Cash Clarity: Navigating Money Markets

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Money Market Accounts and Funds

Making informed decisions about where to park your cash is crucial. Whether you’re saving for a short-term goal or looking for a safe place to store funds between investments, understanding money markets and the differences between money market accounts and money market funds can help you make the best choice for your financial plan. In this post, we’ll delve into the intricacies of these two popular options, exploring their benefits, risks, and ideal scenarios for use.

Understanding Money Markets

Money market accounts (MMAs) are interest-bearing accounts offered by banks and credit unions. They are similar to savings accounts but typically offer higher interest rates in exchange for higher minimum balance requirements. One of the key features of money market accounts is their safety, thanks to Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insurance.

Key Features of Money Market Accounts

  1. FDIC Insurance: Money market accounts are insured by the FDIC up to $250,000 per depositor, per institution. This means that even if the bank or credit union fails, your deposits are protected.
  2. Higher Interest Rates: MMAs usually offer higher interest rates compared to traditional savings accounts. Rates can vary depending on the institution and the amount of your deposit.
  3. Liquidity: Money market accounts provide easy access to your funds. You can typically write checks, make transfers, or use a debit card to withdraw money, making it a flexible option for managing cash.
  4. Minimum Balance Requirements: These accounts often require a higher minimum balance than regular savings accounts. Failing to maintain the minimum balance can result in fees or lower interest rates.

Exploring Money Market Funds

Money market funds (MMFs) are a type of mutual fund that invests in short-term, low-risk securities such as U.S. Treasury bills, certificates of deposit (CDs), and commercial paper. Unlike money market accounts, MMFs are not FDIC insured. Instead, they are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Key Features of Money Market Funds

  1. Not FDIC Insured: The primary distinction between MMFs and MMAs is that money market funds do not offer FDIC insurance. While they are generally considered safe, there is no guarantee of principal preservation.
  2. Investment in Short-Term Securities: MMFs invest in high-quality, short-term securities, which tend to be relatively low-risk. This makes them a suitable option for conservative investors seeking liquidity and stability.
  3. Potential for Higher Yields: Money market funds often offer competitive yields that can exceed those of traditional savings accounts and MMAs, depending on market conditions.
  4. Liquidity and Accessibility: MMFs are highly liquid, allowing investors to easily buy and sell shares. They are often used as a place to park cash temporarily within brokerage accounts.

Comparing Money Market Accounts and Funds

Safety and Security

When it comes to safety, money market accounts have the upper hand due to FDIC insurance. This provides peace of mind, knowing that your deposits are protected up to $250,000 per institution. On the other hand, money market funds, while typically safe, do not offer this same level of security. The value of your investment in a money market fund can fluctuate, and there is a risk, albeit small, of losing principal.

Interest Rates and Yields

Money market accounts generally offer higher interest rates than traditional savings accounts, but they may not always match the potential yields of money market funds. MMFs can provide higher returns, especially in a rising interest rate environment, as they invest in short-term securities that benefit from higher rates. However, these yields are not guaranteed and can fluctuate based on market conditions.

Accessibility and Liquidity

Both money market accounts and funds offer high liquidity, but they differ in how you can access your funds. MMAs provide check-writing privileges, debit card access, and easy transfers, making them suitable for everyday cash management. In contrast, MMFs are more commonly used within brokerage accounts and might require selling shares to access cash, which can take a day or two to settle.

Minimum Balance Requirements

Money market accounts often have higher minimum balance requirements than regular savings accounts. If your balance falls below the required minimum, you may incur fees or receive a lower interest rate. Money market funds typically have lower initial investment requirements, making them more accessible for investors with smaller amounts of cash to invest.

Ideal Scenarios for Money Market Accounts

  1. Emergency Fund: Money market accounts are an excellent option for holding your emergency fund. The combination of FDIC insurance, higher interest rates, and easy access to funds makes them a safe and practical choice.
  2. Short-Term Savings Goals: If you’re saving for a short-term goal, such as a vacation or a down payment on a car, a money market account can help you earn more interest while keeping your funds accessible.
  3. Safety and Security: For conservative investors who prioritize the safety of their principal, MMAs provide the security of FDIC insurance.

