Principles of Sound Investing: Consistency

When you listen to financial news commentators, it can feel as though financial markets and investment decisions are capricious and arbitrary. Over the short term, that might be accurate. However, over the long term, there are universal investment principles that may ultimately help govern your success and which guide all of our wealth management and investment decisions.

Adhering to principles like balance, consistency, and courage will help you stay on course and provide a buffer from the constant drone of crisis and fear promoted by some news and media outlets.

While I’ll share info about all three of those principles of investing, we’re going to start with consistency.

Investing With Consistency Brings Long-Term Results

Humans are not fans of consistency, yet it’s one of the most powerful principles of investing. I cannot tell you how many clients I’ve worked with over the years who have kicked themselves for taking their money out of the market at...

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Retirement Plan Options for Business Owners

You may be familiar with traditional retirement plans available to employees, but there’s a lot of confusion about retirement plans for self-employed or business owners. The great news is that if you are self-employed or own a business, you can create retirement plans for yourself and any employees you have. Having a retirement plan option for your employees can even benefit your business by attracting quality people who are in it with you for the long haul!

Either way, a huge advantage of having a retirement plan is that you’re able to begin saving for the future. The earlier you start saving, the better, but there is by no means a “wrong” time to start investing or contributing to a plan.

The Benefits of Having a Retirement Plan

Like I mentioned before, having a retirement plan could help you attract qualified employees who wish to stay with your company. This is true whether you have 2 or 200 employees.

Also, in the case of qualified plans and some...

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3 Benefits of a Self-Directed 401(k) or 403(b)

A self-directed 401(k) or 403(b) is an additional investment option to the traditional retirement plans offered by your employer. It might be available to you and you don’t even realize it. In those traditional plans, your employer pre-approves funds you can invest in, whereas a self-directed 401(k) or 403(b) allows for a little more flexibility in choosing what you can invest in.

Whether it’s you or someone outside your company’s organization, the option of a self-directed 401(k) could be great for you if you like having a little more say in where your money goes. It’s important to note that not all employers offer this option, so check with your organization to see if you’re able to participate in a self-directed brokerage of your investments.

Do you know what’s happening with your money? 

I can’t tell you how many people I’ve talked to who have no idea how their 401(k) is invested. It’s usually not managed well because...

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How the CARES Act Could Impact Retirement Savings

retirement savings Jul 31, 2020

The coronavirus has created some interesting situations around money and managing investments, one of which is the CARES Act. The CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) includes a number of ways to help retirement savers find relief in an economically turbulent time.

A few benefits of the CARES Act include… Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) for 2020 have been suspended and if you’ve already taken a distribution, you may be able to return it. Loan repayments from workplace retirement plans could also be delayed.

Additionally, the IRS has relaxed the rules around early distributions of retirement plans. The 10% penalty is waived for “coronavirus-related distributions” of up to $100,000 in 2020 if you take the distribution before age 59.5. This includes both IRAs and 401(k)s, as well as 403(b)s, 457(b)s, and similar tax-deferred plans.

Coronavirus-related distributions apply to individuals or spouses who have been diagnosed with...

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6 Investor Tips for Handling Wild Market Swings

investing Apr 09, 2020

Whether you are a relatively new investor or you've been at for a while, the recent market swings have not been for the faint of heart. Yes, it's common knowledge that what goes up, must come down. However, even if you view market volatility as a regular occurrence, it can be tough to handle when you're watching your account balance drop.

While there's no fool-proof way to handle the ups and downs of the stock market, the following common-sense investor tips can help.

6 Investor Tips to Help You Stay the Course

  • Don't put your eggs all in one basket
  • Focus on the big picture
  • Look before you leap
  • There is a silver lining to market volatility if you look for it
  • Temper your optimism
  • Don't stick your head in the sand

Investor Tip #1: Don't put your eggs all in one basket

Diversifying your investment portfolio is one of the key ways you can handle market volatility. Because asset classes often perform differently under different market conditions, spreading your assets across a...

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Roth IRA vs 401(k) - What’s the Difference and Why Does it Matter?

Whether you’re starting a new job that offers retirement savings options, or you’re looking into managing your investments yourself, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. If you feel like investment lingo is too far beyond your wheelhouse to tackle, learning about the different types of retirement account is a good place to start. In this case, get a basic understanding of the differences between a Roth IRA vs 401(k). Let's work through what each of those types of accounts is, how to use them, and the pros and cons of each. Spoiler alert: Some people are eligible to take advantage of both account types.

What is a 401(k)?

A 401(k) is an employer-sponsored savings plan, which is often included in the benefits package of a full-time job. If your job offers a 401(k), you can sign up through your employer. The account is then managed through the financial institution of your employer’s choosing. 

Once you’ve signed up for your 401(k) account, you’ll have...

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30 Financial Tips for 30 Days of Financial Literacy Month

personal finance Apr 26, 2019

In honor of Financial Literacy Month, we have been sharing daily financial tips online. Each is very simple and easy to implement. Here's a recap of our 30 financial tips for Financial Literacy Month. 

30 Financial Tips

Tip #1: Set up autopay for recurring bills

Stop wasting your hard-earned money on late fees. Set your bills on autopay and never pay another late fee again. 

Tip #2: Small reductions in spending add up to big savings over time.

Making one small change a day can make a huge impact on your ability to save. Making coffee at home instead of buying it out is a simple example that many people refer to. Let's say it costs $0.50 per day to make coffee at home, and it costs $2.50 to buy coffee out. If you made the switch, you would be able to save an extra $2.00 per day. Over the course of the year, you could save an extra $730 just from that one simple change. If you invested that money at a 7% annual return, you would have saved over $10,000 over a 10-year period....

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Teachers, do you know the answers to these questions about your 403(b)?

As some of you know, I started my career as a teacher. Also, as a mother of three, I am frequently interacting with teachers so it should come as no surprise that many of my clients are teachers or school administrators. Through this work, I have learned that there is a lot of confusion among educators when it comes to saving for retirement. For today, I am going to focus on one specific element of the retirement plan and that's the 403(b) account.

403(b) Basics

Before I get to the questions about your 403(b) that you should show know the answer to, let's start with the basics. What is a 403(b) and why would you be contributing to it? A 403(b) is a tax-deferred retirement plan. That means the money goes in with pre-tax dollars and grows tax-deferred. It is taxed as ordinary income when withdrawn from the plan. A 403(b) is available to employees of schools and certain non-profit organizations. It's named after the section of the IRS code governing it. For 2018, the IRS...

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