admin April 28, 2020 No Comments

SBFP Resources and Information Hub for Young Adults, Freelancers and Business Owners

We’re sharing our up to date information and a few free resources you don’t want to miss out on to help you navigate your finances and get your questions answered during all of this. Whether you’re a freelancer and have questions about the PPP loan or you’re a recent college grad and are wondering what you should do with your student loans, we’re here to help.

1. Relief options for freelancers, independent contractors, and small business owners.

As many of you have probably heard by now, freelancers, independent contractors and small business owners can currently apply for different relief options. The most common of these programs being the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loan and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), which allow borrowers to apply if they’ve lost income because of COVID-19 or have had to stay home to care for children due to school closures. The PPP loan is forgiven for amounts used for payroll and some other expenses and/or the EIDL program with the Small Business Administration.

First, we suggest figuring out how much relief you think you’ll need. If it’s under $10k – go for the EIDL. This money comes straight from the Small Business Administration and doesn’t involve a bank. However, if you think you’ll need more than $10k, or EIDL funding runs out, then going for the PPP makes sense.

PPP applications are through your bank. For example, if you use Chase, you should see application information when you log in. Here is a list of Banks And Fintech Companies Accepting Paycheck Protection Program Loan Applications From New And Non-Bank Customers.

Payroll, rent, mortgage interest, and utilities are forgiven for both. If you have $20k in payroll and get $10k in EIDL forgiven and your get $20k in PPP, $10k is forgivable but if you get $10k of each, both are forgivable.

What are the details of the PPP loan?

You’re able to request a loan of 2.5 times your net profit. Self employed individuals (including independent contractors) who file IRS Form 1040 Schedule C with no employees should enter their net profit from their 2019 Schedule C line 31 as payroll. Here’s a calculator that might help.

Furthermore, you’ll have to submit a copy of your 1040 Sched C (the tax form that you file for self employed income) in order to apply. If you haven’t filed your taxes yet, that’s okay but you’ll need to have that form filled out in order to apply.

The loan will be fully forgiven if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities (due to likely high subscription, at least 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll). Of that 100%, they will only forgive 25% of the money that is used on rent, mortgage interest, and utilities. So if you use 70% for payroll, and 30% for those other expenses they will only forgive 95% of that loan.

Also, the demand has been so high that it’s expected that you can only get a loan for payroll and it’s unclear exactly what counts towards “payroll”, though it is probably Sched C income, partnerships, and may include S corporation profits.

Even if you have no way of being able to pay it back, still apply. You probably won’t have to pay it back. Any expenses outside these will have to be paid back. The interest is 1%, you don’t have to pay for six months, and you have two years to pay it back.

All the info you need is right here.

Who can apply?

  • Freelancers, independent contractors and small business owners can now apply if they’ve lost income because of COVID-19. Here is a more detailed list:
  • Any small business concern that meets SBA’s size standards
  • Any business, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, 501(c)(19) veterans organization, or Tribal business concern (sec. 31(b)(2)(C) of the Small Business Act) with the greater of:
    • 500 employees, or
    • That meets the SBA industry size standard if more than 500
  • Any business with a NAICS Code that begins with 72 (Accommodations and Food Services) that has more than one physical location and employs less than 500 per location
  • Sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed persons

When should you apply?

PPP resumed April 27, 2020 and we encourage freelancers to apply as soon as they can (see a full list of current SBA-approved lenders below), as the money will almost certainly run out again.

Other things to note?

Note that all of this is in flux because nobody really knows how big our problem is or how long it will last. They may extend forgiveness, the deference of payments, and length of time to repay. But these are the rules right now. Also, they expect processing to take about two months, so do keep that in mind.

There are other relief, as well as unemployment options. Do note that freelancers, independent contractors and small business owners can now apply for unemployment even if they don’t have a W-2. Learn more here: sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options and here: nytimes.com/article/coronavirus-money-unemployment.html

Lastly, a great resource during this time is the Freelancers Union.

2. Updates on student loans.

Learn more on how to pause your federal student loans here.

3. Go to resources that we’ve been checking regularly (and you should, too!).

4. A FREE call with our team.

Bring your questions and concerns – let’s chat. Schedule your complimentary call here.

5. SBFP FREE 5 Day Challenge:

Many of you have reached out with questions and concerns about navigating your finances during these unprecedented times. So if you’re feeling unsure what you should be doing with your money right now (saving? Investing? Decreasing expenses?), or if you’re feeling a little stuck, a little worried, or simply have extra unexpected time at home, we have a special invite just for you!

Join us for our FREE Stay Home and Take Control Five Day Challenge this week!

This challenge is fun, easy and consists of small actions you can do each day to help you feel more in control. Remember: money doesn’t control you – you’re in the driver seat.

7. A special invitation to join our private community Your Amazing Financial Life for FREE.

With everything going on in the world, we’re inviting you to a safe, private community to ask your financial questions during this ever-changing time. The goal of our community hasn’t changed, we strive to help you live your AMAZING life, whatever that means to YOU.

This is the time for young adults to shore up their financial situation whether it’s if they are starting to invest and wonder if it’s still safe to be in the stock market or if they should be investing their money or saving it. We cover all the basics of setting up a great financial foundation, introduce investment concepts, answer questions about debt (student loan and getting started with credit cards) on YAFL. We’ve been having lively conversations on a wide variety of conversations.

We’re inviting you to join us for a six months free to get through all of this – together. (And if you’re a college student, we’re inviting you to join for free through your college career!) Come join us!

We have a lot of exciting things going on over in this group, including

💸 Unlimited access to the SBFP team’s advice, guidance, and support
💸 Monthly topics with conversations, learning, and planning
💸 Monthly Q&A video calls with the team
💸 Monthly wine and cheese events
💸 Special access to courses, challenges, events, book clubs and meet ups!
💸 Personalized ADVICE from us and STORIES from others that can’t be found anywhere else
💸 And so much more!

admin April 21, 2020 No Comments

Banking 101: How to Start Saving Money

Written by Anna Baluch
Published on 10/23/2019
Originally posted on DepositAccounts by lendingtree

Note: This article is part of our Basic Banking series, designed to provide new savers with the key skills to save smarter. 

If you want to save money but don’t know where to start, keep reading this guide to learn how you can improve your finances and quality of life.

We’ll discuss choosing the right budgeting system and strategies, deciding where to keep your hard-earned savings and determining how much to save each month. We’ll also offer money-saving tips that could make a positive difference in your financial well-being.

