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How is a Great Investment Manager Like a Great Chef?

Legacy Trust designs and implements high quality, well-diversified portfolios and employs great investment managers to assure that only the best ingredients are brought to the table.

Bob Prevette
December 17, 2014

Legacy Staff Stocks Family Promise Christmas Store

The Legacy Staff stepped up to provide over 60 stockings and stocking stuffers to the Family Promise Christmas Store, where parents can shop for Christmas presents for their children.

Randii Smith
December 12, 2014

The Robot will see you now!

The evolution of technology over the past decade is drastically changing the landscape for advice-centered businesses. And now those who peek into the future of financial services are warning that advisors must evolve their business models in order to compete with the emergence of online portfolio management platforms, commonly referred to as “Robo-Advisors.” 

William Walker
December 09, 2014

Putting It All Together

I have been with Legacy Trust now for just over two years and thought I would share some of what I have learned. I will walk you through what I experienced with the first client relationship that I’ve had the opportunity to serve since the beginning of their engagement with Legacy Trust. 

Brian Balke
December 04, 2014

Burger Blog: HopCat

The bar is best known for its beer, but the food will also put a smile on your face.

Brian Balke
November 25, 2014

One Man's View on Money

When it comes to wealth planning, it is easy for some of us to become consumed with the preservation and accumulation of assets, rates of return and cash flows.  We perceive the more we accumulate, the better prepared and happier our will future be.

Tom Werkman
November 20, 2014

Important Considerations for a Trustee

It seems that I have had an unusually large number of conversations recently about how to choose a trustee for a trust.  Therefore, I felt this might be a good time to discuss some important considerations when faced with this decision.  Since the trustee will manage your assets when you are no longer able, it is a decision that should come with significant thought.  The trustee will need a broad set of skills to be successful and they must be someone who will always act in the best interest of your beneficiaries.  

Brian Moore
November 12, 2014

The Changing World of Payments

The recent wave of mobile payments on smart phones should be welcomed by those worried about security. Unlike traditional plastic credit cards, most mobile payment apps do not store your personal information in the application itself. Instead, they are able to generate a unique code that is related to each transaction and/or your device, which is then relayed to your credit card company so that you are charged the appropriate amount. The card and personal information is never exposed and if your phone is lost or stolen all payments can be halted remotely so no damage is done.

Hunter Lewis
November 04, 2014

Burger Blog: Bagger Dave's

Bagger Dave’s is famous for burgers, from turkey burgers to double patty behemoths to whatever burger your imagination can fathom. 

Brian Balke
October 28, 2014

Don't Overlook This Tax Saving Opportunity

Twice in the past several weeks I have encountered a tax planning opportunity that was missed by families caring for a parent with diminished mental ability or confronting other life changes. 

Bob Prevette
October 23, 2014

Active vs. Passive Investing

It seems like all we hear about today from the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and other market media outlets is the attack on active management and the support for passive management (indexing). This conversation really took off last year when the S&P 500, Russell 2000, and other major indices hit record highs while in some cases active management just did not keep up. That trend has continued over the better part of this year, despite the recent volatility we have experienced over the last month. So the question “Why shouldn’t I use index funds?” has become a question on every investor’s mind.

Brian Balke
October 14, 2014

The U.S. Remains an Economic Bright Spot

While we are undoubtedly in a global recovery, it is slow and uneven, with conditions varying significantly by country. A notable bright spot in the recent IMF report, however, was the updated outlook for the United States.  While many of the world’s advanced economies saw downward revisions to their growth projections, the U.S. output estimate for 2014 was actually raised by 0.5%. 

Laina Mills
October 08, 2014

Burger Blog: Z's Bar & Restaurant

What separates this burger from the rest is the BBQ sauce, it is fantastic!

Brian Balke
September 30, 2014

The Outsider in the Family

It has been almost 6 months since I joined the Legacy Trust team and I’d like to reflect on that time for my blog post, and how my role in the company is not unlike the role of running a family office.

Tom Werkman
September 25, 2014

Understanding and Managing Investment Risk

In the investment world, risk generally is related to uncertainty. It refers to the possibility that you might lose your investment, or that an investment will yield less than its anticipated return. Every investment carries some degree of risk because its returns are unpredictable. The more unpredictable its returns—the riskier the investment is considered to be.

