AdviceIQ Articles

  • Save or Pay Student Loans?

    If you recently graduated from college and landed a good job, congratulations. You may face a dilemma: Begin saving for your future or pay off student debt now?

    Of course, avoid missing payments on your loans and at least meet your monthly minimums. The big question depends on whether your income exceeds your monthly expenses (including your minimum payments). How do you best put that money to work?

  • Investing to Cut Taxes

    After the headline risks of the market and inflation, taxes present the biggest obstacle to your building wealth. Your best investment strategy seeks to not only generate returns on your capital but also to save as much of your money as possible to keep it working for you. One of the surest ways to preserve your capital: Reduce your taxes on investment income and gains.

    Here are some strategies.

  • Misguided 401(k) Asset Mixes

    People often have lousy asset allocation in their retirement plans. Overdone risk avoidance and other behavioral tics combine to ensure they probably will not create the wealth they need to retire comfortably.

    Here is a conversation I've had too many times: An acquaintance says proudly that he invests the maximum into his 401(k). I ask what allocation he's made between equities and bonds. He says he just divides his contributions equally among the four investment choices the plan offers. I cringe.

  • Saving for a Down Payment

    If you are financially ready to be a home owner, now the most critical piece of the puzzle is the down payment. Coming up with enough cash for it is the biggest challenge of home buying. So once your finances are in order, it’s time to focus on saving.

  • Investing Trends to Dislike

    I’m uncomfortable about a number of issues now affecting financial consumers. Here are a few that possibly concern your very own investments – and future.

    Target date funds (TDFs) insufficiently researched. A target date mutual fund contains a mixture of stocks, bonds and cash equivalents, rebalanced to reduce the number of risky assets as you age toward retirement.

  • Curbing Interest Rate Shock

    What are the best bond investing strategies for retirees amid rising interest rates? There are two. I like to call them the “stuff in between” strategies, because they fall between bonds (whose values are vulnerable to rates increases) and stocks (usually not affected).

    As the economy gradually recovers, the Federal Reserve keeps hinting at increasing rates. While higher rates are not a bad thing for retirees who invest primarily in bonds, traveling into that territory can be treacherous, and calls for some careful planning.

  • Ready to Buy First Home?

    Owning your home is fantastic — if you are financially ready. Here’s a quick checklist to help you determine if you can afford to be a home owner.

    The first home purchase is not only a major life milestone, but it’s also a big financial commitment, a decision you should not take lightly. There’s a lot more to buying a house than just the price of it. Other items to factor in include mortgage origination fees, closing costs, interest, homeowner’s insurance and property taxes, which can fluctuate depending on the yearly assessed value of your property.

  • Stewardship and Your Money

    What traits of the wealthy make them good at managing money? That question assumes a direct correlation between your wealth and your skill at managing that wealth. Wrong idea.

    Better to ask, “What are the traits of someone who is a good steward of wealth?”

  • The Real Interest Rate Worry

    Should we fear rising interest rates? Even the thought of them throws the stock market into a spin. The real problem with climbing rates, though, is that they will make servicing the out-of-control federal debt even more expensive.

    For most investors, the focus is on what damage higher rates may inflict on stocks. There has been much market panic of late over the possibility that the Federal Reserve will raise rates sometime in the not-too-distant future.

  • Planning for Complex Estates

    Our first article looked at the documents you need to pass on your estate. Here’s a look at the professionals whose help you might also need and the special trusts used to whittle the tax bill of complex estates.

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