The Tampa Bay Business Journal has honored Sharon Herman as one of fourteen Business of Pride recipients for 2016.
The awards reception was held at the American Stage in St Petersburg, FL and Tech Data was the presenting sponsor. The Tampa Bay Business Journal had an independent panel review nominees from the Tampa Bay area and chose those who best represented the LGBT business community.
It is a great honor to be recognized by the business community as a leader and a beacon in the community. I’m humbled to be looked upon as one of the outstanding business people and financial planners in the Tampa Bay area.
Sharon L. Herman AAMS, ADPA is the CEO of Silver Key Wealth Management
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
Life insurance is not a fun topic. It means that someone has kicked the bucket or you are planning on someone kicking the bucket. Usually people don’t like to dwell on if they have enough insurance. But let’s be good to our partners, my savvy LGBT friends and figure out pretty quick if we have enough insurance. Here are three things to look at:
• How much is your mortgage and how much longer to pay it off?
o This is usually the biggest debt a person has
• How much outstanding debt do you have as a couple?
o Outstanding credit card debt, car loans, etc.
• Do you want to provide living expenses for your partner or children?
o Are they going to miss your income? Do you want to leave them something to get by until they are settled? Do you want your children’s college expenses taken care of?
Add up the numbers and the time frame. This gives you a “quick and dirty” amount of life insurance that you’ll need and for what time frame. Most of these items can be covered with a term life insurance policy. Term life is something that you purchase as an individual.
Insurance can be complicated. You may have a need for more or less, depending on your individual situation. I suggest meeting with an ADPA designated financial advisor to help you better understand your individual needs.
What is the biggest fear you face if you unexpectedly pass away?
Many folks out there think of stocks when they think of investing. Well, my wise LGBT friends, that is only one piece of the puzzle. One of the most overlooked investments is the individual corporate bond.
Photo credit: 55laney69
When a business wants to raise a large amount of money, they issue bonds. You purchase the bond and the company pays you a predetermined amount of interest (usually monthly, quarterly or yearly) for a set amount of time. At the maturity date of the bond, you get the principal back. So basically, you are acting as the bank and making a loan to a company.
Why own them?
Good question! Here’s the answer: They may help add stability to your portfolio. It’s nice to know how much interest you will receive and when you will get it. Plus when the stock market is volatile, you know you have a holding in your portfolio that is giving you a consistent return.
Here is an example:
A bond may pay 6% interest and has a 20 year term to maturity. That means that on a $10,000 investment you will receive $600/year x 20 years = $12,000 interest over the life of the bond, plus you get back the initial $10,000 that you invested. That’s a 120% return on your initial investment plus your principal back! (This is a hypothetical example for illustrative purposes only and is not representative of any specific investment. Your results may vary).
Other stuff you should know:
Sometimes companies have severe financial hardships or go bankrupt. If they do, they can default on their bonds, which means that you can lose your future interest payments and/or the principal that you put into your bond investment. So if you are looking at purchasing bonds, look at their credit rating. AAA is the best rating , anything that is BB+ or below is considered to be a “junk” bond and is very speculative.
Can you sell bonds early? Yep, you can. The value of the bond can fluctuate, though. It may be worth more, the same or less than when you purchased it. So if you do sell it before the maturity date, you may lose money or make money. Many factors can affect the price of a bond, including interest rate changes, credit quality of the company and what the stock (equity) market is doing.
It is best to speak to a financial professional before you venture into the world of bonds! See if they are right for you and your current financial situation.
There are five common retirement planning mistakes that many people make
Train Wreck!! Photocredit: Tom Brandt
1. Changing investment strategies based on emotions.
It never feels good when the market goes down. And seeing your account value go down is never pleasant. The emotional side of you wants to stop the pain. In other words, pull your money out of the market. Then when the market goes up, you want to be a part of the party and put money in! Analyze what you are really doing when this happens. You are selling an investment low, then buying it back when it costs more money. Does that make sense? Would you sell your house when the price went down and then buy it back when the price went up because it was worth more? No. No you wouldn’t do that. So why do that with good investments?
