Bringing Our Community Together

Category archive

Business

Eleven ways to help stay sane in a crazy market

in Business by
 

Keeping your cool can be hard to do when the market goes on one of its periodic roller-coaster rides. Here are 11 ways to help keep yourself from making hasty decisions that could have a long-term impact on your ability to achieve your financial goals.

1. Have a game plan

Having predetermined guidelines that recognize the potential for turbulent times can help prevent emotion from dictating your decisions. For example, you might take a core-and-satellite approach, combining the use of buy-and-hold principles for the bulk of your portfolio with tactical investing based on a shorter-term market outlook. You also can use diversification to try to offset the risks of certain holdings with those of others. Diversification may not ensure a profit or guarantee against a loss, but it can help you understand and balance your risk in advance. And if you’re an active investor, a trading discipline can help you stick to a long-term strategy.

2. Know what you own and why you own it

When the market goes off the tracks, knowing why you originally made a specific investment can help you evaluate whether your reasons still hold, regardless of what the overall market is doing.

3. Remember that everything is relative

Most of the variance in the returns of different portfolios can generally be attributed to their asset allocations. If you’ve got a well-diversified portfolio that includes multiple asset classes, it could be useful to compare its overall performance to relevant benchmarks. If you find that your investments are performing in line with those benchmarks, that realization might help you feel better about your overall strategy.

4. Tell yourself that this too shall pass

The financial markets are historically cyclical. Even if you’re considering changes, a volatile market can be an inopportune time to turn your portfolio inside out. A well-thought-out asset allocation is still the basis of good investment planning.

5. Be willing to learn from your mistakes

Anyone can look good during bull markets; smart investors are produced by the inevitable rough patches. If an earlier choice now seems rash, sometimes the best strategy is to take a tax loss, learn from the experience, and apply the lesson to future decisions. Expert help can prepare you and your portfolio to both weather and take advantage of the market’s ups and downs.

6. Consider playing defense

During volatile periods in the stock market, many investors reexamine their allocation to such defensive sectors as consumer staples or utilities.

7. Stay on course by continuing to save

Even if the value of your holdings fluctuates, regularly adding to an account designed for a long-term goal may cushion the emotional impact of market swings. If losses are offset even in part by new savings, your bottom-line number might not be quite so discouraging.

8. Use cash to help manage your mind-set

Cash can be the financial equivalent of taking deep breaths to relax. It can enhance your ability to make thoughtful decisions instead of impulsive ones. Having a cash cushion coupled with a disciplined investing strategy can change your perspective on market volatility.

9. Remember your road map

Solid asset allocation is the basis of sound investing. One of the reasons a diversified portfolio is so important is that strong performance of some investments may help offset poor performance by others. Make sure your asset allocation is appropriate before making drastic changes.

10. Look in the rear-view mirror

If you’re investing long term, sometimes it helps to take a look back and see how far you’ve come. If your portfolio is down this year, it can be easy to forget any progress you may already have made over the years. With stocks, it’s important to remember that having an investing strategy is only half the battle; the other half is being able to stick to it.

11. Take it easy

If you feel you need to make changes in your portfolio, there are ways to do so short of a total makeover. You could test the waters by redirecting a small percentage of one asset class to another. You could put any new money into investments you feel are well-positioned for the future, but leave the rest as is. You could set a stop-loss order to prevent an investment from falling below a certain level, or have an informal threshold below which you will not allow an investment to fall before selling. Taking gradual steps is one way to spread your risk over time, as well as over a variety of asset classes.

Remember that while they’re sound strategies, diversification, asset allocation, and dollar cost averaging can’t guarantee a profit or eliminate the possibility of loss.

This article was written by Broadridge, an independent third party, and provided to you by Hall Sumner, Vice President, Investments at TLS Wealth Management of Raymond James. Hall Sumner is a Financial Advisor with Raymond James & Associates, Inc., Member New York Stock Exchange/SIPC located at 2015 Boundary Street, Suite 220, Beaufort SC 29902. He can be contacted at 843-379-6100 or  hall.sumner@raymondjames.com or visit our website at: www.tlswealthmanagement.com.

