Tag Archives: Eric Ballenger

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Money Matters | Episode 6: What to Do, Before the I Do’s

Are you ready when the wedding bells ring?
The team from Axiom talk about the financial side — and contract side — of what a wedding brings.
So again, I ask you, are you ready when the wedding bells ring?
Money Matters: The Podcast is sponsored by Axiom Financial Strategies Group of Wells Fargo Advisors.  This monthly podcast is in addition to a monthly article titled, “Money Matters,” that is posted online at www.ExtolMag.com and www.axiomfsg.com.
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At Axiom Financial Strategies Group of Wells Fargo Advisors we sincerely appreciate our clients making opportunities like this possible. Without their support of our business, we would not be able to support programs like this.
Axiom Financial Strategies Group
of Wells Fargo Advisors
101 W Spring Street, Fifth Floor
New Albany, IN  47150
P 812.542.6475 | F 812.948.8732 | www.axiomfsg.com
At Axiom Financial Strategies Group of Wells Fargo Advisors, our team caters to a select group of family-owned businesses, entrepreneurs, individuals, institutions, and foundations, helping them build, manage, preserve, and transition wealth. We accomplish this while providing top-notch service through a team approach that puts our clients’ needs, goals, and interests first. To learn more visit our website at www.axiomfsg.com. Wells Fargo Advisors. Member SIPC.
The information provided is general in nature and may not apply to your personal investment situation. Individuals should consult with their chosen financial professional before making any decisions.

Any estate plan should be reviewed by an attorney who specializes in estate planning and is licensed to practice law in your state.  Insurance products are offered through our affiliated nonbank insurance agencies.

Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, Member SIPC, a registered broker-dealer and non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company.
Video: CAR# 0817-03149.
Podcast: CAR#  0817-04140
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Money Matters | Episode 5: College Prep 101

Are your (parents) prepared to send your child away to college?  Not so much mentally, but are you fully prepared legally and have you prepared your child financially?
Money Matters: The Podcast is sponsored by Axiom Financial Strategies Group of Wells Fargo Advisors.  This monthly podcast is in addition to a monthly article titled, “Money Matters,” that is posted online at www.ExtolMag.com and www.axiomfsg.com.
**************************************************************************************************************************
At Axiom Financial Strategies Group of Wells Fargo Advisors we sincerely appreciate our clients making opportunities like this possible. Without their support of our business, we would not be able to support programs like this.
Axiom Financial Strategies Group
of Wells Fargo Advisors
101 W Spring Street, Fifth Floor
New Albany, IN  47150
P 812.542.6475 | F 812.948.8732 | www.axiomfsg.com
At Axiom Financial Strategies Group of Wells Fargo Advisors, our team caters to a select group of family-owned businesses, entrepreneurs, individuals, institutions, and foundations, helping them build, manage, preserve, and transition wealth. We accomplish this while providing top-notch service through a team approach that puts our clients’ needs, goals, and interests first. To learn more visit our website at www.axiomfsg.com. Wells Fargo Advisors. Member SIPC.
The information provided is general in nature and may not apply to your personal investment situation. Individuals should consult with their chosen financial professional before making any decisions.
Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, Member SIPC, a registered broker-dealer and non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company.

CAR # for the podcast is 0417-02947 | CAR # for the video is 0417-02942

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Money Matters | Episode 4: My First Real Job and What to do with the Money