William Walker
September 17, 2014

Lessons From Hollywood

I read an article recently about the premier episode of “Celebrity Legacies”, a television show on the Reelz channel that investigates the legacy of a different departed celebrity each week.  I was first concerned about my choice in reading material, but later realized that the discussion had some value.  This episode explored the case of James Gandolfini, who died suddenly at the age of 51, with an estimated estate of 70 to 80 million dollars. 

Brian Moore
September 09, 2014

Legacy Trust Award Collection Artists Will Showcase Their Work at DeVos Place During ArtPrize

The 2014 winners of the Legacy Trust Award Collection will showcase their artwork at DeVos Place during ArtPrize 2014.

Legacy Trust Award Collection
September 08, 2014

Looking Past the Headlines

The state of the U.S. jobs market has always been watched closely by economists and financial professionals, and the current economic recovery has only served to draw closer scrutiny to the employment situation.  Although the headline unemployment number has gradually dropped to a more palatable 6% from its peak of 10% in 2009, there remains a great deal of anecdotal evidence that many potential workers continue to struggle to find opportunities, leading observers to dig deeper into the labor market to find out what’s really taking place in the U.S. economy today.

Laina Mills
September 02, 2014

Burger Blog: The Cottage Bar & Restaurant

Both the burgers and the chili are what brings people back to The Cottage because they are both truly one of a kind.

Brian Balke
August 26, 2014

Con Men, Scam Artists and Crooks, Oh My!

Judging from the number of well publicized investment swindles in recent history, it seems safe to conclude that one cannot be too careful when selecting investments or the financial advisor who will recommend them.  Despite the labyrinth of Federal and state laws designed to protect investors from illegal and unethical investment schemes, these laws have not been as successful in protecting investors from themselves.

Bob Prevette
August 19, 2014

The Walmart CPI and the Spending Power Gap

While the U.S. economic picture continues to show broad improvement, some concerning trends are emerging that could eventually lead into the next recession.  When will the next recession happen?  No one can know for sure, but my guess is it will come as a result of the continued decline in income of the middle class and working poor and the ability for their wages to keep up with inflation.

Tom Werkman
August 12, 2014

CNYK Technology and Penny Stocks

From the beginning of June 2014 to mid-July 2014 shares of CYNK Technology Corp (CYNK), a penny stock, ran up by approximately 25,000%. The run up and what caused it is still under investigation, but it was most likely due to a modern day pump and dump strategy in which a small number of shareholders market the stock as being the next hottest pick to entice traders to buy. While pump and dump schemes are nothing new, the avenues by which those committing and/or benefiting from the scheme are able to pump up the stock are changing at an exponential rate.

Hunter Lewis
August 05, 2014

Burger Blog: Stella's Lounge

Stella’s was named home of the “Best Burger in America” by GQ Magazine back in 2012, but the entire menu will make your mouth water.

Brian Balke
July 29, 2014

The Changing Face of Retirement - Some Emerging Trends

As they have with nearly every aspect of our economy and culture, the baby boomers will also rewrite the book on what retirement will look like in the foreseeable future. There is ample evidence that coping with new the retirement reality is a matter of increasing urgency in this country.

Bob Prevette
July 22, 2014

Retirement Risks You May Not Be Thinking About

In my last post I wrote about one method to protect retirement portfolios from the long term impact of market volatility, an often feared retirement risk.  However, there are other sometimes forgotten risks that can be just as devastating to a secure retirement.

Brian Moore
July 15, 2014

Understanding Benchmarks - Part 1

Benchmarks are indices used for measuring the performance of a particular strategy or total portfolio. The goal of most money managers and investors is to outperform their respective benchmark. However, caution should be exercised so as not to rely too heavily on benchmark comparisons especially over short-term investment periods.  

William Walker
July 08, 2014

The Halfway Point

In my role as investment manager I am acutely aware of market and economic milestones that mark the passage of the year.  Perhaps that is why the close of the first half of 2014 seemed to sneak up on me more than in recent years, because much of this year has so far been marked by….a lack of major events in the markets.  

Laina Mills
July 01, 2014

Legacy Trust Signs Long-Term Lease for New Office Space

Fueled by growth demands, Legacy Trust has signed a long-term lease for new office space that will double its footprint in downtown Grand Rapids and provide a more collaborative work environment for its expanding team.

