Personal Finance

When a Windfall Comes Your Way

Getting rich quick can be liberating, but it can also be frustrating. Sudden wealth can help you address retirement saving or college funding anxieties, and it may also give you the opportunity to live and work on your terms. On the other hand, you’ll pay more taxes, attract more attention, and maybe even contend with jealousy or envy. You may also deal with grief or stress, as a lump sum may be linked to a death, a divorce, or a pension payout decision.

How Your Personality Affects Your Financial Decision-Making

Risk tolerance is an important part of investing – everyone knows that. But the real value of answering a lot of questions about your risk tolerance is to tell you what you don’t know – how the sources of your money, the way you made it, how outside forces have shaped your view of it and how you’re handling it now will inform every decision you make about it in the future.

Comprehensive Financial Planning: What it is, Why it Matters

Comprehensive Financial Planning: What it is, Why it Matters

Just what is comprehensive financial planning? As you invest and save for retirement, you may hear or read about it – but what does that phrase really mean? Just what does comprehensive financial planning entail, and why do knowledgeable investors request this kind of approach? While the phrase may seem ambiguous to some, it can be simply defined. Comprehensive financial planning is about building wealth through a process, not a product.

Before Making a Donation, Here’s How to Find Out if the Charity is Legitimate.

Before Making a Donation, Here’s How to Find Out if the Charity is Legitimate.

When I received the lovely greeting card, tender letter and dream catcher from a Native American School, I immediately wrote out a check. Then, I thought to look up the organization to learn more about it. I learned that even though they collected $51 million last year, almost none of it went to a school.

Prospective donors can find a suitable charity just about anywhere they look. However by doing some homework, you can better distinguish among the many giving opportunities available to you.

Mind Over Money

When we go to the grocery store, we seldom shop on logic alone. We may not even buy on price. We buy one type of yogurt over another because of brand loyalty, or because one brand has more appealing packaging than another. We buy five bananas because they are on sale for 29 cents this week – the bargain is right there; why not seize the opportunity? We pick up that gourmet ice cream that everyone gets – if everyone buys it, it must be a winner.

As casual and arbitrary as these decisions may be, they are remarkably like the decisions many investors make in the financial markets.

What You Need to Know About the Fiduciary Rule and When It May or May Not Protect You

What You Need to Know About the Fiduciary Rule and When It May or May Not Protect You

Rules have been changed concerning investment professionals and retirement accounts. In the eyes of many, the change is good.

The “fiduciary rule” went into effect June 9th. This Department of Labor rule stipulates that any financial industry professional who makes investment recommendations to participants in qualified retirement plans in exchange for compensation will be considered a fiduciary.

What does all that mean?

Beware of Emotions Affecting Your Money Decisions

Beware of Emotions Affecting Your Money Decisions

When emotions and money intersect, the effects can be financially injurious. Emotions can cause us to overreact – or not act at all when we should.  

Think of the investors who always respond to sudden Wall Street volatility. That emotional response may not be warranted, and they may come to regret it.

State Farm & Chase Regulatory Issues

If you have any investments with State Farm, you should probably move them. Currently, State Farm has about 12,000 agents licensed to sell mutual funds and other retirement investment products. The policy of putting customers in commission-laden, proprietary State Farm mutual funds and variable annuities puts State Farm advisors in conflict with the DOL rule imposing on advisors a fiduciary duty to act in the customer’s best interest. These agent/brokers have previously been held to a less-stringent standard of suitability.

Maintaining a Good Credit Rating

Installment debt, in itself, is not a bad thing. It enables us to make major purchases that would be nearly impossible to finance up-front. The problem is, in this consumer society, we're bombarded with advertisements for literally thousands of "must-have" products. The result is that while our parents tended to pay with cash and buy only what they could afford, we have the "buy now, pay later" mentality.