I have my first real job and my first real paycheck; What to do?  The answer may actually be your first real job.  The gents from Axiom Financial Strategies Group of Wells Fargo Advisors give us the inside track.
Money Matters: The Podcast is sponsored by Axiom Financial Strategies Group of Wells Fargo Advisors.  This monthly podcast is in addition to a monthly article titled, “Money Matters,” that is posted online at www.ExtolMag.com and www.axiomfsg.com.
**************************************************************************************************************************
At Axiom Financial Strategies Group of Wells Fargo Advisors we sincerely appreciate our clients making opportunities like this possible. Without their support of our business, we would not be able to support programs like this.
Axiom Financial Strategies Group
of Wells Fargo Advisors
101 W Spring Street, Fifth Floor
New Albany, IN  47150
P 812.542.6475 | F 812.948.8732 | www.axiomfsg.com
At Axiom Financial Strategies Group of Wells Fargo Advisors, our team caters to a select group of family-owned businesses, entrepreneurs, individuals, institutions, and foundations, helping them build, manage, preserve, and transition wealth. We accomplish this while providing top-notch service through a team approach that puts our clients’ needs, goals, and interests first. To learn more visit our website at www.axiomfsg.com. Wells Fargo Advisors. Member SIPC.
The information provided is general in nature and may not apply to your personal investment situation. Individuals should consult with their chosen financial professional before making any decisions.
Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, Member SIPC, a registered broker-dealer and non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company.
CAR # for the podcast is 0417-02947
CAR # for the video is 0417-02942
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Money Matters by Eric Ballenger | Five Money Tips for Your College-Aged Child

When his daughter was looking at colleges, Dan Prebish, Director of Life Event Services at Wells Fargo Advisors, approached things a little differently than many parents. He raised the issue of college finances while on college tours, asking tour guides questions such as, “How much do you budget for meals outside of the dorm?” and “Where is the nearest ATM?”

Prebish found that sprinkling in financial questions provided an opportunity to get his daughter thinking about more than just the school’s curriculum, sporting events, and Greek life. Dinner conversations about schools she was applying to often featured discussions of scholarships. It was a strategy designed to help sensitize his daughter, Lydia, now 19 and a college freshman, to managing money.

Tracy Green, Tax and Financial Planning specialist at Wells Fargo Advisors, says money management is the most important lesson you can teach your children, because “they’ll need that in their college years and beyond.” Green, along with Prebish and his wife, Anne, share some tips for parents to help prepare their children for the challenges that lie ahead when they’re living independently as college students.

Tip 1: Discuss tuition and responsibility

Green says that before even applying to college, parents need to talk with their child about what type of school is within the parents’ budget and what portion, if any, the child will be responsible for covering. “Everyone needs to know up front what they’re going to be responsible for by the spring or summer before college,” she says.

Lydia Prebish, for example, pays for her own entertainment expenses, such as movies or meals at a restaurant with friends. She saved money from a summer job and also works on campus. “I think it’s always valuable for kids to have work skills, whether you need the money or not,” Dan says. The independent source of income helps provide students a sense of satisfaction and self worth, he adds. Because Lydia works two four-hour shifts a week, it’s manageable for her. But Dan says working, especially during the first semester as a student adjusts to college, may not be ideal for every student. Those who want to participate in many extracurricular activities or have a demanding curriculum may find it more difficult.

Tip 2: Focus on budget fundamentals

Anne Prebish says your children should learn the core concept of money: understand how much money they have and know not to spend more than that. “We have to be careful not to assume our kids know these things,” she says. Both she and her husband say it makes sense for kids to have a job the summer before college so they can accumulate savings. But managing that money during the course of a six-month semester can be a challenge. They suggest sitting down with your child and dividing the total amount of money available by the months at school to determine a monthly budget. “The first semester is about learning and keeping track of how you’re spending your money,” Anne says.

Tip 3: Think about debit and credit cards

The Prebishes and Green agree that a debit card is a key way to help students manage money. Dan says it’s an easy way to pay for items such as books, while Green adds it has oversight value — parents can limit spending on the card to the checking account balance. She also suggests that parents get their child a secured credit card, where the parent fronts the cash deposit but the child is financially responsible for making on-time payments, as this is a way of helping the child establish a credit history without giving him or her free rein over a traditional credit card.

Tip 4: Don’t forget their health

Dan recommends verifying in advance what your insurance covers while your children are at college, specifically whether they’ll be covered for visits to a clinic on campus or whether the school requires that you purchase their health insurance. Make sure to schedule routine medical or dental appointments during summer or school breaks so that they don’t go by the wayside. And he says it’s essential for a child to have his or her own durable power of attorney authorizing a parent to make financial or legal decisions if the child is incapacitated. A durable power of attorney for health care is also recommended, since professionals aren’t authorized to share medical information with parents without explicit permission if the child is 18 or over. He suggests scanning those documents onto the child’s phone and keeping a copy for yourself, so the documents are readily accessible. Green adds that doctor’s phone numbers and medical and insurance information should also be kept on the child’s phone.

