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.

Former President of Cass Commercial Bank Joins Plancorp

We are excited to welcome Robert Mathias to the Plancorp team. He is serving as Business Development Manager.  Read more…

The SECURE Act. What is it? How will it affect you?

The SECURE Act just became law. The SECURE Act is the largest change to corporate retirement plan laws since the Pension Protection act of 2006, so if you are a business owner, help operate your company’s retirement plan or a CPA there are a lot of changes to be aware of.  Read more…

Employee Benefits: What Are They and Why Should You Care?

When I accepted my first full time job which I would start after graduating from college, I was excited about having a job I knew I could build into a career. I was looking forward to moving to a city and being an “adult”, but I also had to think of the practical side of living on my own and being Read more…

The Path to Gender Diversity in the Advisory Profession

As a woman in the male-dominated advisory profession, I've experienced bias. I’ve had people assume I’m the assistant or note taker and had clients call me “sweetie,” seemingly because I was the only female in the room. Some have even questioned my age and whether I'm qualified to handle their Read more…

Planning for Long-Term Care

My Grandma Eloise was one of the most spirited and energetic people I’ve ever known.  She was fully herself all throughout her 9th decade – still helping my own mother and her other children regularly, in church every Sunday, cleaning her own home, driving.  Unfortunately, in her early 90s she Read more…

It's Not Free: Why You Need to Take a Closer Look at Commission-Free Trading

On October 7th, Charles Schwab started offering commission-free trading. TD Ameritrade nearly fell over themselves to follow suit and match their competitor, but neither brokerage was the first to make this offer to their customers. Vanguard, J.P. Morgan, and Interactive Brokers all beat them to Read more…

The Tax Benefits of a Partial Roth Conversion

It always hits our clients at some point after age 50. Retirement is no longer a mirage off in the distance—it’s a real event that’s coming into sharper focus. With that clarity comes new questions about turning retirement savings into retirement income.  Read more…

Small Business Retirement Plan Options

One of the more difficult challenges for small businesses, especially those with less than 5 employees, is finding a cost-effective and manageable retirement plan option. Time spent focusing on a retirement plan is time spent not growing your business. But like healthcare and vacation programs, a Read more…

Small Business Monthly: Plancorp Named Best in Value 2019

Plancorp was voted one of "2019 Best in Value" firms featured by Small Business Monthly. We are thankful to be able to do what we do for our clients everyday and it is an honor to be recognized.  Read more…

Jessie Weiss Honored with Award by Visitation Academy

Jessie Weiss is a Senior Wealth Manager and member of our InspireHer team. She was recently honored with the St. Jane de Chantal Distinguished Alumna Award by the Visitation Academy for her loyalty, service and community involvement. Read more…

How to Create an IPO Wealth Management Plan After Your Company Goes Public

Many big-name companies have taken the plunge recently and gone public. The move to unroll an initial public offering or IPO, is often a lengthy decision process that follows years of hard work building up a brand. The fallout can be sudden, requiring its employees to create an IPO wealth Read more…

Want to Save for Your Dream Future? Start Now

Goals are great. They get you from point A to point B and keep you motivated along the way. That said, we all know how hard it can be to stick to your goals — especially financial ones. Read more…

All in the Family: 3 Steps for Estate Planning

The definition of “family” is more fluid than ever. It’s common to hear of second or third marriages. It’s more socially acceptable for people to cohabitate with a partner without being legally married. Children may live with or be raised by people other than their biological parents. Brothers and Read more…

On Wall Street: Daniel Lee on 'Why financial advisors should be part of employee wellness plans.'

Daniel Lee, Senior Wealth Manager out of our Silicon Valley office had the opportunity to sit down with Amanda Schiavo, of On Wall Street, to share his thoughts on the importance of employee wellness plans based on experiences. A excerpt can be found below, click the link below to read the article Read more…

Investment Management vs. Wealth Management: Which Is Right for You?

