Current Affairs

Is One Email Address Enough?

Is one email address enough? The email account you use for online banking should not be the same one you use for social media. Or for personal correspondence, or online purchases, or dating apps. So, how many email addresses does a person need? In a recent Forbes article, BeyondTrust Chief Security Officer Morey Haber said four — each designated for a different part of your life.

Many companies monitor and archive employee email. Having two addresses – one for personal use and one for work – helps keep your private life private. A third email should be exclusively for sensitive accounts, like banking and financial apps that require authentication. Finally, a fourth email can be for online shopping and subscriptions.

If you share an email address with a spouse or partner, you should also have a  separate, individual account. In addition to reducing the risk of a widespread privacy- and security-breach, individual emails are often needed for secure, online document processing with multiple parties. Businesses are using services like DocuSign with increasing frequency for legal files, loan papers, trust documents, and more.

Managing several emails is not as difficult as it may sound, and the practice has multiple benefits, Haber pointed out.

“Modern applications can easily support multiple email addresses to separate correspondence,” he said. “Knowing what email should come into which category will help you avoid spam, phishing attacks or other types of compromised credential attacks that could lead to your identity being compromised.”

Image by VectorStock
By |2022-12-19T12:16:04-07:00January 3rd, 2023|Current Affairs, Cyber Security|

Gen Z Embracing the Power of Knowledge

Jacob Cavaleri - Gen Z Embracing the Power of KnowledgeA whole lot of us, myself included, fit into the category of Generation Z. Whether you’re 25 years old or halfway through fifth grade at age 10, you can claim the Gen Z title. We’re the first generation to grow up with social media and smartphones as part of our everyday life. While some people see that as a negative, one can’t help but admit it is a free stream of unlimited education. How is Gen Z embracing the power of knowledge?

This generation, more than others, is experiencing new things and new parts of life. For the older portion of Gen Z, that includes learning about money management and finances. While it may seem intimidating, understanding one’s full financial picture is actually empowering.

Personal finance involves much more than investing in stocks and bonds. It includes any debt you have, any assets, your job, your personal goals, and many other pieces. Did you just get into college or pick your major? That’s great. Now’s the time to begin thinking about a career path, income potential, and how your future could look. Did you just start your first job? Congratulations. What benefits does your employer offer?

Something I consistently see happening in Gen Z young adults is living beyond their means. Having fun and doing things you enjoy are crucial to being happy. At the same time, it’s important to consider the things that are not as fun yet are just as important to maintaining happiness in the long-term. For example, an emergency fund may not seem fun or exciting, but it’s an important thing to construct when getting started in life. A good target is setting aside three-to-six months of your expenses, so you don’t have to worry about money if (and, more likely, when) something unplanned happens.

On the positive side, a common trait among Gen Z is inquisitiveness and continuous learning. Friends often ask me about different things they can do with their money and for money management tips in general. That curiosity and eagerness to discover is admirable.

In many ways, our generation is just getting started. The journey is long, and we all have a lot to learn. Let’s enjoy the ride.

Click here to read about our financial planning process and philosophy.

By |2022-12-19T11:13:10-07:00December 27th, 2022|Current Affairs, Financial Planning, Investing|

Navy SEAL Tips to Thrive Under Pressure

Navy SEAL Tips to Thrive Under PressureThe Navy SEALs undergo some of the most stressful training in the world — both physically and mentally. They can teach us a few things about thriving in challenging situations and accomplishing goals. Keep reading for Navy SEAL tips to thrive under pressure.

Lesson One: Embrace the challenge. Life throws us curveballs. Sometimes, more than one at a time. We can’t control or avoid them, but we can switch our attitude to one of acceptance and mental readiness for the challenges.

Lesson Two: Move the goalposts closer. Feeling overwhelmed is a signal you’re trying to do too much at once. Breaking decisions and challenges into small, manageable victories can give you a feeling of accomplishment and shift your brain out of analysis paralysis.

Lesson Three: Take action. When you feel powerless or negative, taking action can help you shift into a positive mindset and begin exerting control over your situation.

How do these lessons apply to our financial lives?

