Zaim Hajdari, President of The Hajdari Group, Recognized as Top Financial Adviser for Doctors

cnbc-logoNEW YORK, Nov. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Zaim Hajdari, a New York City-based wealth manager, has been named one of the “2012 Best Advisers for Doctors” according to industry publication Medical Economics. Only those meeting stringent standards in experience, educational background and noteworthy achievements made the list–Hajdari is one of only 10 in New York State so honored.

“Physicians are highly intelligent people,” Hajdari told the magazine. “But they need–and want–to devote their time and energy to keeping up with clinical advances and taking care of patients.” Hajdari makes it easy for them, working collaboratively with his physician clients’ attorneys and CPAs to help them achieve their financial and life goals, “If we can take that load off their shoulders, they’ll have more time for their family and patients.”

It’s a tough time for doctors, and Hajdari is glad he can be there for them. The Medical Economics article introducing the best advisers noted such problems as declining reimbursements and reams of regulations, as well as fallout from the Affordable Care Act. Meanwhile doctors may be paying off medical school loans and hoping they’ll be able to save a few dollars to put their own children through college.

To maneuver around these problems and help doctors maintain their fiscal health, advisers have to know about the economics of a medical practice and be familiar with the investing vehicles each client needs. They also have to be able to manage risk, to guide their clients between the dangers of trying to avoid risk altogether–sacrificing portfolio performance–and taking too much risk, possibly destroying their portfolios beyond repair.

“I get a lot of satisfaction working with doctors,” said Hajdari. “Just as they must be pleased to diagnose an illness and prescribe a course of treatment that brings a patient back to optimum health, I enjoy taking care of doctors’ financial health, putting my skills to work helping to make sure their hard-earned money is not wasted and saving them from worry.”

Indeed, Hajdari has long been committed to healthcare professionals: Earlier in 2012, Dental Practice Report honored him as one of the best financial advisers for dentists, based on credentials, educational background and experience.

About The Hajdari Group The Hajdari Group ( www.thehajdarigroup.com ) is an independent firm in New York City. President and founder Zaim Hajdari is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor with 18 years experience. Our advisors provide financial planning and investment management services to high-net-worth individuals and families. Other services include 401(k) rollover advice, retirement planning, college planning and estate planning. Hajdari is also the Branch Manager offering securities through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/ SIPC. Hajdari was formerly an investment manager with JPMorgan Chase where he oversaw over $3 billion in client assets.

Managing Wealth As You Age

• Barrons:

March 18, 2013, 12:00 P.M. ET
Managing Wealth As You Age
By Carrie Coolidge.

A study by Harvard University entitled The Age of Reason found that about half of the population in their eighties suffers from significant cognitive impairment, effectively rendering them incapable of making important financial decisions. Approximately one-fifth of people between 70 and 80 are likely to suffer from either cognitive impairment or dementia severe enough that it is medically diagnosable. The study further found that the ability to make effective financial decisions peaks during middle age, then declines substantially over time. As a result, older investors can become vulnerable to fraud or just seriously mismanage their wealth. So it is wise that high net worth investors implement a wealth management strategy while they still have agile minds.

There are three phenomena related to cognitive function and how it is impacted by aging, according to Gautam Mukunda of Harvard Business School. The first is the difference between crystallized and fluid intelligence. “Crystallized intelligence is what we use for routine tasks, and it actually increases into people’s sixties,” he explains. Fluid intelligence, on the other hand, is the ability to handle novel tasks. “Unfortunately, on average this starts to decrease when people are in their twenties,” Mukunda adds. “Because most tasks are routine, declines in fluid intelligence can often go undetected for prolonged periods.”

The second issue, and in some ways the most important, is a decline in metacognitive abilities— essentially a person’s ability to assess their own capabilities. “So as people age, their own assessments of their ability to keep performing at a high level can become less reliable,” says Mukunda, an associate professor in the Organizational Behavior Unit.

The third phenomenon is the impact on personality. “Contrary to the normal idea that people mellow with age, in fact what aging seems to do most often is exaggerate people’s personality traits, almost turning them into caricatures of themselves,” says Mukunda. “It is important to note, however, that all of these are just general tendencies. There will always be particular individuals who can maintain extraordinarily high functioning into their eighties or even their nineties, and any judgments you make always have to take that possibility into account.”

Still, even though there are exceptions to the rule, it is prudent to plan for the possibility of being mentally out of it. Investors should arrange their affairs so that someone they trust has a fiduciary duty—the requirement to put a client’s financial interest first and foremost—and the power to handle their finances should they become incapacitated, recommends John M. Olivieri, a partner in the Private Clients Interest Group at White & Case.

