Build a 50-15-5 framework for your personal finances. Create a balance between living comfortably today while preparing for a prosperous future. Develop a collaborative relationship with your financial planner.
Following a logically ordered, coherent process is key to designing a sensible portfolio allocation. In part-2 of this series, we turn our attention to designing the stock portion of a retirement plan, including a benchmark-neutral portfolio and an enhanced performance alternative.
If you have a retirement plan account such as a 401k, 403b, or 457b, then like most people you probably have several questions about managing the plan investments. In my experience, most people just don’t know where to start. There is a logical, rational, and simple approach to selecting your investments and allocating money to them.
Open enrollment for company benefits is an important time to review, update, or make changes to your employer plans. How do you know if you are maximizing your company benefits? Do you know if the company benefit programs are the most efficient and cost effective for you and your family?
From time to time, it is important to step back and review the bigger picture, where we have been and where we are now, so that we can better assess what might be ahead. This is one of those times. After all, it is the market’s price movement which pays investors.
This is not meant to be just a philosophical question, but a very practical one. What you believe moves the market affects how you make your investment decisions. Realizing that you don’t know the answer can be more valuable than thinking with certainty that you do know.
The difference in calendar year returns by selling in May is this: You have a 60% chance of under-performing, but in return for less volatility. Selling in May can be a significant benefit to the investor in market down-trends, but then it’s not about selling in May anymore. Investing has always depended on knowing what is the trend now, and what is its likelihood of changing in the near term.
Volatile stock markets create conditions that can interfere with investor decisions. Learning how to recognize cognitive biases and understanding financial behaviors can help investors manage emotions and deal with negative financial and geopolitical news.
A surprising number of investors lack a rudimentary knowledge regarding the nature of stock dividends. This knowledge gap contributes to a perpetual misunderstanding regarding security performance. Filling this knowledge gap will help foster an understanding of where dividends fit in an overall portfolio strategy.
The financial planning timeline helps to identify potential strategies to prepare an efficient and effective plan. While individuals and families have unique financial goals and circumstances, these key dates provide a framework to help make better informed financial planning decisions.