Tip 5: Empower your children to ask for help

One suggestion Anne considers critical is to send the message to your college-aged children that just because they are adults living on their own, asking for a parent’s advice isn’t a sign of weakness. “Part of being an adult is realizing other people are there to help you,” she says. And parents shouldn’t think they’re hovering if they assist.

“We have consistently been there giving our daughter our two cents and also letting her make choices,” Anne says. Those discussions on college survival skills have helped their daughter transition well to her new environment. “She was prepared for anything we could prepare her for,” she adds.

This article was written by/for Wells Fargo Advisors and provided courtesy of Eric Ballenger, Senior Vice President – Investment Officer of a Axiom Financial Strategies Group of Wells Fargo Advisors in New Albany, IN.  He can be reached at 812.948.8475.  Visit our website at www.AxiomFSG.com.

Investments in securities and insurance products are: NOT FDIC-INSURED/NOT BANK-GUARANTEED/MAY LOSE VALUE

Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, Member SIPC, a registered broker-dealer and non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company.

© 2016 Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC. All rights reserved.   0316-01366 (100170-v1BDC)

 

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Money Matters: The Podcast | Episode 3: Invest Early and Compounding

A Money Matter’s duo,  Eric Ballenger, Senior Vice President – Investments and Michael Grau, CFP®, RICP®, Vice President – Investment, start with the basics, Investing 101.  Its the moment when you realize that you must invest early, but why?  They explain how compounding works and how easy it is to set it and forget it.

Invest in Your Future Today Brochure
Money Matters: The Podcast is sponsored by Axiom Financial Strategies Group of Wells Fargo Advisors.  This monthly podcast is in addition to a monthly article titled, “Money Matters,” that is posted online at www.ExtolMag.com and www.axiomfsg.com.

**************************************************************************************************************************

At Axiom Financial Strategies Group of Wells Fargo Advisors we sincerely appreciate our clients making opportunities like this possible. Without their support of our business, we would not be able to support programs like this.

Axiom Financial Strategies Group
of Wells Fargo Advisors
101 W Spring Street, Fifth Floor
New Albany, IN  47150

P 812.542.6475 | F 812.948.8732 | www.axiomfsg.com

At Axiom Financial Strategies Group of Wells Fargo Advisors, our team caters to a select group of family-owned businesses, entrepreneurs, individuals, institutions, and foundations, helping them build, manage, preserve, and transition wealth. We accomplish this while providing top-notch service through a team approach that puts our clients’ needs, goals, and interests first. To learn more visit our website at www.axiomfsg.com. Wells Fargo Advisors. Member SIPC.

The information provided is general in nature and may not apply to your personal investment situation. Individuals should consult with their chosen financial professional before making any decisions.

Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, Member SIPC, a registered broker-dealer and non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company. CAR 1216-02739

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Podcast Photo:

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Money Matters by Michelle Floyd | Pay Yourself First

Fund Your IRA with Your Tax Refund

While most of us don’t intend to short change our retirement savings, competing priorities and unexpected expenditures can often get in the way of consistent retirement saving. An easy way to help fund your IRA is to have your tax refund deposited directly into your IRA. Because this represents money you’ve already paid out, it won’t be missed when you redirect those dollars.  And, if the refund dollars go directly to an IRA, you can avoid the temptation to splurge and spend that money on something else if it winds up in your checking account.

Many financial planners advise taxpayers to balance their paycheck withholdings so they break even – meaning they don’t overpay and then receive a refund at tax time. Using this strategy, you can make money that might be paid in taxes work for you throughout the year and avoid giving the government an interest-free loan. However, if you have trouble saving, a tax refund can be an effective form of forced savings.

Directing your tax refund to your IRA is easy and automatic. If you want your refund to go to just one account, you simply request a direct deposit of your refund on your tax return at the time of filing. If you want the refund to go to multiple accounts (e.g., IRA, checking, savings) you will need to complete IRS Tax Form 8888 when filing your taxes. Completing Form 8888 authorizes the IRS to transfer your tax refund to any number of IRAs or other savings or checking accounts via direct deposit.

