MLive, February 2, 2017
Gov. Rick Snyder announced the appointment of Lynn Chen-Zhang of Portage to the Western Michigan University Board of Trustees on Thursday, Feb. 2. "I thank Lynn for her committment to serve on this board and I believe her experiences will help the university continue to succeed," Snyder said in a news release.
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Financial Planning, January 3, 2017
Zhang Financial was ranked #47 on Financial Planning's list of the nation's Top 150 RIA's. Rankings are based on discretionary and non-discretionary assets under management listed on SEC Form ADV. To capture independent fee-only planning firms, every effort is made to exclude firms with broker-dealer and insurance company affiliations and those with substantial outside ownership stakes held by private equity firms and some outside investors. As of May 2014, Meridian-IQ estimates that there are 31,739 total RIA (Registered Investment Advisor) firms in the United States.
U.S. News & World Report, October 12, 2016
Charles Zhang was interviewed and quoted in U.S. News & World Report's article entitled "The 10 Best Places to Retire With Only a Social Security Check". Charles states, "If you want to have a peaceful, more quiet life and also more reasonable housing, consider the middle west,...”
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Barron’s, August 27, 2016
Charles C. Zhang has been ranked in the top 10 on Barron's list of America's Top 100 Independent Financial Advisors for the second year in a row and continues to be the highest ranking Fee-Only NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor on the list. The ranking reflects the volume of assets overseen by the advisors and their teams, revenues generated for the firms, the quality of the advisors' practices, and other factors.
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Forbes, August 3, 2016
Charles C. Zhang has been recognized as one of America's Top Wealth Advisors by Forbes for 2016. Charles is ranked #16 in the nation and is the highest ranking NAPFA-Registered fee-only advisor on the list. Inclusion on the list is based on factors such as revenue trends, assets under management, compliance record, industry experience, and best practices.
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Money, June 23, 2016
Charles Zhang was interviewed and featured in Money magazine's column Ask The Expert. The topic discussed was "Will I Owe Taxes if I Give a Home to My Son".
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Financial Times, June 16, 2016
The Financial Times has recognized Zhang Financial as one of the Top 300 Registered Investment Advisors for 2016. Factors used to determine inclusion on the list are assets under management, asset growth, the company's age, industry certifications of key employees, SEC compliance record, and online accessibility.
Financial Times, March 31, 2016
Charles C. Zhang was selected as a member of the 2016 Financial Times 400 Top Advisors. Charles has been on the list every year since it's inception. Factors included in the rankings include assets under management, AUM growth rate, years of experience, compliance record, industry certifications and online accessibility.
Grand Rapids Business Journal, March 28, 2016
Zhang Financial has been ranked #1 on the Grand Rapids Business Journal's list of Top Area Wealth Management Firms in West Michigan. (Ranked by 2015 West Michigan assets under management). Charles Zhang was also mentioned as being named the top financial advisor in Michigan by Barron’s for the fourth straight year.
Barron’s, March 5, 2016
State Champion, Charles Zhang is the #1 Financial Advisor in Michigan for the fourth year in a row. As reported by Charles Keenan in the Barron's article 2016 Top Advisor Rankings by State:
Zhang is a fierce client advocate, once helping a retiree recover $100,000 in potentially lost benefits. The client had missed a benefit deadline by a single day, and Zhang persuaded the company to grant the 30-year employee the benefits. Zhang, 48, is equally intense on the investing front. A favorite tool is the limit order, which he deploys to take advantage of market drops. He recently set limits on 60% of his client account accounts at 12% to 13% below market levels, allowing him to scoop up deals on exchangetraded funds such as Vanguard Small Cap Value and Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets. “We think smallcap is oversold, especially on the value side, and emerging markets offers a very good price.” He also thinks U.S. stocks are oversold. “This year the market will be fine,” Zhang says. He strives to keep investment management fees low by using index ETFs, and as an independent fee-only advisor, his fee is 1% or less. “Be honest with people,” he advises. “In the end, you win.”
Click here to see the rankings.
MLive, February 20, 2016
A building donation from Lynn and Charles Zhang has opened the door for Family & Children Services to expand into Portage. It's all about families, said Lynn Zhang, explaining why she and her husband, Charles, donated the original headquarters of Zhang Financial, 1302 W. Milham Ave., to local human service agency Family & Children Services.
Financial Planning, January, 2016
Zhang Financial was ranked in the Top 150 on Financial Planning Magazine's list of the country's Top RIAs. Rankings are based on discretionary and non-discretionary assets under management listed on SEC Form ADV. To capture independent fee-only planning firms, every effort is made to exclude firms with broker-dealer and insurance company affiliations and those with substantial outside ownership stakes held by private equity firms and some outside investors. To capture firms that provide true holistic financial advice to individuals, only firms with 50% or more individual clients, as can be determined through the Form ADV, are included.
Family and Children Services Newsletter, December 15, 2015
3,000-Square-Foot Gift Enables Family & Children Services to Add Portage Location
It’s all about families, says Lynn Zhang, explaining the decision she and her husband Charles made in early 2015 to donate the original headquarters of Zhang Financial, located at 1302 W. Milham Road in Portage, to Family & Children Services. Read More >
Western Herald, November 24, 2015
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Nov. 18 to celebrate the opening of the newly renamed career center in the Haworth College of Business.
The career center has been renamed the Charles and Lynn Zhang Career Center, after the owners of the Kalamazoo financial firm Zhang Financial. The Zhangs donated a major naming gift to WMU’s business college in early November.
Medical Economics, November 10, 2015
Charles Zhang and Lynn Chen-Zhang were selected as the Best Financial Advisers for Doctors in 2015 by Medical Economics. Charles and Lynn were two out of only three advisors on the list for Michigan. The criteria used in the study included qualification, good standing, fee arrangements and minimum portfolio size.
Newschannel 3, October 1, 2015
Lynn Chen-Zhang was interviewed by News Channel 3 for a video which aired on October 1st on the 5:30 news. The piece was entitled “What could you do with $310 million?” and was prompted by the recent West Michigan Powerball winner. Lynn shared her advice for anyone who has recently come across a large sum of money.
Barron’s, August 24, 2015
Charles Zhang was ranked in the top 10 on Barron's list of America's Top 100 Independent Wealth Advisors for 2015.* Out of the top 10, Charles is the only Fee-Only NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor on the list (of which we are the most proud). The ranking reflects the volume of assets overseen by the advisors and their teams, revenues generated for the firms, and the quality of the advisors' practices.
Forbes 2015 Investment Guide, June 29, 2015
Charles Zhang was quoted in Forbes’ article, The Rise of the Robo-Advisor. The article discusses the growing role of robo-advisors, which are wealth management algorithms offered online at a low cost but with little human interaction.
In fact, robo-advisors may act as a gateway for the next generation of investors. “They’re popular with younger investors, who use them as a way to start saving,” points out Charles Zhang, managing partner of Portage, Mich.-based Zhang Financial. Robo-advisors may serve as a stepping stone for investors who can set aside only $100 a month and have yet to accumulate much in the way of savings. Providing an entry point for these underserved investors would be a win-win for the industry as a whole.
The Wall Street Journal, June 24, 2015
Charles Zhang was quoted in The Wall Street Journal’s article, Advisers Wary as Indexes Add China A-Shares written by Daisy Maxey. The article discusses the concern over A-shares being added to the emerging-markets indexes and funds due to the volatility of the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges. Here is an excerpt from the article:
Charles Zhang, managing partner at Zhang Financial in Portage, Mich., says he wishes A-shares had been added to emerging-markets indexes sooner, noting the market’s sharp rise over the past few years. But Mr. Zhang says he appreciates Vanguard’s gradual approach, and will be watching other funds carefully to see what approach they take when adding A-shares to their portfolios. His firm invests just 3% to 5% of clients’ portfolios in emerging markets. “I don’t want index funds buying just because MSCI says, ‘We need to add Chinese A-shares,’ “ says Mr. Zhang, whose firm manages about $901 million in discretionary assets and oversees more than $1 billion in assets, which includes 401(k) plan assets. “I like the Vanguard gradual approach. I will talk with portfolio managers more often now.” Currently, China’s A-shares are much more expensive than China H-shares, he notes, but that will change once the market becomes more efficient.
Financial Times, March 25, 2015
Charles C. Zhang has been selected as one of the nation's Top 400 Financial Advisors by Financial Times, March 25, 2015
The Financial Times Top 400 Financial Advisors is an independent listing produced by the Financial Times (March, 2015). The FT 400 is based on data gathered from firms and verified by broker-dealer home offices, regulatory disclosures, and the FT’s research. The listing reflects each advisor’s performance in six primary areas, including assets under management, asset growth, compliance record, experience, credentials and accessibility as identified by the FT. Neither the brokerages nor the advisors pay a fee to The Financial Times in exchange for inclusion in the FT 400.
The Wall Street Journal, March 11, 2015
Lynn Chen-Zhang, CPA, CFP® was featured in The Wall Street Journal's article Diversifying a Client's Stock Options. In the article, Lynn illustrates the importance of diversifying stock options by using a technique she developed in 1999. Click here for the full article.
