December 2, 2022
Friends and Family,
Hello and welcome to the 30th Annual Matheson Team Year End Letter! We appreciate the opportunity to share some memories of 2022, some updates on our amazing team and a brief look into the crystal ball for 2023!
M2 Financial Group - Advice, Guidance and Direction 2022 Updates and Outlook
Time is a funny thing. Sometimes there isn’t enough of it. Sometimes it drags on and on and on (especially at the dentist!). It seems the one consistent thing about time is that it moves fast. 2022 was no exception to the rule of time moving fast. It was a tumultuous year filled with many highs and some historic and memorable troughs.
- The year 2022 started on a positive note but continued to creep toward historic financial weird. After years of low interest rates, pandemic relief money flooding America and historic supply chain issues – the “I-word” that we’ve been talking about for many years finally hit. Inflation roared to the world in a way never seen and the speed and pure amount of change came lighting fast. Enter the “U-word”. Uncertainty and stable financial markets are not friends and Wall Street reflected that (and continues to) with enormous swings in the markets. These swings were not only in the stock markets but also in the “safer” asset classes. While we are not, and will never be, attempting to time the market, in late 2021 and Q1 2022, we did take some steps to take some of the winnings off the table for our clients that had shorter term needs (retirees, college expenses, etc.). These moves proved to be the right thing to do in hindsight. For our younger clients with no need to draw down assets in the next 2-4 years, we have been evaluating the current strategies and managers, communicating with you to determine if you expect any changes and doing what has proven over and over and over again to be the right thing to do. Stay the course and tweak where needed.
- There is a Chief Economist at First Trust that we are fortunate to have access to. If there is one message that he continually tells his audience of some the best advisors in the industry, it is that advisors greatest task in tough times is to help our clients manage behavior and not fall into the traps that Wall Street sets for Main Street. This is BOTH when times are tough (with messages like you have heard from our team) AND when things are going very well. The formula, (good market returns – bad market returns) = long term return averages, is very important to remember. Patience and consistency are two of the key components underlying this strategy. While not fun for you to experience in the short term and for us to review during these times, I truly believe that our advice and service to you has never been more important. PLEASE always reach out to me and my team if you have any questions! Emotions and investing are a dangerous combination that Wall Street uses to prey on both Main Street clients and Main Street ADVISORS. We are in your corner and on the same side of the table every day. Your patience, kind words during these times and partnerships are more than appreciated! Thank you!
- We have had a few questions about my next several years and I wanted to share a quick vision that I have been fine tuning. After 30 years of being a financial advisor, the natural question is, “ummmm when are you going to retire being a planner and all…?” In 2022, we started introducing M2’s advisor teams increased roles. As we have been letting select clients know that the primary “face” of M2 will be different, we have also been stressing that I am not going anywhere anytime soon. Early in my career, I had a few friends exit the advice world because they were “bored” with the daily interactions and messages delivered to clients. I never understood this. Since then, I vowed to myself that if I were ever bored, that would be a signal to hang it up. I am not there (or even close) and recognize that I want to continue, but in a slightly different role that will continue to evolve over the next 6-8 years (or maybe forever as Shawna says…). My role has been shifting and will continue to shift slowly with moving day to day client interactions to my amazing advisor team BUT being with them every step of YOUR journey. As we know, your financial life has times where things are steady and transition times in life where more help is needed. I will be here to be the voice of guidance and wisdom to my amazing advisor team (and you!). Over the last year, the messages that you have shared with my advisor team, as well as me, about this transition have been very positive and supporting. I fully expect to be saying the exact same things when I write this letter next year. Expect further communication on this later this month!
- The above-mentioned transition would not be happening without the amazing support staff team at M2 Financial Group. We had a couple of changes last year with Kaylee and her family moving to Colorado and Alyssa moving to a position that fit her desire to go back to school. We are incredibly blessed to have added more additional team members this year – more about them later.
