Bethany Wagner Named Chief Compliance and Cybersecurity Officer

Picture of Bethany Wagner, Level FA's new Chief Compliance Officer

Press Release Level Financial Advisors has named Bethany Wagner its Chief Compliance and Cybersecurity Officer, effective January 1, 2024. Wagner joined the firm in 2013 as a part-time associate and was promoted to Administrative Assistant the following year. In 2017 she was promoted to Technology Specialist where she oversaw the firm’s information technology platforms, managed client quarterly reporting systems, and coordinated the firm’s formal review process for client meetings. She most recently served as the firm’s Assistant Compliance Officer. Last year, Wagner completed the course work and experience requirements for the Investment Adviser Certified Compliance Professional® (IACCP®) program. In her new role, Wagner will be responsible for overseeing the firm’s compliance programs, technology platforms and cybersecurity efforts, and function as the company’s chief liaison with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.  She will report to the firm’s Chief Operating Officer Michael Heburn, who previously served as the firm’s CCO in a dual role. “I’m proud...

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The Argument for Diversification: Beware of Top Performing Stocks

Chart showing top 10 US stocks and how they lag the US market after reaching their height.

Wes Crill, PhD Senior Investment Director and Vice President Dimensional Fund Advisors The Magnificent 7 stocks* continue to capture the focus of investors as these large growth names have outpaced the bulk of global equities. Their outperformance is notable because eye-popping returns for top stocks tend to occur before they reach the top of the market. Once there, subsequent returns tend to lag the market. This is a cautionary tale for investors expecting continued outperformance from the Magnificent 7. In fact, rather than seeking additional exposure to these mega cap stocks, investors should ensure their portfolios are broadly diversified to capture the returns of whatever companies ascend to the top in the future. [caption id="attachment_9953" align="aligncenter" width="921"] Annualized returns in excess of the US market before and after joining the top 10 largest US stocks, January 1927–December 2022[/caption]   Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. *In USD. Data from CRSP and Compustat. Companies are sorted...

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Converting Your Retirement Nest Egg to Income

The moment you realize you don’t actually know how to make your savings last.

Let’s assume that you’re completing a solid career, have earned a good income and through thrift and discipline, accumulated a significant nest egg for retirement.  Sounds good so far, right?  But as you approach retirement, the thought may occur to you: “I don’t really know how to convert this nest egg into retirement income when I stop working”. Well, you’re not alone.  In our experience, there is a fair amount of angst that accompanies this much anticipated life event, and for good reason.  Compared to the working years, there are many unique moving parts and complexities to consider in retirement that most individuals have never had to think about.  Building wealth while earning a healthy income is pretty one dimensional. For most individuals, it’s about setting aside regular long term savings and investments in the most tax effective manner possible.  With relatively high marginal tax brackets, individuals tend to build their retirement nest eggs with pretax contributions first; usually through contributions...

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Moveit Data Breach – Potentially the Biggest In History

Progress Moveit logo regarding security breach

Like many Americans, I recently received a letter from a financial institution, in this case my bank, informing me of a data breach with one of their third-party vendors called MOVEit. The MOVEit software is a file transfer system that is used globally. There was a vulnerability in the software that allowed hackers to steal files containing sensitive customer data from many companies including government agencies, healthcare firms, insurance companies, law firms, and major financial institutions. Even companies that did not directly experience a breach of their internal systems may have had data compromised through external service providers. We should note that some of the largest financial services companies in the world have been impacted, including Charles Schwab and TIAA (TD Ameritrade, which merged with Schwab, was impacted). See Schwab’s statement on the breach here: At Level Financial Advisors, some clients have reached after receiving similar letters. At the heart of these...

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