Thoughts, ideas, suggestions and education from financial adviser Jim Ludwick, Founder of MainStreet Financial Planning, Inc. of Odenton, MD; Washington, DC; New York City, and Santa Barbara, CA

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Monday, January 11, 2010

As I write this blog I’m somewhere over the Midwest at 35,000 feet. Flying gives me a chance to read and think. That’s what I’ve been doing. “The Only Way to Fly” (Western Airlines, where are you?)

It’s a new year. and in our business we have to update our disclosures, pay fees to various governments, adjust our websites, our letters, our forms, and basically look at exactly how we deliver our services to clients and explain how we do this to prospective clients.

Our mission statement from day one (Sept. 27, 2002) has been: “We empower our clients to make good financial decisions”. That is the value proposition that Anna and I strive to deliver in every engagement and client interaction.

So this year, as in most years, we are evolving as our clients and prospective clients express the need for variations of the services we provide. In the past, we broke down our follow-on services to continuous, annual, periodic and hourly. Because of demand, we’ve added semi-annually, re-balance only, and emergency (I would rather call it urgency, but that’s another issue). This month we’re planning to specifically add “Any Friday Email Q&A”, “Webinars (Google it) on client requested or Our Choice Topics” and “Home Organization Visits”. Also, we’re using Skype more often to stay in touch.

I know that sounds like a lot, but Anna and I have been offering these “new” services on an ad-hoc basis for the past couple of years. We sometimes forget to tell folks what we can do, even though we say we deliver both comprehensive and a la carte financial planning services. The best way to do that is update our website and add these, along with prices or price ranges, to the “Services” section of our website. We have always prided ourselves on a “no surprises” Golden Rule philosophy which is why we have so much detailed information on our websites.

Did you just notice I said websites? This week, our mobile smart phone sensing website has gone live thanks to our webmaster Justin at Scheef Designs (also a client – full disclosure). This blog got a Justin makeover as you can see.

So now 2010 is in full swing. Stay tuned to us on Twitter and our personal finance reading alert service delivered via tweets. Ask any teenager how you can follow us at “jfludwick”. Still avoiding Twitter? Then look for our monthly summary of articles, websites, tool, and ideas summary sent to you via email. Many of you have had friends and co-workers contact us for this free email service. Please continue to recommend us and thank you. By the way, there is a link to click on and register at the top right corner on every page of our main website. No cost or obligation, and no other contact unless requested.

Both Anna and I are glad 2009 is over. We are looking ahead. Lots of challenges and opportunities for you, and us. Stay in touch.


PS: Dial 740-LUDWICK and find me anywhere in the world. That’s my Google Voice provided phone number. I tried to get 410, 443, 202 or 805 LUDWICK, but younger and smarter sons and relatives beat me to it.

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