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Many Business Owners Lack a Succession Plan

(NewsUSA) - America’s business owners are facing increasingly complex challenges, not only tracking the nuts and bolts of the daily tasks that come with owning a business, but keeping up with things like technology and managing healthcare costs for employees. However, many business owners have not made plans for the future of their business, based on a survey from financial services firm Edward Jones in partnership with Morning Consult and NEXT360 Partners.

Approximately half of American business owners are currently over the age of 55, and many of them may be considering retirement, but more than a third say they have no succession plan in place, according to the survey, which was conducted in April 2024 and included 400 business owners who responded to online questions and unstructured interviews.

Among business owners with no succession plan, 38% reported their business is not at a point at which succession planning is a priority. Both uncertainty about the future of the business and how to start making a succession plan were the top reasons for not having one (32% for both), according to the survey. 

“For many business owners, short-term priorities associated with running a business might feel more urgent than planning for future succession,” said Katherine Roy, Principal, Retirement Products at Edward Jones, in a press release announcing the survey findings. “However, business owners should consider what will happen once they leave the business, whether by selling, retiring or becoming unable to manage the business due to health or age. A well-conceived succession plan allows the owner to identify what their ideal exit looks like and address tax, business, estate and liquidity considerations that reflect both business goals and family dynamics.”

Business owners said that barriers to making a succession plan are emotional as well as logistical; 26% said they were unable to identify a successor, but 88% believed that their businesses will grow over the next decade.

The survey results showed that four main factors drive the need for a business transition. The first is the legacy of the business and the future of employees and stakeholders. The second consideration is the market, in which the sale or exit of an owner is needed to maintain business operations and part of the proceeds will fund the owner’s retirement. The third factor is a health event or other change in priorities or circumstances for owner and the owner’s family. Lastly, the sale of the business also must align with the owner’s vision and the organization’s commitment to the integrity of the business.

Financial advisors can help business owners build a successful plan to help ensure a smooth transition of the business, but only 37% of those surveyed reported using a financial advisor to help with transition issues and decision-making.

“Even if a business owner already knows the succession plan that they want put in place, a financial advisor can guide them through all of the complexities and challenges owners face when determining and implementing the future of their business,” said Zachary Gildehaus, Business Owner Strategist, Client Needs Research at Edward Jones.

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Why It's Important to Talk About Inheriting Wealth

(NewsUSA) - As a significant portion of the U.S. population ages, a significant transfer of wealth to younger generations is occurring. However, many families have not discussed inheritance plans, and many younger generations may find themselves unprepared, according to new research from Edward Jones, a leading financial services firm.

In fact, 35% of Americans surveyed by Edward Jones said they did not plan to discuss transfer of wealth with their families, despite 48% saying that they planned to leave an inheritance.

“We know it can be extremely uncomfortable and nearly impossible to separate emotions from the financial decisions necessary when planning inheritance and wealth transfer, particularly as givers navigate family priorities beyond finances,” said Lena Haas, Head of Wealth Management Advice and Solutions at Edward Jones. “However, the wealth transfer is well underway, so it’s more important than ever to connect as a family, with the experienced guidance of a financial professional to help navigate the emotions and educate on the process.”

The so-called “great wealth transfer” from the Silent Generation and the Baby Boomers will vary, as people live longer and may delay retirement. Edward Jones’ research revealed four scenarios:

Traditional Giving. Older adults transfer wealth through a combination of assets, cash, equities, and real estate.

Giving While Living. Older adults support their families in the moment, paying for family experiences, contributing to education or purchasing homes. However, this strategy may force younger generations to return the favor and support parents in retirement.

Skipping a Generation. Some older adults skip over their adult children and transfer wealth to grandchildren, often in the form of education or future security, but this can lead to hurt feelings and strained relations with adult children who do not directly benefit from this wealth transfer.

No Inheritance. Older adults are living longer, and a combination of more active lifestyles for more years after retirement and/or the expenses of long-term health care means that in some families, little wealth will be left to transfer.

