As the new year begins, financial markets continue to be gripped by uncertainty over developments in the Eurozone crisis. While not seeking to downplay the anxiety generated by these events, particularly in relation to their effects on investment portfolios, it’s worth reflecting critically on the 20th century, and putting current events in perspective:

  • Nearly 100 years ago, Europe was engulfed by World War I. The economic effects were significant, with widespread rationing, labor shortages, and massive government borrowing.
  • A little over a decade later, the Great Depression cut a swath through the global
    economy. In the meantime, resentment was growing in Germany over its Great War reparations to the Allied powers. Berlin resorted to printing money to pay its
    debts, which in turn led to hyperinflation.
  • More than 50 million died in the Second World War. In economic terms, the war’s impact was profound. Most of Europe’s infrastructure was destroyed, millions of people were left homeless, labor shortages were rife, and rationing was prevalent.
  • In the mid-1970s, the depreciation of the US dollar, the breakdown of the monetary system, and war in the Middle East encouraged major oil producers to quadruple oil prices. Stock markets collapsed and stagflation—a combination of rising inflation alongside rising unemployment—gripped many countries.
  • In the past decade, there have been the tragedies of 9/11; the 2004 Asian tsunami; the 2011 Japanese earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis; and now, the financial crisis sparked by irresponsible lending, complex derivatives, and
    excessive leverage.

Today, while the US and Europe are gripped by tough economic times, much of the developing world is thriving. Rising levels of education, health, and workforce participation also mean that the foundations are being built for a healthier and peaceful global economy.

Anxiety over recent market developments is completely understandable, and it is quite human to feel concerned about events in Europe. But amid all the bad news, it is also clear that the world is changing in positive ways that provide plenty of cause for hope and, at the very least, gratitude for what we already have.

Always remember, we are here for you….so please never hesitate to contact us if you have questions or need our assistance.

Gloria was born in Brooklyn, NY. Growing up Gloria attended Woodbridge Township schools, was a member of the US Cadet Corp from 1943-45 and graduated from Norwegian Hospital School of Nursing in 1945.  Gloria later earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at Jersey City State College where she also served as an adjunct instructor for several years.

Gloria worked for the Woodbridge Township Board of Education as a school nurse for 38 years. During this time she was instrumental in setting up and running the Districts School Drug Education Program and was a member of the Woodbridge Township Education Association serving several years as Treasurer.

Gloria was active in Avivah Chapter, B’nai B’rith of Perth Amboy, Congregation Beth Mordecai, Parkway Chapter of Deborah, Menorah Link Order of the Golden Chain, Woodbridge Township School Nurses Association, New Jersey State School Nurses Association, serving in leadership positions in each organization. Gloria and her husband, a veteran of WWII, were active members of the Fourth Armored Division Association.
Gloria was also a founding member and first President of the Ladies Auxiliary. Gloria is an avid knitter and dressmaker and has won many prizes in the New Jersey State Fair.

When she was not busy working or involved with her many organizations, Gloria and her family enjoyed camping, canoeing and traveling the country in their motor home, boat or airplanes. Over the years Gloria and her family visited 48 states and saw Hawaii 7 times. The 2 states she has never been to are Nebraska and Alaska.

In 2005 Gloria moved into an independent retirement community. She is responsible for organizing and running the Retired Nurses Group which meets monthly and hosts several dinners a year. Gloria also joint the Jewish Community in her retirement village where she just completed her second year serving as President.

Ted and Helene just celebrated their 53rd wedding anniversary and are having the time of their lives. Ted is 75 and Helene 73 years young….and “young” they are!

Helene began her working career while still in HS.  She worked at a local bank in the bookkeeping department & within a year she moved to a larger bank in town to become their head bookkeeper.  Those were the days before computers and everything was processed by hand (making sure all checks were signed & looking for forgeries) in house before being posted to a person’s account.  Helene kept this job until their first child was born in 1963.

From 1958 and 1978 Ted and Helene co-owned Ro-Saul Gardens Florist in Lakewood, NJ with her parents.  They both designed the floral arrangements and Ted took care of 3 large greenhouses growing many of the flowers that they used as well as selling wholesale…and (of course), Helene took care of the books.  In 1965 they had their second child and life was full but Ted was getting antsy to get out of that business.