Ideal Scenarios for Money Market Funds

  1. Temporary Cash Parking: Money market funds are ideal for parking cash temporarily between investments. They offer higher potential yields and easy liquidity within brokerage accounts.
  2. Investment Portfolio Component: MMFs can be used as a conservative component of an investment portfolio, providing liquidity and stability while earning competitive yields.
  3. Low Minimum Investment: For investors with smaller amounts of cash to invest, money market funds offer a lower entry barrier compared to some MMAs.

Making the Right Choice- Are Money Markets Right for You?

When deciding between money markets, consider your financial goals, risk tolerance, and need for liquidity. If safety and security are your top priorities, and you prefer the peace of mind that comes with FDIC insurance, a money market account may be the better choice. However, if you’re looking for higher potential yields and are comfortable with the slight risk associated with money market funds, an MMF could be more suitable.

Conclusion

Understanding the differences between money market accounts and money market funds is essential for making informed decisions about where to park your cash. Both options offer unique benefits and can play important roles in your overall financial strategy. By considering your individual needs and preferences, you can choose the right option to help you achieve your financial goals.

For personalized advice tailored to your specific situation, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.   

Certificates of Deposit: An Old-School Investment Making a Modern Comeback

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Certificates of Deposit

In the ever-evolving landscape of investment opportunities, some strategies remain steadfast, proving their worth across decades. One such strategy is the use of Certificates of Deposit (CDs). Often overlooked in favor of more glamorous investment options, CDs are now regaining attention due to their stability and attractive returns in the current high-interest-rate environment. Today we are delving into the mechanics of CDs, their benefits, and why they should be considered a valuable component of a well-rounded investment portfolio.

What is a Certificate of Deposit (CD)?

A Certificate of Deposit (CD) is a financial product offered by banks and credit unions that provides a fixed interest rate for a specified term. When you invest in a CD, you are essentially lending your money to the bank for a predetermined period, which can range from a few months to several years. In return, the bank pays you interest at a rate that is typically higher than that of regular savings accounts. At the end of the term, known as the maturity date, you receive your initial investment back along with the accrued interest.

The Mechanics of CDs

CDs operate on a simple premise: you deposit a sum of money for a fixed term, and in exchange, the bank agrees to pay you a fixed interest rate. The key components of a CD include:

  • Principal: The initial amount of money you invest.
  • Term: The length of time your money is held by the bank, which can range from a few months to several years.
  • Interest Rate: The fixed rate at which your money grows during the term.
  • Maturity Date: The date on which the term ends and you can withdraw your principal plus interest.

For example, if you invest $10,000 in a one-year CD with an interest rate of 5%, you will earn $500 in interest over the term. At the end of the year, you will receive $10,500.

Benefits of Investing in Certificates of Deposit

1. Stability and Security

One of the primary advantages of Certificates of Deposit is their stability. Unlike stocks or mutual funds, which can fluctuate in value, CDs offer a guaranteed return. This makes them an attractive option for risk-averse investors or those seeking a safe place to park their money during uncertain times. Additionally, CDs are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for up to $250,000 per depositor, per institution. This means that even if the bank fails, your investment is protected.

2. Predictable Returns

With a fixed interest rate, CDs provide predictable returns. You know exactly how much interest you will earn over the term, allowing you to plan your finances with confidence. This predictability can be especially valuable for retirees or others who rely on their investments for steady income.

3. Higher Interest Rates

CDs typically offer higher interest rates than regular savings accounts. In the current high-interest-rate environment, this difference can be significant. For example, while a savings account might offer an interest rate of 0.5%, a one-year CD might offer 5%. This higher rate can make a substantial difference in your overall returns, especially for larger investments.