The survey, a joint effort between Edward Jones, Morning Consult and NEXT360 Partners, LLC, a global action research and strategy consultancy, was conducted online between December 28-29, 2023, and included a national sample of 2,202 adults.

According to the survey, only 25% of individuals who receive an inheritance feel prepared to manage it.

Working with an experienced advisor can help, and 57% of those surveyed said that working with a financial professional to guide discussions of wealth transfer and inheritance in advance would facilitate planning and family consensus.

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Become a CFP® Professional and Be Part of a Growing and Diverse Profession

(NewsUSA) - Today, October 4, marks World Financial Planning Day, a time to recognize the value of financial planning. Did you know that financial planning is not just a valuable resource for consumers? It’s also a great career choice offering competitive salaries and flexibility.

But it's not just the financial rewards and personal freedom that make this profession attractive. In today's job market, people seek more than just a paycheck; they look for an industry committed to diversity and inclusion. That's precisely what you'll find when you become a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERprofessional. You'll be part of a profession dedicated to creating inclusive environments for people from diverse backgrounds, while also offering ample opportunities for professional growth.

The financial planning profession is rapidly expanding. Many financial planners are approaching retirement just as the demand for personalized financial guidance is increasing. The U.S. Labor Department reports that jobs in financial planning are expected to grow faster than average, at a rate of 15% through 2031. Even better, U.S. News & World Report ranked financial advisor as the sixth Best Business Job in 2023.

Recruiting a Diverse Workforce

In response to this projected growth, CFP Board is actively working to strengthen the financial planning talent pipeline, focusing on attracting women and racially and ethnically diverse candidates to pursue CFP® certification. CFP® professionals serve an increasingly diverse client base, and they should reflect the broadest spectrum of talent and experience. CFP Board Center for Financial Planning has launched several initiatives to support growth of the talent pipeline and foster diversity and inclusion, including scholarships and the annual Diversity Summit.

These initiatives helped lead to the most diverse class of new CFP® professionals in history last year, with nearly 30% being women and nearly 15% coming from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds. In addition, more than half of all new certificants are under 35 years old. These statistics highlight an inclusive profession that welcomes and empowers your success with the necessary resources.

Obtaining your CFP® certification means joining a profession that actively pursues inclusivity, offering a wide range of career opportunities and financially rewarding positions. Begin your journey toward success today.

Three Ways Small and Mid-Sized Businesses Can Improve Cash Flow and Combat Inflation

(NewsUSA) - Cash flow is the lifeblood of any business, no matter the industry or company size. However, as economic headwinds and supply chain woes challenge the bottom line for both Main Street and Wall Street businesses alike, owners are facing significant financial frictions hindering business growth. Unfortunately, small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) are especially constrained financially, as many SMBs in America remain underbanked or unbanked while inflationary pressures continue to mount and impede profitability.

In fact, 25% of owners report inflation is their single most important problem in operating their business, according to a study by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). Further challenging SMBs cash flow, the NFIB also notes, in the last six months, 57% of owners reported capital outlays such as purchasing new equipment and vehicles, updating fixtures and furniture, and expanding facilities, among other expenditures. In turn, SMBs are increasingly relying on price hikes to improve company financial performance, with 62% of retail and 54% of wholesale operators reporting higher rates.

Strategic pricing is only a piece of the puzzle, though, when it comes to enhancing profitability, according to Carmit Glik, CEO and founding member of Ship4wd, a leading global digital freight forwarding solution platform. Glik encourages SMBs to consider looking across the supply chain for opportunities to improve cash flow.

“While some issues continue to linger, global supply chains have experienced a significant shift toward the positive, particularly for businesses who proactively deploy measures to capitalize on the current climate,” said Glik. “The combination of stabilized freight rates, emerging technologies, new financing solutions, diversified supplier options, and investments by companies working collaboratively to create a more resilient and sustainable supply chain, creates a robust opportunity for small and mid-sized businesses to strengthen their cash flow management—a challenge often considered the glass ceiling for growth to many SMBs.”