If you're overwhelmed by the prospect of financial planning, you're not alone. This world of stocks, bonds, trusts, assets, risks, and returns can be daunting. Read more…

Alzheimer's Disease: What I Wish I Knew About Caring for a Loved One

My Mamo (grandmother) is no taller than 5’ tall. She has 11 children (4 girls and 7 boys) and over 50 grandchildren/great-grandchildren and counting… She is loved by so many and is the pillar of her family. Yet, she wouldn’t tell you any of this. She has Alzheimer’s Disease, and doesn’t recognize Read more…

Financial Planning: Dr. Bob on 'How to Help Clients Navigate the Medicare Maze"

Dr. Bob recently joined Charles Paikert from Financial Planning to discuss best practices when it comes to Medicare options. With 25 years of experience as an orthopedic surgeon and a second career as a Financial Advisor, Dr. Bob brings a unique prospective based on his experiences.  Read more…

Investor's Business Daily: Amy Jones Weighs in on 'Creative Advisor Recruiting Strategies'

Finding good talent can be difficult. Amy Jones, our Chief Talent Officer, weighs in on creative strategies for recruiting advisor talent with Morey Stettner of Investor's Business Daily. Below is an except from the article, click below to read the entire article.  Read more…

Getting More from Giving Back

From a young age, I’ve enjoyed giving back.  Almost every year of high school and college I participated in a mission trip.  Since college I’ve had the amazing opportunity to travel to Uganda to help those in need.  (See some of the life lessons I learned on this amazing trip).  Each trip was Read more…

5 Questions People Don’t Ask Their Financial Advisor (But Should)

Working with a financial advisor is a great decision. Would you argue a serious case about a legal document in a court of law without an attorney? Would you opt to have surgery from someone who wasn’t trained as a medical professional with expertise in your specific area of concern? Read more…

How an HSA Can Boost Your Retirement Savings

When it comes to picking a health insurance plan, the options can seem confusing. For years, I avoided my company’s high-deductible health insurance plan with a health savings account (HSA) because it felt scarier than simply paying the monthly premiums and predictable co-pays of a PPO plan. Read more…

Peter Lazaroff is one of Investopedia's Top Advisors of 2019

Every year, Investopedia honors 100 financial advisors who are influencing the financial industry.  We are excited to announce that Peter Lazaroff has been named one of Investopedia's Top Advisors of 2019 for the second year in a row.  Read more…

Market Predictions vs. Expectations

For many of us summer brings a nostalgia of memories from years past and a longing to create new memories of summer with loved ones.  In case you’ve been busy all year or just haven’t paid attention to the headlines, here are some of the most surprising events from the year compared to their Read more…

4 Money Lessons for College Students

As a current student, I can tell you with certainty that college is a weird time. Eighteen-year-olds are thrown into a tiny room in a miniature city with electric scooters instead of cars and party mansions instead of houses. Combine the already jarring lifestyle change with the ever-looming fear Read more…

Millennials Are Breaking the “Money Taboo”

“How much money do you make?”  If that question makes you uncomfortable, you are like most Americans who believe money is a taboo subject, much like politics and religion. However, the Millennial generation may be changing this ideal.  Read more…

Asset Allocation

Asset allocation is the most important decision a long-term investor makes, and it’s one of the few things in the world of investing that is fully within your control. A famous paper published 1986 determined that asset allocation explains 93.6% of variation in portfolio returns. More recent Read more…

The Power of Compounding

Time mixed with the power of compounding is the most potent combination for wealth creation. Read more…

Disability Insurance: The Missing Piece in Your Financial Plan

Five years ago when my wife and I were expecting our first child, I was quick to get term life insurance policies in place. It wasn’t until last month, however, that I protected my human capital from disability. Read more…

Put Your Personal Finances on Autopilot: How to Automate Your Income, Expenses, and Investments

Remember in high school when you had to read The Odyssey? Read more…

Fees Matter

When I look through the funds that investors use – be it an individual, institution, or 401(k) plan – I’m always amazed by the high fund expenses. Read more…

Time Beats Timing

It’s tempting to think about the possibility of buying and selling at just the right moment. Here’s a dirty little secret that most of the investment industry doesn’t want you to know: Time is more important than timing in investment success. Read more…

Thinking About Markets Like Piles of Sand

The idea of complex adaptive systems might sound overwhelming, but an experiment conducted by physicist Per Bak makes the concept easier to understand. Read more…

The Case Against Permanent Life Insurance

Nearly everyone needs life insurance, but it’s easy to end up with a bad policy. Read more…

The Most Important Rule In Planning For Retirement

The most important rule in planning for retirement is to Save Early and Often. Read more…

Is Your Advisor a Fiduciary?

