Financial Planning and Advice Blog for Syracuse

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Asset Allocation Tips Based on Your Age

Asset Allocation

By highpointadvisors May 22, 2017

Asset allocation refers to the act of investing money to get results in low risk settings. While investing your hard-earned money, you must look at investments with returns that align to your long-term financial goals. A strategic approach to asset allocation seeks to strengthen your portfolio while lowering your risk.  You may get a better credit score.  You work toward your savings goals.  And you start investing towards a comfortable retirement. To effectively manage your portfolio returns, it is wise to understand and follow simple allocation rules.

The Rule of Thumb

The rule of thumb, helps determine what percentage of investment funds will be allocated to stocks vs. bonds or other conservative assets. Traditionally, the ‘100-you age’ rule of thumb suggest you to take your age, subtract it from 100 and put that percentage of investment money into stocks. For example, at 25, you will invest 75 percent in stocks, which reduces to 40 percent at 60 years, lowering the risk level of your investments as you age. The rule can be modified according to risk tolerance. For example, if you are a more aggressive investor, you might apply ‘125-your age’ as the rule of thumb in determining your asset allocations. Regardless of how you configure the rule, it is effective in recommending a sliding investment scale as you age. It also works best for individuals with a stable income. This simple rule is a useful tool, but it should not be the only thing that guides your decision making.  For example, when interest rates rise, it makes sense to shift allocation away from bonds and increase your investment in stocks to maximize returns.  Working with a trusted financial adviser will help you make appropriate adjustments.

Asset Allocation for Millennials

As a young investor, it is important to consider your life goals as you structure your investment strategy.  While traditional investors planned for large purchases like a house or a car, more and more young people are drifting away from the dream of home ownership and utilizing public transportation rather than buying a car. If you have no big short-term purchases planned, and 20+ years of investment ahead of you before retirement, it may make sense to invest more aggressively.  Consider allocating close to 100% to stocks and don't rule out international investment.  You might also consider Index Funds, which are a collection of bonds and stocks set to imitate a section of the financial market. Index stocks come with a low fees and potential returns in the long-term. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly. Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.Investing involves risk including loss of principal. Bonds are subject to market and interest rate risk if sold prior to maturity. Bond values will decline as interest rates rise and bonds are subject to availability and change in price. International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets. An index fund is a mutual fund whose portfolio aims to match the risk and return of a market index. The goal is not to out-perform the index, but to mirror its activity. Index funds are subject to index tracking errors, and fund returns may not match the return of the underlying index. No strategy assures success or protects against loss....

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Financial Planning for Newlyweds

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By highpointadvisors April 4, 2017

The moment a couple says "I do," a lot changes. Newlyweds begin an emotional and fiscal partnership meant to endure for the rest of their lives. To start off on the right foot, they should recognize their financial partnership by establishing monetary goals, expectations, and plans together. The following are some tips from financial advisors worth considering.

The Challenge of Two Incomes

Although it's a pretty uncommon that two people can live as cheaply as one, they can still save money on rent, groceries, and shared transportation. Leftover income may create temptations like a bigger car, new clothes, travel, and more. Resisting the urge to overspend and applying this surplus to paying down any debt or saving, is a more prudent option. This cash can be considered a family's "working capital" to cover special needs that may arise.

Budget for the Future

If both husband and wife are working, try to budget on one person's salary and bank the other. In the years to come, one or the other may decide to change careers, go back to school, start a new business. If and when they start a family, one may want to stay home for a few years.

Retirement Planning

Consider future retirement plans. Though retirement may seem like a long way off, the earlier a couple considers their options, the better. Financial advisors can help newlyweds to understand their fiscal situations and help create a long-term plan for the future.

Company Contributions

Contribute as much as possible to a tax-deferred 401(k) or 403(b) to maximize the employer's matching contributions. Do the same for individual Roth IRAs and retirement accounts. Newlyweds should also consider separate accounts. The goal of retirement savings should be annual savings of at least 10 percent of gross income each year.

Catastrophic Health and Disability

Financial advisors suggest that newlyweds consider some coverage for the possibility of unexpected health or long-term disability and subsequent loss of income. Couples may want to begin to consider life insurance policies too. Newlyweds may experience some financial highs and lows on their journey together, but careful financial planning can help along the way....

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