Casey Boland Money Matters
It can be tough talking to your parents about money. But there are considerable benefits in having money discussions. Your parents may be able to provide great wisdom. They can provide lessons to learn from that brought success and possibly lessons of mistakes. Listen to my full podcast here. Published 11.15.2016 by Casey Boland.
As we approach the end of the year, an item some people need to make sure they complete is to take care of their Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) from their retirement account. Once you reach age 70 ½, you are required to start taking minimum withdrawals each year from your retirement account. This sounds easy enough but there are some rules that can trip you up. Listen to my full podcast here. Published 11.15.2016 by Casey Boland.
A mistake that investors continue to make is buying hot investments at the wrong time. You need to do your due diligence. Here are some tips when evaluating mutual funds. Listen to my full podcast here. Published 10.20.2016 by Casey Boland.
So what type of an investor are you? Warren Buffet’s style is to invest in good companies and hold them “forever." While buying and holding good companies for a long period of time is a good strategy, it does sometimes make sense to sell or reduce your position. The sell strategy is one that investors struggle the most with. Here are a few good reasons to sell a stock. Listen to my full podcast here. Published 10.18.2016 by Casey Boland.
I recently went to the store to buy gift cards for some new babies. While I’m searching the large rack of gift cards from the various retailers I’m thinking “Does the child really need another toy or outfit?” My natural thought was - "I wonder if they have a 529 Plan set up for their child." Wouldn’t it be nice if I could just grab a 529 Plan gift card. There should be an easier way to contribute to a 529 Plan and there are if you know how to. Listen to my full podcast here. Published 10.18.2016 by Casey Boland.
What exactly is a bubble and can you really spot a bubble? I think the basic concept of a bubble is that prices run up, and then eventually prices come skyrocketing down back to earth again. In his book "Irrational Exuberance", Robert Shiller tried to define a bubble. He came up with his own checklist of bubble symptoms.
Planning for retirement, a Net Worth Statement is a good snapshot of your Financial Well-Being. A few tips on "How to Set Up Your Net Worth Statement."
To save more for retirement, create the habit of paying yourself first. How do you set this up and pay yourself first? Here are a few tips. First tip - automate the process with withdraws from your paycheck into savings or an IRA.
An article I saw the other day suggested that the stock market can predict who will be the next President of the United States based on how the market performs in the three months leading up to election. According to this study, the market's trajectory has correctly predicted 19 out of the 22 presidential elections going back to 1928. Listen to my full podcast here. Published 10.03.2016 by Casey Boland.
Chances are that sometime in your life you may become a “financial caregiver” helping a parent or another family member with their personal finances. It can be a difficult job. You may not understand what the job may entail.There are some great resources available. Listen to my full podcast here. Published 09.29.2016 by Casey Boland.
Do you have a son or daughter that just went to college? Did you know you need to have an estate plan for them too? Imagine that your child is in a serious accident and are in a coma or incapacitated. Who can get information and who is going to make health related decisions? Just because you are their parent doesn’t mean that a physician will talk to you because of HIPPA laws. Listen to my full podcast for the full story. Published 09.28.2016 by Casey Boland.
With your portfolio, should you make changes or stay put? Do you wonder if your investment allocation is right? If so, try the overnight test. If your investment portfolio somehow got liquidated over night and you wake up with cash in your hands, would you create the same portfolio with the holdings you had before? Listen to my full podcast for the full story. Published 09.09.2016 by Casey Boland.
Numbers can fool us. When you hear data statistics, they require context and critical thinking. Statistics are helpful when forming an opinion. But sometimes people will twist statistics. There’s an old saying and it’s so true, “If you torture the data long enough, you can make it confess to anything. Listen to my full podcast for the full story. Published 09.09.2016 by Casey Boland.
When in debt, does it make sense to pay off the smallest debts first? Maybe so. We derive pleasure from small wins. So “closing out” a little debt feels like more progress than putting a little dent in a big debt. Listen to my full podcast for the full story. Published 09.09.2016 by Casey Boland.
