Diary of a CFP® Pro: Spring 2024 News from Award-Winning Financial Planner Marguerita Cheng

Happy Spring, my friends! I am excited to share updates that I hope you find useful. If you have visited my website before, you know it is filled with podcasts, videos, and articles about ways to harness your financial savvy, including:

Margaritas with Marguerita: On my podcast and video show, Margaritas with Marguerita, we’ve conducted more than 100 conversations with leaders in the finance world who are determined to help you grow your confidence and wealth for your entire lives. Click here to listen to the podcasts and find all of the video versions of the interviews on MargueritaCheng.tv.

In the News: Below you’ll find my media interviews and articles I’ve penned for publications including Kiplinger, USNews, and CNBC. I hope these will give you insights into what you need to do in the coming year! Click here to read all of the media mentions, and scroll down for some of the latest entries from 2024.

Diary of a CFP® Pro: As we embark on a new year, I can’t think of a better gift to women than to get a handle on our finances. Some may want to save more or invest more wisely. Others may need to learn to find ways to work better on money issues with their partners or make sure there’s enough money for their kids to attend college. Whatever your financial goal, click here for monthly ideas and insights in my latest book, Diary of a CFP® Pro.

Awards and Honors: Last was a big year for my firm, Blue Ocean Global Wealth, as we won some top honors.

To book me to talk about lessons learned and how you can maximize your financial plan, click here to contact me today! — Happy 2024, Rita

Marguerita in the News

Scroll down to read some of the articles I’ve been quoted in this month. These stories contain great information that you can apply to your financial plan.

CNBC Your Money, June 12, 2024 In today’s article by Stephanie Dhue, she explains that almost three-quarters — 70% — of people turning 65 will need long-term carein their lifetime, according to a report by the Urban Institute and the Department of Health and Human Services. How to pay for that care is worrisome for many families.

Stacey Hachenberg, 58, and her partner, Sharon Fleming, 53, have been caring for their parents for several years. Hachenberg’s father died in April after staying at an assisted living facility for two years. While she coordinated his care, the cost was covered by his savings, pension and veterans benefits. “It took about a year to actually get those benefits,” Hachenberg said, even with the facility’s help navigating the Veterans Affairs application process. “Had we not had a tiny little bit of money in my father’s savings, we would have been in trouble,” she said.

Finding benefits to pay for care: Understanding what benefits you have or may qualify for is a critical part of planning for long-term care, financial advisors say. Figuring out where you want to receive long-term care, who will be your caregiver and how you’ll pay for the care should all be part of the planning process, said certified financial planner Marguerita Cheng, CEO and founder of Blue Ocean Global Wealth in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

“Long-term care insurance can be helpful because it allows you to transfer some of the risk,” said Cheng, who is a member of the CNBC Financial Advisor Council. She notes that long-term care insurance typically pays for care if you have a chronic illness, have dementia or a severe cognitive decline, or can’t do at least two out of six “activities of daily living” without assistance: bathing, dealing with incontinence, dressing, eating, getting on or off the toilet or getting in or out of a bed or chair.

Click here to read more!

MoneyGeek, April 17, 2024 After a divorce, you might need to buy life insurance or update your existing policy. This process may include changing your beneficiary or cashing out a permanent life policy to divide the cash value with your ex-spouse.

This report by Mandy Sleight, which includes insights from Marguerita Cheng, CFP® Pro, you’ll learn that when you own life insurance and get divorced, it might require court-ordered life insurance changes. For instance, you may be required to keep life insurance on an ex-spouse, continue to list them as a beneficiary or buy a policy to cover the former spouse. If you have permanent life insurance, the settlement may require you to share part of the cash value with your ex.

“If there’s no alimony or child support requirement, consider updating your beneficiary to someone other than your ex-spouse,” Marguerita says. “Regardless of the changes a divorce causes, nothing will happen automatically. You must complete all updates and changes yourself and ensure they satisfy the terms of a court-ordered divorce life insurance agreement, if applicable.”

Click here to read more about it!

MoneyGeek, March 30, 2024Marguerita Cheng, CFP® Pro, is featured in today’s MoneyGeek article by Licensed Insurance Agent Mandy Sleight. The article shares information about how to use MoneyGeek’s simple life insurance calculator to estimate your premium. It tailors estimates to your age, gender, health profile, and coverage amount.

Sleight explains: “Life insurance rate calculation depends on several personal details, including age, height and weight. The estimate you’ll get from MoneyGeek’s life insurance quote calculator can guide you in shopping for life insurance, helping you make informed decisions to find the best life insurance companies for your budget and coverage needs.”

Click here to learn more about Marguerita’s expert advice about Life Insurance Costs.

