Are You Getting the Most Out of Your 401(k)?

If your employer offers a 401(k) plan, you likely know two things about it: 1) you can automate investment of a portion of each paycheck to make saving easy, and 2) whether or not your employer offers matching contributions (i.e. free money).

Outside of this basic information, 401(k) plans can be a bit confusing for the average investor. The financial jargon alone can be enough to deter you from investigating the best way to protect and grow your money over the long-term. This is one of the main reasons so many people leave their retirement accounts on auto pilot, failing to learn ways to enhance their earnings. If you’d like to avoid this fate, information is key.

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Four Ways to Streamline Your Finances

Managing a complex financial picture can feel like a Herculean task and one that often leads to stress and procrastination. So much time is spent organizing paperwork and hunting down data that by the time you actually sit down to figure out where you stand you are too tired and stressed to be able to make good decisions or implement new strategies.

If this sounds like you, it may be time to take some steps to simplify your financial life. This won’t just save you time and effort it may also save you money.

We have compiled four tips that cover the areas most people seem to need to simplify and improve. Your needs may be different but at the very least this list should give you some ideas about how to get started.

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How to Help Recession-Proof Your Life: 5 Tips

It’s hard to watch the news and not feel a little concerned about your finances. Trade wars, stock plunges, interest rates fluctuating, combine that with stagnant wages and an inflating cost of living–it’s enough to get even the most stalwart savers wringing their hands. In fact, 25% of Americans report worrying about money all the time.[i] So, what can you do? In this article, we will outline 5 tips to help recession-proof your lifestyle so that, while the economy and markets may have ups and downs, you can feel secure.

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Opportunity Zone Investments

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was the most sweeping tax legislation since the 1986 Tax Reform Act was signed into law.  The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act made small changes to personal income taxes and significantly reduces income tax for corporations. It also increased alternative minimum tax (AMT) and estate tax exemptions. New tax deductions for owners of pass-through entities and changes to the taxation of foreign income were also part of TCJA. For investors, Opportunity Funds promote investing in low-income designated areas, called Opportunity Zones, by offering federal tax advantages.

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What Is Impact Investing and Why Does it Matter?

Impact investing allows you to put your money where your mouth is, and help the world in the process.

by: Brian O’Connell

Impact investing is everything the name implies – it’s all about investments in companies that make a positive impact on society and on their communities.

No question, investing in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), the more formal name for impact investing, has both rewards and risks, but that’s not stopping legions of investors from getting involved.

According to the Global Impact Investing Network, the global impact investment market stands at $502 billion in 2019.

Expect that figure to rise as more investors (especially younger ones) decide that “doing well by doing good” is their go-to investment strategy going forward, and as impact investing becomes their investment model of choice.

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The Making of a Successful Retirement Starts with Maximizing Your Contributions

If you have been contributing consistently to your retirement plan, then you are already on your path to a secure retirement. But are you doing everything you can to build your retirement nest egg? Capitalizing on your company retirement benefits package now can help to make your retirement that much more care-free. Here are five tips to help you build your financial future.

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How Can Your Child Benefit from a Roth IRA?

When you think of a Roth IRA, you aren’t usually picturing a child as the owner. But, when you dig deeper, a Roth really is an ideal savings vehicle because they have more than a half-century to watch their contributions grow tax-free. Plus, there is a great deal of flexibility allowing you to withdraw your contributions at any time without tax or penalties (*subject to certain withdrawal guidelines noted below).

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Lifestyle Creep and How to Avoid or Reverse It

avoid lifestyle creep

Whether you have heard the phrase lifestyle creep or not, the odds are good that you have experienced it either first-hand or indirectly. Another word for it is lifestyle inflation. As you make more money, your apartment or house gets a little bigger, your furniture gets nicer, and dining out becomes more frequent. Then you meet someone special and your family grows from one person to two and then comes baby and…another baby and so on and so forth. The house needs to accommodate more people, the cars need to be safer and nicer and larger.

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Impact Investing: Pros and Cons

“SOCIETY IS DEMANDING THAT COMPANIES, BOTH PUBLIC AND PRIVATE, SERVE A SOCIAL PURPOSE. TO PROSPER OVER TIME, EVERY COMPANY MUST NOT ONLY DELIVER FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE BUT ALSO SHOW HOW IT MAKES A POSITIVE CONTRIBUTION TO SOCIETY.”- LARRY FINK, CEO OF BLACKROCK.

Recently, as Impact Investing has gained more attention in the investment world, we have received a number of questions from clients and prospective clients about what it is, whether it is a viable strategy, how it can be implemented into an existing investment strategy and whether we currently offer impact investing strategies to our clients. Given the frequency of these questions, we wanted to share this article to shed some light on the subject.

It should be made clear that we do not currently have a specific strategy dedicated to impact investing and it is not commonly a mitigating factor in the manner in which we make our investment decisions as a fiduciary to our clients. If in the future, there comes a demand for such a strategy, then we will consider incorporating impact investing and the values behind it into our portfolios.

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Five Years Until Retirement: Countdown and Checklist

Like the horizon line, retirement was always in view but seemingly far away. Now, that endpoint may be looking a lot closer and more real. Retirement is moving from a someday category to an in less than a decade category and you may find yourself panicking. For years you dutifully looked over your employer match paperwork, checked your savings balances, and maybe even had a financial advisor to help you out. But now the finish line is in sight and you may worry that you are not where you need to be. In this article, we will go over some checklist items to look over to get you on track and restore that peace of mind.

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