Taking Advantage of 401K and 403B Retirement Plans



Career Paths for Financial Advisors

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Financial Advisors
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A senior financial consultant and former business development specialist for brokerage firm TD Ameritrade, Edward Marsi began his career in sales and restaurant management. Edward (Ed) Marsi entered the financial planning sector as an education counselor for TD Ameritrade Investools, eventually earning the experience and credentials to secure his current position.

The demand for qualified financial planners is expected to rise 27 percent over the next five years. Jobs in the sector are generally well paid and offer opportunities for advancement into managerial, supervisory, and executive positions.

Entry-level jobs require at least a four-year degree, most commonly in finance, accounting, or business. Many in the field also obtain certifications such as the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) or licenses regulated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Others may specialize in certain types of investments or services.

It is common for financial planners to start in junior or supportive roles while at university to gain the experience needed to sit the certification and licensing exams. Credentialed planners may work for a large firm or manage their own clientele.

Setting Financial Goals That Are Realistic


Edward Marsi

Edward Marsi

For more than five years, Edward Marsi has been working in the finance industry as an advisor. A senior financial consultant at TD Ameritrade, he assists clients as they work toward financial goals. With Edward Marsi’s help, individuals become more capable of looking at their retirement and financial plans to determine whether they are realistic.

When you set financial goals, your intention is to always meet them, however some unrealistic goals are destined to end in failure no matter what you try. To make sure your goals are realistic, take some time to determine how much control you have over each one. For example, setting the goal of getting a raise isn’t only dependent on what you do, it’s also dependent on your boss. Having goals that aren’t entirely in your control are risky and may not pan out.

On top of that, you want to set financial goals that you can comfortably meet given your current financial situation. Be honest about how much money you expect to make in the upcoming year, then figure out what goals you want to set. If you want to save, choose an amount that is realistic for your income.

You won’t make the goal of saving $30,000 if you only make $35,000 that year. Depending on your income, you may need to divide large goals into several short-term goals or simply delay the end date of your goal.

Finally, think about how motivated you are to accomplish the goal you set. Don’t set goals just because you know you should. Instead, set goals that you’re motivated to meet. This makes it easier for you to continue working toward your goal over time and allows you to set a specific date by which you want to meet your goal.

Leveraging IRAs and 401(k)s in Retirement Planning


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Retirement Planning
Image: investopedia.com

Edward “Ed” Marsi is a longtime New Hampshire financial professional who holds an executive position at TD Ameritrade. One of the core areas of focus for many of the clients Edward Marsi serves centers on a sustainable retirement.

For the many Millennials reaching an age where purchasing homes and starting families is becoming a reality, there are a number of ways of ensuring sufficient savings amid the myriad financial outlays life presents.

The two most common retirement accounts are IRAs and 401(k)s. The latter of these is employer sponsored and provides tax-deferred compensation; with annual contributions capped at $18,000, it is the employer who is responsible for selecting where the invested funds go. By contrast, IRAs offer tax-deferred advantages that are not provided through the employer and have a much smaller cap, of $5,500 a year.

One key retirement planning consideration is that these accounts should not simply be cashed out when changing employers. Doing so can bring about a 10-percent penalty, on top of the taxes assessed, for those who are not 59½ or older. Conversely, for those who have entered the retirement age, it is important to realize that at 70½, a withdrawal mandate for an annual required minimum distribution becomes a factor as well.

What Topics Does the Series 63 Exam Cover?


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Series 63
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Edward Marsi, a senior financial consultant in New Hampshire, helps clients understand their retirement picture and investment strategies and create new financial plans when needed. To assist him with this, Edward “Ed” Marsi relies on more than five years of financial experience and a FINRA Series 63 license.

Also known as the Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination, the Series 63 exam consists of 65 multiple-choice questions, 60 of which are used to calculate a final score. To pass, test takers need to get at least 43 questions correct in the 75 minutes they are given for the exam.

One-quarter of the exam contains questions about ethical practices and obligations. This amounts to about 15 questions that revolve around such topics as compensation, conflicts of interest, and customer funds and securities. To ensure they are prepared for these questions, professionals should have a strong understanding of such topics as commissions, excessive trading, and trading authorization.

After that, the largest section of the test relates to communication with prospects and customers. This includes such topics as customer agreements and disclosures. Regulation of agents of broker-dealers and regulation of broker-dealers are the next largest sections, accounting for 15 percent of the exam each. Within these sections, professionals can expect questions about the definition of a broker-dealer and of an agent of a broker-dealer, as well as about registration.

The remaining parts of the exam focus on remedies and administrative provisions, regulation of investment advisors and representatives, and regulation of issuers. These sections also include questions relating to the definition of investment advisers and representatives, along with others about topics like exemptions and state anti-fraud authorities.

About the Series 63 Exam

Series 63 pic

Series 63
Image: investopedia.com

Since 2014, Edward “Ed” Marsi has served as a senior financial consultant with TD Ameritrade in Manchester, New Hampshire. In addition to actively pursuing his chartered retirement planning counselor (CRPC) certification, Edward Marsi holds Series 7 and Series 63 licenses.

Administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the Series 63 license is required for individuals who wish to sell securities in most states. The licensing test covers important topics, such as state and federal securities regulations and industry-standard principles of ethics.

The exam consists of 60 questions, which the test taker has 75 minutes to complete. To pass the exam, examinees must correctly answer 43 of the 60 questions. Though test takers are not allowed to bring in reference material or outside assistance of any form, test proctors do provide a calculator, whiteboard, and dry-erase markers for individuals to use while taking the test. As of 2018, the fee for the Series 63 exam was $135.

Examinees who pass the test receive the Series 63 license. However, most states require registered securities dealers to also hold a Series 7 license. To learn more about the exam and its requirements, please visit www.finra.org/industry/series63.

New Hampshire State Bill Would Cut Real Estate Tax


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Real Estate Tax
Image: nhbr.com

As a senior financial consultant with TD Ameritrade in Manchester, New Hampshire, Edward “Ed” Marsi advises clients about retirement planning options. Outside of his interests in financial and retirement planning, Edward Marsi follows the real estate industry in New Hampshire and elsewhere.

Faced with an aging demographic and declining population growth rates, the New Hampshire state government has sought ways to draw younger professionals and families to the state. One possibility that has been discussed is to cut the real estate transfer tax for first-time homebuyers. Currently, the tax stands at 75 cents for every $100 of property value, a rate that some critics argue discourages people from settling in New Hampshire.

To remedy this, lawmakers drew up Senate Bill 301, which proposes to cut the real estate transfer tax by a third for homebuyers purchasing their first homes for a price of less than $300,000. Proponents argue that the new rate of 50 cents per $100 would draw more young families.

Though the bill passed the State Senate easily, in April of 2018 the House Ways and Means Committee determined the proposed law needed additional consideration. Some members raised concerns that the bill wasn’t clear enough in its definition of “first-time homebuyer,” while others argued that many first-time homeowners are unaware that the real estate transfer tax exists at all. As a result, analysts suggest that the odds of the bill passing in its current form are not high.