LinkedIn, March 8, 2024 — In honor of Women’s History Month, Community Manager Rachel Basoco spent time with Finteract member Marguerita (Rita) Cheng, CFP® to hear her story, including how she continues to navigate the financial advice profession. Check out the Q&A, and learn more on LinkedIn.

RB: As a woman in the financial sector, what unique perspectives do you bring?

MC:We can’t be afraid to try things differently. Don’t be afraid if your journey looks different. But I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t scared! Instead of focusing on what I didn’t have – I knew I was very good at connecting with people and relating to them. I say that, not to be arrogant, but being self-aware. I absolutely was inspired to become a financial planner, because I wanted to change conversations about money and I love helping people. I’m not joking – I built my business by being good on the phone. I am a good listener and I had a vision when I picked up the phone. I was going to have fun and have a smile on my face. Before every phone call, I got an iced mocha. I know that’s a lot of sugar and caffeine, but I wanted people to feel my energy. So, spending money on coffee was my best investment. Click here to keep reading the Q&A.

While you’re probably well aware of the importance of building your emergency savings to prevent unexpected expenses from wrecking your finances, there’s something else you may want to set aside money for as well: a ‘me fund.’ As the name implies, your “me fund” is money you’ve earmarked for purchases that aren’t necessities but would still be nice to have, such as concert tickets, clothing or other splurges.“It’s not an emergency fund. It’s not a rainy day fund. It’s just for you,” Rita Cheng, a certified financial planner and chief executive of Blue Ocean Global Wealth, tells CNBC Make It. Although saving for emergencies is important, a “me fund” allows you to treat yourself every so often without breaking the bank. Here’s why you should consider one and how to get started. Read more here.

‘Why’ Just as Important as ‘How’ When Creating Generational Wealth

VettaFi ETF Trends, March 12, 2024 — In today’s article, reporter writes, “First-time wealth builders often fare better with advisors who can help them achieve their goals. However, those advisors must consider a variety of factors, including familial and cultural values, as part of charting the best way to achieve client objectives with regard to generational wealth.

Establishing generational wealth requires a higher level of planning and commitment than arranging for a one-time exchange of assets, Marguerita “Rita” Cheng said in an interview. She is the CEO and founder of Blue Ocean Global Wealth.

“To me, inheritance might refer to a one-time event, a passing of assets, upon someone’s death,” said Cheng. Whereas generational wealth is “an ongoing transfer of wealth,” she explained. “It’s passing on wealth, and the person doesn’t necessarily have to be gone (to do so). They can see their wealth in action. First-generation wealth builders often face a learning curve, not just in acquiring wealth, but understanding the basics of estate planning, insurance and other foundational tools for preserving wealth.” Read more here.

6 Ways of Achieving Financial Inclusion for Women

March 8, 2024—The theme of International Women’s Day 2024 is financial inclusion. Despite nationwide efforts, women’s financial inclusion has made limited progress over the past decade. Women continue to experience greater financial exclusion and vulnerability than men. 56% of all unbanked adults globally are women. This means nearly 1 billion women lack access to a bank account.

Low income, unfair labor laws, failure to meet minimum balance requirements, inconvenient bank locations, issues with credit history, and volatile bank account fees are some of the reasons that make women avoid banks. Other factors include sociocultural norms such as relying on male members of the family and lack of information about financial products among others. Closing the gender access gap in account ownership is necessary but not enough. When women actively participate in the current financial systems, they can manage risk, start small businesses, fund education, and other large expenditures such as home ownership. Click here to learn about 6 ways to achieve inclusion.

What Is a Registered Investment Advisor?

USNews, February 15, 2024 — “RIAs aren’t just for the wealthy anymore, and they have a fiduciary duty to put their clients’ interests first,” writes Marguerita Cheng, CFP® Pro in today’s article for USNews. “Trust is a cornerstone of financial planning, yet a recent Morning Consult poll revealed that only 36% of consumers trust investment and wealth management firms. Still, with the emerging reliance on artificial intelligence in financial decision-making, a CFP Board survey showed that 31% of consumers are comfortable acting on AI-generated financial advice without further verification. However, it’s important to know who is managing your money and their approach to financial planning.” Click here to read all about it.

For a Good Time Managing Your Money, Call on These Apps

Kiplinger, February 14, 2024 — “Budgeting, saving and getting out of debt aren’t normally associated with fun, but these eight apps aim to make personal finance less of a grind for you,” writes Marguerita Cheng, CFP® Pro in today’s article for Kiplinger, explaining, “Can there be anything fun about budgeting and money management? Well, for many people, the answer is no. Personal finance and money management is all about discipline — preventing yourself from spending anyhow you like for the sake of your future. In essence, you embrace present pain for the sake of your future pleasure.

“But what if budgeting and money management could also be fun? That’s exactly what some innovative personal finance apps are trying to do. Either through gamification, visualization, rewards and penalties and/or saving while spending, you can have fun while managing your money and preparing for a better future.” Click here for eight examples of personal finance apps doing just that.

