful day it was while the bus was in town.

Also, if you have not had a chance to read the article about the stop in The Patriot-News, click HERE.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Photographic Evidence of the Harrisburg Bus Stop!

More Thoughts From Harrisburg, PA

Mike Helveston, a NAPFA Registered Advisor, manned the bus today in Harrisburg, PA. He was joined by several other advisors from Rodgers & Associates of Lancaster, PA.

A lady wanted to know how to open an IRA. She has a few thousand dollars to invest but the last time she open a mutual fund IRA she put it all in an international fund which is now about half of what she invested. Mr. Helveston recommended opening an IRA with a low cost provider such as Vanguard or Fidelity and selecting a Target Retirement Fund or a balanced fund for diversification.

A gentleman approached Lee Pelko of Rodgers & Associates about what he should do with his investments. He had his TIAA-CREF and Ameriprise statements with him. Ms. Pelko helped him to figure out his asset allocation between stocks and bonds and also gave him some tax advice on realizing losses in 2008 due to the down year in the stock market.

Rick Rodgers, president of Rodgers & Associates was approached with questions about how to shelter his new income from a gas royalty. The man was concerned because this will probably only last for 1 year. Rick discussed making retirement contributions or a charitable contribution for a tax deduction to offset this gas income.

Big Success at the Harrisburg, PA Bus Tour Stop!

NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor Alan Campbell, CFP joined a team of volunteers today at the tour stop in Harrisburg, PA. The bus was located at Strawberry Square, a popular shopping destination right across the street from the State Capitol Building. Although Governor Rendell did not stop by for some advice, several state employees did. Here are some of the questions Alan answered today:

I spoke with a retired man who received royalty income this year from an oil & gas investment and was looking for a way to shelter it. He asked if he could write off the loss by giving the funds to his girlfriend or daughter and I explained that although he may see them as a charity, the IRS does not. In the end, we agreed that he would be better off paying the taxes and keeping most of the funds because he didn’t want to give up control of the funds.

I also meet with a woman who felt that stock in Ford Motor Co. was a great bargain at less than $2 per share and asked how to buy it. I explained what a discount broker was and encouraged her to look into TD Ameritrade or E-Trade.

Overall, I was impressed with the both the quantity and the quality of the questions asked. Our location was across the street from the state capital building and many of the people who approached us were state employees on their lunch breaks. A good number of them were thinking about retirement in the next few years and wondering what to do with their pension options when they do retire.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Photos From Albany

Your Money Bus Attracts Media in Albany

NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor Joyce S. Cole, CFP, of J. Cole Financial Advisers, Inc. was at the tour stop in Albany and had a chance to be interviewed by Demetra Ganias of ABC. They talked about the goals of the Your Money Bus (to help Main Street get involved in learning how to manage their money through budgeting, managing their spending, and through keeping debt manageable). Paying off debt as a prerequisite to a meaningful savings plan. The retirement plan through work is the best deal around- dollar cost averaging a pay at a time getting various prices in a down market is a good deal.

NBC reporter Abigail Bleck interviewed Cynthia Zalewsky, CFP regarding how a consumer would go about securing an auto loan in this environment and basic car buying and financing tips. There was an auto show going on during our event so the topic was one of relevance.

ABC reporter Demetra Ganias also interviewed Cynthia Zalewsky, CFP on how we have become a nation of financial illiteracy. We discussed the lack of inclusion of finances in the education curriculum at every grade level of our school system. We also discussed the culture of consumerism and with it the acceptance of excessive leveraging ,that has evolved in America and its effects which we are now experiencing. Getting back to the basics of budgeting, saving, reducing debt and managing your financial house is what is important. The behavior change needs to start at this level.

Questions From Albany

Today in Albany, NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor Bill Jerome spoke with a woman who works for Social Security. She was wondering if she should reduce her deferred compensation plan contributions because of the poor stock market. Many of her co-workers were reducing their contributions. We told her that her thinking was backwards; that stocks are on sale dirt cheap, and she should be increasing her contributions to her deferred comp plan and her Roth IRA not decreasing them. The stock market will recover. Now is the time to be taking advantage of the 50% off sale in the markets, and you should be contributing as much as you can afford to your retirement plans.

Another man had a question about whether or not it was a good time to be buying municipal bonds. Interest rates in the municipal bond market are fairly high right now, typically over 5% which is good for tax free income. They are usually safer than similar corporate bonds, since municipalities tend to not default on their debts.

Cynthia Zalewsky CFP, another NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor at Saratoga Investment Solutions Inc. was manning the bus in Albany today.

She spoke with a gentleman inquiring about whether he should own bonds. We discussed the viability of quality municipal bonds with his taxable money and Treasury Inflation Protected bonds for his tax deferred accounts. Another gentleman had a question regarding in-service rollovers from a 401K/profit sharing plan to a self-directed IRA.

A woman stopped by wondering what asset classes she should be in today given the current market conditions. I recommended changing her current deferral percentages so that she is deferring more to the stock market via a total stock market index fund and a small cap index fund. We also discussed a TIPS fund available to her in her deferred compensation plan.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Hellooooooo Albany, NY!