We can’t control markets, but we can create and implement a financial plan. We can’t predict the economy, but we can double- and triple-check our contingency plans. Financial planning is as much about psychology and human behavior as it is money and investments. Mindset and behavior may have a greater long-term impact on financial success than economic ups and downs.

Learn more about how to create a financial plan and read about our financial planning philosophy.

Photo courtesy of navysealmuseum.org
By |2022-11-24T17:59:33-07:00December 12th, 2022|Current Affairs, Financial Planning|

Optimism in the Face of Economic Turmoil

Jim MailliardThe year 2022 has been rough for investors.  Even relatively conservative portfolios are down about 15 percent. A huge culprit has been red hot inflation, currently running at about 8 percent, according to economic consensus. Food and gas are running even higher. That contrasts with a long-term U.S. average inflation rate of 3.3 percent going all the way back to 1914. Inflation this high creates the expectation of higher interest rates, which we are now seeing across the board. That is historically bad for economic growth, stock returns, and the bond markets. Is it possible to maintain one’s optimism in the face of economic turmoil?

Despite this dreary synopsis, investors would be wise to stick with their long-term written plan, unless something significant has changed with their financial goals and circumstances. Successful bond money managers believe inflation is cooling at least a little. That would mean the Fed could slow their aggressive rate hikes, which would eventually be good for the bond market and provide investors with some relief.

As for stocks, there is also reason for optimism. John Lynch of Comerica Bank points out that since 1950, in the 12 months following a mid-term election, the S&P 500 index of large company U.S. stocks has risen an average of 15 percent with no down years.

The charts here contain monthly data from the Dow, S&P, and Nasdaq indices. You can see that, while the markets are down overall for the year, each received a nice bump up in October. This illustrates the importance of maintaining a consistent investment strategy.

Those who remain invested over the long-term historically reap the benefits of the anticipated upturn in the markets. Those who panic during a downturn and sell out of the markets often miss that opportunity.

Optimism in the Face of Economic Turmoil
Yahoo! Finance data; past performance does not guarantee future results.
By |2022-11-24T17:49:34-07:00November 29th, 2022|Current Affairs, Investing|

What is in the Inflation Reduction Act? 

Patrick EngWhat is in the Inflation Reduction Act?  A staggering brew of green energy spending and corporate taxes, as well as major changes to Medicare. Will new Medicare laws help retirees? And will the new laws help the economy? Maybe. Or maybe not. When it comes to massive legislation, the future is always a bit hazy.

The timeline below details some of the major Medicare law changes that are planned. Since health care is one of the biggest unknown costs in retirement, lowering drug costs and making spending more predictable for Medicare recipients could absolutely have a positive impact on millions of people. The new rules also could mean premium changes as insurance companies figure out their models.

Whether the overall bill will live up to its name, lower inflation, and have a net positive impact  on the economy also remains to be seen. Some economists project the bill will end up modestly reducing inflation and trimming the federal budget over the next decade. Others are concerned about the impact of the new corporate tax rules written into the legislation.

Legal challenges or post-election changes could end up altering much of what’s in the new legislation. Much depends on the actual execution of the new rules. As is usually the case, only time will tell.

 

 

What is in the Inflation Reduction Act

Sources:
https://www.kff.org/medicare/issue-brief/how-will-the-prescription-drug-provisions-in-the-inflation-reduction-act-affect-medicare-beneficiaries/
https://www.morningstar.com/articles/1109390/the-inflation-reduction-acts-impact-on-retirees
https://www.kff.org/medicare/issue-brief/prices-increased-faster-than-inflation-for-half-of-all-drugs-covered-by-medicare-in-2020/
https://www.kff.org/medicare/issue-brief/insulin-out-of-pocket-costs-in-medicare-part-d/
https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/programs/vfc/awardees/vaccine-management/price-list/index.html
https://www.moodysanalytics.com/-/media/article/2022/assessing-the-macroeconomic-consequences-of-the-inflation-reduction-act-of-2022.pdf
By |2022-09-23T15:02:02-07:00September 27th, 2022|Current Affairs, Health Care|