Category Archives: Family Steward

July 21, 2017

6 Questions About 529 Plans

Written by Jason Hiley

What parents need to know about saving for college

 

If you’re saving for your child’s higher education, you probably have a lot of questions besides “When did college get so incredibly expensive?” One popular savings tool that might puzzle you the most is the 529 Plan.

Started in the late 1980s and operated by states and financial institutions, the 529 College Savings Plan offers tax-advantaged ways to save for various costs of higher education. What else should you know? Here’s a list of commonly asked questions:

What can my child use 529 money for?

The money can pay for qualified expenses such as tuition, fees, books, supplies, computer-related costs and room and board for someone who is at least a half-time student. Pizza, burritos and beer don’t qualify, unfortunately.

How much can I contribute?

The answer is not as straightforward as with an individual retirement account or 401(k) retirement plan. Generally, contributions to a 529 Plan max out at $350,000 per beneficiary.

You also need to remember federal gifting tax laws. A gift of more than $14,000 to a single person in one year incurs gift tax. A 529 allows an individual to potentially contribute up to $70,000 (married couples up to $140,000) tax-free in one year to an account for a beneficiary. There are no age or income restrictions to contribute.

What if our relatives want to contribute?

Family members can either open a 529 account and name your child as the beneficiary or kick into an existing 529 that they don’t own. If your family members contribute to a 529 account that they do own, they receive a state tax benefit if their state offers such a deduction. Opening just one account for the beneficiary and letting your family help fund it is usually simpler.

Why use a 529 over a regular taxable account?

These accounts defer taxes and your contributions grow tax-free as long as you use the funds on the qualified expenses mentioned earlier. This beats paying the government for an after-tax account – but the latter does offer complete flexibility on where and how you can spend the money. A 529 doesn’t.

What if my child gets a full scholarship?

You will not lose scholarship money. You can withdraw from the 529 without penalty, though you do pay taxes on the earnings at the scholarship recipient’s tax rate. You can also use your 529 to pay for expenses that the scholarship doesn’t cover, such as room and board, books and other required supplies.

In addition, you can keep the 529 open with your child as beneficiary if he or she plans on graduate school, or you can also change the beneficiary and name another college-bound child.

What if my child does not want to go to college?

You can change the beneficiary to another family member (a sibling, first cousin, grandparent, aunt, uncle or yourself, for example), and the money goes toward that person’s education. Most plans allow you to change your beneficiary only once a year, but if your child has a change of heart and does decide to attend college, you can rename that child the beneficiary. Remember too that these funds can help pay for two-year associate degrees, as well as for trade and vocational schools.

A final option: Withdraw the money, or cash out the plan. You pay income tax and a 10% penalty on the earnings, but not on your contributions.

If unsure that your child is in fact headed to college, sit tight on cashing out. One thing you learn fast about young adults: life can always change.

July 12, 2017

Donor-Advised Funds

Written by Jason Hiley

Americans donate billions to charity annually. If you give to charity, you need to know about one of the best tools to facilitate generosity: Donor-Advised Funds (DAFs).

DAFs date from the 1930s but did not become popular until the 1990s. DAFs act as vehicles for receiving gifts, often of appreciated stock, and then distributing cash grants to charities selected by the one making the donation. DAFs make the process of transferring appreciated stock and designating checks as simple as a bank’s bill-paying system.

All DAF donors receive a tax deduction on the date of transfer. You can also transfer stock during one calendar year and receive a deduction even if the DAF completes distribution of grant money to a charity in a subsequent year. According to Internal Revenue Service rules, you calculate the value of your donation and the resulting fixed deduction based on the average of the high and the low market price on the day of transfer. (You are responsible for computing
this value.)

After receipt, the stock you gifted is sold and the DAF, itself a charity, pays no tax on any capital gain realized. The proceeds may remain in cash or you may direct the DAF to invest those assets for potential further appreciation (usually in a professionally managed separate account). Any subsequent change in the value of the account does not change the amount you can deduct on
your taxes.

