Rita Cheng, CRPC®, CFP®

Marguerita M. Cheng, CFP® is the CEO of Blue Ocean Global Wealth, which provides corporations and institutions with portfolio construction, investment due diligence, and risk-management consulting services. The firm works with families, entrepreneurs, and executives to help them identify and achieve their financial goals. As a CFP Board Ambassador, she helps educate the public, policy makers, and media about the benefits of competent, ethical financial planning.

A Financial Planning Association (FPA) National Board Member and member of the finance committee, Cheng served eight years on the Board of Directors of her alma matter, The Robert H. Smith School of Business at University of Maryland, where she collaborated to increase alumni engagement and developed asset management education programs. She is also the President of the Blue Ocean Economic Empowerment Fund.

Cheng says her greatest joy and passion is touching the lives of others so that they may achieve their “personal financial success.”

For more information, visit www.blueoceanglobalwealth.com.

Securities offered through Private Client Services, LLC. Member FINRA | SIPC. Advisory products and services offered through Blue Ocean Global Wealth, a registered investment advisor. Private Client Services, LLC and Blue Ocean Global Wealth are not affiliated entities.

Blue Ocean Global Wealth intends that this article will be viewed for informational purposes only. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.

In the News: On WUSA9 Today — CFP Rita Cheng explains what women need to know about harnessing their financial know-how

WUSA9, May 9, 2014 — On today’s noon news on WUSA9, Certified Financial Planner® Rita Cheng, author of Wealth Management Rules: 12 Tips to Help You Harness Your Financial Know-How, explained four strategies to help women become more engaged and empowered about their financial well-being.

  • Raise your voice.
  • Value all of your contributions in the household, not just the financial/economic ones
  • Don’t make assumptions or generalizations.
  • Look back with pride

Click here to watch the segment: www.wusa9.com

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Get Ready to Increase Your Wealth in the Year of the Horse

One of the most exciting aspects about being multicultural is that the New Year celebration does not end on January 1.

According to the Western calendar, January 31, 2014, marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year—also known as “Spring Festival,” the longest and most important celebration for Chinese families across the globe.

Because the Chinese calendar is lunisolar, meaning it is based on both lunar and solar cycles, it is celebrated on a different date each year. And each year we celebrate a different symbol in the Chinese zodiac.

2014 is the Year of the Horse.

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Rita Cheng Launches New Financial Planning Firm: Blue Ocean Global

January 2014, Be Inkandescent magazine — Experienced industry leaders Marguerita M. Cheng, CFP® and Sameer S. Somal, CFA, CFP® are proud to announce the launch of their new firm, Blue Ocean Global Wealth, provides corporations and institutions with portfolio construction, investment due diligence, and risk-management consulting services.

The firm also delivers comprehensive financial planning and wealth management solutions to families, entrepreneurs, and executives.

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Are You Comfortable With Risk?

July 2013, Be Inkandescent magazine — In the world of investment, winning and losing has much to do with the concept of risk.

In fact, in my experience, the best investors are those who look at investing as an art, rather than a science. The tools they rely on most are common sense and experience.

What I was most intrigued by in the book, “Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing,” by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman, is the discussion of whether individuals are wired to win or lose—and how this affects innovation and responses to setbacks.

From a financial planning point of view, here’s how I believe people’s perspective on winning and losing relates to saving for retirement.

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The Importance of Leaning in With Clients

June 2013, Be Inkandescent magazine — As the daughter of a Chinese father and American-born mother, I have been exposed to many different stereotypes in the US, Europe, and Asia.

I also grew up taking in mixed messages about what it means to be a successful, professional woman.

While both my parents expressed their belief that I could achieve anything with hard work, focus, and dedication—I saw that professional women’s struggles in Asia are exacerbated.

As I grew older, I saw that women are not taken seriously professionally if they are too passive, but that they can also be derailed professionally by being seen as “too ambitious,” “too expressive,” “too opinionated,” or “too individualistic.”

The trick for me was Finding a way to lean in that felt right.

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Taming the Wild Ride of Wealth Management With Strategy and Creativity

May 2013, Be Inkandescent magazine — Is being wild and adventurous—and strategically planning ahead for retirement—a non sequitur?

