A Community for the Influential & Professional Woman

Financial

Test Drive Your Retirement Dreams

Tuesday, 14 May 2013 00:00
Karl and Jenny retired and sold their home to move to a warmer climate. They were looking forward to full-time fishing, golfing, and gardening, as their new southern home was near a lake and on a golf course.  Two years after their move, they called us to help them figure out how to repurchase their previous home—the same home they had left behind in southeast Michigan. They wanted to move back. They missed their children and grandchildren and decided that family was more important to them than year-round warm weather and hobbies. Unfortunately, they could not buy back their old… Read more...

After Your Retirement Party

Monday, 29 April 2013 00:00
Jake was a highly successful upper-level manager in the automotive business. He was the manager of a very large division and well-respected. His whole identity and self-worth were related to his position at work. Jake was a workaholic. He worked long hours and had no outside interests and took few vacations. He and his wife, Lynn, didn’t have children, so their whole focus was on work and themselves. They were estranged from their relatives, as they never had time for vacations nor did they take time to attend family reunions.  Lynn was proud of her beautiful home, her antique car,… Read more...
How would you feel if you retired and then learned that you had been deceived all of your investing life? Are you ready to take control and learn more about investing?   First, answer these four investment questions:  Do you know your “real investment costs”?   Are you measuring your portfolio’s risk?   Are you receiving market returns with lower fees and risk?   Do you avoid buying the same stock in different mutual funds?   Investors who cannot answer “yes” to all four questions are caught in the Investors’ Trap and may be living a life of frustration, not peace. Investors need the simple truth… Read more...

Know Your Turnover Rates

Monday, 15 April 2013 00:00
Turnover is the frequency of the buying and selling rate within mutual funds and individual stocks. Every time there is a transaction inside your mutual fund, costs are incurred—whether you have approved the sales and purchases or not. Active money managers who buy and sell frequently within mutual funds create higher costs for investors than money managers who buy and rebalance, like the Free Market Funds, which have a turnover rate of zero to twenty percent.   Otto and Grace are missionaries in a foreign country and have a retirement plan through their church—a large worldwide organization with many missionaries… Read more...

Say YES to the Roth!

Monday, 08 April 2013 00:00
Janice is 63 and scared. She is frustrated about the possibility of Social Security changing. Having terrible experiences with the returns of the retail investments in her employer’s 401(k) retirement plan, Janice now sees even more potential trouble ahead for her retirement lifestyle. Retiring in 2007, Janice depended completely on her 401(k) investments for her retirement income, but the mutual funds her 401(k) plan offered never rebounded after the 2008 crash.   Janice worked twenty-seven years for a large attorney firm, and depended on her bosses and co-workers to show her how she should invest. Sadly, the attorney firm had… Read more...

Avoid the Abusive Annuity Trap

Monday, 01 April 2013 00:00
“Did I do OK?” Milly asked, as she showed me her two-month-old annuity policy. She had purchased an annuity with fifteen years of level surrender charges! I could not believe my eyes, and looked twice to make sure I was reading it correctly. She was stuck. The best thing she could do now was to invest the rest of her money to working harder, or pay the penalties and call it “investment tuition.”  Here we are in the twenty-first century and smart college degreed investors still do not know how to obtain financial peace of mind, but instead purchase inappropriate… Read more...

Know Your Investments

Monday, 25 March 2013 00:00
Women, if you don’t want to outlive your money, you need to understand your investment portfolio!   Answer these seven questions about your current investments to find out how well you really know your portfolio: How much risk are you taking in your portfolio?   How globally diversified are your current accounts? What returns can you expect from a best-case market scenario? What can you expect from a worst-case market scenario? Where do you fit on Harry Markowitz’s Efficient Frontier, which won the Nobel Prize in 1990? What are your portfolio’s hidden costs? Are you buying the same stocks in… Read more...

Say No to Online Trading!

Monday, 11 March 2013 00:00
You’ve seen the ads: Anyone could trade online! Sometimes it’s a talking baby, sometimes it’s an airplane flying through the air pulling a banner telling you to invest online. The baby shows you how easy it is to trade just with a click of your mouse, at $9.99 per trade—what a deal! When you check it out, you find that you could get even a cheaper deal, if you make 150 trades per quarter (600 trades a year). It looks like your trades become more affordable, at $7.99 per trade.  But ignore the online trading hype! Here are three things… Read more...

The Investor’s Dilemma

Monday, 11 February 2013 00:00
Now that the election is over, investors are in a dilemma, wondering what the future has in store for their investment portfolios. The reality is that while elections may have short-term impact on the markets, over time, their impact is minimal. The global Free Market is a lifetime academic strategy based on capitalism, which always finds a way to thrive, even through the toughest of times.  The Free Market structured portfolios depend on a long-term investment philosophy and are more efficient than active money management, even when taxes increase. Your money managers are prepared to rebalance if necessary, to ensure you maintain… Read more...

Avoid Pension Problems

Tuesday, 15 January 2013 00:00
Betty, one of our retiree clients, must make a pension decision soon—and she does not want any retirement income stress! She could do nothing, leave it in a fixed account with a guaranteed lifetime income, or move it tax-free to her IRA. She is confused on what is best for her future. A pension is a pre-tax retirement program completely invested and controlled by the employer, typically a large employer. The employer pays out a fixed distribution to the retiree, according to an actuarial calculation. When there are problems, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp (PBGC), a government agency that insures… Read more...
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