Modernize Wealth – A Modern Approach to Wealth Building & Legacy Creation

Modernize Wealth – A Modern Approach to Wealth Building & Legacy Creation

When we sat down as a family and chose to name our firm Modernize Wealth, we did so with a clear perspective: to provide our clients with an exceptional wealth management experience that integrates your personal and business wealth management strategies to create a legacy for you and your family. Our goal is to be invested in your legacy, by offering you a truly innovative approach that is relatable, and evolves as you succeed.

We start by helping you develop a vision of where you would like to be in the future, and designing a financial plan to allow you to achieve your objectives for both your business and your family. We leave no stone unturned; we explore how to help you build your business, we work with you to design a financial plan to build real wealth, and to provide an exit strategy tailored to your goals.

As a family business ourselves, we are passionate about creating a legacy of wealth for future generations – to stand on your shoulders and lead meaningful, purpose-driven lives.

>Our innovated approach extends to all aspects: we sought to implement more advanced investment strategies, state-of-the-art financial planning tools, and creative risk management strategies to build, track and protect your family’s wealth legacy.

Let’s face it: bull and bear markets don’t last forever, and you need a strategy to cope with both types of markets. It isn’t enough to just gut it out when markets go south; you will need a strategy in place before the market plunges so you can take advantage of opportunities when others are panicking. It’s also critical to remember that bull markets come to an end; how you react will be based on whether or not you have a strategy in place to act in a rational manner when adversity sets in.

Our financial planning is built not just on your personal finances, but your business finances as well. We help you determine what your business value currently looks like in the market, and help you construct a plan to grow the value of the business so you can use it to create your legacy any way you see fit, based on your objectives and values.

Our families are the most important people in our lives. We spend our lives providing and caring for our families; we strive to provide the very best education for our children and instill our values so they can fulfill their dreams in life. As a family business, we recognize this and we have built our wealth management based upon this dream.

That is who we at Modernize Wealth are, and you are who we serve. Please reach out to us at 480.346.1283 or email hello@modernizewealth.com if you have any questions, or just want to discuss further.

Market Update | May 2020

Market Update | May 2020

As we continue to live through the global pandemic, the overall outlook continues to be murky, but less so as time goes by. When the outlook in the market is uncertain, market volatility is usually driven by conflicting investor sentiment resulting from a dominant market-driven event such as COVID-19.

April ended with nearly half of the S&P 500 reporting earnings, and it surprisingly showed the smallest weekly change since the first week of the year, which reflected ongoing investor sentiment of optimism as the economy slowly begins to reopen.

The Fed is still leaning in the short and mid-term, towards an accommodative environment in which monetary policy will keep the discount rate at near 0% for some period of time, even as growth returns to the economy in the coming months. The Fed has made clear that the spigots of the money supply are open, as market security purchases would likely include corporate bonds, and a whatever-is-necessary strategy would remain in effect until the crisis subsides.

The trend in non-farm payroll data will be closely watched, as expectations are for weak employment numbers for the rest of the year, with the hope of systematic improvements as the economy opens up. Fiscal policy stimulus measures and rescue packages give some hope that the employment trajectory will improve rapidly, but many small businesses will be lost, resulting in an unemployment rate that is unlikely to return to pre-covid levels in the near term.

These volatile times prove that you need a goals-based approach to your portfolio management strategy, and a clear understanding of how your portfolio will adjust to market volatility before these type of events occur, so you are adequately prepared to survive and thrive in the future.

If you have questions, concerns, or would like to discuss this further, we would love to hear from you; please email hello@modernizewealth.com or call us at 480.346.1283.

Business Owner Survival Guide – A Plan of Attack

By John M Hebert CPM® CFP®
Business Owner Survival Guide – A Plan of Attack

The business owners that survive this crisis won’t be those sitting on the sidelines gnashing their teeth, they will be the warriors who develop a plan of attack to win the war. Here are the five points of attack you need to implement your plan:

1. Rethink what your business can do
A business is a skilled combination of capital and labor. Take stock of your capital:

  • Facilities
  • Inventory
  • Technological & physical equipment

What can you do with those assets right now? How can you benefit others? What pain can you alleviate in society? Get prepared to engage.