The word fiduciary is all over the financial community. In fact, some businesses throw the word around so much it almost starts to lose its meaning – which is a shame, because the fiduciary standard should be a big deal to you as an investor. Read more…

Are Your Retirement Plan Fees "Prudent and Reasonable"?

In 2006, Jerry Schlichter, a St. Louis plaintiff lawyer, began suing 401(k) fiduciaries.  His contention was that retirement plan fiduciaries were not properly overseeing their plans – particularly the duty to make sure fees were “prudent and reasonable.”  Read more…

Daniel Lee Wins UC Berkeley Teacher of the Year Award

Congratulations to Daniel Lee on receiving the UC Berkeley Extension “Tim Kochis Award for Teaching Excellence.” Daniel, the lead wealth manager of our Bay Area office, teaches several Financial Planning classes and also serves on the school’s advisory board. Read more…

Raising Financially Savvy Daughters: Perspectives from Plancorp Dads

Instilling the value of money in our children is a difficult task for most anyone. There are so many questions to consider. What age do we start talking about money? How much of an allowance should we give our children? How should we encourage them to spend/save their money? Read more…

5 Considerations for a Successful Wealth Transfer

You’ve worked your whole life to build and maintain your wealth, so thinking about passing it on can seem daunting. How much should you tell your children about your finances? And how can you distribute your wealth in a way that supports your heirs, as well as your community? Read more…

What’s Your Cause?  How to Tie Board Decisions to Your Mission

­­Because one of my favorite things is pizza, I often joke that it gives me “purpose.” What better motivator is there during a long week than a family dinner at Farotto’s? Read more…

Own a Business in Illinois?  You May Be Forced to Start a Retirement Plan

Small businesses are facing big changes in Illinois. In 2015, the Illinois State Legislature’s Secure Choice Act began a series of steps that ultimately led to the creation of a “State Sponsored Retirement Plan.”  Now, small businesses may be forced to become participants in a retirement plan Read more…

Jessica Kerckhoff's Kids Yoga United

Written by Jessica Kerckhoff, InspireHer Guest Author Give a brief overview of your organization. Kids Yoga United is an organization I founded recently in St. Louis. Our mission is to spread yoga to children throughout the St. Louis area regardless of their ability to pay. We have a Foundations Read more…

How to Instill Smart Money Values in Your Kids

By the time most of us walked across our high school graduation stages, we could recite the Pythagorean Theorem, name all 50 state capitals and identify the different layers of the earth. But how many could do their own taxes or identify their credit score? Read more…

Peter Lazaroff’s New Book, "Making Money Simple"

We’re thrilled to announce the release of Peter Lazaroff’s new book, Making Money Simple. A prolific writer and our Co-Chief Investment Officer, Peter has built a national reputation as an educator due to his ability to simplify complex financial topics into easily digestible lessons. In addition Read more…

How Our Family Conquered Overspending during Holidays and Birthdays

My wife and I got serious about budgeting the year we got married. We used the “envelope system”, made popular by Dave Ramsey, to set aside cash for key expenses every month and give every dollar a mission. We stayed on track, for the most part, with two exceptions:  holidays and birthdays. Read more…

3(21) or 3(38): A Guide for Business Owners

Plancorp has worked with many business owners over the years to improve their corporate retirement plans. We have rarely come across a business owner who wanted more liability on their plate. Unfortunately, business owners frequently retain more than their fair share of legal liability—without even Read more…

What Designations Should Your Financial Advisor Have?