The simplest tool is the power of attorney, allowing someone else to act as the investor’s agent and make financial decisions. It can be made to be effective immediately, or it can come into play in the event the investor loses their critical faculties. “The latter type, known as a springing power because it springs into effect in the event of incapacity, can be more cumbersome to use, because the agent will have to prove that the investor is incapacitated before using it,” Olivieri warns.

It’s also wise to have one or more replacements lined up in the event that the original surrogate is unable to perform their duties. The estate and trust lawyer further recommends all investors consider putting in a durable power of attorney in place at an early age. “I am 44 and I have one,” he says. “Old age is not the only thing that leads to incapacity— one can be incapacitated by a car accident, for example.”

Another way to manage mental decline is through a revocable trust, which is basically a vehicle for holding title to assets. “As long as the investor is alive and competent, he or she can put assets in the trust, remove assets from the trust, and as the name implies, amend or revoke the trust,” says Olivieri. Typically, the investor is the sole beneficiary of his or her trust during his or her lifetime, but he can also be the sole trustee, which means he also retains full control over investing the trust’s assets.

But, should he start losing his ability to make wise decisions, the investor can hand over the management of his or her affairs to a trustee. “If this is done, the investor still retains ultimate control, because by exercising the power to amend or revoke, he can change the trustee at any point,” adds Olivieri. That should provide someone who is declining gradually a degree of comfort that they aren’t being totally sidelined from their own financial affairs.

The trouble arises if you don’t recognize that you are deteriorating, but have an inflated sense of your abilities. As with the power of attorney, you can write in a trust provision that allows a trustee to “spring in” if you can no longer make sound calls.

Again, it’s a good idea to line up one or two alternative trustees, in the event that the original trustee is unable to perform his or her duties. Also note that the successor trustee will only have power over those assets that the investor has actually transferred to the trust prior to becoming incapacitated. A power of attorney can authorize an agent to add assets to a pre-existing revocable trust. So it’s always smart to have both a revocable trust and a power of attorney in place, says Olivieri.

Making someone else a co-owner of his or her investment account, in lieu of the above, “creates many traps for the unwary,” warns Olivieri. “There are both tax and non-tax problems with making someone a co-owner.” Consider this option only after a competent tax advisor has explained the tax implications.

While a financial adviser should be consulted, “he or she should not act as agent or as trustee of a revocable trust in the case of incapacity,” says Olivieri. “Someone who is more aware of the investor’s personal needs, such as nursing care, household expenses, etc., is in a better position to manage the investor’s finances. That person, in turn, can hire an advisor to assist with asset management.”

IRAs present special difficulties. All other assets can be transferred to a revocable trust, so the trustee can manage them; IRAs cannot be transferred to anyone or any entity. Olivieri says that “a power of attorney is the only way to arrange for someone else to manage an investor’s IRA.”

Incapacity is also, it turns out, not the only reason to have a revocable trust. “They also save on the time and expense associated with probate at death, and can provide privacy,” says Olivieri.

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The Hajdari Group’s Zaim Hajdari Selected to Join Crain’s New York’s Influential Business Finance Advisory Panel

The Hajdari Group’s Zaim Hajdari Selected to Join Crain’s New York’s Influential Business Finance Advisory Panel

Raymond James to Buy Morgan Keegan

 

Raymond James Clients:

As you may have heard, Raymond James plans to combine its business with Morgan Keegan & Company, Inc., a well-respected regional competitor with a strong private client business, one of the industry’s top fixed income groups, and a significant equity capital markets division. Headquartered in Memphis with 57 full-service offices in 20 states, the company has 3,100 employees and more than 1,200 total financial advisors.

While additions of this size are a departure from our focus on organic growth supplemented by individual hires and small acquisitions, it is not a departure from our overall strategy. Throughout our history, Raymond James has used strategic mergers to grow, but only when the timing and pricing are right and, most importantly, when there is a strong cultural fit that we believe will benefit clients.

The opportunity to expand with Morgan Keegan’s complementary businesses and similar values system was unique and we are excited to welcome these new members to the Raymond James family.

While there are many details yet to be determined, our first priority will be to maintain the strong client-service reputation that has differentiated Raymond James for the past 50 years – a focus that is a key element of Morgan Keegan’s history as well. I am confident the combination of our firms will provide greater economies of scale, giving us even better ability to support you.

As we move into the future, we are committed to being the premier alternative to Wall Street, providing resources on par with our largest competitors within an environment where client service and conservative management principles are at the forefront.

We look forward to being an even stronger firm and continuing to provide the kind of service you’ve come to expect from Raymond James.

Sincerely –

Paul C. Reilly
CEO, Raymond James Financial

Thomas A. James
Executive Chairman, Raymond James Financial

The 25 Documents You Need Before You Die

It isn’t enough simply to sign a bunch of papers establishing an estate plan and other end-of-life instructions. You also have to make your heirs aware of them and leave the documents where they can find them.

