The Liberty Group, LLC
Managing Principal, Sr. Financial Advisor
Will Thomas is the Principal and Sr. Financial advisor with Kapital Asset Management, dba The Liberty Group, LLC in Washington, DC. Within the Financial Planning Industry, Will has obtained designations as a CFP (Certified Financial Planner), CIMA (Certified Investment Management Analyst) and CTFA (Certified Trust & Financial Advisor). He also holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Fayetteville State University in Mathematics and Economics. Prior to joining the Liberty Group, Will worked Wells Fargo Advisors (2013-2016) and Merrill Lynch (2009 – 2013).
As the Managing Partner of the DC Liberty Group Office, Will believes his firm to be “Small enough to Care, but Large enough to Inspire”. And as an advisor, Will gives great CARE to the individuality of his clients, their goals and objectives; while looking to INSPIRE our clients to live their lives by design, not by default.
Will’s experience in the Financial Markets include the banking, mortgage, insurance and capital markets. As a Financial Advisor, Will believes that having a well-rounded, in depth knowledge of all the major line items affecting a client’s balance sheet is key to offering sound financial planning and consulting on a holistic level. His ultimate goal for his clients to help them understand that true financial planning is an individualized, ongoing process affected by many small and large financial decisions.
Will understands The Financial Services landscape continues to evolve as new technology, new regulations and new demands from his clients force advisors to have a well-rounded skill set complete with more than an understanding of one market or one product. By embracing these changes, he continues to create awareness with his clients about the many benefits of deliberate financial planning, which studies have shown to reduce anxiety, simplify and organize objectives along with saving/making more money.
BS, Mathematics and Finance, Fayetteville State University
Will THomas III
An index fund is a type of mutual fund that is designed to track a particular market “index”, whether it is the S&P 500, Russell 2000, or MSCI EAFE; hence the name “index fund”. Due to the nature of their design (mimicking a specific market index), index funds would be considered a passive management strategy, which have a lower cost structure than typical mutual funds. Typical mutual funds are actively managed, and are built to outperform a particular benchmark or address a specific investment strategy.
An Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) would also be considered a passive investment strategy. ETFs can track an index, an industry, a commodity, a particular investment strategy, ect. They are listed on market exchanges just like individual stocks; which allow them to be bought and sold like a stock. Their prices can go up and down like stock prices throughout the day, and they provide liquidity like highly traded securities.
The first major difference between the 3 retirement arrangements is that the Roth and Traditional IRAs have nothing to do with an employer; the owner/individual set these two plans up; be it at a bank, brokerage firm, etc. Spousal IRAs/Roth IRAs can also be set up on behalf of a spouse who doesn’t have earned income.
The SEP Simplified Employee Pension Plan, on the other hand, is an IRA set up by one’s employer which allows the employer (and only the employer) to make contributions toward the employee’s retirement. Although, if you are self-employed, you have the ability to open up a SEP and contribute to it on your behalf.
Now let’s talk about contributions. Traditional and Roths only allow yearly contributions in the amount of $5,500 per year, with an additional $1,000 if you are older than 50 years of age. There are contribution limit phase outs depending on if a person is contributing to a company retirement plan and how much annual income an individual has.
With a SEP, the employer has to contribute “equally” to all employees. In this instance, “equally” can mean one of 2 things. It can mean the employer contributes the exact same amount per employee, or the exact same percentage of an employee’s annual compensation. As with Traditional/Roth IRAs, SEP IRAs have contribution limits as well. The maximum contribution amount is 25% of an employee’s annual compensation amount or $54,000; whichever is less.
An annuity is a contractual insurance product which guarantees a particular payment structure. These payments can begin immediately or be deferred to a time in the future. Payment amounts can be based off of a guaranteed rate of return or variable rates which may be attached to other investment vehicles or benchmarks. The time period for which payments can be received can also vary. They can be for a set number of months or years, or they can be attached to an individual’s life span. Annuities can be a very useful tool for an individual that wants to guarantee a particular income in their retirement. But even though they are issued by an insurance company, depending on the type of annuity selected, an individuals’ principal can be at risk. Over the years, annuities have become much more tailored and complex, given an individuals’ needs. So, one should be very clear when looking into purchasing an annuity.
I’ll try to be specific and general at the same time with this explanation. The most general explanation of the “5 or 5 power” is it gives the beneficiary of a trust the power to withdraw the greater of $5,000 or 5% of the trust assets in any given calendar year. Did the makers of the trust pull these numbers out of thin air? No, they did not. Those parameters were decided by IRS Tax code. This is important because, in general, beneficiaries normally don’t have these types of rights. The grantor of the trust makes the rules, the trustee enforces the trust, and the beneficiaries are recipients or “benefactors” of the trust. With a “5 or 5 power”, they actually get to decide something regarding the trust. Some (the IRS) would say this gives the beneficiary power. But too much power would be a bad thing for the beneficiary. If the beneficiary were to take more than the “5 x 5”, the beneficiary might be considered to have a “general power of appointment” over the trust, which could then have the assets included in the beneficiary’s estate.
For my practice, behavioral finance plays a vital role in identifying the client or prospect I have in front of me. In many instances, most advisors treat all clients the same, but we're often surprised when they reacted differently under the same set of circumstances. I believe behavioral finance is an area that advisors should seek to learn more about; it is definitely something that is taught. "Behavioral Finance & Wealth Management" by Michael Pompian is a great book on the subject. Once you become familiar with a few of the basic behavioral finance concepts, they will be easy to spot in clients. From there, you can take the necessary steps to educate the client on the root of their anxiety or reluctance.