Barron’s, February 23, 2015
State Champion, Charles Zhang is the #1 Financial Advisor in Michigan for the third year in a row. As reported by Steve Garmhausen in the Barron's article 2015 Top Advisor Rankings by State:
A third-degree black belt in Taekwondo, Zhang relies on his training to exploit market opportunities. "In both Taekwondo and investing, you need to be very calm and focused," he says. That's helped Zhang, 47, profit from brief imbalances between supply and demand. Currently, he's buying selected energy stocks in the wake of oil's price plunge. "We believe in market efficiency," says Zhang, whose 18-person team serves 1,000 families. "But we also try to take advantage of short windows of opportunity using a disciplined approach." He expects "mid-single-digits" growth for U.S. equities, and based on attractive price/earnings ratios, he recently moved his emerging-market allocation from underweight to overweight. Zhang takes pride in being a fee-only advisor. Unlike a broker or "fee based" advisor, he never accepts commissions or fees from investment providers, which he says create conflicts. "Most people," he says, "have no idea of the difference."
Financial Times, November 19, 2014
Financial Times has selected Lynn Chen-Zhang, CFP®, as one of the country's Top 100 Women Financial Advisers. The 2014 Financial Times Top 100 Women Financial Advisers is an independent listing produced by the Financial Times (November, 2014). The FT 100 is based on data gathered from firms, regulatory disclosures, and the FT's research. As identified by the FT, the listing reflected each adviser's performance in six primary areas, including assets under management, asset growth, compliance record, years in existence, credentials and accessibility.
Barron’s, August 23, 2014
Barron's has once again recognized Charles Zhang, CFP®, by including him on the Top 100 Independent Wealth Advisors list for 2014. This ranking reflects the volume of assets overseen by the advisors and their teams, revenues generated for the firm and the quality of the advisors' practices. Charles has been consistently placed in the top 20 for the past three years and is currently the highest ranking fee-only NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor on the list.
Barron’s, June 7, 2014
Lynn Chen-Zhang, CFP®, CPA, MBA, MS, was recognized as one of the nation's Top 100 Women Financial Advisors and #1 Female Financial Advisor in Michigan by Barron’s in 2014. This recognition was based on assets under management, revenue produced for the firm, regulatory record and quality of practice and philanthropic work.
Bottom Line, May 15, 2014
Charles C. Zhang, CFP®, was featured in Bottom Line's article titled "Beyond Stocks and Bonds- The Alternative Investments Every Portfolio Needs." The publication highlights advice from the world's best experts.
Jitters about the stock market and the bond market have many investors wondering whether it's time to include some other types of investments in their portfolios. Top financial advisor Charles Zhang says that some of these so-called "alternative investments" will do well because they are among the few bargains left in the investment world…and because inflation will start to rise, hurting the stock and bonds markets.
Adding certain alternative investments is likely to stabilize your portfolio and improve overall performance. I am convinced that this kind of diversification will be vital over the next few years, especially for older and retired investors.
Barron's, April 5, 2014
Charles C. Zhang was quoted in the article Barron's article "The Trouble With Actively Managed ETFs"
Perhaps the biggest hurdle will be track record, or lack thereof, says Charles Zhang of Zhang Financial in Portage, Mich. Unlike passive ETFs, which get some credence from back-tested index results, active ETFs won't have the benefit of hypothetical historical returns. Just like active mutual funds, the success of the strategy depends on a pretty big wild card—manager skill.
Financial Times, March 25, 2014
Charles C. Zhang was named as one of the nation's top Financial Advisors by Financial Times. The ranking is based on the advisor's assets under management, asset growth, compliance record, experience, credentials and accessibility.
Financial Times, March 25, 2014
Charles C. Zhang, CFP® was quoted in the Financial Times article “Advisers turn to ETFs to drive down costs.”
Some financial advisers are using exchange traded funds (ETFs) heavily in client portfolios, drawn to low-cost structure, intraday trading and tax benefits.
In fact, 16.5 percent, or 66 of the top 400 advisers surveyed by the Financial Times, allocate 20 percent or more of their overall assets under management (AUM) to ETFs.
Zhang Financial is a fee-only firm that works with LPL Financial and TD Ameritrade for custody. ETFs make up about 30 percent of Mr. Zhang’s AUM, according to the survey.
While Mr. Zhang invests a portion of a client’s equity allocation in mutual funds, he usually sets aside about a third of those assets to set up limit orders for ETFs. By doing this, he aims to benefit from market corrections or intraday price declines.
“We try to take advantage of the market movements and make sure clients get a better deal,” he says. “When you set up a limit order, you take the noise away, so you become more disciplined.”
When using ETFs investors should keep in mind liquidity and bid-ask spreads, says Mr. Zhang. He suggests turning to the biggest sponsors and well-established funds.
“If a certain ETF has a huge spread, when you buy and sell, you could be losing a lot,” he says.
Barron's, February 22, 2014
State Champion, Charles Zhang is the #1 Financial Advisor in Michigan
Ranked #1: Charles Zhang
"If you want to build a reputation, the best way is to do it in a small community," says Zhang, 46, who has an office of 15 people, including his wife, a CPA and CFP®. "People are very loyal if you do a good job for them."
Barron's, August 24, 2013
Charles C. Zhang, CFP®, was chosen again by Barron's to be included on their 2013 list of America's Top 100 Independent Financial Advisors. Ranking criteria includes volume of assets, revenues generated for the firm, and the quality of the advisors' practices. Mr. Zhang has made numerous appearances on the Barron's lists since 2004.
Barron’s, August 24, 2013
Charles C. Zhang was quoted in the Saturday, August 24, 2013 article titled “Let’s Look at the Alternatives.”
Bond’s have provided much-needed support for investors since the financial crisis. But now, with rates rising and stocks looking a little rich, it’s worth considering a change in the mix of your portfolio. Including alternative assets is one way to create other sources of momentum.
“We encourage clients to have investments in alternative assets,” says Charles Zhang, managing partner of Zhang Financial, in Portage, Mich. “They can significantly lower risk while increasing returns.”
Zhang’s position is typical. Although he generally recommends a 10% alternative allocation in moderate-risk portfolios, he doesn't insist on it. “If people feel comfortable with a simple strategy like stocks and bonds, that’s OK too,” he says.
But like Zhang, he understands that a simple stock-and-bond portfolio is best for some investors. That’s particularly true for those who require simplicity and transparency.
MLive.com, June 26, 2013
PORTAGE, MI – A recent Barron’s business magazine article about the proposal to set a cap in 2014 on tax-advantaged retirement savings for the wealthy, includes the thoughts of Portage-based investment specialist Charles C. Zhang.
“You should encourage people to save for retirement, not penalize them," Zhang says in the June 22 article titled “President Obama Thinks Your IRA Is Too Big.”
Zhang is managing partner of Zhang Financial, a fee-only independent financial advisory firm based in Portage.
In April, Barron's named him Michigan’s Top Financial Advisor, citing his success after becoming a fee-only financial advisory, meaning he collects no commissions, rebates or other payments for selling specific products. He manages assets of $1.5 billion, the magazine noted, with a typical account of $3 million, and clients whose typical net worth was estimated to be about $5 million.
Zhang Financial utilizes the custodial services of independent broker dealer LPL Financial and technology and service-provider TD Ameritrade. Along with Portage, it has offices in Battle Creek and Grand Rapids.
Zhang , who has a master's degree in business administration from Northwestern University and is the author of the book "Make Yourself a Millionaire," has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, New York Times, Business Week and Financial Times.
Barron's, June 22, 2013
Charles C. Zhang, CFP®, was quoted in the Barron’s article “President Obama Thinks Your IRA Is Too Big.”
When President Barack Obama released his fiscal 2014 budget in April, it included a proposal to set a cap on tax-advantaged retirement savings for wealthy individuals. In the scheme of the larger budget, let alone the partisan rancor sure to engulf any negotiations, it was small potatoes. But consternation -- then uproar and outrage -- followed. The failure of Americans generally to save enough for retirement is well documented, and needs no repeating. But even those people lucky enough to have built up seven-figure nest eggs are feeling squeezed by the trifecta of low interest rates, volatile markets, and increased life expectancies, which have put a big dent in how much they can withdraw each year without risking running out of cash. They felt like they were being targeted for having saved diligently and been financially successful.
"You should encourage people to save for retirement, not penalize them," grouses Charles Zhang, managing partner of Zhang Financial in Portage, Mich., who estimates that 10% to 20% of his clients might be affected. "People with $3 million, or $5 million, in a retirement account aren't taking advantage of the system. Leave them alone.
The proposed retirement-plan cap -- along with another White House budget proposal to require anyone (other than a spouse) who inherits retirement plans to liquidate (and pay income tax on the proceeds) within five years -- could encourage wealthy investors to put more money toward insurance products. "It will make the insurance companies happy," says financial advisor Zhang.
Barron's, April 16, 2013
Charles C. Zhang, CFP®, was named one of the nation's Top 100 Financial Advisors in 2013 by Barron's. He is now ranked 24th in the nation and he is the only fee-only, NAPFA-Registered advsior on Barron's Top 100 list this year. This honor has been received by Mr. Zhang nine times since the inception of the list in 2004. Ranking criteria includes volume of assets, revenues generated for the firm, and quality of practices.
