Echo Blog

Echo Blog

Donor Advised Funds (DAFs) - a Simple, Smart & Meaningful Way to Support Your Favorite Causes and Charities

Recently a client of mine told me that he really liked how simple it is to use the Donor Advised Fund I helped set up at the American Endowment Foundation (AEF).  He said requesting grants online was easy to use and the charities received the money quickly.  The best part: he no longer needs to organize various individual donation receipts right before preparing his tax returns.

Donor Advised Funds can be set up easily to accomplish both tax savings and charitable giving goals.  Most people think they need to have a big sum of money before considering setting up their own family charitable fund.  But Donor Advised Funds are the most popular charitable vehicles for donors at many levels of wealth.  You can start your own donor advised fund with as little as $10,000.  I generally recommend a minimum of $50,000 to my clients if they plan to request grants from the Donor Advised Funds to their charities within a short period of time, however.  I would like to discuss how to use DAFs in various situations in this article.

Echo Appeared in the September 30th Issue of The Wall Street Journal

Echo Huang, CPA, CFP® was recently awarded the 2015 Five Star Wealth Manager award and she appeared in the September 30th issue of The Wall Street Journal within the Wealth Management Journal Report section.

New Team Member at Echo Wealth Management

It is hard to believe that it has already been 7 months since forming Echo Wealth Management.  Every day I am thankful for the opportunity to pursue my passion for wealth management and I am energized by my conversations with clients about helping them achieve their goals.  My firm continues to grow through a combination of previous clients who sought us out and new clients who appreciates our integrated approach to wealth management, by combining customized financial plans with individualized portfolio management within the firm.  We aim to take the complexity out of wealth management by creating an Echo Dashboard for each client. 

Reflecting the growth of the firm, I am excited to announce that Echo Wealth Management has hired Steve Drost as Associate Wealth Manager, to work with me to provide dedicated service for our clients.  I believe Steve has the passion and knowledge to serve our clients well.  Steve works closely with me in creating and maintaining the Echo Dashboard, the customized client homepage for each client.  In addition, he is responsible for managing efficient business operations by leveraging new technologies in serving our clients.  He brings energy and creativity to the firm after two years of experience working as a financial institution regulator.

What You Should Know About Life Insurance

September is Life Insurance Awareness Month.  What is the value of life insurance?  Life insurance provides financial security to your loved ones after you are gone and also provides peace of mind to you.  In another way, by putting life insurance in place, you ensure that your family won't experience economic hardship along with emotional distress.  Life insurance policy is part of every family's sound financial plan because of the peace of mind it provides.  As a financial advisor, I have seen how life insurance is used for various purposes.  For example, a level-term life insurance policy helped the four children of a divorced woman continue their college education when she died of cancer.  A permanent life insurance helped a family to pay for estate taxes without selling the stock portfolio during severe market downturns. 

The decision to buy life insurance is one of the most critical decisions we make, which is why the decision as to which type of life insurance policy to buy can be just as critical. You can’t really try on a life insurance policy, so the one you choose needs to fit you like a glove from the outset. The challenge for most people is the sheer number of different kinds of life insurance products from which to choose. The choice is made easier when you have a clear understanding of your own needs, priorities, preferences, and outlook on the future. Working with an experienced life insurance professional, you should be able to narrow down your choices.

Understanding Investment Risk

All investors – be they conservative, moderate or aggressive – need to understand that the level of returns they expect to generate is directly related to the amount of risk they are willing to assume – the higher the return, the higher the amount of risk one needs to take. It probably doesn’t dawn on most people that, regardless of where you put your money, you assume some element of risk. For instance, if you focus solely on keeping your money safe from the possibility of loss, you risk not accumulating enough money to meet your goal. In this case, trying to avoid “market risk” increases your exposure to other types of risk, such as “inflation risk” or “longevity risk.”

Essentially, you need risk in order to generate the level of returns you will need to achieve financial independence. However, risks can be managed far more effectively than investment performance. You can’t predict the direction of the financial markets, or which mutual fund will outperform the others; however, you can mitigate risk and even have it work for you through proper asset allocation and portfolio diversification. By including a mix of assets and securities that act as counterweights to one another, a risk aware portfolio can capture returns wherever they might occur while reducing overall portfolio volatility.

Echo Wealth Management is hiring an Associate Wealth Manager

Echo Wealth Management – Associate Wealth Manager

About Echo Wealth Management

Echo Wealth Management is an independent, focused wealth management firm located in Plymouth, Minnesota that takes the complexity out of wealth management.  We offer integrated, comprehensive strategies that address every facet of our clients’ financial lives.  We do this by building the highest levels of trust, integrity and respect while always collaborating using a team approach.  Our clients range from corporate executives planning a secure retirement, to families looking to preserve their assets for future generations, to businesses seeking expert investment advice. 

Echo Wealth Management was formed in February 2015 as a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) and is looking for an Associate Wealth Manager to join a growing firm and support the founder of this firm who has over 20 years of experience.  As a new firm, this position will be very involved in the long-term success of the firm, learning all aspects of the wealth management business with a focus on client service, financial planning, and business operations.  This position offers tremendous future growth and opportunity.  The Associate Wealth Manager position does not have business development requirements.

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