Consider: At least 10 states have been investigating whether some of the country’s largest insurers are failing to pay out unclaimed life policies to beneficiaries. California and Florida have held public hearings on the issue in recent weeks.

Tim Goldman

Insurers say they are behaving lawfully. Under policy contracts, they aren’t required to take steps to determine if a policyholder is still alive, but instead pay a claim when beneficiaries come forward.

You can avoid such problems by securing important documents and telling your family where they are stored.

Jean Parr is grateful that her mother obsessed about the subject. “I really didn’t want to think about it,” says Ms. Parr, 54 years old, a manager at the American Chemical Society in Washington. But when her mom died in 2005, she knew exactly where to look for the will, the key to a safe-deposit box and documents indicating her mother had paid and arranged for her own funeral.

The financial consequences of failing to keep your documents in order can be significant. According to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, state treasurers currently hold $32.9 billion in unclaimed bank accounts and other assets. (You can search for unclaimed assets at MissingMoney.com.)

Most experts recommend creating a comprehensive folder of documents that family members can access in case of an emergency, so they aren’t left scrambling to find and organize a hodgepodge of disparate bank accounts, insurance policies and brokerage accounts.

You can store the documents with your attorney, lock them away in a safe-deposit box or keep them at home in a fireproof safe that someone else knows the combination to.

That isn’t to say you should keep everything. Sometimes people hold onto so many papers that loved ones can’t find the important ones easily.

Tim Goldman

In 2008, Jane Bissler, a counselor in Kent, Ohio, approached her then-87-year-old mother about organizing her documents. Because her mom was a widow with relatively simple finances and two homes, Ms. Bissler, 57, says she figured it would be a relatively simple task.

Instead, it took an entire year for Ms. Bissler and her mother to go through all of her papers, which included documents from eight bank accounts, utility bills from the 1950s and reams of canceled checks.

The two of them pared down the stash from four four-drawer filing cabinets to one two-drawer cabinet, shredding anything extraneous. Ms. Bissler and her mother visited banks and brokerages to ensure she was listed on all of her mother’s accounts. Her mother died in May 2009.

“It would have been a total nightmare if we hadn’t gone through it all with her,” Ms. Bissler says. “It was that Depression-era stuff where you keep everything and hide other things.” Ms. Bissler estimates that having the documents organized ahead of time spared them from ordering an additional 15 copies of the death certificate and “years” of time.

Here is a rundown of the most important documents you’ll need to have signed, sealed and delivered. You should start collecting these as soon as possible and update them every few years to reflect changes in assets and preferences. Some—such as copies of tax returns or recent child-support payments—need to be updated more often than others.

The Essentials

An original will is the most important document to keep on file.

A will allows you to dictate who inherits your assets and, if your children are underage, their guardians. Dying without a will means losing control of how your assets are distributed. Instead, state law will determine what happens.

Wills are subject to probate—legal proceedings that take inventory, make appraisals of property, settle outstanding debt and distribute remaining assets. Not having an original document means this already-onerous process could be much more of an ordeal, since family members can challenge a copy of a will in court.

Rick Law, founder of estate-planning firm Law ElderLaw LLP in Aurora, Ill., says estate planners increasingly recommend revocable trusts in addition to wills, since they are more private and harder to dispute. “Every will is like a compass that points toward the closest courthouse,” he says.

A revocable living trust can be changed anytime during your lifetime. After you transfer ownership of various assets to the trust, you can serve as the trustee on behalf of beneficiaries you designate. Provided you do so, there aren’t any ongoing fees.

If your family can’t find the original trust documents, you are “basically setting your estate up for litigation,” says Duncan Moseley, vice president of Sanders Financial Management in Atlanta.

A “letter of instruction” can be a useful supplement to a will, though it doesn’t hold legal weight. It is a good way to make sure your executor has the names and contact information of your attorneys, accountants and financial advisers. While the will should be stored with your attorney or in a courthouse, the letter of instruction should be more readily accessible, particularly if it contains instructions on funeral arrangements.

Also, make sure your heirs have access to a durable financial power-of-attorney form. Without it, no one can make financial decisions on your behalf in the event that you are incapacitated.

Proof of Ownership

You should keep documentation of housing and land ownership, cemetery plots, vehicles, stock certificates and savings bonds; any partnership or corporate operating agreements; and a list of brokerage and escrow mortgage accounts.

If you don’t tell your family that you own such assets, there is a chance they never will find out. Mr. Moseley says in such an event, clients must perform their own detective work, watching the mail for real-estate tax bills or combing bank accounts for interest payments, for example.