While you’ll need to complete Form 8888 during tax preparation time, and with the advice of your tax advisor, here are some tips to help you:

  • If the deposit is into your IRA, check the “Savings” box under Lines 1–3 on Form 8888.
  • You must have an IRA already established at a financial institution in order to have your refund directed to this account.
  • You need to follow up with the financial institution that holds your IRA and specify which tax year your payment is for. Many providers will assume the payment is for the current calendar year unless you specify otherwise.
  • If you want your deposit to be credited as a prior year IRA contribution, you must verify that the deposit was actually made by the tax filing deadline for that particular year – generally, April 15.

 

Keep in mind that even if you already contribute to your retirement savings through a 401(k) or other employer sponsored plan at work, you are still eligible to contribute to an IRA to supplement those savings.

With corporate pension plans on the decline and Social Security making up a smaller share of most Americans’ retirement income, it’s important to take charge of your own retirement savings. Having all or a portion of your tax refund directed into an IRA is an easy way to help save for retirement. A Financial Advisor can help evaluate where you are on the path toward saving for retirement to help ensure you can live out your unique vision.

Our firm is not a legal or tax advisor.

This article was written and provided by Michelle Floyd, CFP®, Financial Consultant with Axiom Financial Strategies Group of Wells Fargo Advisors in New Albany, IN.  She can be reached via email at michelle.floyd@wfadvisors.com or phone at (812) 948-8475.  Visit our website www.AxiomFSG.com.

Investments in securities and insurance products are: NOT FDIC-INSURED/NOT BANK-GUARANTEED/MAY LOSE VALUE

Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, Member SIPC, a registered broker-dealer and non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company.

© 2016 Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC. All rights reserved. 0416-00668 [98729-v1BDC]

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Money Matters: the Podcast | Episode 2: The Year End

A Money Matter’s Trio, Vaughan Scott, MBA, CPWA® Managing Director, Eric Ballenger, Senior Vice President – Investments and Michael Grau, CFP®, RICP®, Vice President – Investment, comes to the table and discusses the end of 2016, what the new President may or may not cause, along with a local look-in.
Money Matters: The Podcast is sponsored by Axiom Financial Strategies Group of Wells Fargo Advisors.  This quarterly podcast is in addition to a monthly article titled, “Money Matters,” that is posted online at www.ExtolMag.com and www.axiomfsg.com.

**************************************************************************************************************************

At Axiom Financial Strategies Group of Wells Fargo Advisors we sincerely appreciate our clients making opportunities like this possible. Without their support of our business, we would not be able to support programs like this.

Michelle Floyd, CFP®  | Financial Consultant

Axiom Financial Strategies Group
of Wells Fargo Advisors
101 W Spring Street, Fifth Floor
New Albany, IN  47150

P 812.542.6475 | F 812.948.8732 | Michelle.Floyd@wellsfargoadvisors.comwww.axiomfsg.com

At Axiom Financial Strategies Group of Wells Fargo Advisors, our team caters to a select group of family-owned businesses, entrepreneurs, individuals, institutions, and foundations, helping them build, manage, preserve, and transition wealth. We accomplish this while providing top-notch service through a team approach that puts our clients’ needs, goals, and interests first. To learn more visit our website at www.axiomfsg.com. Wells Fargo Advisors. Member SIPC.

The information provided is general in nature and may not apply to your personal investment situation. Individuals should consult with their chosen financial professional before making any decisions.

Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, Member SIPC, a registered broker-dealer and non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company. CAR 1216-02739

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Money Matters by Eric Ballenger | Considering Alternative Investments

 

It’s no secret that the events and market volatility of the past few years continue to leave many individuals concerned about their investment portfolios. Despite what has proven to be a substantial market recovery, memories of the 2008-2009 market crisis and a number of ongoing global economic issues have prompted investors to seek investment solutions that can offer enhanced diversification, reduced volatility, and improved capital preservation.

Historically, investors have turned to fixed-income investments as a solution, and this time has proven to be no different. But the substantial flows into fixed-income assets in recent years – combined with the prospects for future interest-rate increases – have heightened concerns over diminished opportunities or potential “bubbles” within segments of the fixed-income market.