- I felt a few of you asking, “will this free up more of your time Michael?”. Great question as this is a goal of this process. As many of you know, I have been working on a book about my 30 years in the industry for about - well – WAY too many years. After spending many years frustrated by my lack of desire to work on that project when I had free time, typically after 9 or 10pm, most of my free time will be spent finishing this dream. This book will cover the experiences that I have shared with my clients over the years and hopefully provide some guidance to those without an advisor relationship. As this book is about you, I ask you to take a couple of minutes to share your story with me. What have you experienced and how has our relationship been beneficial to you and your family. TIA! OK – that’s me trying to be hip again – Thanks In Advance!
- As we previously communicated, with traditional mutual funds, there are many managers that will be paying out capital gain distributions even with a negative return number for the year. We are in the process of analyzing holdings impacted by this and comparing the difference between holding the position and accepting the distribution or selling and repositioning. That said, in many cases a sale will make sense to save taxes and some of our clients will have many trades. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to let us know!
- The Dave Ramsey SmartVestor Pro program has continued to be a part of our outreach to prospective clients and friends. Dave Ramsey hosted a public event and a private dinner recently in Minneapolis. This is the second time I have been blessed with an audience with Dave in recent years. During the reception at the private event, I shared a couple of things with Dave. The first was that how, after Shawna in I visited his Nashville offices last fall, Shawna exited the building prayerfully wishing that our daughter Katelyn would be able to work someday in an environment like she experienced at Ramsey. The entire place is nurturing and awesome. I also shared that a client (who had invited me to attend the public event with them the next night-many thanks again!) we met through Ramsey SmartVestor Pro lived down the street from him in grade school. His reaction was not that of some Hollywood celeb. He was touched by the story of Shawna’s experience. He also made it clear that he wanted us to come backstage at the venue the next night during his almost 4,000-person event to say hello. I think my clients were thinking I was joking around when I told them, but we made our way backstage. He spent 10-15 minutes with her and her hubby talking about the old neighborhood, mutual acquaintances, and life in general. Truly blessed to be a part of Ramsey Solutions. If you know of anyone that could use a good read about managing finances, we always have an inventory of Dave Ramsey books on hand that we would be happy to share!
Random 2023 TidBits
- Economically, we hope that the 2022 madness will be left behind and calmer waters will prevail. As mentioned, navigating these rough seas are not easy – we are here anytime you want to chat, review your financial goals/risk tolerance, discuss what the crazy media is saying or whatever is on your mind. Remember – my team and I are your Financial Sounding Board. No questions are too small and if we do not have an answer, we will just make one up. JUST KIDDING – we will do our best to find the answer!
- We are also here for the people in your life that are important to you. As our team grows, our capacity to accept new clients has also grown. It is my true belief that M2 Financial Group treats our clients and our responsibility to our clients different than most in our industry. A no cost or obligation 20 minute “Ask Anything” sounding board session is always available to any of your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc. at any time!
- My team and I will continue to offer regular market updates via webinar and special events in 2023. We are lining up a power-packed line-up for 2023 so stay tuned. You can see past web events on our website m2financialgroup.com under the webinar tab. We are also already working on our annual spring cleaning / shredding even to be held spring 2023 as well as other fun engagements!
- You may have noticed that our website and email addresses have changed to reflect the M2 Financial Group branding. Our old email addresses (@fdg-advisors.com) will still work as long as we can get them to but are being replaced by (FIRSTNAMELASTNAMEINITIAL)@m2financialgroup.com. Let us know if you have any questions – any emails you get from us are now from this new address.
- If you have been to the office, you’ve noticed a “refresh” with new flooring and furniture in the common spaces as well as refreshed countertop in all areas of the office. We shuffled the team around a bit as well with me moving from my office of 17+ years to one down the hall from our reception area. I think this was planned so Shari can keep a better eye on me!
- We will continue to give back to the community and plan to sponsor financial planning materials at several local schools as well as lead at least 2-3 Ramsey Solutions Financial Peace University classes in the local area. Our toy drive for the Osseo/Maple Grove American Legion is in full swing and we look forward to several other opportunities to give back as a group.
- Your ongoing feedback matters and is appreciated! We learn how we can continue to grow and improve with your generous feedback. We are always open to your comments, suggestions, and advice!
Team Updates 2022 - 2023!!
