Our Blog

DWM is committed to learning for its team, clients and friends. In this changing world, it’s extremely important to stay current in all areas impacting your financial future.

We encourage all of team members to “drill down” on current topics important to you and contribute to our weekly blogs.  Questions from our clients and their families are often featured in our blogs.  

Financial literacy for clients and their families is very important to us.  We generally hold an annual wealth management seminar for all of our clients.  We encourage regular, at least semi-annual, meetings in person with our clients to review family updates, progress on financial goals, asset allocation and performance of investments.  We’re happy to assist younger members of the family as part of our total wealth management program.

Here’s our latest blog:




Financial Literacy – Important Now More Than Ever

Written by Grant Maddox.

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As the coronavirus pandemic changes our view on normalcy amidst global economies, the ramifications of inadequate financial knowledge may display a population that is underprepared to face unprecedented financial challenges. Nearly three months ago, we were seeing a thriving economy, presidential debates, NBA teams spearing for a playoff position, and more, but all of that came to an unexpected end when the COVID-19 pandemic took hold of our day-to-day lives. Now is all the more reason why our societies should refresh on financial literacy skills to navigate uncharted economic uncertainty. 

According to Investopedia, financial literacy is the ability to understand and properly apply financial management skills. Characteristics of financial literacy include but are not limited to properly managing debt, savings goals, accurately calculating interest, and understanding compounding interest. To many, financial literacy is always important, but during a time of widespread economic ambiguity, it can be important to almost everyone.  

It should be noted that a lack of financial literacy does not discriminate against income levels. Even those with higher salaries are subject to inadequate financial education. As stated by CareerBuilder, of those making over $100,000, nearly one in every ten Americans live paycheck to paycheck. The National Financial Educators Council found that lack of financial illiteracy cost the average American, regardless of income, $1,279 in 2019. For comparison, that is more than many received from recent stimulus checks from Congress! 

Why is it important to touch-up on your basic financial knowledge during a pandemic?

  • Financial literacy can make people habitual budgeters who are willing to save for their goals and potentially provide a cushion during a pandemic. 
  • Financially literate people better understand and research financial assistance programs that federal, state, and local governments are now rolling out in response to the pandemic. 
  • If needed, understanding the importance of prioritizing the liquidating of assets can benefit your long-term planning. Giving thought to and reviewing potential tax consequences as well as considerations of liquidating liquid versus illiquid assets can be important in preserving your overall net worth. 
  • According to the NerdWallet, organizations that implement effective financial wellness programs have shown employees perform better if they are not distracted by the stress of personal financial issues. 

What steps can you take to make sure you are "in the know"?

  • Consider taking an online class to better round off your current understanding of financial matters. Many resources are offering discounted pricing during the current pandemic. Popular resources include the likes of MasterClass, Udemy, and Dave Ramsey. 
  • Educate yourself on the importance of your credit score. Improving your current credit worthiness may significantly increase your ability to access credit if needed. Our previous blog on this matter may be of assistance.
  • Organization, while not solely pertaining to financial matters, is especially important during emergency situations. Knowing where your financial records are and what they mean can help improve your efficiency in financial decision making.
  • For business owners, taking the time to educate your employees on financial matters may significantly improve productivity and retention.

At Detterbeck Wealth Management, continuing education is important to all of our team members and required for many of our designations. We consider ourselves to be life-long learners. For example, I recently completed the College for Financial Planning's Chartered Sustainable, Responsible, and Impact Investing Counselor designation, CSRIC(TM), to be more adept in answering questions and providing input on this growing field. To learn more on this designation, please visit: https://www.cffpdesignations.com/Designation/CSRIC

In addition to being life-long learners, we also consider ourselves to be educators for all of our clients. We hold this role to the highest of standards. Educating our clients, particularly during these trying times, is critical. While we may not be meeting with you in person just yet, we are always a phone call/video call away to assist in your current and future financial considerations.

















Finding the Good

Written by Penn Boatwright.

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Covid-19 has flipped the world upside down and people are having trouble finding positivity in a time that is so uncertain, lonesome, and frightening. In the beginning of 2020, when the Coronavirus started secluding people into their homes, all anyone could see was the negatives. How will people work? What will happen to our economy? Where is the good? And as time went on, billions of people being plucked from their normal public life into a more solitary one, we have seen something the world has never seen… Earth healing itself, with our help.