While the flight to quality and risk aversion in late 2008 and early 2009 was pervasive, many investors have continued to hold a conservative position throughout what has been a significant price recovery in both broad equity and credit markets. This strong asset price appreciation and unprecedented volatility have created a conundrum for investors who want to participate in equity and fixed income markets while limiting portfolio risk.

They find themselves asking, “Should I maintain a risk-off posture and merely accept the generally paltry returns offered by lower risk assets?” vs. “Do I chase returns through riskier investments despite the challenges still existing within the current overall environment?” This perceived all-or-nothing dilemma tends to leave many investors paralyzed.

While there are no simple answers to these questions, there are alternative solutions available to help investors diversify their portfolios beyond traditional stocks and bonds and complement their current asset allocation mix. Alternative investments – including hedge funds, managed futures, private equity, real estate, and commodities – offer investment solutions that best suit investors’ needs, objectives, and preferences.

Alternative investment strategies may deliver significant benefits to an overall investment portfolio, such as:

  • Greater potential for diversification
  • Historically low or non-correlation to traditional investments
  • Seek to minimize market cycle peaks and troughs
  • Exposure to a broader range of investment opportunities
  • Greater potential for improved risk-adjusted returns

While investors may benefit from the ability of alternative investments to potentially improve the risk-reward profiles in their portfolios, it’s important to remember the investments themselves can carry significant risks. Government regulation and monitoring of these types of investments may be minimal or nonexistent; returns may be volatile and present an increased risk of investment loss.

Here are some important considerations to keep in mind if you’re interested in pursuing opportunities in alternative investments for your portfolio with your Financial Advisor:

Complexity: Alternative investment strategies may span multiple markets, securities and risk factors. Because of the complex nature of these investment opportunities, an investor must rely on the experience, representations and credentials of advisors, fund managers and distribution agents. 

Fees and expenses: In most alternative investment strategies, managers are paid in two ways: They typically receive a fee calculated as a percentage of assets under management. They also typically receive a share of the strategy’s gains – a practice designed to reward the manager for positive returns. Trading fees and expenses may be significant with the potential to deplete trading profits. Funds of funds are subject to multiple layers of such fees. 

Holdings: Markets for a portfolio’s holdings may be relatively inactive and it is possible that trading in a specific portfolio holding could cease altogether. As a result, market valuations of specific portfolio holdings may not always be possible, causing accurate valuation of a portfolio to be difficult at times. 

Leverage: Because many alternative investment strategies seek to amplify mispricings that are relatively small, borrowing is often critical to delivering significant returns to investors. This use of leverage tends to amplify both gains and losses. 

Limited liquidity: A fund may not have a secondary market for its interests and none may be expected to develop, and there are restrictions on transferring interests of the fund. Performance figures may be based on valuations of illiquid investments that are difficult to value, and certain managers may carry such assets at cost until a realization event. 

Liquidity and redemptions: An investor’s ability to withdraw capital from funds or partnerships may be subject to specific limitations, including initial “lock-up” periods, advance notification requirements and predetermined “windows” for redemptions. 

Potential loss of investment: Speculative investments and are not suitable for all investors, nor do they represent a complete investment program. 

Tax risks: Investing in certain alternative investment funds may involve significant tax consequences. Investors should understand that they will likely be required to obtain extensions of the filing date for their income tax returns due to possible delays in the delivery of Schedule K-1. Nothing contained herein constitutes investment, legal, tax or other advice nor is it to be relied upon in making an investment or other decision.

Transparency: In order to preserve strategic advantage and the ability to transact nimbly, fund managers often significantly limit the ability for investors to review portfolio holdings. This practice – known as opacity or lack of transparency – can limit investors’ and advisors’ abilities to monitor managers and evaluate risks. 

Valuation variations: Investors should recognize that certain alternative investment funds are not required to provide periodic pricing or valuation information or information about their underlying investments to investors. 