Same with you and your employees. What skills do you/they possess? What do they do well? Dig deep into who they are and how they can be an enormous part of your team’s game plan. Engage, inspire and listen…you aren’t the only one with good ideas. Give everyone ownership!

2. Repurpose your assets to create new products and services
Smart teams get publicity. Why? Because they get creative; alcohol distillers make sanitizers, restaurateurs’ feed medical professions and first responders, and car manufacturers build ventilators. What can you do? I am willing to wager plenty.

3.Improve your communications
Are you communicating with your customers and clients? We at Modernize Wealth are ramping up rapidly with more videos on our website, hosting client progress meetings on Zoom, performing complete electronic on-boarding for new clients, hosting webinars and using more interactive technology to increase our communications. We are writing more articles and publishing on LinkedIn and Facebook. What are you doing?

4. Reexamine your financial assets and liabilities
Take stock of your cash flow. If you haven’t done this, call your CPA or call us here at Modernize Wealth at 480-346-1283. We can help you understand your cash flow position and help to develop a strategy to get you to the other side of this crisis. Talk to your banker and if you don’t have one, we can refer some very good people that will help you.

Also talk to your creditors and suppliers. They can be an enormous help to you and your team. You won’t be the first to need help during these times, and the more forthright business owner is the more respected one. Your honesty with your creditors and suppliers will be appreciated and will often be rewarded.

5. Redeploy and re-engage your team to action
Once you’ve completed the first four steps, redeploy your assets, align your resources, create a financial plan, engage your team and attack! You will make mistakes…so what? Better to be decisive than indecisive. You can always correct mistakes, so long as you stay involved and listen to your employees, customers and strategic partners.

You Can Survive and Thrive

As you march forward, constantly review these five points and update as necessary. We at Modernize Wealth will be here for you. Please reach out to me at 480-346-1283 or email hello@modernizewealth.com if you have any questions, or just want to discuss further.


About the Author

John Herbert’s financial industry gravitas comes from almost 30 years’ as a Certified Financial Planner and Certified Portfolio Manager. An accomplished educator, John taught Economics at Chapman University and the University of Phoenix for many years. Sensitive to finding a balance between business, family and finance John has always had a passion for helping people build long-term wealth for their families.

A Business Owner’s Guide to Our Brand New World | Part 1

By John M Hebert CPM® CFP®
A Business Owner’s Guide to Our Brand New World | Part 1

I think it’s safe to say that we live in a world of rapid technological, economic and social changes. If you’re a small business owner like me, it sometimes seems as though these changes affect us more than someone who draws a paycheck from a large corporation or a government entity. In our view the recent events concerning COVID-19 have only reinforced this perception. So what should we expect going forward?

Without resorting to a crystal ball, trends that began before a crisis arises will often accelerate dramatically in response to fear, necessity, or both. The list of trends and forecasts are likely to impact the small business owner;  understanding how these trends will affect you will be indispensable, enabling you to not only survive, but thrive.

How future employees are educated will change dramatically

This is personal for me since I spent the better part of a quarter of a century in a classroom teaching working adults. In 1987 (yes Reagan was still President) when I taught my first class, online education didn’t exist; when I retired from the classroom, the University of Phoenix (UOP) was almost entirely online. In the early years, UOP was derided for its foray into online education by the traditional university world. Today every university has an extensive menu of online classes.

With today’s tuition rates out of reach for middle class parents, look for inexpensive online classes to proliferate to the point where college degrees can be earned by anyone, anywhere at any time at an affordable price. Gone are the days of hoping to get accepted at an elite university limited by classroom space and indecipherable standards for acceptance. Work and education will become permanently intertwined. Employers will need workers with new skills and will steer employees as to where they can obtain such skills… increasingly available online.

Remote employment and services will appear in places you never imagined.

We have lived in a world of rapid technological change for some time. What we may not have fully appreciated is how this change will affect every aspect of our daily work lives. Business owners will by necessity need to ask themselves if the amount of real estate used today will be needed in the future. Shared office facilities for everything from testing products to college exams will likely vastly increase. Remote employment, increasingly more common, will likely become the dominant place of work for millions of office workers who may not currently be working from home.