Grand Rapids Business Journal, April 12, 2013
Charles C. Zhang, managing partner of Zhang Financial, was ranked once again as Grand Rapids' #1 CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professional by the Grand Rapids Business Journal. The ranking is based on 2012 assets under management. This is the third year in a row that Charles has received this honor.
Dental Practice Magazine, April 12, 2013
Charles Zhang was chosen by Dental Practice Magazine as one of the nation's Best Financial Advisors for Dentists in 2013. The list was compiled according to the advisor's qualifications, credentials, education, SEC compliance records, and years of experience.
Financial Times, April 11, 2013
Charles C. Zhang was ranked in Financial Times 2013 list of the Top 400 Financial Advisors. The ranking is based on the advisor's assets under management, asset growth, compliance record, experience, credentials and accessibility.
Barron's, February 18, 2013
State Champion, Charles Zhang is the #1 Financial Advisor in Michigan
It's rare for advisors accustomed to collecting commissions to turn their backs on that kind of dough, but Charles Zhang did it. A longtime successful advisor with American Express and Ameriprise, Zhang, 45, set up shop on his own in 2007. Then, last year, he moved to a completely fee-only model. That is, no commissions, rebates, or other payments for selling specific products payments that often aren't clear to their clients. It can be hard to give up. "It's a lot of money, and you have to stand your ground. It takes courage," says Zhang.
The Wall Street Journal, February 11, 2013
Charles Zhang, managing partner at Portage, Mich.-based Zhang Financial was interviewed for article "Budget Cuts May Give Market Reality Check"
A prospective client recently contacted Mr. Zhang to say his certificates of deposit were maturing. The bank was offering new rates of 0.5% or 1% on a five-year CD. The client suggested putting the money into stocks instead, he said.
We said, 'No,'" said Mr. Zhang. "I don't encourage people to rush into the market over 14,000."
In addition, he is gradually buying Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities to get his clients to at least a 10% exposure. While he doesn't expect inflation over the next 12 to 18 months, now is the time to buy TIPS without paying a premium, he said.
Mr. Zhang is also generally trimming clients' stock holdings. An investor with a moderate risk profile, for example, might have a 60% equity allocation target, which has grown to 70% or 80% due to the market's strong rise, he said. Depending on the client, he may trim that to 40% or 50%, he said, placing the money in TIPS or global short-term bonds.
MLive.com, February 9, 2013
Portage-based financial adviser Charles C. Zhang has been accepted for membership in the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors.
"I congratulate Charles for demonstrating his intention to provide transparent, client-centered services by making a commitment to uphold the high standards NAPFA sets for all its members", NAPFA Chairperson Lauren Locker said in a press release.
The NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor designation is available only to fee-only financial advisors who meet stringent membership qualifications. In contrast to most financial professionals, NAPFA members receive no commissions or other rewards for selling financial products, forms of compensation that may create potential conflicts of interest that undermine an advisor's objectivity and fiduciary responsibility.
According to information provided by the organizations, NAPFA standards "require advisors to receive compensation only directly from their clients, to act in clients' fiduciary interests at all times, and to provide comprehensive planning services."
All NAPFA membership candidates are also required to submit a comprehensive financial plan for a full-scale peer review.
The Wall Street Journal, February 8, 2013
Charles Zhang, managing partner at Portage, Mich.-based Zhang Financial was interviewed for article "As Stocks Surge, Is It Time for Some Protection?"
"Options are at a very reasonable price right now," says Charles Zhang, managing partner of investment advisory firm Zhang Financial in Kalamazoo, Mich., with $1.5 billion under management.....
Choosing whether to buy insurance or just sell some stocks is a matter of circumstances as well as forecasts. Mr. Zhang says for most clients it is still cheaper to reduce risk by selling stocks, because they don't have to pay for insurance. But he is buying puts for clients who want protection but who couldn't sell without triggering big taxable gains.
Medical Economics, November 10, 2012
Charles C. Zhang, CFP®, MBA, was featured again in Medical Economics list of Best Financial Advisers for Doctors in 2012. The criteria used in the study included good standing, background, qualifications, fee arrangements and minimum portfolio size.
MLive.com, September 21, 2012
Kalamazoo, MI Western Michigan University
Administrators toasted champagne with Charles and Lynn Zhang on Friday before dedicating the new university archive building in their names.
Charles Zhang is managing partner of Portage-based Zhang Financial. He and Lynn Zhang, who serves on the WMU Foundation Board of Directors, both have Master's degrees from WMU.
"West Michigan is extremely important to us and we received the best education from here," Charles Zhang said Friday during a dedication ceremony at the future sit of the archives building.
WMU News, September 20, 2012
Kalamazoo, Western Michigan University's soon-to-be-constructed archives facility will bear the names of two of the University's most noted alumni, Charles and Lynn Zhang.
Following formal action by the WMU Board of Trustees today, the 16,000-square-foot building will be known as the Charles C. and Lynn L. Zhang Legacy Collections Center.
The $8 million Legacy Collections Center, officially part of University Libraries, will be built on WMU's Oakland Drive Campus. The campus includes the grounds and some of the original buildings of the Kalamazoo State Hospital, all of which constitute a Michigan Historic area.
The Zhang's have long been active within the WMU community. They have supported many University programs, including the Haworth College of Business, Department of Economics, and the Academically Talented Youth Program in the Lee Honors College. The Zhangs two sons, Mitchell and Alex, both have participated in that program. Lynn Zhang also serves as a member of the WMU Foundation Board of Directors.
Kalamazoo Gazette, September 16, 2012
Behind-the-scenes story of how Kalamazoo landed superstar pianist Lang Lang:
International music sensation Lang Lang performed in Miller Auditorium on September 19, 2012. Lang Lang has been featured on CNN and "60 Minutes" for his rock star-like following. He opened the Beijing Olympics, has performed in the White House as well as at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Zhang Financial was one of the two major sponsors to make the concert possible.
Barron's, August 25, 2012
Charles Zhang, CFP®, was named Michigan's #1 Independent Financial Advisor in Michigan, and #20 Nationwide in 2012. Ranking criteria includes volume of assets, revenues generated for the firm, and quality of practices. Mr. Zhang has made numerous appearances on the Barron's lists since 2004.
Investment News, May 7, 2012
Charles Zhang, head of Zhang Financial, doesn't think that stretching for additional risk in the fixed-income market is worthwhile. Mr. Zhang's comments on the subject can be found in article "Bond Fund Party Expected to End Soon." For clients who demand "safe, conservative" investments, he sticks with short-term global bond funds - preferably those with low expense ratios, such as those from Dimensional Fund Advisors LP or the Vanguard Group Inc. For risk, Mr. Zhang said he will look elsewhere. "Interest rates are going to go up. It's just a matter of time," he said. "If I'm going to take on risk, I'd rather be in the stock market."
Barron's, April 14, 2012
Charles C. Zhang, CFP®, was named one of the nation's Top 100 Financial Advisors in 2012 by Barron's. This honor has been received by Mr. Zhang eight times since the inception of the list in2004. Ranking criteria includes volume of assets, revenues generated for the firm, and quality of practices.
Grand Rapids Business Journal, April 9, 2012
Charles C. Zhang, managing partner of Zhang Financial, was ranked once again as West Michigan's #1 CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professional by the Grand Rapids Business Journal. The ranking is based on 2011 assets under management. The article also mentions Mr. Zhang was recently recognized by Medical Economics as one of the nation's "Best Financial Advisors for Doctors".
Dental Practice, April 2012
Charles Zhang was chosen by Dental Practice Report as one of the nation's Best Financial Advisors for Dentists in 2012. The list was compiled according to the advisor's qualifications, credentials, education, SEC/FINRA compliance records and years of experience. Charles Zhang was the only Michigan-based advisor included on the list.
Barron's, February 21, 2012
Charles C. Zhang, CFP®, was chosen again by Barron's to be included on their 2012 list of America's Top 1000 Financial Advisors. Mr. Zhang was recognized for his assets under management, quality of practices, regulatory records and client retention.
Medical Economics, November 10, 2011
Charles C. Zhang, CFP®, MBA, was featured in Medical Economics list of 2011 Best Financial Advisers for Doctors. The criteria used in the study included good standing, background, qualifications, fee arrangements and minimum portfolio size. When asked why physicians should use a financial advisor, Charles answered: "Financial planners are like money doctors. A medical doctor helps his patient's physical well being during their lifetime. A financial planner helps his clients grow and preserve their wealth not only during their lifetime, but for future generations."
Dow Jones Newswire, November 21, 2011
Charles C. Zhang, CFP®, was quoted in article "Tips for Reining in Big Spending Clients".
"Over the last 20 years I have had my fair share of over-spending clients.Although it can be uncomfortable, I have found it necessary to have this difficult discussion to protect their best interests. Approach the topic carefully and tailor it to your client's communication style.
"Having an established relationship with your client will enhance your credibility during this conversation. The first step is to give your client a reality check. Tell them the facts: how much they spend, what they should spend, and what that means to their future. Let them digest the information and discuss ways to reduce spending.
