Timely Topics

Prevention Vs. Cure

In today’s episode of Matt’s Minutes, we dive into the topic of prevention versus cure when it comes to retirement planning. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. Our goal is to help you take the necessary steps now to avoid potential financial pitfalls later and ensure your financial security in retirement. Just as in healthcare, where prevention is better than cure, the same principle applies to your financial well-being. Click on the video above to watch the full video.

Struggle Creates Strength

In today’s video, Matt is diving into the concept of transformation through struggle and how it builds strength, drawing inspiration from the remarkable process of metamorphosis. Think about the journey of a caterpillar as it transforms into a butterfly. Similarly, in our own lives, we encounter moments of struggle and challenge. Now, let’s apply this to our finances and investing, such as during a recession or the financial crisis. It’s important to recognize that these struggles are not setbacks; they’re opportunities for growth and transformation. Click above to watch the full video.

The Danger Lies In The Trek Down The Mountain

 In this video Matt is standing on the top of a mountain in Lake Chelan. He’s discussing how hiking a mountain parallels the risks people face once they retire. It’s often been said that people are more likely to be injured or killed descending a mountain than climbing up it. Retirement is no different. Making a mistake with your investments while still working (climbing the mountain), will more than likely not end in calamity. However, making a mistake in retirement (descending the mountain) may not be something that can be recovered from. As a point of reference, Matt isn’t trying to impose fear on those of you that are retired regarding a market downturn. He’s referring to being overly risky when you don’t need to, taking speculative bets with investments that you may not fully understand, panicking and getting out of the market until you feel more comfortable. These are instances that you have control over and avoided with sound guidance.

Here at Ross Financial we specialize in helping people navigate the complexities of retirement. If you know people who are retired or thinking about retiring within the next 5 years, we would love to offer our expertise to them. Feel free to share this video with them.

Let’s talk politics

In this week’s Matt’s Minutes we touch on that timely topic that gets brought up to us every 4 years. There is always going to be different thoughts and opinions on how each presidency could affect the market differently but as we discuss in this video. Many common misconceptions for the past two presidents have proven to be opposite of the actual case. For example, the Biden administration campaigned on scaling back fossil fuels and galvanizing renewables. One would have expected traditional energy stocks would be punished, while renewables would be catapulted. Instead, the exact opposite has happened. On the other hand, President Trump campaigned vigorously to support the traditional energy industry and approve leases for drilling during his presidency. However, during his presidency the S&P 500 Energy index was down, while the S&P 500 Global Clean Energy index was up significantly. This is a perfect example of why we here at Ross Financial strive to keep our clients in diversified portfolios and try to steer clear of attempting to time the market or use speculation.

The article below outlines the source for the statistics mentioned.

https://am.jpmorgan.com/us/en/asset-management/adv/insights/market-insights/market-updates/on-the-minds-of-investors/how-much-does-policy-influence-sector-performance/

Tax Deadline Reminder & Contribution Limits Updated

In this video we cover timely tax reminders for all! The tax filing deadline is April 15th, this also is the deadline for contributing to your Roth or Traditional IRA’s for 2023. Watch this week’s video to see Dylan breakdown contribution limits and other tax related topics to consider.

We have a service that works like a GPS

Today Matt is sharing a service you may not know that we offer and have always offered. It works similar to a GPS, but instead of guiding you to your destination, it helps you navigate through your financial life. We offer comprehensive financial planning to all our clients at no additional cost. Comprehensive financial planning takes into account your current financial situation, goals, and risk tolerance to create a personalized roadmap for your financial success. If you’re contemplating a big transition such as retirement, or you’re in retirement and want to make sure your money will last you for years to come this may be a great solution to give you peace of mind and help guide you. Our team is here to provide guidance and support every step of the way. If you haven’t taken advantage of this service, email us and our team will explain the steps to get started and schedule a meeting.

Are Bonds Broken?

In today’s episode of Matt’s Minutes, we were discussing bonds. While bonds may have disappointed us last year, it’s important to understand how interest rates impact the value of bonds and why they underperformed last year. In the video above, Matt explains this inverse relationship, and by understanding the dynamics of bonds, investors can anticipate how changes in interest rates may affect the value of bonds in their portfolios. 

