How to Find a Good Financial Planner

How to Find a Good Financial Planner

Financial Planning is a must, it gives you an edge over others as you are putting time and effort into investing and saving your money as efficiently as possible. Here are few key points you must always remember while considering to choose a good financial planner.

Types of Financial Advisor:

There are many self-proclaimed gurus who would be ready to be your financial advisor. Be careful, understand the kind of financial advisors and understand how they classified. There are primarily three kind of financial advisors based on their remuneration methods.

The most important step while picking a financial advisor or a planner is to check if or whether he or she holds a CFP certification. Certified financial planners abide by the CFP Board and are 100% reliable.

There are CFP certified Accountants, Attorneys, Estate Planners, Insurance Agents, Investment Advisors and Stock Brokers working as financial advisors.

Fee-based financial advisors— These kind of advisors are relatively new in the realm of financial advising. Most of the times, they charge you a particular fee in exchange of the financial advice. These advisors usually work for other brokers and agents.

For instance, you can consider Stockbrokers, Attorneys, and Accountants under this category.

Commission based financial advisors— The insurance agents, registered representatives and the brokers come under this category. They usually sell you a financial product like mutual funds and various insurance policies. Upon doing so, these agents receive a commission for it. Be cautious, there is always a chance that the agents can sell you a financial product for their commission regardless of how useful it is to you, so caution is the key here.

Examples are Insurance Agents and Investment Advisors working for an insurance company.

Independent advisors and agents— These are the advisors that are not tied to any financial brokerage firm or any company. Therefore, your best interests are their best interests. There is no commission from any financial company involved. Examples include independent accountants and attorneys.

What Kind of Consultation Do You Need?

There are various methods of consultation needs one can have. You might be in need of hourly consultancy when you have a situation wherein you are unsure about the decision you must take. Buying a new property? Purchasing land or acquiring a business? Then you can always go with an hourly consultation. Any CFP certified advisor that suits your request needs to be approached.

Sometimes, you are in need of a more concrete plan and a detailed guide to achieve your goals. In such cases, you have to opt a rigorous planning services wherein your insurances, education costs, retirement corpus plan etc. are planned. For needs like this, you can opt for CFP certified Insurance Agents, Attorneys or Accounts who can give you a clear and a well detailed plan.

Also, in few cases, upon amassing a huge amount of money, a lot of people are not finance savvy enough to invest them in the right places and sustain the money with a steady flow of profit. In such cases, one must opt for an asset manager to help them with planning their money and procuring assets. In these cases, you can opt for a CFP certified Estate planner or an exclusive asset managers.

Mark Angelo co-founded the Investment Manager in August 2009 and two affiliated investment managers in 2000 and 2016.

5 Expert Tips to Help Improve Your Personal Finances

5 Expert Tips to Help Improve Your Personal Finances

Managing your personal finances is a very important responsibility that all people share. Unfortunately, many people will find that keeping track of their finances can be time consuming, expensive, and frustrating. Fortunately, there are five simple tips that can be followed to improve your personal finances.

Increase Income:

One of the best ways to improve your personal finances is to increase your income. While saving money and being frugal is important, having a good amount of income coming in is a necessity to build personal wealth. Some great ways to do this can include asking for a raise at work, looking for a new and better paying job, or finding additional ways to make some extra money on the side. Even small increase in pay can add up significantly over time.

Save for Future:

To build a strong personal financial footing, you will need to be able to save money for the future. It is very important to consider both your short-term and long-term savings strategies. Ideally, you should be saving at least 20% of your income in short-term accounts and long-term retirement accounts. This will provide you with a source of liquidity to reach short-term goals while also building a nest egg to rely on in the future. It would also be a good idea to take advantage of tax-advantaged retirement accounts as much as possible.

Consider Mortgage Options:

For most people, the monthly mortgage payment is the largest monthly expense that people incur. Because of this you, should look for ways to better manage your mortgage payments. While interest rates today are a bit higher than they were in the past, you can still save a lot of money by refinancing into a lower-rate loan. Furthermore, you may want to consider switching into a loan that has a shorter amortization schedule and provides you with even lower interest rates.

Look for New Rates:

While higher interest rates have made it more expensive to borrower money, it has made it beneficial for individuals that are looking to save money. Today, you can find great rates with savings accounts and other low-risk investments. However, to take advantage of these low rates, you will need to be willing to shop around to find the best rates that are available to you today.

Evaluate Investments:

Once you have built up a comfortable emergency savings reserve, you should focus on investing your personal capital. Investing in the markets will allow you to see your capital increase in value. While investing can be a good option, it is important that you stay on top of your investments and strategy. You should carefully review and consider your investment strategy at least a few times per year and make adjustments as necessary.

If you are investing with an investment advisor, or if you invest through actively managed funds, you should also spending time reviewing the fees that you are paying to see if there is a more affordable way for you to invest. This could increase your ultimate ROI.

