Blog

At Plancorp, we don’t wait for you to ask the right questions.
We take the initiative to offer insights and guidance — real enlightenment for real life.

How to Read More Books Next Year (and My Favorites from 2017)

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Year-End Tax Tips, in Light of Tax Reform

  The end of the year is traditionally a good time to tackle tax planning. You have an idea of what your total income will be, so you can make decisions with an eye on tax efficiencies. This year, the back-and-forth on tax reform has narrowed the window of opportunity a bit. Read more…

Should You Invest in Bitcoin?

The frenzy around cryptocurrencies only goes up by the day. All the excitement drives everyone from experienced professionals to average investors to wonder: what should you do with Bitcoin? Read more…

U.S. News & World Report: The Importance of Disciplined Investing

I recently had the opportunity to speak with U.S. News & World Report regarding the importance of managing emotions in investing. I was quoted in its “Is Your Advisor Helping or Hurting Your Retirement Strategy?” piece, an excerpt of which is below. Read more…

What's the Deal with Bitcoin?

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529 Plan Overview: Funding Education

Of all the options available for funding your children’s education, 529 plans are by far the most popular and—in many cases—best option. Read more…

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Chris Kerckhoff on the Bitcoin Hype

I had the opportunity to contribute to the Bitcoin debate, likening the hype to a "fear of missing out" mentality. Read more…

Good Vs. Bad Debt

Have you ever eaten too many holiday cookies? The first two or three send you to heaven. But as you eat seven, eight, nine … not so heavenly. You’ve had too much of a good thing. Read more…

Swaay: Susan Conrad Featured with Sallie Krawcheck

You’ve heard about the gender pay gap, but what about the gender investing gap? I weighed in on specific investment considerations for women, as well as changes I’d like to see in the industry. Read more…

Tax Reform Status Update

Tax reform seems to be the topic du jour of everything from dinner conversations to media headlines. But the frequency with which it changes, not to mention the current length of the bills (more than 400 and 500 pages for the House and Senate versions, respectively), makes it difficult to sift Read more…

Why Alternatives Are Bad for Your Portfolio

It’s never been easier for investors to add exposure to alternative investments into their portfolios. Read more…

This Holiday Season, Give Yourself the Gift of Happiness

The old adage reads, “Money can’t buy happiness.” But doesn’t money give us the freedom to do the things that make us happy? We spend our lives trying to earn as much money as possible, but at some point, don’t we need to evaluate what really brings happiness into our lives? Read more…

Today, BrightPlan Launches to Public

It is my pleasure to announce that, as of today, BrightPlan has released its digital planning platform to the public. Read more…

Physicians: How to Create a Financial Independence Plan

The transition from a training program into the active practice of medicine represents one of the great opportunities and challenges in the life of a physician. Finally, you are doing what you trained so hard to do: making decisions independently based on the knowledge and skills you have developed Read more…

Spending Too Much? Here’s What to Do

What do you think is the most common problem people have in the process of building wealth? Read more…

Estate Planning: Not Just for the Old and Rich

While executing an estate plan might not be at to the top of your to-do list, it’s one of the most important pieces of your financial plan. I’ll admit, it took me expecting my first daughter to get my estate plan in order—but hopefully this post will motivate you to get your estate plan in place, Read more…

Is Life Insurance for You? 3 Questions to Ask Yourself

When our first son was born, I insisted that my husband and I purchase our first life insurance policies. The topic of life insurance can be overwhelming—and not just because it involves dealing with your own mortality. Everyone’s personal situation is different, so the need and timing for life Read more…

Why Everyone 18 and Older Needs an Estate Plan

I always try to lighten the mood in client meetings when we begin to discuss the topic of estate planning. It is a heavy topic and not an easy one to talk or think about. No one wants to imagine a time in which they are incapacitated or pass away, and they certainly do not want to think of these Read more…

Say “I Do” to Your Spending Plan

From the moment “Will you marry me?” is asked, the number of hours that goes into planning, decisions, and details for the one incredible day where two people say “I Do” is intimidating. There is an endless amount of advice out there to help you plan your dream wedding. But the most important thing Read more…

