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Should You View Insurance as an Investment?

Posted by Machen Wealth Management on Tue, 21 Mar 2017

Finding the right insurance to invest in – or use for long-term planning – can be complicated for many investors

Finding the right insurance to invest in – or use for long-term planning – can be complicated for many investors Similar to an auto policy, a term life insurance is a temporary policy many individuals use to cover themselves for a period of time and then it expires. Typically it has a lower premium and considered more affordable than permanent life insurance. Many are convertible where the initial plan can be renewed for a higher premium for another term plan or converted into whole insurance. There are several types of permanent life

benefits of investing

5 Key Estate Planning Tips

Posted by Machen Wealth Management on Tue, 7 Mar 2017

Americans are notoriously skittish about handling end-of-life financial needs, which is understandable given the taboo nature of dealing with one's own eventual demise.

Americans are notoriously skittish about handling end-of-life financial needs, which is understandable given the taboo nature of dealing with one's own eventual demise. The data bear that anxiety out. A 2015 study from Everplans reveals that 69% of Americans say they have seriously considered writing a will, yet only 34% follow through on that process. Another 95% say they don't plan well for the handling of their estates due to lack of knowledge and lack of good financial tools. Yet only a cursory look at the estate planning landscape re

estate planning tips

Behind on Retirement Savings? Here's a New Reason to Worry Less

Posted by Machen Wealth Management on Tue, 28 Feb 2017

There's a reason so many financial experts talk of a retirement crisis. It's estimated that one out of every three Americans has absolutely no retirement savings

There's a reason so many financial experts talk of a retirement crisis. It's estimated that one out of every three Americans has absolutely no retirement savings, while 30% of baby boomers 55 and over have yet to begin building a nest egg. Yet current retirees are in surprisingly good spirits despite the fact that many entered this new stage of life behind on savings. According to a recent Transamerica study, only 45% of retirees say their finances are as intact as they were prior to the most recent recession. And while 35% have partially re

retirement-savings

Real-Life Examples of What Happens When you Fail to Save Enough for Retirement

Posted by Machen Wealth Management on Tue, 21 Feb 2017

The consequences of not saving enough for retirement can play out in numerous, yet subtle, ways.

The consequences of not saving enough for retirement can play out in numerous, yet subtle, ways. The results aren’t always disastrous, but they’re almost always sad. Maybe you have an elderly neighbor who still works a part-time job. Or, perhaps you know someone who moved in with an adult child to afford their bills. Sometimes, not saving enough for retirement doesn’t spell disaster, but kills dreams instead. Think of everyone you know who wanted to travel the world during retirement, but sits at home watching their pennies instead.

retirement

USA TODAY Notes That Men and Women see Household Financial Matters Differently

Posted by Machen Wealth Management on Thu, 16 Feb 2017

Ask a man and a woman in a household who makes the money decisions, and chances are each will point to themselves.

Ask a man and a woman in a household who makes the money decisions, and chances are each will point to themselves. A recent CreditCards.com survey of adults living with others in households revealed a stark disconnect between how men and women think they spend money. Seventy-three percent of women say they’re primarily responsible for buying clothes and shoes; 23% of men agree. When households plan vacations, 41% of women say they call the shots, but only 12% of men agree. “We’re not surprised there was a split,” said Matt Schulz,

men and women

Travel and Leisure Shows you Ways to Spend Less so You Can Travel More

Posted by Machen Wealth Management on Tue, 14 Feb 2017

One of the most common excuses for not traveling is finances. But one woman just proved that finances are arbitrary for those who are able to seriously commit to goals.

One of the most common excuses for not traveling is finances. But one woman just proved that finances are arbitrary for those who are able to seriously commit to goals. Michelle McGagh recently wrote about her “buy nothing” year, during which she did not buy anything—except for basic necessities like her mortgage, utility bills, weekly groceries, insurance, cleaning products and charity donations. After one year of cutting out unnecessary expenses, McGagh saved $27,680 (£22,439) and used that money to pay off her mortgage. While

bar trips

Why Every Generation Needs to Plan Early for Retirement

Posted by Machen Wealth Management on Thu, 9 Feb 2017

Young Americans are starting their careers later than past generations.

