Monthly Archives: May 2014

Dave Morgan, Compass Capital Trusted Financial Advisor

When Dave Morgan first joined Compass Capital, it was as an intern, earning credits towards his CFP (Certified Financial Planner) designation.

Dave Morgan

Dave Morgan

It’s not every investment advisory firm that also has a pharmacist on staff, but Compass does!

I was curious what made Dave give up a successful career as a pharmacist and pharmacy owner and go back to school to become a CFP.  Dave said:

My interest in financial planning was a result of having received bad advice from various sources over the years. I was fortunate to be able to intern at Compass Capital (6,000 hours as required for certification; only 1,000 hours are required to become a pharmacist!) and then to remain on as a Certified Financial Planner. The number one consideration in choosing a financial planner is trust and Tim Shanahan earns the designation of “trusted financial advisor” . Most of my clients are healthcare professionals and I am able to guide them through the vast choices they have with their money and help them choose what is best for them.  I have learned what NOT to do when it comes to finance, and that the most important thing you can do is find an advisor you trust.

Dave grew up in Hyde Park, one of eight children (2 brothers and 5 sisters).

He went to BC High and was a member of the Glee Club. Dave graduated from U Mass Amherst with a degree in Zoology in 1978. Of his degree Dave quipped, “The market was weak on zoos for sale so I enrolled at Mass College of Pharmacy which had better job prospects.”

Following graduation Dave went to work at Paul’s Home Pharmacy in Hyde Park. He purchased the store in 1980, and changed the name to Home Pharmacy. A few years later (1986) Dave opened an additional business, a home health care store near Fenway called Boston Home Medical. Not content with just owning businesses, Dave also operated and managed the outpatient pharmacies at Beth Israel and Boston City Hospitals.

In 2003 Dave sold his businesses and left the world of pharmacy ownership.  His goal had been to retire at age 50 and he did.  This allowed him to pursue his interest in investing and financial planning.  Dave enrolled in the Boston University financial planning certificate program and passed the CFP exam.  Upon completion of his coursework, Dave became a Compass Capital intern. Today he too is a trusted financial advisor and focuses on healthcare professionals.

Dave also works part time for the Norfolk County District Attorney under a Federal Grant that focuses on decreasing prescription drug abuse and overdose deaths.

Dave is looking to grow his financial planning practice by offering advice on what works and what to avoid in growing and keeping their wealth.

The Morgan Family

The Morgan Family

Dave lives in Weymouth with his wife Susan.  He is the proud father of twin 11 year old daughters.

Written by guest blogger- Susan Scheide

Want to Bring Your Idea to Life?

I’ve served on a judging panel for a few prior years at the Suffolk University Competition for Innovative Ideas which is run by Dr. Sushil Bahtia who is the Executive in Residence at Sawyer Business School, Suffolk University in Boston. Dr. Sushil Bhatia is president of JMD Manufacturing and has always been an innovator, developing products like Glue Stic, DeCopier, labels of different kinds etc. It has always been a passion of his to help others bring their ideas to life. Two of the competition’s categories are open to everyone (see ). You can enter and win up to $100K in cash and services to start developing your product and help you go from Idea to Execution. So put on your thinking cap and send in your ideas. “Your ideas can change your life.”

Award categories:

  • Freshman Student
  • Sophomore Student
  • Junior Student
  • Senior Student
  • Graduate Student
  • Alumni Award
  • Frugal Innovation (Bottom of the Pyramid) Award: Recognizes inexpensive and useful products designed to help 4+ billion people who earn roughly $2 a day.
  • Urvashi Bhatia Green Product Award: Given to ideas that meet environmental needs.
The Urvashi Bhatia Green Product Award and Frugal Innovation Award are open to the general public. All other awards are only open to Suffolk University students and alumni.

Contest Rules

  • Your idea should be well-formulated. You don’t need to physically create the product, but illustrations are encouraged and should be included in your application.
  • The idea can be inspired from an existing product or service, as long as it does not a replication.
  • You may apply individually or as a team.
  • Submissions will only be accepted online.

