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Alleged wrongdoing by stockbrokers is routinely erased from public records, making it difficult for investors to check the past conduct of financial advisers, according to a new study.

The report found that stockbrokers almost always succeed in getting negative information removed from a database known as BrokerCheck.

BrokerCheck is intended to protect investors against unscrupulous brokers. It lists brokers’ complaints from customers and investigations by regulators. BrokerCheck is operated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), an oversight organization operated by the securities industry. read more »


Things are so bad on Capitol Hill that we’ll be lucky if Congress passes a bill that only temporarily ends the government shutdown and raises the nation’s debt ceiling for a few months.

Such a deal may avert a catastrophic debt default, but it won’t do much to help the economy, according to small businesses and bankers who testified Tuesday afternoon at a Senate hearing.

“The nationwide uncertainty resulting from any short-term ‘kick the can down the road’ legislation will be devastating,” said Ronald Paul, chairman and CEO of EagleBank in Bethesda, Md.

If Congress faces another government shutdown or debt ceiling deadline in January or February, the next few months are “going to be equally as ugly” as the past couple of weeks have been, Paul told the Senate Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee. read more »

Building Wealth

Fall is officially here — and if you’re like most people, you’re probably wondering how summer went by so fast. Those trips to the lake or the beach are fading in memory now, giving way to helping kids with homework, raking leaves and the other rites of autumn. And just as your day-to-day tasks change with the seasons, so, too, will your money management and investment activities at different phases of your life.

Here’s how these scenarios might look:

Phase one: Planning for possibilities — When you’re young and you’re starting out in the working world, your most immediate financial concerns may be to pay off student loans and then, possibly, save for a down payment on a house. read more »

Building Wealth

Over the years we have worked with a lot of retired teachers. The type of teacher’s retirement plan you have determines how your benefits are calculated and which components are available to you. Many of the teachers we have met with, who are considering and transitioning into retirement, have benefits based on two parts from the Department of Retirement Systems commonly known as DRS:

  1. The pension component, which is called the defined benefit program, and
  2. for those in Plan 3, the retirement savings component called the defined contribution program.

One question many retiring teachers ask is, “Should I purchase the additional service credits?” At the time of this article, purchasing additional service credits is currently available for all TRS Plans 1, 2 and 3. read more »


I need professional help in saving and investing my money. What I enjoy is spending money. If you’re like me, that’s exactly why you go through all the gyrations of estate planning and wealth management. Yes of course you want to leave money to your estate and to charity, and so do I. Yet my goal is for my wife and I to have resources available to do all the things that we want to do in our golden years — travel to exotic places, play golf at the best courses, and eat at the coolest restaurants!

The professional you work with is skilled in helping you create that wealth and have money to do what you want. What he or she can’t do for you is ensure that you are in any condition to enjoy your nest egg as you want. That is up to you. read more »


You probably have thought about what you’d like to do during your retirement years. But all your plans probably depend, to at least some extent, on your financial situation. What happens if you reach the age at which you wish to retire and you just don’t have the money you thought you’d have?

If this occurs, it’s time for “Plan B.” What does that look like? Here are a couple of possibilities:

Continue working. If you like your job, you may not mind working an extra year or so. You’ll be bringing in more income and contributing more to your 401(k) or other retirement account — and, perhaps almost as importantly, you may be able to avoid tapping into these retirement accounts, thus giving them more time to potentially grow. read more »


After years of planning and fundraising, a new senior and community center in Belfair is moving ahead with construction. The HUB, a project of Faith in Action of West Sound, will break ground next April and could be ready for occupancy by late fall 2014. But the fundraising for the center continues, with the goal of raising enough money for furnishings and fixtures, as well as the completion of a second floor and the addition of an elevator.

Earlier this year, Faith in Action was pursuing a loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That loan is no longer necessary, according to executive director Patti Kleist, thanks to a $500,000 appropriation from the state Legislature this past session and another $500,000 from a local anonymous contributor (half in the form of a donation and the other half as a loan). The USDA loan would have cost a lot of money in administrative costs, Kleist said.

The latest $1 million brings the total raised to date to $2.7 million, which includes another state appropriation of $1.3 million in 2011. read more »


Port Gamble Bay Funds Project Cost And SummaryTo a lot of conservation-minded folks around North Kitsap, the DOE might be regarded as Disappointment of Everyone.

The state Department of Ecology recently announced how it plans to allocate the remaining $5 million of a legislative appropriation that originally was intended to purchase a critical shoreline area of Port Gamble Bay. read more »


Kitsap Community Foundation and BNY Mellon Wealth Management are partnering to offer a free seminar on “Leveraging Charitable Gifts in the Current Low Interest Rate Environment.” This continuing education seminar is intended for Kitsap County estate-planning professionals including attorneys, financial planners, CPAs and insurance brokers.

The seminar will include breakfast and a presentation by BNY Mellon wealth strategist Justin Miller. In addition to learning how the Kitsap Community Foundation can help their clients achieve their charitable goals, professional advisors and development professionals will learn practical solutions and innovative ways to introduce their clients to timely and advantageous charitable gifting solutions. read more »

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