In a time of trade wars and tariff talk that stem from trade-related trauma and politics, it’s easy for good news and cap gains in the stock market to be overlooked. Fortunately for investors, American companies are soon to present their second-quarter earnings-reports, and positive results can give newfound strength to equities. If most of these organizations perform well and executive management diminishes the threats of rising trade tensions, 401(k)s can see a boost as stock prices rise.
With the threat of a trade war between the U.S. and its trading partners lingering, Wall Street will pay close attention to how top corporate executives think this will affect their business results. Stay tuned as earnings season will confirm just how resilient the U.S. economy can be. As you observe your current investment performance or consider new ones, be sure to discuss trends with your Enso | Sonoma financial advisor.
As cryptocurrency has the potential to be disruptive technology, it’s important for investors to approach it cautiously. Blockchain in particular is in the early stages of development, but as the technology evolves, investors may experience high gains and losses. With the introduction of new funds that provide cryptocurrency access, investors should be aware that the future is unknown.
About 10 funds that include both exchange-traded funds and mutual funds offer some exposure to blockchain. Due to their volatility, the Securities and Exchange Commission doesn’t currently allow these funds to invest directly in cryptocurrencies. Investment management company, Morningstar, doesn’t cover these funds and has yet to rate them. In your navigation of the cryptocurrency landscape, be sure to discuss all factors with your Enso | Sonoma financial advisor.
Although life expenses are constant and often unexpected, investors can build a strong financial portfolio by avoiding common financial mistakes. Even if you’re already dealing with financial hardship, the right decisions can help prevent further damage. Creating a leaner lifestyle, spending within your means, building home equity, and investing on a regular basis are all ways to increase your financial strength.
Start by monitoring little expenses that add up quickly and seriously consider any new expenditures. Having a plan will also help you achieve a strong financial future. Take action now by developing a sound financial plan with your Enso | Sonoma financial advisor. Clarity of your current financial standing will help you achieve your future goals!
Depending on the investor, a splurge can include a fancy coffee habit or big-ticket item like a new boat. Regardless of your preference, this type of special purchase can be a good way to reward yourself and help you achieve your financial goals, if done wisely. Be sure to consider whether or not you have the following before opening your wallet:
In addition to the strength of your financial portfolio and potential risk of the purchase, you should consider if the item will give you long-term happiness, you’ve done enough research, and you’ll be able to avoid overspending. Ask your Enso | Sonoma financial advisor for guidance in creating an investment plan that allows you to spoil yourself, you deserve it.
Along with many large companies, the Social Security Administration has been a favorite target of identity thieves. As the skills of cyber criminals strengthen, this issue will continue to exist as Baby Boomers age. Once they obtain a Social Security number and other personal information, they file for benefits in that person’s name. While the SSA doesn’t release information on incidents related to identity theft and benefits, a 2015 report from the Inspector General reflected that about $20 million in benefits were sent to the wrong bank accounts. Whether or not you are already receiving benefits, you can be a potential victim.
To protect yourself from the threat of identity theft and lost Social Security benefits as a retiree, preventative actions must be taken as soon as possible. It’s a good idea to set up a MySocialSecurity account at www.socialsecurity.gov. This account will help you estimate your benefits, review the accuracy of your earnings history and check any activity related to your Social Security number. You can alternatively call Social Security’s toll-free number to gather this information. For those already receiving benefits, consistent monitoring of bank deposits is necessary. If a deposit isn’t made on time, contact Social Security immediately.
Collaborate with your Enso | Sonoma financial advisor to create a plan that will protect you from lost investments or retirement benefits.
Net worth is the remaining figure after accounting for total financial assets and liabilities. It involves subtracting all debts, like a mortgage, from the sum of all assets, such as a home and investment portfolio. Determining your net worth is a personal finance necessity because it establishes your ongoing progress and assists with future financial decisions involving assets and debt.
It’s best for investors to update their net worth figure on an annual basis so that a benchmark is available to use in evaluating financial health. By calculating net worth regularly, a current financial situation can be compared to future financial needs. A key tip for investors calculating net worth is to be realistic. With a slightly conservative mindset, assets can be valued more appropriately and help provide a more accurate depiction of net worth. Work with your Enso | Sonoma financial advisor to determine your net worth and decide how to use it to your advantage.
The term “budget” can mean different things to different people. For those who are knowledgeable in finance, it means a carefully crafted tool that can help achieve short- and long-term financial objectives. To the less experienced or disciplined, it’s related to limitation and restriction in spending. Regardless of your financial intelligence, a budget can be established and help during times of economic hardship.
There are several styles of budgets that cater to investors who can’t stick to a traditional budget plan. With two separate checking accounts and a high-yield savings or money market account, investors can set aside savings on a regular basis and automatically funnel income into a long-term savings vehicle. Using the past three months of bank and financial statements to analyze expenses can help investors curb spending. Accountability from a partner in the budgeting process can also provide motivation. If you’re struggling with traditional budgeting, work with your Enso | Sonoma financial advisor to determine which alternative plan works for you.
While Social Security serves as a source of income for millions of current seniors, new data reflects that retirees are losing confidence in the program. This is largely due to the impression that Social Security is close to bankruptcy. Fortunately, that is an unlikely occurrence because the program is funded by payroll taxes. Therefore, as long as we have a workforce that pays taxes, seniors will receive benefits.
Since Social Security is not a program meant to sustain seniors on its own, it’s important that investors establish savings. This can be achieved with a 401(k), IRA, or stock investments. With consistent saving over time, one can accumulate a good amount of wealth. Investors can also get more out of Social Security when strategically claiming their benefits. By waiting until full retirement age, which ranges from 66 to 67 depending year of birth, deductions can be avoided. Work with your Enso | Sonoma financial advisor to establish a savings plan that will add to your comfort as a retiree.
Cash is an important part of any investor’s financial portfolio because it provides liquidity and reduces volatility. While there are various asset allocation models, cash allocations are often 15% or more of some portfolios. When protected by FDIC insurance, cash returns can be considered risk-free and used as a baseline for other investment opportunities.
If you’re earning almost 0% on the cash in your portfolio, you are losing out on easy money and will be inclined to take more risk. Investors can easily earn 1.70% or more from a savings account and 2.20% APY on a 12-month CD. To ensure that you get the best yield on your cash and your deposits are protected by the FDIC, work with your Enso | Sonoma financial advisor. They can advise on interest rates, pricing, and bank promotions that aren’t advertised.
Long-term mortgages can be daunting, but there is a way to save thousands of dollars in loan costs. As long as investors remain disciplined and keep making payments, a bi-weekly mortgage can help them make the calendar work in their favor. With bi-weekly mortgage payments, homeowners make half of their mortgage payments twice monthly, resulting in 26 half-mortgage payments each year.
In comparison to the 24 available bi-monthly pay periods, the 26 bi-weekly periods produce the equivalent of one extra monthly payment each year. This can save homeowners cash and help them pay their loan off ahead of schedule. According to experts, there are significant challenges associated with maximizing the benefits of a bi-weekly mortgage, so be sure to work with your financial advisor.