How Our Emotions and Biases Impact Our Financial Decisions
Monday, 22 June 2020
When it comes to financial decision-making, we are oftentimes our own worst enemies. Human nature makes us susceptible to emotional responses, lack of willpower, overconfidence, and personal biases that impact our money mindsets and our financial decisions. Any one of these things can lead us to make less-than-wise decisions with our money, and this is certainly true when it comes to our investments.
As in many areas of life, we all make smarter decisions when we become aware of our inherent weaknesses and put measures in place to overcome them. Understanding more about the psychology around investing is one way to protect yourself from yourself.
In his bestselling book, The Little Book of Behavioral Investing, author and expert James Montier discusses some of the most important behavioral challenges facing investors. He also shares time-tested advice on how to avoid investment pitfalls and achieve your wealth-building goals. Below, we’ll review several of his key concepts.
Planning Ahead with a Trusted Team Can Ease the Financial Transition
Wednesday, 10 June 2020
These past few months have been filled with a collective sense of grief over what many of us have lost: loved ones, financial stability, job security, a sense of freedom, or normalcy. While all of these are incredibly hard to deal with in their own ways, losing your life partner is uniquely devastating, and navigating the aftermath on your own can be incredibly difficult.
When you lose your spouse, you can feel adrift, untethered, and fearful of what the future may hold. While you’re in the midst of tragedy, it can be difficult to simply get through each day, let alone make important decisions and think through the implications for your finances. This is why it is so important to plan ahead by assembling a team of trusted advisors who can help to make the financial transition as smooth as possible during your time of grief.
Family members, trusted friends, financial advisors and attorneys can all play a role in helping you accomplish the following steps after you’ve lost your spouse:
Learn All You Need to Know About these Sweeping New Provisions.
Monday, 25 May 2020
With so much focus on the economic volatility and stimulus packages stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have overlooked a piece of far-reaching new legislation signed into law in late 2019 meant to alleviate America’s retirement savings crisis. Called the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement (SECURE) Act, it took effect on January 1, 2020 and there are significant provisions that may impact your retirement planning.
Here are a few SECURE Act changes to know.
More and more investors are choosing to align their money with their values.
Monday, 11 May 2020
The world we live in has undergone significant change in recent months, leading some investors to rethink their strategies. While it’s usually best to stay the course during a time of market volatility, it’s also a good time to self-reflect and ask yourself whether you are using your wealth in alignment with your values. More and more young investors are leveraging their assets to make an impact in the world by using an investment strategy meant to produce some sort of positive social result. It’s called impact investing, and it has given rise to a new trend in financial planning.
If you think impact investing may be right for you, get intentional about what you want to accomplish. This means taking three steps at the outset.
Americans Can Defer for 90 Days
Friday, 20 March 2020
As we continue to face uncertain times, the IRS has made a welcome announcement.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has announced that the IRS has decided to extend the filing and payment deadline for 2019 tax returns, allowing taxpayers to defer until July 15. Mnuchin indicated this move will put $300 billion into the economy during a time of great economic concern over the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The payment deferment is subject to certain caps, however. Individuals may defer tax payments of up to $1 million, while corporations may defer up to $10 million. The limits were purposefully selected to benefit small businesses that report income through S corporations, partnerships or other pass-through entities.
Tuesday, 17 March 2020
We are facing something we have never faced before in our lifetimes. That is a fact and, in a time, when the news of the pandemic spreading and the recommendations on social distancing getting broader by the day, it can be hard to feel certain or safe about anything.
As troubling as it is to watch the unprecedented market decline and as hard as it is to tune out the decline of your investments, we need to maintain our health and the health and safety of our family, friends and neighbors as the number one priority. Covid-19 which emerged late in 2019 in China has spread rapidly and is a global pandemic. The measures taken by leaders around the globe have been unsettling leaving children without a classroom, parents working from home or without a job altogether and investors panicking about what is to come.
This disruption to daily life and to our psyches is substantial and it’s terrible. The coming weeks will not be easy, but these measures are practical and prudent.
Why Pursuing Success in the Short-Term Often Leads to a Long-Term Cost
Wednesday, 04 March 2020
We live in a world with unpredictable financial markets, with the truism that past performance is never a guarantee of future results. Why, then, do we collectively continue to chase historical success by selling our holdings in slow-to-perform active fund managers and investing in recent winners instead?
The answer is largely psychological, in that we are ruled by a combination of outcome bias and an overemphasis on the power of skill over randomness. Taken together, this leads many investors down the damaging path of chasing past performance – and ultimately ending up disappointed.
