If you were born anywhere from 1982 to 2001, or within a few years of this range, you are considered a “Millennial.” As a member of this group, you share many things —cultural references, familiarity with technology, attitudes toward work and family — with others your age. And if you’re one of the “older” Millennials, you and your peers have something else in common — specifically, you have a good opportunity to launch investment strategies to help you save for the future.
Why are you so well positioned to invest for the future? For one thing, it’s because you have so much of the future ahead of you. As an investor, time is your greatest ally, for a couple of reasons. First, the more years you have to invest, the greater the growth potential of your investments. And second, by investing for the long term, you can help reduce the impact of periods of short-term volatility on your portfolio.
The investment world can be complex — so you may not want to navigate it alone. But when it comes to getting professional advice, you certainly have an abundance of choices. How can you know which approach is right for you?
The answer depends, to a large extent, on how you choose to work with a qualified financial advisor — someone with the training and experience to help you work toward your financial goals. When you work with a financial advisor, he or she will analyze your financial situation — your income, current assets, family status and short- and long-term investment goals, such as helping pay for your children’s (or grandchildren’s) college education and attaining a comfortable retirement.
You can choose different ways of working with a financial advisor — and a deciding factor may be how “hands on” you want to be with your investment strategy. To illustrate this concept, let’s look at two common ways investors interact with financial advisors:
This week, Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game is scheduled to be played in Kansas City. Whether you’re rooting for the American or National League, you’ll no doubt admire the ability and athleticism exhibited by these tremendous ballplayers. Of course, any all-star team is made up of players who bring different talents to the game. And this same approach — of combining a collection of skills toward one common effort — can be found in other endeavors, one of which is investing.
Here, then, is one possible lineup of investment moves to consider:
Once again, Independence Day is here, bringing fireworks and barbeques. Of course, the 4th of July is more than hoopla — it’s a time to reflect on the many freedoms we enjoy in this country. Yet, for many people, one important type of freedom — financial freedom — is still elusive. So you may want to use this holiday as an occasion to think of those steps you can take to eventually declare your own Financial Independence Day.
Here are some moves that can help:
by Edward Jones Matthew North Financial Advisor Summer is here — which means a vacation most likely isn’t far away. Whether you’re hitting the road, jumping on a plane or even enjoying a “staycation” at home, you’re probably looking forward to some down time with your family. But not every aspect of your life should [...]
Almost everyone would agree: Moving is a hassle. In addition to selling your current home and finding a new one, you may need to deal with a new school for your kids, a new doctor, a new dentist — the list goes on and on. But you’ll also need to consider the financial aspects of your move — specifically, your investments, insurance, taxes and even your estate plans.
How can you help make sure that your move doesn’t slow your progress toward your financial goals? Consider the following relocation “checklist”:
Open new bank accounts, and set up automatic transfers. If your move requires you to change banks, open your new accounts as soon as possible. And if you had your previous bank automatically move money each month from a checking or savings account into an investment, set up a similar arrangement at your new bank.
If you‚ are like most people, you go through many complex thoughts and emotions when choosing investments. In fact, a field of study called “behavioral finance‚“ is devoted to understanding why people make their investment decisions. As part of their work, behavioral finance researchers examine “biases” that affect people’s investment selections. And as an individual investor, you too can benefit from understanding these biases so that you can avoid them.
A poll in Travel Plus Leisure Magazine found Anchorage residents placed first in the worst-dressed, or least-fashionable, of 33 cities in America.
The best gurus of fashion, according to the poll, live in New York City.
We don’t care. If they really want to see fashion, they should come to Homer. People who value Gucci and Vivisaint, as a sign of good taste, don’t possess the same values as us. Still, wouldn’t it be a plus to show off our unique brand of fashion sense?
If you’re part of “Generation X” — the age cohort born between the mid-1960s and the early 1980s — you’re probably in one of the busiest phases of your life, as you’re well into your working years and, at the same time, busy raising a family. But just as you’re “multi-tasking” in your life, you’ll also need to address multiple financial goals.
In seeking to accomplish your key objectives, you may be asking yourself a variety of questions, including the following:
Should I contribute as much as possible to my IRA and 401(k)? In a word, yes. Your earnings on a traditional Individual Retirement Account (IRA) and a 401(k) grow on a tax-deferred basis, so your money can accumulate faster than it would if placed in an investment on which you paid taxes every year. Plus, since you typically make 401(k) contributions with pretax dollars, the more you contribute, the lower your taxable income. And your traditional IRA contributions may be tax-deductible, depending on your income. If you meet income guidelines, you can contribute to a Roth IRA, which provides tax-free earnings, provided you meet certain conditions.
Now that another school year is drawing to a close, your young children are a step closer to the day when they’ll be heading off to college. Of course, as you’re probably aware, higher education doesn’t come cheap — and the costs seem to continuously climb. You can help your children — or even your grandchildren — meet these expenses by investing in a 529 plan. And this college savings vehicle offers estate-planning benefits.
As a college funding vehicle, a 529 plan offers some significant benefits. When you contribute to a 529 plan, your earnings accumulate tax free, provided they are used for qualified higher education expenses. (Keep in mind, though, that 529 plan distributions not used for qualified expenses may be subject to federal and state income tax and a 10% IRS penalty.) Furthermore, your 529 plan contributions may be deductible from your state taxes. However, 529 plans vary, so be sure to check with your tax advisor.