AdviceIQ Articles

  • Planning for Expecting Parents

    Starting a family brings joy, stress, excitement and discussions over where to put the bassinet in your house. It brings questions about getting your financial house in order, too. Here’s a financial to-do list before the little bundle arrives.

    As expecting parents you face a long list of stuff to buy. Along with the wipies and the pretty mobiles, remember to plan your spending, estate and insurance coverage for your new family.

  • When to Change an Asset Mix

    A lot of investors don’t realize that you cannot simply buy, hold and forget about it. Your investment mix should not be static. How much you have in stock, in bonds and in other instruments hinges on many factors. Like your age.

    The U.S. stock market high in mid-September prompted a discussion with my business partner, Anna Sergunina. “So what does that mean to us?“ I asked.

    “Nothing to me,” replied my younger partner. She was right: Anna has a lot longer to build wealth – and recover from market down drafts – than I do.

  • Fixing Don Draper Spending

    Why can’t many Americans fund their retirement? Blame a fictional TV character – or at least the spending mania he helped create – and learn how to reclaim your budget and your future. Here’s how.

    Don Draper, adman guru of the series Mad Men, symbolizes my culprit of our widespread personal debt today: Relentless marketing creating a consumer culture founded on shopping, buying and spending.

  • Avoid the 2-Income Trap

    Combining love, lives and laundry is one thing. Combining your money is another. New marrieds who both work do well to think about what to do with two incomes. Here are some pointers.

    New couples ask me how to improve their finances. Easy: Start talking about “your money” as “our money” and plan as a couple. Once you marry and support one household with two incomes, shift your thinking.

    You don’t bring in two incomes now – you bring in one bigger income that opens financial planning doors.

  • The Real Enemy: Overspending

    Amid the theatrics in Washington, it’s easy to lose track of the biggest looming problem: The government promises more than it can deliver.

    Focusing on the government shutdown is like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic while drawing closer to the iceberg.

    The iceberg in this case is the massive government debt, made worse as the implementation of the Affordable Care Act takes effect.

  • Advisor Search: What to Ask

    When you seek a financial advisor, what questions should you ask? Your aim is to find someone who handles clients like you – and who is financially savvy.

    If searching for an advisor to manage your assets, one question that’s of marginal help is: What’s your investment record? A money manager whose investment performance touched the sky last year may stumble this year.

  • Ahead: Curbing IRA Savings?

    Presidential wishes seldom easily translate into law. Just look at the fracas over Obamacare and the federal budget. But President Barack Obama has several proposals that promise a significant impact on retirees, inheritors and savers. Regardless of whether these will get through a Republican-controlled House any time soon, they serve as a marker for what the future may hold at some point.

    Even after the Obama Administration is history, the U.S. government’s enormous obligations will push Washington into looking at ways to pay the burgeoning tab.

  • Who Wants to Retire Anyway?

    Long naps, strolls with your lifelong spouse in the middle of others’ workday, the creak of the rocker on the porch. Retirement for the boomers? Not likely, and here’s why.

    We’ve heard over and over statistics about the looming lack of resources many baby boomers face when they retire. Many ignore the warnings. La-la land or a sensible balance of living for today and saving some for tomorrow?

  • Still, Too Few Foreign Stocks

    U.S. stocks make up slightly less than half of the world’s equity market value. Americans increased their holdings of foreign stocks in recent years, but not nearly enough. That is a mistake.

    The point of looking beyond our shores, of course, is investment diversification.

    Economics around the world are increasingly interwoven, as large companies acquire each other across borders.

  • Spend Now or Save for Later?

    We make financial choices constantly. Dine out or save that extra money for retirement. Save in our employer’s retirement plan or hit the latest movie. These are opportunity costs that add up. Here’s why.

    We buy something or buy nothing. Sometimes we walk rather than drive, pack a lunch rather than eat out and save money rather than spend it. These opportunity costs we give up to take advantage of another opportunity. Alternatives cost in terms of benefits you receive by taking an alternative action.

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