"If your first attempt was unsuccessful you must then use tough love." Let them know how serious the situation is by telling them how many months they have until they run out of money. Hearing how long it will be until they are broke can change a client's mindset quickly.
"And if all else fails try to find an ally in their spouse. Figure out who is responsible for bills, daily expenses and budgets and work together with them to plan sustainable spending. No matter how unpleasant this conversation may be for you and your client, do them a favor and have it anyway."
Dow Jones Newswire, November 2, 2011
Lynn Chen Zhang, CFP®, CPA, was quoted in article "Getting Personal: Helping Spot Estate Tax Refunds. Lynn shares:
"Advisers can help heirs by getting a copy of Form 706, the federal estate tax return, and giving it a close look, she says. The form can unlock savings on income as well as estate tax, she notes. In one case, the firm saved a client a lot of money after noting on Form 706 for her mother that the elder woman had paid federal tax on bonds her daughter inherited."
Barron's Top 100 Financial Advisor Conference, September 15, 2011
On September 15th Charles had the honor of speaking at the Barron's Top 100 Financial Advisor conference in Orlando, Florida. He shared with other top advisors how to effectively communicate and understand individual clients needs and goals. Charles was once again included in this year's list of the Top 100 Financial Advisors nationwide.
The Wall Street Journal, September 7, 2011
Advisers Preach Caution
From last July through the end of August, the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index fell 9.4%, erasing months of gains. The sell off was partly due to the downgrade of a US government credit rating and concerns that European economies could falter. After the worst August for stocks in a decade, some investors have now started asking whether we could see a repeat of October 2007 to March 2009, when stocks fell 50%.
"I don't think so," says Charles Zhang, founder of advisory firm Zhang Financial in Portage, Mich. In part, he says, that's because changes made after the 2008 financial crisis have resulted in "a much better [U.S.] financial system now."
In this column we feature prominent financial advisers who use mutual funds and exchange-traded funds for their clients' investments. This month we revisit Mr. Zhang and three other advisers featured in the past to see if they are making any changes to their portfolios.
Here's their advice to clients.
The recent decline in stocks has left Mr. Zhang with one regret; that they didn't fall more. "I'm very anxious to see the market continue to drop," he say, because it would give him a chance to buy stocks at a lower price for his clients and himself.
Earlier this summer, Mr. Zhang increased clients' cash allocation to around 10% to 20% of their portfolios, by cutting back on stocks. Now, he and his investment team hope to use that money. He's setting up "limit orders" which would trigger the purchase of specific investments when they fall to a certain value.
Barron's, August 27, 2011
Charles Zhang, managing partner, was included on Barron's 2011 list of America's Top 100 Independent Financial Advisors. The ranking criteria includes assets under management, revenues generated and quality of practices.
NASDAQ, August 8, 2011
Charles Zhang was invited to participate in the NASDAQ Opening Bell Ceremony on Monday, August 8, 2011. Charles and LPL Financial's CEO, Mark Casady, were on the stage and rang the bell.
Grand Rapids Magazine, June 2011
Zhang Financial was featured in the Grand Rapids Magazine. Charles Zhang was quoted "Our goal is to be a nationally recognized, highly ranked independent financial services firm that offers our clients unparalled financial advice and first-class service". Zhang Financial offers clients a fee-based relationship which ties their compensation directly to the performance of a client's account. "We don't work for a big company, we work for our clients," Charles added. read more
Barron's, April 18, 2011
Charles C. Zhang was named as one of the nation's Top 100 Financial Advisors in 2011 by Barron's. This honor has been received by Mr. Zhang many times since 2004. Ranking criteria includes volume of assets, revenues generated for the firm, and quality of practices.
Grand Rapids Business Journal, April 11, 2011
Charles C. Zhang, managing partner of Zhang Financial, was ranked West Michigan's #1 CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professional by the Grand Rapids Business Journal. The ranking is based on 2010 assets under management. The article also mentions Mr. Zhang recently earned recognition from Barron's and Forbes as one of America's top financial advisors. read more
Barron's, February 19, 2011
Charles C. Zhang, managing partner, was recently named in Barron's 2011 list of the nation's top 1,000 Financial Advisors.
Barron's top advisor lists are based on quality of practices, assets under management and other factors. Mr. Zhang has appeared many times on Barron's top advisor lists since 2004.
Registered Rep, January 2, 2011
Charles C. Zhang, managing partner and president of Zhang Financial, was quoted in article "Capitalizing on ETF Price Wars". Charles says his shift to lower-cost investment vehicles has paid off, with assets under management growing 15 to 20 percent since the change. Zhang also improved his client retention rate, which went from about 95 to 99.5 percent.
"The high-margin, high-profit time for mutual fund is over," he says. Clients of the firm will pay an average expense ratio of about 0.25 percent, compared to about 1.2 percent for the industry average, Zhang says.
Investment News, December 12, 2010
Charles Zhang was quoted in an Investment News article "Mr. Rogers: Lovely Days Are Long Behind Us" by Andrew Osterland. Following is an excerpt from that article.
Charles Zhang, managing partner of Zhang Financial, an LPL Financial affiliate, is similarly cautious about the longer-term outlook for the U.S. and particularly European markets, but is optimistic in the short run.
"If the S&P 500 rises another 20%, I would be reallocating, but I think we'll be OK over the next six to 12 months," Mr. Zhang said.
Although Mr. Zhang agrees that the debt burdens in the U.S. and Europe are a major long-term problem, he doesn't fault the government for its response to the financial crisis. "I think they did a good job. It's easy to say that we should have let [Citigroup Inc.] or Bank of America [Corp.] go down, but if that happened, we would be facing a much bigger crisis. People wouldn't trust the system," he said.
The Wall Street Journal, September 2, 2010
Charles Zhang was featured in The Wall Street Journal article "Bullish on Commodities" by Shefali Anand. Following is an excerpt from that article.
Some commodities are trading at prices 40% to 50% below what they were five years ago, with oil down 70% from its 2008 peak, says Mr. Zhang, 43 years old.
While he doesn't think oil will return to its peak level soon, he's "very confident that in three to five years, it will be double" what it is today, he says. The prices of oil, natural gas and some other commodities have taken a beating in the last two years amid the global economic slowdown and a bust in speculative investments. Adding to investor wariness about commodities are concerns about the possibility of deflation, or a decline in the general level of prices for goods and services.
But Mr. Zhang believes that as emerging countries like China and India grow over the next decade, they will consume more oil and gas, pushing prices upward. And rather than deflation, Mr. Zhang expects a period of inflation over the next few years. And when that happens, commodities are likely to perform well, he says.
Mr. Zhang has been in financial planning since 1991, starting in the financial-advisory unit of American Express Co. He founded Zhang Financial in 2007, and the firm currently manages $1.1 billion through LPL Financial, primarily for very wealthy individuals. Mr. Zhang has been named a top financial adviser* in the U.S. by Barron's magazine, which is published by News Corp.'s Dow Jones & Co., publisher of The Wall Street Journal.
Mr. Zhang makes his commodity investments through exchange-traded notes--contracts in which an investment bank promises to provide the return of a specific index. ETNs can be bought and sold like stock on an exchange. Mr. Zhang says he prefers owning these to buying shares of commodity companies because he believes commodity prices will rise faster than stocks during a period of inflation.
When creating investment portfolios for clients, Mr. Zhang looks at long-term asset allocation, but also keeps an eye out for opportunities to generate short-term gains. "We do take advantage of short-term volatility," Mr. Zhang says.
One way he does this is by setting up limit orders for investors. Basically, he asks clients to keep some cash investments in a brokerage or money-market account under his supervision. Then he gives instructions that the money be used to, say, buy a broad stock-market ETF, but only when the prices falls 20% or more below a recent level.
ETN's are senior unsecured debt obligations and are subject to the creditworthiness of the issuer.ETN prices can deviate from its intrinsic value due to a variety of market factors such as tracking error, size, and general liquidity. Leveraged ETNs are more volatile and are subject to greater potential for loss. Some ETNs are very specific and therefore may lack diversification and may be subject to single market event risk. ETNs are not appropriate for all investors and loss of principal is possible.
Investing in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), structured as a mutual fund or unit investment trust, involves risks such as: lack of diversification, price volatility, competitive industry pressure, international political and economic development, possible trading halts and index tracking error. Loss of principal is possible. Commodities are subject to significant volatility and an investment in commodities may decline in value quickly.
The strategies promoted may result in substantial transactions costs and may carry significant tax consequences. These strategies are speculative and may not be appropriate for investors seeking to hold investments longer term.
The opinions voiced in this article are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individuals. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. To determine which investment (s) may be appropriate for you, please consult your financial advisor prior to investing.
**Factors included in the Barron's ranking are assets under management, quality of practices, regulatory record, and philanthropic work.
Registered Rep, August 1, 2010
Charles Zhang, managing partner of Zhang Financial, ranked in Top 3 on Registered Rep's list of "America's Top 100 Independent Financial Advisors", based on assets under management.
