Updated: Sep 12, 2020
On Thursday, January 23, 2020, ProDev and Young Professionals of Seattle hosted an "Adulting is Hard" panel discussion and networking event held on the 75th floor of the Columbia Tower Club. Guests were treated to a night of finger foods, discussions about finance, real estate, and accounting, and complimentary cocktails courtesy of Flyhomes.
With stunning views of the city, ticket holders were privy to a delightful mix of socializing, snacking, and learning from three esteemed guest speakers including: Nada Muljadi, Senior Manager and CPA at KPMG, Nathan Donohue, a Wealth Management Advisor at Northwestern Mutual, and Tushar Garg, the CEO and Co-Founder of Flyhomes.
Our very own Jamie Shindle of YPGroup, hosted the panelist and asked the speakers a series of questions which ranged from the more silly (“Can I go to jail if I mess up my taxes?”) to the decidedly serious (“How much do I need for a down payment for a house?”).
Here is a brief recap of just some of the questions asked and answered by our moderator and panelists.
JS: Can I go to jail if I mess up my taxes?
Nadia Muljadi was quick to answer: “Fortunately, a lot of things have to happen before that…” and explained that the IRS will never call or email you, and if they do, then that’s a scam.
Sigh of relief.
Ms. Muljadi went on to say that, “There has to be an element of fraud,” for jail time to occur and, smiling knowingly at the audience, “It’s really not nice to get letters from the IRS.”
JS: What’s the difference between a wealth manager and a financial advisor?
Nathan Donohue: “In short… nothing.” But he advised the audience to do their research and look for things like whether or not they have a CFP and, most importantly: “Do you trust this person? It’s okay to ask questions; it’s your money.”
JS: What is one thing you wish you knew about your industry when you became an “adult”?
Tushar Garg: “Start out learning about [your industry] first.”
Ms. Muljadi followed this by saying, “Technology has made such a big impact… I’d study a little about accounting.”
JS: What are your thoughts on the booming economy? Should we be wary of another major dip?
Mr. Donohue answered that it’s all about “timing”. “Buy. Hold. And just ignore the market.” He went on to give an anecdote about Warren Buffett buying his first stock at eleven years old.
JS: Is there a threshold for how much you should make before it’s reasonable to hire someone?
Ms. Muljadi answered, “It really depends on what you’re able to do… finding accountants that are making sense, that the fee is reasonable, and usually a lot of local accountants can do that.”
Mr. Donohue: “It totally depends on what you’re hoping to get out of your engagement with your advisor and what you’re paying them. It’s also important to understand how they and their firm get paid. Are they charging you a flat fee… are they earning a commission? You can also just hire an advisor for their time. I would just follow the money: how are they getting paid and what services are they providing?”
Mr. Garg: “I’ve often questioned—with the role of technology—what is the purpose of an advisor? I think it really comes down to accountability. Such as joining companies who will match your 401k and things like that… you can always go and have one, two, or three meetings and get to know the people and understand what fits your bill…”