Our Mission

As a busy professional, Kasey understands that people often don't take the time they should to properly plan for their financial futures. Life can be hectic - careers, family, friends and hobbies often leave little time to address some of life's most important needs - like creating a solid financial plan.

Kasey makes it her goal to help busy professionals craft a plan that most effectively and efficiently allows them to reach their financial goals, while protecting what's most important to them. Helping clients address these critical areas and be able to live lives knowing a financial plan is in place, continues to be the most rewarding aspect of the career for Kasey.


Recent Articles

Featured in the November 2021 U.S. News & World Report article: What Is a Certified Financial Planner? | Financial Advisors | US News

With all that is going on in the world right now, it may be a great time to speak with your children and educate them about money. Please click the below link to read the follwoing article, as I recently had an opportunity to share my insights and advice for these uncertain times:   https://www.northwesternmutual.com/life-and-money/the-money-lessons-this-advisor-thinks-kids-can-learn-right-now/


July 2022 Newsletter

Good morning!

As I sat down to write this quarterly's commentary to you, I debated between additional market insights, practice updates and general thoughts that have been bouncing around in my mind lately.  I could bore you with additional news about market sentiment: use phrases like "recession" and "inflation" and "stay the course" and "market timing."  Even six months into writing this newsletter, I think you all know my thoughts here and I'm happy to have a reminder pep talk with you if you'd like.  In the interest of addressing the proverbial elephant in the room, I will keep it simple and brief.  In the words of the famed investor Peter Lynch: "The real key to making money in stocks is not to get scared out of them.”  While I am the last to promote any sort of "head in the sand" mentality, I will reiterate a message I've echoed on repeat most of my career - turn off the news.  Any stage in a market cycle is just that - a stage.  In a cycle.  It is not a permanent state unless you choose to make it so by doing irreparable damage to your portfolio and/or your financial plan. 

Okay, now that we got that out of the way…I wanted to remind you of the access you have to all of your accounts, etc. through your secure client portal.  You know - the one I DON'T want you logging into and checking every day to see how far the market is moving!  I do, however, want you to know that it is available and easily accessible for some of the items you may need on-demand: statements, beneficiary designations, bank account information, etc.

On a completely separate note, I wanted to share some thoughts that seem to have been a recurring theme in client conversations this year around the concept of time.  Anybody who has met me knows what a stickler I am for time.  I despise being late.  I don't like having to wait.  Time is the great equalizer.  No matter your age, income, career, level of education, we all have the same 24 hours in the day.  But how do we each choose to spend those hours?  How can we optimize our time?  The time is going to pass regardless of what we do with it, so we might as well use the time productively, right?  We should use time doing what we enjoy!  I have shared one of my many philosophies with most of you: spend your time doing what you love to do, what you're good at, and ideally, what you can make money doing. And outsource the rest.  I know we're not all in a position to perfectly optimize every minute of every day in that manner, but if the time is going to pass anyway, why not make the most of it?  Why stick it out in an unfulfilling career or relationship?  Why allow anyone other than ourselves to own our time and dictate how we spend it?  I know there's the saying "life is too short…"  But I hope to live a really long time and if that's the case, I want to spend that really long life as fulfilled as possible!  I'm as guilty as the next person for wanting things to be just perfect.  But don't allow perfection to interfere with your progress.  There's never a perfect time to launch that business you've been dreaming of, or start a family, or begin saving/investing, or even use that gym membership you've been paying for the last 18 months without once stepping foot inside!  Small steps.  One day a week at the gym.  A single percentage increase in your 401(k) withholding.  The first page of the business plan.  Take ownership of the time you're given.  Just food for thought from your financial advisor turned philosopher.

Thank you for coming to my TedTalk and enjoy the rest of your summer!

Cheers,

Kasey


April 2022 Newsletter

Good morning! And for those of you enjoying spring break right now - I hope you're either reading this with a cup of coffee looking out over an ocean sunrise or waiting a week until you're back to open emails.  And if you're not on Spring Break with the kiddos, I hope you enjoy a productive week full of things for which to be grateful! 

With the success of last quarter's newsletter - and my original intent to send one each quarter - here we are again!  Looks like we're well on our way to building good habits.  And what an interesting quarter - heck, 2 years - it has been! 