When asked what people learned from the 2007-2009 financial crisis, well known investor Jeremy Grantham replied, "In the short term a lot, in the medium-term little, in the long term - nothing at all." As they say, we don't want to let a crisis go to waste. Here are some enduring lessons we can take away from a tumultuous period in the financial markets. Listen to my full podcast for the full story. Published 08.26.2016 by Casey Boland.
I recently had an experience with a prospect that I wanted to share with you. In reviewing the activity in her accounts, while it wasn’t very apparent, when you got out a calculator and did the math, the trading commissions added up to over 5% of the value of the account. I rarely see this but this is why the financial services industry needs to be held to the Fiduciary Standard – where you have to do what’s in the best interest of the client. Listen to my full podcast for the full story. Published 08.24.2016 by Casey Boland.
With all of the improvements, the focus of 401(k)s is still missing the mark. The focus of most people is on their Account Balances and their Annual Returns. The problem with this thinking is it results in participants focusing on the day to day and monthly movements of the stock market instead of the longer, bigger picture. The real goal of your 401k is to provide a Financially Secure Retirement.
So, with modest retirement savings in place, what should you do? All is not lost. The key is taking advantage of the time you have to save now. Here’s an instance where “delaying” can help you financially. While you may not prefer to wait to retire – waiting or delaying retirement can significantly improve the prospects of retirement. If you wait 5 years, there are benefits. Listen to my full podcast for the full story. Published 08.18.2016 by Casey Boland.
College Kids and Credit Cards: Teach Responsibility. Do you have a son or daughter going away to college soon? College involves many new experiences and responsibilities. For many students, this will be their first experience with a credit card. It’s important to talk to your son or daughter about how to be responsible with credit. Listen to my full podcast for the full story.
Published 08.09.2016 by Casey Boland.
If your child is young and you have the ability to put aside money for college expenses, one of the best places to invest for college is a 529 Plan. The biggest benefit is that the growth on your money is tax free if used for qualified higher education expenses. Listen to my full podcast for the full story.
Published 08.09.2016 by Casey Boland.
Short term thinking with long term capital: how access to information has changed the investing landscape. On the downside, it has created a more short term approach when looking at investments. And remember, investing for retirement is a long term adventure. Listen to my full podcast for the full story.
Published 08.08.2016 by Casey Boland.
Recent headline: “Americans are feeling better about finances.” A high percentage of us also think we are more financial savvy. But their financial knowledge is still below par. A recent survey had a set of five questions testing financial literacy. Only 37% Americans were able to 4 out of 5 questions correct. Listen to my full podcast for the full story.
Published 08.01.2016 by Casey Boland.
Casey Boland has been on “The Big One” 700 WLW coming up on 9 years. Looking back on these 9 years of Casey's Money Matters advice, how has the market done? Listen to his podcast for a little stock market history and how to keep focused on your financial plan.
Published 07.28.2016 by Casey Boland.
If you’re entitled to a pension from a former employer, don’t be surprised if you receive a letter offering you a lump sum payout. A survey cited by a well known retirement benefit organization said that more than 1/3rd of plan sponsors are considering lump-sum payouts this year for retirees and vested employees.
The stock market has basically gone nowhere for a while now. I read an interesting stat recently that the S&P 500 has crossed the 2100 level to the upside of 25 times over the last 18 months. It’s easy to feel fidgety during these slow periods where stocks fluctuate but don’t seem to make any progress. But this is more the norm. The returns that ultimately come from stocks tend to be very lumpy. Historical returns look great on paper, but the actual experience of living through them is never really close to the average results. Published 07.15.2016 by Casey Boland.
Why would a company offer you a lump sum of money versus a pension for the rest of your life? New rules have taken effect in recent years that impact how the lump sum payout is calculated. The result: the new calculation allows the company to offer smaller lump sum payouts.
