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Wiser Wealth Management Blog

Fiduciary

What is a donor advised fund?

You may believe that in order to have your own family charitable fund you need to have a last name like Gates or Rockefeller. This is not the case at all. In the United States, over $390 billion is given each year for religious, education, human services, health, arts and other causes that donors are passionate about. Most of these donations are given directly by individuals, but with higher standard deductions, a stronger US economy and families looking to leave a legacy, a new process

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Personal Finance

SECURE Act – What you need to know

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act was attached to the 2020 budget bill and signed into law on December 20th by President Trump. The Act, championed by Ohio Senator Rob Portman, passed both houses with bipartisan support. The SECURE Act has changed many rules related to retirement. Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) Will Start at Age 72, not 70.5 In the year that you turn age 72, not 70.5, you will need to withdrawal funds annually from your IRA. If you turned

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Debt & Credit

How does your car payment compare?

Taking out a car loan is the way most Americans can afford to purchase a car.  The current average loan size of a new car loan is $32,187 and the average for a used car is $20,137.  Average amounts for all auto loans have risen steadily over the last ten years to a record breaking $23,438 in December of 2018.  This equates to the average monthly payment for a new car in Q1 2019 of $554.  This is more than half the average US mortgage

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Credit score
Debt & Credit

Myths about credit scores

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article titled “9 myths about credit scores.”  Knowing what actions truly impact your credit score is crucial if you are working on improving your credit score.  A higher score can mean better terms on credit cards, lower mortgage rates and less expensive premiums on insurance (to name a few). With these things in mind, let’s discuss a few of the myths the article outlines. Myth 1 – Checking my credit score hurts my credit score. There are two

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Financial advisor advice
Fiduciary

Are you getting good financial advice?

You go to a financial advisor looking for advice. What you hear might sound good, but how do you know the advice is genuine and not focused toward selling products with higher fee incentives? An advisor with a sell focus versus advisory focus will generally suggest products like annuities, mutual funds and managed accounts. These products have little focus on in-depth planning and long-term benefits for you as the client. When it comes to good financial advice, there are many ways to spot an advisor

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wealth
Fiduciary

Wealth management isn’t just for the wealthy

With over nineteen years in the wealth management industry, I have noticed that most of the clients I help do not consider themselves wealthy, yet their net worth is above the average in the US. This makes me think that people do not consider using a financial advisor because they do not consider themselves wealthy. The word wealth has many definitions related to abundance and riches, but the origin of the word translates as well-being and prosperity. We define wealth management as making the most

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Market Jitters
Personal Finance

Avoid Short-Term Market Jitters

Avoiding short-term market jitters is important when managing your portfolio.  Vanguard released a simple chart recently showing how exiting the market in December 2018 would have affected the value of your portfolio. A hypothetical 60% stock/40% bond portfolio valued at $1 million on November 1, 2018, would have lost almost $57,000 by Christmas Eve. Then the investor is faced with the challenge of determining when to invest back into the market. It is important to remember that investing in the market is always a risk,

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Dollar Cost average or lump sum
Personal Finance

Dollar Cost Average or Lump Sum Investing – Here’s our Take

Do you dream about the day you win the lottery or inherit a large sum of cash from a long lost relative you didn’t know you had?  Or, are you planning to contribute to your child’s college 529 plan and ask yourself, should I contribute a lump sum today or contribute monthly to the plan?  Although we’ve never had a client win the lottery, we do have clients that have inherited or have a larger sum of money they want to invest. At this point,

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Fiduciary

Say No! to the Annuity Salesperson

Indexed Annuities are a Bad Deal I found a website the other day that promises to teach you about indexed annuities in seven free lessons on “strategies the rich use to buy indexed annuities.”  (Notice they don’t say “benefit”.)  The lessons cover the basics of fixed indexed annuities, so-called safety nets, strategies and concepts, planning tools, and a demo on how to choose the right mix of annuities. The lessons aren’t openly available – you have to register with your name, phone number, email, age,

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Personal Finance

Don’t Let Short Sightedness Hurt Your Portfolio

Investors focus on short-term market performance despite saying they are long-term investors.  Don’t let short sightedness hurt your portfolio. While downturns seem terrible, in the long-term, it is just a blip. Avoid the emotional decision to make changes in correcting markets, focus instead on your financial goals. December of 2018 brought extreme market volatility to any portfolio holding equities. This volatility brings many interesting conversations. Many start with, “if I had known this was happening, I would have sold and bought back later” or “I

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