Is a Recession on the Horizon?

At times like this, old-fashioned advice such as ‘buy, hold, and don’t pay attention’ works extremely well. I’ve had several clients call over the past few weeks concerned about the day-to-day volatility in the stock and bond markets. I try to quickly remind everyone that asset allocation, diversification, and a solid financial plan are the ways to help achieve wealth–not cashing out a stock when it’s making money and trying to time getting back in after the price drops. That strategy, known as market timing, is a losing proposition over the long run and is better to avoid altogether. So what has the market in such a panic? I’ll give you a few different perspectives:

Continue reading

Surviving the ‘Sandwich Years’

There was a great article on Bankrate last week called “Surviving the Sandwich Years.” The reference here is to people typically in their 40’s and 50’s, grappling with paying for aging parents while saving for both kid’s educations and retirement. The article points out that only 20% of people can rely on an inheritance and proper planning should really disregard any potential windfalls. Here are the ‘survival tips’ pertaining to estate planning which are offered by the article along with some of my own commentary:

Continue reading

Wealthy Parents & Inheritances: Transmitting Values with Money

An interesting article in Worth magazine this month talks about how many of the country’s leading attorneys are helping their clients grapple with how to pass money along to their kids. The problem, of course, is making sure the wealth is treated as an opportunity and not as a tool to derail motivation and the desire to succeed. The lawyers in the article point out that in the 70’s and 80’s, a typical meeting between a client and his or her attorney or financial advisor would be comprised of strategies which ensure giving the IRS as little money as is legally possible during a wealth transfer. The goal was to maximize the amount of money being transferred to younger generations and minimize the tax implications. Nowadays, the shift is away from taxes and onto the effects of inherited wealth.

Continue reading