Efficiency has always been the key, and will be more so after the current crisis ends. There will be winners and losers in the process. Those businesses that adapt rapidly to the new models going forward will win in the long run.

Questions or Concerns? Reach out!

The Modernize Wealth team will have many more trends and strategies for business owners, the bedrock of the economy, moving forward…so stay tuned.  Please reach out to me at 480-346-1283 or email hello@modernizewealth.com if you have any questions, or just want to discuss further.


About the Author

John Herbert’s financial industry gravitas comes from almost 30 years’ as a Certified Financial Planner and Certified Portfolio Manager. An accomplished educator, John taught Economics at Chapman University and the University of Phoenix for many years. Sensitive to finding a balance between business, family and finance John has always had a passion for helping people build long-term wealth for their families.

Three Things to Help you Navigate the Economic Impact of Coronavirus

Three Things to Help you Navigate the Economic Impact of Coronavirus

It’s time to think about a way forward out of the coronavirus pandemic from a financial planning perspective. Brandon Hebert, CPWA®, CEPA® CEO of Modernize Wealth, has three quick tips for your financial plan, as we all start to think about recovery and a future beyond social isolation and stay at home orders.

If you have any questions or want to talk about your financial plans, call Modernize Wealth at 480.346.1283 or email hello@modernizewealth.com.

Four Investment Concepts for Volatility

Four Investment Concepts for Volatility

What can you do in times of volatility to make sure your financial investments stay in line with your goals? Brandon Hebert,  CPWA®, CEPA®, CEO of Modernize Wealth, presents four quick tips to help you figure out where to start when it comes to evaluating your investments. If it’s been a while since you did an investment evaluation, especially given the long bull market we’ve just experienced, take a couple of minutes to watch this.

If you have any questions or want to talk about your investments and your financial goals, call us on 480.346.1283 or email hello@modernizewealth.com.

Business Owner Survival Kit

By John M Hebert CPM® CFP®
Business Owner Survival Kit

You are a member of the club that is the true engine of the economy. Collectively you employ most of the workers and purchase most of the capital equipment larger businesses produce. There is no economy without you. Yet at this moment there is a sense of anxiety not felt since the great recession, and you can’t even keep your doors open to serve any customers or reach out to find new ones. Loyal devoted employees who are like family are frightened and looking to you to provide comfort and security. How are you going to cope with an invisible enemy that has placed you and your family’s future in jeopardy?

Anybody that is there to tell you that things will work out just fine by being patient, is not helping you survive. You need more. As a small business owner myself, I can appreciate your situation like so many others. There are steps that, if you haven’t already taken you need to do so immediately. Procrastination is not an option.

First, reach out to your CPA to understand your current tax position in light of the new rules in place. Tax payments that can be delayed can preserve funds that may be needed to get to the other side of this pandemic. Be certain you are taking advantage of every tax saving opportunity. If you have a bookkeeper go over all of your bills and obligations. Find out what expenses are currently not occurring during the shutdown period. Review what your periodic obligations are, and contact your lenders and those to whom you make periodic payments to, so you can know with certainty what policies they have in place for payment deferral options to a time when the world returns to normal. This includes your landlord, utilities and anybody you can think of.  You must protect your credit scores, but many lenders have been given monetary support from the Fed and well as the most recent stimulus package by Congress. These programs were meant for you!

Once you’ve determined what must be paid, what the current spending levels are at, and what obligations can be deferred, you need to speak with a good financial or wealth advisor to create a plan. Know how you can have your assets work for you, what may be an appropriate amount of debt to carry and what will be needed to help you get through the current economic situation.

Lastly a good wealth advisor will work with good lenders who can go through with you all of the new and existing lending programs available to help you. Borrowing rates are very low right now, and underwriting standards have been relaxed to help you qualify. The SBA has programs for payroll support and for disaster relief including the effects from COVID-19. There also business development program loans, and many programs are available even if you have an existing SBA loan. We can recommend some very good lenders who are eager to help you access the right programs for your business.

You can survive this and you will thrive in the future. Inertia is not an option, and there is help and support for you so please reach out to us, and we will be there for you.

Please reach out to us at 480.346.1282 or hello@modernizewealth.com if you have questions or just want to discuss further.

