21Mar
The Smart Use of Robo-Advisors
Investing

Robo-advisors create the opportunity for automated investment services.  While many investors incorrectly assume that “all robo advisors are created equal,” on April 15, 2016 in the Investor Junkie, Larry Ludwig shows that is not the case.

You have a choice between:

  • Minimum Deposit – Some firms you can start out with nothing and others require sizable amounts to start with
  • Annual Fees – Be aware of hidden costs and ETF fees
  • Asset Allocation – Asset allocation can vary quite a bit based upon your age, and the way you answer their risk assessment questions.
  • Account Type Support – No firm can manage a 401(k) directly, but some do offer guidance in investment selection.
  • Automation – Some services are 100% automated vs human assisted advice.
  • Tax Optimization – Services like Tax-Loss Harvesting.
  • Custody of Funds – Managed by you in which they give trading advice, or directly by the firm.
  • Management of Assets – Manage all your assets or just a portion.
  • End-Goal – Retirement only, or other goals (i.e. college education).

The author goes on to point out that the fees listed due not always include the fees from the recommended exchange-traded funds (ETF’s).

While Resonate is committed to staying current and competitive through technology, we also suggest that the smart use of Robo-Advisers is to “allow them to do what they do best” while acknowledging what they cannot replace.

We find that great technology combined with the opportunity for personal connection creates best results. For example, what happens when any of the following life events occur?

  • “Mom has just been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s… what do we do now?”
  • “I have an offer for early retirement complete with a severance package and need help understanding it.”
  • “My husband was just seriously injured in a car accident. How will we able to afford to keep the house?”
  • “We are trying to decide whether to lease or buy our next car. Can you help?”
  • “Dad just passed unexpectedly from a heart attack.  We have no idea what to do next.”

This is where compassionate understanding combined with professional competence and the human connection is truly irreplaceable.

We welcome the opportunity to share a cup of coffee and conversation with you.

 

Barbara A. Culver
CFP®, ChFC®, CLU, AEP®
Resonate, Inc.
(513) 605-2500

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14Mar
HSA Account Owners Beware!
Health Care Costs

The interaction among employer-sponsored health plans, Medicare and health savings accounts (HSAs) is increasingly complex.

Many Americans become eligible for Medicare at age 65.

The exception to the rule is if someone is 65 and still covered under his or her own employer-sponsored health care or that of a spouse.

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09Mar
Tax Reform 2017
Taxes

Click Here for an interesting article posted by CCH Tax News.

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07Mar
China in the News
Economy

Have You Noticed How Much China Is in the News Lately?

If we turn the calendar back to January and February 2016, the U.S. stock market saw one of its worst annual starts in history.  China, with the currency and stock market that was quickly moving downward, caused much of the setback in the United States markets.  This is because China’s enormity and its global economic importance have moved this country ahead of the United States in its influence over world markets.

This premise was confirmed when, later in the year, the U.S. market righted itself at the same time that the Chinese markets rebounded.

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03Mar
Which One of Three Retirement Income Strategies is Right for You?
Investing
(The source for much of the material in this short blog is taken from the November 1, 2016 “Journal of Investment Consulting”. The article is entitled, “An Overview of Retirement Income Strategies”, written by Michael Finke, PhD, CFP © and David Blanchette, CFA ©, CFP ©.)

Gains in medical science or environmental improvements can result in added longevity for all retirees.  This means that all retirees could face a retirement time horizon that ranges anywhere from about 10 to about 40 years.

This essentially leaves the retiree with three primary choices about how to create retirement income:

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21Feb
Some Interesting Insights Thus Far for 2017
Blogs / Articles

As our nation and the world continue to watch the actions and react to the rhetoric of the new Administration in Washington, we have already witnessed some incredible activity.

From the resignation of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn to Kim Jong Un’s missile launch, we are witnessing daily tests – both domestic and global.

How is this influencing the markets?

  • Emerging market (EM) assets outperformed, U.S. Treasury yields fell sharply during the last week of January, and U.S. value stocks underperformed a flat market.
  • Political uncertainty sent French and Italian government bond yields to multi-year highs relative to their German peers.  Half of the European firms that have reported earnings have beaten estimates.
  • Oil fell to a near three-week low under the pressure of growing U.S. crude inventories, but pared some losses. China’s PMI data showed expansion in both services and manufacturing sectors.

And what might be coming?

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15Feb
How the World Shops Is Changing
Economy

Recently, Capital Ideas shared the following information which I think you will find interesting:

By 2025, 4.2 billion people out of a global population of 7.9 billion will be part of the consuming class.

For the first time in history, the number of people with discretionary income will exceed the number of people still struggling to meet basic needs.