Volatile Markets and the Ongoing Spread of the Virus are Causing Economic Uncertainty
Tuesday, 03 March 2020
Last week saw the worst week on Wall Street since 2008, as the Dow fell into correction likely due to the outbreak and spread of COVID-19, commonly called novel coronavirus. A market correction is a nerve-wracking event for investors, but the current uneasiness in the markets is no cause for panic.
While the spread of COVID-19 is atypical, market correction is not. In fact, it’s an entirely normal process, and not altogether unexpected after experiencing the longest-running bull market on record. There have been 22 market corrections since 1974, and they are aptly named because the market usually “corrects” itself and returns prices to their longer-term trends. While the coronavirus is likely to cause economic impact into at least the second quarter of 2020, historically, Wall Street’s reaction to these types of epidemics has been short-lived, including in the recent past.
With a $30 trillion wealth transfer underway, Baby Boomers have the power to shape the next generation’s financial future.
Monday, 17 February 2020
Albert Einstein might be best known for the theory of relativity, but did you know he also had an interest in finance and economics? In fact, he once referred to compound interest as the “eighth wonder of the world.”
Einstein wasn’t wrong; compounding is both powerful and fascinating. When combined with education, it can become a veritable superpower – one which Baby Boomers can wield as they continue making the largest transfer of wealth in American history.
It’s Time for a New Kind of Post-Work Planning
Monday, 03 February 2020
During your working years, retirement seems like a dream. It’s that glorious time on the horizon when you can spend your life in leisure with no cares in the world. Why, then, are many new retirees finding this phase of life to be confusing, frustrating or even downright miserable? The answer lies in the inherent flaws in traditional retirement planning.
Here’s How to Find the Equilibrium You’re Searching For
Wednesday, 22 January 2020
Brian Dyson, former COO of Coca Cola, is famous for his quest to find balance among work, family and self-care. Dyson understood what so many of us fail to remember at times – that all the balls we’re juggling in life aren’t created equal. Here’s how he described it:
“Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them — work, family, health, friends and spirit and you’re keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls — family, health, friends, and spirit — are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged, or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life.”
So, how do we find this balance, exactly? Many people say it isn’t possible, and that it’s just a myth that keeps us chasing something unattainable. After all, we have a finite number of hours in the day, limited energy to disperse across all areas of life and the need for a paycheck. Is it truly possible to find equilibrium? As it turns out, the answer is yes. It simply takes a commitment to the following simple, yet effective, strategies.
Here’s How to ‘Future-Proof’ Your Long-Term Investments
Friday, 03 January 2020
Investing in the stock market isn’t for the faint of heart, and many news stories can cause your panic level to rise when you aren’t prepared to ride the natural highs and lows. However, you’re not alone in your worries about the future. In fact, 60 percent of Americans report feeling stressed by simply thinking about the stock market. The good news is, if you have planned your long-term investments properly, they are actually built to ride the highs and lows of a mercurial market. Remember, investing is a long game; if you prepare properly, you can overcome short-term volatility. Below is a three-point checklist to help you protect your investments through a rough period.
Financially Supporting Your Kids May Negatively Impact Your Own Financial Health
Thursday, 26 December 2019
Are you considering financial support for your adult children? If so, you’re not alone. In a recent study by TD Ameritrade, 25 percent of baby boomers admitted they are supporting adult family members. That support, on average, equates to $10,000 per year. That’s a full $10,000 that boomers aren’t able to save or invest for their retirements – annually.
When it comes to your retirement planning, it’s important to ask yourself whether you can truly afford that kind of generosity. After all, if you fall short of your retirement goals, will anyone be there to bail you out? More than likely, the answer is no.
So, before you agree to provide financial support (or further financial support) to your adult children, you should ask yourself four questions:
Learn How Your Mindset Can Improve the Way You Manage Your Money
Wednesday, 20 November 2019
The term “money mindset” is most often used in discussions about attracting greater wealth in your life. However, there’s an alternative way to look at this phrase, too. What if, instead of focusing on trying to bring more money your way, you flipped your mindset to one of gratitude for what you already have?
Believe it or not, waking up each day focused on practicing an attitude of gratitude can actually enhance your finances over the long-term. Read on to learn three important reasons that being grateful can improve the way you manage your money.
Four Steps for Surviving a Market Meltdown
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
The past decade has been kind to recent retirees – they’ve benefited from a bull market that quite possibly increased their net worth even though they’re no longer working. Of course, not all retirees will be this lucky.
Since the market is always in flux, some retirees will find themselves in the unfortunate predicament of retiring into a bear market that’s about to show its teeth. However, all hope is not lost. Here are four steps you can take to help ensure your retirement is bear market-proof.
1. Take Stock of Your Budget
The ebbs and flows of the market can make us feel powerless at times, with Wall Street maintaining more control over our money than we do. This is an unsettling feeling, particularly if you’re newly retired or will be retiring soon.