During times of high-volatility and change, it is normal to be concerned about the future. Your advisor should have contacted you early on during quarantine and should be maintaining contact as things progress. If your advisor has not been communicating the way you would like them to, it’s important to reach out and find out why.
Helping you make sense of the market and the current economy
As of June 22nd, the stock market is down a mere 4% YTD, hard to imagine given everything that is going on in the world. Most individual investors are understandably questioning the behavior of the markets: How can that be and will it continue? What effects has the pandemic had on the overall economy? What should we watch to understand how investments may be affected in the future? Given the number of factors that play into the economy and the stock market, there is no way to know with certainty what the short-term affects will be on investments. Yet an informed advisor can discuss with you the factors at play and tailor a plan to your specific concerns and goals.
Adjusting your portfolio as needed
By helping you understand the larger picture of your complex financial scenario, an experienced, broadly focused advisor can help you weigh the risks of taking too little or too much action during volatile times. Your advisor should support you in understanding how a balanced financial life does not simply focus on a balanced stock portfolio, but includes a clear understanding of taxes, investment in higher education, compensation levels and real estate investments.
Continue to lighten your work-load and eliminate the guesswork
A strong financial advisor has the knowledge and experience to extend their reach beyond your investment portfolio to your entire financial picture including:
- Tax planning
- Your compensation package
- Major purchases such as a car, home or rental property
- Health concerns
- Estate concerns
- Those you care about
Helping you consider a Roth Conversion
Given your overall financial picture, would you benefit from a Roth conversion while the markets are low? Should you do one conversion, or multiple conversions?
Now, more than ever, college is a buyer’s market. How can you help the students in your family ensure that they are investing their tuition dollars in an education and an institution that makes financial sense? How can you create a tax efficient strategy to pay the tuition bills? And when is it wise to use student loans? Welch Financial Planning considers the evaluation of college tuition to be the first step for teens in understanding their financial world. Set up your computer, recruit your teen and attend our TuitionWISE seminar on July 16th at 6:30pm.
Reviewing Your Emergency Reserves
During the pandemic, small businesses and larger companies alike are using a variety of strategies to cut costs. Many high net worth individuals, whether salary dependent for cash flow or independently wealthy through real estate income, hold the majority of their wealth in nonliquid assets. With the government relief package running out in July, it’s important to have a clear idea of what you may need should you experience a temporary adjustment in monthly cash flow.
Evaluating Debt Risks and Opportunities
In a low-interest rate, yet volatile atmosphere, your advisor should help you strategically balance cash flow, real estate investments and business needs. One-size fits all solutions to debt such as “just pay it off”, could cost you in the long run. While simply paying off debt may seem like the most secure solution (and sometimes it is), careful consideration of tax liabilities and future cash flow needs should be evaluated first.
Maintaining Focus on Long-term Goals
As with all crises – whether large or small – the fallout from the pandemic shall pass. Having an advisor who can keep you focused on your specific long-term planning goals could help you avoid making fear-based decisions.
Health Savings Account
Does your advisor help you understand that appropriate use of this key savings option? With projected rising health care costs for retirement, as well as current health care concerns, it’s important to know how this savings vehicle fits into your financial plan.
Reminding You to Think about Your Medical Proxies
We are all used to having our family there with us during medical procedures, yet the ability to have an advocate at our side has changed in the current health care environment. Has your advisor helped you understand your estate planning needs just in case you are hospitalized during this time? How can you best protect yourself, your parents and your young adult children should there be a medical emergency while visitation is limited? And are your beneficiaries up-to-date? Your living will? Your healthcare proxies? A good advisor always thinks of the big picture.
Asking about Your Family
Whether you have aging parents, teens headed to college, new grandchildren or young adults trying to navigate the job market, your advisor should help you keep an eye on the financial needs of those closest to you.
If you are retired
Your advisor should be doing all of the above, and specifically, helping you understand how much you can spend, where the money should be drawn from and how to adjust your short, mid and long term investments.
Saying Thank You
Lastly, your advisor should be saying thank you, because we all deserve to be surrounded by people who can express their gratitude.
We are all in the process of adjusting to rapidly shifting times. Advisors are people too and there may be a reason that your advisor has not touched on the points above. As with any key relationship, it’s always worth having a conversation to express your concerns. If you find yourself needing a second opinion, we are happy to help.
Stay healthy and enjoy your summer!