Diamond Wealth Advisors joins nationwide network

Carlisle-based Diamond Wealth Advisors, a financial planning and wealth management business, has joined Carson Group’s nationwide network of 130 partners.

With more than $200 million in assets under management, Diamond Wealth Advisors remains independently owned by the firm’s CEO, founder and wealth adviser, Jim DeGaetano.

“As a partner firm, Jim and his team now have access to fully integrated technology, investments and advanced financial planning solutions that will allow them to deliver a superior client experience,”Gregg Johnson, national sales director for Carson Group, said in a release. “Paired with the support of Carson’s entire team of M&A experts, they also have the support they need to grow their business.”

DeGaetano is already expanding the firm’s reach and services.

“Since coming on board, we’ve been able to fully plug into Carson’s entire ecosystem of technology, investments, marketing and M&A support and have seen an immediate impact in our business,” DeGaetano added. “We know that this partnership will have a tremendous effect on our firm’s future growth and the individuals and businesses we serve.”

Carson Group, based in Omaha, Nebraska, manages $20 billion in assets and serves more than 42,000 client families across the U.S.

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

Investing? Ignore the heart, listen to your head

Successful investing is only one percent intellectual and 99 percent behavioral. Even if you think you know what you’re doing as an investor—the intellectual part—you still face a huge challenge in the area that matters the most: the behavioral department.

This is where even highly intelligent, educated individuals often go wrong, as they lack the discipline needed to construct and consistently maintain a sound, diversified investment portfolio. Without this discipline, a portfolio can easily go off the rails. Warren Buffett pointed this out when he said: “Success in investing doesn’t correlate with IQ … What you need is the temperament to control the urges that get people into trouble.”

Many get into trouble by over-reacting to market fears, selling in a panic and then, driven by greed, chasing past performance by investing in what has recently been performing well. Academics in the field of behavioral finance refer to this as recency bias—extrapolating future performance from recent past performance. This is a mistake because an investment’s future performance is more likely to resemble its long-term past, not its recent past. (This is known as reversion to the mean.) If you invest this way, you’ll likely be perennially buying high and selling low; the opposite of what you should be doing.

Investing for retirement and other goals means carefully formulating a thoughtful, focused plan that reflects your goals and risk tolerance—and, above all, sticking with it. If you lack the discipline to ignore market noise about short-term fluctuations — noise that’s irrelevant to capturing long-term market returns — you’re prone to financial self destruction. Instead, you need an unemotional process in place to protect you from yourself so you can stick to your financial plan.

This financial plan should be written down, purposefully designed and driven by your specific goals and tolerance for volatility.  Also, your plan should account for the inevitable market declines that will inevitably occur during your lifetime.As the dangers of behavioral risk have a tremendous impact on your future financial security, taking behavioral risk out of the equation is the single biggest reason to work with a trustworthy, experienced financial adviser. A qualified adviser can help keep you on track and serve as your coach by keeping you from making rash moves, which don’t reflect what Buffett referred to as the right investing temperament.

Maintaining discipline improves long-term returns while helping keep risk in perspective. And for the vast majority of investors, a good adviser can help you do better in the long run, studies show. A 2018 study by Vanguard found that using an adviser can increase your net returns over time, after paying the adviser up to 3 percent annually. The study refers to this gain as the adviser’s alpha, or added value.

Of course, this assumes that these advisers aren’t charging high fees and commissions, and that they’re free of conflicts of interest. Ideally, you want an adviser who is paid by you alone and is a true fiduciary — one who always puts your interests ahead of their own; this is crucial. Also, be certain that the adviser’s investment philosophy and strategies are evidence-based–supported by objective academic research.

Experienced advisers usually have much more discipline than their clients. Numerous studies by Vanguard, Morningstar and other institutions have concluded that some of the value experienced advisers can deliver stems from providing time-consuming portfolio rebalancing, the use of tax-saving asset location strategies, designing portfolios and assisting you with retirement withdrawal strategies. These services, along with all-important behavioral coaching to prevent self-inflicted wounds, enable skilled advisers to earn your trust while earning their fees.

Ultimately, by working closely with the right adviser, most people can improve their net returns and reduce risk from their own financially destructive behavior. Thus, they’ll be taking care of the intellectual part of investing while helping you avoid the perils of the behavioral part.


Tim Decker is president of ISI Financial Group, a wealth management firm in Lancaster, and a fee-only financial planner (he sells no products). His weekly call-in radio show, Financial Freedom, airs Saturdays at 10 a.m. on WHP580 AM.

This content is based upon information believed to be accurate by ISI Financial Group, Inc. However, it is not intended to provide specific financial advice. You should always seek professional guidance before making any financial or legal decisions, as everyone’s needs are different.

Fulton Bank closes on deal with wealth management firm


Fulton Bank closed on a sale last month on a Camp Hill wealth management firm that the bank’s leadership says will help it reach more clients in the midstate.

The Lancaster-based bank announced this week that it acquired APS Wealth Management on Oct. 4 for an undisclosed amount of money.

“Our purchase of APS Wealth Management is enabling Fulton to enhance our outreach to clients in central Pennsylvania,” said Curtis Myers, president and COO of Fulton Financial Corporation, Fulton Bank’s parent company.

APS was established in 1994 and at the time of its deal with Fulton, the firm had approximately $67 million in assets.

Fulton Bank has approximately $11 billion in assets and over 110 branches. Fulton Financial Corporation has more than $21.5 billion in assets.

The company has yet to announce how it plans to use APS Wealth Management or if it expects any changes to occur at the Camp Hill firm.

“For 25 years, Mike Chwastyk and his team have built a strong client base by delivering highly personalized financial solutions,” Myers said. “We’re delighted to unite to create a winning combination of outstanding service, solid reputation and world-class products, supported by our continued relationship with Raymond James.”

Security National Trust Company welcomes new CEO

H. Scott Cunningham PHOTO/SUBMITTED

The Board of Directors of Security National Trust Company welcomes H. Scott Cunningham who will join the company as Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, effective Nov. 18th.

Scott has 24 years of professional experience in wealth management including trust & estate administration, investment advisory, wealth planning and private banking.  He specialized in working with high net-worth families and individuals in growing and maintaining wealth. He also specialized in helping clients develop and implement wealth preservation and transfer strategies.

In addition to wealth management, Scott’s other professional experience includes working for the Pittsburgh office of Price Waterhouse as a tax consultant, and as a litigation attorney for a Pittsburgh based law firm. Scott served on active duty with the U.S. Air Force and later retired from the U.S. Air Force Reserve with the rank of Colonel, after 23 years of service.

He holds a B.S. in Economics from Penn State University, a M.S. in Public Management & Policy from Carnegie Mellon University, and a Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.