Glik shares three practical tips SMBs can implement to improve cash flow, take advantage of supply chains, and empower them to scale in today’s marketplace.

Leverage Technology and Explore New Financing Avenues
SMBs should proactively explore technology and various financing options to meet their capital needs. Credit lines, bank loans, or digital payments can be complemented with digitized services and alternative financing methods such as crowdfunding. Leveraging financial technology solutions can provide faster access to capital and streamline the financing process. Evaluating the costs, terms, and suitability of different financing options can help SMBs make informed decisions that align with their business objectives.

Control Inventory and Manage Supplier Relationships
Optimizing inventory management is essential for improving cash flow. SMBs should analyze demand patterns, implement just-in-time inventory practices, and negotiate favorable terms with suppliers, such as extended payment periods or bulk purchase discounts. Strengthening supplier relationships can lead to more flexible payment arrangements, ensuring a steady supply of goods without compromising cash flow. Adopting inventory management systems can enhance visibility, reduce carrying costs, and prevent overstocking or stockouts, further improving financial efficiency and efficacy.

Diversify Revenue StreamsandBuild Strong Customer Relationships
Diversifying shipping partners and revenue streams by exploring new markets, expanding product or service offerings, or partnering with complementary businesses can mitigate the risk of over-reliance on a single income source. Diversification creates opportunities for increased sales and revenue, improving cash flow stability and resilience. Fostering strong customer relationships is key to enhancing cash flow. SMBs can focus on providing exceptional customer service, personalized experiences, and loyalty programs to cultivate customer loyalty and encourage repeat business.

To help small and mid-sized businesses improve cash flow, Ship4wd launched a first-of-its-kind offering including instant $10,000 credit lines (subject to eligibility) that afford SMBs greater opportunity to compete and thrive; ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ 90-day post-delivery payment terms that turn the tide on an antiquated prepayment model; and fully digitized online payment options for its customers to access the majority of banks across the U.S. and Canada and leverage all major credit cards to complete their transactions.

“We recognized the industry and our customers needed a change as SMBs continue to navigate financial burdens that can limit their long-term sustainability and growth,” said Glik. “Ship4wd’s mission is to ease the burden of global shipping so business owners can focus on growing their businesses. Our new financing solutions enable them to do just that, and whether financial or operationally, the tide is turning in favor of business owners when it comes to international shipping.”

The effective management of cash flow and financing is crucial for the success of SMBs. SMBs can optimize their financial operations, ensuring a healthy cash flow and access to necessary capital that will secure a solid foundation for success.

How Getting CFP® Certification Can Help Your Career as a Financial Planner

(NewsUSA) - Climbing to the top as a financial advisor can be a challenge. Your ticket to long-term peak performance begins with earning the prestigious CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER certification, the standard for competent and ethical financial planning.

More and more consumers understand the importance of working with a financial planner they can trust. Earning CFP® certification sets you apart, providing a sure-footed path to enhanced visibility and leading to increased income and greater market share.

If you’re already in the financial planning profession, earning CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER certification is a proven investment in your future, offering new opportunities. For example, do you want to:

  • Widen your client base?
  • Evolve with your existing client base?
  • Broaden your menu of services?
  • Deepen your commitment to financial planning?
  • Build on your other qualifications?

Whatever your objective, earning CFP® certification sets you up for a rewarding payoff on your investment. And since you’re already a financial services professional, you may qualify for the accelerated path to CFP® certification, bypassing most of the required education coursework, saving you both time and money.

Get Certified, Go Further

As part of their certification, CFP® professionals demonstrate their expertise and commit to high standards to earn the respect of their colleagues and the trust of their clients. Here are some of the advantages of earning your CFP® certification:

  • Competitive Edge: 83% of CFP® professionals say they have a competitive edge over other financial advisors.
  • Trust: 90% of consumers are more confident working with an advisor who has a financial planning designation.
  • Success: 86% of CFP® professionals say that certification has had a positive impact on their career satisfaction.
  • High Pay: Earning a CFP® certification can increase your income by 12%, with experienced advisors earning on average $192,000 a year.