The Your Money Bus Tour is now in Albany, NY for a stop at the Nelson Rockefeller State Plaza! So, if you are in Albany today and are looking for some FREE advice, come on down and get some today. While there you can also pick up a tool kit with tons of valuable information on everything from budgeting and savings to investing.

To learn more about the event simply visit the Tour Schedule section of the Your Money Bus website at

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Bus is En Route to Albany, NY

The Your Money Bus Tour is now headed to Albany, NY for a stop at the Nelson Rockefeller State Plaza on November 7th. So, when the election is over be sure to get out to the stop to get some free advice on your personal financial questions. While there you can also pick up a tool kit with tons of valuable information on everything from budgeting and savings to investing.

To learn more about the event simply visit the Tour Schedule section of the Your Money Bus website at or just click HERE.

In the meantime, be sure to get out and vote on November 4th!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Images From Portland, ME.

Here are a couple of photos from today's stop in Portland, ME. More on the way:

The next photo is from the SkyCam of Monument Square in Portland on the WMTW 8 (local ABC affiliate) website. The bus is right there behind the statue!

Thoughts From Portland, ME

One of our NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor volunteers here in Portland, ME has an interesting thought they wanted to pass along to those stopping by the blog:

It’s great to join the bus tour for the day and answer financial questions for the people who have passed by. The most important question and the burning question that I got today is: What I should I do now? Although there are many financial techniques that can be used in these times, the most important is to stick to your knitting and be consistent with your investment strategy. Short term comfort may feel good, but it can cost you a fortune in the long term.

Helping People in Portland, ME

The Your Money Bus Tour arrived in Portland, ME this morning to help local residents and their financial concerns. We have been honored to have been joined by the C.A.S.H. Coalition of Greater Portland and Mayor Edward Suslovic. The C.A.S.H. Coalition of Greater Portland is a great organization people should check out. Their work is top notch and they are doing their parts to help people save for their future. You can learn about them at or just click HERE.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisors Getting Ready In Manchester, NH

Thoughts From The Manchester Stop.

NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor Faye Doria had some interesting meetings with folks who came by the bus stop in Manchester, NH on October 28th. Here is what she experienced:

My first engagement was with someone who had a variety of questions. One was asking about doing a Roth IRA instead of his 401k, since he thought tax rates would be higher in the future. Since he doesn’t have an employer match on his 401k, I thought he could do the Roth IRA first, but probably should still be saving something in his 401k. Since he’s in a profession where he changes jobs often, he was worried about leaving a lot of small 401ks behind. He did establish a Traditional IRA, and I told him it would be easy to do a 401k rollover each time he left a job now that he has a place to roll to. So he’s going to rethink not adding to his 401k.

Another person was trying to decide when and how to get back into stocks or mutual funds after pulling everything out of the stock market to invest in real estate. We talked about being more diversified, and moving back into mutual funds in baby steps. Since she doesn’t have anything in retirement accounts, I thought that was the place to start for the tax deductions. And it would also be easy to dollar-cost-average into these new investments.

People seem to have come with some specific questions. I’m always impressed with the number of “average” people who pay attention and make really good financial decisions. I think the media spends too much time sensationalizing every issue, and not enough time pointing out what is best for average people. I’m always pleased to see people who are serious about their finances, even if they wish they had done some things differently.

Another advisor had the following to share:

I spoke with several people who had come a considerable distance to visit us on the bus. They were concerned about whether or not their retirement plans were impaired and whether they should continue to invest in their 401(k).

Some who have been recently laid off are planning to use their home equity loan to get through. They wanted to know if this was a good idea.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Next Up...Manchester, NH!

The bus is en route right now for Manchester, NH where it will be tomorrow (October 27th) doing a free advice event at the Center of New Hampshire. To learn more about the event simply click HERE to visit the Tour Schedule section of the Your Money Bus website.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Cold Day In Providence, But The Your Money Bus Stop Was A Success!

Here are some pictures from a very cold day in Providence! Also, be sure to check out the Providence Journal's coverage of the event by clicking HERE. You can also see what the local ABC affiliate had to say about the tour stop by clicking HERE.

From The Your Money Bus Stop in Providence, RI!

NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor Angela Thomson was gracious enough to represent the NAPFA Consumer Education Foundation at the bus stop in Providence, RI. The setting of the stop was top notch as the bus was located outside of Burnside Park next to Kennedy Plaza. Besides having the chance to help local residents, Angela was also featured with the bus my local media.

Here are some of Angela's thoughts on the tour stop:

I was at the Providence location and it was cold and drizzling. When I sat down to write it was mid-morning and we had a steady but light turn out. Many of the attendees had diversified concerned regarding budgeting, where they should put their money given the economic conditions, job loss, educational funding and credit card management.

They were all appreciative of the handouts and interested in Kiplinger’s magazine.

We had some great TV coverage from ABC – 6. They said the spot would air at noontime so, hopefully we will get a large turnout after that.

I think this is such a worthy project, I just wish it were warmer. New England weather is so unpredictable!


Angela Thomson

Photos From The Hartford Stop!

Our dynamic volunteers in Hartford spent the day meeting with folks about saving, debt and investing. The following are a selection of photos from the stop!