1

NEWS

LETTER

Integrating Your Values, Vision & Wealth

JANUARY 2017

www.omegawealthmanagement.com |  703.387.0919

New Year, New You!

  Ah, it’s 2017…Happy New Year! A lot has 

happened since we last communicated 

with you. Although some people mark time 

based on a school calendar, 

most of us use 

January as the beginning of the year to 

reset, recommit or just change things 

up. Perhaps this year will be set by the 

November election? The question is, can 

you stay on track?   

  As the years move on, it has become clear to us 

what really 

matters in financial life planning:

  •  What you care about

  •  What you are committed to

  •  What’s worth spending money on

  •  What you spend

  Understanding these four elements can be the difference  

between  a  successful  &  meaningful  financial  plan  or  a  

situation where money has driven one to an unsatisfying  

end result. These four elements are also things that you can  

control vs. the economy or financial markets. As we continue to 

provide our financial life planning services to you, 

we hope you’ll 

think about these elements and reach out to us to help you 

clarify and articulate them so that we can incorporate your 

answers into our planning process for you.

  In this quarter’s issue, we have some planning-related  

updates from our newest team member, Kathy Frakes.  

Jared provides our thoughts on how the markets and 

SEI  models  finished  for  2016  and  what  might  lie  ahead.  

Finally, Andrew shares some tips on navigating access  

to  the  two  websites  more  critical  to  our  work  with  you: 

eMoney and SEI.

  And so back to “New Year, New You”….

more and  more we 

are  finding  that  one  of  our  most  valuable  services  to  our  

clients is helping them stay on track! As we meet with you at  

the beginning of the year, 

please be thinking about what you 

are hoping to achieve personally & financially. Where appro-

priate, we will try to provide ideas and ongoing support to help  

you achieve these goals as soon as possible. 

To that end,  

please check out our Books & Resources section for a link  

to my recent appearance on WJLA NewsChannel 8 where 

I provided “7 Tips to Get Financially Fit in 2017” as well as 

some other resources.

  2017 looks to be a year of great change and transition. Omega 

is committed to helping you navigate the financial ramifications 

along the way! Please don’t hesitate to reach out as needed.

 With appreciation for the opportunity to work with you,

Lisa A. K. Kirchenbauer, CFP

®

, RLP

®

, CeFT

President

TM

L-R: Andrew Mehari, Carol Martz, Lisa Kirchenbauer, Kathy Frakes and Jared Jones

  Happy New Year! James Mackintosh recently had a column in 
The Wall Street Journal where he shared the old joke: “Why did 
God create economists? To make weather forecasters look good!”  
All joking aside, Mr. Mackintosh makes an important point— 
forecasting the future is challenging especially when the 

 

economic forecast can actually cause people to take actions that 
change the economy. 

Since none of us can see into the future,  

it is important to have a plan that will help you achieve your 
goals regardless of what the economy does this year. That’s 
why the work we do together with you is so vital!  
  As we meet together with you this year, we will ask about 
your personal and financial goals for 2017.
 It is important for us 
to consider both, not just the money, as personal goals may have 
a  financial  component.  In  addition,  often,  if  your  personal  goals  
aren’t being met, your financial goals will not be as compelling or 
meaningful. 

Education Planning

  One common goal for many of our clients is education planning 
for their students. January marks the beginning of the period of  
time  when  students  will  start  receiving  notifications  about  their  
college applications. 

If education planning is one of your goals, 

there are many factors to discuss—in-state vs. out-of-state; 
public vs. private;  4-year vs. 2-year vs. trade school; brick-and-
mortar vs. online. If your high school or college student has 
not yet taken a Kolbe assessment, this could be a useful tool 
for them as they are contemplating these decisions.
 The Kolbe 
assessment looks at how we each instinctually take action—it’s not 
a personality assessment. Lisa is a Certified Kolbe Consultant and 
is happy to interpret results for you or your children. 