An opportunity to buy a thriving Janitorial and Hardware business in New York City presented itself and they decided to take the plunge. This business kept them very busy. By a stroke of luck, one day 2 people came into the shop looking to purchase a Spray-A-Spot cleaning gun. This couple happened to be from the wardrobe department of a new Broadway show that was opening soon. That purchase set up their business to become a complete one-stop shopping center for all wardrobe and hair departments for many Broadway shows which took their business in a very successful direction. Who would have known! Before long, Ted and Helene’s business was selling to major theatre companies all over the US and even received orders from theatre groups in other countries.

Ted had always said he wanted to retire at age 65….so…in Feb 2001 they decided to put their business up for sale. By April of that year it was sold. Shortly after that they met Robert Walsh. They credit Robert in being very instrumental in guiding them towards retirement, advising them on their investments and savings to help them reach their goal of moving to Florida. It wasn’t long before Ted started searching for something to do. He landed a job in Lowe’s and Helene began working for Macy’s which began as a holiday position but lasted for 4 years.

Ted and Helene enjoyed their vacations, taking their kids and grandkids on many of their trips. Since their final retirement they’ve spent time with friends in California and Spain and have also traveled to Alaska, China & Mexico. There are still more places they plan on traveling to.

Once their grandkids were all kept busy with high school, college and work, Ted and Helene took a giant step… and moved to Florida, something Ted had wanted to do since their honeymoon. They found a beautiful home in an adult community on a lake in Boynton Beach where they are both are involved in many different clubs. Ted keeps busy fishing, shooting and working out at the gym. He’s also involved with the construction of
scenery for their community theater group. Helene, having a love for photography, joined the photography club and started taking classes in “The Art of Seeing with the Camera”. She has a great interest in taking charge of their health from the nutritional side and takes non-cooking classes on how to prepare raw and “living” food recipes. She enjoys walking and riding her bike. They both just started doing Qigong.  It’s wonderful to see Ted and Helene enjoying life as they do!

Caroline is a freelance illustrator, originally from London, now happily settled in Brooklyn.

Before moving to New York Caroline spent several years working as a freelance set & costume designer for theaters in England.  Caroline’s move to NYC in 2007 coincided with a shift in her specialization from theater to illustration.  It took 2 years for Caroline to establish herself in NYC and she feels most fortunate that her professional connections have come through word of mouth. New York has been very kind and welcoming to Caroline in this sense!  After a year working full time for a new startup as a creative director, graphic designer & illustrator, Caroline ventured back out on her own as a freelancer.  The freelance lifestyle is invariably unstable but Caroline much prefers the diversity it offers, working with different clients on a vast array of projects based anywhere around the world.  Most recently Caroline collaborated with clients as far afield as Australia, Slovenia and her homeland, England!  Projects include providing illustrations for branding, window displays, clothing, promotional posters, books and more.

 Caroline’s style especially lends itself to book illustration.  Caroline just finished illustrating her first children’s book for the Slovenian author, Jana Bauer.  As well as illustrating for authors around the globe, Caroline also hopes to write and illustrate her own stories for young children. Caroline feels fortunate to be represented by a wonderful new literary agency based in England called The European Literary Agency.  She is also in the process of establishing an online shop through, where her illustrated goods will be available to buy.  Initially Caroline will be selling cards, but eventually would love for her drawings to adorn ceramics, fabric, wallpaper and who knows!

Please feel free to visit Caroline’s website: where you can see a sampling of her work.

Stephanie, a Lighthouse Financial client and daughter to Lighthouse advisor Frank, runs an urban agriculture nonprofit she founded in New York City. Get Dirty NYC! was created with the mission to connect New Yorkers to hands-on farming and gardening opportunities around the city. There are many wonderful opportunities in NYC to “get dirty,” but they are often difficult to find. To help, GDNYC! created a virtual one-stop meeting place for interested volunteers to connect with farm and garden opportunities.

From a small garden that serves as a sanctuary for the handicapped to a 6,000 sq. ft. organic rooftop farm in northern Brooklyn, GDNYC! has provided many rewarding and exciting projects that allow volunteers to dig in and get their hands dirty. By offering this free service to the five boroughs of New York, GDNYC! hopes to cultivate community relationships, educate neighborhoods about urban agricultural issues and nurture the city’s green spaces.

To support GDNYC!’s efforts, Stephanie and the GDNYC! team will be hosting a harvest festival on Friday, October 21st from 7pm to midnight on a working rooftop farm in Brooklyn. There will be food, drinks and music! To stay informed about this great event and other GDNYC! projects, you can sign up for the weekly newsletter at

As clients of Lighthouse Financial, we have all been asked to fill out that balance sheet full of circles. You know the one, it’s the one you stick in the folder and never look at. Until one day, I decided to stop avoiding what I already knew and that was seeing in black and white where my life was out of balance.