A version of this post was originally authored by Peter for Forbes. Choosing a financial advisor can be a confusing process, particularly given the different standards of care that financial professionals provide. Making matters worse is the wide range of job titles and designations people use to Read more…

A Millennial’s Money Guide to Prevent FOMO

We’ve all been there: scrolling through our phones to see the perfect beach picture just posted by our friend on our social media, immediately inciting FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).  It’s easy to get caught up in the perfection that can be misjudged here; you don’t see the money that was saved up Read more…

Staying the Course in Turbulent Times: Apollo Lupescu

Thanks to all who attended Plancorp’s client appreciation event on March 13th 2019. We were thrilled to welcome Apollo Lupescu, Vice President at Dimensional, to discuss “staying the course in turbulent times.” Read more…

Growing Up Gen X: How Our Past Affects Our Planning

Amidst all the attention given to baby boomers and millennials, who vastly outnumber us, it is easy to forget about my generation, Gen X. This group is generally considered to be those of us born between 1965 and 1980: a time of uncertainty in everything from politics to economics; a time when Read more…

The Benefits of Being in The Global Association of Independent Advisors™ (GAIA)

I, and subsequently Plancorp,  was the founding member of The Global Association of Independent Advisors (GAIA). The association consists of a group of firms from around the world that all serve as fiduciaries for their client. We share best practices in order to learn from each other, so we can Read more…

What is the Global Association of Independent Advisors™ (GAIA)

I, and subsequently Plancorp,  was the founding member of The Global Association of Independent Advisors™ (GAIA). The association consists of a group of firms from around the world that all serve as fiduciaries for their client. We share best practices in order to learn from each other, so we can Read more…

Chris Kerckhoff Named a Forbes "Best-in-State Wealth Advisor" 2019

I  was recently named to one of the 2019 Forbes Best-In-State Advisors.  You can view the list in its entirety here. Read more…

Happy Birthday, 401(k)

Someone just turned the big 4-0. As the director of our Retirement Plan Advisor team, I can’t help but take the time to recognize the 401(k)’s birthday as cause for celebration. After all, this type of account brings tax-advantaged retirement savings to more than 50 million Americans1. A 401(k) Read more…

Yahoo Finance: Peter Lazaroff Weighs in on 'Markets See Record Expansion'

I had the opportunity to talk with Yahoo! Finance about my market outlook for 2019, as well as why losses are a normal part of a healthy, functioning market. Read more…

CNBC: Peter Lazaroff on 'Earnings Recession More Likely Than Economic Recession in 2019'

I stopped by the CNBC studios this week to discuss U.S.-China trade talks—and strategies for investing in this market. Read more…

RIA Channel: Plancorp’s Peter Lazaroff Writes Debut Book ‘Making Money Simple’

Read more…

What's Your Relationship Status with Money?

Single, committed or complicated, we're all in relationships with our money. And what better time to evaluate the status of that relationship than Valentine’s Day? Like in romantic relationships, the hallmarks of a good relationship with your finances include emotional maturity, commitment and Read more…

We Opened a New Office in San Jose

On behalf of Plancorp, I am thrilled to announce that we have opened a new office in San Jose, California. This is an exciting development for us and helps us better serve current and future clients in the San Francisco Bay area. Our San Jose office will be located in the same building as, Read more…

In the Race to Zero Fees, Transparency Loses

The financial services industry is no stranger to competition, and you’ve likely heard of its latest game: the race to zero fees. On the surface, providing services at no cost sounds like another leap forward in disrupting outdated business models, but it’s not that simple. All too often, no cost Read more…

Greta Gives Hope: A Journey to Healing

Written by Annemarie Milton, InspireHer Guest Author In July 2017, I experienced the most unimaginable and unexpected pain in the world. At nine months pregnant, I went in for a routine doctor’s appointment and found out that my baby had no heartbeat. The following day, I delivered my stillborn Read more…

Your Move: The Financial "Game of Life"

The beginning of a year is a time to reflect on the past and set goals for the future.  Maybe your 2019 goals involve eating healthier and getting more exercise.  Maybe you want to start reading more or spending more time with family.  Maybe you’ve set some financial goals – like paying off Read more…

Plancorp's CEO on Employee Development & Succession Planning

    At a recent TD Ameritrade conference, I discussed Plancorp's proactive approach to adopting new technology, as well as our partnership with BrightPlan.  Read more…

Four Reasons Why a Starter Home Is a Bad Investment

Owning a first home is an exciting prospect. It has long been part of the quintessential American Dream. While owning your own house comes with many intangible benefits that are difficult to quantify, there is a financial aspect you must consider. A house and its mortgage will likely be the biggest Read more…

In 2019, Pay Yourself First

The New Year is always a time for self-reflection. “New Year, New You” headlines abound, as people collectively seek ways to make resolutions that actually stick. Read more…

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