Regarding 

education costs, the 529 Savings plans are still tax-advanta-
geous ways to save and pay for college costs.
 January is also  
the  time  to  start  thinking  about  filing  the  Free  Application  for  
Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form is used to determine the  
Expected  Family  Contribution  toward  college  expenses.  The  
formula  (for  students  who  are  tax  dependents  of  their  parents)  
is mostly driven by parental income but also factors in parental  
assets, student income and student assets. 

Lisa recently found 

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Planning Updates

          

by Kathy Frakes

The OWM Financial Planning 

Experience

If you are due for an update of your planning analysis 

work with us, you will begin to notice that we will be 

using a more collaborative, technology-supported 

approach. As always, 

it will be important to help us 

keep eMoney updated and to have a good handle 

on your expenses and future cash flow needs, to 

make the analysis as accurate as possible.

 

A new year brings with it the hope of possibilities.  

We look forward to journeying together with you 

as we discover what is to come! 

that when you declare your business value on it, it can  
dramatically impact the amount of aid for which your student 
qualifies.
 While you don’t have a choice in whether to declare  
the business value on the FAFSA or not, you can make an appeal 
to the financial aid office at the college(s) making the offer of aid.  

Tax Filing Preparation

  This time of year is also the time to start gathering tax  
documents for tax filing.
 Although the IRS will begin accepting  
tax returns on January 23rd, we highly encourage you to wait until  
mid-March when the investment 1099s should have all been  
received.  The  final  due  date  for  tax  filing  this  year  is  April  18th  
unless  you  file  for  an  extension.  We  expect  this  year  will  bring 
changes to the tax law and we are working to stay up with the  
latest from Capitol Hill. 

We’ll be working with you and your  

accountant to get your tax preparations done, looking for 
planning opportunities, staying vigilant in monitoring changes 
in the tax law as they relate to your individual situations and 
will send our annual Tax Preparation letter to help guide you 
with your filing.

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Investment Outlook

Investment Q4 Review

  The  final  quarter  of  2016  offered  several  large  developments.  

The election of Donald Trump and firm control of the Federal 

Government handed to the Republicans came as a surprise to 

many people. This led to a substantial rally in U.S. stocks and 

a downturn in bond markets. Major central banks made head-

lines, most notably with the Federal Reserve’s rate increase and 

three potential rate hikes in 2017. Many people had predicted 

two rate increases and were surprised to hear the Fed aiming for 

three after their last meeting in December. Further, the U.S. dollar 

has had a strong run in 2016 and many Wall Street analysts are still 

trying to make sense of how that will play out across the globe. Labor 

market conditions continued to improve as the unemployment rate 

dropped 0.3% to 4.6% in November. 

 

So what were the primary drivers behind our portfolios? An 

overweight  toward  financials  was  the  top  contributor  in  U.S. 

large-company equity performance this quarter. The equity 

portions of the portfolios were also boosted by deeper-value 

companies  that  benefited  from  Donald  Trump’s  pro-business 

campaign victory. Small value companies led all asset classes 

as  they  benefited  from  higher  interest  rates  and  energy  prices. 

Fixed-income  performance,  except  high-yield  (risky)  bonds  and 

emerging market bonds which performed well, brought the per-

formance of the portfolios slightly down. International equities and 

fixed income both struggled throughout 2016. 

When you receive 

your Q4 statements, you may notice your accounts did not 

seem to match the Dow or S&P indexes. That’s because SEI 

strategies are diversified beyond the 30 stocks in the Dow or 

the 500 large companies in the S&P 500

®

. We believe in deeply  

diversified  strategies  across  many  asset  classes.  Further,  we  

noticed that opposite of recent years, the non tax-managed 

 

strategies (often used on IRA accounts) performed better than the 

tax-managed strategies. This was a result of increased volatility  

early in the year and a broader selection of investments for the non 

tax-managed strategies. Overall the portfolios performed well this 

year and beat our expectations from the beginning of the year.  

 

Looking ahead, we are reminded of a quote by Vladimir  

Lenin. “There are decades where nothing happens, and there 

are weeks when decades happen.” After six years of political  

gridlock in Washington, it could feel like decades are about to  

happen in the next few months. Below I’ll outline some of the  

impacts SEI believes the new Administration could bring that  

could affect the economy.  

