Financial Wellness @ Work

Can You Put Your Investment Plan On A Note Card?

Does investing seem complicated? Despite the presence of overly complicated financial strategies and the often vexing financial jargon used by financial professionals, investing does not have to be so complex.Investing is simply a balancing act where the challenge is to find the ideal balance between risk and reward.  Read more

There’s No Such Thing As A “Safe” Investment

There is so much information regarding the best investment mix for your financial goals. I challenge you to watch one episode of Squawk Box and see how long it takes for your head to spin with all of the conflicting information. On top of everything, everyone has a different idea about risk. I was talking with my colleague, Kelley, and asked her to share her perspective on how people should look at risk. Below is her guidance. 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

Online Investment Platforms: Wave of the Future or a Passing Fad?

Last week, we looked at how the asset allocation process doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task and that a variety of options exist to create a diversified portfolio.  As we continue to examine different ways to create an investment plan that matches your life goals, it is important to understand where you can turn to for asset allocation guidance.  After all, financial literacy research studies demonstrate that most people do not have the financial knowledge and confidence to manage their own investments.  Read more

Are You Choosing the Right Investments in Your 401(k) Plan?

It can be hard to figure out if the investment selections within your retirement plan investments are a good fit for your personal goals. The concept of diversification is usually represented by the phrase “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” It makes perfect sense but how do you know which baskets are the best fit and how much do you put in each basket?   Read more

Understand the Facts About Target-Date Funds

During a recent series of retirement workshops geared toward early and mid-career employees, I received numerous questions regarding the role of target date funds in their 401(k).  This brought up an interesting discussion about hands-on vs. hands-off investing options. Target-date funds are supposed to provide simple solutions for people seeking an all-in-one fund that is diversified.  Yet, a tremendous amount of confusion surrounds these seemingly basic asset allocation tools.  Furthermore, not all target date funds are created equal so it’s essential to first look under the hood if target date funds are a part of your investment plan for retirement. Read more

Automatic Enrollment Does NOT Mean Automatic Retirement

As Thanksgiving approaches, what are some things you have to be thankful for? Your health? Your family? Your friends?  How about a new job?  According to the most recent data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 200,000 people entered the workforce in October.  Whether they are entering the workforce for the first time or found a new job after previous employment, many will be automatically enrolled in their new employer’s 401(k) plan. Read more

Crime Pays! (Well…At Least Writing About It)

Crime.  Drama. Tension.  Suspense.  All of these things sell a lot of books, draw a lot of TV viewers and sell a whole lot of movie tickets.  And the whole industry makes a lot of money. Read more

When It Comes to Investing, Don’t Just Follow the Money

This week, USA Today came out with an article on how more money poured into stock mutual funds in the last week than any other week in the last eleven years.  Now at first glance that may come as good news as investor confidence seems to be returning in the wake of a resolution to the fiscal cliff dilemma, but before you jump on the stock market bandwagon, remember the words of renowned investor Warren Buffett.  When asked about his philosophy on investing, he is known to have said he is greedy when others are fearful, and fearful when others are greedy.  In other words, Warren Buffett, one of the greatest investors of all time, has a tendency to go against the flow when it comes to investment decisions. Read more

What to Do With $100,000 in Today’s Economy

I actually get this question quite a bit on our financial helpline and in our worksite financial planning sessions, not so much that someone got an inheritance (though I did get that last week), but many people simply want to know how they should allocate their assets in their own 401(k).  The question doesn’t have a quick and easy answer and answering involves asking a series of questions first because investing starts with you – the investor. Obviously, an aggressive investor is going to have a very different investment mix than a conservative investor.  A fifty year old may have a very different investment mix than a twenty year old no matter what the current economic outlook.  Here are some questions I always start with: Read more

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