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Category: Financial Advisor

2018 Outlook

2018 is almost here! Here is our outlook for the stock market and GDP for the next year. Please read and enjoy! As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. 2018 LPL Outlook

Sharon L. Herman AAMS, ADPA is the CEO of Silver Key Wealth Management

The opinions expressed in this material do not necessarily reflect the views of LPL Financial.

Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Independent Financial Partners. IFP is a registered investment advisor. IFP and Silver Key Wealth Management are separate entities from LPL financial.

Ms. Herman may only discuss and/or conduct transact securities business with residents of FL, MI, GA, CA, NC, NJ, VA, TX. www.finra.org  www.sipc.org

 

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How a good portfolio is like Thanksgiving dinner

Hello ladies and gents, yes, I’m going to talk about Thanksgiving!

Mmmmm…. Thanksgiving. What’s not to like?

Turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and watching my beloved Detroit Lions… Good portfolios are like a good Thanksgiving dinner – they have a little bit of everything! Even the weird Jell-O mold that Aunt Petunia brings with the walnuts and celery in it.

As an LGBT financial advisor, my clients usually ask me what kinds of investments they should have in their portfolio. Diversification can help your portfolio weather the good and the bad markets. It can help you take advantage of the upside and help temper the downside. There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk. No one asset class performs well in all market conditions. Some years bonds will do better, other years, blue chip stocks will do better. Sometimes, small cap companies are doing well, other times, well, it seems like everything is not performing well at all.

What to do:
Have a mixture of investments in your portfolio.
Some asset classes include:
Cash and cash instruments: These include CD’s, money markets and savings accounts
Fixed income investments: These would be bond investments. Bonds are debt instruments that pay a fixed interest rate. You can buy individual bonds with staggering maturity dates and investment grades to diversify the bond portion of your portfolio.
Growth and Income investments: These are usually large cap “blue chip” stocks . These investments usually look for modest capital appreciation and dividends. They are usually companies that have been around for many years and have a history of paying dividends. Many times, they may have years and years of dividend payment increases.
Growth investments: Small and midcap stocks. These may pay dividends, but are usually less than growth and income. They are looking more for capital appreciation of the stock and not as much of a focus on dividends.
Think of this like Thanksgiving dinner – you want your plate to have a little bit of everything!
How about balancing? Never put all your eggs in one basket. A mixture of all of the asset classes may be a better way to go.

Do you have a good mix in your portfolio?

The above is for information only. I suggest you speak to an ADPA (Accredited Domestic Partner Advisor) about your particular situation.

Sharon L. Herman AAMS, ADPA is the CEO of Silver Key Wealth Management, and affiliated with LPL Financial. www.silverkeywealth.com
The opinions expressed in this material do not necessarily reflect the views of LPL Financial.
Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Silver Key Wealth Management. Silver Key Wealth Management is a separate entity from LPL financial.
Ms. Herman may only discuss and/or conduct transact securities business with residents of FL, MI, GA, NJ, VA, TX. www.finra.org www.sipc.org

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Downsizing your life – Part 1

We recently moved. Our house is slightly smaller.  I mean, it’s just 200 square feet smaller. But during the process, I tossed out and donated a bunch of stuff. I’ve never been one for having a ton of things, or so I thought. Over time, you collect stuff.  It happens.  It was very freeing to get rid of things. For some reason, having too much stuff was stressing me out.

I started with clothes. I went through all of my clothes. Have I worn it? Do I like it? It was amazing how much I was willing to let go, when I let myself. I know that sometimes we fall victim of the mental game of “it’s a perfectly good blah, blah, blah” or “I might need this down the road”. Well, if it’s perfectly good and you haven’t worn it, and know you won’t wear it, donate it. I donated at least 10 pairs of shoes and I don’t know how many shirts.

There are so many places that take clothing donations. Women’s shelters, the Humane Society, etc. Find a cause that you like and donate your clothes. It will make you feel good to be free of things you don’t use. It will make you feel good to help a worthy cause. It’s ok if you part with it. Honest.

 

Sharon L. Herman AAMS, ADPA is the CEO of Silver Key Wealth Management

The opinions expressed in this material do not necessarily reflect the views of LPL Financial.

Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Independent Financial Partners. IFP is a registered investment advisor. IFP and Silver Key Wealth Management are separate entities from LPL financial.

