October 2014



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Am I Ready to Retire?

By:  Saxon Birdsong | Founder I retired 25 months ago. Every day since then has been wonderful, and it just keeps getting better. I haven’t missed working for even a minute. I find this puzzling, because my friends and family—and I myself—had guessed that the transition to retirement would be difficult. I have always enjoyed challenges, and I assumed quite naturally that I would miss … Continue reading



Assessing Management Quality

By:  Philip Weiss, CFA, CPA | Chief Investment Analyst When evaluating companies for potential investment, two of the most important aspects are valuation and management quality. Although our research process is based on bottom-up fundamental analysis, it still requires a considerable amount of qualitative assessment. In other words, we do more than analyze the numbers when making a decision to buy, hold or sell a … Continue reading





BWFA’s Approach to Risk Management

By:  Chris Kelly, CPA, CFP ®, M. Accy | Financial Advisor and Portfolio Manager The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines risk as,“the chance that an investment will lose value.” This “chance of loss” is what the professional portfolio managers at BWFA strive to manage on an ongoing basis. Before delving into the intricacies of BWFA’s  risk  management  techniques and procedures, let me first provide the foundation of … Continue reading



Clear as Mud

By:  Mark Stinson, CPA, CFP ®, MBA | Director of Planning The IRS has issued new “guidance” for IRA rollover rules, and investors are confused. Here is what the IRS website states: “Beginning as early as January 1, 2015, you can make only one rollover from an IRA to another (or the same) IRA in any 12-month period, regardless of the number of IRAs you own … Continue reading



Community Spotlight – 2 Miles for 2 Hearts

By:  Meghan Manas | Office Manager On August 16, 2014, more than 600 runners/walkers turned out for the second annual 2 Miles for 2 hearts charity event. BWFA was proud to be the premier sponsor. In August of 2012, two amazing young ladies, Elizabeth “Liz” Nass and Rose Mayr, lost their lives when a train derailed in Historic Ellicott City. 2 Miles for 2 Hearts … Continue reading



Growing Your Business Through Acquisitions

By:  Brian MacMillan | Managing Director Mergers & Acquisitions There are two main ways to grow a business: organically (increasing your customer base, obtaining new contracts, growing current client relationships, etc.) and through acquisitions. Growing a business organically is commonplace and is the method that most businesses are comfortable implementing. Many small- and lower-middle-market business owners do not fully understand how to go about acquiring … Continue reading



Know Your Social Security Options

By: Thad Ismart, CFP ® | Financial Planner As your retirement approaches, it is important to understand how Social Security factors into your retirement income. Having a clear picture of all of your Social Security options can help you create a plan to maximize your benefits. Imagine you are about to start a new job, and the time comes to talk to your boss about … Continue reading



Planning for RMDs

By:  Joseph Hill, Jr., CPA, MBA, MSF | Tax Manager After investors reach age 70 ½, “the tax man cometh.” That’s when the IRS requires mandatory withdrawals from traditional Individual  Retirement Accounts  (IRAs), employer-sponsored retirement plans such as 401(k)s, 403(b)s, 457s, and the federal Thrift Savings Plan. The total amount of  this  mandatory  withdrawal—or  required minimum  distribution  (RMD)—is  taxed as ordinary income at each taxpayer’s … Continue reading



President’s Address

By:  Rob Carpenter | President & CEO Today’s investment landscape is more complex than it has ever been. Increasingly, it takes a team of dedicated experts to manage your money, and more and more people are realizing the value of working with a registered investment advisor (RIA) such as BWFA. Recently, the Financial Times recognized 300 of the top RIAs, based on a set of criteria … Continue reading