4. Protection Against Market Volatility

In times of market volatility, Certificates of Deposit can serve as a safe haven for your money. Unlike stocks or bonds, which can lose value in a downturn, the principal and interest of a CD are guaranteed as long as you hold the CD to maturity. This can provide peace of mind during turbulent economic periods.

Why CDs Are Regaining Popularity

In recent years, CDs have been overshadowed by other investment options due to historically low interest rates. However, as interest rates have risen, CDs have become more attractive. Here are a few reasons why CDs are regaining popularity:

1. Rising Interest Rates

As central banks have raised interest rates to combat inflation, the returns on CDs have become more appealing. Investors can now find CDs offering 5% or more, making them competitive with other fixed-income investments.

2. Low-Risk Environment

With economic uncertainty and market volatility, many investors are seeking low-risk options. CDs provide a secure place to invest money without the risk of loss, making them an attractive choice for conservative investors.

3. Diversification

CDs can be an excellent tool for diversifying an investment portfolio. By including a mix of stocks, bonds, and CDs, investors can balance risk and return, ensuring that a portion of their portfolio remains safe and stable.

4. Liquidity Planning

For those who may need access to their funds at specific times, CDs offer predictable liquidity. By laddering CDs—purchasing multiple CDs with staggered maturity dates—investors can ensure that they have access to cash at regular intervals while still earning higher interest rates.

Considerations When Investing in CDs

While CDs offer many benefits, there are some considerations to keep in mind:

1. Limited Liquidity

When you invest in a CD, your money is tied up for the duration of the term. If you need to access your funds before the maturity date, you may incur early withdrawal penalties, which can eat into your returns. It’s essential to ensure that you won’t need the money before the CD matures.

2. Inflation Risk

While CDs provide a fixed return, inflation can erode the purchasing power of your money over time. If inflation rates are higher than the interest rate on your CD, your real return (adjusted for inflation) may be negative. It’s crucial to consider inflation when evaluating the potential returns on a CD.

3. Opportunity Cost

By locking your money into a CD, you may miss out on other investment opportunities that could offer higher returns. It’s essential to balance the security of a CD with the potential for higher returns from other investments.

How to Get Started with CDs

If you’re considering adding CDs to your investment strategy, here are a few steps to get started:

1. Research Interest Rates

Shop around to find the best interest rates on CDs. Different banks and credit unions offer varying rates, so it pays to compare options.

2. Determine Your Investment Amount

Decide how much money you want to invest in CDs. Consider your overall financial goals and how much liquidity you need.

3. Choose Your Term

Select a term that aligns with your financial needs. Shorter terms offer more liquidity but may have lower interest rates, while longer terms lock in higher rates but require you to commit your funds for a more extended period.

4. Ladder Your CDs

Consider laddering your CDs to provide regular access to funds while maximizing your returns. This involves purchasing multiple CDs with different maturity dates.

5. Monitor and Reinvest

Keep an eye on your CDs and their maturity dates. When a CD matures, evaluate the current interest rates and decide whether to reinvest in a new CD or use the funds for other purposes.

Conclusion

In today’s high-interest-rate environment, Certificates of Deposit are once again becoming a valuable tool for investors seeking stability and attractive returns. With their guaranteed interest rates, FDIC insurance, and protection against market volatility, CDs offer a secure investment option for those looking to balance their portfolios. By understanding the mechanics of CDs and considering their benefits and limitations, you can make informed decisions to enhance your financial strategy. Whether you’re a conservative investor or simply looking for a safe place to park your money, CDs deserve a closer look in the modern investment landscape.

Next Steps:

Are you wondering if Certificates of Deposit are right for your specific situation? Feel free to set up a call with us to get personalized advice.

Alternative Investments: Beyond Stocks and Bonds

Exploring Alternative Investments

Investing offers a wide range of options to cater to different financial goals and risk tolerances. While traditional investments like stocks, bonds, and cash are well-known, alternative investments often remain less understood. On the most recent episode of The Field Guide Podcast, Brian Colvert, CFP® explores alternative investments, their benefits, challenges, and the essential steps to navigate them successfully.