Examine budgeting options, strategies for saving money 

As you begin, you should analyze every dollar you spend every two weeks or monthly, said Ben Lies, president and chief investment officer at Delphi Advisers in Washington.

Once you do, cut any expenses that you don’t need and consider implementing these budgets or strategies to help you save. 

Pay-yourself-first budget

Every time you get paid, get into the habit of paying yourself first rather than immediately tackling your bills. Calculate how much you make after taxes and subtract your expenses. The number you come up with can give you an idea of how much you can pay yourself first so that you can stash some of that money away in a savings account, 401(k) or another place. After you’ve set aside a portion of your money, you can then tackle your mortgage, credit card or other bills.

50/30/20 budget

With the 50/30/20 budget, you use your after-tax income to create a budget for needs, wants and savings. The budget allocates your income as follows:

  • 50% goes toward your needs, such as your mortgage, utilities and groceries
  • 30% is for your wants, such as movie tickets and dining at your favorite restaurants
  • 20% is allocated for savings goals, such as an emergency fund or retirement 

You’ll save 20% of your budget while still being able to pay for your needs and splurge for your wants.

Debt avalanche

With the debt avalanche strategy, you make the minimum payment on all your debts, except for the one with the highest interest rate. With that one, you make excess payments. Once that debt is paid off, take the amount you were paying on that debt and use it toward the one with the next-highest rate. Follow this strategy until you’ve eliminated your debts. 

After you pay off your debts through this method, you’ll have extra money to allocate toward your savings goals. 

Debt snowball

If you feel like you need regular motivation, the debt snowball strategy may be a better option for you. With this strategy, you’ll focus on tackling your smallest debts first rather than the ones with the highest interest rates. Keep paying off your smallest debts until you’re debt-free. 

Once you become debt-free via this method, your payments would no longer hold you back from saving money. 

Saving vs. investing

Investing money involves buying stock market shares and other assets so that your money can potentially grow over time. It can be the key to turning your savings into wealth.

While investing can give you a higher earning potential than simply stashing your money into a savings account, there are no guarantees that you’ll make more money, especially if there is a recession or stock market crash. 

Figure out how much you should save each month

The rule of thumb — according to Tara Unverzagt, a certified financial planner at South Bay Financial Partners in California — is to save 10% to 15% of your income, including bonuses. 

”If you can afford more, go for it, but make sure it doesn’t get in the way of you living life, socializing, traveling and volunteering,” Unverzagt said.

When deciding how much money you should save each month, you should consider your personal situation. If your goal is to get out of debt and you’re living paycheck to paycheck, you’ll likely save less than someone who is debt-free and focused on funding their retirement.

“Don’t think, ‘I’ll save later; it’ll be easier when I have a higher salary,’” Unverzagt said. “You’re not guaranteed a higher salary, and there’s a good chance your expenses will be higher as you get older. It never gets easier to save, so get used to spending less than you make and start saving for the future now.”

Decide where to save your money

There are a variety of places you can keep your savings, including:

Savings accounts

With a savings account, you can save your money while potentially earning some interest. Per federal Regulation D, you can make up to six convenient withdrawals or transfers each month without penalty. The average APY for a savings account is 0.278%.

Pros

  • Low or no minimum balance requirements: Many savings accounts come with low minimum balance requirements, so you can keep as little as you’d like in them. Some come with none at all.
  • Relatively liquid: As noted, Regulation D limits you to up to six convenient withdrawals or transfers (after that, you may be required to pay a fee or your account could be closed). This is not the case with certain other financial products, such as certificates of deposit (CDs).

Cons

  • Fees: Some savings accounts charge monthly maintenance fees.
  • Lower interest rates than other financial products: You may be able to make more money by investing your money in a CD (we’ll discuss this next).

Certificates of deposit

You won’t be able to access the money you put into a certificate of deposit for a set period, unless you pay an early withdrawal penalty in most cases. CDs typically come with periods that range from three months to 10 years. The average APY on a one-year CD is 1.293%. A CD may be a strong choice if you have a short-term goal in mind, such as buying a house within the next five years. 

Pros

  • Predictable returns: Since CDs offer fixed rates and fixed terms, you’ll be able to forecast exactly how much you’ll earn on your CD.
  • Low risk: If you’re new to investing, you may like CDs because they are less riskier than other options, such as stocks. With a CD, you’ll get your principal plus interest back.

Cons

  • Limited liquidity: You won’t be able to withdraw money from your CD until the term is over, unless you pay an early withdrawal penalty. (There are no-penalty CDs, but they aren’t as widespread.)
  • Lower payouts than other options: Other financial products — annuities, for example — may offer you higher payouts than CDs.

Savings bonds

When you buy a savings bond, you are essentially lending money to the U.S. government. You make money when the government pays you a set interest rate — in addition to the principal — when the bond matures. 

Bonds may be a good option if your goal is long-term financial security since they can give you a dependable income source. 

Pros

  • Interest for an extended period: Savings bonds are issued for up to 30 years. You can cash them after a year, though penalties may apply.
  • Tax benefits: Any interest you earn on savings bonds is exempt from state and local income taxes. Also, you won’t have to pay federal taxes on any interest you earn until you cash the bond.

Cons

  • More interest elsewhere: You may be able to make more money if you invest in other financial products. Series EE savings bonds issued through October 2019 earn an annual fixed rate of 0.10%.
  • Maximum contributions: You’re limited to a maximum purchase of $10,000 a year.

Retirement accounts

Your savings goals are often dictated by how you want to live in retirement, Lies said. The more you can save now, the earlier you can retire and the more secure you can be when retirement comes.

There are a number of accounts you can use to save for retirement, such as:

401(k) or 403(b)

Consider a 401(k) or 403(b) if your employer offers these. In 2019, you can contribute $19,000 a year. If you’re 50 or older, you can make an additional catch-up contribution of $6,000, bringing your toal to $26,000 a year. You’ll pay taxes once you withdraw the money during retirement. 

Roth IRA/traditional IRA

A Roth individual retirement account (IRA) may make sense if you’re making a modest income and aren’t paying too much in taxes. You’ll contribute your money post-tax and be able to distribute it tax-free.

With a traditional IRA, you pay income taxes on the money when you withdraw it. You can contribute $6,000 a year — or $7,000 if you’re 50 or older — to a Roth or traditional IRA.

SEP IRA

If you’re a freelancer or own a small business, a simplified employee pension (SEP) IRA may be the way to go. In 2019, you can save up to 25% of your gross annual salary or about 20% of your adjusted net earnings from self-employment as long as you don’t exceed the $56,000 maximum. With a SEP IRA, you’ll contribute your money tax-free and pay taxes on it once you withdraw it.

