My family may be a lot like your family. We have a doctor, nurse, lawyer, therapist, professor, corporate executive, electrician, engineer, project manager, consultant, public employee, designer, and many more across the occupational spectrum. I wrote this article so that it applies equally to all of them.
A bit of background: During our family reunion this year, which we held in the beautiful Outer Banks of North Carolina, I was asked to provide some financial planning advice to our family of 35. Unfortunately, this never happened given we were all intent on other activities. Had I had a chance to replay the week, here is a list of 10 items I would consider as financial hacks of sorts that presumes one is already doing the obvious to prepare for retirement:
If you've been following the news the past several months, particularly the financial news, odds are you've heard the word "fiduciary" a few times. Specifically, the Department of Labor's Fiduciary Rule has been the subject of much press. As the client of an advisor, friend of an advisor, or simply someone who likes to keep up with the financial landscape, it is important for you to know what this rule means. But the rule is also complex and in a state of flux, so we'd like to share this update from our July newsletter, in which WealthPoint President Brent Walker outlines the DOL's Fiduciary Rule and how it may affect you:
Last Friday, Equifax, one of the major credit reporting bureaus, issued a press release announcing that on July 29 it had discovered "unauthorized access" to data belonging to as many as 143 million U.S. consumers. We have compiled some information that we hope may help you understand what happened and what to do next.
Do you know what happens when you die? I’m not asking in a spiritual or physical sense. I’m asking about what happens from an estate planning perspective. Do you know what impact your death has to the financial and developmental well-being of your children? What if both you and your spouse die at the same time? What about your house? Your car? The things in your closet? Your financial accounts? Who makes these decisions and who receives your assets are important to anticipate.
If you follow investing much, you may have heard some talk recently about the US stock market reaching all-time highs. This is true; as I write this the Dow Jones Industrial Average recently crossed the 20,000 mark for the first time ever, along with new high marks for the S&P 500, the NASDAQ, and various other US stock indices that measure market performance. This seems like a good thing, and probably is for those of you invested in US stocks who have seen some nice growth lately. However, along with these record highs comes plenty of doubt and fear. Are stocks too expensive? Are we due for a correction or market decline? Should I get out while the getting's good?
"Why am I doing this?" This question crossed my mind more than a few times recently as I detached myself from the real world for hours (days? months?) at a time to study for my CFP® (Certified Financial Planner) Certification Exam. I studied after work until I fell asleep, I studied while I ate lunch, I turned down plans with my friends. I knew it was important for me to get this certification, but why?
As Tuesday, November 8 gets closer and closer, we receive several questions and concerns about how the presidential election will affect the stock market. I'd love to say we had a crystal ball that would tell us who the next president would be and how that person would influence the markets, but we have yet to find it. Perhaps the best way to address these concerns is to take a look at past elections. While historical data is no guarantee of future results, it can be a good barometer of what we might expect in the next few weeks.