Alternative investments and alternative strategies are not suitable for all investors.  Any offer to purchase or sell a specific Alternative Investment product will be made by the product’s official offering documents. Investors could lose all or a substantial amount of their investments in these products.   These investments carry specific investor qualifications which can include high income and net-worth requirements as well as relatively high investment minimums. They are complex investment vehicles which generally have high costs and substantial risks. The high expenses often associated with these investments must be offset by trading profits and other income. They tend to be more volatile than other types of investments and present an increased risk of investment loss. There may also be a lack of transparency as to the underlying assets. Other risks may apply as well, depending on the specific investment product. 

This information is for educational purposes only and should not be used or construed as financial advice, an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any security. Global Alternative Investments and/or Wells Fargo do not guarantee that the information supplied is complete, undertake to advise you of any change of opinion, or make any guarantees of future results obtained from its use. Wells Fargo & Company affiliates may issue reports or have opinions that are inconsistent with, and reach conclusions from, this information. 

This article was written by/for Wells Fargo Advisors and provided courtesy of Eric Ballenger, Senior Vice President – Investment Officer with Axiom Financial Strategies Group of Wells Fargo Advisors in New Albany, IN.  Eric can be reached via email at eric.ballenger@wfadvisors.com or phone at (812) 948-8475.  Visit our website at www.AxiomFSG.com.

Investments in securities and insurance products are: NOT FDIC-INSURED/NOT BANK-GUARANTEED/MAY LOSE VALUE

Wells Fargo Advisors, Member SIPC, is a registered broker-dealer and a separate non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company.  ©2015 Wells Fargo Advisors.  All rights reserved.                 0315-04805 [93576-v1]

Disclaimer

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Money Matters: The Podcast | Episode 1: Eyes on the Horizon

In this inaugural episode of Money Matters: The Podcast, Vaughan Scott, MBA, CPWA® Managing Director – Investment Officer Axiom Financial Strategies Group of Wells Fargo Advisors, discusses Wells Fargo’s 2016 midyear outlook report “Eyes on the Horizon” with Extol’s Jason Applegate. Additionally, Vaughan also shares insight into Brexit and whether or not the next president of the United States will affect the economy.

Money Matters: The Podcast is sponsored by Axiom Financial Strategies Group of Wells Fargo Advisors.  This quarterly podcast is in addition to a monthly article titled, “Money Matters,” that is posted online at www.ExtolMag.com and www.axiomfsg.com.

**************************************************************************************************************************

At Axiom Financial Strategies Group of Wells Fargo Advisors we sincerely appreciate our clients making opportunities like this possible. Without their support of our business, we would not be able to support programs like this.

Michelle Floyd, CFP®  | Financial Consultant

Axiom Financial Strategies Group
of Wells Fargo Advisors
101 W Spring Street, Fifth Floor
New Albany, IN  47150

P 812.542.6475 | F 812.948.8732 | Michelle.Floyd@wellsfargoadvisors.comwww.axiomfsg.com

At Axiom Financial Strategies Group of Wells Fargo Advisors, our team caters to a select group of family-owned businesses, entrepreneurs, individuals, institutions, and foundations, helping them build, manage, preserve, and transition wealth. We accomplish this while providing top-notch service through a team approach that puts our clients’ needs, goals, and interests first. To learn more visit our website at www.axiomfsg.com. Wells Fargo Advisors. Member SIPC.

The information provided is general in nature and may not apply to your personal investment situation. Individuals should consult with their chosen financial professional before making any decisions.

Disclaimer


 

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Money Matters by Vaughan Scott | People Power – Investing in Human Capital

As I talk with business owners around the region and across the country about the challenges they face today, workforce development ranks at the very top of the list consistently.  While it is tempting to throw one’s hands up and accept it as a “new normal”, several entrepreneurs and family businesses have long recognized the importance of developing their existing team members and are finding innovative ways to develop new pools of future talent.

Investing in human capital doesn’t just mean providing benefits like retirement plans, health care, flextime and other benefits, though they are components.  So what else can be done? What are some of the most innovative, and successful companies in this region doing to develop and attract the best and brightest?

Samtec, founded in 1976 in New Albany, IN, is a respected company that actively promotes the development of their team members.  In fact, if you visit the “about us” tab on its website, you will see the statement: “WE ENABLE TECHNOLOGY BY EMPOWERING OUR ASSOCIATES.”