This information was developed by Broadridge, an independent third party. It is general in nature, is not a complete statement of all information necessary for making an investment decision, and is not a recommendation or a solicitation to buy or sell any security. Investments and strategies mentioned may not be suitable for all investors. Past performance may not be indicative of future results. Raymond James & Associates, Inc. member New York Stock Exchange/SIPC does not provide advice on tax, legal or mortgage issues. These matters should be discussed with an appropriate professional.

Life insurance you can put to use now

in Business by

Provided by State Farm

The money you spend on permanent life insurance can be used to pay death benefits for your loved ones, or to help you financially during your lifetime. Look to permanent life insurance to offer:

Lifetime Protection: Whole life insurance offers level premiums and life insurance protection for as long as you live, provided premiums are paid as required to keep the policy in force. The death benefit paid by a whole life insurance policy generally passes on income tax-free to your beneficiaries.

Cash Value: Whole life insurance provides for the accumulation of cash value on a tax deferred basis over time. This cash value can be used to help cover unexpected expenses, college expenses or help supplement your retirement income. Unpaid loans and withdrawals will reduce the death benefit and policy cash value. Loans also accrue interest.

Policy Dividends: With whole life insurance, insurance companies may pay dividends—a return of premium for better-than-expected performance by the insurance company. Though not guaranteed, dividends can increase a policy’s death benefit or cash value, and generally aren’t considered taxable income.

Contact your State Farm® agent (https://www.statefarm.com/agent/index.xhtml) to learn more about life insurance (https://www.statefarm.com/insurance/life_annuity/life/life.asp).

Neither State Farm nor State Farm agents provide tax, legal, or investment advice. Please consult your tax, legal, or investment advisor regarding your specific circumstances.

Are you prepared to handle a personal financial crisis?

in Business/Contributors/Wells Fargo by

Individuals who are married or in a committed relationship face the possibility they’ll end up managing finances alone at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, the first time many experience handling complicated financial matters alone is during a personal crisis following the death or divorce of a spouse or partner. 

We’ve prepared a list of thought-provoking questions pertaining to financial fitness and crisis preparedness. You can use these as a starting point to check how prepared you are to handle a personal financial crisis in your life. Begin by reviewing the questions, determine what you’ve already done, and check those items off the list. For the questions you need to address or take action on, seek the advice of professional advisors and trusted family members.

Asset management 

  • Do I have a clear picture of where my assets are located? 
  • Will my retirement assets provide a comfortable retirement for my life expectancy?
  • Do I have a well-diversified portfolio?
  • Are my investments appropriate in today’s economy?
  • Are my assets titled properly?
  • Do I have an emergency fund?
  • Am I taking advantage of techniques to reduce my taxes?

Estate planning 

  • Do I have a will?
  • Is my will current?
  • Have I determined what my family may owe in estate taxes?
  • Have I funded my estate-tax liability?
  • Have I explored and taken advantage of wealth-transfer techniques?
  • Do I wish to provide for charitable giving?
  • Are my power of attorney and my living will up to date?

Debt management 

  • Do I know my credit rating?
  • Could I get a loan if I applied?

Insurance

  • Do I have enough insurance coverage to cover medical expenses?
  • To provide for disability/long-term care?
  • To provide for family members’ security?
  • To fund estate-tax liability?

In addition …

  • Have I coordinated my advisors’ (attorney, CPA, banker) activities?
  • What changes in my life are likely to occur within the next three years?
  • Do I know the status of my parents’/children’s financial situation and the implications for my financial well-being?
  • Would I be prepared for a family emergency if it happened tomorrow?

Our firm does not provide legal or tax advice. Be sure to consult with your own tax and legal advisors before taking any action that could have tax consequences. Any estate plan should be reviewed by an attorney who specializes in estate planning and is licensed to practice law in
your state

This article was written by/for Wells Fargo Advisors and provided courtesy of Katie C. Phifer, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and Financial Advisor in Beaufort, SC at 843-982-1506. 

Investments in securities and insurance products are: NOT FDIC-INSURED/NOT BANK-GUARANTEED/MAY LOSE VALUE Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, Member SIPC, a registered broker-dealer and non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company.