William Walker
June 30, 2014

Burger Blog: Louis Benton Lounge

LB’s Lounge has a fantastic menu if you are looking for an upscale meal that won’t break the bank.

Brian Balke
June 24, 2014

Protection Against Identity Theft

Please remember the next time it takes you much longer than you feel it should to log in, it is a necessary step in today's world.  Remember, the extra time and frustration far outweighs the alternative, the theft of your identity and compromise of personal information.

Melanie VanderHoff
June 17, 2014

Portfolio Structure in the “Decumulation” Phase

59% of Americans surveyed by Gallup were worried about the sufficiency of their retirement savings.  Disappearing pension plans and concerns for Social Security have forced a reliance on 401(k)’s, IRA’s and personal savings for retirement security.  This thrusts the investment risk on to the retiree and leaves their nest egg exposed to market downturns during the critical “portfolio decumulation” period, a time when retirement savings must be turned in to an income source.

Brian Moore
June 11, 2014

Welcome to the Family: Part 1

All that we do at Legacy Trust to protect our reputation should also hold true to families with significant wealth.   Just as Legacy Trust has a brand and name that needs to be protected, so do wealthy families.

Tom Werkman
June 03, 2014

Presenting the 2014 Legacy Trust Award Collection

We are so pleased to announce the winners of this year's Legacy Trust Award Collection. There were so many great submissions that it was truly difficult to choose - we heard that over and over again from our celebrity judges, committee members and the voting public.




Legacy Trust Award Collection
May 29, 2014

Legacy Trust Award Collection Announces Winning Artists

The votes are in – and Jackie Finn, Bradley Bates, Meghan Matthews and E. Susan Meekhof are the four winners of the fifth annual Legacy Trust Award Collection.

Legacy Trust Award Collection
May 27, 2014

Burger Blog: Bull's Head Tavern

If you like a unique burger that might make you reach for a couple extra napkins, then this is one to try.

Brian Balke
May 27, 2014

LTAC Voting

To cast your vote for your favorite LTAC piece please click on the link below.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1bPXEkXqV-d_gsb-Z6xysQSUzMtJTdBAvxDlIB_Y4xRI/viewform

Legacy Trust Award Collection
May 22, 2014

Who Moved The Finish Line? Baby Boomers and Retirement

The baby boomer generation defies any simple description, except to say that it includes the massive number of people born after World War II, between 1946 and 1964, about 25% of the U.S. total population.  As the “boomers” have passed through each stage of life, this demographic juggernaut has had a profound effect on nearly every institution and aspect of our culture. Now the baby boomers are at it again. As the first of the baby boomers enter retirement, it comes as no surprise that the very notion of what it means to retire is being redefined.  With 10,000 boomers turning 65 every day, it appears that the traditional retirement “contract” is in the process of being rewritten.  As one of the first crop of baby boomers, I have a particularly strong interest in trying to understand and prepare for the changes to come.

Bob Prevette
May 20, 2014

Putting Investors First

The CFA Institute, a group of global leaders that work to raise the standard of professional excellence in the investment industry, recently conducted a survey that confirmed a strong need to rebuild trust in finance.  This wide-ranging study surveyed more than 2,100 individual and institutional investors in the U.S. and abroad, and found that although 73% of investors believe they have fair opportunity to profit by investing in capital markets, only 53% of investors trust investment firms to do what is right.  In response to these findings, the Institute recently launched the Future of Finance initiative as a global effort to shape a trustworthy, forward-thinking financial industry that better serves society.  

Laina Mills
May 14, 2014

Legacy Staff Spends Lunch Hour at Kids' Food Basket

Once a quarter, the Legacy Trust team spends its lunch hour at Kids' Food Basket making sacked suppers. This month, 8 staff members made over 400 sandwiches in one hour. 

Christi Powers
May 07, 2014

Special Needs Trusts - A Personal Perspective

My wife Deborah and I are the parents of a special needs child.  Lillian, our only child, was born with significant physical and mental limitations and we have devoted our lives to assuring she is provided the highest quality of care and given all the opportunity to maximize her potential. When she turned eighteen last fall, it became apparent that we needed to be more deliberate in the planning for Lillian’s care in the event she were to outlive us.  With the guidance of a highly-qualified attorney, we established a Special Needs Trust to be funded at our death from life insurance and other estate assets.

