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Creating Your Own Prosperity

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

Some sobering statistics: Americans nearing retirement hold in a retirement account an average of $136,200. They expect to live on an income of $45,500. The balance in their retirement will provide an income of $9,150. The shortfall is $36,350.*

 

And, younger workers, expected to live longer than the boomers, are generally not good at guessing what their lifespan will be. In research done by the University of Michigan, among people who thought they had no chance of living to 75 years old, 49% actually did. Of those who guessed they had a 50/50 chance of reaching 75 years old, 75% actually did!

 

People are holding on to too much cash instead of investing it. This probably dates from the 2008 market decline, from which we’ve more than recovered in the markets.

There are a variety of reasons why someone doesn’t save: a catastrophic event, illness, or accident costing one’s savings, or a job that doesn’t cover the necessities of life, among some. But usually it is something else that you can control. Here are some reasons I often see:

 

1)     Never developing a habit of saving

2)     Feeling there is plenty of time down the road to begin saving

3)     Believing social security will be adequate

4)     Thinking it’s too hard to deny yourself what you want now

5)     Believing the markets are rigged, forces will conspire to thwart you

6)     It isn’t a priority (Head in the sand)

7)     Believing you will never have enough, always lacking, so why try

8)     Not interested in learning about the financial world, money is bad anyway

 

If you shift your priorities around so that you put some money away with each paycheck, no matter how small, it won’t take long for you to develop a habit. And it will reinforce itself as you see the account grow week after week, month after month, and year after year.

 

Pay yourself first, before your bills, before your treats, before your splurges, and pretend you don’t have it, make do with what is left. It is especially easy if you increase it with any raise you get. You’ll never miss it.

 

And make sure you participate in your 401K or other plan if it is offered by your employer. Call your advisor or accountant and see if you can save in an IRA in addition to the retirement plan at work. Usually, you can.

 

Set up an amount to automatically be drafted out of your checking account every month and invested in an investment account.

 

It is a prosperity mindset. Believe you will be prosperous in your life and your later life will be one of ease with financial comfort.

 

In our profession, we all too often see the mistakes people make. The inherited money that is squandered and the regret felt when it’s gone. The couple nearing retirement learning that their income won’t be enough, and they can’t retire yet. Or people who need to move into their children’s homes. This all takes a toll, destroying their sense of wellbeing.

 

It doesn’t need to be this way. You have the power to create financial wellbeing. Let us know if we can help.

 

 

 

 


* New Survey from Blackrock.

Posted in Blog Posts

On the Media September 2015

Friday, September 25th, 2015

The reports on the markets are myopic. Investors, financial institutions and most of all the media focus on a single news story, and that consequently is what moves the markets short term. Today it is China, yesterday it was possible rate hikes, and before that it was Greece. There will always be subjects for the media to obsess on to get the viewers and readers attention. They combine hype with bits of news and escalate the information to a level of financial pornography. The fear created by this is what moves markets wildly in the short term. Even those who don’t believe the hoopla know that others are going to act on it, so fearing they’ll be left in a portfolio exposed to danger, they sell too.
Our portfolios are managed to ignore the short term fear and short term hype because we know it is just that, short term. Empirical research shows over and over again that staying invested in a well-diversified portfolio enables investors to fair better than if they moved in and out of the markets in an attempt to stay safe. The only way to insure losses is by selling into a down market. We see it too much. It’s an emotional decision made without knowledge of how the markets actually work.
Most of our clients learned this by staying disciplined through the 2008 bear market and were not permanently affected, recovering nicely. Just something to think about the next time you begin to worry.

Posted in Blog Posts, Money Management

The Market’s Correction

Friday, September 25th, 2015
 The sharp downturn in the US stock market the past weeks herald a new correction. This means the stock market indices: the Dow Industrials and the S & P 500, have dropped more than 10% from the last peak, which was in May of this year. The last time it fell into this territory was in April of 2011. The trading was light this time, meaning there weren’t many traders, so this small number created the decline.
     This has been anticipated, and is a normal movement in the overall markets.
     It was due in part to irrational worries over China’s economy and the decline of oil prices. Here again, as we consistently say, these machinations are no reason for us to be concerned or a call to action if you are in a well-diversified global portfolio similar to the type we recommend.
     Be forewarned, you will see inflammatory words across the news media like ‘panic’ and ‘major sell-off’ ‘plunge’ and ‘crash’.
     The underlining corporations represented in the stock market are healthy and continuing to grow. If you are still concerned, of course we are available to answer your questions.

Posted in Blog Posts, Money Management

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