As the donor, you direct to which charities the DAF distributes assets. Officially, the DAF owns the assets and is not legally bound to use them as you direct, but it is exceedingly rare for a DAF to not follow the donor’s advice.

Most DAFs also maintain a database of 501(c)(3)  tax-exempt charities (based on those organizations’ IRS 990 filing) from which you chose. After you suggest an amount to gift and a charity to receive the gift, the DAF vets and processes your suggestion to ensure the organization qualifies as a public charity under the IRS code. DAFs also handle all record keeping and due diligence and can protect your identity if you want to give anonymously.

Donor-advised funds are the fastest growing charitable giving vehicle in the United States, with more than 269,000 donor-advised accounts holding over $78 billion in assets. To put that in perspective, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has about $39.6 billion in assets.

Besides consider a DAF, here are other ways to make your charitable giving more significant:

Focus your effort. Passionate giving is more sustainable than spreading donations to every good cause or everyone who asks. Consider focusing your donations to just a few charities. Think through why you are giving and what you feel passionate about.

Find bang for the buck. Fund programs that produce the greatest effect for the least money and focus on long-term positive outcomes.

Include the next generation. You can include your children in the giving process or even help them gift some of their own money.

Talk to Your Financial Advisor. If you’re considering a DAF or want to learn more, give Hiley Hunt Wealth Management a call so that we can walk through the process together.

September 20, 2016

Wealth Management for Women: What Makes a Great Advisor? Part 1: Avoiding Confirmation Bias

Written by Andrew Hunt

Twice a week. Always twice a week.

Neither the oppressive heat nor the insufferable humidity hindered my mom from insisting that the lawn be mowed twice a week.

I had always assumed my mom had a good reason for wanting the lawn to be mowed that often. Perhaps it had something to do with the health of the grass. Maybe it was a strategy to ward off insects. Did it have something to do with water conservation? I was never brave enough to ask, but as I grew older, I figured that twice-weekly mowing made the grass healthy. After all, our yard always looked great!

Fast-forward to my mid 20’s, when I became a homeowner. I was so excited to begin my own twice-weekly mowing ritual for optimal lawn maintenance.

By this time, my parents lived in a villa-type neighborhood where lawn care was included in the monthly association fee. Apparently, the lawn wasn’t mowed twice a week there, because my father revealed to me that he still mowed. “You know how much Mom loves the lines in the grass,” he said.

All this time – all this time! – I had assumed that twice-weekly mowing was part of some larger program with some greater purpose, not something my father did just because my mom liked the lines in the grass! Indeed, I had been the victim of my own confirmation bias.

Confirmation bias is the natural tendency to use new information as confirmation of existing beliefs or theories. For more than 20 years, I thought I knew why lawns should be mowed twice a week. In fact, I had that idea only because I hadn’t asked the right questions and had never looked for information to the contrary.

Confirmation bias is at work in all our lives, and very often it colors the way we invest. We have a tendency to create a theory about an investment opportunity, and then we are drawn to content that confirms our theory.

In an article titled “A Behavioral View of How People Make Financial Decisions,” Keith Redhead explains that investors make financial decisions through a series of biases that shape our perceptions and motivations. Once we have a frame of reference for a decision – especially a decision that involves costs – we engage a part of our brain that encourages us to stay with the status quo. According to Redhead, even after we make a decision to move in a different direction – for example, to buy or sell an investment – we might not follow through with that decision because confirmation bias can lead our brains to overemphasize the case against change. This can be very costly for investors!

A great investment advisor will challenge your natural biases and present information that convinces you to consider the alternatives. But simply shedding light on a conflicting point of view is not enough. Once you have decided to make a change, the natural bias toward the status quo will fight against your motivation to implement the change. Your advisor should keep you accountable, ensuring that you carry out the change you decide to make. After all, a plan is only as good as its execution.

