Protecting Your Personal Information After the Equifax Breach

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On September 7, Equifax, one of the country’s largest credit monitoring bureaus, announced they suffered a massive data breach, exposing millions of consumers’ personal information to hackers. Potentially, anyone with a credit history could be a victim of this unprecedented cybercrime. According to Equifax, the breach lasted from mid-May through July and approximately 143 million consumers were exposed.  Hackers accessed people’s names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and in some cases driver’s license numbers, the corporation reported.  Also included in the theft were credit card numbers for 209,000 people and certain dispute documents for another 182,000 U.S. consumers. As financial advisors, we understand the importance of keeping personally identifiable information private and protecting against increasing cyber threats.  In light of the Equifax incident here are the steps we recommend our clients take to protect their identity and accounts: Find out if you were exposed. Click on this link https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/potential-impact/ and follow the simple...

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Lessons for the Next Crisis

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It will soon be the 10-year anniversary of when, in early October 2007, the S&P 500 Index hit what was its highest point before losing more than half its value over the next year and a half during the global financial crisis. Over the coming weeks and months, as other anniversaries of major crisis-related events pass (for example, 10 years since the bank run on Northern Rock or 10 years since the collapse of Lehman Brothers), there will likely be a steady stream of retrospectives on what happened as well as opinions on how the environment today may be similar or different from the period leading up to the crisis. It is difficult to draw useful conclusions based on such observations; financial markets have a habit of behaving unpredictably in the short run. There are, however, important lessons that investors might be well-served to remember: Capital markets have rewarded investors over...

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Level Financial Listed in National Ranking for Advisory Firms

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Financial Advisor Magazine’s annual ranking of large independent investment advisors listed Level Financial Advisors 391 out of 638 firms nationally, according to the publication’s July edition. Querying thousands of firms throughout the U.S., Level moved up ten spots from last year’s ranking of 401, posting 17% growth to $306 million in AUM (assets under management). “We’re excited about the growth we are experiencing and the results from our strategic planning efforts, as well as the commitment our employees have made to that plan,” said Level’s Chief Operating Officer Michael Heburn. The firm has continued its 2016 growth pattern with strong results in the first half of 2017. The company posted a record $337 million in AUM in July through strong market performance, marketing efforts, and acquisition activity, Heburn stated. FA Magazine  performs the annual survey as a means of measuring growth among independent advisors across the country. Firms must be registered investment advisors and provide financial...

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LEVEL FINANCIAL ADVISORS LAUNCHES EMPLOYEE PAID VOLUNTEERISM PROGRAM

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Press Release Amherst, NY: In a continuing effort to give back to the community, Level Financial Advisors, Inc. announced today the launch of a program that pays employees to participate in local volunteer programs. The new policy encourages employees to sign-up for activities with charitable organizations during work hours. “One of our coworkers made the suggestion and we thought, ‘What a great idea,’ said the company’s Chief Operating Officer and Partner, Michael Heburn.  “Our firm has a rich tradition of volunteerism dating back decades; adding this new component further cements that culture with our team.” The program is coordinated by Candice Broadus, who initially suggested the move in 2015.  Broadus has been instrumental in quarterbacking several charitable programs with the firm, including the company’s regular partnership with the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County.  Broadus has been with the firm since 2012. “We have a great group of employees who give so...

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