That question was answered for me when I read Mel and Patricia Ziegler’s book, “Wild Company: The Untold Story of Banana Republic.” Not only did they start their retail fashion company with $1,500 and no business experience, they re-imagined military surplus as safari and expedition wear.

Innovation was the key to their success. And the same is true when it comes to being creative about planning ahead for your financial future. Consider this research.

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Running a Good Business That Does Good Is Satisfying

April 2013, Be Inkandescent magazine — When it comes to the concept of doing well by doing good, I immediately think of my favorite quote from Winston Churchill, who said: “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.”

Of course, how this is carried out will differ from person to person. For me, it requires a life balance between family, professional aspirations, and altruism—by helping those less fortunate than I.

In their book, “Conscious Capitalism,” authors John Mackey and Raj Sisodia identify four tenets that all good businesses must possess to succeed in the 21st century. Click inside to find my four tenets for success.

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Empowering Women: Four Ways to Improve Your Financial Well-Being

March 2013, Be Inkandescent magazine — In March, we celebrate Women’s History Month, and this year’s theme is: “Women inspiring innovation through imagination.”

As a financial planner, I look back at the generations of women who throughout American history have drawn on their intelligence, imagination, and sense of wonder to make extraordinary contributions, and I am awed.

I’m also not surprised at how far we have come. Currently, women outnumber men in American colleges and universities. This reversal of the gender gap is a recent trend, noted in 2009, when 57 percent of bachelor degrees, 60 percent of master degrees, and 52 percent of doctoral degrees were awarded to women.

Fortunately for women, this increase in education translates into increased influence—and affluence.

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Why Is It So Hard to Manage Money and Love?

February 2013, Be Inkandescent magazine — I love power couples. When two strong-minded, confident people come to me for help with their financial planning, I know we’re going to end up creating a savvy approach to managing their money.

Not only do dynamic duos exude positive energy and confidence, the merits of each personality often compensate for their character flaws in each other.

That said, their strong-willed determination to be the best does not guarantee that power couples don’t experience power struggles or discord when it comes to money. Why is money such a hot-button issue for power couples?

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Harness Your Financial Power in the Year of the Snake

January 2013, Be Inkandescent magazine — As you begin 2013, and shift your focus from a season of giving and sharing to thoughts of the new year, I encourage you to take some time to reflect on your accomplishments and lessons from 2012.

As an Asian American, I often think back to my childhood days when I studied the Chinese Zodiac. There are 12 creatures represented in the Chinese calendar, with a different animal celebrated each year.

2013 is the Year of the Snake, and in Eastern philosophy, snakes symbolize good fortune and intense power. In Chinese astrology, the snake is an enigmatic creature that not only represents danger and venom, but also symbolizes beauty and wisdom. Having a snake in the family home is a good omen because it means that your family will not starve.

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Discovering the Meaning of Honesty

December 2012, Be Inkandescent magazine — In my November Wealth column, I discussed the importance of the four “E’s”: Education, Expertise, Experience, and Empathy when selecting a wealth manager.

I’d like to add an “H” to the list: Honesty, for it is mission-critical when it comes to choosing the right advisor to handle your finances.

First, let’s make a distinction: Truth and honesty are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference. While truth holds a universal or objective meaning, honesty conveys a more subjective feeling and depends on the integrity and intention of the speaker.

Like empathy, honesty is an attribute or virtue, while truth is considered the outcome of that attribute. This means not only disclosing the truth, but imparting the right impression. In business, it is possible to deliver the truth—but leave the wrong impression.

Regardless of the intent, this communication gaffe demonstrates a discrepancy between intent and actions.

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Choosing a Wealth Manager: Education, Expertise, Experience + Empathy

November 2012, Be Inkandescent magazine — Clearly, education, expertise, and experience are important, but empathy—the ability to mutually experience the thoughts, emotions, and direct experience of others—is key because it facilitates mutual understanding.

Empathetic wealth managers can inspire their clients to adopt the positive changes necessary for them to reach their life financial goals.

According to the writings of 8th-century Buddhist scholar Shantideva, the key to cultivating more empathy is to learn to see the complexity of a situation. Even if empathy does not come naturally to us, it’s a virtue that we can develop over time.

Identify an empathetic wealth manager by considering the following.

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Three Tips for Choosing the Best Wealth Manager for Your Business and Family

October 2012, Be Inkandescent magazine — In my August 2012 article, I defined wealth management, and offered six tips to get you started on the path toward solid financial planning for your future.