As I alluded to in January, the markets do not always move in one direction, even though the last decade has cradled us in a cozy bassinette of positive returns, I still receive the occasional phone call or email from new investors a bit fearful when the numbers turn red as to what they should be doing.  I hate to sound like a broken record - especially considering this is only the second of these emails I've formally sent out - but find myself on repeat either socially or in business settings delivering the same message: follow your plan. 

We develop financial behaviors proactively not reactively and in so doing, have already accounted for the fact that there will be downturns.  If you are responding to current events, you are already too late but more importantly, could be doing irreparable harm to your overall financial health that has little to no impact on your planning.  Simply stated: do you need this money now?  If the answer is no, which it usually is, then staying the course - albeit a boring response - is the best course of action.  If the answer is yes, you do need the capital, then we would have already accounted for the need to deploy your funds well before actually using it.  

You know how when you're driving down the highway in traffic and your lane isn't moving so you change lanes to what appears to be a lane of cars that is moving only to be brought to an abrupt halt when the lane you just left starts moving again?  Yep, that's the traffic equivalent to moving in and out of your portfolio for the sake of doing "something."  Sit tight.  The lane will move again and you will arrive at your destination just as planned without causing any accidents - namely for yourself. 

Allow me to leave you with a brief history lesson on market performance.  The S&P 500 tracks the performance of the 500 largest publicly traded companies and I will use it here to illustrate how important it is to be investing for the long-term and not on a day-to-day basis.  For those that have been investing for a while, you will remember the financial crisis in 2008-2009 that bottomed out in March of 2009 after a 57% drawdown - the largest since the 1930s! - on March 9, 2009, the index closed at 676.53.  We all remember the beginning of the pandemic and how on March 23, 2020, the index closed at 2,237.40 after a 34% pullback - 3x higher than the financial crisis a decade prior after losing one-third of its value!!  And then again, Valentine's Day 2022 - a mere 6 weeks ago on the precipice of the Russia/Ukraine conflict and only 2 years after the onset of Covid, the index closed over 4,400!  To summarize: 676 → 2,237 → 4,400!! 

Since 1926, the market has rewarded long-term investors an average 10% rate of return, but on any given year, going back to 1926, yearly returns have ranged as high as 56% positive and as low as 43% negative.  And like I've already shared with many of you, watching your portfolio is like watching a hiker climb a mountain with a yo-yo.  The yo-yo goes up and down daily and watching it will make you dizzy!  But if you focus on the hiker, long-term, he's gaining elevation.  Keeping in mind, of course, that all investments carry some level of risk including the potential loss of all money invested.  Past performance is no guarantee of future performance. 

Until next time… 

Kasey


January 2022 Newsletter

Greetings and Happy New Year, friends!

I am trying something new in the way we communicate with our clients this year.  In addition to the templated emails you may receive each month or each quarter with financial planning topics or market updates, I have long desired to send some more customized content to you directly from our practice that not only contains information that you find valuable and relevant, but also some insight into the inner workings of our practice and team!  Who knew, though, how challenging customized content on a large scale would be to get through the compliance that is our highly regulated financial services industry!

At this point, you all are quite familiar with my right-hand associate, Alexa Wilchek, who has essentially run the operations of our practice for the past 8 years.  She’s the one I – and you! – go to whenever we need to implement anything!  I have an idea or request, I go to Alexa!  You need assistance with your accounts, you call Alexa!  While I may joke and say she’s infinitely better than any Amazon box, in all seriousness, she is a rockstar!  And we’re considering cloning her!  So if you know someone with whom we should be talking to add to the team, please put them in touch!  We care more about finding the right person than filling a role.  So timing is not urgent and many of the responsibilities can be learned while doing.  Our ideal candidate is more interested in uncovering solutions than pointing out problems, maintains a positive outlook, is excited to work and grow and learn and create, is enjoyable to be around – not only Alexa and me, but more importantly, our clients; is disciplined, conscientious, self-motivated and takes initiative.  This role will be more investment and financial planning focused, so attention to detail and a high level of comfort with numbers is key!  So for all those spring college graduations happening around the corner, career changers or people looking to reenter the workforce, be on the lookout for the next rockstar!

