Category Archives: Financial Planning

Measuring the Market

Have you ever wondered what stock market professionals and equity analysts talk about in their spare time?  Recently, the Bloomberg website featured a debate about something that is getting a lot of attention recently: the historically high, and still-rising U.S. stock market valuations.  People have been willing to pay more, and more, and more for a dollar of corporate earnings.  What does that mean about future returns?

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What Does It Mean When Your Portfolio Is Up 10%?

You receive portfolio performance reports every three months—a form of transparency that financial planning professionals introduced at a time when the typical brokerage statement was impossible to decipher.  But it might surprise you to know that most professionals think there is actually little value to any quarterly performance information, other than to reassure you that you actually do own a diversified portfolio of investments.  It’s very difficult to know if you’re staying abreast of the market, and for most of us, that’s not really relevant anyway.

Why?

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Who’s On Your Side?

Friday, June 9 quietly marked/will mark an historic day in the financial services world.  On that date, all financial advisors will be required to forego any sales agenda and give advice that would benefit their clients or customers—or, if they decide otherwise, to explain how and why they intend to give advice that instead primarily benefits themselves and their brokerage company.  This rule only pertains to rollovers from a qualified plan like a 401(k) into an IRA, and to the investment recommendations for that IRA account.  But it may be a first step toward something larger.

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My Family Record Book

My Family Record Book by Harris Rosen

A client of mine recently suggested that I recommend something like this book, here is the Amazon description:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the biggest problems people face when a family member passes is finding and acting on critical information such as final wishes and arrangements, financial accounts, wills, house maintenance records, etc.

My Family Record Book is a complete step-by-step guide that will help you keep tract of and organize: final wishes & arrangements, computer information and passwords, estate planning documents, employment records, insurance policies, tax records, retirement accounts, government benefits, real estate records, house maintenance and more!

Much more than a check list of information, this guide helps you convey how and why decisions were made so others can make informed choices about such items as:

• How to keep the household running smoothly
• Where to get cash and how to access financial accounts
• How to get into your computer and access passwords
• How and when to downsize
• Which ongoing services to stop and which to keep going

Whether you are planning for retirement, have aging parents, or are a caregiver or estate executor, this book will help you organize important information so everyone will feel in control and know what to do during a stressful time.

My Family Record Book is the easiest and best way to organize your records and instructions for you and your family. Most importantly, it provides you with peace of mind knowing that vital information is easily accessible and is a loving and important gift for those you care about most.

Order a copy of this book today and empower your loved ones with knowledge!

The good news is if you are a Kindle Unlimited subscriber the book is free, otherwise it’s only $3.95. If you want the physical copy it will set you back about $15.

I’ve not yet read the book, but after reading the glowing reviews, I suspect I won’t have much issue with it. Now if only there was a simple online system we could use to implement much of this!

Scott Dauenhauer, CFP, MPAS, AIF

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Meridian Featured in Investment News

In K-12 403(b) plans, employees and their unions can be their own worst enemy

Defined contribution plans for public school teachers are notoriously poor retirement plans, often described as a Wild West of sorts that’s plagued by minimal plan oversight, subpar investment options, and fund and insurance brokers who are free to walk into schools and sell products to teachers.

 

 

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Creative Giving

Giving to a charity is easy, right?  You write a check and send it off to your favorite 501(c)(3) organization, and get a full deduction for the amount on your tax return, up to 50% of your adjusted gross income.

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Interest Rate Hike

The U.S. Federal Reserve Board’s Open Market Committee just raised the Fed Funds rate from 0.75% to 1.00%—the second rate hike in three months.  So what should you do with your investment portfolio in light of this change?

Nothing.

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