Five Ways to Harness Your Financial Firepower in the Year of the Dragon

Kiplinger, February 10, 2024 — “As the Year of the Dragon kicks off, consider looking to the dragon’s strong passionate and creative attributes to help guide your financial year,” writes Marguerita Cheng, CFP® Pro, explaining, “The Chinese people celebrate their new year on unique dates. 2024 is the Year of the Dragon, and the animal holds a special place in Chinese culture. The wood dragon is the fifth animal in the 12 Chinese zodiac signs, and the rabbit is its precedent. The dragon is also mythically associated with high birth rates, unlike the other 11 animals.”

“The dragon is known for leadership qualities such as power, charisma, authority, passion and creativity. Did you know that these traits hold profound implications for your personal finance journey in 2024? Historically, stocks have averaged a real return of 7.7% during the dragon years, according to The Economist and Business Insider. The years 1941, 1952, 1965 and 1989 were very strong for the stock market, according to Forbes. Click here to read more.

Road to Exchange: Marguerita Cheng

VettaFi, February 6, 2024 — As February 11 continues to inch closer, and closer advisors and financial service providers may be wondering what type of individuals in the industry will be attending the highly anticipated Exchange Conference. To help provide some more insight into this, VettaFi’s CMO, Jon Fee, recently sat down with Marguerita Cheng, the CEO, and Founder of Blue Ocean Global Wealth to discuss why she is on the “Road to Exchange.”

Jon Fee: Marguerita Cheng, thank you for joining me on the road to Exchange. You’re not only the founder and CEO of Blue Ocean Global Wealth, you’re an incredibly accomplished parent. I could talk to you about parenting tips all day long. I love how you think about it. But today we’re talking about you, your business, and what we’ve got in store for folks down at Exchange. The conference is taking place February 11th through 14th in Miami Beach. Margarita, how are you doing today?

Marguerita Cheng: Awesome. Thank you so much for having me. And it’s so exciting to see everything come together as a member of the Exchange Advisory Council.

Jon Fee: Absolutely. I always think about 2,000 people across the wealth management space, predominantly advisors, coming from every state in the United States are about to migrate down to Miami Beach. And I just think like, wow, everyone’s getting their bags together. They’re figuring out their networking plans. So it’s pretty wide. I love it. We’re incredibly grateful for you to be a part of the council as well as me and other colleagues across that this is a conference for advisors by advisors. And with that said, tell me about your business. Tell me about why you started Blue Ocean and the problems that you’re solving in the marketplace today. Click here to watch the interview!

Distinctive College Consulting, January 16, 2024 — In this article by Marguerita (Rita) Cheng, she writes: “The story is a familiar one. You planned to open a 529 savings account for your child when they were born. But the first year of parenthood passed in a blur of late nights and early mornings. On top of that, you were loaded with hospital bills to pay. Time flew by, and in the blink of an eye, a decade or so had slipped away. Now, your child is starting college soon, and you haven’t yet begun saving for their education. If this is your situation, don’t panic. Everyone gets a little bit behind in saving for their child’s education. Luckily, a few strategies can help make college more affordable at the last minute.” Click here to read more.

Blue Ocean Global Wealth headquarters:

9841 Washingtonian Blvd., #200
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
301.502.5306 / 888.731.3117 (fax)

About Marguerita M. Cheng: Rita is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Blue Ocean Global Wealth.  She has also been a spokesperson for the AARP Financial Freedom Campaign and a regular columnist for Investopedia & Kiplinger. Previously, she was a Financial Advisor at Ameriprise Financial and an analyst and editor at Towa Securities in Tokyo, Japan.

Her certifications include: CFP® professional, Chartered Retirement Planning CounselorSM, Retirement Income Certified Professional® and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. As a Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board) Ambassador, Marguerita helps educate the public, policy makers, and media about the benefits of competent, ethical financial planning. She serves as a Women’s Initiative (WIN) Advocate and subject matter expert for CFP Board, contributing to the development of examination questions for the CFP® Certification Examination.

Rita volunteers for several organizations including: CFP Board Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (DEC) hearings, she has also served on the Financial Planning Association (FPA) National Board of Directors from 2013-2015 and is a past president of the Financial Planning Association of the National Capital Area (FPA NCA).

Her awards include: Ameriprise Financial Presidential Award for Quality of Advice and the prestigious Japanese Monbukagakusho Scholarship. In 2017, she was named the #3 Most Influential Financial Advisor in the Investopedia Top 100, a Woman to Watch by InvestmentNews, and a Top 100 Minority Business Enterprise (MBE®) by the Capital Region Minority Supplier Development Council (CRMSDC).

Click here to learn more about Blue Ocean Global Wealth and email Marguerita today!