Creating Financial Plans

Tackling Financial Transitions

Everyone goes through transitions in life, ready or not. Moving, switching jobs, getting married, having children – each one creates additional financial challenges. Some of life’s changes are foreseeable, while others catch us unprepared. Taking the necessary precautions is key to ensuring your financial stability amid these shifts.

Avoiding Financial Paralysis

For all these years I work with families, I notice one characteristic they have in common. When facing financial choices, they too often become paralyzed out of leeriness they will make the wrong ones. The answer is to get a good handle on their financial picture, so they can act.

Don’t get me wrong. They’re incredibly bright, they are achievers for most of their lives, and they have the financial success that they always expected. But these qualities work together to create a storm of fear that prevents them from making decisions and taking steps forward.

The Magic of Advisor Collaboration

The strength of the best advisor-client relationships is a collaborative spirit.

Clients bare their financial and personal lives to an advisor: That dumb investment you made in your friend’s ice cream parlor, the huge mortgage you took out to buy a McMansion, your plans to have a child in a year or so. Based on that candor, the advisor’s task is to give you clear-eyed counsel, using solid know-how and experience.

How to Invest in an Up Market

As the stock market has reached all-time highs over the past year, perhaps you thought about getting in the game and grabbing your share. But beware. Investment decisions during periods like this are challenging because the biggest enemies in money management – fear and greed – influence your decisions most at times like these.

With a bull market now well into its sixth year despite frequent threats of a looming correction, how can you avoid making rash decisions amid market highs?

Goals Trump Beating Market

When you want to evaluate your investment returns, what do you compare them with? Those of friends and neighbors? The latest market trend? To fairly assess how your investments perform, you look at your goals.

Now that summer is well along, stocks have pushed well beyond a five-year bull market run. You hear people talk at company picnics, club get-togethers or family events about how well their stocks do. The more successful the stories you hear, the more you feel like you’re falling behind even given occasional down days on Wall Street.

Using Advisors: Start Early

Congratulations, recent 2014 graduates. You now embark on an exciting new chapter of your life. You are eager to start a career and work toward achieving all your goals. But where do you begin? How do you make the best out of your first paycheck, and others to come, to finance for your ambitions and dreams in life? Answer: Get a good financial advisor.

When to Call a Professional

Can you handle your investments on your own? Some can. Many can’t. That’s not to say that you don’t have the brains for it. You may simply lack the time to master the investing world. That’s when you should consult a professional financial advisor.

VA Mess Shows Deeper Woes

The problems plaguing the Veterans Administration underscore an unpleasant truth about aging: Ever-increasing costs and red tape endanger quality health care for older Americans, whether they are veterans or not. Their best defense is to build up enough personal capital to pay for better care on their own.

What an Advisor Should Ask

A common question that we get from people after telling them that we own our own financial planning firm is: What do you ask clients at the first meeting?

Risk and Your Financial Goals

Most people poorly understand tolerance for investment risk. They also have a flawed – or even absent – understanding of the risk in their current investments.

Understanding risk tolerance and how it aligns with actual investment risk is crucial to your own investing. For instance, how do you respond not only to the downward jolts but also to euphoric market times? How does the current mood of the market affect your buying and selling decisions?

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