Category Archives: Articles

Dealing with Market Volatility – A Long-Term Perspective Helps Manage Short-Term Actions

A 60-second read by Anthony Benante: If staying up-to-date on market events is a part of your regular routine, that is fine, but remember that volatility is a constant factor when it comes to investing. It’s best to have a plan established before you invest, so that you know what to do when markets make unexpected short-term moves.  For the assets you are investing for the long-term, the day-to-day fluctuations you experience now may not seem as significant over time. However, there are actions you want to take. 

At Baron Financial Group, we review our investment choices versus peer investments, to determine if any individual investment choices need to be changed.  Also, we review client portfolios versus their specific long-term strategy and rebalance them if needed.  These actions are part of working towards our main objective, which is to help our clients achieve their financial goals.  Volatile markets are incorporated in our financial plans for clients and we keep clients informed about their chances for achieving those goals in different market environments.  This helps give our clients a clear perspective of where they stand and what it will take to achieve their long-term financial goals, even after incorporating recent market moves.

As always, if you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact the Baron Financial Group team.

 

Spotlight on Baron Team Member James Jacob Suazo

James Suazo

James is a valued team member at Baron Financial Group. As an Associate Financial Planner, James performs research and assists the advisors with the creation and updating of financial plans for clients. In addition, James is our technology expert, researching and implementing technological advances within the field of financial planning to help enhance the service we provide to you. 

Founding partner, Victor Cannillo, enjoys mentoring James and the other members of the firm.  “James is knowledgeable and enthusiastic, and is a great support to the team, whether he is assisting the investment committee with fund research or aiding the firm with the important software we use.”

James is a member of both NAPFA (National Association of Personal Financial Advisors) and FPA (Financial Planning Association). NAPFA is the country’s leading professional association of Fee-Only financial advisors, committed to working in the best interests of those they serve.  Like NAPFA, the FPA aids in the professional development of its members and adheres to “a code of ethics that reflects their commitment to help clients achieve their life goals”.

Continue reading Spotlight on Baron Team Member James Jacob Suazo

What is a Fiduciary?

Fiduciary (fi·du·cia·ry) stems from the Latin word fidere, which means “to trust.”  The definition of fiduciary, according to Merriam-Webster, is: relating to, or involving a confidence or trust. One can act in a fiduciary manner (adjective) or act as a fiduciary (noun). A fiduciary is trusted and relied on to act in the best interest of the client at all times. 

“A financial advisor who follows a fiduciary standard must disclose any conflict, or potential conflict, to their clients prior to and throughout the advisory agreement. Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) are held to a fiduciary standard of care.  By law, they must act solely in the best interest of their clients.”
  -From the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA)

Read more from NAPFA here.

A recent article in The New York Times by reporter Tara Siegel Bernard posed the question “What kind of adviser should I work with”… “You’ll want to hire the type of financial adviser who promises to act as a fiduciary all of the time, with all of your money, which is a fancy way of saying that person must be loyal to you first. In fact, you should ask your financial planner to sign a fiduciary pledge, a promise not to profit at your expense.”

Read the full NY Times article here.

Baron Financial Group is a Registered Investment Adviser (RIA).  We are long-time members of NAPFA, and we sign a fiduciary oath for every client we serve. Advisors in our firm hold the CFP® and CFA® designations, as well as the NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor designation. We work hard to educate our clients and the public about transparent- and objective-financial advice, where the client’s interests come first.

To learn more about Baron Financial Group and what it means to be a fiduciary, contact us at info@baron-financial.com.

Baron Financial Group once again receives the Women’s Choice Award®, as seen in USA Today, July 25, 2017

We are proud to be a Women’s Choice Award®  Financial firm since its inception in 2013. The Women’s Choice Award for Financial Advisors was created by WomenCertified Inc. in an effort to help women identify financial advisors and firms that provide quality service and strong commitment to their female clientele. The award is based on rigorous research, 17 objective criteria and additional points of reference that obtain feedback regarding the advisor’s service and practices. Women’s Choice Award® Financial Advisors and Firms represent less than 1% of financial advisors in the U.S.  As of July 2017, of the 807 considered for the Women’s Choice Award, 139 were named Women’s Choice Award Financial Advisors/Firms.

This recognition demonstrates our commitment to all clients, but allows us to further highlight our commitment to the women’s market and to our profession — symbolizing the integrity, knowledge and service excellence we strive to deliver to every client.

Click here for a list of the Women’s Choice Award® selection criteria.

Should politics affect your decision to include international investments in your portfolio?

A 45-second read by Anthony Benante:  For your specific portfolio, you need to evaluate your ability and willingness to take risk to help determine your personal profile. Without knowing about your entire financial situation, we would not make a specific recommendation for any asset. Typically, including globally-diversified assets in your investment strategy offers statistical benefits. We encourage you to think about the long-term nature of investing and validate your investment strategy with a comprehensive financial plan.  The plan should show outcomes based on different market environments and cycles.

