The Blog


Date: September 22, 2017
Contact: Brian R. Littlejohn
Sherwood Investment Management LLC

Local Financial Advisor Joins Leading Association of Fee‐Only Financial Planners:
Brian R. Littlejohn of Sherwood Investment Management LLC accepted for
membership in the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA)

CHICAGO, IL – Brian R. Littlejohn of Sherwood Investment Management LLC in Petaluma, CA has been accepted for membership in the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF PERSONAL FINANCIAL ADVISORS (NAPFA). With membership, Littlejohn becomes affiliated with an organization of more than 2,900 of the most‐qualified financial advisors in the nation who deliver independent and objective, fee‐only advice.

Only fee‐only financial advisors, who meet NAPFA’s stringent membership qualifications, are eligible to become NAPFA‐Registered Financial Advisors. Those standards require advisors to only receive compensation directly from their clients, to act in clients’ best interests at all times, and to provide comprehensive planning services. In addition, NAPFA has some of the profession’s most rigorous education and professional development requirements. All candidates for membership are required to submit a complete comprehensive financial plan for a full‐scale peer review or participate in a peer‐review interview discussing the advisor’s approach to comprehensive financial planning. Furthermore, NAPFA’s continuing education requirements exceed those of any other association of financial advisors.

“I congratulate Brian for demonstrating his dedication to provide effective, transparent, client‐centered services by upholding the high standards that NAPFA sets for all its members,” said NAPFA Chair Tim Kober.

In contrast to most financial professionals, NAPFA members receive no commissions or other rewards for selling financial products. Those forms of compensation create potential conflicts of interest that may serve to undermine an advisor’s objectivity and fiduciary responsibility. It is for this reason that all NAPFA members must sign the Fiduciary Oath that explicitly promises to “to place the clients’ interests first.”

Mr. Kober continued: “NAPFA members offer what today’s consumers want, an advisor that provides comprehensive financial planning advice in their best interest with cost transparency. We welcome Brian to our ranks and look forward to his contributions to our organization.”


Brian Littlejohn is the Founder and CEO of Sherwood Investment Management, a fee-only financial advisor firm in Sonoma County, California.  Brian is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professional who specializes in investment management.  He holds a MBA and a Master’s Degree in Financial Analysis.  He has over a decade of experience helping clients achieve their financial goals and occasionally teaches investing and financial planning courses as an adjunct professor. To learn more, visit


Since 1983, The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) has provided Fee‐Only financial planners across the country with some of the strictest guidelines possible for professional competency, comprehensive financial planning, and Fee‐Only compensation. With more than 2,900 members across the country, NAPFA has become the leading professional association in the United States dedicated to the advancement of Fee‐Only financial planning. For more information on NAPFA, please visit


Robert Shiller won the Nobel Prize in economics a couple years ago.  You can read the short interview here:

You know you should be saving for retirement, but how?  What’s the best way to set yourself up for success going forward?  We distill it for you below:

IRA vs. 401(k)

You should contribute to both types of accounts if possible in order to receive the maximum tax benefit. Just remember that 401(k) plans have a contribution limit of $18,000 (plus a $6,000 catch-up contribution for those age 50+) in 2017 and IRAs have a contribution limit of $5,500 (plus a $1,000 catch-up contribution for those age 50+), subject to certain income limits.  Thus, it may be possible for some individuals to contribute a total of $30,500 to both types of accounts in 2017.

Traditional or Roth IRA?

A traditional IRA usually works best for those individuals who are close to retirement and are in a higher tax bracket now than they expect to be in when they begin making withdrawals.  Otherwise, a Roth IRA is probably the superior choice.  Roth IRAs don’t impose required minimum distributions at age 70.5 like Traditional IRAs do and qualified distributions from them are free from taxes and penalties.  The same cannot be said for Traditional IRAs.

The Optimal Approach

Step #1 is to start saving for retirement as soon as possible.  Begin by contributing to your 401(k) in order to receive the maximum match from your employer.  Once you’ve received the maximum match, stop allocating funds to the 401(k) and start making contributions to an IRA.  If you are able to contribute the maximum allowable amount to the IRA and still have money left over, begin directing it back to the 401(k) again.  Your goal should be to contribute the maximum amount to both accounts.

Do you have questions about your particular situation?  Please don’t hesitate to get in touch.