File any documents that list loans you have made to others, since they could be included as assets in an estate. Similarly, keep a list of any debts you owe to avoid surprising your family. Wills and living trusts generally are drafted to include provisions for how debts should be settled, and creditors have a stipulated period of time in which to file a claim against the estate.

Make the most recent three years of tax returns available, too. “Looking at last year’s returns offers a snapshot of what assets we should be looking for this year,” says Lesley Moss Mamdouhi, a principal at estate-law firm Oram & Moss in Chevy Chase, Md. This also will help your personal representative file a final income-tax and estate return and, if necessary, a revocable-trust return.

Bank Accounts

Mr. Law recommends sharing a list of all accounts and online log-in information with your family so they can notify the bank of your death. “If nobody ever takes any more out or puts money in, it becomes a dormant account and then becomes the property of the state,” he says.

Be sure to list any safe-deposit boxes you own, register your spouse or child’s name with the bank and ask them to sign the registration document so they can have access without securing a court order.

Health-Care Confidential

Possibly the most important health-care document to fill out in advance is a durable health-care power-of-attorney form. This allows your designee to make health-care decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated. The document should be compliant with federal health-information privacy laws, so that doctors, hospitals and insurance companies can speak with your designee. You may also need to fill out an Authorization to Release Protected Healthcare Information form.

If you are incapacitated and your family can’t locate a health-care power of attorney, they will have to go to court to get a guardian appointed.

Porter Storey, executive vice president of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine in Glenview, Ill., says it isn’t enough to establish a health-care power of attorney unless you have explained to your designee how you would like to be treated in case of incapacity. He also recommends writing a living will detailing your wishes.

After Diane Dimond’s mother had a series of strokes in 2006, Ms. Dimond knew there was a signed living will tucked away in a safe at home. Ms. Dimond, 58 and living in New York, recalls the Sunday she watched her mother in a coma and was able to fulfill her wishes never to be kept on external life support. “It was gut-wrenching,” she says, “but I took the physician aside and said, ‘I want to take her home.'” Having her mother’s living will enabled Ms. Dimond to do just that.

The living will and the power of attorney constitute what are called “advance directives”; some states consolidate these into a single form. (AARP offers a state-by-state listing of advance-directive forms on its website.) Terminally ill patients may wish to have their doctors sign a do-not-resuscitate order.

Certain companies, such as Advance Choice Inc.’s DocuBank, will keep copies of health-care documents for a fee. Subscribers get a wallet-sized card and, in case of an emergency, a hospital will call DocuBank, which will fax over the information.

Life Insurance and Retirement Accounts

Copies of life-insurance policies are among the most important documents for your family to have. Family members need to know the name of the carrier, the policy number and the agent associated with the policy.

Be especially careful with life-insurance policies granted by an employer upon your retirement, since those are the kind that financial planners most often miss, says David Peterson, CEO of Denver-based Peak Capital Investment Services. New York state alone is holding more than $400 million in life-insurance-related payments that have gone unclaimed since 2000, according to the state comptroller’s office.

Estate planners also recommend that you draw up a list of pensions, annuities, individual retirement accounts and 401(k)s for your spouse and children.

An IRA is considered dormant or unclaimed if no withdrawal has been made by age 70½. According to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, tens of millions of dollars languish in unclaimed IRAs every year.

If your heirs don’t know about these accounts, they won’t be able to lay claim to them, and the money could languish. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that each year tens of thousands of workers fail to claim or roll over $850 million in 401(k) assets. You can track unclaimed pensions, 401(k)s and IRAs at Unclaimed.com.

Marriage and Divorce

Ensure your spouse knows where you have stored your marriage license. Mary Cay Corr, now 74 and living in Raleigh-Durham, N.C., couldn’t locate hers when her husband died. “I had to write to New York, where we got married, and pay for a new marriage license to prove that I had been married to my husband before I could claim anything,” she says.

For divorced people, it is important to leave behind the divorce judgment and decree or, if the case was settled without going to court, the stipulation agreement, says Linda Lea Viken, president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers in Chicago. These documents lay out child support, alimony and property settlements, and also may list the division of investment and retirement accounts.

Include the distribution sheet listing bank-account numbers that accompanied the settlement to avoid disputes about ownership or payments due. Also include a copy of the most recent child-support payment order. In the majority of states, the obligation to pay child support still exists after death.

Ms. Viken also recommends filing copies of any life-insurance papers. In many states if you have a policy that benefits your children, it can be set off against the ongoing child support.

You also should include a copy of the “qualified domestic-relations order,” which can prove your spouse received a share of your retirement accounts.

—Mary Pilon contributed to this article

 WSJ
 7-2-2011