Ms. Herman may only discuss and/or conduct transact securities business with residents of FL, MI, GA, NC, NJ, VA, TX. www.finra.org. www.sipc.org

 

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Starting off your new year right

Happy New Year, my LGBT friends! Here are a few ideas to help you start off the new year on a good foot!
1. Make a folder for your 2015 taxes. As year end statements and tax reports arrive, put them in your folder.
2. Review your 2015 IRA contributions. Have you put in the maximum allowable amount? If you haven’t, you should.
3. Have you gone paperless? Many utilities allow you to go paperless for statements. Make the switch if you want to cut down on paper.
4. Tax returns only have to be kept for 7 years. If you have older tax returns shred them.
5. Furnace filters and batteries in smoke detectors – Yes, these are a pain to change sometimes. Smoke detectors with low batteries only seem to start chirping at 3am during the work week. If you haven’t changed the batteries for more than 6 months, swap them out for new ones.
6. Review your investment portfolio. Check that you’re properly balanced. Make adjustments, if needed.
Sharon L. Herman AAMS, ADPA is the CEO of Silver Key Wealth Management
The opinions expressed in this material do not necessarily reflect the views of LPL Financial.
Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Independent Financial Partners. IFP is a registered investment advisor. IFP and Silver Key Wealth Management are separate entities from LPL financial.
Ms. Herman may only discuss and/or conduct transact securities business with residents of FL, MI, GA, NJ, VA, TX. www.finra.org  www.sipc.org

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Review your life insurance

Do you have enough life insurance?

As time goes on, sometimes our debt load and obligations change. We buy a bigger house, we might have some loans, we might have kids.

Do an analysis to see if you have the proper amount of life insurance.
You may have life insurance through your employer. That’s great, but it isn’t portable…. Meaning if you separate from service with your employer, you won’t have life insurance. Most employers have group plans that are good while you are an employee. So don’t count on that insurance as a major part of your life insurance planning. The exception to this is if you are uninsurable on your own. Then you have no choice but to count on what you get at work.

How much is enough?
Add up the total of your debts. This includes mortgage, car loans, credit cards, personal loans. Do you have children? Do you want to provide for them? Maybe have enough for college costs if you were to pass away before they finish school? How about your spouse? Will they be able to get by on what you have saved? Add up your outstanding debt, the amount you would like to leave your children and spouse and that gives you a pretty good idea of how much insurance you will need. After you know much you need as a total, you can divide it up into time frames. Will your mortage be paid off in 10 years?
I suggest that you speak to a financial advisor regarding insurance needs. Many have tools to help calculate how much insurance you need and for how long of a period of time. You don’t want to underinsure and leaved your loved ones short of funds. You don’t want to over insure and waste money that could be invested in other things.

Sharon L. Herman AAMS, ADPA is the CEO of Silver Key Wealth Management, and affiliated with LPL Financial. www.silverkeywealth.com
The opinions expressed in this material do not necessarily reflect the views of LPL Financial.
Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Silver Key Wealth Management, an independent investment advisor. Silver Key Wealth Management is separate entity from LPL financial.
Ms. Herman may only discuss and/or conduct transact securities business with residents of FL, MI, GA, NJ, VA, TX. www.finra.org. www.sipc.org

photo credit: Ruben Holthuijsen

 

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Will or a Trust?

Should I get a will and/or a living trust? What’s the difference?  p.s. Don’t forget the Medical part!

Everyone wants to ensure that their worldly possessions go to whom they want in the case of their demise.

What’s the difference between a will and trust?
In a nutshell, wills have to be probated through court. That means it costs money, it takes months to settle and people can contest your will. Plus your financial affairs are a matter of public record. But, they are a great way to be specific about who gets what items (Aunt Petunia gets the piano…).
Living trusts avoid probate, allow you to control how and when your assets are dispersed when you are deceased and also allow for you to spell out who will handle your affairs if you become incapacitated. In general, they cost more than a will, but they keep your estate from having to go through probate. They are also more difficult to contest.
Durable Power of Attorney– Make sure you get this document when planning your affairs. This is particularly important for LGBT couples. Durable Power of Attorney documents are good for day to day items (you need your partner/spouse to sign a legal document on your behalf).It is also important if you become incapacitated or have a medical emergency. You have it spelled out, in writing, who is going to be making medical decisions for you. We’ve all heard of incidents where a partner is shut out of the family decision on how to care for someone in the hospital because they aren’t“next of kin”. This is problematic in states that don’t recognize gay marriage. So don’t leave it to chance. Get it in writing. Most Durable Power of Attorney forms do cover medical incapacitation. General Power of Attorney forms do not. They terminate when a person becomes incapacitated. It is best to see an Estate Planning Attorney to see what set of documents best fits your situation. This is not meant to be specific legal advice for your particular situation.