The Year of the Unicorn

In this week’s episode of Matt’s Minutes, we are discussing why 2022 was the year of the unicorn, this video shows how unique and unheard of some of the market movements & interest rate hikes were. Click the video above to hear Matt talk about how that may affect 2023.

2023 Retirement Contribution Updates

Every so often the IRS updates the amount you are eligible to contribute into your retirement plans such as your 401(k) through your employer or your IRA & Roth IRAs. If you’re already retired this video does not apply to you. See highlights of the changes discussed in this video & highlighted below.

How a Market Correction Can Benefit You

It’s important to understand how investor behavior during a market correction can potentially impact the balance of your portfolio over time. In this week’s episode of Matt’s Minutes, we take a look at an interesting visual that spans over 41 years, and we discuss the three investor behaviors: buying, selling or doing nothing. Click on the video above to watch and learn how a market correction can actually benefit you!

Is This The Recession We Have been Waiting For?

In this episode of Matt’s Minutes, I share my thoughts and opinions on the recent market volatility we’ve been experiencing. Ultimately my primary focus is to educate my clients & provide good foundational advice. If you’ve been watching your accounts or the news and have been concerned about what you’re seeing and hearing, watch the video below.

 

In this video I share:

  • The average yearly pull back in the market
  • History of the markets
  • A 10% pullback in the market isn’t newsworthy
  • How much the market pulled back during 2020 in the beginning of COVID-19 & it’s recovery

Be sure to check out the video I sent out nearly one year ago – referenced in the above video.  My thoughts on the market were accurate:

 

Are we headed for a correction?

https://vid.us/j5buxf

(Copy and paste this link into a chrome, internet explorer, or safari web browser to view the video)

Beware Of Phone Scams

To help you steer clear of fraudsters, here are a few warning signs and best practices to keep in mind.

  1. Don’t answer calls from numbers you don’t recognize, even if the numbers appear to be local (spammers accomplish this through a practice called spoofing).
  2. If you do answer the phone but become suspicious or feel pressured in any way, don’t hesitate to hang up immediately. 
  3. Beware of anyone who calls themselves a “health care representative,” a “government representative,” a “health insurance counselor,” or who says they’re from a medical discount plan. 
  4. Similarly, question anyone who claims to be from a trusted retailer, financial institution, internet or service provider, or law enforcement. If they are legitimate, they will be more than willing to give you their name and a callback number. 
  5. If the caller asks for personal information or payment, you can be almost certain the call is a scam. 
  6. Still in doubt? Hang up and contact your health insurance providers directly using the customer service number on your insurance card or the provider’s website.

A Brief Discussion About I Bonds

This week we are talking about I bonds, purely to educate and inform on what they are as we have been getting a lot of questions recently. Series I Savings Bonds are a government-issued bond earning interest based on a fixed rate plus a variable rate based on inflation. This savings bond is issued directly by the U.S. Treasury and cannot be held at any brokerage firm or sold at banks.

  • Per person maximum annual investment = $10,000 (plus $5,000 using federal income tax refund)
  • 30-year maturity. Cannot be redeemed prior to one year. If redeemed after one year but before five years, the holder forfeits the last three months of interest.
  • The current variable rate (based on CPI-Consumer Price Index) on the new Series I Bond changed in May to 9.62%. This rate will be good through October.
  • The variable rate resets every six months.
  • To buy Series I Savings Bonds go to TreasuryDirect.gov . They are NOT SOLD IN OPEN MARKET, BANKS or RAYMOND JAMES.

Please refer to https://www.savingsbonds.gov for all information or to address any questions you may have.

Is now a good time to sell and move to cash?

A common question that people sometimes ask is: “Does it ever make sense to get out of the market, or at what point in time does it makes sense to get out of the market?” Today in Matt’s Minutes we discuss this concept by using an example of two different investors. One investor that rides the ups and downs of the market and then the other who gets out and misses the downturn and then back in when they are feeling more comfortable. This is an age-old conversation that people have had and will continue to have. Our advice has always been and will always be that getting out of the market only to get back in when they feel more comfortable is a 100% losing proposition. The reason is in Matt’s almost 20 years of experience he has never seen anyone effectively execute this. Periodically we have clients say that they know people that have been lucky enough to sell prior to a drop in the market and bought back in at the right time, but the key word here is LUCK. Luck is not a strategy; therefore, it should not be relied upon.

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