Axiom | Vol 254

Featured: Meet The Axiom’s Guest Editor: Naomi Ackley | Happy Mother’s Day! | Inside: Markets Shake Off A Big Jobs Miss | Poll Recap: What will cost you less in the Covid recovery economy?| Perlick: An American Original | MoneyDo: Review Your Retirement Plan Contributions & Investments | Ask Annex: Do you work with an individual who has her own investments separate from her husband? | DYADT: Does Your Advisor Have A Women-Focused Group? | No News From The Fed Is Good News | Q1 GDP: Best Growth Since 2003

Meet The Axiom®’s Guest Editor: Naomi Ackley

I’m Naomi Ackley, Annex Wealth Management’s Chief Compliance Officer.

On this Mother’s Day, I’d like to thank my Mom for the strength, determination, and integrity she instilled in all of us (yes, there are 5) as values to live by. I am blessed and proud to have two independent young women of my own, and the encouragement and love of my husband.

One of the things I like most about Annex is the culture and its belief in education. I recently read a blog which said “Culture is the character and personality of your organization. It’s what makes your business unique and is the sum of its values, traditions, beliefs, interactions, behaviors, and attitudes.”(1) I have experienced this strength in culture for myself and I believe the Axiom is a display of this from the team. Each week we have a variety of contributors, in a wide range of topics, all with the desire to educate.


“In keeping with the topic of culture ‘Positive workplace culture attracts talent, drives engagement, impacts happiness and satisfaction, and affects performance. The personality of your business is influenced by everything. Leadership, management, workplace practices, policies, people, and more impact culture significantly.(1)’

Congratulations to Annex Wealth Management recently named as a Top Work Places 2021 from the Journal Sentinel for the third year in a row.(2)”

– Guest Editor: Naomi Ackley, Chief Compliance Officer


Jobs Growth Way Under Expectations – But Markets Shrug It Off

Jobs growth underperformed experts’ expectations by a huge margin. The markets responded with record closes. Annex Wealth Management’s Dave Spano and Derek Felske discuss why, and what they keep an eye on when reports miss that big.


Can You Guess: Which 3 Things Will Cost You Less In The Covid Recovery Economy?

The weather is heating up, and so is consumer spending. If you’re looking for a bargain this summer – a few items have seen significant price drops.

In our latest poll we asked readers to guess which 3 things will cost less in the covid recovery economy. It wasn’t so easy – with only 8% of poll respondents guessing all three items correctly.

The majority (55%) of respondents guessed toilet paper to be one of the three – but it’s actually just the opposite. In the beginning of the pandemic, consumers made a mad dash to stock up on squares, and prices went up. Now in a bizarre turn, toilet paper prices are rising again due to a recent wood pulp shortage. Kimberly Clark announced it will be hiking prices on Cottonelle and Scott toilet paper sometime in June.

Ok. So you can’t save on toilet paper, but here’s the three items you can save on:

1. A new wardrobe

Demand for clothing and shoes has plummeted as consumers embrace the work-from-home lifestyle – prices down 4.6% between February 2020-2021.

2. A loan

The Fed lowered interest rates in order to stimulate growth during a period of economic decline and uncertainty, which makes it an ideal time to borrow if you have good credit.

3. Electronics, like TVs & computers

The price of electronics has been falling for years, regardless of the pandemic. The price of audio-visual equipment went down 3.8% in 2021, while computer software prices dropped almost 8%. The price of calculators and other information processing equipment plummeted more than 16%.


Review Your Retirement Plan Contributions & Investments 

Most of us have never been involved in a health crisis like this pandemic, which created a massive economic downturn. Still, many of us have experienced a devastating economic disruption, whether it’s the tech bubble, 9/11, the housing crisis, the Great Recession, or COVID-19. 

A brief review of history indicates we can expect a big economic hurdle about once every 10 years. When you do encounter a big disruption, it’s common to be concerned how your retirement plan will be impacted. What steps should you be taking to minimize the downturn?

In this week’s MoneyDo, we suggest you review your retirement plan contributions and investments.


  • Review what you’re contributing in light of your age and retirement goals.
  • Remember, it’s important to continue to contribute to your plan. Rough waters shouldn’t deter you from your plan.
  • If you started contributing at the beginning of your career, then 10-12% of your gross pay is usually a good benchmark. Expect to contribute more if you got a late start.


Most of us receive very little guidance on how to structure our retirement plan. Often, you’ll get a list of funds with performance over specific time spans, and it’s up to you to pick what’s best.