Hiley Hunt Wealth Management is a Registered Investment Advisor dedicated to serving women who are responsible for their household investment portfolio. We would love to connect with you to discuss how we can help you meet your financial goals. To learn more about how we work with our clients, please visit hileyhunt.com/what-to-expect.

August 30, 2016

Presidents, Politics and Your Portfolio: Thinking Beyond Stage One

Written by Andrew Hunt

It’s no surprise that this year’s U.S. presidential race has become a subject of conversation around the globe. In “Why Our Social Feeds are Full of Politics,” Canadian digital marketing executive Tara Hunt observes, “American politics, it seems, makes for high-intensity emotions far and wide.” The intensity will probably only increase as the November 8 election date nears.

We are by no means endorsing that you ignore what is going on in the world around you. Politics and politicians regularly and directly affect many aspects of our lives and our pocketbooks. But as you think through this year’s raucous race, remember this:

The more heated the politics, the more important it is to establish and maintain
a well-planned, long-term approach to managing your investments.

So go ahead and talk politics all you please – and if you are an American, be sure to vote. But when it comes to your investments, it’s best to ignore any intense emotions and the dire or ebullient predictions that spring from them, as dangerous distractions to your financial resolve.

Thinking in Stages

Have you ever heard of stage-one and stage-two thinking? They’re terms popularized by economist Thomas Sowell in his book, “Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One.” Basically, before acting on an event’s initial (stage one) anticipated results, it’s best to engage in stage-two thinking, by first asking a very simple question:

“And then what will happen?”

By asking this question again and again, you can more objectively consider what Sowell refers to as the “long-run repercussions to decisions and policies.”

Investing in Stages

In investing, we see stage-one thinking in action whenever undisciplined dollars are flooding into hot holdings or fleeing immediately risky business. Stage-two thinking reminds us how often the relationship between an event and the world’s response to that event is anybody’s guess and nobody’s certain bet. A recent Investopedia article, “Does Rainfall in Ethiopia Impact the U.S. Market?” reminds us how market pricing works:

“No one knows how any of these events will impact markets. No one. That includes financial advisors who have access to complex computer models and investment strategists in the home office with cool British accents. They don’t know, but their livelihood depends upon appearing to know. Few of them are ever held accountable for the innumerable predictions they got wrong. They simply move on to the next prediction, the next tactical move.”

Investors should avoid trying to predict future market pricing based on current market news.

Reflections on Presidential Elections

Stage-two thinking is especially handy when considering the proliferation of predictions for anything from financial ruin to unprecedented prosperity, depending on who will next occupy the Oval Office.

Again, the problem with the vast majority of these predictions is that they represent stage-one thinking. As financial author Larry Swedroe describes in a US News & World Report piece, “Stage one thinking occurs when something bad happens, you catastrophize and assume things will continue to get worse. … Stage two thinking can help you move beyond catastrophizing. … [so you can] consider why everything may not be as bad as it seems. Think about previous similar circumstances to disprove your catastrophic fears.”

In the current presidential race, we’re seeing prime examples of stage-one thinking by certain pundits who are recommending that investors exit the market, and sit on huge piles of cash until the voting results are in. At least one speculator has suggested that investors should move as much as 50 percent of their portfolio to cash!

And then what will happen?

 Here are some stage-two thoughts to bear in mind:

  • Regardless of the outcome of the election, there’s no telling whether the markets will move up, down or stay the same in response. By the time they do make their move, the good/bad news will already be priced in, too late to profit from or avoid.
  • In the long run, the market has moved more upward, more often than it moves downward, and it often does so dramatically and when you least expect it.
  • Moving to cash would generate trading costs and potentially enormous tax bills. Worse, it would run contrary to having a sensible plan, optimized to capture the market’s unpredictable returns when they occur, while minimizing the costs and manageable risks involved.