One of the first positive environmental impacts the world recognized occurred early March before the US even went on strict lockdown. China had been dealing with Covid-19 since late 2019 and had already quarantined its population for several weeks at that time. News got out that their air pollution was down to almost a quarter of what it was, same time the year before. It has even been related to what states like Ohio emit a year, which is amazing! China is the biggest producer of greenhouse gases in the world, and tainted air pollution can lead to residents having lung and cardiovascular health issues. With air pollution limited, people can breathe healthier air and potentially live a healthier life, hopefully air is clear for a long period of time, and continue so all around the world.

The Venice canals have been populated by boats and tourists for decades as Italy has become one of the top 10 places to travel in the world. Videos hit the internet in late March of fish and dolphins swimming in the Venice canals for the first time in a long, long time. When people travel these canals, sediment is brought up from the bottom giving the water a murky look, and now it is a clear blue transparent to the life filling it. Oh, and not to mention less litter in these waters from lack of travel on them.

Another positive impact that hits close to home with some of us beach lovers, is that sea turtles are thriving! South Carolina, along with many East Coastline states, deem ‘Nesting Season’ from May 1st to October 31st every year. This is when turtles come upon shore, incubate their eggs for 60 days, and let them hatch peacefully. This process can be tampered with by beachgoers leaving plastic and waste, making it difficult for the baby turtles to push their way into the ocean, artificial light, like flashlights, leading them astray, and people digging the eggs up, even if they are closed off from the public. Since beaches have been closed for months, and some still on curfew, less foot traffic has saved many turtle nests and allowed for more sea turtles to hatch. A few articles even said that most SC beaches have documented 25-30% more nests in the past few months. Click here to view the ‘Sea Turtle Nest Monitoring System’ for South Carolina beaches, online!

This impact can be perceived as both positive and negative depending on the safety of people, and where your heart is regarding animals, but, animals have been seen roaming the streets more than ever! Our world is crawling with important wildlife, and our homes are just as much animals, as they are our own. Frequently throughout history, we have invaded their territory for our benefit and made it completely our own. There have been photographs posted of lions sleeping in the middle of the road in South Africa, when there are usually Safari Tour buses traveling there. Monkeys have taken over streets in places like India and Thailand, even searching for food in front of stores and restaurants. Thousands upon thousands of birds have flocked to Agua Dulce Beach in Lima, Peru since beachgoers are not staking out on the sand. Deer have been seen sleeping in people’s front yards at night, goats roaming around town, and even our beloved sea turtles fit into this. Click here to view photographs of these examples, and spot a few more!

Many other positive environmental impacts include being able to see Mount Everest and the Taj Mahal from the smog clearing, less waste in our oceans due to boat and cruise travel halting, and many people donating clothes/home goods to charities after de-cluttering during stay at home orders. But, there are also negative effects of the world staying at home and quarantining. Stray animals and wildlife are having a hard time finding food because tons of restaurants feed strays with left overs, and some animals even go dumpster diving. The Brazilian Amazon’s deforestation has increased more than 50% for the first few months of 2020, as it did in 2019. Rainforests around the world have shrank over 6500 kilometers since Covid-19 as nature preserves have not been patrolled or assisted in being taken care of. Migration has also been halted, for people and animals, which is great for the environment and is a pivotal part of nature working its course.

So, what can we do? How can we keep up the good things happening from the pandemic as life goes back to ‘normal,’ and how do we pick up the slack of things that aren’t going so well?


  1. Carpool. Carpooling to and from work, extracurriculars, or even using public transportation will help with emitting carbon dioxide into our air and contributing to the oil crisis, when social distancing is over of course.
  2. Recycle. Recycling has taken a turn for the worst in this pandemic, especially with how much medical waste has occurred. Recycle in your house, reuse some cups or dishes, DIY plastic objects, get a reusable water bottle, and be sure to separate your trash from recyclables. Recycling helps us preserve our natural resources, saves energy, decreases pollution and creates jobs!
  3. Let animals be animals. The world will be a very beautiful place if we help animals and wildlife survive, especially in their own homes like the ocean, rainforests and safari.
  4. Clean up after yourself. Beaches and water streams around the world are cleaner than ever helping wildlife live and even making it more aesthetically pleasing to look at. There have already been tons of viral posts showing absolutely trashed and wrecked beaches after people were allowed back on. That has to end.
  5. Donate. Like our blog last week, many great causes have been put on hold due to the pandemic, and we must do our part to keep the world going round.
  6. Educate yourselves on products you’re purchasing and what company it is from. You won’t believe the morality of some companies of what they are doing to our people, animals and Earth. Shop wisely.
  7. Volunteer your time. Recycling takes time. Saving water in your home, or printing less takes time. Cleaning up your trash takes time. That can be a start that can eventually lead you to volunteering more time and assets.