Yahoo! Finance, July 21, 2010
Exchange traded funds have opened the door for individual investors to partake in what would otherwise be complex, professional-level investment strategies. Earlier this week Barron's highlighted an ETF strategy employed by Charles Zhang of Michigan-based Zhang Financial, which incorporates limit orders to capitalize on volatile markets. The report cites the flash crash on May 6 that momentarily sent the Dow tumbling by about -1000 points before recovering sharply to recoup most of the losses. Significantly undervalued limit orders were executed automatically on the dip, and traders were left to collect their profits in the subsequent rebound.
Barron's, July 17, 2010
Charles Zhang, CFP®, was featured in Barron's article "Tapping Into the Full Power of ETFs, How leading financial advisors play exchange traded funds to profit from the stock market's ups and downs."
Zhang Financial, in Portage, Mich., has about $1 billion in assets under management, and ETFs make up a hefty 50% of its holdings. Like other ETF advocates, Zhang, 43, can reel off the well-known benefits of the funds-including their tax advantages. However, he suggests that investors haven't taken full advantage of one important feature: the ability to create limit orders on them to profit from the stock market's recent volatility.
A limit order, which instructs a broker to buy or sell a specific amount of stock at, below or above a preset price, allows clients to cash in on brief trading opportunities in ETFs that Zhang believes are less risky than applying the same strategy to individual stocks. A stock's price can fall for reasons that might be difficult to grasp quickly, or could signal fundamental problems (think BP). But Zhang says a quick intraday drop in the price of a broad basket of stocks - creating momentary value - is much more likely to correct itself.
"In a very volatile market like we see today, limit orders to buy and sell make a lot of sense. They let clients take advantage of the ups and downs in the market," says Zhang.
Investing in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), structured as a mutual fund or unit investment trust, involves the risk of losing money and should be considered as part of an overall program, not a complete investment program. Additional risks should be considered such as: not diversified, price volatility, competitive industry pressure, international political and economic development, possible trading halts and index tracking error.
The strategies promoted may result in substantial transactions costs and may carry significant tax consequences. These strategies are speculative and may not be appropriate for investors seeking to hold investments longer term.
The opinions voiced in this article are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individuals. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. To determine which investment (s) may be appropriate for you, please consult your financial advisor prior to investing.
WWMT Channel 3, May 7, 2010
Charles Zhang was interviewed by Channel 3 in response to the fast and dramatic 998-point drop in the Dow. Mr. Zhang discussed day trading and fears over Greece. The biggest losers, Charles agreed, were those who sold during the day due to panic. "If you don't do day trading, you will not have a problem. While the market dropped almost 1,000 points at one time, the market still made a considerable rebound by the end of the day." Many agreed guidelines must be put into place to avoid similar mistakes in the future.
Kalamazoo Gazette, May 5, 2010
Charles C. Zhang, CFP®, was recognized in the Kalamazoo Gazette for his Barron's Top 100 Advisor ranking. According to Barron's Online, "The ranking reflects the volume of assets overseen by the advisors and their teams and the quality of the advisors practices." Zhang was one of only two Michigan advisors to make the Top 100 list in 2010.
Barron's, April 19, 2010
Charles C. Zhang, managing partner of Zhang Financial, was named to Barron's 2010 list of Top 100 Financial Advisors. The ranking reflects the volume of assets overseen by the advisor, quality of practices, and revenues generated. Mr. Zhang was one of the only two advisors from Michigan ranked on the 2010 list.
Barron's, Winner's Circle Top Independent Advisors Summit, April 16, 2010
Charles Zhang, managing partner of Zhang Financial, was a featured speaker at the Barron's Top Independent Advisors Summit in Orlando, Florida. Charles was named to Barron's Top 100 Independent Advisors in their August 31, 2009 issue.
Barron's, February 22, 2010
Charles Zhang was named to the Barron's Top 1000 Financial Advisors in 2010. Charles Zhang has made numerous appearances on Barron's top advisor lists since 2004.
Mr. Zhang was recognized for his assets under management, revenues generated, and quality of practices. Barron's Top 1000 Advisor list is one of the industry's most distinguished financial advisor rankings. Barron's estimated an average client retention ratio of 97% for their ranked advisors, excellent considering the market conditions over the past few years.
Charles was ranked the #1 independent financial advisor in Michigan and placed #2 overall in the state.
SmartMoney, September 23, 2009
Charles C. Zhang, CFP®, managing partner of Zhang Financial, was interviewed in "Thinking Twice About TIPS". For those seeking a TIPS-alternative, Mr. Zhang suggests looking for companies with strong brands and a competitive edge that offer products many cannot do without during an inflationary period. Buy the sellers - as an investor, you want a firm to be able to raise prices during inflation so it maintains profit.
Barron's, September 2009
Charles Zhang, managing partner of Zhang Financial, was once again selected by Barron's as one of our nation's Top 100 Independent Financial Advisors. Mr. Zhang was recognized for his assets under management, revenues generated, and quality of practices. Barron's Top 100 Independent Advisor list is one of the industry's most distinguished financial advisor rankings.
Charles Zhang, and many other independent financial advisors, have seen a major shift in the financial planning industry. In light of the credit crises and many other questionable business practices, investors are jumping from large Wall Street wire-houses to independent outfits. Some $200 billion flowed into the independents last year; bringing their total assets under management to $2 trillion, according to Triburon Strategic Advisors, a California-based research firm. This is a clear signal that investors are looking for an advisor that can truly put their interests first.
JD Power, September 2009
LPL Financial advisors earned the No. 1 ranking in the key category of "Client Satisfaction with Advisors".
Kalamazoo Gazette, September 6, 2009
Charles Zhang, managing partner of Zhang Financial, was named to the LPL Financial Executive Council. Less than 1 percent of the 11,887 LPL financial advisors who LPL supports have received this distinction, which is based on total revenue produced for the firm.
Kalamazoo Gazette - Special Edition, July 19, 2009
Lynn Chen-Zhang, partner at Zhang Financial, was interviewed for "What's the cost of some of life's opportunities?" Lynn discusses retiring comfortably.
Wondering how to retire comfortably? Lynn's advice is to remember two principles: start early and be disciplined. "The power of accumulation is enormous," Lynn said of beginning to save as early as possible. The longer a person can save, the more effect compound interest can have. Being disciplined means having a long-term approach to investing that keeps you from buying high when times are good and selling low when the markets are falling.
If there is any good news coming out of the financial world these days, Lynn Chen-Zhang said, it is still feasible to retire comfortably. Many of our clients are able to retire as planned; by saving regularly, investing early, and maintaining conservative spending habits they are able to reach their retirement goals.
Financial Times - UK, June 13, 2009
Charles Zhang, managing partner of Zhang Financial, was quoted in UK Financial Times article "Equities Sideways Shuffle as Computer Glitch Strikes". Wall Street stocks headed towards a muted end to the week yesterday after hitting their highest close of the year on Thursday. Equities continued to travel sideways on a day when floor trading in 242 companies, including Exxon Mobil and General Electric, was halted because of a computer problem.
The market spent the week focused on interest rates and the threat of inflation as climbing commodity prices were further fueled by a falling dollar and climbing bond yields. "Inflation is a serious threat, perhaps not in three to six months, but in 12 to 18 months, and we have been investing in inflation protection assets," said Charles Zhang, managing partner of Zhang Financial.
Financial Times, June 12, 2009
Charles Zhang, managing partner of Zhang Financial, was interviewed and quoted in article, "Wall Street Slips on Falling Oil Prices". Inflation, oil prices and interest rates were the focus of this piece.
The market spent the week focused on interest rates and the threat of inflation as climbing commodity prices were further fueled by a falling dollar and climbing bond yields. Some investors fear the Federal Reserve may raise interest rates later this year.
Mr. Zhang responded "Inflation is a serious threat, perhaps not in three to six months, but in 12 to 18 months, and we have been investing in inflation protection assets".
Financial Times, June 10, 2009
Charles Zhang was interviewed by Kiran Stacey for "Wall Street Slips on Disappointing US Debt Sale". US stocks slipped on Wednesday afternoon after a disappointing auction of government debt triggered a slump that was then erased by some positive economic news from the Federal Reserve. Fears that rising interest rates would curb consumer spending took their toll on financial and consumer stocks.
Charles Zhang, managing partner of Zhang Financial, said inflation remained a serious long-term worry. "The US government will have to increase yields to make Treasury bonds attractive," he said.
Kalamazoo Gazette, June 5, 2009
Charles C. Zhang was featured in Kalamazoo Gazette article "Portage-based Financial Planner Charles Zhang is Among Barron's Top 100 Advisers". Factors included in the rankings include assets under management, revenue produced for the firm, client satisfaction, and regulatory record.
It was Charles' fifth appearance on the national business publication's Top 100 list since 2004. Charles is the managing partner of Zhang Financial, at 1302 West Milham.
Zhang has been quoted by various national media sources including CNBC, BusinessWeek, and Wall Street Journal. Among other things, he is an adjunct professor of finance at Western Michigan University, and he and his wife, Lynn L. Chen-Zhang, are authors of "Make Yourself a Millionaire", published by McGraw-Hill.
