Congratulations! By reading this article you’re taking an important step in your financial life, one that your future self will probably thank you for in twenty years. In helping clients, I’ve found that there are many unique issues that people face every day, but there are also a lot of situations that apply to most of us. In an effort to help inform and empower you, I’ve outlined some of my most popular articles below about issues that most everyone should know and think about when it comes to investing and financial planning . I hope you enjoy these articles and feel empowered to tackle these important areas!
When it comes to investing, the most mystifying issue for many people is the cost. What Are All These Fees?explains the differences between the most common investment-related expenses and the trade-offs between different fee strategies. As economists say, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch”, and understanding the fees you may be facing will provide you with a solid foundation in building the right portfolio for your long-term goals and needs.
Of course, it’s not just fees that can worry and confuse you. The potential for loss is very stressful for many investors, especially after the financial crisis, and the result is often an unwillingness to think about the potential for future losses. But I always express to my clients that Managing Your Downside Risk is a Must!Instead of giving in to fear and worry, you should feel empowered to build your portfolio in a way that takes full account of downside risk. Risk should be a central part of your portfolio planning, and I recommend this article as a way to get started in asking the right questions and thinking about the issues.
Portfolio management isn’t just about risk, though, it’s about finding the best strategies for your needs. In Institutional Investing for the Individual Investor, I introduce some of the strategies typically reserved for institutional clients which have more recently become accessible to individuals. Account minimums have declined drastically over the years, making these options a really great solution for some individual investors, depending on their overall objectives and needs.
In addition to stressing the importance of knowledge in investing, I believe that prudent financial planning is essential to long-term financial health. The most basic and often most difficult aspect of any financial plan is taking control of spending. As difficult as it might be, I always tell clients that Making Sense of Your Spending is a Key Part of Financial Peace. We all know intellectually that spending on the things that make us happy in the long run is the best way to live, but it can be hard to do in the short term. This article outlines some ways to get started on tracking expenses and building a budget, and links to a great budgeting spreadsheet in Excel!
I also believe that Estate Planning is a Key Part of Any Financial Strategy. People often think that estate planning is only for the very wealthy, but in reality everyone could benefit from having an estate plan in place. This article provides information about the critical elements of an estate plan and how to get started in developing one.
As you consider these issues, you may want to take a look at this Financial Questionnaire, which provides space for you to input important financial data. Having this information in one place will help you to see the big picture in your finances and is a great way to prepare for a meeting with your advisor.
For a lot of people, financial planning is all about retirement. Are You Ready to Retire?gives guidance in assessing your readiness and the issues you should think about before making the decision to retire. This isn’t just about finances; retirement is an emotional decision and a major transition period in one’s life. Taking account of the important factors that go into retirement should be a key part of that transition.
Of course, as part of our retirement planning, most of us probably contribute to a 401(k) plan or IRA account. If you’ve ever changed jobs or consolidated your retirement accounts, you may have opened an IRA Rollover account and felt unsure about where to go from there.. Ten Tips You Need to Know About your IRA Rollover is my free e-book, which provides important information about IRA Rollover accounts and what you need to know to take full advantage of their benefits.
All of this information may seem a bit overwhelming now, but please stick with it! Take it slowly and one step at a time, and don’t be afraid to seek out an advisor who you can trust and ask a lot of questions. Looking at these tough questions and addressing your potential investing or financial planning fears is a critical step in ensuring your long-term financial health. Remember, knowledge is power!
Written by Bradford Pine
Bradford Pine Wealth Group – New York City Financial Advisors
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