Judging Criteria

  • Boldness/freshness
  • Persuasiveness and coherence
  • Fulfillment of customers’ needs?
  • Idea feasibility
  • Compelling benefits
  • Environmental (green) benefits
  • Competitive advantage
  • Risks and related mitigation


December 31, 2013


A team of business professionals will decide on finalists. The finalists then create development plans to compete for a Seed Capital Award of up to $100,000 in cash and professional services to help with fundraising, IP protection, incubator space, legal issues, prototyping, licensing, and product development.
Register online and submit your entry by December 31, 2014.

Where’s the Beef?

It’s likely you’ve noticed some creeping up of food prices while digging for extra dollars at your local supermarket checkout counter. According to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics report, the average retail costs of such staples as fish, poultry, and eggs have climbed by double digits over the last twelve months, and items like beef have skyrocketed.
Beef is now at its highest price in almost three decades at $5.30 per pound — up more than 25 cents since January. With punishing droughts and rising global demand, it’s unclear if and when prices will begin to fall. It may be time to make some adjustments to our eating habits or at least a few changes to our summer grilling plans.
Source: NBC

Teach Your Children Well (About Money)

Father explaining stocks and bonds to son 1972Reading the Boston Globe today, I saw Michelle Singletary’s column about “The Money Management Lecture.” Michelle is a syndicated columnist for the Washington Post who strikes me as very grounded and practical in her advice. Her columns are always a good read. Today she raises the issue of kids who maybe for the first time will have a summer job and some discretionary earnings.

In addition to her column I want to share with you to help advise your children (of all ages) another column that I think is a classic written by Ben Stein:

Teach Your Children Well Twelve steps to help clients teach their kids about the value of a buck, from the host of Win Ben Stein’s Money.

By Ben Stein
November 1, 2002- Money is a tricky, emotionally loaded subject. Cliches and aphorisms can replace good sense, and outmoded ideas often rule a changed economic roost. But some maxims are as valid as ever.

Money is an area where most of us have made so many mistakes of our own that we cannot easily hold ourselves up as paragons of virtue. Nonetheless, it’s also an opportunity to tell our kids about something that will have a powerful, perhaps even decisive influence in their lives. If they develop good habits about money — earning, saving, investing, and spending — their security and confidence in life will be greatly enhanced. If they develop self-destructive habits, almost nothing can save them from impoverishment (either real or relative), and certainly nothing can save them from anxiety.

What are my credentials to offer any advice on this huge subject? One, my father, Herbert Stein, was a famous economist and former chairman of The Council of Economic Advisers for two Presidents. He offered many suggestions about money to me, and they all turned out to be helpful, even brilliant. Two, I am deeply concerned with principles of getting and spending — both my own and others — and am a compulsive cataloguer of what works and what doesn’t. Three, I have given my teenage son a load of guidance in this field, and I can see some of it working already. Of course, it does not work if he ignores it.

So, here are some general theories of children, habits, and money, just as I tell them to Tommy, and many just as they were told to me.

1. Money is to be enjoyed. It’s not a tool to torture yourself with or to torment others with. It’s not a nest of black widow spiders that lie in wait to bite you. Used properly, it’s like love or food — it can provide limitless pleasure and reassurance. To be enjoyed, however, it has to be there when you need it. That means you have to take certain measures and adopt a smart, prudent mind set around it. And that means…

2. You have to take charge of your money. It will not be done for you once you reach adulthood. In this world, there are a multitude of advertisers and hucksters selling you cars and stereos and video games and dresses and vacations and meals and haircuts. They don’t care if you overspend and get yourself in debt.

You can get a start on this issue by taking some responsibility for your money now — by not spending more than your allowance, not even thinking about wanting ridiculously extravagant toys and games, by realizing that money is a limited good, and by adjusting to that limit. Any child can make a list of a million things he or she should have and “deserves.” That’s also true of adults. But no matter what your friends have, or what the cool thing to have now is or in the future, you do not need it if you can’t afford it.

