September 2000 Newsletter

Silver Oak's Fall Lineup

With the help and support of many people (especially my wonderful staff and colleagues at Silver Oak), I was able to take a 5 week sabbatical from the office this summer. My wish for all of you is that you can do the same sometime soon! I took two trips out of town, but spent most of the time at home ... doing projects around the house, visiting with friends and family, getting caught up on paperwork and correspondence. It was great!

In order to "keep the sabbatical going," we are doing some reorganizing at Silver Oak. Mary Christensen has left the firm after almost 10 years, and will continue her planning work at Capital Management Co. in Johns Landing. We wish her all the best.

Joining our firm this month is Peter L. Samson, CFP. Peter brings a background of business management, education, finance and science to Silver Oak. He wants to assist clients to obtain their lifetime financial and personal goals through values-based financial planning (more on this in the next newsletter). Peter is an effective communicator both verbally and in writing — and in Spanish. He received a Masters in Geological Science from Princeton University and a B.S. from Haverford College in Pennsylvania. Before joining Silver Oak, Peter worked with a firm in Denver to provide financial planning and tax consulting services for multinational clients living in Mexico. Prior to that, he worked for OMSI, his last position being Director of Special Projects to the President.

Steve Hewitt, JD, CFP® celebrates the end of his fourth year at Silver Oak and will continue to provide planning and investment advisory services for clients of the firm. Our able staff remains the same. Paul Braghero, completing six years with Silver Oak, is in charge of day to day investment operations and Schwab-related matters. (By the way, our best wishes and congratulations go to Paul and his new wife Sacha Rhodes Braghero, who were married on August 12, 2000.) Betsy Blank, an employee since February 1996, is our office manager, production coordinator, client liaison, and my personal assistant for scheduling appointments. She is assisted on a part- time basis by Melissa Uglesich.

In the California office, Guerdon Ely, MBA, CFP® continues to provide financial consulting and portfolio management services to clients. Also a software designer, Guerdon has most recently designed a program to assist professionals who advise clients on retirement plan distributions. It's a fabulous tool; preview it at

Each of the planners at Silver Oak will attempt to limit their number of ongoing advisory clients. We hope that this will ensure that each of our clients receives the attention and time they need. Although we all have a desire to "help everyone in everything," we also want to maintain a balance between work and our personal lives, admitting that there are only so many hours in a day...

We have also entered into a strategic alliance with a money management firm in town, Sigma Investment Management Company, to provide portfolio advisory services to new Silver Oak clients. This will free up more of our time to continue providing comprehensive financial planning services on a fee-only basis to individuals, the demand for which has increased significantly in recent years.

On the planning side, I will be accepting fewer new clients, concentrating on the more complex cases. Other clients will be assigned to Steve or Peter as the primary contact. Rest assured that we will strive to ensure that all clients will continue to receive the same top quality and professional service that you have appreciated in the past.

The sabbatical idea was prompted by a reading by my yoga teacher, Julie Lawrence, of an excerpt by Thomas Merton:

"There is a pervasive form of contemporary violence...[and that is] activism and overwork. The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to want to help everyone in everything, is to succumb to violence. The frenzy of our activism ... destroys our own inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of our own work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful."

The quote can be found in the book, Remembering the Sabbath: Restoring the Sacred Rhythm of Rest by Wayne Muller.

I am planning to take a similar length break from the office every year from now on! ---- Deborah

Investment Education

Our last "Investment Boot Camp" presentation of this year will be on Friday, October 13th, from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm, and includes lunch. Call or e-mail Betsy if you want to attend this program.

We will be setting presentation dates for the year 2001 in the next newsletter.

Silver Oak Speaks

Deborah has a busy speaking schedule this fall, including:

IRA Reminders

Contributions: Remember that you can make your annual contributions to your IRA and Roth- IRA accounts at any time, and the earlier the better. If you have not yet funded your accounts for the year 2000, consider doing it now.

Mandatory Withdrawals: For those people over age 70, be sure you have taken your required minimum distribution from your IRA or other qualified retirement plan before December 31. If you need assistance in calculating that number, be sure to call.

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