Sharon L. Herman AAMS, ADPA is the CEO of Silver Key Wealth Management and affiliated with LPL Financial. www.silverkeywealth.com
The opinions expressed in this material do not necessarily reflect the views of LPL Financial.
Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Silver Key Wealth Management, an independent investment advisor. Silver Key Wealth Management is separate entity from LPL financial.
Ms. Herman may only discuss and/or conduct transact securities business with residents of FL, MI, GA, NJ, VA, TX. www.finra.org. www.sipc.org

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1 thing every investor should do today

What’s the one thing you should do today?

Review your beneficiaries on your IRA’s, Roth IRA, 401k/403b, life insurance policies, and annuities.

You really want to do this. Why? Because you want to make sure that whoever is supposed to get the money, actually gets the money. Here is where I insert a sad story…

Several years ago in New York there was an older couple. The wife worked for the school system her entire life. She had a million dollars in her retirement account. When she started working for the school system, she was very young and hadn’t met her husband yet. She had made her mother and her sister as beneficiaries on her school system retirement account. Many years later, the woman passed away. She had forgotten to change her account to have her husband as the beneficiary. The woman’s mother was long deceased, but her sister? Well, the sister was a million dollars richer, and the husband didn’t get a penny. He had the school system review all documents to see if it was a mistake. It wasn’t. He and his wife had planned for that money for their retirement, but her simple error of forgetting to change her beneficiary decimated her husband’s retirement. Ouch.

Sharon L. Herman AAMS, ADPA is the CEO of Silver Key Wealth Management and a financial advisor in the LGBT community.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.
Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Silver Key Wealth Management, a registered investment advisor and separate entity from LPL Financial.
Ms. Herman may only discuss and/or conduct transact securities business with residents of FL, MI, GA, VA, NJ, TX. www.finra.org. www.sipc.org

photo credit: Images of Money

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How Marriage Affects your Credit Score

I get this question frequently – “We are thinking about getting married, what’s that going to do to my credit?”

This is usually a concern when one person has good credit and their significant other has bad credit.
The good news is that marrying a person with bad credit doesn’t automatically drag down your credit score.

However, there are situations where it can become an issue, so you need to be careful.
If you and the bad credit person want to purchase something together and want to apply for a loan, be wary!

When applying for a loan jointly, the loan folks will pull up your credit report jointly. This means at this point, your credit history will be commingled with the other person. At that point forward, it is difficult to get them split apart.

If one person has good credit and the other person has bad credit, the loan should only be applied for by the person with the good credit.

Unfortunately, this means that only the salary and assets of the person applying for the loan will count for debt/income ration, work history, etc.

A person’s income and assets who isn’t on the loan – even a spouse – isn’t taken into account. It doesn’t matter if they will live at the same address or will be contributing to the household payments. They aren’t on the application, so they aren’t taken into consideration.
In a nutshell, until the person with bad credit straightens out their credit issues, don’t apply for anything jointly.

Another thing to look at is why the other person has bad credit. Money is usually the number one thing that couples fight about in a marriage. Before tying the knot, take a good, long, look at how the bad credit situation happened and make sure it’s a situation that you can live with now and down the road. Is it constant poor spending judgment and money management? Or a one time life event that put them in this situation? Not a romantic way to look at a relationship, but a very pertinent factor when looking at spending the rest of your life with someone.

Sharon L. Herman AAMS, ADPA is the CEO of Silver Key Wealth Management, and affiliated with LPL Financial. www.silverkeywealth.com

The opinions expressed in this material do not necessarily reflect the views of LPL Financial.
Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Silver Key Wealth Management, an independent investment advisor. Silver Key Wealth Management is separate entity from LPL financial.
Ms. Herman may only discuss and/or conduct transact securities business with residents of FL, MI, GA, NJ, VA, TX. www.finra.org. www.sipc.org
Photo credit: Dennis Skley

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Record Keeping 101

Hello savvy investors!

