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PEOPLE ARE AS DIVERSE in their financial motivations as they are as individuals. Our reasons to save are often dictated by our age, family situation, our gender, lifestyle, or our plans for retirement. Opportunities and roadblocks can pop up without warning, so it is important that we take a broader look at our wealth and the way in which we manage our financial lives. Wealth management is a big umbrella term with many financial facets. The operating principle is to provide high-net-worth individuals a holistic approach to manage their money and plan their financial future. Services will usually include everything from financial and investment advice, accounting and tax services, to retirement planning and legal or estate planning. Some wealth management firms even provide banking services or advice on philanthropic investments. Portfolios have grown, and the financial landscape has changed a great deal over the years. Now more than ever, it is in your financial best interest to partner with an adviser who delivers a full range of services and products in a consultative way. We consulted local experts for their insights and advice on everything from investment strategies for comfortable retirement, to tips for finding the right advisory firm, to helping your employees succeed in their own financial lives.


Business First Wealth Solutions Group Horizon Financial Group | BUSINESS REPORT, March 27, 2018




MILLENNIALS &MONEY While Millennials may do things differently, they are not financial slackers. Creating a healthy financial legacy is a priority. A few simple steps can help ensure that your financial vehicle is

in tip top condition. We consulted Brandon LeBlanc, an experienced financial consultant at Business First Wealth Solutions Group, to get the roadmap.


� STUDENT LOAN DEBT is often the first hurdle. Millennials are on track to be the most educated generation to date. This impressive statistic carries a hefty financial burden with more student loan debt than any previous generation. Many need help establishing a budget and setting realistic benchmarks to get past their initial debt before they can begin investing.


BUSINESS REPORT, March 27, 2018 |

� BE AN ACTIVE PART of the process. Your finances are personal, so it is just as important to seek the right financial advisor as it is to find the right medical doctor. Look for an advisor who takes on the role of financial trainer rather than a salesman. “It is worth your time to meet face to face with an advisor and see if they are right for you,” Brandon says. “I think of myself more as a financial educator, teaching my clients about the whole picture so they can feel in control of their decisions.”

3 DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Investment information about the direction you may want to travel financially is plentiful and easily accessible. Before meeting with your advisor, do some research to help you ask the right questions. “I find it refreshing when clients do their own research,” Brandon says. “Even looking into the advisor in advance is a good idea. This makes you more confident and we are able to speak about services and cost with more transparency.”



BALANCE TECH CONVENIENCE with a personal connection. Digital access to monitor accounts is helpful and wise but relying solely on technology to manage your money is dangerous. “With every opportunity, there is a risk,” Brandon says. “The first thing we do with a new client is have them answer a simple Riskalyze questionnaire. This tool helps us identify the client’s financial “speed limit” and together we can build a vehicle to take them where they want to go.”

START NOW. The sooner you have a clear view of your financial dashboard with a realistic plan in place, the sooner you can rest easy and retire comfortably.


ESPECIALLY WHEN IT’S YOUR MONEY Financial Services • Retirement Planning • Financial Planning • Asset Allocation • Income Planning

• Financial Reviews • Estate Planning • Qualified Plans • Executive Bonus

Investment Services and Products • Insurance: • Advisory Services Life | Long-Term Care • Mutual Funds • Annuities: • Stocks and Bonds Fixed | Variable • Alternative Investments Fixed Index





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SecuritiesSecurities and advisory servicesservices offered offered throughthrough LPL Financial, a registered investment advisor, member FINRA/SIPC. Insurance products offered through and advisory LPL Financial, a registered investment advisor, member FINRA/SIPC. Insurance products offered LPL Financial or LPL its licensed The investment products soldproducts throughsold LPLthrough Financial not insured First Bank deposits and areand notare FDIC through Financialaffiliates. or its licensed affiliates. The investment LPLare Financial are notBusiness insured Business First Bank deposits insured. These products areThese not obligations Business First andFirst are not recommended, or guaranteed by Business First Bank or Bank any not FDIC insured. products areofnot obligations ofBank Business Bankendorsed, and are not endorsed, recommended, or guaranteed by Business First government agency. The value of the fluctuate, return the on the investment is not guaranteed, and lossand of loss principal is possible. or any government agency. Theinvestment value of themay investment maythe fluctuate, return on the investment is not guaranteed, of principal is possible. | BUSINESS REPORT, March 27, 2018





for YOUR TEAM A healthy 401k option is a valuable piece of your team’s total compensation package. Partnering with the right plan provider can make or break you. With a multitude of moving parts and complex rules to follow, creating and managing your retirement plan is a tough job that can leave you unsure of whether you are doing it right. Having said that, when you know what you are supposed to do and work with a team of providers that supports you and your team every step of the way, you gain confidence and feel like a hero. We went to brothers Andy and Bill Bush, Chartered Retirement Plans Specialistssm at Horizon Financial Group, to discover just what makes a 401k Superhero.

� � 3 54

BUSINESS REPORT, March 27, 2018 |

CREATE A CLEAR PLAN DOCUMENT and follow it. There are a lot of options and features you can elect to put in your plan. The plan document details and defines those specific to your plan. Who’s eligible and when can they take loans, hardships, etc.? Are you providing a match? If so, what is the formula and the vesting schedule? Andy says, “The big key to having confidence about your plan is to know the features and provisions of your plan document, make sure it reflects what you value and make sure you follow it.”