Given the expectation that you could live into your 90s, it would probably not be best to look at your portfolio through a political lens.  In the short-term, breaking news is constantly occurring and it would be difficult to react correctly to each new development as it relates to your investments.  Over the long-term, there is the possibility for change in political parties and history suggests that the political party in charge in the United States has little impact on long-term market performance.  The decision to include international investments should not be directed by current political situations, but rather based on which investment strategy can help you achieve long-term success.

Reach out to our Baron team if you have any questions…

An Overview of myRA

A 45-second read by Victoria Cannillo: You have most likely heard of a Roth IRA or a Traditional IRA, but what about myRA? myRA was introduced in 2014 as an option for people who don’t have access to an employer-sponsored retirement savings plan or other retirement savings options. According to the myRA website, you can contribute up to $5,500/year into the account ($6,500/year for those older than 50). Once the account reaches an account balance of $15,000, or when the account is 30 years old, the savings will be transferred or rolled-over into a private-sector Roth IRA.

For 2016, the maximum income allowable to participate in the program was $132,000 for single-tax filers and $193,000 for couples filing together. Read more specifics about the program, here.

Some pros and cons of myRA to consider:

Pros:

  • No cost to open an account and no fees
  • Flexible contribution amounts (a traditional IRA has a $1,000 minimum)
  • Investments are backed by the United States Treasury
  • Tax benefits are similar to a Roth IRA, such as earning interest tax-free

Cons:

  • There is only one investment option – a treasury bond (accounts are invested solely in Government Savings Bonds)
  • Once the account balance reaches $15,000, it stops accumulating interest, so your maximum for savings is limited
  • Doesn’t seem to offer many long-term options at this time

Reach out to your Baron team if you want help in understanding what kind of IRA would be best for you.

College-Saving Options for Florida Residents

A 60-second read by Anthony Benante: The Florida Prepaid College Board offers several options for college savings. The two principal programs are the Prepaid College Plan and the 529 Savings Plan. Below is a brief outline of some of the key differences between these plans, as highlighted by the Florida Prepaid College Board. For more information, click here to read more.

Florida Prepaid College Plan

  • Overview: You “pre-pay” for future college tuition costs and other fees. There are several plans to choose from (1-year/ 4-year Florida University Plan, 2-year/4-year Florida College Plan, etc.). The cost you pay will be based on what the cost of tuition is projected to be the year your child would enroll in college.
  • Enrollment: You can submit your application to enroll your child at any time from birth until junior year of high school. A parent needs to be a resident of Florida for at least 1 year before enrolling.  The actual enrollment period runs from October 15th – February 28th each year.
  • Payment Options: You can pay monthly, over five years, or a lump sum.
  • What the plan covers: Tuition and other fees at a Florida College or State University (The plan can also be applied to other schools nationwide, but you should investigate actual benefits for schools outside the plan).

Continue reading College-Saving Options for Florida Residents

What is the best way to plan for your assets to remain within your bloodlines?

A 60-second read by Nicholas Scheibner:  When planning your estate, it is important to divide all of your accounts into two groups:  accounts with designated beneficiaries and accounts with no designated beneficiaries.  Examples of accounts with designated beneficiaries are 401(k)s, IRAs, transfer of death (TOD) accounts, and other retirement accounts. The designated beneficiary on an account bypasses your will.  For example, if your will states that all of your money is to pass on to your child, but your 401(k) primary beneficiary is an ex-spouse, your ex-spouse will inherit the money from your 401(k).  It is crucial that you review your beneficiaries on your accounts to make sure they agree with your desires.

Continue reading What is the best way to plan for your assets to remain within your bloodlines?

Class of 2017: It Isn’t Too Early to Start Thinking about Your Retirement

A 60-second read by the Baron Team:  Congratulations 2017 college graduates! Throw that mortarboard as high in the air as you can and before it circles back down to earth, start thinking about saving for your retirement. You are most likely going to be responsible for setting yourself up for a successful retirement, so your best bet is to invest early and often.

Invest in yourself first. Most people think investing is the key to wealth, but while certainly important, you have to have some money first to invest. So as soon as you begin your first job out of school, start saving as much as you can for retirement.

Continue reading Class of 2017: It Isn’t Too Early to Start Thinking about Your Retirement

Do Not Call Registry: tips to help avoid phone scams, part II

A 30-second read by the Baron Team: In a previous post, we provided some tips to help avoid phone scams from the FTC. If receiving excessive sales calls is a concern for you, there is an option to help reduce the amount of telemarketing calls you receive by joining the National Do Not Call Registry.

The Do Not Call Registry is a free service where you can register your phone number in order to reduce telemarketing/ sales calls.  According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), if a company is legitimate and sees that you are on the list, they should not call you. If a company sees you on the list, but calls you regardless, it is most likely a scam call.

While being on the Do Not Call Registry may not prevent robo-calls, the FTC has several initiatives to try to solve this issue.

If you are interested in putting your number on the registry, go to donotcall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222. They will accept both cell phone and landline numbers.

For more information from the FTC, click here to read more.

For more specific information regarding “Cell Phones and the Do Not Call Registry,” click here.

Feel free to reach out to us for any other questions.