Follow these 9 tips for saving money

Automate the process: To automate your savings, set up automatic and recurring transfers from your paycheck or checking account to your savings account of choice. This strategy will allow you to save money without thinking about it.

Try a savings app: A savings app can be a fun way to help you get into the habit of saving money on a regular basis. You can try apps such as Joy, Qapital, Simple and Kidfund to find out which one works best for you.

Set savings goals: It can be tough to save money when you don’t have targets. Try to set up specific savings goals for financial milestones, such as buying a house, retiring or paying for college.

Open multiple savings and investment accounts: If you keep many accounts with smaller balances, Lies said it won’t feel like you have as much money. This may motivate you to keep saving.

Find a savings coach: A savings coach is someone who will hold you accountable for your savings goals. This can be a friend, family member or professional.

Don’t keep up with the Joneses: ”Try hard to leave your ego behind,” Unverzagt said. “Caving into the fancy home and car that you can’t actually afford may feel good for a while, but your ego may be crushed by debt that controls your life later and derails your savings goals.”

Boost your income: If you’re not saving as much as you’d like to because your income does not allow it, consider getting a side hustle or earning a higher-level degree so you can land a higher-paying job in your field.

Pay cash: By paying with cash rather than swiping your card, you’ll likely have better control of how you spend your money and be able to save more as a result. 

Follow the 50 cent rule: Lies recommends putting 50 cents in savings for every discretionary dollar you spend on a daily or weekly basis.

Why does saving money matter?

Saving money is the key to achieving a financially secure life and being able to support yourself and your family, regardless of what life throws your way. 

“Many people view their income as the path to wealth, but that’s not the case,” Lies said. “It doesn’t matter how much money you make if you aren’t saving enough to create any wealth.”

With a strong savings strategy in place, you can ensure you have enough money to pay for your monthly bills, cover emergency expenses and meet short- and long-term financial goals. After you’ve built up sufficient savings, it could be a good idea to start investing.

admin April 21, 2020 No Comments

5 Do’s and Don’ts of Repaying Your Personal Loan Early

By Annie Millerbernd
Posted Apr 16, 2020 at 12:30 PM
Originally Posted in the Herald Tribune.

When you’re nearing the end of a long personal loan road, it’s tempting to wrap your payments up a few months early. Who doesn’t yearn to see that balance zero

When you’re nearing the end of a long personal loan road, it’s tempting to wrap your payments up a few months early. Who doesn’t yearn to see that balance zero out?

But before you dip into your savings or use your stimulus check to pay off your personal loan, it’s important to check that your other financial bases are covered.

Understanding your financial goals ” and where paying off that loan falls among them ” will make managing your loan easier.

Here are three do’s and two don’ts to keep in mind if you’re tempted to pay off your personal loan early.

Do prioritize your monthly expenses first

Your monthly expenses ” things like rent, utilities and groceries ” are what you need to live. But also consider debts like credit cards and student loans as essential payments that you can’t skip, says Kayse Kress, a certified financial planner at Physician Wealth Services.

‘Whoever you owe money to, those are just fixed payments,’ she says. ‘That’s just part of your living expenses that you have to pay.’

Auto loans and mortgages are often secured by your property, and you shouldn’t risk losing your car or home in service of making an extra payment toward an unsecured loan.

Kress says skipping a debt payment here and there can turn into a bad habit, so she generally recommends against it.

‘Even if the lender is allowing you to [skip a payment] and it’s not going to hurt your credit score, I just think that’s not the right mindset,’ Kress says.

Do have savings set aside

Prioritizing a safety net before extra personal loan payments can keep you financially secure if a surprise expense crops up, says Tara Tussing Unverzagt, a California-based certified financial planner.

Your savings are there to protect against worst-case scenarios, like losing your job, a medical emergency or home repair. One rule of thumb for emergency savings is to keep three to six months’ expenses on hand.

Unverzagt says taking a small amount out of savings to send a final personal loan payment a month or so early might work out fine. Just avoid taking so much or so often that you’re left vulnerable in an emergency, she says.

Do know if your loan comes with prepayment fees

Few lenders still charge a fee for paying off your loan early, called a prepayment fee. These fees ensure the lender makes money off your loan, even if you save on interest by repaying early.

If your loan does come with a prepayment fee, calculate whether the interest you’ll pay in the remaining months is higher than the fee, says Rockie Zeigler, a certified financial planner in Illinois.

If you have only a few payments left and are looking at a fee of thousands of dollars, you might be better off waiting it out and making your monthly payments, he says.

Don’t rob your retirement to pay off debt

If your retirement account’s rate of return is higher than your loan’s annual percentage rate, you might consider splitting the extra payment between the accounts.

Personal loans come with APRs between 6% and 36%, while the return on a Roth IRA, for example, depends on the investments you’ve put in it.

Kress recommends paying down your high-interest debt before splitting extra cash among investments and debt payments.

Still, ‘your loan is never going to send you money back,’ she says. So avoid skipping your monthly retirement contributions to make a few extra payments.

Consider an approach that serves both your immediate desire to be debt-free and your future self, who probably wants to retire.

Don’t overthink it

Having your monthly budget and safety net in place is a must, says Taylor Venanzi, Pennsylvania-based certified financial planner and owner of Activate Wealth. Beyond that, he cautions against letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.

Even if the money could go toward lowering your monthly payments on something like a credit card, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad choice to put it toward your loan if that’s what you really want.

‘There are really good decisions and then there’s the best decision,’ he says. ‘Sometimes you just have to weigh the mental benefits of getting one [debt] completely gone versus optimizing which interest rate to pay down.’

admin April 21, 2020 No Comments

How to Model Family Spending During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Getting a handle on spending during this new normal will help families succeed in the long run. 

By Adam Bulger 
Apr 14 2020, 7:25 PM
This article originally found on Fatherly.

Under COVID-19, money’s causing almost as much dread and panic as the coronavirus pandemic itself. Roughly 17 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits over the course of four weeks in late March and early April. About one out of 10 American workers lost jobs, with hotel, food service and healthcare employees among the hardest hit. While boosted unemployment insurance benefits and stimulus checks can take off some of the edge, economic pain is palpable across America, with cars lined up for miles outside food banks struggling to keep up with unprecedented demand for emergency aid. 

As politicians debate when to reopen the economy, no one’s sure what reopening will look like. Will stir-crazy consumers kickstart capitalism by rushing to newly reopened businesses? Or will we all be too shell-shocked by the pandemic to spend with pre-COVID abandon?

