“5 Steps to Take if the Bull Market Run Has You Thinking of Unloading Stocks”, an article written by Tara Siegel Bernard in the Aug. 22, 2018 edition of The New York Times, discusses the extended bull market that we are currently experiencing and what, if anything, we should do differently with our investments. According to Baron Financial Group’s, Nicholas Scheibner, CFP®,
“Many people feel that they only have two options: Invest or not invest,” said Nicholas Scheibner, a financial planner with Baron Financial Group. “However, you have a third option — adjust.”
Read the entire New York Times article here
Please reach out to the Baron Team for a second opinion on your portfolio.
A 60-second read by Nicholas Scheibner: The theory of, “reduce my risk as I near retirement” has been a long-standing investment mantra for many years. However, a reduction in risk at retirement age may not be the best course of action for every investor. The theory of reduction in risk as you near retirement needs to be looked at more closely.
Continue reading “Should You Reduce the Amount of Stocks in Your Portfolio When You Retire?”
A 30-second read by Nicholas Scheibner: When a family member passes away, it is of course an emotional and stressful time. For most, a significant portion of the stress can stem from the financial decisions the deceased made, or did not make, during their life, and what needs to be carried out by the loved ones left behind. In many instances, a will is constructed to help direct some of the financial assets, per the request of the deceased. However, financial accounts are not the only stress inducers. Online and social media accounts are increasingly becoming more important to people. There are things you can do now to help your family put in order your “online life”, often referred to as a “Digital Estate”, when you are no longer around.
We suggest keeping a separate document with your will, containing any usernames and passwords to your online accounts. The most important item will be your list of email accounts. With access to your email accounts, a trusted family member can “reset/forgot password” most of your financial and social media accounts in order to close, or manage the accounts. Also – this can sometimes be a quicker way to stop any recurring payments for online services, instead of calling the company and proving the person has passed away.
If you are uncomfortable writing out all of your usernames and passwords, you can begin to use a “password manager” that will store all of your information in a secure digital vault. The only information your trustee will need is the username and password for the “password manager”.
Keep in mind, it is extremely important to watch over a deceased family member’s financial assets and credit, as a deceased person has a very high risk of becoming a victim of financial fraud and identity theft.
In order to prepare your family for what needs to be done towards end-of-life and once you have passed, we recommend reading some of our other estate planning posts. And again, do remember to consider all of the online, financial, billing, and social media accounts that will continue if you were to pass on.
Please reach out to your Baron Team with any estate planning questions.
A 30-second read by Nicholas Scheibner: You may have heard about low- or no-expense-ratio Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs), but cost is not the most important factor when investing in an ETF – it’s liquidity. You want to make sure that the ETF you’re investing in has a high daily volume of trading. Everything can seem great with an ETF when markets are going up, but when things are going down, and you want to sell out of your fund, you may take a big loss.
To illustrate this, picture a room with 100 people, and a door that can only fit one person at a time. Imagine everyone wanting to leave the room at the same time. As you can imagine, there would be a rush to the door, and it would be difficult for everyone to get out – a similar theory applies to ETFs. If there are very few people trading an ETF on a daily basis, it can be difficult to sell at the price you would like. You want to invest in an ETF that has a lot of activity, (a large door), so that when you want to exit, you can at a reasonable price.
For more information on ETFs, you can read our “What are some differences between Exchange-Traded Funds and Index Mutual Funds? ” article.
For any other questions, please reach out to your Baron Team.
A 30-second read by Nicholas Scheibner: The week of January 29th – Feb 2nd has been designated “Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week.” The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) will be offering some free webinars and chats on this topic. To learn more about the free webinar offerings, click here.
According to the FTC, tax identity theft occurs when another person uses your social security number for the purpose of getting a job or a tax refund. You will usually know when you receive a letter or notice from the IRS saying that you filed more than one tax return or see on their records that you were paid by an unknown employer. To learn more, click here for the FTC’s article on Tax-Related Identity Theft. If you’re the victim of tax fraud, visit the IRS website.
On a related note – if you are interested to know how long you should be keeping your tax returns, please refer to our “What documents are safe to shred? What must I keep?” blog post.
Feel free to reach out to us for any questions.