  One of the largest items on the new Administration’s list is tax 

reform. Currently at a top corporate rate of 35%, the U.S. is among 

the highest corporate tax rates in advanced nations. 

The Trump 

Administration has suggested they would like the top rate  

reduced to as little as 15%, bringing the U.S. to among the  

lowest corporate tax rates among developed nations. 

There is speculation a 15% tax rate may be hard to achieve  

2016 4th Quarter performance by Index:

Benchmark 

Q4  

Category

S&P 500 TR USD 

 +11.96% 

U.S. Large Cap Stocks

Russell 2000 TR USD 

 +21.31% 

U.S. Small Cap Stocks

MSCI EAFE NR USD 

 +1.00% 

International Stocks

Barclays US Agg. Bond TR USD 

 +2.65% 

Intermediate Term Bonds

by Jared Jones

given corporate tax lobbyists’ power to maintain beneficial tax  

loopholes for their clients. However, cutting the rate to even 20% 

and reforming the tax code would be a large improvement to the 

current corporate tax regime. Also, the Trump Administration has 

proposed a one-time “tax holiday,” in which corporate cash held 

abroad  would  be  subject  to  a  reduced  10%  tax  (down  from  the  

current  rate  of  35%).  The  holiday  is  meant  to  entice  international 

companies to bring some of their dollars held abroad back to the 

U.S. economy.  

  There has also been widely publicized talk of individual tax reform. 

Individual tax reform could be good for both the economy and your 

bottom line. Lower capital gains rates will mean greater take-home 

on investment sales.  

 

“Trumpanomics” is not without its problematic policies, most-

ly its focus on trade.  In  regards  to  NAFTA,  SEI  feels  pragmatism  

will  prevail.  They  cited  Texas’  economy—a  state  that  provided  36  

electoral votes to Trump—as a reason why NAFTA may stick around. 

Texas’ trade with Mexico accounted for 40% of all U.S. exports to  

Mexico in 2015. 

SEI’s main fear is a decline in relations with  

China. They feel the Treasury Department is moving closer to  

labeling China as a currency manipulator. A tit-for-tat trade  

war with China could lead to a downturn in global markets.  

President-elect Trump has also expressed a willingness to tear 

up the newly minted TPP. (As we go to press, he has just signed 

an  executive  order  to  this  effect.)  Doing  so  has  the  potential  

to  cause  damages  with  nations  around  the  Pacific  Rim  and 

opens the door for China to extend its economic and political 

influence in the region.  

  It’s important to note that a policy of increased spending with  

lower revenue may have effects that are not positive for the  

economy and markets in the long-run. It will be interesting to 

see how these policies are perceived by the markets once Trump  

takes office and we have actual action.   

  Finally,  as  stated  before,  the  Fed  raised  interest  rates  by  one- 

quarter  of  a  percent  in  December.  The  rise  bumped  the  Fed’s  

target overnight rate (the rate at which banks lend to each other) 

from  0.25%-0.50%  to  0.50%-0.75%.  The  Fed  also  increased  the  

number of rate hikes it expects in 2017 from two to three.  SEI feels 

that this is a reasonable guess. 

Overall, SEI does not anticipate a 

sharp rise in interest rates during the year ahead.  The strength 

of the dollar provides some braking to economic growth and 

should slow any further increase in inflation that may occur.  

As a result, we expect to see bond fund prices go down slightly, 

but as long as monthly income is being reinvested the impact 

should be muted.  

 

2017 provides for another year of market uncertainties for 

many reasons. As always, OWM will be keeping a watchful eye on 

the markets and any headlines we feel may be important to our  

clients’ portfolios. We will be reviewing all of our clients’ allocations  

formally during the first meeting of the year. However, if you have 

any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us in the interim.