 

William Walker
May 06, 2014

Legacy Trust Announces Celebrity Judges for Art Competition

Legacy Trust today announced the five West Michigan celebrities who will serve as judges for the Legacy Trust Award Collection, a statewide competition for adult artists with disabilities.

Legacy Trust Award Collection
May 05, 2014

Burger Blog: The Cheshire Grill

"Sure to end your productivity early on a Friday."

Brian Balke
April 29, 2014

When the IRS "Likes" Your Facebook Update

The IRS may now be using sophisticated algorithms to mine for data about what you are posting to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and other social media sites to make a determination if you fit the economic profile of a tax dodger. 

Tom Werkman
April 24, 2014

Legacy Staff Donates Cleaning Supplies to Family Promise

On Friday, we brought 14 buckets filled with cleaning supplies to the Family Promise office that will be distributed to families as they leave temporary housing and move onto permanent housing. We had 100% participation from our staff, which was challenged to each donate their own bucket and materials.

Randii Smith
April 21, 2014

Tom Werkman Joins Legacy Trust as Chief Operating Officer

Legacy Trust today announced that Tom Werkman has joined the organization as its first chief operating officer. 

William Walker
April 17, 2014

Things You May Not Know About Taxes

As the tax deadline approaches, I started wondering how taxation in the United States has evolved and how it compares to that of other countries.  I did a few simple internet searches and came up with the following information that I found interesting.

Brian Moore
April 15, 2014

LTAC Announces Fifth Annual Competition for Artists with Disabilities

Adult artists with disabilities have a chance to win $500 and have their artwork displayed in the Grand Rapids Art Museum and entered in ArtPrize 2014 – thanks to the Legacy Trust Award Collection.

Legacy Trust Award Collection
April 09, 2014

Behavioral Finance: The Nature of Losses

So often our natural human emotions lead us to respond to negative events quickly and often rashly rather than to apply our rational side and anticipate the events that are likely to come next.  This tendency points to a key reason why it can be so advantageous to partner with an adviser when making financial decisions.

Laina Mills
April 08, 2014

Planning for Retirement - Part 1

Part one of a multi-part series on the many facets of retirement planning for financial security. 

Brian Moore & Robert Prevette
April 01, 2014

Managing Social Security - and your lottery jackpot

I was interviewed by Pete Daly of the Grand Rapids Business Journal on the pressing topic of managing Social Security. You can read my thoughts and the entire article here.

Bob Prevette
March 28, 2014

Burger Blog:The Broadway Bar & Grill

"Something that you won't soon forget." 

Brian Balke
March 25, 2014

Artists with Disabilities are Invited to Submit Their Work to LTAC 2014

History and Details About the Legacy Trust Award Collection

Legacy Trust Award Collection
March 18, 2014

Five years from the bottom, markets continue to look up

This week, investors are crossing a notable milestone.  March 9, 2009 proved to be the bottom of the months-long market selloff that accompanied the Great Recession.  In the five years since hitting that bottom, equity markets have rewarded persistent investors by regaining their 2007 levels and in recent months have begun to climb to new record highs.  These market gains have accompanied a climate of broadly improving economic conditions in the U.S. and abroad.

Laina Mills
March 11, 2014

Welcome to LaughFest 2014

LaughFest 2014 begins this week in Grand Rapids. As Chairperson on the Gilda's Club Board of Directors, I invite you to come out and enjoy all the events that LaughFest has to offer and get your laugh on. 

Bob Prevette
March 04, 2014

Burger Blogging and Fat Boy Burgers

As promised, the monthly burger blog has arrived. Check back the last week of each month for a review of a local burger joint. This week - Fat Boy on Plainfield Ave. 

Brian Balke
February 25, 2014

Social Security and the Time Value of Money

There are few decisions at retirement more difficult than choosing the right strategy for collecting Social Security retirement benefits. No matter their level of wealth, most of my clients start with a common goal:  “Maximize the amount I can collect over my lifetime”.  Developing a strategy to meet this goal would be easier if they could tell me exactly how long they will live, but their goal is not surprising.  Most of what we read on the topic and many of the available analytical tools are based on a similar goal.  However, I wonder if a better goal would be to develop a strategy that maximizes wealth over one’s lifetime?  For those with significant retirement resources outside of Social Security, I have found that the two goals are not always the same.

