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Long term savings considerations


Three weeks into the new year and this is our first post.  I’ll spare you the excuses on why we haven’t been as active, and instead jump right into more of our continuing discussion over how to better improve your long term savings outlook.  If you are familiar with our work you know that this is what we are almost completely focused on.  If this is your first time here you should know that A Better Financial Plan is not an average independent financial advisor, we do not work based upon total assets under management, and we rarely will suggest that the stock market be the center piece of your long term savings plan.    

6 Reasons Why the Average Investor should Stay Away from the Stock Market


This time of year the average investor typically takes a moment to evaluate how their investments for the previous year performed and what sort of course corrections should be made in the year ahead.  Since January of 2009 this task has been a rather dreary and morbid affair.  Since the bottom dropped out on the housing market and mortgaged backed securities drug the entire globe into the great recession there has not been too much for the average investor to hang his hat on in the way of dramatic performance.  Status quo investment alternatives simply are not delivering anymore so this year A Better financial Plan suggests that in 2013 the average investor ought to consider simply staying away from the stock market.  

Financial Advice for Young Adults 3 tips to Avoid Mediocrity


One possible enduring legacy of the great recession just might be an entire generation that will grow up having no idea exactly how they should go about saving for the long term.  Previous generations always had some cultural norm to fall back on when they decided it was time to get serious about planning out their long term savings.  These cultural norms didn’t come in the form of financial advice for young adults during their school days, rather they came from witnessing how their parents went about long term fiscal planning.  

Tax Deferred Savings and the Impact of Mounting Debt


As the talking heads on cable news and radio carry on about the looming fiscal cliff, focusing much of the discussion over which political side has the upper hand, I get increasingly frustrated because the real issues rarely make the front page.  This is troublesome for most, but for us especially as we talk to many current and potential clients about their tax deferred savings accounts.  While some are starting to understand that they might be deferring simply to pay at a higher tax rate in the future, most, unfortunately, are simply not willing to face the reality that their tax deferred savings is ultimately a savings plan for the federal government. 

Investment Alternatives and Peer to Peer Lending


Once upon a time I was consulting for big ERP player SAP.  The gig was pretty good for me at the time, and allowed me to connect with a fairly diverse and broad set of business men and women who worked for the large organizations that are the core of the SAP user base.  The experience not only paved the way to A Better Financial plan but put me in the habit of keeping an eye on tech.  A part of me believes that the rapid rise and fall of technology companies is an excellent microcosm of all that is good and bad with relying on the stock market for a long term savings strategy.  Moreover in the rapid start up culture  that we’ve been witnessing in the last three or four year some approaches are so new and interesting that I find myself cheering for their success.  

My Retirement and the Great Fiscal Cliff of 2012


So could it be that the Mayans (or according to Wikipedia Maya) were really talking about the fiscal cliff?  I mean I’m no conspiracy theorist nor do I easily buy into popular folklore the likes of which motivate Hollywood to crank out poorly scripted overly  produced films filled with CGI from beginning to end.  That said the looming financial disaster that awaits America if our political class can’t get it together sure seems like it has the potential to be an apocalyptic event. I would imagine that many independent financial advisors are receiving phone calls from panicked clients who want to know one thing, what about my retirement?  

Inflation and Retirement - How Inflation Impacts Your Investments


Today's post is from guest author Jennifer Motian  -  In today's economy, a lot of people are looking at their expenditures and wondering what they can do to cut back, tighten their belts, and bring down costs. A lot of people are reducing the number of evenings they go out on the town, saving money by staying in. Other people are just buying less - whether it's clothing, toys, or electronics, if it's not totally necessary they are not buying it. Another place people are looking to see if their economic decisions are paying off is at their investments. Is it a good time to buy stock or sell it? Should you put money in the bank or in the stock market? Are you more secure with liquid assets or company shares?

The Average Investor and Lessons Learned from Tech Stock Flops


Tech stocks are among the most alluring stocks to the average investor.  They carry with them the promise of a brighter tomorrow, the hope of serving as a catalyst to change the world, and the expectation that no other imminent technology can unseat the commercial advantages of current technology.   Average investors flock to the opportunity to somehow figure out how they can participate in initial public offerings (difficult if you truly are an average investor), or estimate just how much of their portfolio they are willing to sacrifice for a chance to ride the next big tech wave.  Ironiclaly for not only the average investor, but just about every investor who continues to have faith over the long term performance of the stock market, has a very short memory.  Consider this super bowl ad from 2001 that aired just about one year after the dot com crash. 

Fear of Outliving Retirement Income and Super Storm Sandy


The other day a friend of mine took the day off to head to Long Beach Island New Jersey to his parent’s home.  They were evacuated the day before super storm Sandy hit and they were finally returning to their home.  What they found was by no means terrible compared to some of the catastrophic damage that occurred elsewhere on the island, but they were still dealing with some lost memories and more than a little bit of water damage.  

The Fiscal Cliff and a 2% Loss for the Average Investor


A not so funny thing happened the Wednesday after the presidential election; the Dow started dropping and it virtually has not stopped.  This is due in part to the fiscal cliff, and many want to know will the fiscal cliff impact retirement.    

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