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Taming Your Emotions: The Key to Better Investment Returns

A great man once said to use reason before passion. This could not possibly ring any truer than in the world of long-term investing. While emotions are very powerful tools that can be harnessed to help us unlock deeper potentials or connect with one another in new ways, they are less advantageous in the investing space.

When it comes to major money decisions, emotions can sidestep rationality and make the investment ship remarkably difficult to steer through market volatility. Frenzied media headlines and apprehension from other investors can trigger potentially harmful panic-mode emotions that cause investors to make costly—even life-changing—investment errors.

In this unprecedented time of global market upheaval due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, we have seen stocks take some swift and unexpected turns. At one point, economic shutdowns resulted in investor portfolio values dropping by as low as 30%. But, after the shortest bear market in history lasting only from February 2020 to April 2020, stocks rebounded in 2020 and 2021 to notch record highs for seven or more months in a row.

In times like these, especially, it’s no wonder investors are emotional. But, emotional decisions aren’t always the best ones. More often than not, taming your emotions is the key to better investment returns.

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The Difficult Questions You Need to Answer in Preparing and Reviewing Your Estate Plan

We spend much of our working lives saving, planning, accumulating, and preserving in preparation for our golden years. Sometimes, our wishes are to leave a legacy both financially and personally to the next generation and to causes that are dear to us.

While that might be our ideal, few people complete the planning to ensure it happens. Often times, we fail to address difficult and emotional issues, either because they're too uncomfortable or it's an easy topic to put off. An Ill-carried out estate plan can lead to more difficulties than no planning at all.

By considering these questions now, it's possible to make difficult periods of illness or a sudden passing a little more manageable at the time.

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Social Security Benefits Increase in 2022

Approximately 70 million Americans will see a 5.9% increase in their Social Security benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments in 2022. Federal benefit rates increase when the cost-of-living rises, as measured by the Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index (CPI-W).

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Will Tax Law Changes Increase Your Taxes?

Will you be paying more in taxes next year? Since politicians have taken aim at high earners, clients are wondering “Do I fall under Congress’ definition of wealthy?” and “How will this affect me?”

If proposed changes in the tax code that passed a House committee are enacted into law, those that are wealthy, as defined by lawmakers, will likely see their taxes rise.

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How Well Prepared Are You Today in Anticipation of Tomorrow’s Market Downturns?

“A rising tide lifts all boats”- John F. Kennedy

We’ve come a long way since the start of the pandemic. The country is gradually opening up, vaccines are available to all interested adults in our country, and stock market prices have skyrocketed. Home prices have also greatly increased, with most selling over asking prices.

In fact, at the writing of this article, the S&P 500 is nearing all-time highs at approximately 4,370. Interestingly, markets are forward looking and built on investor expectations. That is, they reflect what investors anticipate will happen. This is also why markets fluctuate daily in response to news. When investors sense uncertainty, volatility ensues. When investors are confident, markets continue to soar.

However, adjusting your portfolio frequently in response to negative news introduces stress in many ways, which can affect your overall investment experience. Of course, to be an investor is to experience significant declines from time to time. In fact, they happen more often than you might think. So at some point we will all have to prepare ourselves for a correction. It’s not a matter of if, but when.

Of course, nobody can consistently predict market movement or certain asset prices, but you can adequately prepare for downturns with the four simple strategies below.

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How and Why to Prepare for the Unexpected in Life

242470996 1806122142911410 803480844507966063 nIn this episode, Maggie is chatting with Robin Young, the President of Northstar Financial Planning. They talk about Robin’s work helping women navigate life’s transitions, particularly sudden and unexpected life changes like a partner or family member dying, getting a divorce, or losing your earned income. They also talk about how you can prepare for and protect yourself just in case you find yourself experiencing one of these life events. It’s not always a happy topic, but it’s an important one to discuss.

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How Managing Your Money Helps Your Healing Journey

Loss is never easy, but grieving the loss of a spouse is especially tough. Losing your life partner can make it especially challenging to make decisions on your own. Not because you aren't capable, but because you're used to having someone by your side.

Even though money may be the last thing you want to worry about when you become a widow, working through it and learning to balance your money won’t just help you financially, it will help you on your healing journey, as well.

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How I Came To Be a Financial Advisor

Welcome to the fifth feature of our new series, How I Came to Be a Financial Advisor. Through this year, we've been highlighting one team member in our newsletter who will share their background in, passion for, and future plans in the financial planning profession. There is truly something special that each individual brings to our team, and we can't wait to share it all with you.

This month, get to know Alexa Darbe, Partner and Wealth Manager at Northstar.

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How Do Gender and Marital Status Affect Retirement Confidence? Understanding a Woman’s Perspective

For thirty-one years, the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and independent research firm Greenwald & Associates have been conducting a Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS) measuring the attitudes toward and preparation for retirement of American workers and retirees. As of January 2020, the RCS found that Americans had near-record-high levels of confidence in having enough money to live comfortably throughout retirement, and these levels held as late as the end of March 2020.

Encouragingly, the 31st Retirement Confidence Survey found that confidence in having enough money to live comfortably increased again to record levels for Americans in 2021. It seems the pandemic did very little to rattle investor sentiment. Over 70 percent of those surveyed reported feeling somewhat confident about their financial future, while 30 percent feel very confident.

But not everyone is feeling so hopeful.

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How I Came To Be a Financial Advisor

Welcome to the fourth feature of our new series, How I Came to Be a Financial Advisor. Through this year, we've been highlighting one team member in our newsletter who will share their background in, passion for, and future plans in the financial planning profession. There is truly something special that each individual brings to our team, and we can't wait to share it all with you.

This month, get to know Kristina George, Partner and Wealth Manager at Northstar.

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