Archive for April, 2018

What Is Your Behavioral Finance?

Wednesday, April 18th, 2018

One thing I have learned during the course of my eighteen years in the financial industry is that a person’s view on money is like a fingerprint; no two views are exactly the same. They may have similar values, they may invest using similar methods but everyone treats money slightly differently from the next person. The question to ask is “What is your Behavioral Finance?”

Here are some of the typical behavioral traits people exhibit when it comes to finances:

a] Mental Accounting

The majority of people prepare a monthly budget and allocate certain parts of their pay cheque to certain bills. This “preparation” is slightly different with mental accounting. Mental accounting is the tendency for people to designate particular money for a specific purpose, without consideration for the big picture in terms of practicality. For example, a person can split their money and treat each portion differently, depending on which “account” it’s in. So, money in a savings account is treated differently than money meant for debt repayment. That is, even if a savings account is paying 1% pa in interest and their car loan is costing 7.5% pa in interest, the money they allocate to each “pot” they deem as equal because each “pot” of money has been designated for a purpose.

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Have a 401K Plan at a Former Employer?

Tuesday, April 10th, 2018

You may have had multiple jobs over your career, and left behind retirement account balances — critical building blocks for your retirement. Here’s a short guide to your options of what to do with a retirement account left with a former employer:

Roll it over to an IRA
• A rollover IRA allows you to continue any tax-deferred growth.
• A direct rollover IRA helps you avoid current taxes and early withdrawal penalties.
• You retain flexibility to select investments that fit your specific needs.
• A rollover IRA allows you to consolidate your retirement assets in one convenient place when you change jobs or
decide to retire. (more…)

Is Your Retirement Account Protected From Identity Theft?

Thursday, April 5th, 2018

Most retirement plans have advanced identity theft and fraud protection safeguards, and a recent Identity Force survey indicated that 68% of HR executives are actively looking at identity theft protection as an employee perk.

To determine how safe your account is, review the online fraud policies and recommendations of your retirement plan provider. Check your account balances and activity at least once a month to be sure there has been no unauthorized trading. To be extra vigilant, be sure to change your username, password and security questions every six to nine months.

Overcoming the Lag In Womens’ Retirement

Monday, April 2nd, 2018

In general, women need more and save less money for retirement than do men. Overall, women accumulate less money for retirement than men, yet because they have a longer lifespan, the need for savings is greater. And because men die earlier, women may live out the end of life in a single income household.

The reasons women save less may be that they go in and out of the workforce to care for a family, work part time, and work in jobs that are more flexible and often, therefore, pay less. A study (Planning and Financial Literacy: How Do Women Fare?, Annamaria Lusardi and Olivia S. Mitchell, National Bureau Of Economic Research, January 2008) found there is also a difference in financial knowledge between the sexes, which can result in a too-conservative approach to investing. (more…)

Considering a Target-Date Fund for Your Retirement Plan?

Monday, April 2nd, 2018

Here’s what you need to know about this popular investment option

If you are like many investors, researching, selecting, monitoring, and adjusting your investments and asset allocation within your retirement plan can be a time-consuming burden. One possible strategy to consider may be a target-date fund.2 A target-date fund takes much of the decision making out of which asset classes to own, at which percentage weights, given your estimated retirement date. As that “target” date approaches, the manager of a target-date fund automatically adjusts your allocations to reduce your market risk. Here are some basic facts about target date funds that you should know before you buy:

It is a popular option for retirement plans. Target-date funds are growing in popularity as investment options in qualified plans. In fact, as of December 31, 2016, 88% of target-date mutual fund assets were held through defined contribution plans and IRAs, according to the data from the Investment Company Institute.3 (more…)