IS YOUR MONEY HELPING YOU LIVE A BETTER LIFE?

IS YOUR MONEY HELPING YOU LIVE A BETTER LIFE?

A hamster in a wheel. Have you ever watched a hamster running in a wheel? All that running, all that effort, day after day after day … But the poor little critter never really gets anywhere. Many of us feel the same way about our money. More specifically, we feel that way about the work we … Continue reading

“SAFE MONEY” IN TODAY’S ENVIRONMENT

“SAFE MONEY” IN TODAY’S ENVIRONMENT

We live in interesting times.  Interest rates are at historical lows while stocks are at historical highs.  Most experts in the financial industry would agree that stock valuations are stretched and there is currently quite a bit of risk in the stock market.  Most financial planners would tell you that you need safe assets in … Continue reading

REFLECTIONS

REFLECTIONS

As 2017 comes to an end, I have been thinking about what I have learned in my over 30 years as a financial planner.  I have been fortunate enough to have been through some severe downturns in the markets and have managed to learn a few things.  As I, and my clients get older, I … Continue reading

ASSUMPTIONS MATTER

ASSUMPTIONS MATTER

One of the key things a financial planner does is make sure a client is using appropriate assumptions given the current environment.  We use sophisticated planning software to predict the probability of a client achieving their goals.  These applications go a long way in projecting all the possible outcomes, but the models are only as … Continue reading

WHEN DOES A 4% RATE OF RETURN EQUAL 1.5%?

WHEN DOES A 4% RATE OF RETURN EQUAL 1.5%?

The answer is when you are in retirement.  I talk to lots of people who are entering retirement and the one thing I try to stress is that it is a different ballgame and requires different strategies for managing your wealth.  The objective typically changes from one of growing your money to one of preserving … Continue reading

DON’T BE FINANCIAL PREY

DON’T BE FINANCIAL PREY

In recent weeks, I have had several conversations with clients that have received solicitations from unscrupulous financial firms. Due to SEC regulations, high pressure sales tactics may not be used as widely in finance as they once were, but that doesn’t mean that unscrupulous financial professionals don’t exist. It pains me to see how much … Continue reading

WILL THE OUTCOME OF THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION AFFECT ME?

WILL THE OUTCOME OF THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION AFFECT ME?

Lately, I have received a lot of questions from clients regarding the presidential election and how it will affect their portfolios. No one can accurately answer this question, but what I can say is that if good government was required for people to be financially successful, we would all be broke.  I feel for clients … Continue reading

HOW YOUR HOME EQUITY CAN HELP YOU ENJOY RETIREMENT

HOW YOUR HOME EQUITY CAN HELP YOU ENJOY RETIREMENT

First let me say that I am not a fan of debt, especially in retirement.  However, in certain circumstances it can be appropriate.  What I find is that often people’s largest asset is their home.  However, it typically does not help them much if they are not willing to sell the assets to access the … Continue reading

TAKE ACTION ON WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL

TAKE ACTION ON WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL

I have often noticed that people spend valuable time worrying about things they cannot control.  In the financial arena this includes trying to predict what the stock market is going to do in the next day, week or year, how fast China will be growing, what interest rates will do, what the price of oil … Continue reading

CALIFORNIA TREATS SMALL BUSINESSES LIKE POND SCUM

CALIFORNIA TREATS SMALL BUSINESSES LIKE POND SCUM

I love a lot of things about California.  Coming from back east, I particularly like the weather which allows me to work out and play tennis outside year round.  I also enjoy the ocean, the mountains and the ability to be in snow within a couple hours’ drive.  What I don’t like is the way … Continue reading

IS HIRING A FINANCIAL PLANNER WORTH THE MONEY?

IS HIRING A FINANCIAL PLANNER WORTH THE MONEY?

I will start off by confessing that being a financial advisor, I am not completely unbiased when writing this.  With that said, the short answer to the above question is YES.  That is, if you hire a trustworthy advisor that knows what they are doing.  Personally, I am a value guy.  I am more concerned … Continue reading

WANT A SUREFIRE WAY TO MAKE YOUR MONEY LAST LONGER IN RETIREMENT?

WANT A SUREFIRE WAY TO MAKE YOUR MONEY LAST LONGER IN RETIREMENT?

Reduce taxes.  Most retirees admit that they did a poor job proactively managing taxes both before and throughout retirement.  In my experience, clients are not getting the advice they need in this important area of their financial lives.  At Innovative Wealth Strategists, we concentrate on tax planning heavily because we know how important it is … Continue reading

HOW YOUR CHILDREN CAN SAVE YOU MONEY

HOW YOUR CHILDREN CAN SAVE YOU MONEY

If you own a business and have children, you may be overlooking a valuable opportunity to reduce income taxes.  The basic idea is to shift income to your children and take advantage of their lower tax bracket.  In order to implement this strategy, you must first have a business that lends itself to hiring your … Continue reading

AMERICAN SNIPER

AMERICAN SNIPER

I recently saw the movie American Sniper.  In honor of that movie I thought I would write about the most deadly retirement enemies.  These are the combatants that can take you out unless you know about them and have a plan to protect yourself.  The hazards you face during retirement are different than those you … Continue reading

WHEN AVERAGE IS GOOD ENOUGH

WHEN AVERAGE IS GOOD ENOUGH

Generally speaking no one wants to think of themselves as average, but when it comes to investing being average can be your friend.  What do I mean by this?  Everyone would like their investments to outperform the hottest sector. By striving for this, you will inherently take on more risk which can be quite damaging … Continue reading

YOU ARE HARDWIRED TO MAKE BAD FINANCIAL DECISIONS

YOU ARE HARDWIRED TO MAKE BAD FINANCIAL DECISIONS

Given my perception that the stock market is approaching overvaluation, I thought it would be a good time to review some of the weaknesses that we as humans struggle with when making financial decisions.  Sociologists and psychologists have studied human behavior in financial markets and have come up with some interesting conclusions. When it comes … Continue reading

EVERYONE NEEDS AN ADVISOR

EVERYONE NEEDS AN ADVISOR

This article will be somewhat biased given the fact that I am a financial advisor.  Having said that, I truly believe if you can find a competent and trustworthy financial advisor, they can be worth their weight in gold. Many people mistake investment planning for financial planning. Investment planning is just one component of overall … Continue reading

HOW TO VET A FINANCIAL ADVISOR

HOW TO VET A FINANCIAL ADVISOR

I have worked in the financial services industry for over 30 years.  What I have learned is that it is very difficult for the typical consumer to distinguish between a good financial advisor and a bad one. A bad financial advisor could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of your relationship.  … Continue reading

THE COST OF WAITING

THE COST OF WAITING

In today’s busy world, people often are reacting to things that are urgent but not necessarily vital.  One of those vital areas is retirement planning.  We meet people every day that are within 5 years of retirement and still putting off planning.  I believe they do this because they think there is very little to … Continue reading

INSULATING PORTFOLIOS AGAINST A RISE IN RATES

INSULATING PORTFOLIOS AGAINST A RISE IN RATES

Presented by Bruce Horowitz The strong equity market rally in early 2013 has fueled some concerns about inflation and rising interest rates, and investors now may be wondering how they can protect the fixed income portion of their portfolio against this inevitable rise in rates. It’s important to remember, however, that not all fixed income instruments … Continue reading