It’s understandable if you want to pull the blankets over your head, stream another episode of Ozark, and tune out financial discussions. But you’d serve yourself well by facing it today. After all, getting a handle on your finances — and modeling proper family spending during the pandemic — will help your family manage an uncertain and precarious future. As Texas wealth advisor Brandon Renfro points out, there’s a divide between those who have already been directly affected financially and those who haven’t just yet. 

“Where I’m seeing trouble is with the group that hasn’t been affected financially,” Renfro says. “A chunk of that group simply has not been affected yet.”

Renfro’s not advocating fear. But he is asking that people have a healthy appreciation for the fact that there are still a lot unknowns about how the economy will react over the next several months. “I think planning on spending that stimulus check on non-essential expenses isn’t the way to go,” he says. “Most families would be well-served to consider holding that for liquidity if they think they don’t immediately need it.”

Quarantine presents everyone with opportunities for recognizing non-essential expenses. With everyone stuck inside and bars, restaurants, and retail stores closed or reduced to curbside service, March’s credit, debit card, and bank statements are probably emptier than January’s or February’s. With fewer purchases to sort through and heightened worry about future income, families can see how they’re spending and where they can save.

“A possible silver lining to the current quarantine is that you can figure out the bare-bone minimum cost to live your lifestyle,” says Rhode Island financial planner Jake Northrup 

Thrifty habits are indeed flourishing as stores remain closed and pandemic fears driving people indoors. Under quarantine, yesterday’s budget hacks, from home cooking to avoiding extravagant trips and luxury purposes, have become matter-of-fact ways of life for many people. “They are cooking at home without even thinking about it,” Torrance, CA financial planner and mom of three Tara Tussing Unverzagt points out. “They aren’t getting their hair and nails done. In general, most people are just naturally spending a lot less.”

But just because you’re spending less, doesn’t mean you can overlook family budgets. Fifty two-year-old San Diego school administrator and mother of three Kacy Smith’s family was saving money from transportation costs but took her savings a step further.  “We make a point to have weekly budget meetings and have adjusted our goals temporarily,” she says. “Being on the same page is huge. We know our plan and are able to stay more focused no matter what we’re faced with.”

The Smiths shifted money originally earmarked for gas to their food budget, offsetting their higher-than-usual grocery bills. Then Smith hunted for more ways to cut spending. After canceling recurring subscriptions for clothing, cat litter, magazines, and apps, she called her cable, internet, and phone provider and negotiated a $30 lower monthly rate. By doing these small things, she says she was able to shave $289 a month off their budge.

Smith’s mortgage provider couldn’t give her enough information to make her comfortable with deferring payments but she had more luck with creditors.  

“A few said they could defer my payments for the next three months, while a few others said that they could lower my interest rate and lower my minimum monthly payments,” Smith says, explaining that over the next three months she’ll save $1,800 in payments and hopes to get about $500 from selling no-longer-needed furniture. 

While COVID-19 closures force Americans to spend less on restaurants, quarantine life is capable of driving up the cost of food, as Larry Duffany, a 55-year-old father of three from Thomaston, CT. He says that, because they are all at home, the family’s grocery budget has gone up. But he believes the eating’s driven more by housebound boredom more than hunger. “For that reason, I’ve set up my ‘classroom’/office as far from the kitchen as possible.”

Along with food, Duffany says sheltering in place has ratcheted up utility costs. “Again, because we are home our bill for electricity has shot up as well,” he says. “We’re all home and we’re all using devices.” 

Duffany’s one of many Americans who’ve lost a once-reliable source of secondary income under COVID-19. His part-time work as an American Heart Association instructor depends too much on in-person instruction for remote learning. Cheaper gas and less driving, along with canceled kids’ activities and reductions in healthcare costs offset the shortfall, mostly.  While he’s already lost a side gig, he’s bracing for the possibility of losing his main one down the road. Like many Americans, he’s uncertain whether his job will survive months of economic doldrums. He works at a private school and his job depends on enrollment, which could dip due to the economic downturn. 

“I’m throwing extra money into savings right now to hedge the possibility of job loss down the road,” he says.

With 81 percent of large advertisers cutting ad and marketing spending, many creative professionals are out of work across the globe. Welsh father-of-two Brett Downes’ income as a digital marketer was decimated by coronavirus when his clients slashed their budgets. His wife’s income covers bills but he’s otherwise being inventive about other costs, including taking advantage of the U.K.’s three-month payment holiday for mortgage and credit card payments. 

In addition to cutting coupons and harvesting vegetables from their garden, Downes’ family has cut costs with a move that many might find unthinkable in a time of widespread streaming content binging: he put Netflix and Disney Plus on hold and transformed his family’s leisure time. “We spend our evenings playing board games and using the House Party App,” he says. 

Besides increased unemployment benefits and stimulus checks,the federal government has offered options for struggling Americans. Paul Flanagan, a father of two in Dallas who owns the undeveloped land sales company Land Cravings, took advantage of one stimulus measure to cut down his mountain of credit card debt. 

“With the feds approval of waiving the penalty for early withdrawal of 401 and IRA distributions, we decided that it would be a good idea to pay off all that high interest credit card debt with my IRA,” Flanagan says. “There was enough money to reinvest in other assets after becoming credit card debit free.” 

Financial experts urge caution for those considering dipping into retirement accounts to pay off consumer debt. Duffany recommended dialing debt payments to minimums to hold onto cash in case the crisis drags on longer than predicted. But unlike retirement investment accounts, which fluctuate with the market, paying off debt has a guaranteed rate of return by negating credit card interest rates. 

“As long as you have a concrete plan to avoid credit card debtagain, withdrawing money from an IRA can be a very much needed fresh start at this point,” he says. 

Unverzagt noted that early withdrawals from taxable accounts like 401Ks and IRAs still entail taxes. “But I also think right now boosting your contingency/emergency fund and/or paying off debt is important,” she says, adding that going debt-free is less important than an emergency fund. “Paying off debt early is only a good solution if you are solid in your contingency fund and able to pay your day-to-day bills even if things go south in the future.”

But while it’s important to keep your eyes on tomorrow, escaping the grim realities of today can feel much more urgent and just as necessary. Brooklyn father of two and higher education professional Phillip says he and his wife, both white collar professionals, have spent years living within their means and putting away money for a house. Now stuck inside their city apartment without access to outdoor space, they’re searching for a house to rent for the summer. As he’d still be paying rent on his apartment while leasing the house, he knows the move would set his home search back significantly while offering nothing in terms of investment or equity. But in consideration of the circumstances, he believes it’s worth the trade-off. 