So, if you get a Pension Buy-out option don’t be afraid to ask for help. Everyone’s situation is different and companies are trying to reduce their pension liabilities. Published 07.13.2016 by Casey Boland.
84 year old Warren Buffet’s Net Worth is around $73 Billion – most of which is Berkshire Hathaway stock. $70 Billion of the $73 Billion was accumulated around or after his 60th Birthday. We all know that Warren Buffet is a tremendous investor and most of us will not have billions of dollars. While there may not be as many zeros associated, we can still have a similar experience.
The founding fathers provided a rich legacy for the nation, drafting and implementing key documents, such as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. But many of these same men also left behind wills that included bequests and estates that would go on to provide additional support.
Listen to my podcast to learn more about the wills and wishes of Ben Franklin, Paul Revere, and Thomas Jefferson. Published 07.06.2016 by Casey Boland.
So where are the best values today? US stocks or European stocks?
Listen to my podcast for more information. Published 07.01.2016 by Casey Boland.
A few years ago banks were taking away Home Equity lines of credit. Today, with the improvements in the economy, and the increase in home prices, banks have been jumping back feet first into offering Home Equity lines of credit.
But there are pitfalls to this approach. Listen to my podcast for more information. Published 06.23.2016 by Casey Boland.
So just how much is that $3,000 impulse purchase, that you buy on credit, going to cost you? $3,800. That’s $800 in interest. Including interest, the purchase ended up costing you 27% MORE. So, if you can’t afford $3,000, how are you going to afford $3,800?
Listen to my podcast for more information. Published 06.23.2016 by Casey Boland.
Over the years, we have discussed examples where there has been a big disconnect between the stated performance of a mutual fund and the return the typical investor received in a mutual fund. In one example, we discussed a particular mutual fund that averaged 18% per year over a ten year period while the typical investor averaged -11% per year over that same ten year period.
Listen to my podcast for more information about why the disconnect in performance.
Published 06.16.2016 by Casey Boland.
Published 06.15.2016 by Casey Boland.
Bill Gross who has been referred to as the bond king, recently reflected on the performance of bonds over the last 40 years. Since the inception of the Barclays Capital U.S. Aggregate, or Lehman index in 1976, investment grade bond markets have provided conservative investors with a 7.47% compound return with remarkably little volatility. Do remember when interest rates were well into the double digits in the early 1980's? Bond returns reflect the interest rate environment.
Published 06.09.2016 by Casey Boland.
The job report came out this past Friday (06/03/16), and May 2016, based on the numbers, was not so hot, as only 38,000 jobs were added, which is the smallest gain since September 2010. Also, 59,000 fewer workers were hired in March and April. The numbers were distorted a little bit by a strike by Verizon. Nonetheless, the payroll numbers were still low.
While the numbers don't appear very good, keep in mind that the jobs report is revised 7 times after its initial release: twice in the following two months and once a year for five years after that.
Published 06.06.2016 by Casey Boland.
If you have a High Deductible Health Plan you are eligible to contribute to Health Savings Account (HSA.) The benefit of contributing is that you receive a tax deduction for making a contribution and the money in that account can grow and be withdrawn tax-free in the future to pay for Qualified Health Expenses. For some, it can be a challenge putting money into an HSA.
Published 06.03.2016 by Casey Boland.
Two thirds of Americans would've difficulty coming up with the money to cover a $1000 emergency. So where do you start and how do you start. For some, it may be setting up an automated savings plan into a savings account of $50-$100+ a month. Making it automated is helpful as the money will disappear from your account before you can spend it. Listen to Casey's podcast for more tips.
Published 06.03.2016 by Casey Boland.
The stock market doesn't seem to make sense. Many people are familiar with statistics where there is a normal bell shaped curve.
You would assume that half of all stocks would underperform a market index, while the other half would outperform. When you look at the actual numbers though, the stock market doesn't seem to follow the typical bell curve at all.
