We thank each of our clients for helping us attain the Five Star Professional Award.
Five Star Professional conducts research to help consumers select a service professional. They award businesses in more than 45 markets in the U.S. and Canada. Award candidates are identified by one of three sources: firm nomination, peer nomination or pre-qualification based on industry credentials. Self-nominations are not accepted. A few of the items they consider include:
- Credentials as a Registered Investment Advisor
- Favorable regulatory history
- Client retention rate
- Number of client households being served
- Education and professional designations
The award recognizes service professionals who continuously provide quality service to their clients. We are honored for this recognition and wanted to share it with our clients. You have entrusted us with your financial well-being and we acknowledge the importance of that decision. We thank you for continuing to be our clients. The January 2017 edition of New Jersey Monthly magazine will include a feature on our firm and this award.
Important Disclosure: Wealth managers do not pay a fee to be considered or placed on the final list of 2016 Five Star Wealth Managers. The inclusion of a wealth manager on The FIVE STAR Wealth Manager Award list should not be construed as an endorsement of the wealth manager nor should it be inferred that the responses used from the survey represent the experience of any clients. This award does not evaluate the quality of service provided and the wealth manager may have had unfavorable ratings. The rating is not indicative of the wealth manager’s future performance.
Five Star Professional conducts market-specific research to identify service professionals who provide quality services to their clients. Five Star Professional was founded in 2003 and is based in Minneapolis, MN. For more information, go to:
Shawn Hirsch and Dan DiVizio volunteered at the Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary in Bernardsville, NJ. They helped create a healthier environmental habitat by removing invasive plant species.
EarthShare New Jersey organized the event, which gave Shawn and Dan the opportunity to “get-dirty” and work first-hand for a local, environmental nonprofit organization.
Robin Bolton, who is an Investment Advisor Representative with Signet Financial, was volunteering with the Good Samaritan Foundation of Haiti (GSF), when hurricane Matthew hit the small island of Ile a Vache. Thankfully, Robin is now safely back in the US, but this event had a dramatic impact on Robin, his family, and our firm.
This event truly makes us grateful for all we have, and reminds us to help those in need. Signet Financial made a donation to an emergency fund for the victims of hurricane Matthew in Haiti. The Good Samaritan Foundation of Haiti (GSF) is a small charitable organization formed primarily to educate the children of three Haiti villages, but also to improves basic living conditions for the people of Ile a Vache, Haiti. In the weeks since the hurricane, GSF has directly purchased food, seeds, water, tools, clothing, medicine, livestock, and material to repair homes and schools. Much more is needed, and we are compelled to help. More information is available at www.goodsamaritanofhaiti.com.
Robin details his experience below:
I always thought that my trip to Haiti would be an adventure, but never in my wildest dreams did I plan to be stranded on small island during a devastating hurricane. I went to Haiti as a volunteer with the Good Samaritan Foundation of Haiti (GSF), which built and runs a school that serves the three villages of La Hatte, Trou Milieu, and Soulette on the small island of Ile a Vache, about 8 miles south of the mainland of Haiti. My job was to teach children to swim. Most children play in the water, but do not learn to swim. Since transportation off the island is typically through an unseaworthy boat, accidents & drownings are common.
I arrived in Haiti on Thursday, September 29. I was immediately shocked by the appalling conditions of Port au Prince, the capital of Haiti. Following a 4-hour bus journey, a scary motorcycle ride (their local taxis), a 1-hour boat trip on an old wooden boat with an outboard motor that quit three times, and finally a quarter mile walk, I arrived at my 1-room “guest house” in Ile a Vache. There is no electrical grid on the island - the generator broke a few months previously- but very limited electricity was available from 3 solar panels hooked up to car batteries. Water was transported from a well a half mile away by mule, carrying 25 gallons per trip. To provide “running water” for a shower (trickle is a more appropriate description), 5 gallon containers were lifted by one person on the ground and emptied into the cistern by another person on the roof. One becomes very conscious about not wasting water under such conditions.
By Sunday news of hurricane Matthew worsened, and all efforts were focused on preparing for the storm. The first band of rain and wind came through on Sunday night, but it wasn’t until Monday evening that the eye of the hurricane passed directly over Ile a Vache. Winds were recorded at 143mph, with 14 inches of rain. The wind howled and I heard loud crashes and banging of the tin roof of my small house. It wasn’t until Tuesday morning that I left the safety of the bathroom, which had concrete walls and roof, and discovered that about a quarter of the tin roof had blown off.
The damage from the hurricane was devastating. Only one of the solar panels survived the hurricane. About 30% of the houses lost their roofs completely, or were completely destroyed – even some made of block, but with no re-bar and poor cement. At least another 60% lost part of their roofs. Even worse, virtually all sources of food - fruit trees, banana plants, crops and nut trees – were decimated. Chickens, cows, pigs and goats died, and fish habitats were battered. As a result, there will be food shortages for the next six months at least. The people of Ile a Vache rely heavily on subsistence farming and fishing. Many fishermen, who still use dug-out canoes, lost their nets and fish pots. School books in most houses were saturated. Beds, clothing, and everything else in the houses were soaked through.
For the next few days all electronic communication was down and I was not able to communicate to my wife that I was safe. Movement around the island was extremely difficult. The deep mud and fallen trees made it impossible for even trail motorcycles to get around. Teaching swimming was impossible during the rest of the week, so I helped the children to read out loud in English. Each night we sat on the porch and took turns singing songs. I even taught them the chorus of “The Wild Rover”, a well-known Irish ballad recorded by both the Clancy Brothers and the Dubliners.
The GSF is a pretty small charity which was formed primarily to provide education to the children of the three villages, but it serves the community far more ways, improving basic living conditions. In the weeks since the hurricane, GSF has directly purchased food, seeds, water, tools, clothing, medicine, livestock, and material to repair homes and schools. More details of how donations are being disbursed are available here: http://goodsamaritanofhaiti.com/
I can honestly say that the people of Ile a Vache impressed me with their resilience, their warmth, their generosity and their hope for a better future. It was the most uncomfortable two weeks I have ever spent in my life, but I truly believe I am a better person to have lived through it.