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North Bay Business Journal

Monday, April 14, 2014, 6:25 am

Finance: RCU names wealth management director

Also: Hennessy appoints mortgage veteran to board

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    Tom Hubert became wealth management program director for Redwood Credit Union in March, overseeing a division managing approximately $385 million in assets across 6,000 households. He most recently served as regional program manager for CUSO Financial Services, with a 15-year career including roles at JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup and Edward Jones.

    Launched in 2001, the investment services department has seen accelerated growth as members sought alternative investments in the continued low-interest-rate environment of recent years. Assets under management grew 22 percent in 2013, according to the credit union’s year-end announcement of financial condition.

    Tom Hubert

    Tom Hubert

    Mr. Hubert shared his thoughts on his new role at the $2.3 billion-asset credit union with the North Bay Business Journal.

    Financial literacy education is a huge priority for Redwood Credit Union. How does that philosophy manifest in the world of wealth management?

    A: Financial literacy is extremely important when it comes to wealth management, investments, and financial planning in general. This is true for all ages, whether you are just beginning to save, entering retirement soon or already there. Many topics can be complicated so we want to get as much information out to the community and our membership as possible. RCU offers educational workshops & seminars, periodic newsletters and online tools in addition to one-on-one consultation. For example, we held four successful events on the topic of Social Security last year and have several more events planned for this year.

    How would you summarize the current economic landscape for investors?

    A: The current landscape has many “moving parts” making it very complicated. Regulations, an ever-changing economic environment and a plethora of information available can be confusing to the consumer. This makes the need for professional advice even more important. The key is working with an adviser who is committed to helping you create a plan reach your goals, and reviewing it regularly.

    What mistakes do you see individual investors making in the current economic environment?

    A: The biggest mistakes are not having a plan for retirement, not taking immediate action regarding financial decisions, and letting emotion play too big a part in financial decision making. Delaying decisions about money or investments causes people to lose a valuable resource, time, which can’t be replaced . Your finances can affect both you and your family’s well-being which can trigger strong emotions, sometimes leading to decisions in the short term which might not be in your best interests in the long term. Workplace pension plans have greatly decreased over time leaving more of the responsibility with the individual, so partnering with a trusted professional is key.

    What is your perspective on the role of wealth management today?

    A: As financial advisers, our duty is to educate those we work with in an ongoing capacity and truly work to help people meet their unique goals. We seek to understand how someone needs their money to work for them now and how they see themselves in the future so we can help them be prepared. The retirement plans that previous generations utilized have changed and even ceased to exist so it’s important to be proactive with an investment plan.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A: Redwood Credit Union is offers a team of fully licensed, experienced financial advisers that offer many types of investments and planning tools for individuals or businesses through CFS at Redwood Credit Union. Please let us know what your needs are and we are happy to help.

    ***

    Novato’s Hennessy Advisors, Inc. (OTCBB: HNNA) announced the appointment of long-term mortgage professional Susan Weber Pomilia to the firm’s board of directors.

    Ms. Pomilia, a resident of San Rafael, has worked 27 years in the mortgage business and currently serves as a managing partner of RPM Mortgage. She joined that firm in 2007, and has helped it expand to Mill Valley, Napa, San Rafael and Benicia.

    She joins as the fifth independent director on a board of nine. Neil Hennessy, chairman of the board and founder of the firm, serves with Teresa Nilsen, Daniel Steadman and Brian Hennessy as non-independent members. Dan Libarle, Thomas Seavey, Henry Hansel and Rodger Offenbach serve with Ms. Pomilia as independent members.

    Hennessy Advisors most recently announced $4.3 billion in average assets under management at the end of its first fiscal quarter on Dec. 31, 2013.

    ***

    The office of California State Controller John Chiang has released a new website (TrackProp30.ca.gov) allowing taxpayers to track every dollar raised by Proposition 30, a temporary tax increase approved by voters in November 2012. It is among the latest efforts by the office to provide greater transparency in government spending, following ongoing expansion of a Web-based platform for researching public employee compensation.

    The measure raises income tax for seven years on taxpayers with income of $250,000 or more as well as a quarter-cent boost in sales tax, and is expected to generation about $6 billion annually to support California’s K-12 public schools and community colleges.

    Visitors to TrackProp30.ca.gov can see how much each district, school or community college receives from the tax, as well as view metrics depicting the public health of those entities.

    ***

    Send items for this column to eric.gneckow@busjrnl.com or call 707-521-4259.

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