The LTWM Insider - Merger Update

We hope that you had a wonderful Holiday Season surrounded by friends and family.

As we turn the page on 2015 and begin a new chapter in 2016, Lighthouse Financial Planning and Lake Tahoe Wealth and Management, Inc. are also beginning an exciting new chapter.     

Last quarter we announced our intent to merge the two firms.  The first step of the merger has been accomplished as of January 1, 2016. Our commitment to you as we move through this merger is as it always has been: to provide our best service to you in helping you achieve your vision for your future, your family’s future, or your business’s future. You can expect the continuation the of a “boutique firm” you have grown accustomed to. After the last few months of detailed collaboration, we knew in our hearts that merging our firms will allow us to become bigger, faster, and stronger, and be of benefit to you over the long run.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with Lighthouse Financial Planning, you can learn more about them by clicking here.

BIGGER. Bigger is not always necessarily better. This is especially true if a business’s culture is eroded, or the focus on you, our client, is lost. When the culture, values, and mission are in alignment and service to you can be enhanced, there are certainly advantages to being bigger. With our new economies of scale, you will see enhancements over the next year as we pull the two companies into one seamless entity. Each firm has its own unique strengths that over the next year will become our combined strengths. Our new scale has given us the opportunity to approach our custodian partners (the brokerage firms where your accounts are held) to negotiate lower commissions for you. Our larger team can focus more on “specialties”. Bigger is not necessarily better, we all know that. However, we are fully confident that you will agree that in this case, it certainly is better.

FASTER. Faster is not always better, either. Our goal is to be even more responsive and timely with our service to you, taking advantage of the combined strengths of our diverse team. Each member brings a significant amount of education and experience to the table and more hands on deck means that each CFP® practitioner in our firm will have more time to focus on their clients; which is where we want our focus to be and is the reason we do what we do. We are all committed to making a difference in our clients’ lives by providing support in making smart financial decisions, prudent fiduciary financial stewardship, and coaching for goal achievement.

STRONGER. As we think about “stronger” in relation to our services, we think of a firm that will be there for you and your loved ones for many years, well beyond the expected length of our careers. As CFP® practitioners, we fully understand the importance of continuity of our planning strategies. Continuity if something happens to you for your family, and continuity for you and your family in case something happens to one of us. Taking full advantage of our expertise in business succession planning, we are creating a company that can and will endure for many years to come by developing the next generation of leadership and creating the means to provide true long-term intergenerational wealth management and wealth transfer services to our client families.

We understand that for most of us, any hint of “change” that involves our personal finances can be a source of anxiety. As such, we have structured our merger in a way that will allow us to roll out the enhancements in increments over time. Richard Dee, our CEO, once worked for Lighthouse Financial Planning as an advisor, and has collaborated with the Lighthouse team for many years both in study groups and directly. Many enhancements in both firms over the past few years were the result of that collaboration (rolling out MoneyGuidePro for financial planning is an example). The financial planning, portfolio management, availability of Richard, Charlie, Tim, Debbie, Ethan, Jim, and Johnathan, the passion for and commitment to helping you achieve your goals, and our commitment to the Fiduciary Standard will not change.  Putting you first is a core Value of our firm that is non-negotiable.

There will be improvements and adaptations that will occur throughout 2016 and beyond. These enhancements are either meant to improve your experience with us or to save you money. Some of our clients will receive the recommendation from us to move to a new custodian in order to receive lower commissions charged by the custodian, access to free trades on ETFs, and in our opinion, better and more responsive service and technology. You may call and “meet” new voices that answer the phone who are eager to serve you or connect you to the person you want to reach. You will likely see more content in our communications than you have in the past, due to our larger pool of expertise in our combined team. Jim, Tim, Debbie, Charlie, Richard, Ethan, and Johnathan all share the same passion and commitment to our clients and to our profession; and all of us want to help you reach your financial goals.

In summary, this merger provides you with:
• A small, intimate, Client-focused Company with big Company negotiating power on our Clients’ behalf.
• A small, intimate, Client-focused Company that employs big Company technology.
• A broader, deeper pool of in-house expertise and talent.
• “Back-up” for your Advisor.  If your Advisor is unavailable, you will not need to be concerned about continuity of your financial planning and portfolio management strategies.
• More communication.

We will absolutely keep you fully informed as we blend our systems and companies over the course of 2016. If at any time you develop questions or would like to discuss this exciting endeavor further, please do not hesitate to contact any of us by whatever method is most convenient for you.

Wishing you and your loved ones a healthy, happy, prosperous 2016!

- Richard, Debbie, Tim, Charlie, and Ethan

The LTWM Insider - Market and Economic Commentary

The LTWM Insider - Q3 Market Update