Before adding assets or changing portfolio strategies, ask yourself the three questions included at the end of the latest market performance report.  Remember that sticking to a long-term, disciplined investment approach, based upon research and implementation, may be your best approach to navigating uncertain markets.  


Many retirees are surprised to learn they remain in a high tax bracket even after leaving the workforce. Taking Social Security along with Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) from retirement accounts is often what spikes a retiree’s tax exposure. Soundmark Wealth Principal Todd Flynn explains how you can save significant tax and money over time in converting traditional IRAs into Roth IRAs

Need expert advice? Let’s connect, I’d be happy to provide a second opinion on your financial profile and look for ways to minimize your tax exposure. 


In my latest column, I reiterate why it’s imperative to tune out the market noise – especially in our current economic climate. I created the tagline “How to Build Wealth, Ignore Wall Street, and Get on with Your Life” over 18 years ago, but the principles are still very relevant today. Read the financial steps required to discover freedom and fulfillment in your own life.


With the continued increase in health insurance cost, many employers and self-employed individuals are using high-deductible health insurance plans combined with a Health Savings Account (HSA). HSAs can be a great way to manage healthcare costs, gain a tax deduction, and save future dollars. Review the details on how you can leverage your IRA to fund your HSA account.

If you have questions about managing retirement costs or building financial plans, please contact me. I would be happy to offer you insights on how I can accentuate your journey.


Rest in peace Jack. Thank you for having such a profound impact on the world of investing.

 


As the stock market’s volatile movements have created cautious investors, we share a few points about market performance and the problem with trying to predict future behavior.

  • Stock market volatility will likely continue, especially in the current political and economic climate.
  • Long term returns are accentuated by staying committed to a pre-determined asset allocation amid short term volatility.
  • Building a portfolio that reflects your need for risk (expected higher returns) is key to a successful financial plan.

The risk and return profile improves with time.

Note: Volatility is measured as the standard deviation of time-period returns for the return period specified, (i.e., the one-month volatility is the standard deviation of one-month returns).

Sources: Vanguard calculations based on data from Bloomberg, as of January 4, 1988–December 31, 2017.

 

Timing the market is challenging and an unpredictable strategy. The best and worst trading days can happen close together.

Note: All investing is subject to risk. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The performance of an index is not an exact representation of any particular investment, as you cannot invest directly in an index.

 


The most important component of embracing simplicity in building financial wealth might be that it allows you to focus on the type of wealth that matters most of all – the spiritual wealth of sharing your talents and wisdom with others. While the financial industry is intent on filling your portfolio with the “perfect” investments, maybe you are better off turning away from that empty energy, and instead reflecting on how you can invest your treasures in making a difference in your world. In my latest column, I suggest a few ways you can invest your talents with others.


It’s the time of year we talk about pie. Whether it’s pumpkin, sweet potato, or cherry pie that you might be sharing this holiday season, there’s one slice you could be missing. An entire chapter is devoted to the most important slice of the investment pie in The Coffeehouse Investor book – compounding. It is a piece of the pie that you can’t afford to ignore. We address this topic annually because many investors are still missing this piece!

When you reinvest your stock dividends instead of spending them, you can earn dividends on the original dividends and those dividends earn more dividends and as it continues, you get what we call “compounding.” Investors who spend time selling stocks and mutual funds that go up in price are missing out on the largest piece of the money pie because they don’t give their investments a chance to sit there and do what they are supposed to do – compound!

In celebration of pie, we share our pumpkin pie recipe included in the book. You can now show your loved ones the impact that dividend reinvestment has on your own pumpkin pie.

From our Coffeehouse family to your family, Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 


If you can believe it, the time to start thinking about the 2019-2020 school year is now. The 2019 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) was released at the beginning of the month. Don’t waste time filling out the form, some student aid programs have limited funds available. The early bird gets the worm!

Hopefully, if paying for higher education is or was one of your financial goals, you started a 529 education plan along the way. There are a variety of programs out there to help you finance the cost but Vanguard discusses the importance of leveraging index funds in your college savings plan. With their low costs, diversification, and greater performance predictability, index funds are one of the most reliable ways to save for the future costs of education.

In our last newsletter, we highlighted Dimensional Fund Advisors’ The ABCs of Education Investing, a strong argument on why you should invest in assets that are expected to outpace inflation.

Hopefully, none of this information is new to you and you find yourself ahead of the savings game. If not, we should talk – give me a call, I’d be happy to give you a second opinion on your financial plan.

 

 


Why do investors perceive heightened volatility as such a bad thing, and why are they prone to liquidating stocks during steep market sell-offs? From January through mid-March of this year, retail investors pulled out a net $40 billion dollars from global equity funds. Read what I think you should do to try and achieve a 6 percent or even 5 percent portfolio return over the next 30 years.