You may be drawn to the fund with the highest returns, but consider funds spread out over several different asset classes. If done appropriately, you should have selected several funds in the following asset classes:

  • Large Capital (Large Cap) Growth
  • Large Cap Value
  • Middle Capital (Mid Cap)
  • Small Capital (Small Cap)
  • International Companies
  • High Yield Bonds
  • Intermediate Term Bonds
  • Short Term Bonds or Stable Value

Work with your company retirement plan provider or a financial planner to develop an asset allocation plan – a written determination of what percent of your assets should be in each class.

As the market ebbs and flows the percent of assets in each class will change. On a periodic basis, it’s important to move money between the funds to return them to your agreed upon allocation plan. This is called rebalancing.

Consider this MoneyDo essential to your financial AND mental health. Setting and maintaining your contributions and investments give you a better understanding and helps to remove uncertainty with what you own and where you’re headed. In the end, both you and your retirement plan will likely be better positioned to handle major economic disruptions.


“My favorite part of the Axiom is the Ask Annex because every week is a different question that is likely on the minds of many.”

– Guest Editor: Naomi Ackley | Chief Compliance Officer

This week’s Ask Annex comes from Lynn, who asks:

“Do you work with an individual who has her own investments separate from her husband? My husband and I have different views on investments and his advisor does not feel a woman needs to be involved.”


We asked Annex Wealth Management’s Deanne Phillips, CFP®, CDFA®, ABFP:

The quick answer is “Of course!”  The why deserves a little explanation. This question pops up periodically; and personally, it’s a head scratcher for me that any advisor, male or female, would refuse to assist in anyone’s education and understanding around their wealth and investments, much less miss the upcoming “great wealth transfer” opportunity.

Today, women control a third of total U.S. household financial assets—more than $10 trillion- and tend to outlive their male partners by an average of five years. But over the next decade, another $30 trillion in financial assets that baby boomers possess is expected to change hands as men pass along wealth to their female spouses. This is expected to be a transfer of wealth of such magnitude, that by 2030 women’s control over wealth will approach the annal GDP of the United States!

When it comes to advisors, women want to know and trust their consultants on a personal and professional level – and feel that the professional is acting in their best interest as a fiduciary. Over 70% of women change advisors when they become suddenly single or in charge of their money, mostly because they have no relationship with their current adviser. Those fragile relationships can certainly be exacerbated when the advisor “does not feel a woman needs to be involved.” 

At Annex, we listen to client concerns and hear their values and visions around their future, both as an individual and as a couple. We apply goals and stress tests to our clients’ financial plan, helping them understand how their spending, income, and investments work together to generate the life they want to live in retirement. 

We also understand that sometimes within a couple, there may be different legacy goals, or ideas around their investments. We believe those differences can work! Often, it takes some added conversation and information, as we rely on the skills built through the years.

We’re proud of the way we listen and educate, whether through in-person meetings, webinars, newsletters, radio shows and even good old-fashioned phone calls. Thanks for your question – and we are here to help.


Does Your Advisor Have A Women-Focused Group? 

Annex understands that women want to be educated on financial issues important to them.

According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), 66 percent of women aged 45 to 59, and 52 percent over age 60, worry about not having enough money to retire on. Many women say they want to learn more about investing, but cite lack of financial knowledge and experience, as well as uncertainty over where to turn for guidance, as major roadblocks to their financial education.

Understanding this need for information and education, we developed Annex’s Women & Wealth: Own Your Future program. Each month, we host several dates with a different topic, designed to foster collaboration, community, and growth in specific areas of financial planning with a spotlight on women’s needs. Our past workshops include A Woman’s Guide to Preparing for the Unexpected, Women’s Guide to Financial Self Defense, Protecting Your Assets, Passion Assets, and Your Prosperity Picture.

As soon as we can, we will be back to in person events; in the meanwhile, be sure and catch one of our interactive upcoming webinars:  Budgeting in Retirement in May, and Investing with Confidence in June. Our events are always free. Or, plan to stop by our Elm Grove headquarters office between 4:00pm – 7:00pm Wednesday, August 25th for our annual patio party get together, and meet other Women & Wealth group members!



No News From The Fed Is Good News


Q1 GDP: Best Growth Since 2003


Perlick: An American Original – Know The Difference-Makers


Annex Wealth Management provides free workshops, open to the public, on key wealth management topics.

Each week, we provide links to register for upcoming events.