Financial Wellness @ Work

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

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

My “NO” Year’s Resolutions!

This New Year’s Eve, millions of people across the country will make New Year’s resolutions about things they’d like to do in 2015.  I’m all in favor of this annual tradition but to mix things up a bit, I’m going to suggest a few things that you DON’T want to do in 2015—something I’m calling “No” Year’s resolutions: Read more

Do You Need Some Financial Flossing?

Recently I was talking with one of my coworkers and I said the following about something at work “It’s like flossing…I know I need to do it, and I do, but I try to find ways to postpone it as long as possible!” He thought it sounded like a blog topic about the financial lives of so many people, so here we are! What are some things that we KNOW we need to do financially, but they are so “not fun” that we either don’t do them or we keep putting them off indefinitely? Read more

Are You Afraid of Your Student Loan Debt?

What’s really scaring you this Halloween? If you have student loans,  getting that bill might rank pretty high on the list. After all, no one likes owing tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars  that will seemingly take forever to pay off. That doesn’t mean paying off your student loans should be your only or even top financial priority though. Here are some other goals that you might want to prioritize first. Read more

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

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

When Should You Sell Your Mutual Fund?

As the stock market reaches new highs, have you been wondering if you should sell and take profits before the next eventual dip? If the stock market does take a dip, should you sell and cut your losses? With the launch of our “Ask a Planner Week” on Monday, here was the first question we received: “I have absolute percentage rules for taking profits and losses on individual stocks. When should one consider taking profits or losses on index funds?” Read more

The Three Most Useless Things a Financial Columnist Tells You

I often like to question much of the conventional wisdom of the financial services industry so I was intrigued when I saw this article titled “The four most useless things financial advisors tell you” by Howard Gold. Instead, I found myself questioning most of the conclusions in the article itself as pretty useless (with one exception). Let’s take a look at each of these “four most useless things:” Read more

Three Ways to Skin the Asset Allocation Cat

Over the past several weeks, you’ve heard me talk a lot about investing and for good reason. Investing is one of the most important parts of any financial goal or wealth accumulation strategy. The problem, like with most things, is that there is no one perfect way to do it. You probably know the basics—diversify, re-balance, dollar-cost average—but did you realize that there are at least three forms of asset allocation? Knowing what they are, how they are different, and which one may be right for you could make you a better investor over time. Read more

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