Sharing your feedback about your interactions with my team is very special to me. The team has grown, and I feel that I am surrounded by people that get it and care! Get it that you and your financial wellbeing are our top priorities. Care in that they do not stop until all the promises we have made are kept. In no particular order, the team updates:
Susan Anderson is our longest tenured advisor on the team – now approaching 18 total years with the practice! She is our retirement plan specialist, helping small businesses establish retirement plans that match the needs of both employer and employees with additional benefits and income tax benefits. In 2022 she also helped several clients transition into retirement! She is honored to be able to help through these times of change!
Personally, 2022 was a good year all around! Susan is kept busy attending her kids’ sports games, going to her mom’s lake place, going on camping trips, and riding atv’s and snowmobiles as a family. This Fall her and her husband took a 200+ mile round trip through from Embarrass to Silver Bay, MN, and back. It was a great adventure!
Now they have two teenagers in the household!
- Brady (15) is at the Elk River H.S., joined Math League, played on the undefeated Elks 9th grade Football, and plays baseball – his favorite! Around the house he helps keep the outdoor wood stove going throughout the cold winter days!
- Aubree (13) plays volleyball all year for the Elk River Energy Team. She loves baking and enjoys helping her mom out around the house with small projects (especially organizing!).
Her husband, Mike of 16 years, keeps busy all year with projects around the house or at the land in McGregor. Over the last year he spent majority of his free time helping to rebuild his late dad’s 1970 Challenger. This is a car that is very near and dear to our family.
Marie Henrichs 2022 was an incredibly busy year for Marie. Within the practice, she saw to welcoming many new clients. She feels blessed to be a trusted resource for her clients. She completed her CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ coursework in the spring and passed the challenging exam in November. Becoming a CFP® practitioner is one of the most difficult and rigorous processes for financial advisors and she is thrilled to display the marks. I am extremely proud of her hard work and dedication to this accomplishment. (shout out to her family for their support as well!).
At home, Marie and her husband, Tim, celebrated their 18th wedding anniversary and kept busy with their very active household. Mckenzie (15) started driving (do not attempt roundabouts on a newbie drivers first time out!) and stayed busy with softball and volleyball. Lexie’s (13) volleyball team went to National’s in Florida. They turned the trip into an epic family road trip through 11 states – highlights included Mammouth Cave, the Gulf Coast in
Alabama, Father’s Day in Savannah and seeing a bear lazily stroll by their car in the Smoky Mountains! Mallory (9) is busy with gymnastics and had her First Communion this spring. Chase (5) started Pre-K this year and is the family comedian.
Scott Robichaud has been a part of the M2 Financial Group for over 12 years. Scott continues the balance with his transition from Senior Client Service Manager to Associate Financial Advisor, which can be a challenge for a perfectionist. Scott takes on each new day as a challenge for himself to continue to serve our clients with the high-level service he has provided for so long while also pushing himself to leave the paperwork to our awesome support team. His time in the business and relationship with our clients give me the highest confidence that he is more than ready! Scott’s passion for the success of our clients, and his desire and dedication to providing the very best client experience, fuel him daily.
Outside of the office, 2022 has been a year of personal growth and self-indulgence for Scott and his family. His wife Mary continues to drive the ship at home and loves her new career as a HUC at Mercy Hospital.
Eden (21) is now a junior at GCU in Arizona and loves her coursework and college life. When not diving into neuro-science books she’s busy with friends or coming home to see her MN family and friends. Kyle (18) a senior Champlin Park HS (where did the time go?) is pursuing many opportunities as he explores colleges. His aspiration of sports journalism may even land him at Arizona State University (Scott’s alma mater). One of the perks of being a senior parent…Puerto Vallarta in Spring 2023!!!
The ‘empty nester’ life has Scott and Mary finding hobbies to enjoy and fill the free time created with Scott no longer coaching kid’s sports or activities. Scott has become a cornhole enthusiast, joining a summer league, and looks forward to a winter cribbage league. Sports are still a part of life as Scott continues to run special effects fun for Gopher home games and managing his 25+ year FFB league. Other 2022 adventures included brewery tours, live music concerts (yeah!), and biking on the Elm Creek trails.