In this or any election, stage-two thinking should help you recognize the folly of trying to tie your investment hopes, dreams, fears and trading decisions to one or another candidate. Politics matter – a lot – but not when it comes to second-guessing your well-planned portfolio.

February 12, 2016

Good Advice

Written by Andrew Hunt

As we face a year that is kicking off with a series of sickening market swings,  it can be a time where you look for advice to make sense of the economic environment and how it impacts your personal situation. But there is a difference between advice, and good advice.

So, what is “good advice”?

Good advice is timeless … and timely. At its essence, good financial advice never goes out of style. Its principles are permanent: It should be brave and true, and meant for you. At the same time, good advice must remain relevant in an ever-changing world. Your adviser should be able to help you embrace promising new opportunities and insights, while avoiding the false leads and frightening challenges that are as formidable as ever in today’s markets.

Good advice looks at the parts … and the whole. Good financial advice helps you manage your investment portfolio for preserving or increasing your wealth according to your goals. It also helps you plan, implement and manage your myriad related interests: taxes, insurance policies, estate planning paperwork, philanthropic pursuits, executive compensation, real estate holdings, business activities and more. Beyond that, what are your goals? How can we relate your total wealth to your relationships, resources and realities? Good financial advice should bring a unifying whole to your multifaceted parts.

 Good advice is personalized … and persistent. Good financial advice is essential for making good decisions – not just in general, but for you: your money, your interests, your life. It’s about being in a relationship with an adviser who is there for you, not only during the promising planning stages when everything makes sense, but when your resolve is being sorely tested in turbulent markets. or when your own life’s events have knocked you off-course. Good advice helps you find your way when you’ve been sideswiped by the unexpected.

Good advice is wise … and compassionate. Good financial advice is grounded in enduring academic evidence, structured process and informed experience. But for all that, financial advice is nothing if it fails to contribute to that which brings joy to your life, to help you protect the ones you love, and to reassure you in times of trouble. For this, a good adviser must not only advise you; he or she must listen to you. This brings us to our most important point.

Good advice is in your highest financial interests, period. Above all, good advice should always and only be in your highest financial interest, even when it means the adviser must take a hit to deliver it. This is where things get particularly confusing. Around the world, various advocates (including ourselves) are pressing for legislation to govern best-interest advice. Such efforts are unfailingly met with resistance from those who would undermine this sensible ideal. As a result, the financial advice you choose to use will probably always call for a “buyer beware” perspective. As Vanguard Group founder John Bogle has wryly observed, “There are few regulations that smart, motivated targets cannot evade.”

We wish it weren’t so. That which best serves investors ultimately best serves their financial advisers as well, so we would warmly welcome a world where good advice reigns supreme. Until then, we hope you’ll be open to good advice when you hear it – the kind that sees you through turbulent times, onward to your relevant financial and life goals. If this advice sounds a little different from the status-quo stock tips or market-timing tactics you may be used to hearing, that’s because it is.

May we offer you additional advice about good advice? We hope you’ll be in touch.

January 5, 2016

Peek-A-Boo Markets

Written by Jason Hiley

Have you ever noticed how a newborn’s favorite game is peek-a-boo? Now you see it. Now you don’t. What fun! But somehow, by the time we’re investors, we’ve grown disenchanted with the element of surprise – especially when the “now you don’t” periods last longer than we’d like. In 2015, global markets seemed particularly intent on playing peek-a-boo with us:

  • Reformed Broker Josh Brown summed up the U.S. market’s performance as follows: “Stocks are ending 2015 pretty much how they began it, limping and tired from a bruising year of headline risk, trendless economic data and an ambivalent investing public.”
  • A Wall Street Journal 2015 recap observed that European shares were among the year’s top performers, “But the double-digit gains widely predicted for Europe failed to materialize, as global problems caught up with its markets.”
  • As for Asian markets, “[T]he Shanghai Composite Index ended up 9.4% in a rollercoaster year in which the index plunged over 40% in late August.” The volatile ride took a toll on many investors’ nerves, and as we swing into 2016, it looks like we may be in for more.