Brian Moore
February 18, 2014

Legacy Trust's Laina Mills Promoted to Vice President and Senior Investment Manager

Laina Mills has been promoted to vice president and senior investment manager of Legacy Trust.

William Walker
February 12, 2014

A journey through today’s global economy

At Legacy Trust, we often talk with our clients about the importance of a global perspective when it comes to their portfolios.  New economies continue to emerge and develop and technology has served to accelerate the cycle, creating many new investment opportunities for growth investors.  While it is easy to understand the logic behind this concept, it can be difficult to gain first-hand perspective on the realities.  I would like to share something I recently experienced that helped turn the abstract idea of the “global economy” into a flesh and blood reality for me.
 

Laina Mills
February 12, 2014

Legacy Staff Celebrates 10th Anniversary

The Legacy Trust staff celebrated the company's 10th Anniversary in high stakes fashion - in the kitchen. 

Laura Drabczyk
February 04, 2014

Welcome to our new Website

Welcome to the Legacy Trust website. The launch of this new website coincides with the 10 year anniversary of Legacy Trust. For those who have frequented our website over the past five years, you may have noted the winter image of the skier’s victory pose atop the snowy mountaintop. Given the extraordinary winter we have experienced, I find it appropriate to now be casting this image aside and replacing with new indoor images that represent the quality of our company and service team.

William Walker
January 31, 2014

Legacy Trust Celebrates 10th Anniversary

A decade ago on Feb. 4, the New England Patriots had just won the Super Bowl, two new elements were added to the periodic table and a little company called Facebook got its cyber start.

William Walker
January 28, 2014

2014 LTAC Registration Form

If you would like to participate, you can find the artist registration form here. 

Legacy Trust Award Collection
January 01, 2014

Information for Artists

How To Submit Artwork
Participant Regulations
Rules for Winners

Legacy Trust Award Collection
January 01, 2014

Important Dates

Important Dates for the 2014 Competition

Legacy Trust Award Collection
January 01, 2014

Legacy Staff Plays Santa

Members of the Legacy staff played Santa today for a family in Grand Rapids. Brian Balke, Randii, Melanie, Sandy, Hilary and Laura loaded up two SUV’s with presents and food to deliver just in time to celebrate Christmas.

Christi Powers
December 18, 2013

Legacy Stocks Family Promise Freezers

The Legacy staff spent Veteran’s Day in their aprons volunteering at Family Promise in Grand Rapids. Melanie, Hilary, Sandy, Laura and I visited in the morning to cook up some chili and bake and frost sugar cookies.

Randii Smith
November 11, 2013

LTAC Artist profiled on Wood TV

Bill and LTAC Artist, Lane Cooper, met with WOOD TV’s Jordan Carson today to talk about the Legacy Trust Award Collection and ArtPrize.

Laura Drabczyk
September 25, 2013

Family Promise Backpack Drive

Hardly able to see out my van windows, Laura, Brian and I delivered 18 backpacks to Family Promise in Grand Rapids today.

Randii Smith
August 14, 2013

LTAC “Cityscape” Entry Purchased by Warner, Norcross & Judd

We are so proud to announce that the offices of Warner Norcross & Judd in Grand Rapids have purchased LTAC artist David Thinger’s “Cityscape” painting today.

Laura Drabczyk
July 26, 2013

Legacy Trust Award Collection Announces 2013 Winning Artists

Grand Rapids, Michigan, June 3, 2013 – The votes are in – and Lane Cooper, Jackson Botsford, Joshua Andrus and Elizabeth Martin are the four winners of the fourth annual Legacy Trust Award Collection.

Laura Drabczyk
June 03, 2013

Legacy Trust Award Collection 2013 Call for Entries

Adult artists with disabilities have a chance to win $500, have their artwork displayed in the Grand Rapids Art Museum and entered in ArtPrize 2013 – thanks to the Legacy Trust Award Collection.

Laura Drabczyk
April 15, 2013

Legacy Trust Welcomes Two New Team Members

To better serve the needs of its growing client base, Legacy Trust today welcomed two new team members.

William Walker
February 22, 2013