Financial Wellness @ Work

Three Investment Terms You Should Know

Have you ever noticed how different words mean different things to different people? The other day I was talking with a helpline caller who was looking for a way to invest their retirement funds such that they couldn’t lose money and could draw an income from it in the future. When I mentioned the word “annuity,” they immediately had a negative reaction as they were lead to believe all annuities were bad, which seemed ironic considering that’s exactly what they just described they were looking for. When it comes to investment terminology, not understanding the meaning of a word can be a financial mistake. Here are three investment terms that are frequently used but often misunderstood: Read more

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Do You Understand Your Advisor’s Recommendations?

I recently spoke to a friend who wanted to ask my opinion about her current financial advisor. Knowing that I have a slight addiction to chocolate, she offered me her homemade Godiva Hot Chocolate with a chocolate coated bottom for my trouble. Of course I would have offered my opinion at no cost, but who am I to turn down her homemade hot cocoa? As I listened, she started to describe how she was referred to him though a family friend so she did not feel the need to do a background check or ask him questions about how he gets paid. She took it on faith that if her family member recommended him then she would be fine.  Read more

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All You Need To Know About Investing In 3 Simple Steps

Whenever I talk to people about investing, I find that most people fall into one of two groups. One group feels that investing is too complicated for them so they want to hire a professional to manage their money for them. The other group is make up of active investors who try to time the market with statements like “I think the market is too high to get in right now” or “I’m going to wait for prices to come down before I buy” and/or pick stocks or actively managed funds that they think will outperform the market. The problem is that there’s no evidence that market timing or even actively picking stocks really works (unless monkeys or cats are doing the picking). If the vast majority of professional money managers continue to underperform the market with these methods, do you really think you can in your spare time? Read more

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What A Lost Cell Phone Can Teach Us About Investing

Earlier this year, my boss shared with us her story of how she dropped her phone behind her bed. Her first thought since the bed was basically against the wall was to move the bed…in her words “bad idea.” After some time (and a little pain medicine), she took a second approach: use a hanger from the side to pull it out….again, “No dice.” (She thinks she actually made it worse by pushing it further out of reach.) Read more

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The Gym Rat’s Guide to Investment Terms

Investing and the financial world in general can be pretty confusing. There are a lot of terms you may not know and concepts you may not be familiar with. It can even start sounding like another language! Read more

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The Risks of Employer Stock

One of the biggest risks I’ve seen lurking in people’s investments is having too much in a current or former employer’s company stock.What’s too much? You should generally have no more than 10-15% of your investment portfolio in any single stock. Keep in mind that an investment adviser can lose their license for recommending more than that. Read more

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Should You Buy Life Insurance as an Investment?

Should you purchase a whole or universal life insurance policy as an investment? We recently received several questions on our Facebook page on this topic so there seems to be a lot of confusion about it. On the one hand, many agents over-sell these policies as a way to earn big commissions. On the other, they can make sense for certain people. Let’s take a look at some guidelines to use to see if it makes sense for you: Read more

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What’s Your Real Risk Tolerance?

With panic sweeping the stock market, it’s time to check your risk tolerance score. (You did take a risk tolerance quiz like this before investing your money, right?) The whole purpose of determining your risk tolerance is to use it as a guideline to create a mix of investments that you can “tolerate”…in other words, that you won’t bail out of during times like these. After all, if you do bail out and fail to get back in the market in time (and if you figure out a way to time the bottom, please let me know), you’ll miss the eventual recovery and turn a temporary loss into a permanent one. Read more

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How to Minimize Your Investment Costs

In my last 2 blog posts, I discussed the various ways financial advisors can be paid and how they can present conflicts of interest to an advisor. But how would your actual investment returns be affected? Let’s take a look at some scenarios: Read more

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