“We said let’s take a year or eight months’ worth of what we had been saving towards a down payment and go live somewhere nice for the summer because we can do that, he says. “If it sets us back a year, that may help our sanity in the long run.”  

admin April 21, 2020 No Comments

Follow Your Own Advice, Say Top Advisors In New Year’s Resolutions

January 2, 2020
By Alex Padalka
This article originally appeared in Financial Advisor IQ.

Financial advisors making New Year’s resolutions say they want to follow more of the advice they’re giving their clients — but also to remember to treat themselves.

Overall, both financial and personal well-being are top of mind for most advisors, MarketWatch writes.

Jennifer Weber, vice president of financial planning at Weber Asset Management in Lake Success, N.Y., tells the web publication she plans “to go back to advice I give and want to follow” regarding budgeting to ensure she and her husband are saving enough for retirement and their children’s education as well as travel, sticking with a simple budget: “50% of take-home pay on necessities, 30% of take-home pay on wants, 20% of take-home pay on savings and debt repayment.”

Mike Silane, the founder and managing partner of 21 West Wealth Management in Irvine, Calif., tells MarketWatch he’s taking time during the holiday season to update his “investment wish list” and allocate to it after considering his liquidity needs. 

Leibel Sternbach, the founder of Yields4U in Melville, N.Y., meanwhile, plans to hire a financial advisor, according to the web publication.

“One of the hardest lessons for me to learn was that when it comes to yourself being objective is incredibly hard,” he tells MarketWatch.

David Haas, owner of Cereus Financial Advisors in Franklin Lakes, N.J., is taking stock of all his financial accounts and ensuring his wife has access to them if he dies or becomes incapacitated, he tells the web publication.

But New Year’s resolutions are not just about saving and investing. Ian Bloom, the owner of Open World Financial Life Planning in Raleigh, N.C., plans to buy his wife a new couch, he tells MarketWatch. And after telling his clients and friends “hundreds of times” to buy cheaper used cars, Ron Strobel, the founder of Retire Sensibly in Nampa, Idaho, plans to buy two new ones over concerns that his 12-year-old cars are posing a risk, he tells the web publication.

“I suppose you could say that my goal for 2020 is to stop being so frugal and treat myself occasionally, especially when it comes to my own well-being,” Strobel tells MarketWatch.

Tara Unverzagt, founder of South Bay Financial Partners in Torrance, Calif., is also taking well-being seriously, according to the web publication. She plans to “start riding my bike regularly, do my yoga every week, and take a few moments every day to meditate and clear my mind,” Unverzagt tells MarketWatch. 

“I expected my financial life will be no worse off and who knows, my business may thrive even more because of it,” she tells the web publication.

admin April 21, 2020 No Comments

How to Help Clients Pay Less for College

By Ingrid Case
December 30, 2019, 2:54 p.m. EST
This article originally appeared in Financial Planning.

Every day clients fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, hoping their college-age children will qualify for need-based financial aid. Most families with annual incomes of $300,000 or more won’t get great news. 

“Three hundred thousand dollars is the cutoff where you will not see need-based financial aid,” says Ian Aguilar, a partner at Mellen Money Management in Nocatee, Florida, whose practice serves mass-affluent and HNW clients.

Some of those families will pay list price without complaint. Others will need to shuffle other financial commitments and take advantage of money-saving opportunities. Both groups, however, will appreciate money-saving strategies from their planners — some because they need those tips and others because they expect such ideas from their planners, whether they plan to implement the suggestions or not.

FILL OUT THE FAFSA ANYWAYS
Filling out the FAFSA is a hassle, so parents who don’t expect to receive need-based aid often skip the chore. That can be a mistake. 

“Don’t assume that your kid won’t get aid with a family income of $300,000, especially if she or he hopes to attend an expensive college,” says Ron Oldano, a planner in Wesley Chapel, Florida, who serves clients with between $500,000 and $5 million in AUM.

The FAFSA considers family situations, such as having more than one child in school. Annual income of $300,000 might mean an expected family contribution of $80,000. But if the family will have two students in college during the year in question, the FAFSA splits the expected family contribution between the students, says Robert Falcon of Falcon Wealth Managers, who serves five client families with total AUM of $7.6 million in Concordville, Pennsylvania.

“Each student would have an expected family contribution of $40,000, and the family may very well get need-based aid at pricey schools,” he says.

Even if a family doesn’t get need-based aid, the FAFSA can open doors to other financial resources. For example, any student can apply for California’s Promise Program, which covers the first two years of tuition at any in-state junior college, plus $250 for books and supplies. Completing the FAFSA is part of applying. Individual schools sometimes also offer scholarships based on FAFSA results.

“Because we filled out the FAFSA when our son attended Cal State, he was notified of a scholarship,” says Karl Leonard Hicks, a planner in Riverside, California. “He applied and got it. It didn’t cover his entire time at school, but it did soften the blow.”

REVIEW SPENDING PATTERNS
An income of $300,000 in Cheyenne, Wyoming, buys more than the same income in Honolulu. No matter, says Tara Unverzagt, a planner at South Bay Financial Partners in Torrance, California, whose clients typically have between $2 million and $15 million in assets under management. 

“I say that any family that has an income of $300,000 should have no problem paying for college from savings and cash flow,” Unverzagt says. “If they do have a problem, I’d have a financial therapy conversation about what they’re spending their money on and why.”

“I say that any family that has an income of $300,000 should have no problem paying for college from savings and cash flow,” Unverzagt says. “If they do have a problem, I’d have a financial therapy conversation about what they’re spending their money on and why.”

Is the family trying to keep up with a better-heeled peer group? Fooling themselves about how much they’re earning or spending? Supporting adult children? 

“I can’t determine how my clients spend their money, but I can show them how their spending affects their goals,” Unverzagt says.

LOOK FOR SCHOOLS THAT OFFER MERIT-BASED AID
About a third of the financial aid American students received in 2018-2019 was need based. The majority was merit based. 

Schools give merit-based aid to desirable students, and what makes a student desirable varies. Top test scores, good grades, and interesting extracurricular activities all help, of course, but they aren’t the only things that might prompt a scholarship. 

“You might be desirable as a sports recruit or have another unique talent. Maybe you’re a likely applicant to a program a college is trying to get off the ground,” says Neil Krishnaswamy, a planner in McKinney, Texas, whose clients have between $500,000 and $1.5 million in AUM. Geographic diversity can help, too. Perhaps a school that primarily pulls from the Midwest wants to expand that footprint. A student from the West Coast might be an enticing prospect.