Mark Angelo is the president of Yorkville Advisors.

7 Easy Strategies to Cope With Financial Anxiety

7 Easy Strategies to Cope With Financial Anxiety

Financial anxiety impacts more than 70 percent of American adults. If you’ve spent your childhood listening to your parents argue about money, or you’ve felt as though you’re drowning in debt, or you’ve worried about whether you’ll have enough for retirement, then you’ve probably experienced financial anxiety.

You may have felt financial anxiety if you feel depressed when you think about money, if you overspend, if you’re obsessed with being frugal, or if you depend entirely on others to figure out your finances.

There are things you can do to take control of this anxiety and manage your finances again. Let’s look at some of them now.

1) Face The Problem:

It’s too easy to bury your head in the sand when you feel overwhelmed with financial stress, but this is one of the worst things you can do. Schedule time with yourself or your spouse to look over finances and talk openly about strategies. Also, address your feelings about your finances and support yourself and your spouse with positive encouragement.

2) Practice Mindfulness:

Pay close attention to your feelings and your body responses as you study your finances. When you check in with your body, you’re better able to acknowledge and control your emotions related to money, rather than being controlled by them.

3) Find the Positives:

When you’re overwhelmed with negative feelings about money, a good way to change your thinking is to find the positives. Even if there are very few positive things, acknowledge them as often as possible. This can make a huge impact on the amount of stress you feel, and can help you approach money with less apprehension.

4) Change What You Can:

Even if your situation looks dismal, there is always something you can change. Create a budget, or have a closer look at your existing budget to see what expenses you can cut. Pick up a side job or address any spending problems you may have. Perhaps it’s time to return to school to qualify for a higher paying job. Whatever change needs to occur, it’s time to make it happen.

5) Seek Help:

It may be difficult to justify spending money to help save money, but professional finance counselors can make a huge difference. Many of these people also offer free consultations, and there is a wealth of debt management information online.

6) Hypnosis:

Hypnosis is effective as long as you allow it to be. Don’t look to hypnosis to change your behavior, but rather to change your outlook and your thinking patterns. Allow the suggestions to coach you out of an anxious mindset and into confidence and peace. There are many YouTube videos with hypnotic suggestions that will help ease your stress.

7) Self-Care:

Physical and mental health are vital to stress management. Eat healthy meals as often as possible, maintain your personal hygiene, get enough sleep, and exercise as much as you’re able. Poor self-care will only increase your stress levels.

Mark Angelo co-founded the Investment Manager in August 2009.

What to do With Your Tax Refund

What to do With Your Tax Refund

While preparing and filing a tax return is one thing that most Americans agree is no fun, the silver lining for the stress and hassle of it is that many people will get a tax refund. Millennials may love the fact that they can get an extra boost of funds after filing a tax return. While your first impulse may be to splurge and treat yourself with your refund money, a smarter idea may be to save and invest this money. You may think that saving a few hundred or thousand dollars here and there would not have a huge impact on your financial future, but you may be surprised by what a difference this simple action can have on your life.

Investing the Money:

The average tax refund that Americans receive each year is approximately $3,000. This is enough for millennial’s to pay for a nice vacation, buy new living room furniture or splurge on a few nice electronics. These are all instant gratification items that offer little to no long-term benefits. On the other hand, investing the money can yield rich rewards over the course of a lifetime. Consider that $3,000 invested in popular stocks over the last ten years would have turned a tremendous profit. While only $30,000 would have been saved, this invested amount could have grown to more than $220,000 with a reasonable return. While this is certainly not enough to plan a very early retirement around, it is a life-changing amount of money that can yield financial security that many millennial’s otherwise do not have access to.

Paying Off Debts:

An alternative to investing the money is to use it to pay off debts. A common scenario for millennial’s involves being heavily in debt with student loans and credit card debt that they took on in college. This scenario is worsened by the fact that many young adults have trouble finding well-paying jobs in their field. Many millennial’s have tried to overcome these life obstacles by moving back in with their parents to get control over their finances. What happens if you use half of your $3,000 tax refund each year to pay down faster and the other half to invest? Your total nest egg may be smaller at the end of the ten-year period, but your debt balance would also be dramatically reduced or even wiped out. Remember that paying debt off early can reduce interest charges and ultimately help you to save money over the years.

Avoiding Speculative Actions:

Some millennial’s are inclined to view a tax refund as extra money that can be used for speculative investments, such as by purchasing cryptocurrencies or very high-risk stocks. In some cases, these types of investments may pay off. However, there is also a very high risk of loss related to speculative moves. The better financial option is to avoid speculation and consider debt reduction or less risky investments.

Splurging or treating yourself with your tax refund provides instant gratification, but the impact is short-lived. If you want to get lasting benefits that have considerable impact on your life, think about how your use of a tax refund could play a major role in your financial future.