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What Are Alternative Investments?

Alternative investments include asset classes that differ from traditional investments such as stocks, bonds, and cash. These can be real estate, commodities, private equity, hedge funds, collectibles, cryptocurrency, and venture capital. Unlike traditional investments, alternatives usually require a longer-term commitment and are less liquid, meaning they cannot be easily converted to cash.

Real Estate: A Tangible Alternative

Real estate is one of the most straightforward and accessible forms of alternative investments. When you invest in real estate, you purchase physical property, whether residential, commercial, or industrial. Selling real estate is not as quick or easy as selling stocks or bonds. It involves finding a buyer, negotiating terms, and completing legal and financial paperwork.

Investing in real estate can provide a steady income stream through rental income and potential appreciation in property value. However, it also comes with challenges such as property management, maintenance costs, and vacancies. The illiquidity of real estate makes it a long-term investment, suitable for those who do not need immediate access to their funds.

Regulatory Considerations and Accessibility

Alternative investments typically have fewer regulations compared to traditional investments, making them riskier but also potentially more rewarding. Due to the higher risk and complexity, these investments are generally available only to accredited investors.

An accredited investor is someone with a net worth of over one million dollars (excluding their primary residence) or an annual income of over $200,000 for the past two years, with a reasonable expectation of the same income level in the current year. This requirement is based on the assumption that wealthier individuals can better understand and manage the risks of less regulated investments.

Diversification and Non-Correlation

One of the main reasons investors are drawn to alternative investments is the diversification they offer. Traditional investments like stocks and bonds are often correlated, meaning their values can move together with market conditions. Alternatives, however, tend to be non-correlated assets, meaning their performance does not necessarily follow the same patterns as the stock market.

For instance, the value of real estate or commodities may not drop when the stock market declines, providing a hedge against market volatility. This non-correlation can help smooth out the overall performance of an investment portfolio, reducing risk and potentially enhancing returns.

Potential for High Returns

Alternative investments can offer attractive returns, sometimes outperforming traditional investments. For example, venture capital investments in early-stage companies can yield extraordinary returns if the company succeeds. Early investors in companies like Facebook saw their investments grow significantly when the company went public.

However, it is important to remember that the potential for high returns comes with significant risk. Many alternative investments can be highly speculative, and there is a possibility of losing the entire investment. Therefore, thorough research and understanding of the investment are crucial.

Due Diligence: The Key to Success

Due diligence is essential when considering alternative investments. Investors must thoroughly research and understand the investment, its structure, market conditions, and associated risks. Unlike public companies, which are required to disclose financial information regularly, alternative investments often lack such transparency. This means investors must rely on their own research and the credibility of the investment managers or promoters.

Before committing to an alternative investment, it is crucial to understand the following:

  1. The Nature of the Investment: What exactly are you investing in? Is it real estate, commodities, a private company, or something else?
  2. The Investment Strategy: How does the investment generate returns? What are the underlying assets or business models?
  3. The Risk Factors: What are the potential risks, and how can they impact your investment? Are there any mitigating factors?
  4. The Liquidity: How easily can you exit the investment? What is the timeframe for potential returns?
  5. The Management Team: Who is managing the investment? What is their track record and reputation in the industry?

By addressing these questions, investors can make more informed decisions and avoid potential pitfalls.

Conclusion: Weighing the Pros and Cons

Alternative investments offer a unique opportunity to diversify a portfolio and potentially achieve higher returns. However, they also come with higher risks, less liquidity, and require significant due diligence. They are not suitable for every investor, but for those who meet the criteria and are willing to invest the time and effort to understand them, alternatives can be a valuable addition to their investment strategy.

Next Steps

Are you looking to diversify your portfolio with alternative investments? At Bonfire Financial, we specialize in navigating the complexities of financial planning to help you achieve all your financial goals. Whether you’re seeking comprehensive financial advice or exploring alternative investment strategies, our team is here to support you every step of the way.