How to Set Up Your Emergency Fund

Your emergency fund can help you cover the cost of life’s unpleasant surprises like medical bills, car repairs, or even job loss. Without one, these unfortunate situations become even worse, as you could face some tough decisions when things don’t go according to plan. Read more…

First Come, First Served: FAFSA Applications Open Sunday

If you (or a loved one) plan to attend college during the fall 2018 semester, October 1st is an important day for you; it’s when the Department of Education starts accepting students’ Free Applications for Federal Student Aid (FAFSAs). These applications are required to access state and federal Read more…

The Psychology of Giving: Charitable Donations in the Wake of Disasters

Natural disasters, such as Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, leave lasting scars on our country. Millions of people in Florida and Texas are still without shelter and power, and federal officials say recovery could take years. Read more…

Where to Save for Retirement

One of the trickier decisions in saving for retirement is determining which accounts to prioritize with your savings. Read more…

The Equifax Security Breach: What You Should Know

The recent Equifax security breach has been on the forefront of many minds this week. The 143 million Americans—about half the U.S. population—affected may have had their social security numbers, birth dates, addresses, drivers’ license numbers, some credit card numbers and other personal Read more…

How to Plan for College Costs: A Roadmap

Whether you’re a parent, grandparent or student, the phrase “college tuition” comes with some degree of sticker shock. The good news is that it becomes much more manageable when you create a roadmap and plan ahead. Read more…

When Fees Destroy Diversification

Diversification is said to be the only free lunch in investing—but that’s not entirely true, because the extra fees associated with more exotic asset classes frequently offset the benefits of otherwise attractive diversifiers. Read more…

Financial Planning: Susan Conrad Weighs in on Latest DoL Proposal

Earlier this week, the Department of Labor indicated it will propose new exemptions— focused on certain classes of “clean” mutual fund shares—to its highly contested fiduciary rule. Read more…

Plancorp Celebrates 10 Years of CEFEX Certification

Young or old, student or professional, head of household or single, there is one constraint we all have in common: time. Read more…

3 Times You Shouldn't Roll over Your 401(k)

Financial advisors are quick to encourage individuals transitioning into new jobs or who are near retirement to roll their 401(k) account into an IRA. But is a rollover always your best option? While it’s a popular move, that doesn’t mean it automatically makes sense for everyone. Read more…

Transitioning Your Business? Consider These Questions First

Like most major life decisions, the choice to exit your business should not be made alone. Read more…

Why We’re CEFEX-Certified Fiduciaries

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The Plancorp Difference

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How to Use Your Imagination to Make Better Financial Decisions

All too often, people make money decisions without the end in mind. In fact, the neural patterns resulting from thinking about our future self greatly resemble the neural patterns from thinking about a stranger. Read more…

Women in Charge: How Education Empowers Us

Guest post by Susie Mathias, financial planning intern Read more…

Why Market Prediction Is Harder than You Think

Imagine The Wall Street Journal ran a contest for its subscribers in which each subscriber viewed 100 photos of various men and women. To participate in the contest, each subscriber must pick the six most attractive people. The subscriber that choses the photos voted for most often will win $1 Read more…

Plancorp Celebrates 10 Years of CEFEX Certification

Above: (L-R) Joe Patane, Kyle Attarian, Jeff Buckner, Susan Conrad and Carlos Panksep (CEFEX) accept Plancorp's 10-year recognition. When it comes to Plancorp's fiduciary commitment, Jeff Buckner puts it this way: "We were acting as fiduciaries before we knew what it legally meant.” Jeff, our Read more…

Q2 Newsletter: Celebrating 10 Years as a CEFEX-Certified Fiduciary

Each quarter, Plancorp develops a newsletter to keep our clients apprised of everything from market activity to Plancorp happenings. Click to view the Q2 edition, and feel free to share with family, friends or colleagues. Read more…

How to Build the Right Portfolio Benchmarks

A version of this article originally appeared on WSJ.com. Most people don’t know how to properly evaluate their financial advisor and overly rely on performance as the sole measurement of success. This is problematic because people tend to evaluate their portfolio over very short time horizons in Read more…

How I Spent $50 to Save $2,000

I’m sure you’ve noticed there’s a common formula behind most “easy ways to save money” articles. It goes something like this: Read more…

So Your Employer Provides a Retirement Plan … Now What?