Here are some of the changes in consumer spending which is led by millennials:

  • Chinese millennials are “all about the experience”.  This includes going to the movies and increasing their travel abroad.  They spend considerably on-line for lifestyle items.
  • Another country positioned to benefit from the increased spending is India.  In the next 10 years, about 150 million new people will enter India’s workforce.  Highways, airports, and other infrastructure is expected to increase along with consumer spending.
  • The 80 million American millennials spend at least $600 billion a year.  They are adding to the success of businesses like Uber and HomeAway.

Consumer spending drives 70% of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).

We will watch for new investment possibilities based on this information.

We welcome the opportunity to share a cup of coffee and conversation with you.

Barbara A. Culver
CFP®, ChFC®, CLU, AEP®
Resonate, Inc.
(513) 605-2500

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07Feb
Are You Positive or Negative on the U.S. Economy for 2017?
Economy

Interestingly, a case can be made either way.

Because I prefer to end my blogs on a positive note, let’s first look at what might detract from or slow economic growth in 2017.

1.   The strengthening US dollar.  Since the November 2016 election, the dollar is up 4%.  It is predicted to increase by another 5% this year.  (Source: Kiplinger Letter 1-13-17)
Anyone want to go to Europe?

2.   Gradually rising interest rates.  This could impact sensitive sectors such as housing and auto sales.

3.   The uncertainty of trade wars.  If the president makes good on campaign promises, countries could retaliate by buying less U.S. goods.  Punitive tariffs are also a possibility.

Now let’s consider the positives.

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01Feb
Feeling Money Pressure and Stress?
Economy

The American Psychological Association
published a study called “Paying with Our Health”.

 

I found it to be especially informative; it also raised my awareness about the impact of financial stress in the lives of women.  It further increased my concern for women and money as I read about the relationship between financial stress and physical health.

Here are some excerpts from the article:

Year after year, women’s experiences with stress continue to be troubling. They consistently report higher stress levels than men do, and they appear to have a hard time coping.1 These patterns also emerge when it comes to their relationship with money and finances.

  • Women report higher levels of stress about money than men (5.0 vs. 4.3 on a 10-point scale) and are more likely than men to say they feel stress about money all or most of the time (30 percent vs. 21 percent).
  • Women who say their stress about money is high (8, 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale) are more likely than women who say they have low stress about money (1, 2 or 3 on a 10-point scale) than to say they engage in sedentary or unhealthy behaviors to manage their stress, such as watching television/movies for more than two hours per day (55 percent vs. 38 percent), surfing the Internet (57 percent vs. 34 percent), napping/sleeping (41 percent vs. 23 percent), eating (40 percent vs. 19 percent), drinking alcohol (21 percent vs. 9 percent) or smoking (19 percent vs. 7 percent).
  • Women who say their stress about money is high are significantly more likely than women who say they have low stress about money to rate their health as fair or poor (34 percent vs. 13 percent).

1:  Men n=1204; Women n=1864.

Does any of this fit for you or someone you care about?

If so, please know that the Resonate team considers it both our privilege and responsibility to hold the conversation about “Money and Stress”.  We have prepared multiple resources designed to create alternatives and fresh ideas designed to reduce financial stress.

We are comfortable engaging in these emotional conversations and recognize the importance of them.

We welcome hearing your concerns about money and are committed to sharing stress-relieving ideas designed especially for you.

Please contact us for a complimentary conversation.

Barbara A. Culver
CFP®, ChFC®, CLU, AEP®
Resonate, Inc.

(513) 605-2500

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27Jan
A Physician’s Perspective on Aging
Issues of Aging

Regardless of age, most Americans are concerned about the aging process – either for themselves or for a loved one.

Resonate shares your concerns.  I recently read an interesting article called “6 Warning Signs of Financial Decline and Better Health While Aging” by Leslie Kernisan, MD.  I thought she made some important points and hope you find value on the following thoughts.

Dr. Kernisan begins by citing a study from the National Endowment for Financial Education, which was covered in the New York Times.  She begins her article by sharing the key warning signs of financial decline from this study.

They are:

  • Taking longer to complete everyday financial tasks
  • Reduced attention to details in financial documents
  • Decline in everyday math skills
  • Decreased understanding of financial concepts
  • Difficulty identifying risks in a financial opportunity

For each of these warning signs, the New York Times lists several specific examples (e.g. taking longer than usual to complete a check register).  If you’ve had any concerns about an older person’s financial abilities, I highly recommend you use this list as a guide.

It can be found here.

Now, here are five important things Dr. Kernisan adds that we need to know about aging and financial decline.

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