Clearly the practice is growing – though less is quantity and more in quality.  Our aim is to provide financial security for our clients in whatever form that looks like for them in the most approachable way possible.  Many people find the work we do to be a bit ominous of an undertaking and we hope to reverse that narrative and allow you to continue doing what you enjoy doing and let us take the worry out of the equation.  The level of planning work we are doing now has dramatically elevated.  So much so – and many of you are already aware – that we have spent the last 18 months restructuring our planning practice.  Over the years, many clients and prospective clients have asked us for a fee-based planning offering but it hasn’t made sense yet until recently.  When we talk again this year, be sure to ask how that approach does or does not fit into the work we are already doing!  The response thus far has been phenomenal and clients new to our practice that are experiencing us and planning for the first time have given us great feedback!

For those of you that have worked with us for many years, you know we keep planning at the core of the work we do.  And it’s important to keep in mind that no matter what the market seems to be doing, who is in the White House, what sort of variant is emerging next out of this pandemic – what may “be different, this time,” is not.  I am not a prognosticator.  I am a planner and financial advisor.  No one – not I, not the talking heads on TV, not the internet, not Cathie Woods, Elon Musk, Warren Buffet…knows what’s going to happen next in the market.  What we do know is that the financial markets have been around long enough for us to learn that they go up and they go down.  You cannot time them.  What is different now is the speed and magnitude with which the market does move simply because of the speed and accessibility to information – right or wrong.  And I would challenge anyone who is trading on a tweet to evaluate whether or not that’s a true financial plan or just a gambling strategy.  We have been spoiled over the last decade by the returns the market has provided us – but we must not be naïve to the fact that markets do not always move in one direction, at least not in the short-term.  Long-term, yes.  While there are no guarantees, long-term money should be invested in a well allocated, diversified portfolio consistent with your objectives and risk tolerance.  I say all of this to remind you that when we talk this year and you ask me “what’s going to happen in the markets,” I will remind you again what I said previously – I am not a prognosticator, I am a planner and you have a plan for everything that we hope to go right and also for the things that could potentially go wrong.

I’m excited to reconnect with you again this year and know you can always reach out if you ever need to visit – you do not need to wait for your formal annual review!  Make sure you’re fully utilizing your personalized client website and our app – both have undergone some significant enhancements that I hope you find useful!  As you file your taxes in the coming months, know that all relevant tax information will be available to you through your client website.  If you have elected to receive notifications, you will be the first to know when tax forms are available (even before Alexa and me!) – sometime in February, but more likely March.

So as not to overstay my welcome here is what I hope to be the first of many personalized newsletters, I hope your 2022 is filled with good health and happiness!

Cheers,

Kasey


Recent Events

Podcast with Kristin Andree - Kasey and Kristin discussed how to be your best self on Kristin's podcast, No Limits. 

Women's Leadership Group in Washington, DC - Kasey and her national women’s leadership group paid a visit to their congressmen and women advocating on behalf of our clients.

American Psychiatric Association Event in New York City - Kasey was invited to speak at the national APA annual meeting on women and finance.

Group Photo at table

Northwestern Mutual Annual Meeting in Milwaukee, WI - Kasey was invtied to speak at the NM Annual Meeting to discuss client appreciation.

Annual Meeting Stage

The Northwestern Mutual Difference

We make plans for people, not just money. So no matter your goals, we have access to top rated products and services to help you meet each one.

  • Best Life Insurance Company ranked by NerdWallet, 2019 to 20201
  • AAA, Aaa, and AA+ the highest financial strength ratings of any life insurer from all four major rating agencies2
  • Top 10 U.S. Independent Investment Broker-Dealers3
1©2017-2020 and TM, NerdWallet, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

2Northwestern Mutual continues to have the highest financial strength ratings awarded to any U.S. life insurer by all four of the major rating agencies: A.M. Best Company, A++ (highest), April 2020; Fitch Ratings, AAA (highest), August 2020; Moody’s Investors Service, Aaa (highest), December 2020; S&P Global Ratings, AA+ (second highest), June 2020. Third-party ratings are subject to change. Ratings are for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company and Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company.

3Measured by 2020 total revenues. Ranking for Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC. Sources: Financial Advisor magazine and Investment News, April 2021.

The Importance of Planning for the Cost of Long-Term Care

This is an important planning consideration that we often cover with clients. Read more here.

What Is Earnest Money When Buying a House?

Earnest money can be a key part of the homebuying process. Here’s what you should know. Read more here.

Should You Pay Off Debt or Start Investing? Ask Yourself These Questions

With the right financial strategy, you may be able to do both. Read more here.

 

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