2. Not being honest about retirement costs
I see this all of the time. People want to retire so much that they choose to tighten the belt when they budget for retirement. They hack things out of their life right and left on paper. Then they try to live it and find that the parameters are totally unreasonable. If you like to travel, then you like to travel. If you like to golf, then you like to golf. Don’t stop working too early just to be done, then punish yourself for the rest of your life. A few extra years of work may make the difference between having that annual vacation for the next 20 years or not. Think about that.
3. Not starting to save early enough
Don’t be this person! By saving earlier in life, you don’t have to put as much away each year to reach your retirement goal! All due to the magic of compounding.
Starting at age 25, if you invested $3500 a year at an 8% return, you would have over $1,000,000 at the age of 65. That’s it! Only $3500 a year!
If you wait until age 45 to start saving, then you have to invest $20,000 a year for 20 years to get a million dollars. That’s quite a difference. Don’t ignore the power of compounding. This is a hypothetical example and is not representative of any specific situation. Your results will vary. The hypothetical rates of return used do not reflect the deduction of fees and charges inherent to investing.
4. Not practicing good asset allocation
You need to spread the love in your portfolio, so to speak. Putting all of your investment dollars in one basket is never a good idea. This year’s hot performing asset class might be next years worse. Seek balance in all you do, including investing. Consider seeking the help of a financial professional for advice. Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
5. Leaving your 401k behind
You got a new job. Yay for you! Don’t forget about that 401k that’s been sitting there. You took the time to invest in it. Take the time to explore your distribution options. You can be losing out on the opportunity to grow your nest egg if you ignore your money! A good retirement plan is like a garden. It needs to be tended to and watched over to thrive.
Hello my LGBT friends! I hope this blog post finds you well.
In my last blog, I spoke about getting a game plan together. Now I’m going to talk about investing.
My belief – buy quality investments and be well diversified.
Your underlying investment strategy will only be as sound as the investments you buy. You wouldn’t build a house on quicksand and expect it to be sturdy, right? Same goes for your investment portfolio. Have a good foundation.
When looking at stock type of investments, look for companies that have been in business for a long time (I usually look at companies with at least a 10 year track record) and have a history of increasing dividends. That may be a good indicator of a company with a good financial record.
Don’t buy stocks in just one sector. Spread the love! You may want to pick companies from different sectors to balance out your portfolio. If you are starting out, I don’t recommend having more than 5% of your portfolio in any company. So even if you really like Coca Cola, Pepsi and Snapple, you might not want to buy all three of those companies. They do the same thing – make beverages. If you do decide to buy all three of those companies, buy them in smaller amounts so that sector doesn’t go over 5% of your portfolio. Make sense?
OK, my LGBT friends! First things first! You need to develop a game plan. What are your financial goals? Do you want to retire at a certain date? Take a dream vacation? Provide an education for your children or grandchildren?
Even Godzilla had a game plan!
Photo by: futuristmovies.com
You need to know what you want to accomplish before you set out and start to randomly invest money
If you were going to bake a cake, you’d make a list of ingredients that you need. Then you’d probably check your cupboards to see what you already have. After that, you’d go to the store and buy the rest. It wouldn’t make sense to go to the store and buy random ingredients and hope you end up with the right things to bake a cake…. Same goes for setting up a plan for investing your money. Write down what you want to accomplish and when and choose investments that match your timeframe and risk tolerance.
You need to be patient with your investments!
There are quite a few investments to pick from in the investing universe. – Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, alternative investments. Diversity is key. You need to be disciplined about saving money and patient with market returns. Don’t abandon a plan because of short term market setbacks. I suggest you speak to an LGBT financial advisor with an ADPA designation to assist you with your plan, if you are seeking professional assistance!
Your game plan should be looked at periodically. Have your goals changed? Are there life events happening that change our long or short term goals? If so, then maybe your investment strategy needs to change with it.
What do I want to do? I want to help the LGBT community grow their wealth. I want to provide the resources to help them do that. I want folks to know they have a place to go to and a person that they can consult to get the financial and investment advice they desire.
I want to help them, their partner/ spouse and their family. Click here to READ MORE