Sometime later, I decided to take what the English call a gap year off to decompress,
travel and create more personal time. In that year, I hiked the Inka trail, met my husband, travelled to Europe twice and ventured to New Zealand. I helped establish a Neighborhood Community Organization and began to work with a local entrepreneur with her start up business. When my finances started to disappear, I knew I had to re-establish a balance between my new found personal life and my business life.

For the next couple of years, I had the opportunity to support a couple of entrepreneurs with their ventures and to work on my personal life as a wife, I felt very balanced and blessed. Then suddenly, I found myself without a job and no income during what I thought was the worst financial crisis in my lifetime. We had more bills than income and I began to panic. I quickly realized that I was getting nowhere with that attitude and I needed to get on doing what I do best, talking to people. I picked up the phone and to my surprise, the person on the other end offered me a temporary opportunity that would get me by for
the next couple of months. This led to another meeting and another opportunity that was waiting for me.

Every time I thought I didn’t have enough, there it was just enough. I am certain you all have had this same experience before but just never looked at it as proof for your own future. One wise person in my life said; we are all destined to make a certain amount of money in our lifetime. You can choose to make it quick or slow and steady so that it will support your whole life. I am here for my whole life! While it wasn’t Robert who said this to me, it might have well been as I believe Lighthouse is founded on a whole life principal otherwise they would have fired me as a client a long time ago!

Today, our country and world is facing an even tougher economic crisis and yet there are opportunities. Fred & I set out a plan to rebalance our debt to income for 2011 so that our family had more freedom and fun. Because of the bleak outlook on real estate, we took advantage of refinancing and negotiated a loan down saving us thousands of dollars. It was nothing short of a miracle and felt like we won the lottery.

While our lives continue, change is all around, you can choose to look at it from a negative viewpoint or look at it as an opportunity. These words are a reminder to myself and hopefully inspiration to you, to believe and trust in yourself, surround yourself with people that do the same and close your eyes and let go. God will only give you ONLY what you can handle.

Bob was born in Jersey City, NJ and has lived in Bergen County most of his life. Maryann was born in Hackensack, NJ and has also lived in Bergen County all her life. Bob graduated from Lyndhurst H.S. and shortly afterwards he enlisted in the Navy. After three months of Basic Training in Great Lakes, Illinois Bob attended six months of schooling in Pensacola, Florida to become a Communications Technician. Upon graduating he was stationed at Adak, Alaska, a small Island in the Aleutian Chain. After thirteen months on
Adak Bob was sent to Wahiawa, Hawaii (where he thawed out) to serve the rest of his enlistment.

Maryann graduated from East Rutherford H.S. and the Capri Institute of Hair Design. Maryann has been a hair-stylist/fashion consultant for over 35 years and still enjoys working two or three days a week.

Bob and Maryann met unexpectedly at a bicycling event they were both attending in New York City. They were married in 2000 and reside in Carlstadt, New Jersey. That year they decided they were in need of a Financial Advisor to help them toward the retirement and life goals. After interviewing, and being interviewed, by three different firms, they
decided upon Lighthouse Financial Advisors, Inc. Robert Walsh had just started his business but what impressed us the most was that Robert told us, “If I do not have an answer for you, I have a group of (at the time approximately 60) advisors with whom I can consult.” That to them was the icing on the cake! One of Bob’s goals was to retire at the age of 65. It was at a time where the market was struggling. With Robert’s guidance that goal was accomplished three years earlier. Bob owned and operated Korsen’s Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning for 25 years.

Before retirement, Bob was happy if he got to go deep sea fishing three or four times a year. He is making up for his love of the sport by fishing once a week, weather permitting, all year round. He has fished the Florida Keys, the Jersey Shore, Cape Cod and most recently took a trip to Alaska with six of his regular “fishing buddies” to fish for Halibut and Salmon. It was a great experience and he was able to bring many of the tasty fillets home. Fish is a regular on Bob and Maryann’s diet as well as their friends and neighbors. Next year Bob is hoping to fish the waters of Costa Rica. From time to time you can see some of Bob’s “pool-winning” catches by following this link:  and check out the “Daily Fishing Report”.

Bob and Maryann enjoy biking, running, gardening, and eating out. They also enjoy traveling. On their honeymoon they went to San Francisco, Napa and Sonoma Valley wine country and stopped in Las Vegas for a few days on their way home. They took two cruises to Bermuda and the Western Caribbean. Three years ago they spent an enjoyable time touring Ireland. They also vacationed at Playa Del Carmen in Mexico with friends,
neighbors, and relatives.