4

  

Operations’ 

CORNER

by Andrew Mehari

Online Client Interfaces

Some  of  our  clients  recently  had  questions  as  to  how  the  financial  software  and  websites  we  use  pertain  to  their  financial  
information. In the table below, I will provide a simple breakdown of how our two main tools, SEI’s client website and eMoney’s 
client interface, contain all the information you will need.

CLIENT TOOL

PURPOSE

PASSWORD RESET

ADVISOR ACCESS?

eMoney 
wealth.emaplan.com/ema/ria/omegawealth

SEI Investments
accessmyportfolio.com

•  up-to-date account values,  
  holdings/positions in each  
  account, and asset allocations
•  access to the “vault” – can store  
  files for advisor to view or for  
 safekeeping
•  cashflow/budgeting  
  capability – must link your bank  
  and/or checking accounts to  
 enable 

You can reset your 
password anytime 
by clicking on  
“Forgot password” 
at login page  
(advisor can also 
do this for you)

Advisor has complete 
access to your client 
interface (can make 
changes as requested).

Some other important items to note when periodically logging into eMoney and SEI client websites:

•  Your SEI client user ID will expire after a year if you do not log in at least once a year
•  Your SEI login will prompt you to answer your security questions after 3 months of inactivity
•  Your eMoney password will expire after a year regardless how many times you log in that year – simply a security measure  
  that they take 

SEI Online Access

 – If you haven’t received an e-mail inviting you  

to signup for online access yet from SEI, or if the e-mail is hiding  
somewhere in your spam folder, 

you should take advantage of SEI’s 

online  client  interface.  Enter  the  following  URL  in  your  browser: 
www.accessmyportfolio.com.
 That should take you to the main page 
where below the “User ID” box, is the option to 

“Register for online 

access.” Clicking the link will register you for SEI online access, which 
allows you to view your account transactions, performance, state-
ments, tax documents, and more (as mentioned in the table above).

•  transaction details
•  account performance
•  copies of statements and tax  
  documents (ex: 1099)
•  realized gain-loss info
•  goal tracking

You will have to call 
SEI to reset your 
password: 1-800-
734-1003 ext. 0

Advisor has read-only 
access to your client 
interface.

 

 

  

5

Business Owners’ Corner 

 As we begin a new year for most businesses, 

we  

encourage you to take some time before the year 

gets away from you to do some strategic planning.  

Taking this time can be part of an intentional 

 

approach to guiding and leading your business even 

when you have a lot coming at you at the beginning of  

the year. One point that we wanted to mention to our  

business owner clients is that 

if  you  happen  to  be  filling  

out a FAFSA or CSS form for financial aid, keep in mind that 

when adding your business as an asset, it may especially  

have a negative impact on your student’s ability to get any  

aid.  While  you  must  disclose  all  assets,  it  may  require  a  

discussion with the Financial Aid office and further documen-

tation to support the impact that being a business owner  

really has on your financial situation.

 

A few other important points/questions for our  

business owner clients:

  • Do you have a clear sense of ALL the benefits business  

    ownership can offer?

  •  Do you have a succession plan? Are you clear on the kind  

    of business you have? (lifestyle or equity-based)

  • Are you saving as much as you can? What can you do  

    financially and strategically to increase that savings?

  As you come in or talk with us this year, let’s discuss these  

questions. If you don’t know, no worries, let’s get a plan to 

figure it out. Let us help you find resources and support to 

get the most out of your business and to help it integrate with 

your personal goals!

2017 Annual Contribution Limits Relating to Financial Planning

$18,000

$6,000

$5,500
$1,000

$62,000 - $72,000

$99,000 -  $119,000

$0 - $10,000

$186,000 - $196,000

$14,000

$1,300
$2,600

$6,550

$13,100

$3,400
$6,750
$1,000

Elective Deferrals to 401(k), 403(b), 457 and SARSEPS
Catch-up contribution (age 50 or older)

IRA or Roth IRA contribution limit
IRA or Roth IRA catch-up contribution (age 50 or older)
IRA deduction AGI phaseout limits for active participants
    Single
    Married filing jointly
    Married filing separately
    Non-active participant married to active participant