Fiduciary Duty

Not all financial planners act as a fiduciary, but CFP® professionals do. When providing financial advice, CFP® professionals commit to always acting in their client’s best interests. With CFP® certification, your clients will know that you are practicing loyalty and care in your work, and placing their interests above your own.

The Marketing Edge

CFP® certification is an important branding signal for consumers. One survey found “consumers had higher brand awareness of the CFP® mark” than the ChFC, CFA, CLU and PFS designations. That can lead to lower marketing costs and increased revenue growth for CFP® professionals. Adding the CFP® mark to your other credentials can grow your business prospects while enhancing your career opportunities.

CFP® certification helps you build trusted relationships with clients and helps your firm grow by providing the knowledge and marketing edge needed for peak performance and sustained success. It’s the competitive edge you’ve been looking for. Get started today!

Working With an LGBTQ+ CFP® Professional

(NewsUSA) - Choosing a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional who aligns with your specific needs and goals is important. If you’re part of the LGBTQ+ community, you may want to seek out an LGBTQ+ CFP® professional. Here are five ways an LGBTQ+ CFP® professional could help you.  

Understanding Your Unique Financial Needs

As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, you often face specific financial hurdles related to legal issues and healthcare. An LGBTQ+ CFP® professional, whose life experience may mirror yours, may have a better grasp of these unique needs and can tailor advice to effectively address them. Take family planning, for example, where you may face higher expenses or even discriminatory practices when pursuing adoption or fertility treatments.

Sensitivity and Cultural Competence

As an LGBTQ+ individual, you should feel comfortable sharing sensitive personal information that is vital to reaching your financial goals. An LGBTQ+ CFP® professional offers just such a safe and supportive environment. That’s critical for many LGBTQ+ issues, such as the financial challenges facing people needing gender-affirming healthcare, as treatments may not be covered by health insurance. For this and other challenges facing LGBTQ+ people, you can look to your LGBTQ+ CFP® professional for guidance.

Knowledge of Specific LGBTQ+ Resources

LGBTQ+ financial planners are more likely to be familiar with resources, organizations and programs that cater specifically to the LGBTQ+ community. That ranges from choosing the best insurance option to retirement planning and elder care.

Advocacy and Support

The emotional support and financial expertise of LGBTQ+ CFP® professionals help guide clients during life’s major milestones such as marriage, a new job or transitioning. In addition, many LGBTQ+ CFP® professionals advocate for clients and the greater LGBTQ+ community, helping address discrimination or bias they may encounter in the financial services industry.

Community Connection

By working with an LGBTQ+ financial planner, you contribute to strengthening the LGBTQ+ community. Choosing professionals who identify as LGBTQ+, or are allies/advocates, creates a sense of solidarity while promoting diversity, inclusion and belonging.

Of course, the challenges LGBTQ+ people face may vary depending on factors such as location and legal protections. Efforts are underway to address these financial disparities through policy changes, increased awareness and advocacy for LGBTQ+ rights.

You may find that there are many benefits to working with a CFP® professional who is LGBTQ+ or LGBTQ+-supportive. Your decision will depend on your personal preferences and individual circumstances. No matter what type of CFP® professional you’re looking for, you can find them today at

From High School to High Pay and a Personally Rewarding Career

(NewsUSA) - The best career is one that gives you so much personal satisfaction that you’d gladly do it without pay. But don’t worry; you won’t be working for free if you become a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional. In fact, the pay is high, with experienced advisors earning an average of $192,000 a year. And the demand for talented and skilled CFP® professionals is greater than ever. The benefits of becoming a financial planner go well beyond the financial rewards and include the following:

Working With People: Financial planning is a people business that succeeds by building trusting relationships with clients. It’s a great feeling when you help someone reach their financial goals!

Setting Your Own Schedule: Many financial planners enjoy the flexibility to balance career and home life. The more life you experience, the more well-rounded a CFP® professional you become, and the more value you bring to your employer and clients.

