Gut Check in Rocky Markets… 2021 Version

From the 2014 & 2016 Archives of TGIF 2 Minutes comes a timely message – updated for 2021, as markets could get fairly rocky (read: volatile) with inflation fears, unprecedented US government debt issuance and money printing. Caution is warranted. However, timeframe and a PLAN are key.

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?”
I stress to my clients and friends: Do NOT allow short-term market moves to instill fear and lead to poor decisions.

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Investment Talk at the Weekend BBQ

With Memorial Day fast approaching…and summer BBQs possibly starting soon… here’s a good one from the Archives of TGIF 2 Minutes….

May 2020:

A popular topic that inevitably comes up over holiday weekends and even at socially distant BBQs is “the latest hot investment” or the brilliant neighbor who made a killing in “Fund A” or “Investment B.” But did you ever notice that rarely does the conversation highlight the losing investments?

The person who starts talking about Asset Allocation and patient investing over the long-haul is the lonely person at the cocktail party or BBQ.

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Quick 401k Tax Tip Video

From the January 2021 archives of TGIF 2 Minutes – a relevant 401k tax tip video. Remember, the 2020 tax filing deadline was delayed until MAY 17TH, 2021. Considering this extra time, it is never too late to plan for the rest of 2021 and beyond. Enjoy this quick video.

Click the PLAY button above.

Thank you for watching, stay safe and TGIF!

The 401k Trap: Contact me for a copy at kdebbs@msfsolutions.com

Better, Faster, Cheaper

The title of this edition could also be called “A Deeper Dive into Inflation.” Inflation is serious stuff – for people of all ages. Consider that lots of younger people (under the age of 45) have far less awareness of inflation because they have not experienced serious and sustained inflation in their lifetimes. Those of us in our 50’s and older have likely been stung by this invisible enemy – sometimes really stung!

The reason why inflation matters so much is because it is like a thief who literally takes a chunk of your money every time you go to buy something – especially something you really need or want. So then, you must reach deeper into your pockets to pay more for whatever you were about to buy. What if you were already spending pretty close to 100% of what you make? Or what if you are retired (or close to retirement) and are on a fixed income… and already figured out the life of your dreams and what it would cost?

The title of today’s edition is “Better, Faster, Cheaper” because there are handful of items whose cost has stayed steady or gone down over time.

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Quick 1Q Wrap-Up

In the interest of the upcoming Easter and current Passover holidays today’s edition will be quick. Similar to the 1st Quarter of 2021 which seemed to FLY BY!

Market – and my clients’ portfolio – performance was strong to start the year. There is caution in the air, however, as 10-year US Treasury yields climbed to levels not seen since early 2020 before the pandemic began. The swiftness of the rise in bond yields warrants caution in the overall stock and bond markets.

The swiftness of the rise in bond yields warrants caution in the overall stock and bond markets.

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The $1,100 Cell Phone…Again!

From the Archives of TGIF 2 Minutes… read on for 2021 updates. Originally sent, April 2019.

Cash flow. Wouldn’t you like to have more of it around tax time? Well then, it may be time to delay or reconsider that new cell phone purchase.

Recently [in 2019] this “sticker shock” issue came to the forefront when I forked over $1,100 for my new Samsung Galaxy Note cell phone. OK, you may say, “Why didn’t you go with the zero-interest payment plan?” or, “Where have you been, Kerrie?” To which I would respond,

Having in place a stash of cash savings, “rainy day” fund, or emergency fund is one of the first things I discuss with all of my clients, no matter their income.

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More on PCL…and WRW!

Good morning and TGIF,

A couple of weeks back the topic was PCL, or Post-Career Lifestyle. I received more comments than usual from people of all ages – and a number of cool ideas on how to look at the “nonretirement” concept of saving today in order to do what you love tomorrow. “Doing what you love” in a post-career lifestyle can include continuing to work for pay, slowing down and enjoying a “side gig” or truly retiring and ending working altogether.

Another excellent factoid revealed was that women and men tend to look at retirement and post-career lifestyle differently. Women also have a lot more to say about their attitude toward saving (whether for PCL or retirement) and managing the savings habits of their families. This translates into a concept best described by the acronym, WRW*, or Women Rule the World.

Now before the men reading this say, “Wait a minute!” a couple of notes of clarification.

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PCL is The New Thing!

“Retirement” is so yesterday.

How about PCL instead? PCL = Post Career Lifestyle. It may turn out to be the way to go for a number of reasons.

  • First of all, “retirement” may be impossible to imagine if you are embarking on a first job or are early in a career. I mean… age 59½?? That age is nearly irrelevant and definitely forever in the future!
  • On the other hand, “Post-Career Lifestyle” feels way more attainable and easier to imagine. Think: someday… when I can have a lifestyle that is more balanced – on MY terms – somewhere between work and relaxing.

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Money, Therapy, and Life

From the Archives of 2016… updated for the “Coronavirus Life Experience”.

Money and Therapy. Two things that people may love or hate. However, among other things, money and therapy help.

Recently I finished a must-read book for all ages – wealthy or building wealth, married or single. Anyone who wants to have a “life” someday… or even have a life NOW. The book is called The Number* and was written in 2006 by Lee Eisenberg (long time editor-in-chief of Esquire magazine) but reads like he wrote it yesterday.

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Zero Interest Rate World

Low and near-zero interest rates have become a fact of life. Rates could likely remain low for the foreseeable future based on the economic and US Federal Reserve environment. This statement is not meant to be a predictor of where interest rates are going. Still, the fact of near-zero interest rates needs to be on investors’ radar screens, as boring as the topic may sound!

The bond market and interest rates involve far, far more complicated math than stocks. Trying to predict bond prices and interest rates is mostly not worthwhile.

Near-zero interest rates needs to be on investors’ radar screens.

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