Registered Rep Magazine, May 29, 2009
Charles C. Zhang was featured on Registered Rep Magazine's Advisor Corner. When asked "When it comes to moving ahead in your career, what keeps you up at night?" Mr. Zhang answered:
"I know some advisors lose sleep over the market. I don't. I shouldn't lose sleep over things out of my control. Today I am an independent advisor and can truly put my clients interests first. I am proud to say I do everything possible to do the best job for each of my clients. Honestly, I no longer have a reason to lose sleep."
BusinessWeek, May 28, 2009
Charles Zhang, managing partner of Zhang Financial, was quoted in BusinessWeek article "Finding Higher Returns With Lower Risk". The article discusses how market volatility has swayed some investors to adjust their investment strategy. Some investors are looking to invest in low-volatility, while others are finding ways to make volatility work for them.
"Since managing a portfolio can be time-consuming, investors may want to use limit orders to set buy and sell prices ahead of time," says Charles Zhang, a financial adviser with Zhang Financial in Portage, Mich. As bank stocks recovered recently, Zhang placed limit orders to buy shares if prices fell 10%, and to sell, say, half a position if prices rose 20%.
Investment News, April 26, 2009
Charles C. Zhang, Managing Partner of Zhang Financial, was interviewed by Investment News writer Bruce Kelly for article "Indie B-Ds Gain Clients at Expense of Wirehouses".
The stock market's downturn is reshaping the retail-brokerage industry, with disgruntled clients replacing wirehouse brokers with independent representatives and financial advisors. An Investment News survey of 650 advisors found that 87.3% were building their client base amid the downturn. The vast majority of those advisors (72.6%) said that their new clients were coming from wirehouse firms.
About 40% of advisors reported their new clients left their previous broker because they were dissatisfied with the financial advice that they were given. Another 50% of advisors reported that the new clients they picked up from wirehouses left their previous broker do to a lack of communication.
"Clients were sold on the stability of the big firm," said Charles Zhang. "That's actually not so." Zhang Financial has picked up about two dozen clients from wirehouses since the downturn, Zhang said.
Barron's, April 20, 2009
Charles C. Zhang, Managing Partner of Zhang Financial, was once again chosen by Barron's as one of our nation's Top 100 Financial Advisors. Mr. Zhang was recognized for his assets under management, quality of practices, regulatory records, and client retention.
Barron's Top 100 list is one of the industries most distinguished financial advisor rankings. Charles Zhang has received this honor previously 2004-2007. He was not eligible for the list in 2008 due to his move to LPL Financial. Advisors transitioning to a different broker dealer are not eligible for Barron's top advisor rankings for one year.
During one of the most widespread financial crisis, Barron's 2009 Top Financial Advisors certainly have managed to stand out. Chosen from more than 800 nominees - all of which are top-tier advisors hand-picked by their broker dealer - these advisors are successfully following the industries best practices and continuing to assist their clients in working toward and meeting their important financial goals.
To read the entire story go to http://online.barrons.com/article/SB123987806796924697.html
Mainstreet - TheStreet.com, February 23, 2009
Charles Zhang, managing partner of Zhang Financial, was quoted in article "Financial Aid: Are You Better Off Earning Less?". Mr. Zhang offers his expertise to help parents wondering how to put financial aid to its best use for their children's college education.
"In most cases it would not be beneficial to reduce income to receive additional financial aid," says Charles C. Zhang. "Less income does not translate dollar-for-dollar into more financial aid. Typically, a reduction in financial aid awards is only pennies for every dollar of income earned. Parents would be better off saving the additional income to use for the student's education expenses."
Mr. Zhang suggests saving in retirement plans as a good option to increase financial aid. "Parents who are very close to making an income above the Pell Grant limitations could consider contributing more money to their 401k or retirement plans," says Zhang. "Not only will that reduce the family income, retirement assets are not considered in the EFC calculation."
Smart Money, February 13, 2009
Charles Zhang, managing partner of Zhang Financial, was interviewed by Smart Money reporter Rob Wherry for article "4 Funds Poised for an Emerging Market Rebound."
Charles Zhang, a financial advisor in Portage, Mich., echoes many of the concerns investors have with the current emerging market investment picture. Even though many countries are trying to right their economies with their own versions of stimulus plans - China recently announced a $586 billion economic and infrastructure program - the tide probably won't turn for some time, he says. One reason is that these regions are more closely tied to ailing financial institutions and faltering commodities markets than developed nations. They also need a recovery here in the U.S. to happen first.
Barron's, February 9, 2009
Charles C. Zhang, managing partner of Zhang Financial, was recognized by Barron's in 2009 as one of the nation's top financial advisors. Mr. Zhang received the honor of being ranked the #1 Independent Financial Advisor in Michigan. In addition, Charles was named the #2 Financial Advisor in Michigan overall.
The Barron's Top Financial Advisor rankings reflect advisors, assets under management, revenue generated by their firms, quality of service and regulatory records. The rankings were produced by Winner's Circle.
Kalamazoo Gazette, January 11, 2009
Charles Zhang was recently featured in local article, "Personal Investment Advisors Critical in Challenging Times." Mr. Zhang shares his thoughts and perspective on what is like to be a personal financial advisor during these difficult financial times.
"The current economy has made our job more important and more challenging. During these difficult times, clients must rely on their financial advisor's expertise and advice," says Charles C. Zhang, managing partner of Zhang Financial in Portage. "In general, I advise my clients to invest with a long-term perspective," says Zhang. "I believe it is important to determine the level of risk you are willing to take, develop a plan and asset allocation, implement, and monitor your progress. Most importantly, do not try and time the market. Stick with your investment strategy."
Business Week: Special Issue, January 5, 2009
Charles Zhang, managing partner of Zhang Financial, was recently quoted in Business Week: Special Issue article "Riding the Dollar Into Foreign Markets" by Ben Levisohn. Not everyone is predicting the dollar's decline. Adviser Charles Zhang doesn't see a weakening soon.
WMU Foundation Annual Report, December 2008
Charles and Lynn Zhang were featured in Western Michigan University's 2008 Annual Report article, "Zhangs Bring Fame to Kalamazoo, WMU".
Charles Zhang has played an instrumental role in the establishment of the WMU personal financial planning program. He has been teaching in the program, which is now offered as a major, since 1998 and continues to serve as an adjunct professor. As members of the President's Circle McKee Society, The Zhangs have backed up their verbal support of WMU with philanthropic investments in the University, including scholarships in the Haworth College of Business.
Business Week, December 8, 2008
Charles Zhang, managing partner of Zhang Financial, was recently quoted in Business Week article "The Robust Dollar: A Chance to Diversify Overseas?". Charles' comments are published alongside those of Mohamed El-Erian, former investment manager of Harvard University's endowment fund and current CEO & CIO of PIMCO, the world's largest bond investor.
Charles is not yet predicting a dramatic decline for the dollar. Instead, he suggests investors slowly diversify and avoid rushing into foreign markets in a panic. "If you want to venture abroad," Charles says, "take a trip - but leave your investment dollars at home."
Wall Street Journal, December 2, 2008
Charles Zhang, managing partner of Zhang Financial, answered reader's questions in "Alternative Answers" by Gregory Zuckerman. Mr. Zhang discussed the advantages and risks involved with investing in money-market accounts or certificates of deposit in foreign currencies.
Many countries offer substantially higher-yielding CDs than the U.S. For example, a WorldCurrency CD offered in New Zealand dollars provides 4% annualized for three to twelve months. Higher yields, however, can also be warning signs that a banking system is facing trouble.
"Unlike the typical CDs, these WorldCurrency CDs have the risk of losing principal due to changes in currency exchange rates" Mr. Zhang says. "It is really intended to be part of your portfolio for diversification purposes and should be held longer-term." He argues that these CDs are only appropriate for investors convinced that the dollar will weaken.
Associated Press - CNN, Yahoo! Finance, MSN Money, Forbes, November 21, 2008
Charles Zhang, managing partner, was interviewed by David Pitt of the Associated Press for article "Blue Chip Stocks Cheap but not Immune". That same day, the Dow hit its lowest closing point this year-nearing 7,500. While Charles believes we are still facing tough times, he does see many opportunities present for long-term value investors.
"Looking forward, I believe we will have a big bull market coming in the next five years," Charles said. " But, in the short term we will continue to see people selling aggressively. Right now, if you have cash, it's a good time to buy."
Charles' interview was published on several financial websites including CNN, Yahoo! Finance, MSN Money and Forbes.
Dow Jones Newswire, November 18, 2008
Charles Zhang, managing partner, was quoted in article "Voyage to the Bottom of the Market". In this article the continued spiral and the possibility of an "absolute floor" for the stock market was examined. Mr. Zhang said that when a stock's price-to-book ratio reaches one, the price would very likely be around the bottom. "The stock market is efficient, and if there is value present, investors will buy the stock."
Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, St. Louis Post, and Santa Rosa Press, November 9, 2008
Charles Zhang, managing partner of Zhang Financial, was interviewed by Andrew Leckey for his thoughts on cash alternatives. Mr. Zhang's quote was published in the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, St. Louis Post, and Santa Rosa Press.
When asked about investment options for conservative investors Charles said "The most viable cash alternatives right now are short-term certificates of deposit, Treasuries and money-market funds." In addition, Mr. Zhang expects low inflation and low interest rates over the next several years. Although many consider it less risky to liquidate their investments and hold cash when the market is troubled, Charles said such a market represents the best time for a long-term investor to invest in bargain-price stocks.