Let’s discuss your unique financial situation and create a tailored plan for your future. Schedule a call with us today!  Book here now! 

Decoding Bitcoin with Gerry Signorelli

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Decoding Bitcoin with Gerry Signorelli

We often get asked what is Bitcoin all about by our clients, and for good reason. The landscape of cryptocurrency is riddled with terms like “blockchain,” “mining,” “nodes,” and “wallets,” which can be confusing and create a steep learning curve. The underlying technology, though revolutionary, is not always straightforward, leading to questions about how it operates, its value proposition, and its role in the financial ecosystem. 

Gerry Signorelli has immersed himself into the world of Bitcoin, having built and operated a significant Bitcoin mine and integrated the digital currency into his daily life for various purposes, from savings to international transactions.

We were grateful to have Gerry on the most recent episode of The Field Guide Podcast to break down what is Bitcoin. He shares his extensive experience with the cryptocurrency, provides insights on its advantages over other cryptocurrencies, and discusses the essential role of nodes in maintaining the network’s decentralization. Gerry also addresses common concerns about Bitcoin’s security and its future potential, offering a comprehensive view of how Bitcoin operates.

A Journey from Stable Coins to Mining

Gerry’s foray into the financial world began with a quest for a saving mechanism, leading him from the realm of stablecoins to the discovery of Bitcoin. Despite experimenting with other cryptocurrencies, Gerry found his home with the currency, drawn by its fundamental differences, use cases, and the depth of its structure compared to the fleeting allure of ‘shitcoins.’

Why Bitcoin Stands Out

Bitcoin’s appeal lies in its foundational principles – scarcity, decentralization, and the prevention of censorship. Unlike other cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin’s limited supply, coupled with its robust and decentralized verification process, establishes it as a more stable and reliable digital asset. Gerry articulates the journey of money throughout human history, positioning Bitcoin as the latest evolution in this continuum, offering a digital solution to age-old problems of currency debasement and lack of control over personal wealth.

The Intricacies of  Mining

Mining is not just a business for Gerry; it’s a crucial component of Bitcoin’s infrastructure. He delves into the complexities of Bitcoin mining, explaining how it serves as a mechanism for distribution and validation within the network. The process, while energy and capital-intensive, is vital for the creation of new Bitcoins and securing the network against potential attacks.

Understanding Bitcoin Transactions

Transactions in Bitcoin are more than mere financial exchanges; they signify the transfer of control over the digital asset. Gerry discusses how these transactions occur on the blockchain, ensuring transparency and security without the need for intermediary validation.

The Role of Nodes in Decentralization

Brian and Gerry dive into the importance of nodes in the ecosystem. These nodes, which any individual can run, are the backbone of Bitcoin’s decentralization, ensuring that the network remains secure and operates without centralized control. They allow for a democratic verification process that aligns with the ethos of Bitcoin – providing a system where everyone has a say in its operation.

Bitcoin’s Safety and Accessibility

Addressing concerns about Bitcoin’s safety, Gerry outlines the spectrum of ways one can own Bitcoin, from ETFs to cold wallets, each offering different levels of security and convenience. The decentralized nature of Bitcoin, coupled with the ability for individuals to run nodes, ensures that the system remains robust against potential threats.

The Future Outlook

Gerry envisions a bright future for Bitcoin, predicting a significant increase in its value as more people, institutions, and governments recognize its potential. He foresees a world where Bitcoin facilitates freedom of transaction, protects against inflation, and offers a new standard of financial autonomy.

In summary, Gerry Signorelli’s insights into Bitcoin present a compelling narrative of its potential to revolutionize our financial landscape. From its role in savings and transactions to its fundamental principles of scarcity and decentralization, it stands as a beacon of financial innovation in the digital age. As we navigate the complexities of our global economy, Bitcoin offers a promising alternative, challenging traditional financial systems and offering a new paradigm for money in our increasingly digital world.