It might help to think of the market’s unfolding uncertainty as comparable to that big, blue baby blanket. Current conditions can, and often do obscure our view of the decades of solid evidence which we’ve used to construct personalized, globally diversified portfolios for our clients.

In fact, overemphasizing near-term performance is so common that there’s a name for it: “recency.” In “Beware the Recency Pitfall,” financial author Larry Swedroe describes how investors who succumb to recency in ever-noisy markets tend to fall straight into a “buy high, sell low” trap: “[C]hasing past performance can cause investors to buy asset classes after periods of strong recent performance, when valuations are relatively higher and expected returns are lower. It can also cause investors to sell asset classes after periods of weak recent performance, when valuations are relatively lower and expected returns are higher.”

This is one reason we believe in investing according to decades rather than months or even years of performance data. In a market that seems forever intent on playing hide-and-seek with us, we continue to believe that the best way to capture expected returns is to invest according to our own, evidence-based rules of engagement.

Don’t hesitate to be in touch with us whenever we can review your personal goals and risk tolerances – in the new year, or any time you’re seeking a clear view of where you stand today.

We would love to invite you to learn more about Hiley Hunt Wealth Management and who we serve in Omaha, NE –Financial Planning and Investment Management.

December 21, 2015

Giving Thoughts

Written by Andrew Hunt

As year-end nears, we hope you’ve saved time in your busy holiday schedule to pause and give thanks. At Hiley Hunt Wealth Management, we have so very much to be thankful for! To share our gratitude, we’d like to give you some thoughts. Thoughts on giving, that is.

As the London-based Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) describes it, “The impulse to give, to help others if you can, is a natural human instinct.”

It’s easy for that “data point” to get buried in the barrage of news we read to the contrary. But what if we adopt the same long-term perspective for investing and personal giving alike?

If you view our global capital markets close up and colored by the heat of the moment, it’s easy to grow disheartened and lose faith in the market’s ability to prevail. That’s why, as an investment advisor, we are forever stressing how important it is to consider your investments from a comfortable distance, through the clarifying lens of empirical evidence, and in the context of patiently participating in decades of rich – and likely enriching – human enterprise.

It might help to think about charitable giving from the same vantage point. Thanks to research-oriented organizations such as CAF, http://givingusa.org/, GivingPledge.org and many others, the evidence on our giving proclivities becomes clear, with much room for optimism to be found.

Myanmar, one of the world’s poorest nations, is also THE most generous. In its annual World Giving Index, CAF assesses “generosity” on three levels: helping strangers, donating money to a charity, and donating time to an organization. Based on its most recent data, CAF found that Myanmar ranked highest in donating both time and money, with a whopping 92 percent of those surveyed allocating a portion of their hard-earned money to charity.

Some of the world’s wealthiest families have been dedicating the majority of their wealth to philanthropy. Most recently, Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan made headline news by informing their newborn daughter that they were going to pledge 99% of their Facebook shares to a giving mission, to make the world a better place for her.

GivingPledge.org has been quietly accumulating a collection of similar pledges for years from ultra-wealthy families, both famous and unknown. As Warren Buffett described in his pledge: “Were we to use more than 1% of my claim checks (Berkshire Hathaway stock certificates) on ourselves, neither our happiness nor our well-being would be enhanced. In contrast, that remaining 99% can have a huge effect on the health and welfare of others.”

Most of the rest of us appear to be doing our bit as well. For example, according to a June 2015 Giving USA press release: “Americans gave an estimated $358.38 billion to charity in 2014, surpassing the peak last seen before the Great Recession.” The figure represented the highest level of giving measured in the organization’s 60 years of reporting on it, with more than 70 percent of the donations coming straight from individual donors. Here’s to us regular folk!

