Let the Good Times Roll

Excerpts from the February 2018 Archives of TGIF 2 Minutes…

“Let the good times roll.” I am partial to this expression because my Dad used to say it a lot either as a toast or statement when things were going well.  Looking overall at the last few years’ markets, current economy and lives and businesses of clients, the expression definitely applies. 

design desk display eyewear
During good times, how extensively you plan and from whom you get your advice can greatly lessen overall worry.

But of course, there will always be something to worry about. Always. 

  • How long will these positive markets last?
  • Will my portfolio continue to gain in value? How can I best preserve all this wealth I have created?
  • How long will these economic and business conditions continue to contribute to my personal and business success?
  • Will the risks I have taken in the past few years (that have paid off) continue to yield positive results?

Continue reading “Let the Good Times Roll”

More on “Free” Trading

Considering last week’s news of “free trading” (Fidelity jumped on board this week) here are two things that are NOT – and unlikely to become – free:

  • Financial Planning advice & guidance
  • Non-proprietary mutual funds trading transactions

Two very different things… but both are consistent with successful long-term financial planning and strategy. There are still far more moving parts to “free trading” so stay tuned.

Free Trade Continue reading “More on “Free” Trading”

Year-End Tax Planning Tips

Excerpts from the TGIF 2 Minutes Archives:

The beginning of October means we are in the 4th Quarter… and the countdown begins to year-end. The following are excerpts from the Year-End Tax Planning Checklist.* Several of these items, if addressed now, could make a big difference to your 2019 tax filing AND add to your savings.

variety of pumpkins
The beginning of October means we are in the 4th Quarter… and the countdown begins to year-end.

Continue reading “Year-End Tax Planning Tips”

The Cost of College

College is expensive.  As with all expensive things, planning and talking through plans – even hopes and dreams – can make the situation more affordable in the long run.

Case in point: paying for college. Back in the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s when a lot of the people reading this note went to college, college was mostly affordable depending on the choice of schools. The most expensive colleges and universities cost less than $15,000 or $20,000 per year (definitely, in the 1960’s and 1970’s). Although families still struggled to pay the cost for college in lots of cases.

person writing debt on paper
Talk with your kids about debt and its implications well before they start college.

Continue reading “The Cost of College”

Gut Check (Again) In Rocky Markets

From the archives of TGIF 2 Minutes comes a very handy message – one that still holds true 5 years later:

blue and yellow graph on stock market monitor
Photo by energepic.com on Pexels.com

August 2014:

Have you asked yourself lately…

  • “Is this the ‘Big Dip’ in the markets they have warned about?”
  • “Should I be selling my stocks?”
  • “Should I be selling my bonds?”

Although I stress to clients and friends NOT to listen to the Talking Heads on TV, radio & internet amidst dramatic market moves —and then make rash investment decisions – we are human! It is nearly impossible to ignore completely what is going on daily in the news and markets. And the stock markets have crept down a bit over the past few weeks. (Note, in 2019 the downturns and recoveries have been often.) Continue reading “Gut Check (Again) In Rocky Markets”

Potential Danger to Your IRA

In the heart of this already HOT summer of 2019, the heat may only be beginning for your IRA. Under the seemingly friendly title of the “SECURE Act” Congress is considering plans to over-reach in the form of future taxes on IRA accounts.

tax-forms

There are several positive and constructive elements of the bill recently passed by the House of Representatives and currently in review in the Senate. These include provisions to lower the threshold for small employers to offer 401k plans to their employees. However, a key part of the bill would do away with one of the most popular and widely used aspects of current IRA rules: the “Stretch IRA” for beneficiaries.

Currently, and dating back to the 1990’s, the Stretch IRA favors longevity by allowing a beneficiary to stretch inherited IRA monies over a lifetime, or until the IRA (or rolled over 401k) monies are depleted. This feature has come to be a popular and inexpensive long-term planning tool. The “Stretch” also aids in managing the tax consequences of becoming an inheritor of IRA monies. Continue reading “Potential Danger to Your IRA”

Is Good Boring?

Does it seem to you that with the stock market rebound since late December that you feel “good” or “better” today than you felt in early January?

If you DO feel good, that “good” feeling today may not be as strong as the “pain” you felt in January following December’s big decline.

If you do NOT feel “good” or “better” today, is it attributable to the markets? (Unlikely) A job or the economy? Family? The political environment?

NYSE.JPG

The reason I ask is that good and bad feelings – especially related to the stock markets – come and go. However, extensive research* says that “bad” or “painful” times are felt more strongly than “good” times. Maybe good is boring but I would rather have good than bad. Continue reading “Is Good Boring?”