March 14, 2019
True to our annual tradition, please find below, the State of the Firm – to reflect upon 2018, share important updates and news, and to look ahead to what we can expect in the coming months and year.
MARJORIE HAS RETIRED!
As you know, our firm’s founder, mentor, and my partner and friend, Marjorie Fox, retired at the end of 2018. Thank you to everyone who celebrated with us at her retirement party in Reston. The event and participation from some of her favorite clients and friends was all she had wanted it to be (By the way, the man who passed out during her speech is fine – he was just dehydrated – so all is well). I know that many of you care and will be interested in the future about how she is doing, so please do not hesitate to contact me (or her!) if you are curious. She will be taking the next few months to get used to her newfound freedom. She recently purchased a townhouse in Reston, to which she will move after cleaning out her Great Falls home, and we will provide her as much support as we can during that process.
In light of Marjorie’s retirement, we have received many questions regarding FJY’s formal ownership transition, so I am happy to explain. Marjorie sold her ownership to her existing partners – Larry Adams, Laurie Belew, and me. So we have the same ownership and management team that we have had since 2014, minus Marjorie. In terms of the day to day management of the firm and client service, nothing has changed. As I have said in other communications with you, Marjorie’s transition out of the firm has been long planned and we are very pleased that we were able to execute the plan in a way that (we hope) was relatively seamless for clients and your experience.
We are grateful to Marjorie for her leadership, generosity, and wisdom through the years we had with her and we are certain that you will continue to see her influence in our advice and service.
LOOKING BACK TO 2018
Internally, we lost our long-time senior advisor Tess Downing, who had her second child and decided to move back home to Texas near her family. We appreciate her ten years of service to Reston FJY clients and her gracious efforts to smooth her transition out of the firm. We also were extremely fortunate to recruit Alexis Grason to join our team. Many of you have met her already, but she has really integrated into our team well – and her 14 years of experience are proving valuable to our clients and as a mentor to our team. Finally, we added Shelley Newham to be our Office Administrator. She handles much of the back-office administrative work like payroll, HR and benefits, our performance review process, and many other items necessary to keep the business running. We are thrilled she has joined the team!
We’ve created community service committees at both our Reston and Midland offices, as we deepen our commitment to community service. The panels will select initiatives and projects for each office. These initiatives are in addition to some of the personal involvement of some of our people, such as Kelly’s involvement in the Reston Chamber of Commerce and Laurie’s involvement in “Gifts of Hope” in Midland. If you wish to participate with us, please reach out!
NEW TECHNOLOGY IMPROVEMENTS
We are excited to announce that our new website went live recently! It includes a new home page for easier navigation and a new retirement planning page. I encourage you to check it out. In addition to this exciting improvement to our digital presence, there are a number of other technology-related changes that we believe will enhance your client experience. For example, are you following our blog? We have committed to publishing original content tailored specifically to our clients’ needs and interests four times a month. Be sure to bookmark our blog and follow us on social media for updates.
We now have a WealthView app, which allows you to be connected to your portfolio 24/7…as you know, we hope you will have better things to do with most of your time, but this will allow you to monitor your investments while you are “on-the-go” or traveling. As of March 1, your personal information is even more secure with the enabling of two-factor authorization for your client portal. That means when you log in, the system will direct you to set up three challenge questions.
We have also added data points to your Account Performance report for a more in-depth analysis of your FJY portfolio. These include a Year-to-Date (YTD) reporting period, four benchmarks to help you compare your performance to other market segments (bonds, real estate, international equity, and U.S. equity), and including accrued interest when applicable. Please reach out and let us know your feedback or if you have questions about how we can continue to improve the information flow to you.
A LEARNING ORGANIZATION
Our firm has, from its outset, made a strong commitment to continued learning. Of course, our CFP® designations require that we meet certain continuing education requirements, but beyond that, all of us invest significant time in both industry and community activities that we believe will help us be better advisors to you. From Laurie’s involvement in the Midland-Odessa Business and Estate Council (MOBEC), to Kelly’s current leadership on the Board of our local Financial Planning Association (FPA) chapter, to our re-publishing of our very well received “Implementing Internships” whitepaper – FJY is working hard to have a great impact beyond our personal client relationships.
Our Investment Committee and our Financial Planning Committee both spend much time working behind the scenes, in between client meetings, exploring and researching better ways to serve you on the planning side and to identify the best options on the investment side. Of course, the over-arching goal is to provide you the tools you need to make educated and thoughtful financial decisions.
This continues to be our passion and our work. Thank you so much for your ongoing confidence and your continued trust.
All the best,
Jon P. Yankee
Partner and CEO