By whatever its name, the options for putting your money where your personal values are have never been greater. But the array of terms can be overwhelming. Whether you are just beginning as an investor or have been investing for years, a recap of your choices can be useful to make sure you aren’t simply chasing after the latest shiny object — or missing out on a growing trend that’s a perfect match for your personal values and investing goals.
Money and You
If you are like many investors, the wild swings in the markets since the coronavirus pandemic began have made you wonder what, if anything, you should be doing. While every investor's situation is different, CFP® professionals Christina Ubl and Adam Robert sat down for their inaugural audiocast to answer the most common questions asked about Covid-19, the stock market, and some ways you can help calm your worries.
If you have ever recycled at home, avoided products made overseas by sweatshop labor, grown your own vegetables, supported gender and racial diversity, or owned a fuel-efficient car, then you may be surprised to discover your investments can be working against your values. Do you know what’s in your portfolio? How can you find out what your money is supporting?
Retirement plans demonstrate the wisdom of the proverb “two heads are better than one” — a proverb that always brings to mind the music from the classic Sesame Street video. Now the “two heads” can be you and your spouse, or you and your financial advisor, but you can also benefit from encouraging a dialogue between the income-you and the spending-you.
Financial headlines can be hazardous to your sleep health in retirement. It is easy to get the jitters and start worrying that you should do something, anything but stay on your current financial course. Yet it rarely makes sense to panic and sell your holdings. Over the years I have developed a list of five ways to help you avoid the sleepless nights in retirement that financial headlines can bring.
Research is the First Step in a Successful Long Term Relationship
Many people select a financial advisor based on a simple recommendation from a friend or family member who “appears” to be financially successful. When your financial future may depend on the strength of another’s guidance, isn’t it wise to base the decision on more than just one subjective recommendation? There are many readily available, objective, and thorough tools that can help you choose a trustworthy and competent professional capable of helping to manage your money wisely. But finding the right advisor that addresses your unique and individual situation requires hands-on research. Chemistry (feeling comfortable with your advisor) is critical in your selection process, too. You deserve a planner you feel is approachable and will be available to you to answer your questions and concerns promptly and respectfully.
While saving for retirement, many focus on the advantages of traditional Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) and employer sponsored retirement plans. The advantages of these accounts include a regular savings method that reduces your current, overall taxable income – since your savings contribution comes “right off the top” of your paycheck; and the ability for your employer to make contributions, thereby growing your savings at no additional cost to you.
There's been talk about the possibility of the U.S. economy "going off a cliff" at the end of this calendar year.
What is this "cliff" pundits are referring to? It's actually a possible culmination of a number of government tax and benefits changes scheduled to impact our economy simultaneously. Specifically, the Bush tax cuts and payroll tax cuts are due to expire (which would impact workers' take home pay) and extended unemployment benefits will also expire (which would eliminate an income source for those out of work.) To further complicate the situation, higher Medicare taxes will take effect and certain government discretionary spending is scheduled to halt.
All too often we find the worlds of health care and finances colliding these days. And just as in medicine, it’s a very good idea to seek a second opinion when it comes to your financial well-being. The economy has been on a roller coaster ride in recent years, but that shouldn’t deter you from consistently working towards a financially secure future. Given recent events, you may be wondering what to do next. Stay the course and keep all investments where they are? Move everything now while things are calmer? Explore new options with fresh eyes? If you are evaluating your current financial health and the economy, and you want make some sense of what to do next (if anything) – start by getting a second opinion.
What to do with too many eggs in one basket.
What is a concentrated stock position? It is defined as holding one particular stock that comprises 30% or more of your overall investments or portfolio. You may wonder why this is an issue, particularly if you are saving for retirement or the long term.