By Dan Aguanno, CFP ® Everyone knows the college monster is waiting after high school. As with all of our long term goals, the sooner you start, the easier it is to slay the tuition dragon. Use a college savings calculator or meet with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™ Practitioner (or Professional) to come up with a monthly, annual, or lump contribution schedule to keep you on track with the rising cost of higher education. Once you are committed to your goal, use the following information to choose an appropriate savings vehicle: 529 College Savings Plans – 529 plans are the most popular savings vehicles. Each state offers their own state sponsored plan hosted by different mutual fund … [Read more...] about Education Planning–What are Suitable Vehicles to Get Your Child to His/Her Destination?
We all grew up with the tale of Paul Bunyan vs the steam powered saw. Paul Bunyan and his Blue Ox, Babe, battled the new piece of lumberjacking technology in a contest of logging efficiency. Man ending up persevering over the robot but is that the case in the investment world? As cost becomes a more relevant theme to your net investment return, is investing in an index-tracking investment or trusting an experienced manager better for your bottom line? A portfolio can benefit from both active and passive management strategies. Passive management primarily uses exchange traded funds and index mutual funds to track a particular index. Indexes can be as common and broad as the S&P 500 and … [Read more...] about Active vs. Passive Management: Battle Royale
Cash is King! Why does the king have so much cash, you ask? So he always has enough liquid $$$ in case of an emergency or opportunity. When implementing a properly designed financial plan, one of the first steps is to ensure you have an emergency fund. This liquid account can be accessed without penalty and should have little or no volatility. The account should be held separately from your main checking account and only be accessed when an unanticipated event forces us to stretch beyond our normal budget. Traditionally, financial planners call this short term bucket an “Emergency Fund.” However I like to label it as an “Emergency/Opportunity Fund” since it is not only for the “uh oh” … [Read more...] about The Importance of an Emergency/Opportunity Fund
Is a Mercedes that much better than a Honda to justify the higher price tag? Is it worth paying more for organic produce than regular produce? Every day we are faced with decisions as to how we spend our money and when to pay a premium. Deciding to work with a financial planner is among the more important financial decisions we face. I truly believe that every person I engage with is better off after they meet with me than before we sat across from one another. It can be as simple as a confirmation of their current strategy that adds value or as drastic as suggesting they sell their home. In the end, when a person chooses to meet with a competent, knowledgeable, and Certified Financial … [Read more...] about The Value of Working With a Certified Financial Planner™