What’s Really New?

By John M Hebert CPM® CFP®
What’s Really New?

The benefit of having been around for over 40 years in the financial world is that it becomes easier to realize that, while the COVID-19 pandemic is a new problem, it has many of the same features as other periods of crisis. The dance steps are as follows: problem appears, problem gets worse, crisis is declared, markets tank governments and private businesses search for solutions, eventually solutions begin to surface, markets snap back, and things slowly begin to return to normal albeit with a new normal.

My first brush with this phenomenon occurred in high school with the original energy crisis and Watergate. This started with our support of Israel in the six-day war, the ensuing Arab oil embargo, the rapid rise in oil prices, the 50% drop in the Dow, Gasoline rationing, energy efficient cars from Japan (owned one), the market recovered by 1976 and a returned to a new normal.

I invite you to look back over the last 50 years or longer to prior periods of crisis and look at the progression of events for each. Did you notice they all follow the same steps? Up till this week, from the middle of February to the beginning of this week, we have completed the following steps: problem appears, problem gets worse, a crisis is declared, market tanks, governments and private businesses search for solutions, eventually solutions begin to surface, and as of this writing markets begin to snap back.

Government solutions are often very clumsy, disjointed and rife with the potential for abuse and corruption. Private business by and large will invariably be more efficient create products or services that will alleviate the pain of the existing problems and produce goods and services to create a better living situation of all of us. As the Fed literally fired every bullet in its’ arsenal, and the Federal government has created a spending bill that would make sow blush, surely at some point there will be a different problem to reckon with.

As for now, due to technological innovation and the rapid response from government has been as quick as I have ever seen it. We do learn as a society about the dangers of wasteful delays, therefore it may very well be the case that as quickly as the markets fell and the response to the virus was implemented, the recovery for both market and public health will be quicker than anybody is currently anticipating.

Now, all eyes are on the progression of the disease. As soon as we see the curves for new cases and death rates flatten, markets will smoke out the timetable for a return to normal albeit a new normal. The President has indicated that Easter is a target date for beginning to open up the economy. It’s widely recognized that opening up the economy too early may invite a relapse of the crisis. I suspect that Easter is more likely to be a time where a plan will be put in place to carefully and selectively reopen the country for business over a period of time with benchmarks to reflect improving health conditions.  As the disease is brought under control and the economy reopens the market will complete its recovery.

Please reach out to us at 480.346.1282 or hello@modernizewealth.com if you have questions or just want to discuss further.

A Message from Modernize Wealth

A Message from Modernize Wealth

In turbulent and challenging times, it pays to draw on the lessons from history. While COVID-19 seems to have materialized overnight and has severely affected individual families and the country’s economy alike, it is not without precedent. Each adverse situation brings its own difficulties and this one is no different, yet we can look back and see hope for the future.

In the past twenty years we have faced two wars, the 9/11 attack, a financial meltdown, SARS, MERS, Ebola, ZIKA, and the Swine Flu. In each instance as a nation we have emerged stronger, wealthier and wiser.

Those of us who remember the towers falling wondered if life would ever be the same again, and where/when the next attack would take place. We remember scores of forecasts telling us that life in America would no longer be safe, we would need to learn to live with less, and that our freedoms would have to evaporate in order for us to stay safe. It didn’t happen – we came out stronger.

In September of 2008, as the markets collapsed, the value of peoples’ homes shrank and the nation’s largest banks needed funds from a beleaguered government to avoid economic collapse. Does anybody remember what their thoughts were during those horrible days? Did we accept the demise of our society, free markets and prosperity? Hardly! We emerged and prospered.

We hope that your family is staying healthy and managing the impact of COVID-19 with as little struggle as possible. Our commitment is to keep you as informed as possible on the impact to both your portfolio and financial plan as we navigate this difficult period together.

We are available should you wish to speak to us at length, at any time. We are deeply grateful for your continued trust in our team and not only will we survive this moment, but we will thrive, as we always have through the years, by working together for a brighter future.

Please also look out for new video content and webinars from us in the coming weeks and months! If you have anything you want us to talk about, please let us know.

The Modernize Wealth Team
Brandon, John & Jeff Hebert