College Planning: Grants, Work-Study, and Loans

College Planning: Grants, Work-Study, and Loans

In our prior videos (College Planning), we have talked about ways to reduce the cost of education through AP course, college selection, and scholarships.  Assuming you have done that and still have a shortfall, you are probably moving on to methods of obtaining financial aid.  Today we are going to talk about the $150 billion in federal aid that the US Department of Education offers to 15 million students each year.  The aid is provided in the form of grants, work-study, and loans.

College Planning: Advance Placement, College Selection, & Military Benefits

College Planning: Advance Placement, College Selection, & Military Benefits

Does the potential cost of college have you worried?  Today we are going to talk about ways to plan for college costs.  There are several ways, but we are going to focus on 3 that I think you can control. This is near and dear to me as I have 6 kids, with the first one just entering her 2nd year of college. Possibly 5 more to go, so I appreciate any avenue to save money while still getting a good value in this area.

Protect your Loved Ones with Legal Planning

Protect your Loved Ones with Legal Planning

We work with clients through all stages of life and through multiple generations. From going to college, paying off debt, getting married, saving for a house and of course, planning for retirement. And while accomplishing these important financial and life goals is critical, it can all go up in smoke in an instant if you haven’t planned properly. Premature death, disability, and an inability to handle one’s own affairs can leave you and your loved ones in a difficult position. Luckily, there are some simple things you can do to plan for the unforeseen and protect your loved ones and your financial legacy.

Choosing the Right Investment Manager for Your Needs

Choosing the Right Investment Manager for Your Needs

Would you like to know how investment managers are selected for your portfolio?  It certainly is not a case of “we like this guy,” or “who has the best return.”  There is a very clear and defined due diligence process.  But because our team of advisors recognize that this many not be visible for you, it seemed valuable to share more about it.

Brexit, what happens now?

Brexit, what happens now?

UK citizens’ decision to exit the European Union really caught the world off guard. Last Thursday, traders thought the vote would fail and that sent values higher. On Friday, we got new information and stocks fell. Partly as a correction to what people had assumed and partly over fear as to what the future holds. Since the announcement, global stock markets have been down. And as often happens when markets go down on a Friday, traders return on Monday in “selling mode”. But we believe this will prove to be a short-term reaction to an unexpected event rather than a protracted downturn.

Market Review and Outlook with Nick Lacy RJ AMS Chief Portfolio Strategist

Market Review and Outlook with Nick Lacy RJ AMS Chief Portfolio Strategist

Would you like to watch and listen firsthand to the person responsible for overall portfolio strategy for about $30 billion of investment assets?  If you do, this video is for you.  A few weeks ago, we had Nick Lacy with us in our office.  Nick is the Chief Portfolio Strategist for Asset Management Services within Raymond James.  It is safe to say that he is slightly smart.

Planning for the Future Needs to Include Insurance

Planning for the Future Needs to Include Insurance

Let’s be frank; no one likes to pay for insurance. It’s one of those things we do because we’re “responsible adults”. But in many cases we’re paying to protect ourselves against something that isn’t likely to happen. Most people don’t totally destroy their cars. Most houses don’t burn down. But when those things do happen, they can have catastrophic financial effects on those who are ill-prepared. While this is true for things like houses and cars, it’s also true when it comes to planning your financial future. Let’s take a quick dive into three areas we think are critically important to address when thinking about your financial plan.

Your Advisors improving for you

Your Advisors improving for you

Last week, Mike and I were at the 2016 Raymond James National Conference for Professional Development.  It was a very enriching week with literally hundreds of courses available for us to attend and a tremendous variety of topics.  We picked the courses to attend with you in mind.  We thought you might want to hear a bit about some of these.  If so, keep reading!

Two-Step Sign-on: The Remedy for Weak Passwords

Two-Step Sign-on: The Remedy for Weak Passwords

Most people know that in order to have a secure online presence, you must have a strong password. By “strong”, we mean that it should be long, complex (letters, number & special characters) and unique (not the same password on every website). But this can be tough to do. So in addition to a password, or in the absence of a strong password, there is something you should do to protect your online accounts.

How to turn your tax refund into $300,000

How to turn your tax refund into $300,000

In the United States, the average federal tax refund is about $3,000. Simply put, this means that the average American tax filer pays the U.S. government about $250 per month too much and then gets their own money back in one chunk in the spring. 
That brings up three questions:  
1.       Should they be giving the government an interest free loan?  
2.       What should they do with this money?
3.       Seriously… $300,000… How do I get that?

Rebalancing

Rebalancing

Imagine a situation where you were at the playground on the seesaw with your older brother.  It works well at first.  Then winter comes. The next spring you hop on the seesaw again, but it doesn’t work anymore.  Your brother grew faster, and now the seesaw is out of balance.  He gets on, you fly up on your side, and you’re stuck with your legs dangling in the air, suspended until he lets you down.  Your seesaw is out of balance.  You need to rebalance to make it work the right way again.

Diversification & Asset Allocation

Diversification & Asset Allocation

If I were to ask you to take your life savings, drive to the casino, walk to the roulette wheel and put all of your money on black 17… would you do it? Probably not. But why? Because it’s risky. You’ve put all of your hope in that one thing. If it works, are you a genius? Umm…no. You were very lucky. Take your money and walk away. It’ll probably never happen again. 

How to deal with market volatility

How to deal with market volatility

The start to 2016 has been marked by uncertainty in a number of areas. China, ISIS, Oil, etc. Not surprisingly, this uncertainty has caused plenty of fear and, consequently, volatility in global stock markets. Also not surprising are the familiar echoes from the “talking heads” on television and even some investors to “Get out!” or do something. Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to investing or risk management.