As a general principle, clients should look at schools where their child isn’t like all the other students. Perfect grades make a person average at Harvard; there are lots of musicians at Oberlin. Academic or musical ability, however, make an applicant special at a wide variety of other schools that also offer good educations. 

“If you send your child to a school where that child is most competitive — not necessarily the child’s dream school — you may find that the price comes down,” says Sean Pearson, a planner in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania whose clients are mostly mass affluent. “If everyone who applies to that school looks and sounds like your child, you may not get a lot of money.”

SHIFT INCOME TO FIND TAX BREAKS
Clever tax strategies can help a family create its own scholarship. Krishnaswamy suggests that parents who have appreciated stock give that stock to a child, who then sells the stock to pay for college expenses. 

“The parent avoids getting taxed at a high capital gains tax rate and the child potentially sells the stock at a much lower tax rate,” Krishnaswamy says, adding that it’s important to avoid triggering the kiddie tax. Furthermore, if the stock sale lets the student pay at least half of college expenses, he or she may qualify as independent for tax purposes. That makes the child eligible for the $2,500 annual American Opportunity Tax Credit. At $300,000, the parents’ income is too high to qualify for that credit. 

One of Aguilar’s client families used this strategy, gifting their twin sons appreciated stock from their mother’s former employer during the children’s junior year of high school. The boys sold the stock, paid less tax than their parents would have, and were able to claim the tax credit.

Bear in mind that only $1,000 of the credit is refundable, so the student needs some income to take maximum advantage. “You could get some income from a family business, and then you’ve turned a capital gains strategy worth $3,000 to $4,000 into a chance to save more than $10,000 over the kid’s college career,” Krishnaswamy says.

Parents who own businesses have even more options. “Employ the kid,” Aguilar says. “That shifts income from the top of your tax bracket down to their tax bracket. They’re not getting taxed on the first $12,000 at all.” An employed child age 21 or older is also potentially eligible for a company tuition reimbursement plan, with a maximum reimbursement of $5,250 annually. That gives families another break for a student’s senior year of college or any year of graduate school.

Business owners could also draw a reasonable salary from the corporation, then leave any remaining corporate income in the corporation as retained earnings. “If you need more, you can get a dividend. The tax rate is lower on dividends,” says Kashif Ahmed, a planner in Bedford, Massachusetts.

PICK A LESS EXPENSIVE SCHOOL
If a client family is going to pay sticker price for college, they might want to seek out a manageable sticker. Highly selective colleges can cost $70,000 per year. Many public and private options are less expensive, sometimes by a lot. “You could simply attend your in-state flagship school,” Falcon says.

As they look for options, Waltham, Massachusetts-based planner Catherine Valega, who serves mass-affluent clients, suggests that clients look at Canadian as well as American schools. “Don’t rule out McGill University, the University of Toronto or the University of British Columbia,” she says. “You can still use 529 plan money.”

The question of whether to choose a cheaper or more expensive school can be a good entry point to a family conversation about money and values. 

“Do we think that a premium college education pays for itself? How do we perceive the value?” asks Yves-Marc Courtines, a principal at Boundless Advice in Manhattan Beach, California. “Wealthy parents are already struggling with how to talk with their children about wealth and financial values. By framing it as a joint purchasing decision, we enable them to start the conversation.”

admin March 12, 2020 No Comments

What does Financial Independence Mean to You?

What do you think of when you hear the phrase financial independence?

Do you think of being able to afford to move out of your parents’ house and pay for your own things? Do you think of living in your dream house, going on great vacations, and doing what you want – when you want. Or, do you think of not working at all, and instead spending your days on the beach sippin’ something sweet? Maybe for you the “independence” part of the phrase just means being able to find a decent home, put acceptable food on the table, have fun with your friends, and live a happy and comfortable life.

The point is that financial independence means different things to different people.


And it may mean different things to the same people at different points in their life. Sarah Newcomb, Director of Behavioral Science at Morningstar, found that people are more likely to have a satisfying life if they choose reasonable role models.

For example, the Kardashians probably are not the best role models to help you feel like you’re living a satisfying life. They have an unusual situation that most people can’t attain. If you choose to spend like the Kardashians and have 0% ability to earn the income they do, you will be miserable.

Warren Buffet on the other hand, is not a bad role model. He has lived in the same modest (depending on your definition of modest) home for decades. He has spent less than he makes and invests a lot for his future. If you follow his lead, you may not live as successful a life as he, but probably just as satisfying.

Even better would be your Aunt Sue who has a good job that pays a middle-class wage. She spends less than she makes and invests the rest for her future. She’s apt to retire at some point with an adequate nest egg to maintain her lifestyle for the rest of her life.

Aunt Sue has an emergency fund to take care of those unexpected issues that come up like someone crashing into her two-year-old car. Yes, she has insurance but they don’t pay for 100% of her replacement car. She has to make up for the difference from her emergency fund.

Her vet bill for her dog never taps her emergency fund because she plans for two emergency visits to the vet a year. Often that line item in her cash flow rolls into her opportunity fund at the end of the year because her dog has been well every year after the first year. (That first year as a puppy used up all of the money allocated for her baby.)

She has an opportunity fund that allowed her to take six months off from work to travel when she turned 30, her dream after graduating college. She came back with a little left in her opportunity fund and her emergency fund full.

Aunt Sue has lived a full life. She’s done what she dreamed of, live in a home that’s very comfortable, and was able to retire from work when she wanted to and maintain her lifestyle. Aunt Sue is a great role model for how to do life successfully and reach financial independence. Nothing fancy, but she found comfort, happiness and had little heartache and disappointments.

Looking into your future, how do you want to live your life? What does success look like? What would disappointment look like? How realistic are you? Who do you know that is living a “good life” in your opinion? What are they doing “right”? How can you apply that knowledge to your own life so YOU can live your amazing life?

Taking some time to reflect on this will set you up not only for financial independence but for a fulfilling life. And everyone here at South Bay Financial Partners want to help you live your AMAZING life!


Because life is too short to not spend it doing the things you love, and your finances should support that.

So, we’ve created a community for passionate young adults to master the intimidating world of money, simplify confusing financial decisions, and manage their expenses all while hanging out with fun, like-minded people working towards one common goal (the best goal in our opinion): living an AMAZING life.