Mark Angelo is a Co-Founder of Yorkville Advisors.

How to Find a Good Financial Adviser

How to Find a Good Financial Adviser

As a wise businessperson, it is advisable to handle your finances well. You should make savings and utilize them in the future to expand your business. However, if your company grows successfully, the process of handling your personal and business money may become stressful and confusing. For instance, if you are not good in accounting, you may need a professional to manage your finances and advice you appropriately to make the right investments. One of the key advantages of employing a financial adviser is that the professional will guide you to use your money wisely, make viable investments, and utilize the available opportunities to enhance growth in your business.

When choosing a financial adviser, you need to be cautious to avoid getting ripped off and lose millions of dollars. The article below provides some essential tips that you need to consider when choosing a financial adviser.

Qualifications:

You should not gamble with your hard earned money. Therefore, your personal financial adviser should have the right qualifications. When choosing the professional, you should always check his or her credentials. Your adviser should have a diploma or a degree in financial planning. A competent expert in the field will give you the right financial advice and protect your business against avoidable losses.

Get Recommendations:

Personal recommendations will assist you to get a competent personal financial adviser. You should seek help from your friends and fellow businesspersons before hiring a financial adviser. They will direct you to the right professional who will assist you in the management of your money. Additionally, you can visit the bank that you use to save your money and seek advice from the branch manager. The branch manager will assist you to choose a reliable financial adviser.

Location:

Geographical location is a sensitive matter to consider when working with a financial adviser. The person who is transacting business on your behalf should not be far away from you. In case of any financial questions, your financial adviser should be ready to give answers on a 24/7 basis. Therefore, before hiring the professional, you should ensure that his or her office is accessible and reachable all the time.

Experience:

Apart from qualifications, you need also to consider experience if you want to get a competent financial professional. If you want helpful advice, your financial adviser should prove that he or she has been in the industry for several years. Additionally, the expert should have a good reputation for guiding a good number of clients to financial success.

Speak to Existing Clients:

When choosing your financial adviser, you should ask him or her to allow you to speak to his or her past and existing clients. These clients will give you their experiences with the professional. You should choose a financial adviser who has the most positive reviews from his or her clients.

Conclusively, you should not consider a professional who overcharges his or her clients. Before signing a contract with your financial adviser or planner, you need to make sure that you have a clear understanding of the amount of money that you will be charged.

Mark Angelo co-founded the Investment Manager in August 2009.

Important Personal Finance Tips for Millennial’s

Important Personal Finance Tips for Millennial's

As younger adults, millennial’s often fall into the mindset that plagued older generations in early adulthood. It is common for young adults to live frivolously with the general mentality that there is plenty of time later in life for saving and investing. This mentality can unfortunately prevent you from achieving financial security earlier in life. In addition, it can even lead to the development of bad money management habits that ultimately impact you for the next several decades or longer. These important finance tips are essential for millennial’s who are eager to improve money management.

Prepare an Accurate Budget:

A personal budget is the quintessential financial management tool. You may be aware that a budget shows all income sources and all expenses for a specific time period, and this time period is usually a month. However, many people create a budget and do not look at it again for months. To be truly effective, you must use your budget regularly to track spending, to make financial decisions and more. Your budget should regularly be compared against actually spending and income so that you always know where you are financially. You cannot realistically know if you can afford to buy that new shirt online or enjoy a meal out at a restaurant with friends if you do not use some type of accurate budgeting strategy.

Create Thoughtful Financial Goals:

Everyone has financial goals, but many young adults have not formalized long-term or short-term goals. They simply think that someday they would like to take an amazing vacation overseas and buy a house or a condo. The reality is that very few people will achieve major goals related to finances without planning and making regular progress to achieve those goals. Write down all short-term and long-term goals. Research an accurate amount of money needed to achieve those goals. In addition, assign a timeline to those goals. This will help you to determine how much money you need to save on a regular basis to achieve your goal within the specified timeline.

Save Regularly:

There are multiple reasons why you should save money regularly. First, every adult regardless of age should have an emergency savings account. This account should have at least the equivalent of your expenses for three months. This should be a starting goal, and over time, you may wish to increase the balance in your account to the equivalent of six or even 12 months of expenses. You also need to save regularly to achieve the financial goals that you have established. A portion of your funds should also be saved for retirement. It may seem too soon to worry about retirement, but millennial’s who start saving for retirement sooner can more easily achieve their goals. More than that, they may even be able to retire many years sooner. Your budget should be updated to reflect savings for all of these goals.

Properly managing your money is not difficult to do. You simply need to develop smart habits and pay regular attention to your budget and financial goals. These tips will get you well on your way to improving your money management efforts.

 

Mark Angelo is a Co-Founder of Yorkville Advisors.

