AdviceIQ Articles

  • The Fallacy of the Self-Directed Investor

    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?

  • How I Found an Advisor

    Even though I understand a lot about personal finance, I realize that I cannot plan my financial future alone. So I set out on a quest for the right advisor. And I’m glad I did. I learned vital things I did not know.

  • Why to Steadily Raise Savings

    Even when employees are lucky enough to have a 401(k) plan from their employer, they usually don’t save enough to maintain their lifestyles after they retire. Unfortunately, employers spread the idea that a small, constant savings rate is enough. It isn’t. Steadily raising your savings rate every year helps you avoid struggling to pay for living expenses in your old age.

  • My Fund Dips, I Owe Taxes?

    The market is choppy lately, and if this is the precursor to a swoon, brace yourself for an annoying paradox: Your taxable mutual funds slip in value, but the government still taxes you for capital gains that your funds recorded.

    Large swings within the market are more common than many of us would like. As investors see increased volatility, their natural reaction is fear, which can lead to emotional investment decisions. Result: large withdraws from mutual funds.

  • Why Inherited Money Vanishes

    As inherited money passes from one generation to the next, it is treasured and nurtured, right? Not at all.  Often it is frittered away.

    "I've never seen money passed from one generation to another in a manner that actually benefited the recipient." When a psychologist said this to me several years ago, I was dumbfounded.

  • How to Thwart I.D. Thieves

    Identity theft is an epidemic, sapping people’s bank accounts. How do you protect yourself? By being vigilant: monitoring your credit report, bank and card statements, then moving quickly to squelch illicit charges.

    The indispensability and ubiquity of technological innovations give the bad guys an in. Making our lives simpler and more efficient, the Internet, smartphones and iPads are key to how we communicate and store information. So much so that people pay big bucks to go to special technology-free resorts for a break from the unrelenting onslaught of information.

  • The Economy: 3 Signs of Hope

    Despite the market gyrations that began in late May, there’s evidence to support cautious optimism for the U.S. economy. If present trends continue, the stock market may well resume its rise.

    The market is upset lately about a possible end to the Federal Reserve’s stimulus program. Yet three positive signs – job growth increases, a better credit rating outlook and higher retirement account levels – provide us with hope.

  • Conquering the Urge to Spend

    I am an admitted overspender but I manage to keep bad habits at bay. I have a well-designed system that uses auto-drafts to send money automatically to my various savings accounts. This way, I pay myself first and I have a first level of defense against splurging.

  • The Powerful Roth IRA

    The Roth individual retirement account is like a superhero of savings vehicles. Nothing else can offer savers more support and flexibility with their retirement savings.

    Mr. Roth, like Superman, is great at all sorts of things, while others such as traditional IRAs only do one thing well, like Aquaman. Roths provide tax-free growth, freedom from future taxes and penalty-free emergency withdrawals.

  • Now Bonds Become Risky

    Stocks are risky, and bonds are not. That comforting notion about bonds is a myth. As interest rates rise, which they are doing lately, bond investors will learn that the hard way.

    People of modest means vastly outnumber those who have amassed sufficient capital to be ranked as financially independent. Those with small nest eggs often are counseled to take little risk because they cannot afford losses.

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