Effective financial planning is all about looking ahead. That's true for both people who are working towards retirement, and for my team at Keen Wealth. I believe that our ongoing commitment to educational events, learning, and professional development is essential to the work we do for our clients. And as the founder and CEO, I'm also committed to growing Keen Wealth into a firm folks can trust and count on today, tomorrow, and into the next generation.
On today's show, I discuss some takeaways from the 2022 Barron's Independent Summit in Louisville, as well as a glimpse into the future of Keen Wealth with our Chief Investment Officer and President, Matt Wilson.
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1. Confronting today’s challenges.
Due to COVID, this was the first time in two years that Matt and I were able to attend the invitation only Barron's Advisor Independent Summit. It's always one of my favorite events of the year because of the opportunities to connect with top advisors from around the country and learn from some really distinguished speakers.
One insightful session Matt and I attended was "Intelligence and Emerging National Security Threats: A Conversation with Beth Sanner." Ms. Sanner is a highly decorated member of the U.S. intelligence community who has briefed presidents and worked in several government positions throughout her 35-year career.
The topic on everyone's mind, of course, was Ukraine. Ms. Sanner's view of the battlefield right now is that, despite the fog of war and some disinformation on all sides, the broad picture we civilians are seeing is accurate. And despite our collective dismay over the ongoing humanitarian crisis, the U.S. just doesn't have very many military options to help Ukraine without escalating the conflict in a potentially catastrophic way. But Ms. Sanner is heartened by how well the U.S. and our NATO allies have responded and sees additional potential for deepening our relations with South Korea and Japan as well.
On the micro level, Ms. Sanner advised that Americans are going to have to get used to some inflated energy costs as the world's oil supply adjusts to sanctions against Russia. We're certainly keeping an eye on broader inflationary concerns as well as weighing how the Federal Reserve's recent interest rate increase could affect our projections for the rest of the year. Look for an updated episode from us once we've had more time to analyze how the economy is reacting to the Fed, Ukraine, and some ongoing supply chain issues.
Ms. Sanner also cautioned that tensions in Europe could lead to a higher prevalence of cyberattacks. Now might be a good time to review our previous conversations with retired FBI Special Agent Jeff Lanza. In general, remember that common sense is your best defense online. Don't click on suspicious emails or text messages. Never share your personal info with anyone you don't know. And if someone calls claiming to be from the IRS, Medicare, or Social Security, it’s quite possible they're a scammer.
2. Planning for an exciting future.
Perhaps the most common theme at this Barron's 2022 Summit was the need for financial advisors to plan for the future of their firms. I'm proud to say that the intentional efforts we've made at Keen Wealth to grow our practice and enhance our services continues to pay off in a big way.
At 53, I'm certainly not thinking about retirement for many years to come. But in my opinion, a great leader should always have a succession plan in place to be prepared for the long term. And I know when that time comes, Keen Wealth will be in good hands with Matt Wilson and the team we continue to assemble.
Matt started out with me 20 years ago as an intern from Rockhurst University, so I have a special appreciation for how important it is to identify and nurture young talent in financial services. That's why Keen Wealth continues to develop our internship program and our relationship with local schools, including Kansas State, where we will soon be endowing scholarships. And we'll be welcoming some extremely talented interns and recent graduates to the firm later this summer.
Now I know what you're thinking: "Bill, I've been to your office. It's nice and all, but where are all these new advisors going to work?"
Well, I'm also excited to announce that Keen Wealth is in the process of expanding our headquarters into Lighton Tower here in Overland Park. We'll make a more formal announcement soon, but for now I'll just say that this move represents a major commitment by our firm to our clients and our community. I can't wait to share more details about the next chapter for Keen Wealth.
In the meantime, I know that both your present and your outlook for the future might feel a little uneasy right now. Don't hesitate to get in touch with my team at Keen Wealth and we can talk through strategies for enjoying yourself now and working towards your dream retirement.
Bill Keen is a CHARTERED RETIREMENT PLANNING COUNSELOR℠ and independent financial advisor with more than 25 years of industry experience. As the founder and CEO of Keen Wealth Advisors, a registered investment advisory firm, he specializes in providing personalized retirement planning designed to help people thrive before and during their retirement years. With a passion for educating others, Bill regularly blogs about retirement planning, hosts the podcast Keen on Retirement, and has contributed to U.S. News and World Report, Reuters, Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch, Yahoo Finance, and other publications. Based in Overland Park, Kansas, Bill and his team work with clients throughout the greater Kansas City area and across the nation. To learn more, connect with him on LinkedIn or visit www.keenwealthadvisors.com.
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