Annual Gift Tax Exclusion

Health Savings Account
    Minimum Deductible Amount:
         Single
         Family
    Maximum Out-of-Pocket Amount:
         Single
         Family
    HSA Statutory Contribution Maximum:
         Single
         Family
         Catch-up contributions (age 55 or older)

 

  If you caught our Fall newsletter, then you know that 

we have added a new team  

member: Kathy Frakes, CFP

®

, who joins us as an Associate Financial Advisor. (For 

more on Kathy, please check out her bio on our website.) Recently, 

we have divided up  

support duties between her and Jared Jones to balance out the work in preparing 
for and following up after meetings.
 In most cases, one or the other of them will sit in  
client meetings with me. As we prepare for our meeting with you, Jared or Kathy will be in 
touch to follow up on any outstanding homework that you have and to get updates that 
we may need to include in our meeting materials. 

Kathy will also be leading on our 

overall financial planning & tax planning/preparation process (Jared is the point  
person on investments). Andrew Mehari, our Operations Associate, continues to  
handle requests for money, transfers, new accounts, address changes and fee 
processing. 
Feel free to reach out to him directly for these requests, rather than going 
through me, Jared or Kathy. We work as a team, keep good records and communicate  

regularly with each other. As many of you know, Carol Martz, our Office Manager, handles appointment scheduling. Right  
now, she is reaching out to clients who had their last meeting in the late Summer/early Fall, to get their first 2017 meeting 
scheduled. 

If you need a meeting sooner than the cycle we are following, please reach out to Carol directly.

6

TEAM UPDATES

BOOKS & 

RESOURCES

DON’T 

FORGET

Important Dates and Reminders

Lisa’s NewsChannel 8 appearance on 

“7 Tips to Get Financially Fit 

in 2017”  
http://wjla.com/features/good-morning-washington/7-steps-to-get-
financially-fit-in-2017 

Need a new, simpler, cashflow management tool? Check out  
www.YNAB.com (You Need a Budget). We love the educational and 
motivational aspect of the tool and if you don’t need all the bells 
and whistles of a Mint.com, try YNAB.

Feb. 20th

   President’s Birthday Holiday (markets/OWM closed)

A book recommendation from Jared…
“The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds” by Michael Lewis
It’s a fascinating story about Nobel-prize winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman and psychologist Amos Tversky, 
their friendship and what they discovered about the human decision-making process. Their impact has been felt in 
behavioral economics, Big Data analysis and understanding the biases that we bring to investments and decisions 
in general.  Fascinating!

7

CONTACT US

Lisa A. K. Kirchenbauer, 

CFP

®

, RLP

®

, CeFT

TM

Certified Financial Transitionist

President and Founder

703-387-0919, ext. 500

FAX: 703-387-0918

Lisa@OmegaWealthManagement.com

 
• Strategic advice on planning/investments
• Business owner coaching and consulting
• Prospective new client inquiries

Jared Jones

Financial Planning Associate

703-387-0919, ext. 508

Jared@OmegaWealthManagement.com

 
• Support Client Service & meeting  
  preparation process
• Coordinate investment research &  
  analysis process

200 North Glebe Road, Suite 730, Arlington, VA 22203  
Phone (703) 387-0919   Fax 703-387-0918   

www.omegawealthmanagement.com

   

Office Manager
7 0 3 - 3 8 7 - 0 9 1 9 , 
ext. 501

Carol@OmegaWealthManagement.com

 
• Office management
• Greeting clients
• Appointment scheduling

Andrew Mehari

Operations Associate

703-387-0919, ext. 506

Andrew@OmegaWealthManagement.com

 
• Client Service Issues: cash needs,  
  transfers, new accounts 
• eMoney assistance
• Pay Simple fee payment support

Kathy Frakes, 

CFP

®

Associate Financial Advisor
703-387-0919, ext. 502

Kathy@OmegaWealthManagement.com

 
• Support Client Service & meeting  
  preparation process
• Coordinator for financial planning
• Prospective new client inquiries