Dow Jones Newswire, October 29, 2008
Charles Zhang was interviewed by Palash Ghosh for article "Taking Stock: Oil and Stocks Moving in Tandem". Mr. Zhang discussed the trend of crude oil and how alternative energy could change the oil market. "The price of crude oil is not only affected by the economy, it's also affected by alternative energy options," he said. "Typically, the demand for oil would increase as the economy recovers and the price of oil will also increase. However, even if the economy regains its footing, the demand for oil might actually decrease, if there are more options for alternative energy."
WWMT Channel 3, October 24, 2008
Charles Zhang was interviewed by Channel 3 in response to the continued turmoil of the financial markets. Mr. Zhang discussed recent trends of the stock market and unemployment rates.
Investment News, October 12, 2008
Mr. Zhang was interviewed by Investment News for article "Market Meltdown Tests Advisers". Charles says some advisers see the market turmoil as an opportunity to pick up blue-chip stocks on the cheap. "Long-term investors, or those who don't need to touch their investments for four to five years, should use a small percentage of their portfolio to buy stocks," said Charles Zhang, managing partner of Zhang Financial in Portage, Mich. which manages more than $800 million in client assets.
WWMT Channel 3, October 9, 2008
Charles Zhang appeared on Channel 3 News to offer his opinion to investors. Mr. Zhang suggested to those withdrawing income from their investments to watch their budget closely and aim to withdraw less than 5% annually from their portfolios. Most importantly, Mr. Zhang advises against changing your risk level due to changes in market conditions. To achieve the best long term results investors should only change their risk level or investment strategy when their life situation changes.
Washington Post, October 5, 2008
Charles Zhang was interviewed for a Washington Post article. Mr. Zhang explains it is important to be careful when buying investments, urging investors to avoid "bottom-fishing". Charles said, "Don't forgo an analysis of a stock's fundamentals just because the price is right. Be very careful. Don't buy stocks because they're cheap. A lot of people make that mistake."
Wall Street Journal, October 2, 2008
Charles Zhang, managing partner of Zhang Financial, was quoted in Wall Street Journal article, "Four at Four: Looking for Cash". "My clients all say they need to have some cash on their hands," says Charles Zhang. "In the short term, the market will continue going down. People just don't trust that this mess is finished, that the bailout bill will pass and everything will just be fine."
Worth Magazine, October/November 2008
Charles Zhang, managing partner of Zhang Financial, was recently recognized as one of the nation's Top 250 Wealth Advisors by Worth Magazine. Worth recognizes an elite group of advisors for their expertise, integrity and dedication to the field of wealth management. Charles Zhang is among a select group, chosen for his outstanding knowledge, insight, trustworthiness and committment to his client's needs. Charles Zhang has received this honor seven times.
WWMT Channel 3, September 30, 2008
Charles Zhang, managing partner of Zhang Financial, was interviewed by Kalamazoo/Grand Rapids Channel 3 News. Mr. Zhang provided suggestions to pre-retirees and retirees on how they may preserve their assets. Charles discussed the importance of diversification, asset allocation, and risk tolerance. In addition, Mr. Zhang urged retirees to watch their budgets closely and try to keep their annual withdraws below 4-5% of their investment portfolio.
The Grand Rapids Press, September 27, 2008
Charles Zhang was interviewed by Chris Knape for article, "Rescue plan necessary, area economic experts say". Mr. Zhang said he gives National City a 50-50 shot at survival right now in light of their financial troubles. Charles also mentioned that this crisis should be a reminder to make sure bank deposits are spread among banks so accounts are at or well below FDIC insurance levels - generally $100,000.
Reuters, September 15, 2008
Charles Zhang, managing partner of Zhang Financial, was quoted in Reuters articles: "U.S. Stocks in Worst Day Since 2001, Oil Plunges" written by Hubert Lash, as well as "Treasuries - Bonds Soar as Financial Angst Spurs Safety Bids" authored by Richard Leong. In response to the financial crisis facing the nation, Mr. Zhang mentions "Peope are really scared. They don't trust many companies. They don't know how safe their money is."
Registered Rep Magazine, September 2008
Charles Zhang, managing partner of Zhang Financial, was recently named the #1 Independent Financial Advisor in Michigan and #10 in the nation by Registered Rep Magazine. The ranking was based on the top 100 largest advisors in the independent broker/dealer world by assets under management.
PBS Business First, August 12, 2008
Charles Zhang was featured on PBS program Business First. During his interview with Tom Hudson, Mr. Zhang offered his thoughts on the current economic conditions and future outlook. As the market makes a positive jump and oil prices continue to fall, Charles favors depressed sectors including information technology and healthcare for their future potential. He also discussed fixed income investment options including municipal bonds, which may be a valuable addition to an investor's portfolio, especially those in a higher tax bracket.
BNR Newsradio, August 2008
Mr. Zhang, managing partner of Zhang Financial, spoke with Emma Blijdenstein on BNR Newsradio. He discussed China's decision to diversify into U.S. markets. Charles sites the well established business practices and financial markets of the U.S. as a few reasons why China made this choice.
Reuters, August 1, 2008
Charles Zhang, managing partner, was interviewed by Reuters correspondent, John Parry, for his views on inflation and fixed income investments. Mr. Zhang offered the following thoughts. "US inflation is likely to stay between 4.0 and 5.0 percent over the long term, despite the fall in crude oil prices this month, making buying the long bond at its current yield a risky proposition."
Fox Business News, July 30, 2008
Charles Zhang, managing partner of Zhang Financial, was featured in a live interview with David Asman and Liz Clamanon Fox Business News. Mr. Zhang discussed his thoughts on the overall market conditions and strategies to invest during the current volatile market.
CNBC, July 16, 2008
CNBC Power Lunch's Michelle Caruso-Cabrera and Dennis Kneale highlight the retirement planning expertise of Lynn Chen-Zhang of Zhang Financial. Chen-Zhang discusses what to do with your company retirement plan in the case of a corporate buyout or merger. "I would recommend rollover over into an IRA because it provides a lot more choices," she says. "There is a lot more flexibility in the beneficiary designations as well as distribution options." Chen-Zhang also explains that this leaves the door open to a possible Roth IRA conversion.
CNBC Asia, July 2008
Charles Zhang was featured in a live interview about the China stock market. He emphasized the importance of diversification, asset allocation and value investing.
Barron's, June 23, 2008
Suzanne McGee interviewed Lynn Chen-Zhang for a special report titled "The Hidden Costs of the Golden Years." In the article, Lynn discussed how to cope with the medical expenses if people retire at age 63 1/2 and why it is critical to avoid having any gap in insurance coverage. Lynn also addressed the issue of medical costs for folks "who 've been unable to build an ample investment portfolio."
Dow Jones Newswire, June 3, 2008
Charles Zhang, of Zhang Financial, was interviewed by Palash Ghosh of the Dow Jones Newswire for the article "Relax, Gas is Pretty Cheap." Charles explained "Gasoline has always been more expensive for Europeans and the Japanese. This is why the price surge seems so shocking to Americans and creates the impression of a crisis." Mr. Zhang also pointed out that the European lifestyle allows them to cope with high energy prices, "In Europe they have a better and more extensive public transportation system. Also, Europeans who drive use smaller, gas-efficient cars, which of course need less fuel than a SUV."
21st Century Business Harold, June 2, 2008
Charles was featured as a leading independent advisor. He was interviewed about the independent advisor industry and mutual funds in the U.S. market. Charles discussed his firm, Zhang Financial, and how offering unbiased investment advice is his top priority.
CNBC, May, June 2008
Charles Zhang has been featured in several live CNBC segments.
Worth Magazine, October 2007
Charles Zhang is named as one of the Top 100 Wealth Advisors, America's Premier Financial Strategists for Global Investing. The selection process starts with nominations of advisors who have gone "above and beyond the call of duty in meeting their clients' needs" made by the reader's of the magazine. These advisors are then asked to fill out a questionnaire providing their credentials, work history, client retention rate among other background information. The greatest importance lies upon the advisor's ability to "intelligently discuss the current investment climate, the markets and their strategies for success". Finally the information provided by the advisor is verified and a final list is assembled.
Research: The Winner's Circle, September 2007
R.J. Shook reviews the top-ranked advisor teams in America in "The Winner's Circle". In Shook's article, he recognizes the secret of all the best advisors in the world: "it's all about the client". Those among the top in the nation are genuine in their efforts to provide their clients the best service. Charles Zhang and Lynn Chen-Zhang are ranked the #1 family team in the nation.
Kalamazoo Gazette, May 3, 2007
In Amy Bell's article entitled "Got a Lump Sum to Invest? Risk Tolerance Key, Advisers Say", Charles Zhang is among advisors chosen to give advice to the editorial. Mr. Zhang claims that a person's ability to tolerate risk, their tax situation, and their present and future income needs are factors that play a role into building a portfolio. Furthermore, Mr. Zhang makes recommendations for moderate investing.