One of the best ways to stay on track with your financial life is to get organized. Here’s a great tip. You should split up your files between short term and long term records. Below is a list of what records fall in which category.

A great way to start off the new year is to go through your current records, purge what you don’t need and reorganize what is left. Then just maintain what you have! It will make your life much simpler down the road. Happy organizing!

Short Term records – keep for one year

• paid bills
• bank/investment statements
• canceled checks
• credit card statements
• health records
• resume (review and update yearly)
• income tax receipts (then put with your tax return in your long term records)
• major purchase receipts
• insurance policies (auto/house/boat)
After a year, clean out your files. Most major financial institutions have online access to statements. You may not even need a paper file for some of these documents.

Long Term Files
Long Term Files should include:

• bank statements (last 7 years)
• credit card statements (with home improvement expenses)
• receipts for home improvements
• warranties
• income tax records
• inheritance papers
• investment statements for all investments – stocks, bonds, mutual funds, retirements plans, annuities
• legal papers about formerly owned properties
• birth certificates
• social security cards
• burial deeds
• wills/trusts
• powers of attorney
• car titles
• house titles

Remember not to keep any wills, trusts, power of attorney paperwork in a safe deposit box. When a death occurs banks will seal the safe deposit box and people will not be able to access your paperwork. Keep documents of this nature in an accessible place and inform your next of kin their location.

Photo credit: Hey Paul Studios

Sharon L. Herman AAMS, ADPA is the CEO of Silver Key Wealth Management, and affiliated with LPL Financial. www.silverkeywealth.com Sharon.Herman@silverkeywealth.com

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Silver Key Wealth Management, a registered investment advisor and separate entity from LPL Financial.
Ms. Herman may only discuss and/or conduct transact securities business with residents of FL, MI, GA, VA, NJ, TX. www.finra.org. www.sipc.org

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The 4 Boring Secrets to Accumulating Wealth

The secret is that it’s all really common sense in your approach.

1. Start saving when you are young.
We all know this can be tough. Young adults often have student loan debt, want to buy their first home, and retirement seems like a looooong way off. Many of us who are “old” selves would love to be able to go back and tell our “young” selves to save money!
Here’s a great example of how to become a millionaire:

If you put away $230 a month starting at age 21 in an investment that averages an 8% return, by age 65 you will have over $1,000,000. That’s only $230 a month.

If you start this program at age 31, you will only have $456,000 at age 65. You’ll only end up with half! You’ll still have a nice chunk of change at the end. The point is that an extra 10 years of compounding can make a big difference for the end result.

*This is a hypothetical and does is not reflective of a particular or actual investment. It is for demonstrative purposes only.

2. Don’t live to your means.
Whatever you bring home a month in pay, don’t spend it all. You don’t have to have the biggest house in the neighborhood. You don’t need the most expensive car. You really don’t need it. In the book “The Millionaire Next Door” Thomas Stanley found that the typical millionaire lives to 80% of their means, drives an older vehicle and doesn’t live in the high end neighborhood. They are living life for themselves, not to impress others.

3. Choose a career that pays well.
I know, this seems so obvious. There are many fields that are very honorable but just don’t pay well. It’s a hard reality. If you want to be financially independent, it’s tougher to do with a career that pays only $40,000 a year as opposed to one that pays $100,000 a year. Come up with a game plan to get yourself where you want to be financially. Your career plays a big part of it.

4. Pay yourself first.
Make saving for the future a priority. Get an emergency fund in order. Save up for retirement. These are the things that you will be extremely grateful for later in life. 65 year old you will look back and want to give 25 year old you a big hug and a thank you.

What is your plan to accumulate wealth?

Sharon L. Herman AAMS, ADPA is the CEO of Silver Key Wealth Management, and affiliated with LPL Financial. www.silverkeywealth.com
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.
Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Silver Key Wealth Management, a registered investment advisor and separate entity from LPL Financial.
Ms. Herman may only discuss and/or conduct transact securities business with residents of FL, MI, GA, VA, NJ, TX. www.finra.org. www.sipc.org

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