Jackson Thornton Names New Principals

Jackson Thornton, a certified public accounting and consulting firm headquartered in Montgomery, AL, is pleased to announce that Allison H. Guice and Daniel K. Tew have been selected as the firm’s newest principals.

Allison H. Guice is a principal in the firm’s Montgomery office and has more than 15 years of experience providing business valuation and tax consulting/estate planning services to clients throughout the Southeast. In 2019, Guice joined Jackson Thornton Asset Management.

She currently serves on the board of directors for the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants (ASCPA), the Montgomery Estate Planning Council, Alabama Christian Academy, and Aid to Inmate Mothers. Guice is a past president of the Jackson Thornton Young Professionals group, a graduate of Leadership Montgomery Legacy Class XXXIV, and a founding member of the Child Protect Junior Executive Board. Guice was selected as the 2014 AICPA/ASCPA Women to Watch – Emerging Leader. Guice holds professional membership in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the ASCPA, and the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts. In addition to being a CPA, she holds the Personal Financial Specialist (PFS), Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA) and Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV) designations.

She is a graduate of Auburn University Montgomery where she received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Daniel K. Tew is a principal in the firm’s Dothan office and provided tax and consulting services to owners of small businesses and high net worth individuals for more than 10 years. In 2020, Tew joined Jackson Thornton Asset Management and advises clients on wealth management strategies and planning. In addition to being a CPA, Tew also holds the Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) and Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designations.

He holds professional membership in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants, where he is past president of the Dothan chapter. He also currently serves as an associate member of the state board of the Associated General Contractors (AGC) as well as vice chairman of the AGC – Dothan section. Tew is a past chair of the board of the Dothan Area Young Professionals as well as having served as treasurer for the Alfred Saliba Family Services Center and chairman and treasurer of the Geneva County Board of Wiregrass United Way. He is also a former board of trustee member of Wiregrass United Way and a current member of the Dothan Rotary Club. Tew is a graduate of the 2016 class of Leadership Dothan and was recently selected as one of the Top 40 Under 40 in Commercial Construction by the Alabama AGC and Business Alabama.

Tew received his undergraduate degree from Auburn University and his MBA from Troy University.

My Social Security Account

I wonder if anyone is like me – and I’m speaking from a personal experience. In viewing my Social Security account this year, I discovered that my Social Security Number was issued in my nickname rather than my legal name (that is what happens when you apply for your SSN at 14 years of age so you can get a job). I came to realize in this process that if your legal name does not match the name on your Social Security record, it may prevent the correct earnings being posted to your account or cause delays in processing any benefits to you.

Social Security is an important source of income for retirees. There’s a lot of confusion surrounding Social Security benefits but if you want to learn more, log into the Social Security website at www.ssa.gov. In the website, you can create a free “My Social Security Account.” The website allows you to print your Social Security statement, get estimates of retirement, disability, and survivor benefits, review your earnings record, and many other things.

The website is educational as to how benefits are calculated, when you will reach full retirement age, how much your spouse will receive, how long you can expect to live, along with several other things.

If you have never gone online to view your account, we urge you to visit the site and create a Social Security statement and read it. Periodically checking your Social Security benefits helps you plan for retirement and allows you to check for and correct errors.

From the review of my account, I was able to discover my error as a teenager, correct my account and get a new social security card.

Written by: Thomas B. Bedsole, Jr. (Tommy), CPA/PFS

Patience

When most Americans think about the greatest investors in history, the names that will always appear near the top of the list are Warren Buffet and his partner Charlie Munger.  But did you know that 40 years ago they had another partner named Rick Guerin?  The three made investments together in the 70s, but then Rick disappeared from the public eye while Warren and Charlie became the most famous investors of all time.

A few years ago, someone asked Warren what had happened to Rick.  Apparently Rick, looking to speed up the growth of his wealth, leveraged his investments using margin loans.  When the market hit a rough patch, his margin loans got called and Rick had to sell his shares of Berkshire Hathaway for about $40 per share.  Those shares trade for roughly $430,000 per share today.

When asked about Rick, Buffett said:

“Charlie and I always knew that we would become incredibly wealthy. We were not in a hurry to get wealthy; we knew it would happen. Rick was just as smart as us, but he was in a hurry.”

Rick Guerin is not unlike many of us.  We all want to have the best investments in our portfolio, but sometimes the rewards we seek don’t happen at the pace we would like.  The market can be brutal for an investor who does not have the patience to bear the risks of the market.  The US equity market has produced a positive return on a daily basis 52% of the time since 1871, just a little better than a coin flip.  During that same time period, markets have been positive 68% of one year periods, 80% of five year periods and 88% of 10 year periods.  And investors who have been patient enough to stay in the market for 20 years have never had a negative return while the worst annualized return over such a stretch was over 5%.

We get frequent questions from clients asking what we are recommending based on the issue of the day.  The reality is, we don’t react to news or political policy.  We’ve seen gut instincts proven wrong too many times to bet our money on guessing the direction the market will move.  The course to take right now (as always) is to put your money in the market and to exercise patience while the market does its thing, slowly, but surely.

If you are worried by the market’s high valuations and are looking for direction on how to invest your money now, please reach out to one of our advisors.  We would love to help you get on the right path.

 

Written by: Shaw Pritchett, CPA

COVID-19 Update from JTAM

Dear Clients:

We are living through an event never experienced during our lifetimes. The coronavirus (COVID-19) is disrupting the routine of our daily lives. We are all adjusting our schedules, routines, and work locations to protect the well being of each other and doing everything we can to keep our lives as normal as possible.

To mitigate the health risks that currently exist for everyone, Jackson Thornton Asset Management has transitioned to a work-from-home approach for our team. With our technology capabilities, we will be able to communicate with you and continue business operations as normal. (For example, calls to our office direct lines are forwarded directly to our cell phones.)

A few brief thoughts to help us navigate this crisis:

  • Look back: Unfortunately, throughout history, crisis events occur. During these times, financial markets undergo dramatic declines. Over time, markets have recovered from every past crisis.
  • Today: Remain disciplined to your investment strategy. Your investment strategy was developed and structured to best manage market uncertainly and volatility, especially in times such as these.
  • Look ahead: Focus on the long term; investing is a lifetime and long term proposition.

We are thankful you have trusted us to serve as your investment advisor. We continue to monitor the markets and each client’s individualized investment strategy. Please know that we are working diligently for you during this most difficult season in all of our lives.

Stay safe and show a family member, friend, or colleague an extra act of love over the days ahead. Love gives us life and the ability to endure times such as these.

Sincerely,

Tommy

Tommy West, CPA/PFS
President