To do this, our community, Your Amazing Financial Life, features…

  • Access to the SBFP team’s advice, guidance, and support
  • Monthly topics (with conversations, learning, and planning)
  • Monthly Q&A video calls with the team
  • Monthly wine and cheese events
  • Special access to courses, office hours, challenges, and events
  • A book club
  • Personalized ADVICE from us and STORIES from others that can’t be found anywhere else
  • And so much more!

Our mission is to provide financial advice and information to as many people as possible, at as low of a price as possible, and we’ve finally found the best place to do it. We do hope you’ll join us over there!

And even better? This month we’re talking all things financial independence (and how to reach it) in the group!

>> It’s time you start living Your Amazing Financial Life!! Come join us! https://yafl.southbayfinancialpartners.com <<


admin March 5, 2020 No Comments

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry want to be financially independent — here’s what that means

Alizah Salario Published Thu, Jan 9 20205:09 PM EST
This article originally appeared in Grow Acorns.

This week, actress and activist Meghan Markle and her husband Prince Harry announced that they intend “to step back” from their duties as “senior” members of the royal family and “work to become financially independent.” In a break from tradition, the couple plan, going forward, not to receive funding from the Sovereign Grant, which is a lump sum of taxpayer money used for official royal duties.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have an estimated net worth ofbetween $30 million and $45 million. So in their case “financial independence” appears to mean relying more on their own funds in exchange for the freedom from the expectations and obligations of public life, as well as more flexibility around where they live and the work they do.

For the rest of us, though? It varies. “Financial independence means different things to different people,” says Tara Unverzagt, a certified financial planner at South Bay Financial Partners in Torrance, California.

Here are three kinds of financial independence and strategies experts suggest to help you achieve them.

1. The means to pay bills and cover basic expenses

For young adults, the core of financial independence often is self-reliance. “Some people just out of college are trying to get financial independence from their parents,” says Unverzagt. “They are working towards getting out of the family house and paying for all of their bills themselves. That’s financial independence for them.”

Striving to be more financially self-sufficient in your 20s is smart, but being fully independent, in practice, can be harder than it seems. The majority of Americans say young adults should be financially independent by age 22, but only 24% of them actually are by that age, according to a 2019 analysis from the Pew Research Center.

Among those who still rely on at least some financial help from a parent, 60% say that the assistance is related to basic household expenses such as groceries or bills.

If you’re working toward more self-sufficiency, start by getting a better understanding of what’s going on with your money, including both how much you’re making and how much you’re spending. The “first step to getting your financial foundation laid is tracking your expenses” using a budgeting app or a spreadsheet, says Unverzagt.

That can help you get a sense of where you are financially, she says, and knowledge is power: “If you don’t have a handle on your cash flow, you’ve relinquished control of your financial situation.”

2. Freedom from family expectations

If you rely on financial assistance from a family member, it’s not unusual to feel bound by obligation to them. That can mean having to make minor adjustments, like limiting your data usage if your parents pay your cellphone bill. Or it can mean compromising on major decisions, such as picking a college major or career in line with someone else’s expectations instead of your own desires.

“The primary benefit of financial independence is that you cut many of the emotional strings that tie you to family money,” says Justin Pritchard, a certified financial planner and the founder of Approach Financial in Montrose, Colorado. “The things you do in life can become more of a choice, as opposed to obligations that you might feel as a result of your good financial fortune.”

If you’re lucky enough to be in a position to receive “financial scaffolding” from your parents as a way to develop your skills or build a business, feel free to “take advantage of the window of opportunity” when you’re young and accept some financial support, says Michael Caligiuri, a certified financial planner and the founder of Caligiuri Financial in Columbus, Ohio.

The primary benefit of financial independence is that you cut many of the emotional strings that tie you to family money.Justin PritchardCERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER

It can help to weigh the short-term compromises against your long-term goals. For Julia Peña, who graduated from Syracuse University in May 2019, living under her parents’ roof over the summer allowed her to achieve her goal of saving the majority of her $3,500 in earnings from her summer job.

“I basically put about 90% of what I made into my savings account, so typically I went back to school with about $3,000 to last me through the fall,” Peña told Grow last year.

The privilege of financial support from a loved one may come with compromises, but it can also have a positive influence on your long-term financial health. If you live at home in order to save up or pay off debts, for example, you may be even better poised to get a lucrative job or build a firm financial foundation when you do strike out on your own.

3. Increased flexibility and options

At advanced levels, financial independence is “having enough money that you can quit your current job any time you want,” says Unverzagt. “You could go part-time, change jobs, change careers, take a year off, etc. They can’t stop working forever but they have enough money to have a lot of flexibility.”

Typically, getting to this stage requires a combination of time and effort. FIRE devotees, or members of the Financial Independence, Retire Early movement, tend to set aside huge portions of their income, for example, and have extra streams of income.

But even with just a single paycheck, if you make contributions to your retirement fund consistently, you can stay on track to meet your financial goals. Consider setting up automatic withdrawals from your pay that go directly into a retirement account or a targeted savings account to make investing and saving even easier.

Caligiuri adds, “Financial independence to me is when you’ve created a situation where, whether it’s through support or not, you’re getting to where you’re doing what you want to be doing.”

admin March 5, 2020 No Comments

‘Being objective is incredibly hard’: top financial advisers reveal their strategies for 2020

Published: Jan. 6, 2020 at 10:01 a.m. ET

Andrew Keshner

This article originally appeared in MarketWatch.

Experts discuss inflation rates, investment ‘wish lists’ and the perils of market timing based on the 2020 presidential election

Self-care, simplified finances and unemotional investing choices are some of the ways financial advisers are planning to better themselves in 2020.

Despite their differing goals, the advisers who answered a MarketWatch question about their New Year’s resolutions repeated a common theme in their replies. 

They all want to achieve 20-20 vision on their personal and financial well-being in the New Year, regardless of all the noise and distractions out there. 

An estimated 99 million Americans are making financial New Year’s resolutions this year and the top goal is saving more, according to a WalletHub survey. 

Like regular consumers, many advisers also want to save more. They just might have different approaches on the annual rite of attempted self-improvement, talking about inflation rates, investment wish lists and the perils of market timing based on the presidential election.

Financial advisers make a living doling out money and investment advice, so here’s the recommendations they want themselves to follow this coming year: 

Taking care of yourself (and those around you)

Advisers said they wanted to take better personal care of themselves this year. “2020 is the year I’m making sure to take care of myself and my relationships, face to face, not online,” said Tara Unverzagt, founder of South Bay Financial Partners in Torrance, Calif. 