When I asked Brian Fields, Director of Operations and Engineering, about the unique things they were doing to develop their team-members, he explained that since its formation, Samtec has maintained a culture that holds its associates globally in high esteem.  “Ensuring that Samtec associates worldwide are given every opportunity to evolve and grow is paramount in the strategy for global organizational development,” said Fields.

Samtec operates in over twenty countries and associates at all levels, not just managers, are given the opportunity to experience global, cross-functional development and learning.  Specialized, immersive, programs are offered that will transfer an associate, and often his or her family, from their home location (U.S., China, Malaysia, Costa Rica, Europe, etc.) to another location for as little as one month to several years, depending on the associate’s role and business need.  The opportunity is seen as a way to better serve customers, solve problems, and to make the Samtec global community more closely connected and efficient.

“These investments in the human aspects of the business are the foundation for the long term growth and stability of the business.  It is an old saying but still holds true:  ‘Take care of your customers and your associates, or somebody else will,’” said Fields.

Kelley Construction was established in 1978, and is now the largest construction company in the region, with divisions that include commercial construction, food service, healthcare, industrial, and petroleum & energy.

Mark Kelley, co-owner (with his brother, Joe), believes strongly in finding new ways to develop talent and to preserve the wisdom of their most experienced team members.  Kelley recently hired a writer of curriculum to better document and teach best practices within the industrial division of their company. Kelley found that often the best techniques were stored in the memory banks of their most experienced team members and he wanted to be sure that they could train others properly, while simultaneously, recognizing and honoring the talents of their top performers.

The writer and skilled team members work together to identify the simplest techniques possible for learning specific skills, as well as, the important elements of culture and safety that should be understood or applied.  Kelley stated, “We knew that if our team members could teach the writer how to do things, we were on the right track.”

Kelley Construction’s industrial division now uses the curriculum developed to measure skill levels, before and after training, using both hands on tools and written tests. But, Kelley cautioned leaving future success to proper training alone, “Unless leaders can develop strong, meaningful relationships with their key people, both professionally and personally, many positions may be doomed to remain revolving doors for talent and that’s a hard way to operate.”

Four Barrel CrossFit was founded by Case Belcher in 2013, who left a successful marketing career to follow his passion for CrossFit and his dream of owning his own business.

“When we first started, I was the only employee and I coached from 6:00 am to 7:00 PM every day.  There was little time for talent development, I had to get this business off the ground”, said Belcher.   As membership levels grew, Belcher discovered early on that getting to know members, their personalities, and working with the internship coordinator for the University of Louisville’s Exercise Physiology Department really helped him to identify and attract talented people, who would later became part-time and full-time coaches.

As Four Barrel CrossFit continues to grow with two locations – a 10,000 square foot facility in New Albany and an 8,000 square foot facility in Louisville, Belcher believes investing in his people is a key element to continued growth and success.  The talented team of coaches at Four Barrel CrossFit now includes Lindy Barber, who competes at a national level in the CrossFit Games, Belcher’s wife Renee, and several others who coach over 400 members.  In an effort to attract and retain talented coaches, Belcher pays for half of any approved training or certification programs for part-time coaches and full time coaches enjoy annual stipends for training, certifications, and for competitions. Belcher states, “It’s important to me that everyone on my team feels I support them and their growth both personally and professionally.”

Each of these talented leaders believed strongly that their return on their investment had been significant and that regardless of their budget, or lack thereof, they had always been able to find creative ways to invest in human capital.

This article was written by and provided courtesy of Vaughan Scott, MBA, CPWA®, Managing Director – Investment Officer with Axiom Financial Strategies Group of Wells Fargo Advisors in New Albany, IN.  He can be reached via email at vaughan.scott@wfadvisors.com or phone at (812) 948-8475.  Visit our website www.AxiomFSG.com.
The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of Wells Fargo Advisors or its affiliates. The companies referenced in this report do not constitute an endorsement, implied or otherwise.
Wells Fargo Advisors, Member SIPC, is a registered broker-dealer and a separate non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company. CAR 0917-02839

Disclaimer