Summary Young Americans are starting their careers later than past generations. They also have much greater debt burdens than those past generations. These two strikes against them put them behind earlier generations in the retirement derby. Boomers are not given a pass on the need to plan. It's Never Too Early For Millennials and Boomers To Plan For Their Retirement Subscribers to "Retirement: One Dividend At A Time" got an early look at this material and receive instant text message trade alerts which often produce lower ent

educational

A Look Back at 2016 Thus Far

Posted by Machen Wealth Management on Wed, 7 Dec 2016

The year in brief. Investors will likely remember 2016 as a year of two momentous votes and one monetary policy decision

A look back at 2016 thus far The year in brief. Investors will likely remember 2016 as a year of two momentous votes and one monetary policy decision. This year brought the Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom and a surprise presidential election victory for Donald Trump, and it now appears probable that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in December. As Thanksgiving week began, the S&P 500 sat comfortably near 2,200, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average pushed toward breaking 19,000. Some analysts felt both indices would pos

look back at 2016

Dow Closes Near Record High After Trump Victory

Posted by Machen Wealth Management on Wed, 16 Nov 2016

U.S. and European indices rise, while Asian indices fall.

U.S. and European indices rise, while Asian indices fall. A day after Donald Trump’s election win, Wall Street experienced a surprising upswing. It was feared the market would plunge on November 9 since many investors were anticipating Hillary Clinton to triumph in the presidential race. Quite the opposite happened. As the trading day ended, the Dow Jones Industrial Average notched a close of 18,589.69, thanks to a 256.95 gain. The Nasdaq Composite rose 57.58 to a close of 5,251.07, while the S&P 500 settled at 2,163.26 after a 23.70 j

near record high

To Rollover or Not Rollover Your 401k Plan – It Depends

Posted by Machen Wealth Management on Tue, 15 Nov 2016

One of the biggest decisions many of our clients face is what to do with their 401k plan when they leave their employer

One of the biggest decisions many of our clients face is what to do with their 401k plan when they leave their employer. There is no clear cut answer as to whether you should roll over your 401k plan to an IRA, another employer’s 401k plan, or simply to leave it where it is, because it involves several different factors, including long term investment costs and the availability of investment options within the plans. Both can impact the long term performance of your retirement plan. However, the most critical factor that can have a big impact

401k plan

Is an Investment Advisor Really Worth the Investment Advisory Fee?

Posted by Machen Wealth Management on Wed, 31 Aug 2016

Is an Investment Advisor Really Worth the Investment Advisory Fee?

Is an Investment Advisor Really Worth the Investment Advisory Fee? A recent survey indicates that an increasing number of high net worth investors are willing to pay for solid, unbiased, fee-only investment advice, which is not surprising considering the challenges of today's markets. What is surprising is that there are still some investors who would rather go it alone, thinking they can do better on their own, or that investment advice is not worth the cost, or both. With the average fee charged by an investment advisor around 1 percent, s

investment advisory fee

Elections and the Stock Market: Much to Do About Nothing

Posted by Machen Wealth Management on Wed, 18 May 2016

It’s a presidential election year and with that comes the invariable stock market correlations seeking to predict election results or forecast the market’s direction

It’s a presidential election year and with that comes the invariable stock market correlations seeking to predict election results or forecast the market’s direction. On one hand, the performance of the stock market during the two months leading up to the election has been somewhat of a predictor of who will win the race. On the other hand, we try to predict the direction of the market based on who wins the election. While all of this makes for interesting and fun banter around the water cooler, thoughtful investors would be wise to leave

elections and stock market

What are your Portfolio Performance Expectations?

Posted by Machen Wealth Management on Mon, 14 Mar 2016

In the story of Alice in Wonderland, Alice arrives at a fork in the road and wonders aloud which road to take.