Whether you just got a new job (congrats!) or you have been working for your company for a couple years, you need to be aware of certain details around your retirement plan. I regularly work with employees enrolled in the plans we advise. Here are the key takeaways I want all employees and plan Read more…

Benefits of Having a CEFEX-Certified Advisor

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What Does It Mean to Be CEFEX Certified?

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Fiduciaries: Adding Value with Fewer Headaches

With all the media coverage of the DOL's proposed fiduciary rule, the term “fiduciary” has become increasingly ubiquitous in normal conversation. But what exactly is a fiduciary, and how does it reflect the changing culture of financial planning and advisement? Read more…

How Simplicity Can Improve Your Investments

Investing is a zero sum game in which individual investors frequently end up on the losing side, but that doesn’t have to be the case. I believe individual investors have significant advantages if they would only simplify the game. I’ll explain through the context of Colonel Blotto, which is a Read more…

3 Lessons from My Dad that Led Me to Plancorp

Many of us think our dad is the best out there. None of us are wrong. Read more…

New Wealth Management Grads: 6 Things to Know

I recently had the opportunity to return to my alma mater, DePauw University, to speak with the Management Fellows program about a career in wealth management. Next month marks my 10-year anniversary in wealth management. Read more…

Don’t Predict. Plan.

People check their portfolios way too frequently, which increases their chances of seeing a loss. Losses aren’t necessarily a problem – in fact, they are a crucial part of a well-functioning market – but the emotions that losses invoke cause us to make mistakes. Read more…

Sara Gelsheimer Speaks at FA Magazine’s “Invest in Women” Conference

Financial Advisor Magazine invited Sara Gelsheimer, Wealth Manager and Founder of Plancorp’s Women’s Initiative, to share her insights at the 3rd Annual “Invest in Women” Conference May 10th in Dallas, Texas. Read more…

State of the Industry: How Technology Is Transforming Financial Services

Young or old, student or professional, head of household or single, there is one constraint we all have in common: time. Read more…

PR Newswire: "Plancorp Partners with Prumentum Group to Launch Hybrid-Robo Financial Planning Platform"

Plancorp is thrilled to announce our strategic partnership with Prumentum Group, with whom we plan to launch a direct-to-consumer hybrid-robo financial planning platform. Read more…

Dr. Bob Tucker Receives Spirit of Maryville "Dean's Award"

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Monsanto Employees, Here’s What to Do with Your Bayer Merger Payout

In the midst of any merger, it can be hard to see past the near term. Changes to organizational structure, culture, and roles and responsibilities are at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Read more…

Credit Card Fraud? No Thank You.

Have you ever misplaced your credit card? What about ordered something online, but shrugged it off when the product never came? Read more…

Plancorp’s Peter Lazaroff Recognized as a Young Advisor To Watch

I was named by Financial Advisor Magazine as a Young Advisor to Watch for my accomplishments in financial planning and investment advice. I contribute on a monthly basis to The Wall Street Journal and Forbes, while also authoring weekly insights at www.peterlazaroff.com. The article recognizes my Read more…

How to Track Financial Fitness

Source: Fitbit Until recently I wouldn’t have been able to tell you how many steps I walked, how many calories I burned, or my current heart rate on any given day.  Now, I have a clever, little device to tell me all of this at the push of a button… and I love it!  What I like most about my fitness Read more…

Do You Have a Bad 401(k) Plan?