Smart home device can protect home from leaks

in Business by

According to Turbeville Insurance Agency, water damage is the most common reason for a home insurance claim. So Flo Technologies has created a smart home device called Flo that  proactively monitors a home’s water supply and can detect leaks as small as a drip per minute anywhere in the home. 

After having the system installed on your home’s main supply line and downloading the app, Flo can immediately identify whether you have a leak in your home or not. If there is a leak, Flo will alert you to the vulnerability in your pipes and you can schedule maintenance or shut off the water directly from the mobile app. Also, if you’re on vacation and away from your smart phone, and  a burst pipe occurs, Flo will take action on your behalf by automatically shutting off the water and preventing flooding to your home.

South Carolinians have faced all kinds of natural disasters in the last few years from Hurricane Matthew and the 1,000-year flood to extreme winter storms in Beaufort and Charleston. Having an extra smart home device to control your home’s water is designed to give homeowners extra piece of mind.

For more information about Flo, visit www.meetflo.com. As an added bonus, some home insurance policies will provide a discount on your annual homeowners policy if you install Flo. Talk to any local Turbeville Insurance agents to find out if you qualify for added savings.

Beaufort Town Center welcomes new business

in Business by

A flooring and cabinet store, along with three additional restaurants wil open in Beaufort Town Center this spring.

With businesses including retail, grocery, hotels, 13 restaurants, and professional services including healthcare, dental, personal care, fitness, investment advisors, banks, lawyers, accountants and engineers, Beaufort Town Center is achieving its goal of becoming a lifestyle center for the region. “It’s gratifying to see so many businesses succeeding. Adding more businesses to the center just adds to the excitement,” said Hollie Mitchell, a 303 Associates manager for Beaufort Town Center.

Beaufort Town Center’s remaining availabilities range from virtual offices, executive suites, office space, retail, and restaurant spaces. Located on Boundary Street, Beaufort Town Center is continuously growing and adapting to accommodate business needs.

Group recognizes Realtor of the Year

in Business by
Paul Jernigan
Paul Jernigan

The Beaufort County Association of Realtors is proud to announce the 2017 Realtor of the Year, Paul Jernigan. Realtor of the Year recognizes those who have served not only the real estate profession but also their communities. 

Jernigan has served on the Board of Directors of the Beaufort County Association of Realtors as secretary, treasurer, vice president and president, is a member of the Candidate Screening Committee and the Professional Standards Hearing Panel.  He also serves as a statewide mediator and ombudsman, a former member of the SC REALTORS Legislative Committee and a graduate of the SCR Leadership program.  

For information, visit www.beaufortscrealtors.com. 

Business briefs for February 1st-7th

in Business by

Program provides financial advice

More than 4.5 million people have positively changed their financial future through Ramsey Solutions’ Financial Peace University (FPU). 

Created by financial expert Dave Ramsey, the nine-week course provides families and individuals with practical tools to gain control of their finances and set themselves up for long-term financial success. 

FPU will be held in Beaufort at St. Helena’s Anglican Church located at 505 Church Street in Beaufort. 

The classes will begin Wednesday, February 21 at 6 p.m. Go to www.fpu.com/1058594 for more information or to register. Through common-sense principles, FPU gives people the tools they need to change their behavior and succeed financially. 

Company invests in commercial property

Buckhorn Investment Properties is pleased to announce the recent purchase of building 14 and 16 Professional Village Drive, on Lady’s Island. With the purchase of the building — and a recent move to Beaufort from Lexington, NC — John and Lisa Horne of Buckhorn Investment Properties are excited to invest in Beaufort and promote small business.

Conveniently located off of the Sea Island Parkway, this 1200-1400 square foot professional space provides safe, uncomplicated access with plenty of parking. Updated with new paint and carpet, 16 Professional Village Drive is available for lease and offers a sitting area, workroom, two bathrooms and four offices. For more information about Buckhorn Investment Properties, call John Horne, 336-596-0211 or email johnhorne53@gmail.com.

Reaching Retirement: Now What?

in Business by

You’ve worked hard your whole life anticipating the day you could finally retire. Well, that day has arrived! But with it comes the realization that you’ll need to carefully manage your assets to give them lasting potential.