She spent five years building up her firm and “2020 is the year I start riding my bike regularly, do my yoga every week, and take a few moments every day to meditate and clear my mind. I expected my financial life will be no worse off and who knows, my business may thrive even more because of it.

2020 is the year I start riding my bike regularly, do my yoga every week, and take a few moments every day to meditate and clear my mind

Sometimes, the self-care entails spending some money to show gratitude for the support of others.

Ian Bloom, the owner of Open World Financial Life Planning in Raleigh, N.C., plans to keep building his business with a growing client list and his visibility with a forthcoming book in a series. But he’s also going to get his wife the new couch she’s been eyeing. 

“As an entrepreneur’s wife, she’s gone without a few of the luxury goods she’s been wanting in order for me to start my business,” he said. “It’d be cool to be able to give her a significant item that she’s been interested in over the last year and relieve a little of that ‘belt-tightening’ feeling that is required when one launches a new business.”

See also: All the ways your burnout is costing you money

He also hopes to sneak some more vacation time with her and pour more money into his retirement account. “Given that we didn’t buy the couch, you can imagine we also haven’t been saving as much as we’d hoped over the last year. Again, that was a calculated decision. Starting a business requires capital and going without for a while. But it would be nice to get back to growing our net worth instead of just breaking even next year,” he said. 

Ron Strobel, the founder of Retire Sensibly in Nampa, Idaho, is planning on buying cars. That’s not going to be as easy as it sounds. “I’ve always been a proponent of buying cheaper used cars. I’ve repeated that advice hundreds of times to clients and friends,” he said.

The 12- and 13-year-old vehicles he and his spouse drive are now on the fritz and he’s worried about an unsafe breakdown in a remote spot. A new Toyota TM, -1.980% RAV4 and 4Runner would cost a combined $1,300 monthly payment, he said. That’s without insurance costs, too. 

“We can afford it, but I just can’t stop thinking about what else I could do with that $1,300 each month. I could save more, I could make an extra payment on my mortgage, I could buy a rental property. I could take several fairly luxurious vacations each year,” Strobel wrote. “I suppose you could say that my goal for 2020 is to stop being so frugal and treat myself occasionally, especially when it comes to my own well being.” 

Simplify, simplify, simplify!

Leibel Sternbach, the founder of Yields4U in Melville, N.Y., knows money matters can be complex and emotional. That’s why he’s going to hire a financial adviser to grow his own money in 2020.

‘One of the hardest lessons for me to learn was that when it comes to yourself being objective is incredibly hard.’

“One of the hardest lessons for me to learn was that when it comes to yourself being objective is incredibly hard,” he said. Despite his education and expertise, “as I sit here helping my clients get their end of year finances in order, I realize how much I have missed for myself over the year.”

He wants “a financial adviser who can help keep me in line and check with my own finances, just like how I work to help my clients stay on track.”

Don’t miss:This financial planner racked up $12,000 in credit-card debt — ‘I went a little overboard’

Jennifer Weber, vice president of financial planning at Weber Asset Management in Lake Success, N.Y., said one might assume that because she’s a financial planner, she abides by a strict budget. “I wish I could say this was true! In reality, it’s much easier to give advice than follow it,” Weber said. 

She and her husband have their financial goals like saving for retirement, travel, home improvements and college savings for their kids, she said. “To help keep things in perspective, and keep ourselves on track, I plan to go back to advice I give and want to follow: The simple 50/30/20 rule. 50% of take-home pay on necessities. 30% of take-home pay on wants. 20% of take-home pay on savings and debt repayment,” Weber explained.

‘To help keep things in perspective, and keep ourselves on track, I plan to go back to advice I give and want to follow.’

She’s going to go through the household budget and re-automate accounts as much as possible to meet the 50/30/20 rule.

David Haas, owner of Cereus Financial Advisors in Franklin Lakes, N.J., is taking a simple, but crucial step. He’s compiling a list of all his personal financial accounts and making sure his wife can access them if Haas becomes incapacitated or dies. 

“It is so important that loved ones can have access to your accounts and information when bad things happen, but increased security means this can be very difficult. Like everyone, I put these things off, but I really need to do it in 2020,” he said. 

Others say it’s critical to plan ahead for all sorts of account access. For example, one grieving man needed a court order before Apple AAPL, -1.944% would give him access to cloud-stored photos on his dead husband’s account.

Investing wisely 

For Mike Silane, the founder and managing partner of 21 West Wealth Management in Irvine, Calif., the holiday season means a review and update of his “investment wish list.” These are the companies, funds and ETFs he wants a share of, but are too expensive right now. “I check it twice too!” he added.

Silane also says around this time, he’s reviewing liquidity needs “so that I’m not letting cash sit around uninvested, earning close to zero.”

To make all his money work for him, Silane starts by thinking about how much cash he might need quickly and then considers putting money in a money market fund, a certificate of deposit or a short-term bond or ETF. “For longer term investing, I of course consider if I want to add to equities at this time. With constant inflation, even very low inflation, uninvested cash is always a money loser.”

Don’t miss:This strategist picked two blockbuster stocks in 2019 — here’s what he likes for 2020

Some advisers are already thinking how they will handle the hard-fought presidential election in November 2020 and vowing not to mix politics with investing choices. 

Money on the side lines does little in the context of achieving long term goals, no matter the party that gets elected.

It’s understandable why they’d want to think it through. President Donald Trump’s impeachment for his alleged pressure on the Ukranian government so far hasn’t rattled investors based on expectations that any trial in the Senate wouldn’t result in removal.

Democratic challengers, like Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders are vowing more taxes on the super rich and the effects could be tough on the stock market, some well-heeled observers argue. 

Far from the political fray, Ashlee deSteiger, the founder of Gunder Wealth Management in Birmingham, Mich., said she is trying to educate her clients — and remind herself — about how important it is to keep money in the market and have a long-term focus despite any volatility.

“Money on the side lines does little in the context of achieving long term goals! No matter the party that gets elected, tactical portfolio changes are likely to be made based on emotions versus fundamental investment principles,” she said. “For that reason, I’m a proponent of reminding my clients about staying the course and not letting the election alone change their investment allocations in 2020.”

admin March 5, 2020 No Comments

Advisors’ Advice: 10 Biggest Tax Mistakes Clients Make

By Ginger Szala | March 04, 2020 at 10:50 AM
This article originally appeared in ThinkAdvisor.

With tax time upon us, we tapped our best resources — advisors themselves — to learn about how they’ve helped their clients correct some big tax mistakes. Many were willing to share their horror stories, but here are 10 of the top mistakes by clients.