AdviceIQ Articles

  • How to Sell a Family Business

    All family businesses eventually meet one of three outcomes: sale, transfer or failure. Planning is crucial to successfully sell or transfer your business to a successor, but many business owners fail to do this.

    A survey finds that 88% do not have a wealth building plan for the inevitable sale or transfer of their business, according to Scott Yoder, an advisor who is a business succession expert.

  • No Strategy Is Always Right

    When the facts change, your strategy should change, as well. If you stay wedded to the same investment plan all the time, you lose sooner or later.

    I was talking to an advisor earlier in the week about my firm’s preference for tactical asset allocation, which rebalances the mix of your assets based on their performance trend, and weighing the portfolio by risk metrics. He told me a story about how he had allocated money to a tactical strategy that stopped working. This should not surprise a seasoned investor.

  • What Is the Middle Class?

    The middle class. Marketers target it. Politicians champion it. Economists talk about it. Most of us consider ourselves part of it. But no one can define it. And that poses a challenge for financial planning.

    When I ask for a clear definition, I do not find anybody who really can tell me what "middle class" is. I recently posted on Twitter that $90,000 was a middle-class household income and that it would take a nest egg of $3 million to generate that income in retirement.

  • Practicing Money Mindfulness

    Money matters are complex and even scary. How you choose to approach finances mentally is key to mastering them. I call this “money mindfulness.”

    It is difficult to deal with your finances on your own because the technical aspects can be bewildering. Investment options, taxes, interest rates and securities transactions in general are overwhelming for folks outside of the finance industry. Few of us understand the math necessary to handle our own money, even at a minimal level.

  • Get Ready for Stimulus’ End

    For some time now, I have warned about the crash that is sure to come when the Federal Reserve tightens monetary policy. We just got a glimpse of how bad it could be last month.

    On May 22, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress that the central bank might cut the pace of its bond purchases. Currently, the Fed buys $85 billion in government bonds and mortgage-backed securities.

  • What Sentiment Meters Say

    Investor sentiment surveys tell us that today, with the stock market up since January, there is widespread optimism about future gains. When you hear that, be wary.

    When markets move to extreme levels, smart investors often make their largest portfolio gains – by doing the opposite of the popular sentiment. Warren Buffet once said, “Be fearful when others are greedy and be greedy when others are fearful.”

  • Better Retirement Odds

    The idea of retiring at age 65 with a gold watch is a quaint notion for many Americans. Amid declining wages and low interest income, most people have a tough time setting aside money for retirement. If anyone can help, it’s employers who must set up good workplace savings plans.

    This topic needs the openness of a robust discussion from all stakeholders, airing all sides of the argument. We seldom get that.

  • Gold Is Not an Investment

    You can make credible arguments for gold, but its investment properties are not among them. The optimum asset allocation to gold in any investment portfolio is zero. Its returns are too low over time and its volatility too high.

    Gold ownership grew in popularity over the past five years. Fearful of monetary or societal failure, many hoped that owning gold for peace of mind. Advocates also suggested that some gold is part of a balanced diversified portfolio.

  • How Foot-Draggers Can Save

    The key to meeting savings goals is to make putting away money automatic. This takes away the opportunity to overspend and you can’t make excuses to not save.

    One reason most Americans have a tough time saving enough to meet crucial financial goals, such as retirement, is the difficulty of finding the willpower to sacrifice present wants for future needs.

  • Riding the Economic Reports

    The market has trended upward since November, albeit with the occasional hiccup along the way. It still reacts strongly to a burst of unexpected good or bad news. European and other jolts from abroad may get overlooked, but our own official economic reports remain events to watch for.

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