It is beautiful to see that during this crazy time, the world has some positivity in it from healing itself all the way to helping heal each other. This pandemic has shown us some areas that the Earth has been lacking in, and it is our job as caretakers to keep the world healthy for generations to come. Although Covid-19 has flipped everything upside down, it is on us how we react to it. Let’s do our part, one step at a time! And always, find the good!



It's the Perfect Time to Help Your Community

Written by Les Detterbeck.


The Coronavirus crisis has decimated lives and livelihoods across the globe. Charities are struggling to help the most vulnerable and are having a hard time keeping up, while many not-for-profits across the company are in precarious financial situations.   For example, there are now more than 36 million Americans unemployed; many of them without enough money for food or shelter. The Food Bank network is distributing 100 times more food than normal, yet is currently receiving 50% less food from manufacturers.

Scores of charities across the country are sounding the alarm that they could go under if they cannot find alternative funding. Nonprofits large and small have shut down temporarily, cancelled essential fundraising events and watched helplessly as funds have dried up from both individual and corporate donors. The reality is that many people who would normally donate are now in the need of help themselves.

Furthermore, even before the COVID-19 pandemic, donations to charity were declining. 20 million fewer households donated to charity in 2016 than did in 2000. In the United States, the charity sector makes up for some 10% of the workforce; making it the third largest industry behind retail and manufacturing according to John Hopkins research. Even as the economy starts to open up again and reports of potential vaccines are front page news, there’s deep concern that the contraction in giving to charity may last for years.

Fortunately, you readers of the DWM blog are generally in a financial position to make charitable donations and we expect that most of you do, particularly during fundraisers, giving days and at year-end. We would like to encourage you to consider providing donations and/or your skills to a charity now.

The CARES Act signed into law on March 27th, provides incentives for giving. Since 90% of taxpayers use the standard deduction, the CARES act provides a specific tax deduction in 2020 for up to $300 in cash contributions. Furthermore, in 2020, you can deduct all of your contributions up to 100% of your adjusted gross income (normally 60% is the limit). Also, the CARES act eliminated Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) for IRAs for 2020. However, if you are 70 ½ or older, you can take money from your IRA and make a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) and, therefore, help the charity and not have to claim any income on the distribution. Lastly, the CARES Act provided a $1,200 economic stimulus to taxpayers with incomes below certain levels. Some recipients of those funds, who don’t need it, are using that money for charity.

Another tax efficient way of giving are Donor-Advised Funds (DAFs), which we have spoken about before. You fund DAFs and get tax deductions in one year and then “grant” the money to charities in future years. This allows you to “bunch” your donations and to reduce income taxes in years when you are in high tax brackets. Furthermore, you can use cash for funding or appreciated securities and therefore eliminate the capital gains tax on the donated securities. Funds in a DAF can be invested and grow and there are no minimum distribution requirements. DAFs are a great planning tool for both income tax and estate taxes.

DAFs have been stepping up grants during the pandemic. Grants given in March 2020 from DAFs were 36% higher than March 2019. Donor advised funds are really a sustaining factor at times like this because people have already irrevocably set this money aside for charity so at a time, like now, it can be used.

Here are a few other comments and ideas on how you might be able to help your community:

  • Support the arts. Across the U.S., institutions have closed their doors and many have had to lay off staff. The American Alliance for Museums estimates that museums are losing some $33 million a day and it predicts 30% of them will never reopen without help.
  • Don’t forget animals.   Many animal shelters are facing reduced staff and volunteer support.
  • Donate blood. 13,000 blood drives were canceled in the first three months of 2020 resulting in 375,000 fewer blood donations.
  • Put your skills to work. Your organization may be putting together programs to help American families who are struggling. The Foundation for Financial Planning, for example, is raising $1 million and will be providing pro bono financial planning and advice to low-income workers and other groups. I’ve participated in that pro bono work and it is very fulfilling.
  • For those SC taxpayers, consider a donation to help “exceptional needs” students with dyslexia, autism, ADHD or physical and emotional needs. There are 90,000 exceptional students in SC, one out of 12 children. And donations to the ExceptionalSC.org, a 501(c)(3), provides a tax credit to SC taxpayers, up to 60% of their tax liability. As such, this amount is currently considered taxes for your federal tax return.

It’s the perfect time to help your community with your money and/or your skills. Each of us have our favorite organizations and causes. Please consider doing something now! In a time of significant need like now, it will definitely be appreciated.


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