In the aftermath of losing a spouse, it can be challenging to know which choices to make, when to make them, and sometimes, whether or not to make any choice at all. Identifying the opportunities that you may have in order to develop a framework for moving forward in a more positive direction in your life will help you to gain clarity through your transition. When you are grieving a loss and going through a major life change it can be extremely challenging to address the more practical aspects of your loss and it helps to have a trusted advisor who can help position you for a financial future with peace-of-mind and confidence.
You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. ~Plato
As summer approaches, whether we notice or not, we all start to think about having a little more fun. There are cookouts, and Fourth of July parties, and summer vacations and we can all finally spend some time outdoors. There are a lot of memories to reminisce about and different ways to play and have fun. But there is something more to it actually. There is a reason we go through all of this trouble to have a good time.
With the weather warming up, many of us will be taking vacations, weekend getaways and having parties to enjoy the summer season with family and friends. Planning and taking these getaways is not always relaxing, though. For many people, this can stem from having too many things to think about and do all at the same time. We talk with our clients a great deal about how to stay focused and and be present in order to find balance and well-being in life. This month's blog highlights how some of the Northstar team relaxes and how appreciation of simplicity can remind us that we don't need to keep piling it on: literally or figuratively.
When it comes to planning for retirement, most of us all want the same things—a comfortable standard of living, sufficient income to last as long as we need it, and time to do the things that we enjoy.
In the process of getting there, however, there are different approaches that might be considered, especially when it comes to women. Many women feel they do a good job at managing their current finances but fall short when it comes to planning ahead. Most often, these limitations are due to a lack of adequate time to devote to planning for the future or a lack of understanding about where to begin.
Love and money—they go together like oil and water. Love at its best is romantic and unconditional. Money, on the other hand, is finite and requires a healthy dose of pragmatism to manage successfully.
The Opposite of Spoiled
By: Ron Lieber (Harper Collins, 2015)
Money can be a touchy subject for parents of all income levels. However, if you are a parent who wants to teach your children how to handle their finances, you may be looking for some help talking the talk. This book is meant to be part of that conversation.
Accentuating the positive during a challenging year for Wall Street.
2015 has presented the world & the markets with considerable challenges. Terrorist shocks, the Russia-Turkey spat, the possibility of a fractured Eurozone, the wild ride for Chinese equities and the global manufacturing slump ... yes, they have weighed on minds and markets, but as the year draws to a close, there is also much to encourage us, and much we can be thankful about economically.
There are many opportunities you have as a parent to impart valuable life lessons to your children. Starting when they are very young, you teach them kindness and respect for others. As they grow older into teenagers and young adults, you can continue to teach and mentor your children, helping them gain the confidence to make their own decisions once they become fully independent.
When people in the financial industry talk about institutional investors, they're often referring to pension plans. Pension managers oversee some of the largest portfolios of assets in the financial market, and they attract the interest of sophisticated investment managers and hedge funds, each of whom want a slice of that multi-billion-dollar pie.
Hedge funds market their appeal based on sophistication. They offer strategies that promise to outpace the returns offered by the benchmark indexes. Many hedge fund managers also seek to provide gains during falling markets.
But hedge funds are notorious for their exorbitant fees. That's the price investors pay to access a higher level of expertise and acumen—or so these managers say.
How well do hedge funds and sophisticated money managers make good on their promises? This article answers that question with an emphatic "no", citing research that found the performance of hedge funds hired by pension managers lagged the plan's overall performance. Moreover, these funds charged nearly as much in fees as they failed to deliver in performance, to the tune of over $15 billion.
The takeaway for individual investors is to be wary of sales pitches from sophisticated money managers and skeptical of claims of outperformance. Even the most savvy and largest investors often fall for their unfulfilled and costly promises. Remember, It's impossible for anyone "beat" market, and those claiming to do so are bound to lose sooner or later.
We recently received a great piece from the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) that outlines the basics of how to build a solid plan 20, 10 and 5 years out from retirement. It encourages people to understand what they can do to improve their long term financial plan by providing a checklist that will prepare them for well-being and peace of mind in their golden years.
For most, inheriting money can be a double-edged sword. Emotions can bounce from sadness to excitement and everything that exists between. Inheritance, while an opportunity, often comes with many challenges both personal and financial. Managing those successfully will allow you to improve your long term wealth and well-being.
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