AdviceIQ Articles

  • 3 Reasons We Overspend

    Our spending rarely keeps up with our self-perceptions. Ever set a financial goal only to find that your spending significantly surpassed your budget? When you have the best of intentions to create financial health, why is it so darn easy to sabotage your progress?

    As a female financial advisor and confirmed personal finance junkie, I can give three factors fueling this all-too-common phenomenon.

  • Fed’s Talk Outdoes Its Actions

    Turns out that the Federal Reserve’s words carry a greater impact than its actions. Up ahead, the central bank intends to rely even more on jawboning to influence interest rates, with a big effect on capital markets.

    President Barack Obama’s campaign slogan for last year’s election was “Forward.”  The Fed’s slogan in the coming months may be “forward guidance.”

  • Advice Made to Order

    Professional financial advice targeted toward you, your life and your goals works much better than generalized, scattershot investing tips.

  • The Exercise & Success Link

    Sound body, sound mind, sound finances? It’s true: The better your physical shape, the better the odds that your financial situation is in good shape.

    It should be no surprise to hear that diet and exercise form the cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle. But why would a consistent exercise program do as much for you mind and your wallet as it does for your body? I was never able to control my eating habits, until I changed my exercise habits. I was raised (unintentionally) in a competition for who could eat the most. That’s fine when you’re 25, but I was out of control.

  • Measuring Your Risk Tolerance

    Some people live on the edge, some play on the edge, and some invest on the edge. No doubt today’s market teaches you fast how you feel about risk. How much financial risk can you tolerate?

    Most investors ask themselves this and most financial advisors should ask it of clients. This question defies an answer of one word or a quick sentence.

  • Advisors Aren’t Needed, Right?

    I once told the personal finance editor for a large newspaper that I believed everyone should have a financial advisor. “Ohhhhhh?” he said disdainfully. “They’re not necessary. Everyone should be a self-directed investor.”

    If only that were possible. When your appendix bursts, sending you into agony, do you do surgery on yourself? When your water main cracks, soaking your entire first floor, do you fix the gushing rupture yourself? When your auto’s carburetor seizes up, do you replace the part yourself?

  • The Bank Savings Trap

    More than a fourth of Americans think the best long-term investment is money in the bank. How tragically wrong they are.

    This preference for bank deposits is the rather discouraging finding of a July survey by Bankrate. One of its questions was, “For money you wouldn't need for more than 10 years, which one of the following do you think would be the best way to invest the money?”

  • Super-Sizing College Savings

    Even wealthy families need help meeting college costs these days. One good tool: 529 plans. If you have the money, you can sock away a lot without a federal tax bite –and in some places even get a state tax break.

  • Bonds Now Unpredictable

    A standard investment tenet is that stocks are unpredictable and bonds more stable. Nowadays, though, bonds confound expert expectations.

    The Federal Reserve has tried, with great success since the economic crisis five years ago, to keep interest rates low. The Fed assumes lower interest rates stimulate lending and consumer spending. Lately, however, that certainty has frayed: Economic growth remains sluggish.

  • What a Financial Plan Covers

    You conquered fears of laying details of your life on a financial planner’s table. You sat down with the planner for the discovery meeting to reveal your finances and your future and what you want out of both. Now comes the financial plan.

    (This is the second of four articles about what you can expect from the process of financial planning.)

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