RS Crum, Inc.
Ashley Bleckner is an Advisor with RS Crum and also works in collaboration with a number of the lead advisors in the areas of financial planning and client service. RS Crum specializes in providing objective financial advice to help clients manage, grow, and protect their assets during their working lives and through retirement. Ashley and the team has a mission to help people make sound financial decisions, accumulate and preserve wealth, and otherwise pursue their life goals without the burden of financial stress.
Prior to committing to RS Crum, Ashley spent over three years with a wealth management firm based in Toledo, Ohio serving as a Client Relationship Manager where she helped develop, coordinate, and implement financial plans and manage day-to-day client requests. Ashley takes great pride in her client relationships. Actively involved in the community, Ashley is a member of the Orange County FPA and CalCPA. Ashley has volunteered her time on a number of philanthropic projects, including WomanSAGE, “It’s Your Money,” Alzheimer’s Orange County, and is a co-founder of the Austin Kudzia Scholarship.
Ashley has a passion for travel, education and the arts. She has previously studied in Florence, Italy and has taught several college classes in Economics. Ashley has a Bachelor of Science in Business Economics from Miami University and a Masters of Arts in Economics from Bowling Green State University.
MA, Economics, Bowling Green State University
BS, Economics, Miami University (OH)
Assets Under Management:
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I have heard this many times and it has never made sense. The idea is if your employer matches 3% of your salary, then you (the employee) should only contribute 3% to your 401(k). I guess at a gut check level this might make sense, after all “why should I put in more than The Man?” But, this completely disregards the tax savings of contributions. The tax savings are significant even for modest income earners.
Besides, there may be no easier way to save. It is automatic and the impact on your take home pay is much less than the dollars saved. For those who have difficulty saving, this is often the first place we look. Our suggestion (regardless of matching contributions) is to put in as much as you can afford, plus a little more, up to the maximum.
If you have the option of a 401(k), I highly encourage you to participate. There is usually a company match which is free money. Within the 401(k) (or Roth or any investment vehicle), mutual funds are the best way to get diversification by broadening your investment exposure and lowering your risk/volatility.
Many mutual fund companies provide asset allocation funds, which include both equity/stock and fixed income/bond positions. These are great funds that re-balance automatically. I would encourage you to do your research on mutual funds before purchasing. Specifically take a look at the objective of the fund, the cost of the fund, the portfolio manager running the fund, and third party reviews of the fund.
I'd be happy to have a quick chat on the topic if you want to learn more.
I recommend consulting with a CFP and/or CPA before making any decisions.
With annuity selection, I advise clients to read the fine print. The devil is in the details. Be aware of:
- High commissions/sale incentives for the individual selling the product,
- High expenses for investor,
- They are illiquid and frequently have surrender periods,
- There is no step-up in cost basis at death,
- Guarantees are not always what they look like
For clients where annuities are appropriate (based on personal circumstances), I recommend checking out TIAA-CREF Intelligent Variable Annuity or a Vanguard annuity.
Congratulations! What an exciting time in your life. And, it sounds like you are fully embracing it.
My rule of thumb is that it never hurts to look. Put your feelers out and see what interests you in the area. Both a MBA and CFA are large time and financial commitments, so I recommend outlining your goals of the studies. They are very different paths.
- MBA is usually 1-2 years and includes classroom work along with testing. The degree is broad in nature and could be beneficial in a number of different careers. It could also be a great refresher tool on what you learned when obtaining your Finance degree.
- CFA is usually a 2 year minimum and is the result of passing 3 different tests. The certification is very specific with an analyst base... and, in my opinion, much more difficult than an MBA. It is a highly respected credential.
- Consider a CFP. If you enjoy the advising side of finance, check out more at https://www.cfp.net/become-a-cfp-professional
As such, I recommend trying to determine exactly what you would like to do before jumping into an educational program. Ask questions and see what you enjoy.
I hope this helps!
I recommend consulting with an advisor on your specific circumstances.
That being said, if you move your IRA directly from Wells Fargo to Vanguard or Fidelity, it can be a relatively easy process without concern for taxes or penalties. If you withdrawal the assets and take a check to Vanguard or Fidelity for your retirement account, there will be reporting concerns you want to address.
For do-it-yourselfers I think Vanguard is a fantastic choice. They are a great company built on a strong foundation with low cost index funds. I encourage you to do your research and read the fine print, but I see no issues in moving the account from Wells Fargo.
I hope this helps. Please feel free to reach out to me directly with any additional/follow up questions.