Bob has three children from a previous marriage. This year his son turned 30, one of his daughters turned 40 and his other daughter is in between. For the occasion, Bob and Maryann celebrated their birthdays by taking them on a fun filled week at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Bob and Maryann spend much of the summer at their condo in Asbury Park where they enjoy the beach and many of the
fine restaurants Asbury has become known for.

After 43 years Bob is still an active firefighter for the Carlstadt Volunteer Fire Department. He will quickly admit that he is more active during the day than at night. Through the years Bob attained the position of Department Chief which he held for four years.

Bob and Maryann were also active in the 501.c3 organization, Giants of Generosity. Bob served as President and Maryann as secretary.

A few years back, Robert introduced Bob to the Irish music of the “Wolfe Tones”. Since they both really enjoy their music, each year, together they attend a “Wolfe Tones” concert
held at one of the local NJ bars. Maryann and Nancy decline the invitation and choose to go shopping (or do anything else) instead! 🙂

Cybele’s background is in fine art photography. She received her BFA in Photography from Washington University in St. Louis, MO and her MFA in Photography and Related Media from the School of Visual Arts in New York, NY. While in Manhattan, Cybele was represented by the Jayne Baum Gallery and had works collected into the Smithsonian and Pfizer art collections. After spending many years in New York teaching and showing art work in galleries, she and her husband moved to Middletown, NJ where they now live with their two year old daughter, Marlowe and their chipmunk obsessed dog, Bella. Since the original story, Cybele also now has a new byb son, Max. Cybele has also spent years teaching darkroom and digital photography to students ranging from middle school to college age. Most recently, she was teaching at Horace Mann School in Riverdale, NY.

While teaching and working on her art form were always some of Cybele’s goals, she dabbled in portraiture on the side. Once she and her husband, Chad, began a family of their own, she took the opportunity to focus on her portrait portfolio and begin photographing children and families. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with kids and to document permanent keepsakes for families.

Cybele’s work is natural, fun, and intimate. Her goal with each photography session is capture kids in their moment; a baby cooing while playing on the bed, a child studying waves in the ocean or a family’s laughter during hide and go seek.  Knowing from experience how quickly children grow and how short-lived these stages feel help Cybele capture the moment for her clients.  Cybele’s great strength is capturing a child doing
what they do best: being themselves.

Please take a moment and look through some images on Cybele’s website:

Ruth’s love of bird watching has taken her across the country and around the world to such places as, Arizona, Minnesota, Grand Manan Island in Canada, Prague and many other states including of course her home state of New Jersey. In 2010 Ruth took birding trips to Florida, Arkansas, Yellowstone National Park, where she had the rare pleasure on sighting an American Dipper, California and North Carolina. Ruth currently has 450 birds on her spotted list including the very unique Blue-Footed Booby, which is found
off the coast of San Diego.

When she is not traveling Ruth is an active musician. She has several piano and organ pupils. Ruth is the organist at Christ Episcopal Church in Palmyra and also plays for a monthly Piano Master Class at Temple University coached by Alex Firillo. Ruth also enjoys going to the Phila Orchestra concerts and the classical concerts at Rutgers University in Camden.

Ruth volunteers at the Riverview Estates, playing for their chapel services among other activities. She also volunteers for the Friends of the Cinnaminson Library non-fiction department and the Hospice branch of the Moorestown Visiting Nurse Association.

This story is about our of our most adventurous clients, Jane . Many of you may have seen some of Jane’s beautiful photographs, from her various trips, that decorate our office.

Since retiring, Jane has been fortunate enough to travel to such far flung places as China, Egypt & Jordan, Hawaii, the Galapagos Islands, Greece, Ireland, Alaska (including a side trip up to Barrow which is above the Arctic Circle), Kenya, Belize & Guatemala, Chile, Argentina and the remotest of all – Antarctica.

She has helicoptered into the Grand Canyon and gone on hot air balloon rides at the Balloon Festival in Albuquerque, over the Savannah in Kenya and the Nile at Luxor. She snorkeled, swam with dolphins, and experienced parasailing in the Florida Keys.

Jane is involved in volunteer work locally – delivering Meals on Wheels, mentoring an adolescent girl, tutoring at the local high school, and reading with 2nd graders. Jane also had the opportunity for international work as well – helping at a Maasai elementary school in Kenya, and working on an archaeological dig in Tuscany, Italy.

Life is good.