Barron's, April 23, 2007
Charles Zhang is among Barron's annual roster of the top 100 financial advisers in the nation for 2007. These top advisers were also identified by R.J. Shook, author of The Winner's Circle books. R.J. Shook says that those among the top 100 "follow the industry's best practices and have the most assets under management".
Barron's, April 24, 2006
Charles Zhang is named as one of the Top 100 Financial Advisers for 2006. Mr. Zhang's practices and views are discussed in an article. The author of a 2003 book titled Make Yourself a Millionaire, Zhang hopes that his clients and potential clients will avoid traps like market-timing and chasing recent winners. Says he: "Long-term success comes from maintaining diversification and discipline." That's never been more true than now.
Detroit News, March 6, 2006
Brian J. O'Connor of Detroit News seeks advice from Charles Zhang in the Money Makeover column in the Business section. In the article "Don't Play it Too Safe, Couple Told," Mr. Zhang gives advice to a Battle Creek couple, Keith and Wendi Baker, 35 and 27 years old respectively. He recommends to them a 529 college plan for their two young children, and also advises them to meet with a qualified estate planning attorney. Zhang praises them for being concerned about their finances at a young age, but also encourages them to take more risks while they are still young.
Worth Magazine, October 2005
This issue of Worth Magazine included Charles Zhang in their list of "The Top 100" advisers in the nation.
Research:Where FinancialAdvisorsFindResults, September 2005
The issue highlighting The Winner's Circle, The Top-Ranked Advisor Teams in America, Charles and Lynn Zhang are interviewed in the article "Business Partners, Life Partners." Charles and Lynn emphasize how the needs of the clients always come first at their firm, stating "We believe the most important thing to remember is to always put clients' interest first."
Miller Auditorium/Western Michigan University, 2004-2008
Charles and Lynn Zhang are recognized by Miller Auditorium and Western Michigan University as being tremendous supporters of all of the events at Miller Auditorium, including concerts of New York Phiharmonic, singer Kenny Rogers, Michael Bolton and Randy Travis.
Kellogg, Winter 2004
In the In Brief section of Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management's publication, Charles Zhang is featured along with advisor Steven Weinstein in an article entitled "Kellogg School Graduates Among National Elite in Competitive Financial Field." Mr. Zhang is one of the Kellogg School graduates, along with Mr. Weinstein, to be listed in Worth's "Top 100 Financial Advisers" in 2004. Mr. Zhang stresses that the keys to success are "continued education, ethics, and persistence." He also notes that he learned at Kellogg to not only manage clients' money, but to also motivate his staff in order to build a strong and successful firm.
The New York Times, December 19, 2004
In an article entitled, "This Season, Taxes May Spoil your Mutual Fund Party" by Norm Alster, the problems facing mutual fund investors concerning 'taxable capital gains distributions' are examined.
APACC News & Review: The Voice of APACC, December 2004
The Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce held the APACC Power Mixer on November 10, 2004 at Ford Conference & Event Center in Dearborn, Michigan. Charles Zhang was the keynote speaker with a speech entitled "Six Financial Strategies for Your Business," giving plenty of examples and statistical charts on key financial strategies for investors. The Event Chair Jimmy Hsiao presented Charles with a plaque at the end of the event.
Worth Magazine, October 2004
Charles Zhang is once again named as one of The Nation's 100 Most Exclusive Wealth Advisors in the nation. The editors of Worth surveyed many of financial professionals with the knowledge, skill, access, experience and credentials to effectively manage the affairs of America's wealthiest individuals and their families.
Kalamazoo Gazette, July 25, 2004
Dave Person interviews Lynn Chen-Zhang in his article "Others' Financial Success is Advisor's Goal" in this issue of the Kalamazoo Gazette. In this article in the Women in Business Section of the publication, Lynn's career prior to Zhang & Associates is outlined from her time as a tax advisor at Price Waterhouse Coopers in Battle Creek to manager of the tax compliance department at Kellogg Co. Lynn comments that she admires women who can stay at home with her kids, and she is thankful that she can control her own work schedule in order to fit her family into her life. She believes that it is important to communicate with Charles over lunch, and then to have family time during dinner.
WMU: Haworth College of Business, March 24, 2004
Lynn Zhang was designated as a "Professor of the Day" at the Haworth College of Business at Western Michigan University. The University gave her the honor of teaching at the business school on March 24, 2004.
Research: The Winner's Circle, December 2003
R.J. Shook embodies Charles Zhang's success in "Honesty and Hard Work Pay Off". In the article, R.J. Shook explains how Mr. Zhang's 99% client retention ratio is based on the foundations of honesty and hard-work. Clearly, Mr. Zhang's strong belief that "the most important thing to remember is to always put clients' interests first" is the secret to his achievements.
Worth Magazine, September 2001
Worth Magazine reviews the nation's top 250 financial advisers, highlighting them as "a highly elite group". The criteria for the list includes: credentials, professional distinctions, compensation structures, letters of recommendation from clients or professional peer, etc. Most of the weight is from the client's point of view: an advisor's focus on individual needs. Charles Zhang is recognized among the best.
WMU: Medallion Program, 2001
At Western Michigan University, Medallion Scholarships represent the highest honor an incoming WMU freshman can receive. Up to 20 Medallion Scholarships are awarded annually to those students who demonstrate the highest academic promise, and are comprised of a total of $32,000 in scholarship ($8,000 per year). In 2001, Carrie Johnson of Galien, Michigan, a graduate from River Valley High School, received the Charles and Lynn Zhang Medallion.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish Football: Blue & Gold Illustrated, Pre-Season 2000
The opening statement in the article titled Winning Ways by Lou Holtz reads, "There is no quality more critical to success and happiness than persistence". Lou Holtz continues his prose, employing Charles Zhang as the exemplary instance of this assertion. Because Mr. Zhang's impressive story involved continuous determination and perseverance, Holtz declares Charles Zhang as "one of the most impressive men you would want to meet". He honors Mr. Zhang's diligence stating, "he succeeded because he wanted to and persisted".
WMU: Haworth College of Business, 1999-2000
In "A Report on our Journey's Progress," Charles stated "I am very proud to be associated with the Haworth College of Business as an adjunct professor, not only because of the curriculum, but also because of the quality of the students. The intelligence they gain at Western enables them to thrive in the business world. I know that when I hire Western students, I can count on them because they have the drive to succeed." Charles Zhang CFP®, ChFC, CLU, MBA, is an adjunct professor of Financial & Commercial Law at the Haworth College of Business at Western Michigan University.
Ticker Magazine, December 1998
Ace Advisors:Flying High With Our Five Picks of the Most Successful and Innovative Investment Professionals of 1998.
There's no simple way to measure excellence. Sure, your assets under management and client roster might be impressive, but they don't tell the whole story. Rather, it's your character and devotion to clients that truly matter. After all, this is a relationship business. You'll notice a few changes in our second year doing this story. For example, we recognize "Ace Advisors" instead of last year's "Sales Stars" to reflect our emphasis on individuals' overall contributions. Since many of you submitted outstanding entries, selecting five "Ace Advisors" was a challenge. After conducting background checks through the NASD and CFP® Board of Standards, we spent hours poring over a file cabinets worth of entries.
"It's your character and devotion to clients that matter"- Charles Zhang, CFP®, ChFC, CLU, Ace Advisor, one of the five most successful investment professionals of 1998.
Dow Jones Investment Advisor, December 1997
Robert N. Veres gives an overview of the 1997 IAFP (International Association for Financial Planning) convention in Orlando in his article, "All Moused Up". Keynote speaker Charles Zhang shared his list of success criteria based on profound experiences in a presentation called "Number One Producers Tell All"; this session was particularly popular. Mr. Zhang's success criteria consist of three points: first, Mr. Zhang believes in the financial planning process; second, Mr. Zhang believes "clients are better off with me because I put a client's interests first and I work very hard for them"; and lastly, Mr. Zhang believes in focus, and it is with this everyday focus that he is able to give to his clients.
Financial Planning, September 1997
In a Quantity and Quality section of Financial Planning magazine, Charles Zhang is described as hard-working and determined, as becoming a financial planner immediately after college is not easy. Mr. Zhang is noted for working 80 hours per week during the first few months of his career, only to lead to frustrating results. However, he attributes his success to hard work.
Battle Creek Enquirer, August 30, 1997
Charles Zhang counsels investors in his article "Stay Calm in a Roller-Coaster Market". In this editorial, Charles offers his insight into how to deal with the twists and turns of the stock market by offering various strategies. Mr. Zhang gives a reminder that there is no way to eliminate risk entirely. However, with these strategies presented, it may be possible to reduce the risk and possibly "spare you the motion sickness".
Kalamazoo Gazette, April 4, 1997
Lynn Turner writes an article for the Business Section in the Kalamazoo Gazette entitled "Kalamazoo Man Snags American Express Award" after Charles Zhang has been announced as the recipient of the Alex M. Alexander Award from American Express Financial Advisers, Inc. of Minneapolis, MN. Mr. Zhang received this award as the #1 advisor in the company in 1996. Because of the award, Mr. Zhang was also featured in an AEFA national advertising campaign. He emphasized in the article that he believes in self-study in order to have the best results for his clients.
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