3. Do not spend so much that you get into debt. That is, except in dire emergencies of health, do not spend more than you earn. Only borrow for a home or a car. Living in debt is nerve-wracking, insomnia-producing, and family-wrecking. Creditors will hound you and threaten you. You won’t be able to feel good about yourself. Just don’t do it. There is nothing you can buy that feels as good as being in debt feels bad.

4. Don’t lend money except to the U.S. Treasury or to banks by having bank accounts or certificates of deposit. The sad fact of life is that individuals to whom you lend money are usually the kind of people who are financially reckless and who will not pay you back. “Loan oft loses both self and friend,” said Shakespeare. He was right. My unvarying experience is that all people who are nervy and nutty enough to borrow from personal friends are also nutty enough to persuade themselves that the loan was a gift.

5. Don’t try to buy friends by giving gifts or paying for movies or shows or games. It’s fine to be generous to those you love and even like by giving gifts on birthdays or other special events. But don’t try to bribe people to be your pals. If they have to be bribed, you don’t want them as your friends. I have done this, and it never works except to make yourself crazy. Save your money or spend it on people who really care about you — or even on yourself.

6. Get in the habit of giving to charity early. That way you learn just how good it feels to have money to help those less fortunate than yourself. (This does not include drug addict roommates in college.) It also provides you with an excellent incentive to make more money.

7. Start saving early, and the habit will stay with you forever. The psychological pleasure of knowing you are accumulating savings year in and year out, month by month, is immense and lasting. When I was a child, we had savings stamp books in my elementary school. We each brought in 50 cents a week and bought stamps, and at the end of a year we had a $25 savings bond. I am not sure where those bonds are now, but I do know that the habit of saving stayed with us, and I don’t know any of us my old classmates who are in financial distress.

8. Closely connected with that, it’s great to have something called financial capital. Financial capital is money that we can put to work so that we don’t have to rely only on selling our labor like a field hand all of our lives. Capital is what gives us a cushion if we are sick or unhappy or just want a change for a while. Human capital — our ability, work habits, ethics, and skills — are for most of us the key to how we’ll do in life. But having money to fall back on and to supplement your sweat is a major blessing and relief in life. “Liquid assets equal freedom,” my Dad once said to me. That’s great advice for anyone at any stage.

9. When you do start to acquire savings and capital, ask your father what to do with it. And if he’s not around, here’s what I would tell you: Don’t try to be a genius about the stock market. Don’t try to get rich quick. Buy mutual funds that duplicate the performance of the whole stock market and keep some cash in an insured account at a bank. Add to both regularly, and, with what Mom and Dad have left you, if all’s well, you’ll be fine.

10. Buy what you really want when you’re young if you can afford it. The enjoyment you get from owning a really good stereo and nice clothes when you are young far exceeds the enjoyment you’ll get when you’re as old as I am. Travel is far easier and more pleasant when you’re young enough to accept its rigors. Food even tastes better when you’re young. If you can afford something you want, don’t let someone else’s ideas of what you can and cannot buy stand in your way.

11. Above all, be prudent. Years ago, I was about to buy a farm in the Hunt Country of Northern Virginia, near the historic town of Middleburg, a dream spot for me. It was beautiful, even startlingly so. Rolling and pristine and perfect. It cost a small fortune, and I honestly had to admit I would not spend more than a month there each year, and probably less. My mother was upset about it and turned to my father to talk to me about it. “Be prudent,” he said. I understood at once and did not buy the farm.

Another time, I was about to buy another silly piece of property. “I can afford it for years before I enter the neighborhood of poverty,” I told my father. “That’s a neighborhood you never want to be anywhere near,” he said somberly, and I pass it on to you. You do not ever want to find out what it feels like to be poor. It does not feel good.

12. “Keep high aspirations, moderate expectations, and modest needs.” This was my Dad’s last maxim on personal finance and on life in general. Yes, you can have the great car. Yes, you can have the trips to Europe and Tahiti. But only if they are modest in connection with your income and savings. Be prudent, my boy, and money will be your friend. You can work for it or it can work for you. Be prudent.

