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Family Financial Partners


The Most Powerful Investment Tool is Time

How investing a little can lead to much more.

You may remember learning about erosion in school, how a small trickle of water, over time, can wear away rocks and soil and transform into a raging river.

That image always enters my mind when I talk with young investors about how to make their money work for them early in their careers. Coming into their first jobs out of college, they probably aren’t making much income, and that’s while they’re considering student loans, saving for a first down payment on a home, and the other expenses that come from starting life on their own. Many of them feel that there just isn’t enough left over to start funding an investment account in a meaningful way.

Dave’s Inbox: Should I stop contributing to retirement during the bear market?

I keep track of the many questions I receive from client families about their financial pictures, and I wanted to address two of those questions that have come up quite a bit recently regarding retirement accounts in a down market.

Investment vs. Speculation: What’s the difference?

Many people spent 2022 putting money into a 401(k), only to watch that balance stay the same, or even go down. Unfortunately, that’s the way markets are from time to time. I understand that is not very motivating, and you may be questioning some of your decisions. It might have you wondering if you should stay the course or try to jump on the bandwagon of the next big “investment” in an attempt to recover some losses. Before making any decisions, let’s make sure the next big “Investment” is actually an investment and not just speculation.  

After a 2022 downturn, hope springs eternal in 2023

2022 was truly an awful year as the Federal Reserve began its interest rate hike policy in an attempt to battle inflation. Speaking of inflation, I know that many of you have been frustrated by the higher costs associated with financing a new home, purchasing a vehicle, or trips to any retailer. Inflation, measured by the Consumer Price Index, rose by 6.5% in 2022.

New year, same problems.

However, there are several pieces of good news.

Don’t Rush Your Financial Plan

When it comes to saving and investing, it’s always a good idea to start young and be consistent. Early and often, right? While this is solid advice, I also advise my clients not to rush the process when it comes to building a solid financial foundation.

Your Financial Personality

As everyone is thinking about financial perspectives and priorities during the first weeks of the new year, we encourage client couples and families to ask themselves a few lifestyle and values questions that will help them determine their approach to money – and help us in going over their budgets and goals. No two clients are alike, and lifestyle goals are as varied as the people we work with.

Manage Your Own Money? We Can Still Help.

Every so often, I’ll get a call or have someone come into the office and say they want to bring their spouse in for a meeting, but they’re not really sure how or if we can help them, and then they pause. I long ago stopped filling that pause with all the reasons why and how we can help them. Instead, I’ve learned that the best approach is often to simply ask, why? While the responses I receive vary, the storyline is predictable. Here it is. 

It Might be Time for a Roth Conversion

I have had a couple of conversations recently with people who have come to the same conclusion about 2022. It goes like this: the financial markets have tanked, they have made no progress whatsoever toward their long-term investment goals, and they’re declaring the year a total loss. 

Your Financial Persona

If you Google “questions to ask a financial advisor,” you’ll find a plethora of articles out there listing out dozens of things to ask your new financial professional. There are so many that we’ve randomly pulled three and put them here, here and here. Even if you don’t read further, at least you have that. This strategy also works for accountants, and probably for your plumber or electrician. And while we haven’t tried, it might also work for your proctologist.

Market Update: December 2022

I recently introduced the classic board game Axis and Allies to my sons. Michael, my third-grader, asked to be Russia, and I was happy to let him. When it comes to his turn, as head of Russia, the first thing he did was invade Ukraine. I shouldn’t have been surprised – this is the same kid I used to hear randomly announcing (while floating in a sea of bubbles in the bathtub) that Amy McGrath was “too liberal for Kentucky!” Remember those ads? Can’t say he’s not paying attention! The daily flow of nonstop media really does affect us all. 

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