When I first meet a potential client, I’m always disheartened to see the poor retirement plans offered by employers. Read more…

Q1 2017 Newsletter: Rising Interest Rates, Women's Initiative, Awards Update and More

Each quarter, Plancorp develops a newsletter to keep our clients apprised of everything from market activity to Plancorp happenings. Click to view the Q1 edition, and feel free to share with family, friends or colleagues. Read more…

Plancorp Named Among "Top 9 Best Financial Advisors in St. Louis"

Plancorp has once again been named to AdvisoryHQ’s list of the “Top 9 Best Financial Advisors in St. Louis.” Read more…

These Women Are Changing St. Louis for the Better

First and foremost, thank you! Thank you to the amazing women who attended our Women Who Inspire Us event. And thank you to the speakers who indeed inspired the entire room. We are so excited to be able to connect women such as yourselves and help foster relationships within our community. Read more…

The 3 Best Uses for Your Tax Refund

According to the IRS, U.S. taxpayers received $264.5 billion in total refunds in 2016. That makes the average refund total about $2,993. Read more…

How to Evaluate Your Financial Advisor

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6 Signs It’s Time to Sell Your Business

There’s no right or wrong reason to sell your business; when you’re ready, you’re ready. Read more…

Plancorp’s Larry Guess Recognized as a “Top St. Louisan to Know”

Larry Guess was recognized at Small Business Monthly's “Top 100 Luncheon" April 19 at the St. Charles Convention Center. Small Business Monthly named Larry Guess, Director of Plancorp’s Exit Strategy Planning division, to its list of “Top 100 St. Louisans You Should Know.” Click here to view the Read more…

Cash Is King: 3 Ways to Manage It the Right Way

People say that cash is king, but they don’t always give their cash the royal treatment it deserves. Read more…

Invest or Pay Down Debt?

Should you invest in the market or pay down debt? Read more…

Is It Time to Break up with Your Broker?

Chances are, you’ve heard of the impending Fiduciary Rule set forth by the Department of Labor. (If not – here is a brief summary). This new rule has started some important conversations on transparency and objectivity in the world of financial advice. It's also driven many Americans to rethink how Read more…

3 Life Lessons I Learned in Uganda

A new year brings with it a time of reflection. It’s a great time to think about the past year: its successes and failures, its turning points and its moments of great joy. It’s also a time to use the experiences from the previous year to help shape your approach to the new year. Read more…

4 Reasons to Buy Bonds in 2017

For more than three decades we’ve experienced an incredible bull market in bonds. The probability of bond returns matching those previous three decades is extremely low, but bonds will remain an important piece of a well-diversified portfolio, even if bond returns are lower or even negative. Read more…

DOW 20K: More Psychological Than Material

When it comes to money, a certain hype exists around hitting psychological thresholds. Read more…

Plancorp Named to Financial Planning Magazine’s “Top 150 RIA Leaders in 2017” List

Plancorp is pleased to announce that Financial Planning Magazine has included us in its list of Top 150 RIA Leaders in 2017. We added nearly 800 accounts in 2016—a year when more than a third of the country’s largest RIA firms lost assets. Read more…

2016 in Review

Below is a timeline of the major headlines in 2016 along with the price movement of the S&P 500. Some of the biggest events included a bear market in global stocks, Great Britain leaving the European Union, Donald Trump winning a poorly predicted US Presidential election and the second interest Read more…

Resolutions vs. Financial Life Goals

The holidays have passed, kids are back in school and you’re starting to get back into a routine. If you are like most individuals, you have allocated your top goals for the year into “resolutions” around topics such as health, productivity, finance and family. Read more…

Q4 Newsletter: DOW 20K, Market Update and More

Each quarter, Plancorp develops a newsletter to keep our clients apprised of everything from market activity to Plancorp happenings. Click to view the Q4 edition, and feel free to share with family, friends or colleagues. Read more…

5 Health Insurance Questions, Answered

Healthcare. No matter where we are from or what age we are, healthcare—and how to pay for it—is in the forefront of our minds. We often field questions from clients regarding health insurance. We are more than happy to act as a resource for these types of questions, but the complexity and Read more…

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