OFFER A DIVERSE SELECTION of investments. According to the Department of Labor, you must offer at least three diversified core investment categories, each with different levels of potential return and degrees of risk. Most plans easily meet this demand. With any funds you offer, make sure you document why those funds were selected and made available to participants. Also, make sure that you are continually monitoring those funds against their peers, be it quarterly or semiannually.

KNOW HOW YOUR PLAN measures up against competition. Andy explains, “Just like comparison shopping for a new vehicle, you need to see how your plan stacks up against its peers.” Confirm that the expenses of the plan are reasonable for the service you receive. As a fiduciary, your role is to act in the best interest of the participants (and their beneficiaries) and part of that is to make sure that your participants are not paying too much for the plan (investment expenses, recordkeeping fee, plan advisor fee and administration). 

4 DEPOSIT EMPLOYEE deferrals in a timely manner. This seems to be a no brainer, yet it is the most violated rule discovered in Department of Labor audits. Participant contributions must be deposited in the plan as soon as possible, but no later than the 15th business day of the month following the payday. If you have fewer than 100 participants, you have an even shorter time horizon.

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• Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions are received by the close of business today. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

5 KNOWLEDGE IS POWER and the backbone of confidence. Your employees will have questions, so Bill suggests you choose a plan provider that will take the time and steps necessary to educate your team about the plan details, investment options and general retirement savings principals. Sending out the required notices meets the legal obligation, but when your provider takes the time to meet with your employees and discuss their personal investments, you achieve superhero status.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

Offering your team a solid retirement program is a given for employers today.

Are you confident in yours? Our 401(k)onfidence System™ walks you through the steps to make sure you and your employees have the right plan, with the right support, with the right mix of investments, and all at the right price. Now THAT’s confidence.

The Horizon Retirement Plan Consulting Team, (L to R): Rachel Stewart, Andy Bush, AIF®, CRPS®, Bill Bush, CRPS®, and Cindy Deville | 225.612.3820 8280 YMCA Plaza Drive, Bldg. 5 Baton Rouge, LA 70810 Securities and advisory services offered through Cetera Advisors LLC, member FINRA/SIPC. Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity. | BUSINESS REPORT, March 27, 2018





INVESTING MISTAKES after 50 When you hit 50 and peer down that road to retirement, you can finally see the finish line ahead. You are getting closer, but it’s not time to take your eyes off the road just yet. Here we take a look

at some simple financial potholes you will want to steer around. We went to Bill Bush, Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist™ at Horizon Financial Group to learn how to prepare.


� BORROWING FROM YOUR 401(K). Sure, you can borrow against your 401(k) to help pay your child’s college tuition, buying a house, or refinancing your credit card, but that is not a wise move. In order to reach your retirement goal, you need the compound interest of your 401(k). If you borrow, instead of earning interest, you will be paying it. Your alternative is to use money from a different savings account or apply for a traditional bank loan.


BUSINESS REPORT, March 27, 2018 |

� CHECK YOUR ASSET ALLOCATION IN YOUR COMPANY RETIREMENT PLAN REGULARLY. Ideally, the closer a person gets to retirement, the more conservative their portfolio should become. The idea is to preserve capital and not risk big losses so close to when you’ll need the money for retirement. Bill warns, “If you’re not monitoring your asset allocation (% mix of equities, bonds, cash) regularly, due to fluctuations in your holdings, you may be exposing yourself to more risk than you intend to. Most 401(k) platforms have tools to set up automatic rebalancing. Look into that or schedule a meeting with your plan’s advisor to discuss.”

3 PAYING OFF YOUR MORTGAGE BEFORE HIGHER INTEREST LOANS. When preparing to retire, many people over 50 want to tackle the mortgage first because it usually has the biggest capital balance, but with lower interest rates, it poses less of a financial threat. Instead of focusing all your efforts on being mortgage-free, set yourself to task for becoming debt-free. Start with the big interest rate 3/27/18 loans like credit cards.#3 Work to pay off the Issue Date: Ad proof • Please respond e-mailyou or fax with your approval or run minorthen revisions. things thatbycost more in the long move to • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless approval or final revisions the lower interest mortgage loan. are received by the close of business today. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

4 PLAY CATCH UP ON YOUR SAVINGS. If you got a late start or did not save as much as you would like over the years, you still have a chance to make it up. The year you turn 50, you can start making catch-up contributions to your retirement plans. According to Bill, “Company retirement plans like 401(k), 403(b), and SIMPLE IRA’s offer participants who are 50 and older the opportunity to make additional deferrals above the traditional limits. For instance, in 2018 the individual contribution limit in a 401(k) plan is $18,500; but, those who are 50 years old and older can make an additional $6,000 in catch-up contributions, elevating their annual maximum contribution limit to $24,500. We find many participants aren’t aware of the 50plus catch-up provisions; however, they are great vehicles for saving for retirement when a person is in the homestretch of their working life. Additional 50-and-older catchups are also available for IRA’s, just on a smaller scale.”

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329



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Contact Kerrie Richmond today to create a Custom Sponsored Content Plan for your business! 928-1700 or *limited space | BUSINESS REPORT, March 27, 2018


2018 Money on Your Mind  

What steps can Millennials take to ensure they create a healthy financial legacy? How can your company be a 401(k) hero for its employees? A...

2018 Money on Your Mind  

What steps can Millennials take to ensure they create a healthy financial legacy? How can your company be a 401(k) hero for its employees? A...