Why Millennial’s are better at saving than Investing

Why Millennial's are better at saving than Investing

Between October, 2007 and March, 2009, the S&P 500 lost 57 percent of its value. At the same time, the housing crisis destroyed home values in epic proportions, with many areas seeing real estate prices plunge by a higher percentage than the S&P. The financial carnage wiped out the savings of millions of Americans, cost millions of jobs, and forced the nation into a foreclosure crisis. 401(K) plans lost so much value that many people began calling them 101(K)s.

The oldest Millennial’s had just begun their working lives. Many promptly lost their jobs and money. If they had bought any real estate of started investing in retirement plans and the stock market, they bought at the top of the market and bore the full brunt of the crisis. Younger Millennial’s were still in school. They watched their parents lose their retirement savings, homes, and jobs. They watched college funds be devalued almost overnight.

Having experienced these dire times, Millennial’s have become a bit like depression-era people. Millennial’s have a preference for cash and lots of it. They may not be literally stuffing their mattresses with currency, but they are socking money away more than the previous three generations.

Cash is king:

In the Millennial realm, he or she who has cash reigns. Psychologically, this makes sense. If you came of age in a time of uncertainty, you are more likely to value security. Gen Xers and Boomers grew up in a time where buying a home was a certain path to long-term security. Jobs lasted decades or entire careers.

Investing made sense. Over the long term, everyone knew stocks gained far more than bonds or savings accounts. Movies like Wall Street promoted the idea that the big money was on Wall Street, and you had to play the market if you expected to get wealthy.

Despite their young age, 42 percent of Millennial’s invest conservatively, a higher portion than Gen Xers and Boomers, even though the older generations are much closer to retirement. This is a strong statement by Millennial’s. They don’t trust the investment markets.

Millennial’s are remarkably good at saving:

Millennial’s bend toward financial conservatism extends beyond investments. They also save more than Gen Xers or Boomers ever did. Millennial’s average an 11 percent savings rate. When their parents or grandparents were their age, the U.S. savings rate was often negative.

The discipline shown by Millennial’s demonstrates that they feel the need to remain financially independent. They can no longer rely on an employer to provide salary and benefits into the far-flung future. They also feel they need to make their own plans for retirement. Growing up at the time of the downfalls of Enron and Bernie Madoff, they feel a need for more self-reliant.

Student debt:

Many Millennial’s also carry heavy student loan burdens. Being deeply indebted at such a young age can certainly cause anyone to be more conservative with their money. No one wants to default on their loans or stress about coming up with the payments every month. If Millennial’s live too close to the edge, they are likely to be forced to defer loan payments or even default, which means those student loans may be hanging over them for a very long time.

Mark Angelo is the Co-Founder of Yorkville Advisors.

Make Sure to Do These Things Before You Retire

It’s common knowledge that the average lifespan is getting longer. While this is good news, it also means that the amount of time people are spending in retirement is increasing.

In order to prepare for a potentially decades-long retirement, it may help to keep some of the following tips in mind.

Maximize your financial resources

Assembling an income plan for retirement is a little bit like putting together a puzzle. Your income will likely come from several sources, and it is a good idea to ensure you are maximizing each piece.

Is there a part of your portfolio you need to de-risk to avoid potential losses? Maybe you need to wait a few years in order to maximize Social Security payments. Is there an asset you need to liquidate in order to generate cash?

These are examples of very important considerations that you and your financial advisor should discuss together.

Think social

Whether you realize it or not, a lot of your daily social interactions are with people you work around, whether that’s coworkers or clients. Suddenly stopping those interactions may have a greater impact than you realize.

Now is the time to imagine what your social life will look like in retirement. What sort of people will you want to be around, and where will you find them?

Change your income mindset

A psychological shift must take place when you transition from actively earning money to living on assets you have already created.

Your “paycheck” will now come in the form of portfolio withdrawals, Social Security income, and maybe a pension (if you’re fortunate).

Whether this shift is good or bad depends on your situation, but it is important that you take time to reflect on the upcoming change and how it will affect your life.

Cut down the debt

Pre-retirees are carrying more debt now than they have in recent history. Don’t be one of the many people letting debt weight them down in retirement.

Some experts recommend being out of debt before starting Social Security income. It’s hard to argue with that advice. Consumer debt often carries high interest rates that can actually outpace the return on long-term investments – resulting in a net loss.

Be sure your debts are under control – or better yet, eliminated – before retiring.

Embrace this exciting new season

Pop culture tells us that youth is to be desired above anything else. While there’s nothing wrong with being young, later years can be just as rewarding.

Imagine what an ideal retirement would look like for you. Are there places to which you have always wanted to travel? Maybe there’s a hobby you’ve wanted to pick up but just haven’t had the time.

These are your years to do what you want to do. Enter retirement with enthusiasm.