Financial Planning

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Create Your Life Map

Wouldn’t it be great if life came with a map and instructions? When you’re setting goals, how do you plan to get from point A to point B? In this brief video, Financial Planner Patrick Eng talks about the benefits of having a life map (a.k.a. financial plan) to help you navigate life’s ups and downs every step of the way. At Perspective, we know life happens and we can help you create a life map to help when it does.

 

The Perspective Team can help you create your life map.

The Perspective Team can help you create your life map.

Learn about the six key elements of our financial planning philosophy, our process in working with clients, and our investment strategy on our “How We Do It” page.

How We Do It

By |April 8th, 2019|Financial Planning, Video Blog|

Five Minute Gift

Five Minute GiftOne of the favorite gifts I received last Christmas was The Five-Minute Journal by Alex Ikonn and U. J. Ramdas. With this simple book, I begin and end each day by writing down daily goals, personal affirmations, “amazing things that happened today,” and areas for improvement. This daily five-minute gift to myself has been beneficial on many levels.

The exercise reminds me of one of my favorite high school teachers, a Cuban refugee and Spanish teacher, who encouraged us to write extensive notes as we studied for exams. That way, he said, we would be more likely to recall the material. It worked for me then, and the exercise of writing continues to help me decades later.

Scientific studies confirm that writing thoughts down significantly improves recall and increases the likelihood of accomplishing goals. It also can have a therapeutic effect. Given the documented benefits of journaling, including improved memory and health, New York Times columnist Hayley Phelan has gone so far as to call journaling “essentially a panacea for modern life.”

Written thoughts and goals are beneficial in all aspects of life, not the least being investment and financial planning. That’s why creating a written plan is one of the first tasks we complete with new clients. Clearly defining things like your goals and tolerance for risk, and the responsibilities of the parties involved (i.e. advisor, account custodian, fund managers) are fundamental elements of a good investment policy statement (IPS).

The IPS also includes an asset allocation plan for your portfolio. Your advisor performs periodic reviews of the allocation to help assure your investments are aligned with your plan. It’s also good for you to review the plan at least every few years to update or revise, if needed.

Give Yourself a Five-Minute Gift Each Day

Again, writing things down helps you remember what objectives are most important to you. It provides peace of mind knowing you have a plan. And it increases your chances of achieving your goals.

By |March 31st, 2019|Financial Planning|

Financial Planning Goes Beyond Numbers

Financial Planning Goes Beyond NumbersDuring my 20-year career as an advisor, I have learned that so much of helping clients with financial planning goes beyond numbers.

Early on, I thought this business focused primarily on spreadsheets, trading, portfolio performance and understanding the global economy. Those things do play an important part in my day-to-day work, though they are not the only things to consider. Beyond that is my role of supporting, guiding and encouraging clients during trying times.

The Perspective team, for example, has helped our clients and their families through many difficult events – from divorce, substance abuse or death of a loved one, to recession, credit card debt or loss of a job. These difficult times teach us things we can’t always appreciate while we’re going through them. Yet, upon later reflection, we can grow to appreciate those lessons.

In my own life, my economic knowledge and self-composure were tested during the Great Recession of 2008. I was several years into a huge career and life change – transitioning from trading derivatives in New York City in 2000 to advising financial planning clients in Phoenix. The volatile global markets, my client’s portfolios and my family’s wellbeing weighed heavy on my mind. Those were dark days.

I am fortunate to have had Kristin, my supportive and encouraging wife, at my side. It was a tough trial for me to build a new business in an unfamiliar place. Kristin was my cheerleader. She believed in me, even when I did not. Her support and encouragement has helped guide me during my most difficult times.

Through Kristin’s example, as well as self-reflection, I’ve learned how to provide that same support and encouragement as an advisor.

Each of us at Perspective has a similar story. Collectively, we stand ready to provide support, guidance and encouragement through any trial. We draw upon each other’s experiences and strengths to go beyond numbers and look after the many needs of all our clients.

By |March 11th, 2019|Financial Planning|

Save More for Retirement in 2019

Save More for Retirement in 2019The U.S. Treasury Department recently announced inflation-adjusted figures for retirement account savings. That means you can now save more for retirement in 2019.

Individual Retirement Account (IRA) contributions up to $6,000 are allowed in 2019. That’s a bump of $500, after six years stuck at $5,500. The annual contribution limit for employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan, is now $19,000 for 2019. For people 50 years or older, the “catch-up” annual limit is $25,000 for workplace plans and $7,000 for IRAs.

Pre-tax contributions to your 401(k) plan lower your taxable income in the year of the contribution. For example, if you earn $60,000 this year and contribute $15,000 to your 401(k), your taxable income will be reduced to $45,000. This allows tax-deferred growth on your investment; any pre-tax contributions you make, plus any gains from that investment, will not be taxed until you start taking distributions in retirement.

Save More for Retirement in 2019: Remember, too, you can make changes to your 401(k) election at any time during the year, not just during your company’s open enrollment. Talk with your financial planner if you have questions, want to open a new account, or are considering making changes to the amount you have been saving.

By |February 18th, 2019|Financial Planning, Retirement|