What brought you here?
We each have our own starting point, goals, and priorities.
We get questions everyday about investing. How do I put money away and where should I put it? Investments are the vehicles that help you get to the goals that you have. We understand that with all of the possible investments, strategies, and steps to manage a portfolio investing can be a very complicated topic. There are a few basics that can serve as the foundation of an investment plan.
Asset Allocation refers to how your investments are divided up among different types of assets (think having your money split up between stocks, bonds, cash, real estate etc...).
Diversification describes managing the risk of your investments by splitting up funds between holdings that behave differently or are exposed to different types risks (imagine stocks of companies of different sizes and industries and bonds of different credit ratings all working together. Once, you've selected your desired asset allocation and diversified to the appropriate degree.
Re-Balancing is how you keep that structure in check. Investments perform differently over any given time-frame and because of that investments will likely have to be bought or sold to maintain the desired weightings. Investments can be complex and investing can feel overwhelming. At some point many people will decide they want the help of a professional financial advisor. If you decide that you've reached that point it's important to ask appropriate questions so that you feel comfortable in a relationship with an advisor that you trust. Want to keep reading? Check out some of our resources on investing HERE.
We believe that it's very difficult to make sound financial decisions without a well thought out plan. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is figure out what the right questions to ask are. How much? When? How? Your goals are most likely different from you neighbor's so an appropriate plan will be unique and detailed to you. Your priority might be saving for education or retirement or it could be developing a strategy for income in retirement or to leave a legacy for future generations By taking a look at the variables and constructing a plan based on unique goals you can begin to take the appropriate steps to achieve them. When we create a plan we rely on our 6 Step Planning Process:
Planning for retirement is the top concern for many people. Given recent studies it appears that the majority of Americans may not be on track to enjoy a fully funded retirement. There are a lot of variables at play if you consider utilizing and maximizing a 20-30 year retirement but most of them boil down to answering two essential questions.
How much do I need to have to retire? and How much income can I expect to have?
Whether you've spent your entire working life saving and are wondering what the next step is or you're concerned that you haven't saved or prepared enough there are tools that you can use to. We find that even a basic retirement illustration can serve as a powerful call to action to take the next step in retirement preparation. If you've been asking yourself questions like these take a look at some of our RETIREMENT RESOURCES and schedule an appointment to talk about your specific needs.
Managing your risk appropriately is a crucial part of keeping your plans in tact in the face of uncertainty. Balancing costs and benefits, understanding products, and having things in place for beneficiaries can be a daunting task. With all the discussion about the role that insurance plays in a financial plan and the debates over what types of insurance are best it's no wonder that purchasers are often left feeling confused or unclear about where to look for answers.
One of the difficult parts of the insurance discussion is the need to ask the right questions to uncover where your real risks are. Out of this question grows all of the discussions you've likely heard around insurance topics. Should I buy Term or some type of Whole Life policy? Should my insurance also be a savings vehicle? How might disability and Long Term Care insurance fit into my financial plan? What do each of these things actually cover? How can I make sure my policies help my family when I'm gone? How does medicare work and what should I know about it? Taking the right steps to protect your family is important and very personal, check out some of our articles on insurance HERE.
Saving & Budgeting
Whether you're looking at how much you'd like to invest each month, trying to pay off debt, or build an emergency fund, saving and budgeting are core tenets for financially stable individuals. Saving and Budgeting are habits that have to be purposefully developed over time. Maybe you've had people in your life who taught you these habits or maybe you've learned some harmful spending habits from those around you. Either way it's up to each of us as individuals (and couples and families) to embrace our own strategies and develop these habits for ourselves. Even (and sometimes it seems more often) high income individuals have spending habits and lifestyle choices that aren't conducive to long term financial health.
Learning to budget so that you can save each month can feel like an enormous hurtle, growing an emergency fund might be easy to put off, convincing yourself to set aside enough to get that 401(k) match might sting a little at first, and doing the research to figure out what type of retirement account to contribute to might not seem up your alley. These are important topics to discuss and are a valuable part of the pursuit of financial freedom. Just making some of these small decisions and adjustments has the potential to make a huge impact on your financial future. Check out some resources to get you started HERE.
This is a vital but often avoided part of the conversation around financial planning. Hopefully, your advisors or attorneys are raising the appropriate questions but at the end of the day this can be a complicated issue and is a topic that no one enjoys facing. Whether it's dealing with legal documents, considering beneficiaries, or simply making sure a spouse or children are well taken care of after your gone, these things don't happen by accident.
From initial steps that will help your loved ones manage things when you're gone to advanced planning for your assets there are a lot of vehicles that can be used to construct and maintain an appropriate estate plan. We understand the impulse to avoid this topic but we also believe we owe it to our families to ask these questions. Please get involved in this important conversation by reaching out to us and by checking out more of our resources HERE.