Review your portfolio regularly

Traditional wisdom holds that retirees should value the safety of their principal above all else. For this reason, some people shift their investment portfolio to fixed-income investments, such as bonds and money market accounts, as they approach retirement. The problem with this approach is that you’ll effectively lose purchasing power if the return on your investments doesn’t keep up with inflation. While generally it makes sense for your portfolio to become progressively more conservative as you grow older, it may be wise to consider maintaining at least a portion of your portfolio in growth investments.

Spend wisely

Don’t assume that you’ll be able to live on the earnings generated by your investment portfolio and retirement accounts for the rest of your life. At some point, you’ll probably have to start drawing on the principal. But you’ll want to be careful not to spend too much too soon. This can be a great temptation, particularly early in retirement. A good guideline is to make sure your annual withdrawal rate isn’t greater than 4% to 6% of your portfolio. (The appropriate percentage for you will depend on a number of factors, including the length of your payout period and your portfolio’s asset allocation.) Remember that if you whittle away your principal too quickly, you may not be able to earn enough on the remaining principal to carry you through the later years.

Understand your retirement plan distribution options

Most pension plans pay benefits in the form of an annuity. If you’re married, you generally must choose between a higher retirement benefit paid over your lifetime, or a smaller benefit that continues to your spouse after your death. A financial professional can help you with this difficult, but important, decision. Other employer retirement plans, such as 401(k)s, typically don’t pay benefits as annuities; the distribution (and investment) options available to you may be limited. This may be important because if you’re trying to stretch your savings, you’ll want to withdraw money from your retirement accounts as slowly as possible. Doing so will conserve the principal balance, and will also give those funds the chance to continue growing tax deferred during your retirement years.

Consider whether it makes sense to roll your employer retirement account into a traditional IRA, which typically has very flexible withdrawal option. If you decide to work for another employer, you might also be able to transfer assets you’ve accumulated to your new employer’s plan, if the new employer offers a retirement plan and allows a rollover.

Plan for required distributions

Keep in mind that you must generally begin taking minimum distributions from employer retirement plans and traditional IRAs when you reach age 70½, whether you need them or not. You might consider spending these dollars first in retirement. If you own a Roth IRA, you aren’t required to take any distributions during your lifetime. Your funds can continue to grow tax deferred, and qualified distributions will be tax free. Because of these unique tax benefits, it generally makes sense to withdraw funds from a Roth IRA last.

Know your Social Security options

You’ll need to decide when to start receiving your Social Security retirement benefits. At normal retirement age (which varies from 66 to 67, depending on the year you were born), you can receive your full Social Security retirement benefit. You can elect to receive your Social Security retirement benefit as early as age 62, but if you begin receiving your benefit before your normal retirement age, your benefit will be reduced. Conversely, if you delay retirement, you can increase your Social Security retirement benefit.

Consider phasing

For many workers, the sudden change from employee to retiree can be a difficult one. Some employers, especially those in the public sector, have begun offering “phased retirement” plans to address this problem. Phased retirement generally allows you to continue working on a part-time basis — you benefit by having a smoother transition from full-time employment to retirement, and your employer benefits by retaining the services of a talented employee. Some phased retirement plans even allow you to access all or part of your pension benefit while you work part time.

Of course, to the extent you are able to support yourself with a salary, the less you’ll need to dip into your retirement savings. Another advantage of delaying full retirement is that you can continue to build tax-deferred funds in your IRA or employer-sponsored retirement plan. Keep in mind, though, that you may be required to start taking minimum distributions from your qualified retirement plan or traditional IRA once you reach age 70½, if you want to avoid substantial penalties.

If you do continue to work, make sure you understand the consequences. Some pension plans base your retirement benefit on your final average pay. If you work part time, your pension benefit may be reduced because your pay has gone down. Remember, too, that income from a job may affect the amount of Social Security retirement benefit you receive if you are under normal retirement age. But once you reach normal retirement age, you can earn as much as you want without affecting your Social Security retirement benefit.