We hope you enjoyed this episode! Have more questions about Bitcoin or digital currencies? Feel free to reach out to us with any questions!  Be sure to like, review, and subscribe wherever you listen!

Retirement vs. Inflation

How to protect your retirement from inflation 

 

It’s the ultimate battle of good vs evil. Retirement vs. Inflation. Inflation is the arch-enemy of your retirement savings and if you’re near retirement – or even thinking about it – now is a good time to pay particularly close attention to your money.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Press Release on January 12, 2022, it is clear that prices are rising and inflation is here. Overall, prices have climbed 7% year over year which is the greatest increase in over 40 years. Truly there is no other topic that seems to be getting more attention right now than inflation. 

On top of that, the pandemic has most certainly shaken the sense of security that Americans felt when it comes to their finances and a lot of people feel more vulnerable than they did two or three years ago. Even if you have been diligent about saving for retirement inflation can eat into your nest egg quickly.

 

Why Inflation Happens

 

Inflation is, oddly, both incredibly simple to understand and absurdly complicated. It is worth taking a pause and understanding why inflation is happening in the first place. 

In the simplest terms, inflation happens when prices broadly go up. In other words, the average price of everything is increasing (housing, food, gas, cars, etc.). Generally, it is not a bad thing, as wages also rise. Ideal inflation according to the U.S. Federal Reserve targets an annual inflation rate of 2%. Most policymakers believe it leads to a healthy economy. However, we are currently sitting at 7%. A bit off the mark is an understatement. Here is a visual to give you an idea of where we are in relation to just 10 years ago. 

Inflations Impact on Your Retirement

Source: US Inflation Calculator

 

Why is inflation so high right now?

 

Again, simply put…blame the pandemic. In response to the pandemic, the Fed started adding an unprecedented amount of money into the economy via emergency stimulus funds to quickly get the country out of the recession, plus they slashed interest rates. People started spending more and demand was up. Good, right?

Yet, months and months of this fueled inflation because supply wasn’t able to recover as fast. Take for example the automobile industry. Many auto-manufacturers shut down during the pandemic and were slow to get things moving again, some still are, mostly due to supply chain issues. It is a classic formula of high demand plus limited supply equals higher prices. 

Further, inflation is hard to predict because it depends on what people expect of inflation in the future. For example, if businesses expect higher prices and wages next year, they’ll raise prices now. If workers expect higher prices and wages next year, they’ll ask for higher wages now. So Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has long been calling the recent inflation “transitory”, meaning in other words, only a temporary correction of the pandemic. 

However, both Powell and Treasury Sectary Janet Yellen admitted last month (December 2021) that it is time to retire the term. So, prices will continue to go up and the government is finally admitting it. Now what? 

 

How to protect your retirement from inflation 

 

Maximize Social Security Benefits

 

With rising costs it may be hard to offset inflation with your traditional retirement benefits, such as social security. However, you can work to maximize your social security benefits by delaying them. Delayed Retirement Credits help you to increase your benefit by a certain percentage each month that you delay starting your benefits. If you can wait to start getting your social security checks until age 70 your monthly payments will be higher and will adjust to the annual cost of living when you do begin to take them. 

It is important for everyone to maximize their social security benefits. This is a small step that could potentially hedge off some inflation and help your retirement savings go a little further. 

 

Get aggressive with any Consumer Debt

 

The Feds have signaled it will aim to make some aggressive policy moves in response to the current situation. It is likely we may see as many as three rate hikes this year, two more next year, and another two in 2024. If you have any outstanding credit card debt now is the time to pay it down before interest rates go up. Any variable rate debt will get very pricey. If you cannot pay it off all at once, but you have good credit try and take advantage of some zero to low-interest balance transfers. Doing this will help insulate you from the coming higher interest rates. 