Published 06.02.2016 by Casey Boland.
I know – there’s the old saying “invest in what you know”, and a lot of employees feel their company stock is safe. But allowing one security to represent such a large portion of your portfolio is risky, as it could increase your portfolio’s volatility and reduce its performance.
Published 06.02.2016 by Casey Boland.
Framing refers to the fact that we tend to draw different conclusions from information depending on how it's presented to us.
Perception can make a huge difference in how we feel about our finances at different points in time.
Analyzing data is an important part of the investment process, but how it's presented to us and how we frame it can have a huge impact on the perceived conclusions. Casey gives a few examples.
Published 04.05.2016 by Casey Boland.
Three things to keep in mind when looking at mutual fund investments:
For many investors, it's simply performance. In some cases, they may look to see if it's a US fund, or a foreign fund, or specific category. But oftentimes investors will invest simply by performance only with no knowledge of the strategy the mutual fund is trying to employ.
Published 04.05.2016 by Casey Boland.
A basic habit for saving money is this: "Pay yourself first." This basic advice, early in your career, will do wonders for your financial future. Without this habit in place, you get your paycheck, pay the bills, do some fun things and then there is nothing left to save. You can tell yourself you will save some, but it never happens.
Then, things escalate. You get a raise and you continue with the habit of paying bills and spending and before you know it you are in a cycle of "lifestyle inflation."
Published 04.05.2016 by Casey Boland.
How are you doing with your 2016 goals for saving for retirement? Here are two good reminders to get you back on track:
Personal finance is simple. You can boil it down to 10 words: “To build wealth, you must spend less than you earn.”
Why then, is it so hard for everyone to get ahead?
I stumbled across one of my favorite books recently - The Millionaire Next Door written by Dr. Thomas Stanley. He has studied the behaviors of people who have become millionaires. Here are four lessons he offers based on what he’s learned. Their simplicity may surprise you.
Published 03.08.2016 by Casey Boland.
Renters Insurance: It doesn’t cost much to have Peace of Mind.
Think you can’t afford renters insurance? Many people are willing to spend a couple hundred dollars on clothes or a vacation, but won’t spend the cash
Because we’re human, we’re inclined to take the thing we just experienced and project it into the future. It becomes our point of reference, and tricks us into thinking and feeling a certain way about different things. It’s an easy thing to do with our investments as well. We have to be careful when making decisions, and not just investment decisions, that we don’t put too much focus on what’s just happened.Published 02.25.2016 by Casey Boland.
Many people who carry credit card debt often have the thought that a higher income will solve their problems. High income earners aren’t immune to having credit card debt problems as well. The Wall Street Journal had a pretty interesting article recently highlighting some six-figure households and the problems some of them have with credit card debt.Published 02.25.2016 by Casey Boland.
A recent Barron’s article highlighted how the market has been more volatile since Trump and Sanders began rising in popularity. Is this a coincidence? Historically speaking, the market has tended to be volatile in an election year until it appeared to be known who was the likely candidate. So this is not something new. Regardless of who gets elected – there will be speculation about which sectors will perform better depending on which party takes control.Published 02.25.2016 by Casey Boland.
Information is a double edged sword in the investment industry. Investors now have access to more opinions, analysis, real-time prices in research than ever before. It cannot be overstated how much this has changed the investment landscape when you compare it to how things once were in the pre-Internet Age of insider tips, expensive research subscriptions, phone calls and a lack of useful historical market data.Published 02.17.2016 by Casey Boland.
What you’re trying to do with a budget is prevent overspending, which ultimately leads to piling up of debt. It doesn’t matter what you’re overspending on – dining out, entertainment, clothes. It’s still debt. There are several different methods, but the key is finding something that works for you.Published 02.17.2016 by Casey Boland.
Millennials, contrary to public opinion, are prudishly conservative investors. If they ever hope to have a enough for retirement they’re going to need to be more tolerant of risk with their investments.
