The Team Perspective December 2019
Happy Holidays From Altair! We are grateful for the opportunity to serve a remarkable group of clients and to work with dedicated colleagues and professionals. We look forward to serving you in 2020!
A Culture of Giving At Altair, giving back is something the firm encourages at both the individual level through support of time and expenses for board or junior board participation and at the firm level through regularly scheduled service days. In June, 20 employees prepared and served lunch for the family clients of the Ronald McDonald House Charities Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana. In September, staff members volunteered their time at the Greater Chicago Food Depository repacking almost 5,000 pounds of bread for those in need. In the same month, a group of employees helped install an art gallery exhibition at a local school with IPaintMyMind, a Chicago-based nonprofit organization that supports free art resources in underserved schools, libraries and youth centers. As we enter the holiday season, the firm is sponsoring 20 children through the local Grant-a-Wish Holiday Gift Program. These activities are not only important for supporting various needs within our community but they provide us with a chance to work together as colleagues in new ways. We look forward to exploring new service opportunities in 2020! See page 6 for colleague testimonals.
Starting from the left (bottom) photo, Altair team members spent different days volunteering at the Greater Chicago Food Depository, Ronald McDonald House, and at a Chicagoland highschool for IPaintMyMind. 2
Financial Gifting 101 Parents and grandparents often ask about the best way to provide financial assistance to adult children and grandchildren. From a tax perspective, there are several formats we recommend. The IRS allows you to gift up to $15,000 per person (or a total of $30,000 per person if gifts are made in conjunction with your spouse) to as many people as you like, free of federal gift tax. Additionally, tuition payments made directly to an educational institution on behalf of an individual and/or payments of an individualâ€™s medical care paid directly to the care provider are also excluded from federal gift tax. A few things to keep in mind. Contributions to 529 plans and premiums paid on life insurance policies owned in an irrevocable life insurance trust (ILIT) count towards the $15,000 annual exclusion gift amount per person. For those who wish to make gifts beyond their annual exclusion amount, the IRS announced that the lifetime estate and gift tax exclusion increased to $11,580,000 per person in 2020 ($23,160,000 for married couples).This means that you can gift up to these amounts without incurring gift taxes. However, please be mindful of your stateâ€™s gifting laws and, as always, consult with your estate planning attorney and accountant to ensure any large gifts are executed properly and fit into your overall financial plan. Finally, we highly recommend that any gifts of money come with a letter that outlines your hopes and intentions for the gift. It doesnâ€™t need to be long or overly restrictive, just a personal note that expresses not only your love for the recipient but your goal in providing financial assistance.
Congratulations! Elevate Shared Family Meals Holiday meals provide an opportunity to spend time with extended family across multiple generations. We often put significant effort into planning the menu and preparing food but assume the conversation will flow naturally. While there is no need to be overly scripted, posing a few questions that encourage sharing and storytelling can be a way of adding depth and meaning to this family time.
Altair is proud to support our staff members in furthering their credentials. Congratulations to those who attained the following designations in 2019:
Choose one or two questions that family members of all ages can answer. You can let people know these questions ahead of time or propose them spontaneously. • • • •
What is something that happened over the past year that you are particularly thankful for? What is an experience in your life that taught you about gratitude? What is your earliest holiday memory? For parents and grandparents, what advice and wisdom do you hope to pass on to your children and grandchildren?
Some families also have specific rituals that they observe at holiday meals – the lighting of a candle to remember loved ones who are no longer here or a special prayer or song. It’s good to talk about how these traditions started, and if the family has been through change in the past year it may make sense to begin a new ritual. The goal is to take advantage of this time together and be deliberate about listening and sharing across the family. It may even prevent the conversation from wandering into politics to boot!
Michael Fleagle, Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) ®
What Can We Answer For You in 2020? Altair posted more than 50 pieces of new content on our website in 2019. The most popular items included our quarterly market reviews, as well as our blog articles on the key steps to a successful family business sale and avoiding email scams. We welcome your suggestions on future topics. Please contact our Director of Communciations, Anna Nichols, at 312-429-3011, or anichols@altairadvisers. com. 4
Lauren Bridges Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) ®
Evan Frazier Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) ®
Certified Financial Planner (CFP) ®
Lisa M. Micka Certified Private Wealth Advisor (CPWA) ®
Michael Feurdean Certified Financial Planner (CFP) ® 5
from team members on Altair’s outreach
to our colleagues who celebrated the following life events in 2019
IPaintMyMind IPaintMyMind (IPMM) hosted a community dinner to connect their corporate clients, like Altair, with artists and Chicago Public School (CPS) employees. It was a great evening, sparking conversations between our different groups around IPMM and their impact on art education in Chicago. While we were there, we saw a few handwritten notes from CPS students thanking us for participating in IPMM’s Shared Walls Program, which funds artwork in their schools. Hearing stories from teachers and principals on how the art in their schools has been meaningful to the students was really moving. - Sydney Church and Taylor Easterling, Marketing
Advice Beyond the Classroom
Conor Daniel Villasenor - November 5th, 2019 Son of Daniel E. Villasenor, Client Operations Analyst
Caitlin M Dixon, Financial Planning Analyst Married February 16th, 2019
Kenton Frank Habas - December 18th, 2018 Son of Andrea Habas, Client Operations Analyst
Sophia Grace Sollberger - May 9th, 2019 Daughter of Katie O’Hara, Director of Financial Planning
With Altair as the primary sponsor, my nonprofit, Advice Beyond the Classroom, hosted a state championship in downtown Chicago for over 90 students involved in the program at St. Rita, Caramel Catholic (Mundelein), and Mother McAuley. For the state championship, we had all 3 schools in attendance compete for the state title through public speaking and other activities in the morning session. In the afternoon, we broke out all the students into groups to network with other students who have similar professional interests or are going to be attending the same college. To conclude the program, we had over 20 professional speakers from various industries, including our CEO Rebekah Kohmescher, network with the students and give advice regarding careers in their respective industry. - John “Gus” Miller, Associate Consultant 6
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