Corrections or additions?
This article by Tony Faber was prepared for the October 18, 2000
of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
From CPA to CFP?
CPAs are constantly being told that they are uniquely
qualified to be financial planners. In fact, nothing could be further
from the truth." Such is the blunt message of Bernard Kiely,
who is both the organizer of and a speaker for the New Jersey Society
of Certified Public Accountant’s (NJSCPA) annual personal financial
planning conference. The meeting will be Tuesday, October 24, at 7:45
a.m. at Sheraton Woodbridge Place. Cost: $225. Interested parties
can go to njscpa.org or call 973-226-4494, extension 240.
"A lot of these meetings consist of a room full of tax accountants
wishing they were financial planners," says Kiely. "We realize
that CPAs already know taxes, so we will speak entirely about
and financial planning, to give them information they don’t already
have." For this reason, the program could be of benefit to any
financial planner or anyone who manages investments, whether or not
they are a CPA.
Other speakers at the NJSCPA event will be Thomas G. Giachetti
of Stark & Stark on Lenox Drive, who will discuss "Integrating
Investment Services into Your Practice;" John D. Cooney Jr.,
"Long Term Care Insurance: a Primer;" and Robert Fourman
of Sawheny Systems, doing a "Financial Planning Software
The event will conclude with a panel discussion titled "Financial
Planning: Do’s and Don’ts."
Kiely has a BA in accounting from Upsala College, and an MBA in
from Rutgers University. He is also a certified financial planner,
and has been named to Worth Magazine’s list of the top 250 financial
planners in the U.S. each of the last two years. Together with his
wife, Yvonne Kiely, he runs Kiely Capital Management, located
Kiely emphasizes that financial planning is a completely different
profession from accounting, and that a CPA’s academic background does
not address knowledge of investments such as mutual funds, or how
to go from having a prospect walk in the door to making them a
The key first step when speaking to a prospect is "to get the
potential client to articulate goals, the more specific the
A client may have a specific desired future amount of money, such
as $1 million by age 65 or enough money to put children through
Other clients may not have a specific monetary figure they are trying
to achieve, in which case Kiely will do a comprehensive financial
plan, which charts all the client’s expenses, and then looks at how
much disposable income will be left over depending on what rate of
return the client’s money achieves.
He then discusses what investments will be required to achieve those
goals, and what the risks involved are. "The process can be
Sometimes a client says `yikes!’ when they realize that how aggressive
they’ll have to be to make their goals and they’ll either scale back
their goals or move back their time horizon."
Kiely goes over projected rates of returns with his clients, showing
them different possible returns depending on different proportions
of stock funds and bond funds. He emphasizes that projections about
stock fund returns are extremely variable, particularly in the short
run. He runs computer projections showing past rates of return with
a random factor equal to the standard deviation of such returns. The
clients thus get a sense of what the chances are of achieving their
Kiely deals in mutual funds rather than individual stocks for his
clients because "the best stock pickers in the world are mutual
fund managers." There is another very practical reason for
planners and their clients to use mutual funds. "There aren’t
just enough hours in the day for a financial planner to research and
follow a whole lot of different stocks and still do their job. I want
a manager who watches every stock every day. I can’t do that, and
neither can most clients. A mutual fund manager can."
Once clients set goals and decides what degree of risk they are
with, Kiely will generate a proposal that fits their needs. When it
gets down to picking individual mutual funds, Kiely focuses on certain
buying large caps today, and small caps tomorrow."
investing in more lucrative but riskier investments outside its
type, such as value funds that buy a lot of growth stocks.
which Kiely exclusively deals, they’re not all the same.
a giant, sortable spreadsheet to cover every existing mutual fund,
to get information about these factors. He is not tied to any
fund company, and the Vanguard Index 500 Fund is the single biggest
holding of his clients.
In his presentation, Kiely will also cover a good deal of other issues
surrounding mutual funds, such as the difference between value and
growth funds, sector weightings, different market capitalizations,
capital gains exposure, and more.
Kiely emphasizes that being a financial planner is not something to
enter into lightly. However, once a CPA becomes knowledgeable about
various investments, a CPA can then combine that with a full range
of other services, such as tax planning and preparation, estate
life insurance, loans, and advice about any other key financial
they have to make. The financial payoffs and the exciting nature of
the job can make it extremely worthwhile. In his experience, "a
bad day of financial planning is better than a good day of
— Tony Faber
Anyone who has bought a headset to stave off a sore
neck, a sore shoulder, or carpal tunnel syndrome knows that the right
kind of ergonomics can increase productivity.
The Occupational and Corporate Health Department of Robert Wood
University Hospital at Hamilton is holding a free breakfast seminar
on Tuesday, October 24, from 8 to 11:30 a.m. in the hospital’s
609-631-6847. The speakers include two doctors from the hospital,
John J. Coumbis and Chaim Austin, plus two ergoTEAM consultants, Dale
Lawson, and Karen Grant-Brown. Early reservations are advised. Call
Coumbis and Austin will address the definition of ergonomics. Lawson
will discuss the rather controversial ergonomic standards proposed
by OSHA, and Grant-Brown will provide a computer user’s guide. Then
three suppliers — for seating, for products, and for headsets
— will offer solutions.
Richard J. Roberts will give the annual Albert
Einstein Memorial Lecture honoring Nobel Prize winners. The lecture
is sponsored by the Princeton Chamber, Sarnoff Corporation, BASF
American Cyanamid), Bovis Lend Lease, and Panasonic Corporation. It
will be at Princeton University’s Dodds Auditorium in the Woodrow
Wilson School on Tuesday, October 24, at 4 p.m. It is free by
Roberts, who won the 1993 prize in medicine, will speak on the
of restriction enzymes and methylase genes to the biotechnology
His discovery — that genes in cells are separated by introns
of DNA that have no encoded message) and are not laid out in
strands — changed the understanding of the basic structure of
genes and provided insights into the development of cancer and other
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