Published 02.17.2016 by Casey Boland.
Do Bear markets happen without a recession? Sometimes they do. Since 1968, ten bear markets have occurred with six accompanied by recessions.
Published 02.17.2016 by Casey Boland.
Life insurance: How much do you really need? The big reason many people buy life insurance is to make sure their family is protected in case of an untimely death. Life insurance is intended to replace lost wages and cover things like: the mortgage, payoff debt, funding college, cover everyday expenses and help the remaining spouse plan for retirement.
Published 02.15.2016 by Casey Boland.
With Casey Boland: How do you and why should you calculate your net worth? Your net worth is one single number that gives you a financial glimpse into the state of your finances.
Published 02.01.2016 by Casey Boland.
Is one of your goals for 2016 to save more money? Make sure you do not aim too high. Goals are simply things you want to achieve. Think of the power in fewer number of goals. It spreads out your available energy.
Published 01.12.2016 by Casey Boland.
Looking to add bond investments to your portfolio? Something to consider as part of diversification in your portfolio is something called "floating rate bonds" or bank loan funds.
Published 01.10.2016 by Casey Boland.
A Roth Conversion: A Smart Tax Move While Stock Prices are Depressed. With the market down in January 2016, is now a good time to consider converting from a Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA? Downturns in the market might give investors the opportunity to incorporate certain tax strategies that may increase their after-tax returns. One effective strategy is a Roth Conversion.
Published 02.01.2016 by Casey Boland.
Casey Boland talks "Stock market sell-offs - does it mean there is a recession ahead?" Be careful not to confuse the stock market with the economy.
Published 01.22.2016 by Casey Boland.
Casey Boland discusses market volatility. Why is the stock market more volatile when it is slipping then when it is rising? The reasons are that fear and panic cause investor emotions to change more on a day to day basis than greed and euphoria.
Published 01.25.2016 by Casey Boland.
What is your most important asset? Stocks? Bonds? Real Estate? None of the above.
The US Depart. of the Treasury developed MyRA®to help more people start saving for retirement. The accounts are targeted at the millions of low- and middle-income Americans who don't have access to employer-sponsored retirement plans. While the accounts offer a risk-free place to invest, the returns won't be great -- at least as long as U.S. interest rates stay so low.
It's year-end and a reminder about taking RMDs because penalties are steep if you miss a withdrawal. RMDs kick in at age 70 1/2, when you are required to take minimum withdraws from certain retirement accounts. Sounds easy enough, but there are some rules that can really trip you up.
What is the real cost, financially, to having a low credit score? Over the course of your lifetime, the cost of a low credit score really does add up. For example, on a $200,000 loan over 30 years, someone with a high credit score may pay 4.5% in interest where someone with a low credit score pays 6.5%. The difference in interest costs, over the lifetime of the loan, is $67,000. 5 expenses that will cost more with a low credit score.
When you were young, you typically got advice from your parents about money. As your parents get older, you are in a better position to give advice to them and protect their assets they have accumulated. Signs your parents may need help. Also, aging parents become targets of identity theft and fraud.
It’s amazing how we have so many more choices in life. And with investments there are thousands to choose from. One negative of so many choices is “Paralysis”.
This is why you are seeing more employers reduce the number of investment options and offer Target Date Retirement Funds.
Health Insurance Options: Health care expenses will be one of the largest expenses you will have in your retirement years. So a good chunk of your retirement nest egg will likely go to these expenses. There are advantages to selecting a High Deductible Health Plan and taking advantage of a Health Savings Account. Casey discusses the benefits.
Be careful when making your mutual fund purchases in taxable accounts during the rest of this year. You could receive an unwanted “surprise” gift in the form of a capital gain distribution.
Capital gain distributions more than tripled from 2012 to 2014. It’s one thing to get a capital gain distribution when the market has had a good year, but it’s frustrating to get a capital gain distribution if the market ends the year in negative territory.