Growing in an Expanding Industry: The U.S. government predicts that personal financial advice careers will grow 15% a year through 2031, far faster than other occupations. 

Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? But how do you become a CFP® professional?

Your road to becoming a CFP® professional starts with a bachelor’s degree. It can be in any major at any accredited college or university. Once you have that diploma in hand, you’ve fulfilled one of the two education requirements toward becoming a CFP® professional. Next, you’ll complete coursework through a CFP Board Registered Program.

Or you could earn your degree from a CFP Board Registered Program. With more than 300 registered programs to choose from, you have lots of options to find the program that makes the most sense for you. After you pass your coursework, you’ll take the CFP® exam.

The exam is tough, but you don’t have to navigate this path alone. The most successful athletes and entertainers had a mentor who guided them from the beginning. So can you. You can find a CFP® professional mentor who is ready to help and support you as you prepare for the CFP® exam. Mentors can help you focus on time management, study strategy, staying motivated, dealing with work/life balance and more. By connecting with a mentor, you can gain valuable insights from your mentor’s own experience preparing for and passing the CFP® exam.

As you graduate high school, who knows what adventures lie ahead for you? One of them can be an exciting and rewarding career as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERprofessional. Learn more today!

How to Help Your Aging Parents

(NewsUSA) - At some point, you may need to step in and help care for the parents who once cared for you. Starting this new role can be a challenge, but with preparation you’ll be ready. These concrete steps will help you support your aging parents.


Start by talking to your parents and family members, and then get others involved, including professionals such as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional or lawyer:

  • Sit down with your parents to get a handle on their finances, healthcare, plans for their estate, and other legal matters.
  • Looking forward, decide between yourself and your siblings or other family members how you want to approach and share your parents' future care. Will family members divide up responsibilities? Would you prefer to pick one trusted agent to handle these matters? If you decide on someone outside the family, discuss how duties and costs will be shared by family members.
  • Be sure to have legal documents in place. This includes current power of attorney, a healthcare power of attorney, and a terminal care directive. All of these documents can name a specific person to make decisions during periods of incapacity.

Financial Matters

If or when cognitive decline becomes an issue, put systems in place to protect your parents’ finances:

  • Make sure bills are physically mailed to the home instead of electronically, where they can be missed.
  • Create a separate checking account for discretionary spending that the parent can control with limited overdraft protection.
  • Keep money for major bills and savings in a separate account that requires a dual signature.
  • Arrange for transaction alerts to be sent to family members to help catch errors and reduce fraud.
  • If possible, have a power of attorney on file with Social Security and Medicare, so someone other than your parents can discuss financial issues with these organizations. Common power of attorney forms do not provide this authorization.


Ensure that your parents will have access to the healthcare they want and need as they age:

  • Evaluate your own finances to see how you could help in the case of a large medical bill.
  • Add your names to the paperwork on file with your doctors’ offices to make sure you and your siblings have a right to inquire about the health of your parents.
  • Plan for someone to periodically attend medical appointments to get an understanding of health needs and prescribed medications.
  • Evaluate long-term care insurance options that could cover the cost of a home health aide.
  • Think about how to help with clothing and food choices, medication management, and meals as your parents’ physical abilities change, such as fading eyesight or decreased mobility.  

Safety at Home

Make sure your parent’s house is safe and fits their needs:

  • Consider saving up for higher housing expenses, perhaps in a joint account with other family members.
  • You may want to hire someone to mow the lawn and do odd jobs to ensure that your parents aren’t climbing ladders or putting themselves at risk doing chores.
  • Put in safety rails and non-slip flooring.
  • Add lighting by steps, close to doors, and around outside areas.
  • Install alarm systems that can be connected to devices to detect falls or health changes, such as heart or blood pressure changes.

Stepping in to help when our aging parents need assistance can seem overwhelming, but only if we’re not prepared. Mapping out a strategy ahead of time, with love and care, can be rewarding and can bring a family even closer together.

A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional can help you plan for the uncertainties ahead. Visit to find local CFP® professionals near you or your parents today.