Staci Murphy has had an exciting year as she has started her transition from Client Service Manager to Investment Adviser Representative, taking on a more involved role in investment management and advice. She continues to further her education and is studying for her Accredited Portfolio Management Advisor (APMA) designation. This year has provided unique challenges in the markets but also opportunities to turn lemons into lemonade by implementing strategies to meet client needs and guide them in the ever-changing markets and economy. Staci’s passion for the business and helping clients is amazing!
Outside of work, Staci and her husband, Chris, enjoy spending family time with their sons Dylan (22) and Gavin (20). They are lucky enough to spend lot of time with their granddaughters Addy (4) and Sophia (1) having sleepovers, playing and laughing. The little ones bring so much joy to their lives!
Jenny Nelson has already been with us for a year now. She handles our more advanced client service needs as well as sharing what she knows with the rest of our admin team. She is studying for her Series 7 licensing which will allow her to take on more within the M2 team. This year she enjoyed multiple trips up to her parents fishing resort in Canada and was happy to reconnect with those long-lost friends after a few years apart.
Jenny was also honored to be a part of her best friend’s wedding and was heavily involved with planning and decorating. She is looking forward to the next few years of weddings and growing her career with our team as am I! Jenny is a calming spirit when things are heated up and is the first to ask, “how can I help?”. She is emerging as a leader on our team, and we are all very proud of her!
Shari Prusak has been with our office since July of 2019 as an Administrative Specialist! Over the past few years, she has been blessed to talk with you all setting up our Update and Outlook meetings/calls. She loves talking to you all, setting up meeting, and hearing your stories that have really helped her to get to know all of you. Shari loves to greet each of you when you come into our office as well.
Shari has two awesome daughters and added a new Shiba Inu puppy to her family this past year which has kept her on her toes! She is still surprised she was able to deal with a ball of energy puppy with no kids to help, but she survived!
Shari and her husband love to go on adventures and travel together and enjoyed a few trips to FL and AZ this past year. Shari and her husband attended a few NASCAR races in February and August in Daytona which was an amazing experience. She had a chance to hangout in the infield before the race in February with the drivers the weekend of the Dayton 500- was very cool to be where the action starts. Her and her husband are looking forward to heading to FL in February again and get out of the cold as well as many more travel adventures.
Jenni Bock joined our team this past March as a part of our admin team as a Client Service Specialist. She is a client service rock star (don’t tell her ‘no’ if she is advocating for our clients!) and has also been working on training in our newer team members. Jenni lives in Maple Grove with her husband, Kyle, and three daughters, Paige (22); Sharlit (12); and Hayden (8). This year, Jenni and her husband have decided to take on the exciting challenge of homeschooling Hayden. Jenni and her family also enjoyed several trips this year including Savannah, Georgia, and camping as often as possible at various state parks. This winter they are excited to start ice skating and winter hiking again. She has learned so much in a relatively short period of time and I am very proud of her progress!
Christy Dehn is new with the practice as of September, taking on the position of Client Service Specialist. She joins us in a part-time capacity from many years in the Financial Services industry. Living just a few miles away is a better commute versus downtown and we are fortunate to have her with us. Christy is married to Darryl (31 years) and has 2 sons AJ (28) a new daughter in law Anna (27) and Tyler (18). Highlight of 2022 was their son AJ wedding and a high school graduation for Tyler all within 3 weeks.
Christy and Darryl are getting adjusted to empty nesting. They enjoy traveling, house projects, volunteering at Yellow Tree Theatre and spending time with their family. Christy also enjoys shopping and volunteering with Maple Grove Giving Connection as a liaison with Osseo Senior High (find a need, fill a need).
Abby Jordan is a new addition to the team this year as a Client Services Specialist and comes from a background in finance, insurance, and marketing. Abby lives in Minneapolis with her cat, Karen, and enjoys traveling, reading, working out, and spending time at her family’s Disc Golf Course in the summer. She makes frequent trips to Denver to visit her two best friends and go hiking and snowboarding. She takes interest in continually learning and furthering her education and is excited to see what the future has in store.
