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A Note About the Year 2020

I'm bullish. I tend to be. Not because I think the market will be up at the end of the year, but because I think it will be up in 5 years, 10 years and 20 years from now. I believe in the long term track record of the US economy. Here's a quick update of how well the market has actually done this year. In light of:Australia being on fireThe Corona VirusKiller hornets andJoe and Donald as our only choice The market has not done that bad.

July 24, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

Some Advice to 20-Year-Old Me

There's an old phrase, "youth is wasted on the young," and it was right in my case. In my 20's I had a ton of opportunities, but wasted most of them. I missed some opportunities because I didn't see them, others because I didn't have the courage, and some because I was uneducated about money.  Where I Came FromMy family was around the poverty line until well into my high school years. A single mom raised me with two siblings. We each had different fathers, and not one of them was in our lives or paid child support. Yes, I grew up in an upper-middle-class white neighborhood but lived in the trailer park.  When I was 22, I bought a house, except it wasn't a smart move. My grandmother needed help, so I began paying her mortgage. When I was in 4th grade, my grandfather died. The union he was a member of took the remainder of his pension and left my grandma on her own. They even kept his life insurance benefit. So, for the first time in her life, she had to work and live off Social Security.I made pretty good money for a 22-year-old single guy living at home [...]

July 14, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

What Kind of Return Can I Expect

What kind of return you will get is a common question financial advisors are asked, but it is a difficult question to answer. There are so many factors involved in answering this question, not the least of these being trying not to be viewed as making a promise.Here's a short video addressing one of the largest factors in your investment returns; how long you will be invested. There are always risks when investing, but letting your money stay invested can decrease your risk. If you would like some help creating a portfolio that will work for you I am here to help. Just click Start Here and learn more about Family Life Financial Planning

July 3, 2020|Categories: Investing|

You Can be Optimistic About Your Investments

The market got hit hard. When your 1st quarter statements come out you will feel it; if you haven't already. I feel it with you. In my industry, a portion of our revenue is directly tied to the market since the market is down so is my income. Don't feel bad for me, I just want you to know I understand what you feel when you look at your accounts.This video isn't about being scared or worried, it's about being optimistic. It's not being Pollyanna either but rather why we can have a positive outlook on the future of the market, and more importantly, your account. The Three Things You Can Do?1. Invest any extra savings you haveWith the market being down, this is a great time to buy. Even if it falls more, you are getting a 20% discount on what you would have paid a little over a month ago. 2. Roth ConversionsIf a Roth conversion is something in your plan, this is the time to do it. For the same amount of taxes, you can now convert a great portion of your retirement into tax-free money.3. Tax Loss HarvestingIf you have been holding onto investments because you [...]

April 4, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

A word about the market drop and Coronavirus

Last night I sent a video to all my clients. I want to share that video with all of you. Please take a moment to watch. If I can help in anyway, please let me know.

March 12, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit vs. Dependent Care FSA

Taxes and paying and daycare; two of the worst things ever are being combined in this post to make them both a little less painful. It might not be fun to talk taxes, but much like paying for daycare, you need to do it.Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit and Dependent Care FSAThere are two great tools to help you save on your taxes because you are paying daycare costs. They both offer assistance on the cost of child care but work in very different ways. Not only are they structurally different, but having a Dependent Care FSA can sometimes prevent you from qualifying for the tax credit. In both cases, both spouses must be working. To qualify for the tax credit, both spouses must be earning more than the tax credit.Dependent Care FSAA dependent care flexible spending account allows you to put aside money to pay for child care cost tax-free. You are entitled to contribute up to $5,000 per year and avoid paying taxes on the contribution. Much like a 401k, each paycheck will have a deduction for your FSA contribution. When you pay your childcare bill, you will be able to submit a request for that bill [...]

December 3, 2019|Categories: Taxes|

If you are a college student or recent graduate, this post is for you

If you are a college student or recent graduate, this article is for you. I am sort of a nerd, and lately, I've been reading a book on body language. In What Every Body is Saying, our body language relates to our fight or flight mechanism, except there is a third "f." Freeze. Our brains automatically go into one of three responses to a threat. We either fight, flight (run away) or freeze. With investing, many people start by defaulting to the freeze response. If you are a college student or recent graduate, the freeze response could be costing you a small fortune. Compound interest is so powerful; it almost doesn't matter how much money you invest as long as you start young.To help you get past the freeze response, I want to help you make investing easy. Investing should follow the KISS principle of keep it stupid simple. Once you have a simplify your investing you can move forward without fear. Here are four tips to make your investment decisions stupid simple.Start SmallSometimes a feeling of inadequacy causes us to freeze and not invest. Yes. It would be nice to be able to put away 20% of your income, [...]

November 25, 2019|Categories: Investing|

Taxes: Deductions and Credits

Taxes can be confusing, and this topic is one of those reasons. Deductions and credits help you lower your tax bill, but many people misunderstand how they work. Deductions are good; credits are better.  Deductions vs. CreditsDeductions lower your taxable income. For example, when you put $2,000 into your 401k, you avoid paying tax on that $2,000. On the other hand, tax credits are used to pay your tax bill. For example, if you qualify for a $1,000 tax credit, you save $1,000. For this reason, tax credits are drastically better but also harder to come by.  Best of all, a select few credits are refundable. If a credit is refundable, your tax refund will be more than the tax you pay.  Tax CreditsI like Kohls. I can always find a $4 clearance shirt that quickly becomes one of my favorite shirts. Kohls is also known for Kohls cash. Kohls cash is an excellent analogy for tax credits. When you shop at Kohls, they reward you with money off your next visit in the form of "Kohls Cash."  This $10 entices you to come in and buy something. If you buy $50 worth of merchandise, you only pay $40. This is how tax credits [...]

November 19, 2019|Categories: Taxes|

What Does A Mutual Fund Cost?

If you read my recent post about mutual funds being a great place to start investing, you will know I think they are an excellent place for you to start. You may be wondering what does it cost, and how does the mutual fund company get paid. I'm going to answer that for you today.Home Much Money Do I need to start?When some people say, "How much does a mutual fund cost," they are asking how much they need to start investing. Yes, many companies have very high minimum investments, but there are also many companies with very affordable minimums. Many mutual fund companies will have a minimum required investment of $25 a month with no minimum account value. While it may be hard to find advisors that will do this, they do exist. As your parents who they work with or ask a friend. Also, I have no minimum account balance (cheap plug), so please feel free to call me. For other people, the question of cost has to do with knowing what fees you will pay. Here are the majority of the expenses you will see:Share ClassMutual funds come in different share classes. The investment portfolio is the [...]

September 23, 2019|Categories: Investing|

Don’t Know Where to Start Investing

A mutual fund is a great place to start investing. They can simplify the more complex areas of investing and allow you to start today.  DiversificationBy investing in multiple investments, you lower your investing risks. If one of those investments goes bankrupt, you will have others to keep you from losing your entire account. Spreading your money into different investments is called diversification.  Some common ways to diversify are by having different asset classes, investment objectives, and locations. Some asset classes are stocks, bonds, certificates of deposit (CD), annuities, and real estate. Some of these investments may have an objective of growing rapidly, while others may want to prevent you from losing money. Picking investments in different parts of the country, or even the world, adds another layer of diversification.  Diversification is a great tool, but it is not perfect. When the news is telling everyone the world is about to end, they are often only talking about the US stock market. Diversification helps your account do better than if you were not diversified. On the other side, if the news is talking about how great the market is doing, diversification will keep your account from growing as fast.  Picking the right degree of [...]

September 16, 2019|Categories: Investing|
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