Category: Epic Insights

Your Diversified Portfolio vs. the S&P 500

Sep 16, 2019

Marbles
How global returns and proper diversification are affecting overall returns.

“Why is my portfolio underperforming the market?”

This question may be on your mind. It is a question that investors sometimes ask after stocks shatter records or return exceptionally well in a quarter.

The short answer is that even when Wall Street rallies, international markets and intermediate and long-term bonds may underperform and exert a drag on overall portfolio performance. A little elaboration will help explain things further. (more…)

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Your Changing Definition of Risk in Retirement

Sep 13, 2019

Clock
Some things to consider.

During your accumulation years, you may have categorized your risk as “conservative,” “moderate,” or “aggressive,” and that guided how your portfolio was built. Maybe you concerned yourself with finding the “best-performing funds,” even though you knew past performance does not guarantee future results.

What occurs with many retirees is a change in mindset – it’s less about finding the “best-performing fund” and more about consistent performance. It may be less about a risk continuum – that stretches from conservative to aggressive – and more about balancing the objectives of maximizing your income and sustaining it for a lifetime.

You may even find yourself willing to forgo return potential for steady income. (more…)

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Understanding Long-Term Care

Sep 11, 2019

Doctor Typing
The important question: Are you prepared?

Addressing the potential threat of long-term care expenses may be one of the biggest financial challenges for individuals who are developing a retirement strategy.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 69% of people over age 65 can expect to need extended care services at some point in their lives. So, understanding the various types of long-term care services – and what those services may cost – is critical as you consider your retirement approach. (more…)

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Getting a Head Start on College Savings

Sep 9, 2019

Student with books
The hows and whys of college savings.

The American family with a child born today can expect to spend about $233,610 to raise that child to the age of 18. And if you’ve already traded that supercharged convertible dream for a minivan, you can expect your little one’s college education to cost as much as $198,000.

But before you throw your hands up in the air and send junior out looking for a job, you might consider a few strategies to help you prepare for the cost of higher education.

First, take advantage of time. The time value of money is the concept that the money in your pocket today is worth more than that same amount will be worth tomorrow because it has more earning potential. If you put $100 a month toward your child’s college education, after 17 years’ time, you would have saved $20,400. But that same $100 a month would be worth (more…)

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A Decision Not Made is Still a Decision

Sep 6, 2019

Person with Options
Indecision can lead to no decision.

Investment inaction is played out in many ways, often silently, invisibly, and with potential consequence to an individual’s future financial security.

Let’s review some of the forms this takes.

 Your workplace retirement plan.

The worst non-decision is the failure to enroll. Not only do non-participants sacrifice one of the best ways to save for their eventual retirement, but they also forfeit the money from any matching contributions their employer may offer. Not participating may be one of the most costly non-decisions one can make. (more…)

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Tax Efficiency

Sep 4, 2019

Tax books
What it means; why it counts.

The after-tax return vs. the pretax return. Everyone wants their investments to perform well. But for many investors it’s their after-tax return that may make all the difference. After all, even if your portfolio is earning double-digit returns, it may not matter if you’re also losing a percent of those earnings to taxes. (more…)

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Keep Calm, Stay On Plan

Sep 2, 2019

Numbers
Expect volatility, but avoid letting the headlines alter your plans.

Recent headlines have added volatility to the markets. There will always be new headlines, and any of them could mean turbulence for Wall Street.

As an investor and retirement saver, how much will this turmoil matter to you in the long run? Not as much as you may expect. There are many reasons to remain on plan rather than attempting to intuit or guess when and where big shifts in fortune may arrive. (more…)

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Why Having a Financial Professional Matters

Aug 30, 2019

Professional Teaching
A good professional provides important guidance and insight through the years.

What kind of role can a financial professional play for an investor? The answer: a very important one. While the value of such a relationship is hard to quantify, the intangible benefits may be significant and long-lasting.

There are certain investors who may turn to a financial professional with one goal in mind: the “alpha” objective of beating the market, quarter after quarter.

At some point, these investors may realize that their financial professional has no control over what happens in the market.They may come to understand the real value of the relationship, which is about strategy, coaching,and understanding(more…)

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The High Cost of Health Care

Aug 26, 2019

Meds organizer
A financial strategy can take health care costs into account.

One of the most ubiquitous aspects of social media in recent years has been the arrival of Americans crowdfunding around a major health issue. While America has a level of health care available that rivals the rest of the world, there is no denying that some treatments can be notably expensive. GoFundMe, a crowdfunding website, has raised over $5 billion since 2010; their CEO, Rob Solomon, says that a third of their campaigns fund health care costs and that this category gets more donations than any other.

You may know someone who has been forced to seek out the generosity of their own network in order to cover the costs of health care, medicine, or treatments. It may put you in mind of your own immediate or extended family and how you or they might deal with such a situation. (more…)



Global vs. International: What’s the Difference?

Aug 23, 2019

World Map
Global mutual funds vs. international mutual funds.

For investors who are looking to diversify their portfolio with exposure to companies located outside the U.S., there exist two basic choices: a global mutual fund or an international mutual fund.

By definition, international funds invest in non-U.S. markets, while global funds may invest in U.S. stocks alongside non-U.S. stocks.

Keep in mind that diversification is an approach to help manage investment risk. It does not eliminate the risk of loss if security prices decline. Also, international investments carry additional risks, which include differences in financial reporting standards, currency exchange rates, political risks unique to a specific country, foreign taxes and regulations, and the potential for illiquid markets. These factors may result in greater price volatility. (more…)



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Oct 14, 2019

Talking about “the end” is not the easiest thing to do, and this is one reason why some people never adequately plan for the transfer of their wealth. Those who do create estate plans with help from financial and legal professionals sometimes leave their heirs out of the conversation.

Oct 11, 2019

Do you regularly donate to charities and other non-profit organizations? Then you may want to open a donor-advised fund. Donor-advised funds are becoming popular. It is easy to see why. They offer potential tax perks, and in some instances, a chance to grow money set aside for charitable gifting.

Oct 9, 2019

Are you about to buy life insurance? Shop carefully. Make your choice with insight from an insurance professional, as it may help you avoid some of these all-too-common missteps. Buying the first policy you see. Anyone interested in life insurance should take the time to compare a few plans – not only their rates, but also … Continue reading “Avoid These Life Insurance Missteps”

Oct 4, 2019

Do you have to make a multimillion-dollar gift to a charity to receive immediate or future financial benefits? No. If you’re not yet a millionaire or simply a “millionaire next door,” yet want to give, consider the following options, which may bring you immediate or future tax deductions.

Oct 2, 2019

How healthy a retirement do you think you will have?If you can stay active as a senior and curb or avoid certain habits, you could potentially reduce one type of retirement expense. Each year, Fidelity Investments presents an analysis of retiree health care costs. In 2019, Fidelity projected that the average 65-year-old couple would spend … Continue reading “Retirement Wellness”

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