My top recommendations included:

  • Take charge: Remember, it’s your money. You are in complete control of the engagement with your financial planner. You need to feel heard and understood, as opposed to being lectured to or talked down to.
  • Look at the big picture: Financial planning is more than just retirement planning or tax planning, so it’s important to keep both your long- and short-term goals in mind when developing a strategy.
  • Don’t confuse financial planning with investing: There is a difference, and you need to distinguish between them. The financial planning process helps you understand the impact that one decision may have on other areas of your financial life.
  • Don’t expect unrealistic returns on investments: The market fluctuates daily, so take a long-term view, especially with your retirement funds. It is not uncommon for clients to adopt a 30-year time horizon for retirement.
  • Don’t wait until a money crisis to begin financial planning: It is never too early to plan, nor is it ever too late to start planning. You may not be able to control stock market volatility, interest rate fluctuations, or the value of your home, but you can still be in control of your future. Planning provides direction and guidance, which can ultimately increase your financial confidence.

To assist you further, here are three tips on how to pick a financial planner.

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Financial Planning for a Diverse Population

September 2012, Be Inkandescent magazine — “Statistics show that the number of unmarried couples who share the same residence is on the rise,” says FPA Diversity Committee Co-Chair Rita Cheng, CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and CEO of Blue Ocean Global Wealth “Just two years ago, the number of opposite-sex couples living together jumped 13 percent, to 7.5 million, according to the US Census Bureau. The number of same-sex couples living together in 2010 also increased over the previous year—up 30 percent—from 476,000 in 2009 to about 620,000 in 2010.”

Additional research confirms that the trend is continuing to grow, which presents unique financial planning concerns to the couples, as well as challenges for their financial planners.

Members of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) have created the FPA Diversity Initiative in an effort to raise awareness and promote an environment that embraces diverse communities of consumers and professionals.

Who is included in this demographic?

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What, Exactly, Is Wealth Management?

August 2012, Be Inkandescent magazine — Although many people know that saving for their financial future is important, many don’t know what steps to take to accomplish their goals.

Following is a primer that I use to help my clients understand the playing field of financial planning. My hope is that it will make taking the first steps in the planning process easier for you, too. Let’s get started.

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What Is the Best Way to Save for College?

July 2012, Be Inkandescent magazine — Even if you already have a 529 plan, you may want to consider establishing a Coverdell Education Savings Account.

It is one of the best-kept secrets and often overlooked when establishing a college savings plan. Investors have more flexibility and control of the investments—they can select any qualifying investment, including certificates of deposit, mutual funds, and tech stocks.

To invest in a Coverdell though, you have to meet the income guidelines: a maximum of $110,000 in modified adjusted gross income for single filers, and $220,000 for married filers.

Parents can make annual after-tax contributions of up to $2,000 per year per child, and the money can be devoted not only to college costs, but also to primary and secondary education. Earnings are tax-free, provided that the money is used for qualified education-related expenses. Prior to establishing a Coverdell ESA, there are important considerations to address.

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What You Should Know About Your Future Spouse's Finances

June 2012, Be Inkandescent magazine — Discussing financial matters can be stressful for couples.* It pulls up a lot of emotional baggage and fear, and may shine a light on fundamental differences that the couple isn’t aware of.

Hard as this conversation is, the key is to a happy marriage is to address money issues long before a conflict, or financial crisis, emerges.

Here are three things you should know the money habits of your partner—before you marry:

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What Is the Most Valuable Financial Advice You Learned From Your Parents?

May 2012, Be Inkandescent magazine — My father emigrated from Taiwan in the 1960s with only $17 to his name and the clothes on his back. Even though he was poor in the material and financial sense, he never considered himself poor.

His mantra was that financial wealth alone did not represent one’s “true wealth.” He stressed the fact that he was rich in spirit and blessed with his education.

The most valuable financial advice that my dad instilled in me was not to define myself by what I have, but rather by my accomplishments and education. He insisted that while money did not buy happiness, it did provide peace of mind, freedom, and flexibility.

I learned that money should not be the sole determining factor for the decisions I make in life. His financial wisdom and insight have enabled me to adopt a balanced, holistic approach to financial matters, for which I am eternally grateful.

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