 

Take advantage of lower mortgage interest rates now

 

While mortgage rates move based on long-term bond yields, a spike in consumer prices will certainly make a rise in mortgage rates more likely.  Right now mortgage rates are still low. If you have considered refinancing to a lower rate (or buying a new home) this is your sign to look into it further depending on the term left on your mortgage. If rates do go up, you may wish you would have done it sooner. Also, as mentioned above, if you have an adjustable home equity line it could be at risk for an increase. Call a mortgage broker today to see what options you have. 

 

Look at your portfolio and make adjustments as needed

 

As financial advisors, this is something we are watching closely. Here are some of the general recommendations we have, however, everyone’s financial situation is different so we recommend contacting us (or talking to CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™) before making any changes. Also, keep in mind if rates don’t go up like crazy these recommendations may not be the best and may underperform your hopes. 

First, at the very least, review your investment allocations. If you have bonds in your portfolio, we recommend short-term bond funds until interest rates go up. Ultimately these are going to be less risky with rising interest rates. While they may not have as much earning potential they can weather the inflation storm better. 

Also, with rising prices, finding stocks with dividends can add value to a portfolio. Think consumer-based large-cap stocks. Likewise, financial stocks also commonly benefit from higher prices and inflation. These types of investments may help keep pace during an inflationary environment.  

Finally, consider diversifying with Digital Assets, such as Bitcoin. Essentially, owning Bitcoin means you are betting against the world’s fiat currencies. Most major digital assets have a fixed number of coins or have capped the potential circulation growth. Interestingly, the infamous billionaire investor, Paul Tudor Jones, has even claimed that crypto protects better against inflation than gold. While there still may be limited evidence that crypto can hedge inflation and will cure all as it itself is often susceptible to market jitters, it certainly is worth looking into if it fits your risk tolerance and time horizons. 

Again, we emphasize not making any dramatic changes to your investments until you’ve consulted with a professional. Our experience has taught us that unforeseen events can happen and do happen, so it is best to stay diversified, rebalance as needed, and always come back to your long-term goals. We are happy to talk with you about your specific situation anytime. Schedule a call here.

 

In conclusion

 

Inflation can impact your retirement in a variety of ways. If you’re not on the right path to protect yourself against inflation it will be increasingly difficult for you to live comfortably when you can are no longer working. Adjusting your investment strategy, spending habits, and expectations to account for inflation is extremely important for retirees and those close to retirement.

3 Questions to ask before making any financial decision

 

Whether it is hiring a financial advisor, picking a mutual fund, or refinancing your mortgage it is a good idea to ask a lot of questions when it comes to your money. However, if you only ask a few, here are our top 3 questions to ask before making any financial decision.

 

What is the investment philosophy?

 

Make sure to ask yourself if the investment makes sense to you. It may be great for 99% of the population but is it a fit for you and your current situation. Does it match up with your risk tolerance and timeline?  Really take the time to contemplate this.  Further, do you understand it? Or is it too complex? Understanding this will help move you forward in a meaningful way.

 

Do I trust the person giving the advice or offering the investment?

 

Simply put, what is your gut telling you about who is behind this. What is the person’s credibility and credentials? Was it your cousin Eddie spouting off a stock tip at the family reunion? Or a longtime friend and financial advisor who has been in the industry for years? It may seem like a no-brainer to ask this question, but it is sometimes easy to get caught up in the hype of the product and the potential returns.

A quick way to tell if an advisor truly has your best interest in mind is if they are CFP® (Certified Financial Planner)- learn more on that here, but in short, it means they are a true fiduciary and must have your best interest in mind regardless of commissions. Trust is so important, don’t take it lightly.

 

What is the downside risk, and can I afford it?

 

What can you stand to lose? Sure, look at what the potential of the investment is, but don’t ignore the risk. Make sure the amount you invest matches your risk tolerance. The old saying stands true here- “Don’t put all your eggs into one basket.”  Before you make an investment decision know the risks.

Short and simple, those are the top 3 questions to ask before making any financial decision!

Are you considering an investment and aren’t sure if it is right for you? Asked these questions and are still unsure? We are here to help…just set up a call.

 

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