In the story of Alice in Wonderland, Alice arrives at a fork in the road and wonders aloud which road to take. A smiling Cheshire Cat appears and asks her what her destination is, to which she replies, “I don’t know.” The toothy cat then proffers the only possible response, “Well, then it doesn’t matter.” While it’s not the type of exchange that might actually occur in our lives, it should, especially as we consider our financial future. For many people, who have yet to clearly define their financial destination, it probably do

portfolio performance

When Should I Get a Variable Life Policy

Posted by Machen Wealth Management on Mon, 1 Feb 2016

Variable life insurance was introduced in the 1970’s as a way for people to achieve higher returns on the cash value portion of their life insurance policies

Variable life insurance was introduced in the 1970’s as a way for people to achieve higher returns on the cash value portion of their life insurance policies. Because the cash value is actually invested in separate, managed accounts consisting of stock and bond portfolios, the potential is there to earn rates of return commensurate with the performance of the markets. When the stock market took off in the 1980’s few people could complain that their variable life policy didn't’t live up to its potential. Even as the markets declined,

variable life policy

Our Biggest Financial Challenges are often Self-Inflicted

Posted by Machen Wealth Management on Wed, 20 Jan 2016

In many respects, people can be their own worst enemies in their quest for financial security.

In many respects, people can be their own worst enemies in their quest for financial security. When you consider that our lives are nothing more than a culmination of the decisions we make each day, if we tend to make more bad decisions than good decisions, or worse, if we can’t make decisions at all, it’s should be no surprise when financial security remains elusive. When it comes to finances and investment decisions, many people are not wired to be able to make decisions dispassionately, without emotions clouding their reasoning; and

financial challenges

Does Your Portfolio Embrace Market Volatility?

Posted by Machen Wealth Management on Mon, 11 Jan 2016

Many investors, especially those still reeling from the 2008 – 2011 stock market roller coaster ride, have developed a low tolerance for volatility.

Many investors, especially those still reeling from the 2008 – 2011 stock market roller coaster ride, have developed a low tolerance for volatility. As a result they have moved a significant portion of their investments into bonds or other fixed yield vehicles. What many investors may not realize is that wholesale switches from one asset class to another in order to avoid volatility can actually increase it. Secondly, for investors with a long-term perspective on their investments, volatility is actually a good thing, as it is the primary dri

market volatility

Will you be Psychologically Ready to Retire?

Posted by Machen Wealth Management on Mon, 30 Nov 2015

For anyone approaching retirement you’ve probably got a checklist for your countdown to the big day.

For anyone approaching retirement you’ve probably got a checklist for your countdown to the big day. Do I have enough saved for a long, financially secure retirement? Check. Did I file the right paperwork at the office? Check. Is my professional exit strategy in place and ready? Check. Is my estate plan prepared so that I don’t have to worry about my legacy once I stop working? Check Seems like a good check list. What is missing? Am I ready for the psychological impact of retirement? Maybe… This is a tough question fo

ready to retire

Asset Allocation: The Key to Long-Term Investment Returns

Posted by Machen Wealth Management on Mon, 30 Nov 2015

Watching the roller coaster ride of the stock market can make many investors queasy.

Watching the roller coaster ride of the stock market can make many investors queasy. Even though the stock market has, historically, always trended up, investors can’t help but feel uneasy as they watch the values of their portfolios rise and fall with the market. That is, unless they also have a portion of their money in the bond market and the precious metals market, and in short term savings. When portfolios are limited to one type of asset, its value will reflect the volatility of that asset class. But, when portfolios are allocated amo

asset allocation

Financial Lessons For Your Teen

Posted by Machen Wealth Management on Mon, 30 Nov 2015

financial lessons

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If you’re feeling apprehensive about your financial future and need someone to act as a sounding board to bounce ideas off of, contact us to schedule a FIT meeting. (916) 526-2680