When I see Abby interacting with other team members, it seems like she has been a part of our family for many years! We are happy that she is on our team and look forward to supporting her personal and business objectives over the years!
Matheson Family Update 2022
The stress of the markets and the world in 2022 was offset by the great year and the quality time spent with my family. Early in the year we traveled to Cape Coral, FL (about six miles as the crow flies from Ft. Myers Beach…) and stayed in the same home we had rented for two months in 2021. The owner, a college friend, surprised us with the news he was going to sell. With a price that was difficult to ignore for the fully furnished home (and a great office area) that had been renovated two times in the last three years, we made the decision to purchase it. After closing in June, we went back down to put some personal touches on the home and prepare for a future M2 Financial Group office. We were excited to be able to share the home with family and friends until an unexpected birthday present delivered a gift we really didn’t want. Our home was flooded along with other significant damage due to Hurricane Ian. We are now, and likely will be for some time, dealing with insurance and contractors. We look forward to the grand opening of the home and office late in 2023. We are blessed that no one we know was injured or hurt during this storm. Other friends and clients with damages are rebuilding and moving forward as well. With our many planned visits to FL canceled, we shifted to our travel bucket list and ended up in NYC over both MEA and Thanksgiving 2022. A close friend has an apartment in the city that he offered us to use, and we took him up on it. Whirlwind long weekends and many steps happened as we visited some of NYC’s sites including the 9/11 Memorial, Statue of Liberty, Wall Street (of course), Chinatown, Central Park, Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, Grand Central Station, Radio City Music Hall, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden among other things. The only thing we didn’t do much of was sleep!
Katelyn (13) is in 7th grade at MCA and continues to be very active. She played middle school basketball and played softball in the summer. Her love is Volleyball as she played with the middle school team and had a great season. She is also involved with the arts continuing to play piano and will be performing in the spring 2023 musical. She’s an amazing blessing, a diligent student and keeps us running. Andrew (25) continues his work at the local 3D printing company and is looking into opportunities to further his education. If you are out for lunch at Malones in Maple Grove on a Tuesday, you will likely find Andrew and I there!
My every morning sunshine and love of my life Shawna is still very involved at MCA volunteering in the classroom, organizing two blood drives, being a part of Parents with Purpose and many other things. She also did get a major promotion at work this year – she is assisting with some of our client events and mailings! She tried to reject the promotion, but upper management insisted… 😊 On another topic, with so many blessings in my life, I sought out assistance with my lifelong fight with my weight through a local clinic. I’m proud to report a significant change with 40 lbs. lost since summer. It’s a daily battle but I am very happy with the short-term results. Your encouragement and kind words are appreciated! This summer, my father passed away after a battle with an infection. Following a very spiritual experience as he was passing, I know he was greeting with my Mom’s open arms.
Random Thoughts from a Random Mind
A few additional thoughts as we head into 2023:
- My team and I made charitable donations in lieu of a traditional holiday client gifts again this year. “Meals for Minneapolis” is again our primary benefactor. My team and I attended the event, packed meals, and helped students pack meals. It was a rewarding day for us all – thank you for your support!
- Saying goodbye has not gotten any easier as we entered another year. 2022 found us saying so long to several of our long-term clients with their passing. As much of a blessing our long-term relationships are with our clients, it is not easy to say goodbye. Continued prayers to the families!
- Enclosed is our M2 old school, wall hanging 2023 calendar and the Matheson family Christmas card. Shawna refers me to our hanging calendar daily, so I know where I am headed next with our family schedule – enjoy!
Every one of our clients is appreciated and we thank you for your continued support and business. Providing you with financial Advice, Guidance and Direction is a great responsibility that we take very seriously and work hard every day to do our very best for you and your family. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your extended families!!
With gratitude and love,
(Working with an advisor who subscribes to the SmartVestor Pro network cannot guarantee investment success or the financial goal will be achieved. Advisors pay a fee to belong to the SmartVestor Pro program. Dave Ramsey and the Dave Ramsey SmartVestor Pro program are not affiliated with Royal Alliance Associates, Inc.)