It’s been 6 months since the recent batch of college graduates hit the workforce. The reason the 6 month mark is important is that the grace period on your student loans is about to expire, and it’s time to start making payments on your Student Loan.
While the job market has been improving, some graduates are not finding jobs or feel a bit overwhelmed with the amount of debt they have accumulated. If you have federal student loans, you have options.
|Investing in options vs. buying the stock. Stock options - the option to buy stock at a certain price. There are pitfalls in investing in stock options versus buying the stock outright. Casey explains some of these pitfalls.|
|Should you make accelerated payments and payoff your mortgage early? First things first – before considering this strategy, make sure that you: |
|Financial Literacy- How do you rate your knowledge on financial matters? A Financial Literacy Survey conducted by FINRA, accessed the participants level of knowledge on financial matters and financial behavior. Apparently, they rated themselves rather high - 76% of the participants believe they have good knowledge on this topic. The bad news - this perception does not matchup with actual scores on financial literacy tests.|
|Casey discusses investment fundamentals from Sir John Templeton, the man behind globally diversified mutual funds. #1. Invest, don't trade or speculate. The stock market is not a casino. #2. Remain flexible and keep an open-mind about investments. #3. Diversify in stocks and bonds, there is safety in numbers.|
|Getting out of debt. How do you get a plan in place that will work? One method is the Dave Ramsey Debt Snowball method which focuses on small wins to drive behavior. This method requires you to list debts in order of smallest to largest. The reason is to have some quick wins - pay off the small ones first and get a quicker feeling of accomplishment.|
|What to do with that year-end bonus is a pressing concern because bonuses are increasingly replacing annual pay raises as a means of rewarding employees. A year-end bonus is your reward for 12 months of hard work. If you put that bonus to work for you wisely, you could see it continue to reward you over the next 12 months — and beyond.|
|The fall semester for college students has started. When most people first go off to college, the last thing they think they need is an estate plan. However, there are two very important estate planning documents that every college student should have before they leave home. The two key legal documents you should have in place are: |
|The Big Lesson - "Wealth Grows Exponentially". A little at first, then slightly more, and then in a hurry for those who stick around the longest. Time, Patience, and Endurance pay off. 84 year old Warren Buffet's Net Worth is around $73 Billion. $70 Billion of the $73 Billion was accumulated around or after his 60th Birthday. Thus, the "aha moment" and the power of compounding. The recent volatility will be a blip on the radar when you reflect back on it 10-20 years from now.|
|When it comes to savings, it appears that a lot of Americans cannot afford to cover some pretty basic and unexpected expenses. 60% of Americans have little to no emergency savings in place. How do you build an emergency reserve? Understand the difference between fixed expenses and discretionary expenses.|
|Sometimes it is tempting to borrow from your 401K. So the question is “Does it makes sense?” Casey Boland says sometimes the answer is "maybe it does." Maybe you want to pay off some high interest loans or credit card debt. There are several factors you have to consider. One reason the 401K option is so attractive is that there is no credit check. So it's very easy to get the funds and you're paying interest to yourself.|
|Preparing to retire, data that is available to compare your retirement savings to others may entice you to save more money.|
|Financially successful people have plans. They have a plan when saving for the next vacation or retirement. And these plans are actually written down not just keep in their head somewhere. This is important because, otherwise, when you have market volatility and people want to make changes, they don't have a plan to refer to. They don't know how the change they are going to make will affect them down the road.|
|Casey Boland talks money: Funding your Health Savings Accounts - Making a Tax Free Rollover from your 401k.|
|How your credit score can impact you financially. You need to check your credit score regularly and watch for and report questionable activity.|
|Is your investment portfolio allocation right? Take the “Overnight Test”. Imagine that your portfolio was liquidated overnight. If you were given the opportunity to buy back into the market at no cost, would you re-create the same portfolio that you’re currently holding?|