Will our giving cure all that ails the world? The evidence tells us this might be a tall order indeed. But we’ll echo one of the lesser-known GivingPledge.org participants, Indian-American businessman and 5-Hour Energy mogul Manoj Bhargava: “We may not be able to affect human suffering on a grand scale but it will be fun trying.”

We wish you and yours a prosperous and fun-filled 2016.

We would love to invite you to learn more about Hiley Hunt Wealth Management and who we serve in Omaha, NE –Financial Planning and Investment Management.

December 15, 2015

Avoiding “Tracking-Error Regret”

Written by Andrew Hunt

One way that many investors measure financial success is by comparing their returns against popular benchmarks like the S&P 500 Index. It can be comforting to know how your investments compare to others … but there’s a catch. If you are comparing apples to oranges, the results can misinform rather than enlighten your decision-making, knocking you off-course from the very success you’re seeking to achieve. The financial industry has a term for this: tracking-error regret. One of our key roles as your advisor is helping you recognize tracking-error regret, and avoid succumbing to it.

Tracking-Error Regret: Cause and Effect

Tracking-error regret occurs when your carefully designed investment portfolio underperforms popular market benchmarks. For example, it’s not uncommon to see popular headlines like these in the financial press:

“The S&P 500 is up 19% year to date!”

“International stocks offer double-digit returns in Q2!”

“Top variable annuities deliver 15%+ performance in 2012!”

If your own portfolio’s growth seems anemic in comparison, you may regret the decisions you’ve made and wonder if you’d best make some changes to go after that greener-looking grass. Before you switch gears, ask yourself: Are you using the right gauge for the measurement? The above figures may be accurately reported, but what do they really mean to you and your wealth?

How Do You Measure Financial Success?

To us, financial success isn’t defined by how closely your returns happen to match a common benchmark. Instead, it’s about you and yours. On those terms, financial success happens when…

  1. You and your family have enough wealth to achieve or sustain your desired lifestyle according to your personal goals.
  2. You are able to focus the majority of your time and energy on doing the things you enjoy with the people you love, instead of worrying about financial headlines.

We achieve this measure of success in several ways. The general rule of thumb is to concentrate on actions you can expect to control and avoid being entangled by those you cannot.

Investment Management Entangling Activities
Minimizing investment costs Hyperactive (expensive) trading
Forming a personalized investment plan Second-guessing your carefully laid plans
Building and maintaining a customized portfolio that reflects that plan Trading based on reactions to outside events
Measuring success according to whether you are on track to achieve your personal goals Assuming failure if your portfolio doesn’t always track a common benchmark

Investing as a Personal Journey

The final point in the table above gets to the heart of why it’s critical to avoid tracking error regret. To offer an analogy, imagine you decide to take a cross-country journey from Miami to Los Angeles – except, en route, you want to visit every state that begins with the letter “A.” Working with a professional travel agent, you spend hours charting out the best schedule at the most reasonable prices to achieve your personal goal of adding Alabama, Alaska, Arizona and Arkansas to your itinerary.

You’re all set to buy the tickets. Out of curiosity, you visit one of the popular discount travel sites and you notice they’re running a special on flights between Miami and L.A. for half of what you’re about to spend.

In this scenario, you’d probably quickly recognize that the popular site’s offer, while ostensibly a much better deal, fails to reflect your personal goals. With only a minor twinge of regret, you’d probably stick to the plans you’d made.

Think of your custom-built portfolio in the same way. Its highest purpose is not to slavishly track a common index, so it should come as no major surprise when your portfolio and its components periodically deviate from their closest benchmarks. Your portfolio should instead be designed for – and measured against – a far greater purpose: You and your desired destinations. If you ask us, that’s the only way to roll.

We would love to invite you to learn more about Hiley Hunt Wealth Management and who we serve in Omaha, NE –Financial Planning and Investment Management.