Ben Stein is the host of Win Ben Stein’s Money on Comedy Central and writes for Barron’s and other financial publications.

Are You Smart About the Management of Your Retirement Income?

When you retire, you have more control over your time, and finally have enough leisure to do what you want. While taking control of your time may not require a lot of advance planning, taking control of your retirement finances does. Whether retirement is years away or already here, these tips from FINRA Investor Education can help you manage your retirement income.

Getting Ready for Retirement

When you retire, you have more control over your time, and finally have enough leisure to do what you want. While taking control of your time may not require a lot of advance planning, taking control of your retirement finances does.
You need income you can count on, year in and year out for a very long time. This resource will help you manage your retirement income wisely.
Whether your retirement is fast approaching or years away, there are actions you can take now to maximize retirement when the time comes. It’s never too early or too late to start.
Managing retirement income starts with knowing what your sources of income will be—from Social Security to an employer-sponsored retirement savings account like a 401(k)—and the rules that govern each income source.
When you retire, you begin to take income from your defined benefit pension or defined contribution plan. You may also take income from a Social Security account. You should learn about the payout options from each source and what each means for your personal situation.
Retirement income management is all about making sure your retirement savings provide enough income for your needs, and that you don’t outlive your assets. This starts with setting up and managing a portfolio that’s right for you.
When you retire, you leave behind many things—the daily grind, commuting, maybe your old home—but one thing you keep is a tax bill. In fact, income taxes can be your single largest expense in retirement.
You’re retired, but you may want to go back to work. You should, however, understand exactly how working after retirement might affect your Social Security, pension benefits, and other retirement income.
Once retired, you may have questions about the future—particularly about how your spouse and family will cope financially if you become disabled or die and what will happen to the assets in your estate after your death. These valid concerns underscore the importance of solid long-term planning.
Your plans for the future shouldn’t just be about what happens to your property or financial affairs. The longer you live in retirement, the greater the likelihood that you will need to use health insurance or arrange for long-term care.
Download the print version:

Imagine that You (or your parents) Want to Age in Place

Actually you may not need to imagine it for long- if you wait long enough it will happen anyway. So why are we having this conversation? The American dream is to own our own home and most of us do.  If you are approaching your elder years – or have elderly parents – who have decided to age in place, it’s important to discuss how to best reconfigure your homes to accommodate your new or changing needs. Why would that matter to you?”  As you’re trusted financial advisor, we know that re-configuring a home can be costly and that impacts your financial plan.

A smart first step toward sound, long-term, eldercare planning is to focus on the safety of the home to prevent accidents that can be life-changing and potentially wipe out your savings.

Working in partnership with The Center for Innovative Care in Aging at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, Legg Mason developed a Home Safety Assessment Checklist – a guide to the features of a home that may be unsafe for you or their parents as they age.

Here is just a snap-shot of the important questions seniors aging in place should consider:

•Is there significant lighting all around your house?

•Are your driveway and walkways smooth and evenly paved and is the slope low enough?

•Are your steps even and in good condition, and are there hand rails at all steps?

•Does your porch have a railing?

•Does your decking have secure floorboards with no nails sticking up?

•Is there a clear pathway (devoid of clutter) through the entry hall and hallways?

•Are there grab bars in the bathroom?

•Is furniture stable and do throw rugs have anti-skid backing?

•Do windows and doors open easily?

•If necessary, is the entryway wide enough for a wheelchair/ walker?

While there are many easy and inexpensive improvements that can be made to help improve safety such as grab bars in bathrooms, handrails and wider entry ways, other changes might be substantial. It’s important to keep in mind:

If you have Medicare you can ask your primary doctor for a prescription for a home safety evaluation from an occupational therapist who has the skills and knowledge to evaluate the safety of the home.

Any home modifications made should be conducted by licensed and bonded contractors that are familiar with Universal Design principles.

For further information: Download “Aging clients and their families”, a new whitepaper by Legg Mason in collaboration with The Center for Innovative Care in Aging .

As Billy Crystal said in the movie “The Grandparents”: “I look ten years younger than my age and I feel ten years younger than that!”