Financial Wellness @ Work

A “Must Do” If You Hold Company Stock in Your 401(k)

The bottom line is employees must love the companies they work for.  It’s not that they wear the company t-shirt and logo hats and drink out of their insulated mugs. That isn’t how I can tell.  It’s in their portfolios.  When they ask me to review their portfolios, the employees who hold company stock tend to go overboard.  I’ve seen 401(k)s with 90% in company stock and many have well over 20%.  When we talk about the risks of having more than 10% of assets in one stock, they smile politely and say, “I know.”  But many don’t do anything about it.  Read more

Share it:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • Google Buzz
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Posterous
  • email
  • Blogosphere
  • Live
  • Netvibes
  • Orkut
  • RSS
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

When Enough is Enough

After my stepfather passed away, my mom started working with a local bank to manage her investments.  At the time, I was living in California and it was difficult for me to help her with investment decisions.  Plus, I had always warned my clients that allowing family members to get involved in your investments was a bad idea because you could always fire a stranger but you can never fire a member of the family.  It was with this in mind that I allowed her to continue this relationship despite my occupation as a financial planner. Read more

Share it:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • Google Buzz
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Posterous
  • email
  • Blogosphere
  • Live
  • Netvibes
  • Orkut
  • RSS
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

How to Turn Your Investment Lemons Into Lemonade in the Next Two Days

We usually wait until April 15th to worry about taxes, but the time to do something about them is mostly well before that. Some examples include contributing to your employer’s retirement plan and flexible spending accounts. But there is also one thing that you can do right now if you have investment losses outside of your retirement plan.(I know I do and if you have any taxable investments, you probably do too). Here’s how you can turn losses into extra cash on April 15th: Read more

Share it:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • Google Buzz
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Posterous
  • email
  • Blogosphere
  • Live
  • Netvibes
  • Orkut
  • RSS
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

The Truth About Target Date Funds

I read this article on Bankrate.com about investors’ belief that target date funds come with a guarantee of a sufficient retirement income. The statistics are a little bit startling (51 percent — of people investing their retirement savings in target-date funds see them as a retirement planning panacea and think that putting their money in them guarantees their retirement income needs will be met), frightening even, from the perspective of a financial planner. The conclusion of the article is: Read more

Share it:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • Google Buzz
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Posterous
  • email
  • Blogosphere
  • Live
  • Netvibes
  • Orkut
  • RSS
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

A Bear Market is Your Friend

A friend of mine posted this comment on Facebook last week “Yeah!  The market is up 345 points! Finally it is going in the right direction.”  Well, I was NOT happy at all to hear this news.  You see, that day (Thursday October 27th) was the day our company made its annual contribution for all of our employees – the employer matching contributions to everyone’s 401(k). I was certainly happy to receive a company contribution but not so happy about the timing. Because mutual funds pick up the end of day pricing, that means everyone in our company received a contribution to their 401(k) AFTER the market went up that day.  If the contribution had been made a day earlier, all of us who invest in stock funds would have been over three percent richer. Read more

Share it:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • Google Buzz
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Posterous
  • email
  • Blogosphere
  • Live
  • Netvibes
  • Orkut
  • RSS
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

3 Smart (and Not So Smart) Tax Decisions by Retirees

In my blog last week, I talked about how looking at the future of tax policy may be an interesting hobby (especially if you’re a geek like me!), but that it really isn’t all that useful in the present.  But, there are things that are important to look at when it comes to today’s income tax situation.  I don’t want to minimize the impact of paying attention to taxes; it’s just a matter of learning which situations are high impact situations. Read more

Share it:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • Google Buzz
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Posterous
  • email
  • Blogosphere
  • Live
  • Netvibes
  • Orkut
  • RSS
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

Make Your Nest Egg Last as Long as You Do

Once you’ve saved and invested for financial independence, the final step will be figuring out how to turn that nest egg into an income stream that will last as long as you do. With people living longer and longer, this can be a challenge for all retirees but is especially difficult for anyone looking to retire early. There’s even a good chance you’ll live longer in retirement than you did working.
 Read more

Share it:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • Google Buzz
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Posterous
  • email
  • Blogosphere
  • Live
  • Netvibes
  • Orkut
  • RSS
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

Searching for the “Holy Grail” of Mutual Funds: Less Risk and Higher Returns

In the last few blog posts, we discussed the danger of the “greed, hope, and fear cycle” (in which people tend to earn below average returns by buying high and selling low) and some ways to overcome it by diversifying and rebalancing your portfolio to earn the average return. But what if you were to actually buy low and sell high?  Could you actually earn the “holy grail” of higher returns and lower risk that way? Read more

Share it:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • Google Buzz
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Posterous
  • email
  • Blogosphere
  • Live
  • Netvibes
  • Orkut
  • RSS
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

Taking Stock of Options and Awards

I recently spoke to a freshly minted MBA graduate who was so thrilled to have had landed her first job in this tough job market, but her icing on the cake was a sign-on bonus equal to ½ of her first year’s salary.  The catch to the bonus was that it was given to her in the form of a restricted stock award, so she had called me to find out the details.  She was very confused, because in addition to the stock award for the bonus, she is also eligible for a restricted stock matching program AND stock grants. Read more

Share it:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • Google Buzz
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Posterous
  • email
  • Blogosphere
  • Live
  • Netvibes
  • Orkut
  • RSS
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

The Investment Strategy That Actually Made Money in 2008

Last week, I wrote about some common ways to diversify your investments and make sure you don’t get caught up following the herd into the vicious “greed, hope, and fear” cycle that can lead to buying high and selling low. But even if you followed one of those strategies, you still probably haven’t been too happy with your portfolio’s performance lately. Your “early retirement plan” may have started looking like the “never retirement plan.” Is there a way to earn that 8-10% average return without all that risk? Read more

Share it:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • Google Buzz
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Posterous
  • email
  • Blogosphere
  • Live
  • Netvibes
  • Orkut
  • RSS
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr
css.php