October 12, 2015

Our Client Bill of Rights: The Four C’s

Written by Andrew Hunt

We believe every client deserves the “Four Cs”when working with a financial advisor:

CONFLICT-FREE
Advisors should always put their clients first – period. As a Fee-Only firm, we never take commissions or sell financial products. Our compensation is not product based and is transparent and easy to understand. As a result, our clients can trust that we have their best interests in mind.

COMPETENT
Clients need to have an advisor who is highly educated on a variety of complex financial scenarios. Jason has a degree in accounting from the University of Iowa and passed the Uniform CPA examination in the state of Iowa. Jason is also a Certified Financial Planner™ and is a member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA). What’s more, he completes a minimum of 60 hours of continuing education every two years.

Andrew has earned an accounting degree and a masters in business degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He also earned a certificate in financial planning from the Boston University Institute of Finance. Andrew is a Certified Financial Planner™ and a member of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) & the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA).

COORDINATED
Today’s financial world is complex, and each client presents unique planning requirements. Therefore, we provide coordinated wealth management advice to our clients by analyzing their investments, taxes, estate planning, insurance, education planning, and charitable giving. We also have an extensive network of “related” professionals (accountants, lawyers, etc.) who we leverage when appropriate.

CLIENT-ORIENTED
Although the financial industry is full of numbers, we pride ourselves on developing deep and meaningful relationships with each of our clients. Through these relationships, we are better able to help our clients identify and achieve their goals.

We would love to invite you to learn more about Hiley Hunt Wealth Management and who we serve in Omaha, NE –Financial Planning and Investment Management.

October 5, 2015

If It’s Headline News…

Written by Andrew Hunt

There’s a joke circulating online that, if you commit a crime and you need to hide the evidence, you can stash it on page two of a Google search. At least 90 percent of the time, nobody looks there. In fact, about half of our clicks are bestowed on the first two hits we see.

The serious implication behind the satire is that it remains at least as easy as ever to be overly influenced by what others have decided should be the most important information we receive. Behavioral finance has identified any number of ways we tend to give too much weight to just these sorts of hits that popular curators feed us. The results can tempt us into believing that leading financial news – the Chinese economy, global oil prices, interest rates, and so on – should be the driving force behind our next market moves.

We’re here to remind you: If it’s headline news, it’s already been incorporated into market pricing. Even if we could predict the outcomes (we can’t) it’s too late to act on them – so you shouldn’t. Instead, consider the following observations related to the recent market correction. While perhaps less splashy, they are far more important to your enduring financial interests.

  • An Associated Press writer shared this comment: “A wild move in the market one week ‘is not like seeing a unicorn,’ [Vanguard principal Fran] Kinniry said. ‘Stocks are volatile. But you’re not investing for one day or one week, you’re investing for 10 or 20 years.’”
  • Seeing how often investors abandon their plans during financial crises, David Andrew of Australian-based Capital Partners commented, “Short of tearing up twenty dollar bills and throwing them away, I can’t think of a more destructive wealth management strategy.”
  • Forbes’ “Tax Girl” Kelly Phillips Erb reminds us that a market drop need not represent a personal loss: “Even if you were to sell your stock today, just because it was worth less this morning than when you went to bed last night doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have a realized loss.”
  • In a June 2015 column, Morningstar’s Christine Benz comments, “When it comes to checking up on your portfolio, a policy of benign neglect invariably beats too much monitoring. Investors who pay attention to their portfolios’ daily values may find themselves berating themselves during the market’s periodic downdrafts or congratulating themselves too much when their balances are fat. … Taking a long view is usually more helpful.”

These pieces of advice and many others we could share made good sense earlier in the year. They make good sense today. The evidence is strong that they will continue to make good sense tomorrow, regardless of what is breaking on the Internet. As always, if we can answer any additional questions about your own portfolio or the latest financial news, please be in touch.

We would love to invite you to learn more about Hiley Hunt Wealth Management and who we serve in Omaha, NE –Financial Planning and Investment Management.