Financial Planning and Advice Blog for Syracuse

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Global Trends in Millennial Investment

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By highpointadvisors July 31, 2017

Millennials, who are going to be the largest adult segment by the end of the decade, have often been harshly judged. You just need to check a few posts online to know this. They’re thought of as lousy savers compared to their parents, with some financial experts resigned to seeing most people in this age group die poor. While some of this is true; millennials aren’t as investment-oriented as boomers and the older generations, it’s time financial experts took notice and cut this group some slack. Millennials might not be the best investors in the world right now, but they are certainly making the right steps. The following are three trends which prove that millennials, while not perfect, are actually making the right moves investment-wise.

They lead in ETF investment

A January 2017 report by the Market Insider shows that over half of U.S. investors plan to invest in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), and millennials are leading the pack. The report shows that more millennials are invested in ETFs than the Generation X, Boomers, and even Silvers. According to the report, more than 70% of millennials plan to invest in ETFs in the next 12 months compared to 52% of total investors. It was even found that a greater percentage of millennials have taken steps to learn about ETFs compared to all other age groups. Experts believe that this is due to the fact that millennials love to access high end products at reasonable prices – think Uber.*

They are masters of portfolio diversification

Millennials carry with them the mental scars of the 2008 economic recession. Most of them were old enough to see what an economic downturn can do. For this reason, they understand the importance of a diversified portfolio. It's therefore unsurprising that an impressive 82% of millennials meet the Wells Fargo criteria for a diversified portfolio. According to the Wells Fargo, an investment portfolio is said to be diversified if it comprises at least; a fixed income fund, two equity funds, and no more than 20% of assets in employer stock.**

They love Robo advisor platforms

Robo advising which refers to the delivery of financial advice online with minimal human contact has been on the up in recent years. And guess who is leading the pack here – it’s millennials again! According to one of American’s top Robo firms, nearly one fourth of full-service millennials have either tried or are actively using robo-advisory platforms. Additionally, 15% of self-directed millennial investors use Robo-advisory firms. This is far more than any age group. Only 19% of full-service and 14% of self-directed Xennials, for instance, use Robo advisory firms. Among the Generation X, only 6% of full service and 6% of self-directed investors use Robo platforms. Most boomers don’t even know what Robo Advisor platforms are.     The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual *An investment in Exchange Traded Funds (ETF), structured as a mutual fund or unit investment trust, involves the risk of losing money and should be considered as part of an overall program, not a complete investment program. An investment in ETFs involves additional risks such as not diversified, price volatility, competitive industry pressure, international political and economic developments, possible trading halts, and index tracking errors. **There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk....

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Financial Planning Tips in Your 40s: Make the Right Call

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By highpointadvisors July 18, 2017

While you can get away with financial mistakes made in your 20s and 30s, every single mistake made in the 40s will have a major impact on the rest of your life and beyond that. It is therefore very important that you make the right decisions from the moment you hit forty. The following are five broad financial areas to focus on that will set the groundwork for a lifetime of financial security.

Pay cash for most things

The idea is to eliminate debt except for big investments such as your mortgage and car payments. The average American household has over $14,000 in credit card debt*. Since the average interest rate for credit card debt is 14%, this means we pay on average $2,000 per year in interests alone – a complete waste of money, right? The sooner you get out of this trap by paying in cash, the more money you’ll have to build you financial future.

Create multiple streams of income

Time flies and as soon as you hit 40, it’s usually only a few more years before you’re retiring. To ensure a financially secure retirement life, consider starting a series of systematic investments and invest as much as you can. You can start with a retirement account. But don’t stop there. A few other options you may want to consider include investing in stocks and mutual, buying Treasury Bills through Treasury Direct, and investing in other vehicles.

Ensure that your mortgage is paid off when you retire

For an even less stressful retirement life, you should make arrangements to have the mortgage cleared early. You don’t want to be paying $2,000 or more towards mortgage each month in retirement. It can be a big burden. Fortunately, there are a few options here too. You can sell the current home and downsize, you can move into your vacation property, or even plan your payments in such a way that you’ll have the mortgage paid off a few years before you retire.

Write a net worth statement each year

The simplest way to go about this is to keep an assets and liabilities statement. Just make it as detailed as possible and ensure to update it each year. Even if you work with a financial planner, the net worth statement should be reviewed at least once a year. This will help you immensely in the future as you’ll be able to focus on getting your assets to overtake your liabilities.

Run a retirement calculator annually

You are always advised to save towards retirement. In fact, you need to know how much you should be saving monthly depending on your current earnings and the kind of retirement life you wish to have. Failure to save appropriately can have very painful consequences. To find out if you’re saving appropriately, run a retirement calculator every year. There are several retirement saving calculators out there that you can use.   The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.   *Source: CNBC...

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