We are officially in the final stretch of the year. Your year has undoubtedly had its fair share of changes. These changes can also affect your finances and your future.
Year-end planning provides an opportunity to make needed adjustments to your financial and tax strategies, and helps to ensure your portfolio is positioned to take advantage of future goals and opportunities. Today’s volatile financial markets and uncertain global economic climate make it even more important to have a strategy in place to manage different types of risk, including market and inflation risk. We have compiled five of the most relevant and popular tips and strategies for financial planning at the end of the year.
Planning for a Rising Interest Rate Environment – The Fed’s recent decision to hold off on raising interest rates provides investors with additional time to proactively evaluate holdings and allocations, and make any needed portfolio adjustments in anticipation of a potential rate hike at year-end or early next year. Where cash and fixed income investments are concerned, a ladder strategy, where CD and bond maturity dates are staggered over time, may be effective for certain investors in helping to manage interest-rate risk.
Tip: Back in the 80s: What would have cost you $1.00 in 1985 will now cost you $2.20 due to inflation. It’s important to factor in inflation as you consider your financial future.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015
Tax-Loss Harvesting – Tax-loss harvesting is a strategy used to help offset unavoidable gains in an investment portfolio, or capital gains elsewhere, such as the sale of real estate to defer taxes owed. By realizing, or “harvesting” a loss, investors are able to offset taxes on both gains and income. Securities that are sold in the process are replaced with similar investments in an effort to maintain your optimal asset allocation, aligned with your objectives, risk tolerance and investment timeframe.
* For a comprehensive review of your personal situation, always consult with a legal or tax advisor. Neither Achieva Wealth Advisors nor any of its representatives may give legal or tax advice.
Make or Revisit Your Emergency Fund- An Emergency Fund is a gift that the whole family can enjoy. As discussed in Your Emergency Fund: How Much Is Enough?, things happen even to the most financially secure individuals. By setting up or giving your emergency a tune up you can safeguard your finances from emergencies and life’s hiccups. But, beyond the importance of an emergency fund is how much is enough for your family. Factors such as new jobs, lay-offs, and additions to the family over the past year may make you rethink the amount of money you have put aside in your family’s contingency fund. Discuss the importance of an emergency fund with your wealth advisor to gauge which route is best for you and your family.
Rebalance Your Portfolio- A common mistake many investors make is believing that an investment’s track record stands as a prerequisite for its continued success. This could not be further from the truth. According to MarketWatch, you should rebalance your portfolio every quarter. Rebalancing your portfolio keeps your retirement goals in view and can help you prepare for future market changes. If you have fallen behind, the fourth quarter may be the most ideal time to review your portfolio. Whether you have an automated portfolio or a traditional portfolio, revisiting your finances and investments at the end of the year could help to keep things in order.
Review Your Spending, Plan Your 2015 Budget and Set Up Automated Savings- With the holidays fast approaching, now is the best time to review your spending and prepare for what the next year has in store. Automated savings can help you to prepare for your future. By saving a little (or a lot) over time you have the ability to set up a practical and/or sizeable nest egg. Talk with your financial planner to discuss your options and reasonable expectations you and your family should have for saving for the near and distant future.
1.”Fed Leaves Key Interest Rate Unchanged, Citing Low inflation.” Tampa Bay Times. Associated Press, 17 Sept. 2015. Web.
2. Cahn, Jim. “6 Tax Loss Harvesting Tips.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 1 Nov. 2013. Web
3.”Why You Should Rebalance Every Quarter.” MarketWatch. N.p., n.d. 2014. Web
The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG, LLC, is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and materials provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2015 FMG Suite.