A Successful Year Evolves in Anticipation of 2017 Productivity

Peter K. HooverDecember 22, 2016

HFA News

Looking back is joyful, particularly when the year has been exciting, eventful and filled with pluses. In the past 12 months, Hoover Financial Advisors has experienced growth, recognition, knowledge and widespread industry and client awareness.

We are especially proud of an honor HFA received this summer. The firm was named to the Financial Times 300 Top Registered Investment Advisors list*, which distinguishes independent RIA organizations throughout the United States. More than 1,500 pre-screened RIA firms were invited to apply for consideration, based on their assets under management (AUM). Applicants that applied were then graded on six criteria: AUM; AUM growth rate; years in existence; advanced industry credentials of the firm’s advisors; online accessibility; and compliance records.

We welcomed several talented staff members to the team and promoted another in 2016. Edward (Ted) Braun, CFP®, is a financial planner, who began his career at Vanguard and is now working in the financial planning department at HFA. Ted, who holds a BBA degree from Strayer University, completed his financial planning education at Kaplan University.

Joseph Dowling is a new financial advisor with an entrepreneurial edge. He founded and operated Epiphany Wealth Partners and before that was a wealth management advisor with United Capital Financial Advisors. Joe, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, holds a Pennsylvania Property & Casualty Producer and a Pennsylvania Life, Health & Annuity Producer license.

This fall, Matthew McLaughlin came on board as an investment analyst. Prior to HFA, Matt was a wealth manager for Sage Financial Group and before that an analyst in the Market Neutral Hedge Fund of Bryn Mawr Capital Management. He attended West Chester University and tells us that HFA is a good place to be when you want to grow professionally. We agree.

Thomas Balis, who joined HFA late in 2015 as an investment analyst, was promoted to the position of investment manager. The highly experienced financial services professional also earned APMA® (Accredited Portfolio Management Advisor) and CMFC (Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor) designations this year. Thomas notes that he now has an academic foundation that helps him understand what financial planners and analysts do, which enables him to better develop client relationships.

To keep pace with larger employee and client families, HFA expanded space early in 2016. The expansion gives HFA an additional 2,080 square feet for a total of 5,368.  The newly constructed first floor conference room has ample room for large meetings, work sessions and small educational events.

This was a year of increasing industry awareness among our clients. We shared important knowledge in a number of ways. HFA hosted four Lunch & Learn programs designed to edify guests’ understanding of essential components of their lives. Topics included: Making the Most of Your Charitable Giving, The Importance of Holding a Family Meeting, Everything You Need to Know about Original Medicare and Medicare Supplements and Everything You Need to Know about Long-Term Care and Unexpected Health Costs in Retirement.

Our fall seminar, which attracted several hundred guests, featured Jeffrey Kleintop, CFA, chief global investment strategist for Charles Schwab & Co, Inc. The erudite speaker presented a valuable outlook on the global market and its possible effects in the U.S.

Advanced learning wasn’t limited to HFA clients. Kelly Hoover participated in the Schwab Executive Leadership Program, which was launched to prepare the next generation of leaders at RIA firms. The one-year curriculum combines premier academic subjects and faculty from some of the nation’s top graduate schools with the extensive industry experience of Charles Schwab.

I was fortunate to serve on the Schwab Advisor Services Advisory Board this year, a role which will continue in 2017. This board provides an outlet to help improve services offered throughout the industry. This is yet another means of meeting our clients’ changing needs.

The popularity of HFA blogs in 2016 was gratifying. We currently have 660 subscribers. Well-received original content articles numbered 26 and featured material ranging from taxes to credit card fraud, college savings to 401k contributions, and family meetings to health care.

To enhance HFA’s online image and attract potential clients, we rebranded our website and introduced an attractive new design. The streamlined site is easy to navigate and rich in informative, fascinating details. Visitors to petehoover.com can meet our team and explore various services and products. Questions are answered and updates are regular. As the year concludes, we are putting the finishing touches on the new improved website where you can always find valuable information.

This holiday season we are proud of HFA’s commitment to the community. Dedicated involvement with Chester County Food Bank, our charity of record, was rewarding for all. Our staff created food boxes for kids and picked tomatoes at Pete’s Produce Farm. In November, we raised $16,650 with your generosity! Since 2012, our clients, employees and business colleagues have helped us raise close to $50,000 for CCFB.

It was a busy year for our tax team, too. They prepared 210 returns, much to clients’ appreciation. Appreciation in abundance is how we feel, as well, for the 63 referrals we received from our clients. We thank you for your trust, support and recommendations.

What, after all this, can be ahead in 2017? A lot! Here is just a sampling of what to expect.

Robert Dowd, a financial planning associate will become part of the HFA team. He will assist with financial plan development.

Technology never ceases to develop and HFA is consistently in stride with improvements. We will make a transition to eMoney Advisor early next year, which will redefine the way we deliver advice and build relationships through financial planning.

Our tax software will be improved to CCH Axcess™ Tax. This promises a more accurate and efficient workflow, less manual entry and more time for review. Tamarac, our client portal, will get a makeover in the new year. Updates and attractive features promise to provide critical information in a simple to navigate way.

No one can deny the surge in social media perception and use. HFA is an avid proponent of the significance of these sources for disseminating information. Clients can look forward to following us on Facebook and LinkedIn for the latest updates and advice from our team members and the industry.

We appreciate your continued support and trust in HFA. We look forward to continuing to be of service to you in 2017. Happy Holidays to all!


* Neither the RIA firms nor their employees pay a fee to The Financial Times in exchange for inclusion in the FT 300