One thing any of our readers will know if that we don’t pretend that we (or anyone) owns a crystal ball. The only thing we can promise you about tomorrow is that the day ends in the letter “y”.
One other thing that we know will happen…God willing…is that you will eventually retire or be 65 and eligible for Medicare. In advance of National Medicare Education Week we are doing two things:
(1) We’re sharing this article written by Steven Stasioski and,
(2) We’re happy to announce a free educational event where we’ll be addressing the ins and outs of Medicare. On October 17, 2019 at 6:30pm you can join Matt Pixa from My Portfolio Guide and Steven Stasioski from SCS Tax & Insurance Services at the Seal Beach Yacht Club. Bring your appetite and questions for a great evening of education and camaraderie. RSVP via email at email@example.com or call (562)799-5595.
We normally pen all of our articles (letters) to you but in this case the work was already done. This one has nothing to do with the stock market or economy but everything to do with your hard earned money being threatened by another scam.
Scams are nothing new but they sure seem to be getting more prevalent and slicker by the day. As you’ll note from the chart below the number of scams are predominantly centered around Social Security and that trend is on the rise.
Click here to read an article written by Michelle Singletary in the Washington Post. In the timely article she includes a helpful list and some links that serve as critical reminders of what to be aware of out there.
The stock market is closed until the day after Christmas so you can relax on that front but have you procrastinated on your final holiday shopping duties? Over a third of Americans are still out there today finishing up some last minute shopping!
If you’re looking for something unique but also truly impactful…give the gift of investing!
My Portfolio Guide, LLC is also getting into the spirit of giving by doing something no other advisor would consider…as a matter of fact most of our peers would likely laugh at this:
We are offering FREE accounts to any minor!
My Portfolio Guide already provides free 529 College Savings Plans to children and grandchildren of existing clients but during this holiday season we will open and professionally manage a custodial or Roth IRA for any child. Continue reading →
If you ask the average hard working American what their top financial concerns is, it’s that that they won’t be able to retire. We could certainly go on and on about different solutions and how people can get on track to make their dreams a reality but today we will focus on a new program offered from the government. On January 29th President Obama delivered his State of the Union address. One of the takeaways from this speech was a new retirement account called MyRA (short for My Retirement Account).
Currently over half of the U.S. workforce is not covered by a retirement plan through their employer. MyRA is targeted at low to middle-income workers, encouraging them to save for their own retirement. Contributions will be funded through automatic payroll deductions where individuals can start with as little as $25 and contribute amounts as small as $5. Individuals would be guaranteed that their account would never go down and they will not pay any fees on the accounts. Sounds like a great product doesn’t it?! Well let’s take a step back and dig a bit deeper to really explore what the MyRA is all about….
The MyRA can essentially be viewed as a way to introduce individuals that have not saved or funded a retirement account to the many long-term benefits of doing so. At this point companies are not required to be involved in the program, if President Obama wants to force employers to participate a vote from Congress would be required. The accounts would be funded with after tax dollars much like a Roth IRA. While it will be funded with payroll deductions individuals will be able to keep their accounts when they change jobs. MyRA is subject to Roth IRA income and contributions limits. Individuals can invest up to $5.500 per year (or $6,500 for investors 50 or older); once the owner reaches the age of 59 ½ they can make withdrawals tax-free. There are also no required minimum distributions (R.M.D.’s). Continue reading →
“Who and what is the Fed”? “What do they do” and “How do I understand what they are really saying and how it will impact me!?” These are questions that we often hear from investors. The Federal Reserve frequently dominates economic headlines and although its actions impact us all, very few of us truly understand what “the Fed” is or what it does.
We all hear terms like: “Don’t bet against the Fed”, “Dovish or hawkish sentiment” “Quantitative Easing” and “When will the Fed begin to taper”? These are just the tip of the iceberg as the press and media attempt to interpret anything and everything released by members of the Fed. Let’s take a moment and look at the basics of what the Fed is.
The Federal Reserve System (the “Fed”) is essentially the central banking system of the United States. Through the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 it was created in response to financial uncertainties in the early 1900’s. Over the last century the responsibilities and roles of the Federal Reserve System have evolved to address the changes in our economy. Continue reading →
How is my portfolio doing this year? Am I on track for retirement? Why is the market up big but I’m not? What would my portfolio look like if the market tanked again like it did in 2008? I’m in cash right now because I feel stocks have moved too high but I don’t trust bonds because we all know where they’re headed.
These are some common and very typical questions many investors are asking themselves this year. If any one of these questions applies to you or feels familiar, don’t think you’re alone! One common thread among all these questions or concerns is benchmarking. What exactly is a benchmark and which one is appropriate for you?
Far too often investors compare themselves to other investors, strategies or benchmarks that are completely unrealistic. Investors need to take the time to truly understand who they are and what their goals are before they compare themselves to anyone or anything! Let’s put this in perspective…. Let’s say you decided you wanted to start swimming to get in shape. Would you expect to get in the pool and swim times comparable to Michael Phelps (winner of 22 Olympic medals) within a couple of weeks? Of course not… that would be ludicrous and clearly not the right athlete to try and compare yourself to! As crazy as this sounds many investors have similar expectations with their investment portfolio. Continue reading →
What if you, the investor, had all the knowledge and findings that it took to win a Nobel Prize in Economics? Would you be a better investor? Believe it or not…with the amount of news disseminated in today’s hyper-information and “data dumping” world…you likely already have all it takes to be a more disciplined and well schooled investor.
This past Monday (10/14/2013) the winners of the prestigious Nobel Prize for Economics where announced. All three winners were American, which marks a trend as at least one American has won the award since 1999. The winners: Eugene Fama, Lars Peter Hansen and Robert Shiller were recognized for their outstanding research and work in the financial markets. While their work does not perfectly align there are several similarities and the bottom line is that you can never trust Mr. Market!
Summary Of The Winners:
Eugene Fama’s research has revealed the efficiency of financial markets. If you’re a financial advisor who makes a living pitching expensive mutual funds or annuity products at clients you won’t likely have a framed portrait of Dr. Fama in your plush office. Fama basically states that the market absorbs information so quickly that investors simply can’t outperform it consistently. He is credited for popularizing the use of index funds as an investment option.
Lars Peter Hansen works strictly with data (econometrics), creating statistical models in an effort to test competing theories. His work has allowed researchers to focus on what truly drives the financial markets. Of the three winners Hansen is the least known and popular but he ironically helps connect the other two winners’ work into something investors need to be aware of; you simply need to derive conclusions from what you do AND do not know.
Robert Shiller is best known for creating the Case-Shiller Home Price Index Study and now perhaps for the fact that he is married to Janet Yellen, the next Federal Reserve Chairman. We’re huge fans of behavioral finance so the next time you hear someone talk about a “bubble” you will know who originally broke ground on the concept. His research has shown that investors are irrational and that markets develop bubbles that will eventually burst (he predicted both the Tech and Real Estate Bubbles). Continue reading →