Investing in Your Child's Future: The Advantages of a Career in Financial Planning

(NewsUSA) - As a parent, you want your child to succeed in life and have a career where they are fulfilled and paid well. It’s even better if that career can offer benefits such as personal and professional growth, job security, and the ability to have a positive impact on the lives of others.

Becoming a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional offers those benefits and more — and entry into this growing profession is easier than you might think. College graduates with a bachelor’s degree in any discipline (no math or finance major required) can begin the path to CFP® certification.

With the demand for financial planners across the United States expected to grow at a rapid pace over the next eight years, those in the profession are working hard to educate both young people and their parents about a career that many people know little about.  

The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. is making recruitment of young people a priority. CFP Board Chair Dan Moisand says focus groups have shown there are many misconceptions about financial planning careers, including the belief that financial planners are focused on sales. But when parents were asked about the qualities of an ideal job for their child, “they said things like flexibility, work-life balance, helping people, a good salary — many of the qualities that describe a career in financial planning,” explained Moisand.

CFP® professionals have wide-ranging income potential, with many starting out at $50-70k. Those with more experience earn an average of $192,000 per year. Financial planners also have the privilege of helping people with major life decisions, such as preparing to have a child or planning for retirement.

Financial planning can also offer a great deal of flexibility. CFP® professionals can choose to work for a large financial services firm, a bank, or a credit union, or they can develop a specialized niche, establish their own firm, pursuing different paths for growth and advancement. And depending on their unique work situation, financial planners have the flexibility to set their own schedules to create a balanced work and personal life.

Encouraging your child to become a financial planner can offer numerous benefits, including excellent career prospects, high earning potential, and the opportunity to help others. It's a rewarding and challenging career that requires continuous learning and provides a great deal of flexibility. With the right education and training, your child can excel in this field and create a fulfilling and prosperous future for themselves. Learn more about the benefits of becoming a CFP® professional today

Not Sure What to Do When You Graduate College? Consider CFP Certification

(NewsUSA) - If you’re getting ready to graduate from college, congratulations! After years of dedication and hard work, your future awaits! And while it’s an exciting time, it can also be challenging if you haven’t yet decided on a clear career path.

Consider becoming a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional. Financial planning is one of the fastest-growing career fields in the country and obtaining CFP® certification can accelerate your career. As part of a profession focused on helping people, financial planners rely on their analytical and interpersonal communication skills — and they report high career satisfaction. As a college graduate, you’re in the perfect spot to get started. You don’t need to be a math or finance major; all you need is a bachelor’s degree in any discipline to start pursuing CFP® certification.

The benefits of becoming a CFP® professional are many and include:

High Salary Potential 

CFP® certification is the standard of excellence in financial planning and paves the way for an exceptional career with wide-ranging income potential. While salaries vary, experienced financial advisors earn $192,000 on average, with a $50-70K starting salary.

Opportunities for Growth and Advancement

As a financial planner, you can work for a large national financial services firm, bank, credit union, or independent firm; develop your own niche; or establish your own firm. You choose how to carve out your own career path. Many firms also provide professional development programs, including assistance for those pursuing advanced training such as CFP® certification.

Job Security

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that demand for financial planners will increase at a faster than average rate of 15% over the next eight years. Financial planners can find plentiful career opportunities at firms of many types and sizes.

Scheduling Flexibility

Whether you have your own practice or work for a large firm, financial planners have a lot of flexibility in terms of schedules. You could tailor your financial services career and create a schedule allowing for balanced work and personal life.  

Ability to Help Others

CFP® professionals change lives and help people achieve their financial goals. It can be extremely satisfying to know you’re helping your clients pay for college for their children, build an investment portfolio, or plan for retirement.

Continued Professional Development

Once you’ve attained your CFP® certification, you’ll continue to stay current by building knowledge through ongoing education, professional memberships, and more. There are many opportunities to continuously build your expertise in financial planning.

Becoming a CFP® professional offers personal, professional, and financial rewards, as well as exciting opportunities for a strong future. Learn more and start your journey to CFP® certification today.

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