Facing a shortfall

What if you’re nearing retirement and you determine that your retirement income may not be adequate to meet your retirement expenses? If retirement is just around the corner, you may need to drastically change your spending and saving habits. Saving even a little money can really add up if you do it consistently and earn a reasonable rate of return. And by making permanent changes to your spending habits, you’ll find that your savings will last even longer. Start by preparing a budget to see where your money is going. Here are some suggested ways to stretch your retirement dollars:

Refinance your home mortgage if interest rates have dropped since you obtained your loan, or reduce your housing expenses by moving to a less expensive home or apartment.

Access the equity in your home. Use the proceeds from a second mortgage or home equity line of credit to pay off higher-interest-rate debts, or consider a reverse mortgage.

Sell one of your cars if you have two. When your remaining car needs to be replaced, consider buying a used one.

Transfer credit card balances from higher-interest cards to a low- or no-interest card, and then cancel the old accounts.

Ask about insurance discounts and review your insurance needs (e.g., your need for life insurance may have lessened).

Reduce discretionary expenses such as lunches and dinners out.

By planning carefully, investing wisely, and spending thoughtfully, you can increase the likelihood that your retirement will be a financially comfortable one. It is important to note that the decision of when and how to tap your Social Security benefits can be complicated. You might want to review your options long before your planned retirement date to be sure you fully understand the pros and cons of each.

This article was written by Broadridge, an independent third party, and provided to you by Arthur Levin, Managing Director, at TLS Wealth Management of Raymond James. Arthur Levin is a Financial Advisor with Raymond James & Associates, Inc., Member New York Stock Exchange/SIPC located at 305 Carteret Street, Beaufort SC 29902. He can be contacted at 843-379-6100 or arthur.levin@raymondjames.com or visit our website at: www.tlswealthmanagement.com.

This information was developed by Broadridge, an independent third party. It is general in nature, is not a complete statement of all information necessary for making an investment decision, and is not a recommendation or a solicitation to buy or sell any security. Investments and strategies mentioned may not be suitable for all investors. Past performance may not be indicative of future results. Raymond James & Associates, Inc. member New York Stock Exchange/SIPC does not provide advice on tax, legal or mortgage issues. These matters should be discussed with an appropriate professional. Not for use with rollover solicitations.

Setting personal and family wealth goals

in Business by

There’s a Finnish quote, “Happiness is the place between too little and too much.” In our culture that’s so driven by having more, no matter what we already have, this can be a smart and helpful bit of advice. For families just starting to plan their financial priorities, budgeting can be a balancing act: paying bills, saving wisely in the event of emergencies, and investing in anticipation of children’s college tuition or your own retirement.

The desire for more “stuff” actually can contribute to a financial bind for families. In many cases, a lack of financial priorities leads to overspending, leaving too little money to cover expenses and savings. As a result, many individuals have little choice but to continue working into their retirement years.

For many Americans, however, retirement will span decades — and that key thought should be near the forefront of your planning efforts. 

Start by planning your journey.

Everyone should avoid the temptation to plow ahead with no plan, possibly because they think they don’t earn enough to save or because poor decisions have left their finances in such turmoil that they don’t want others, including family members, to know. You should never be embarrassed about what you make or the situation you are in. It might surprise people to know how many others are in situations similar to theirs. 

The worst thing you can do is nothing. Seeking help from a trusted financial advisor can help build your confidence, and most important, show you that you’re not alone on your financial journey.

Set goals, ask the right questions, and find someone to help you.

Setting goals is critical to your financial wellbeing, and it starts with introspection and questions. For example, would you love to work into old age or do you want to retire early? Would you like to start a second career or own a business? How will you financially provide for your children’s college education? Is your dream house a near or distant possibility?

At the heart of having an investment plan for your future is figuring out exactly what you want to achieve. In determining your investment goals, there are several questions that can help you and your financial advisor develop an appropriate investment plan. 

First, how long can you invest your money? 

Second, how comfortable are you with up and down movements in the value of your investments? 

Third, how much ready cash do you need to meet unexpected emergencies or expenses? 

Once you’ve answered those questions, you and your financial advisor can begin to weigh the three primary investment goals – growth, income, and stability or protection of principal – to determine how to select specific investments that are appropriate for your investment plan.

Move saving up your priority list.

Typically when we budget, we budget all of the required obligations that we have — mortgages, car loans, utilities — and then we budget our discretionary spending. And whatever is left over, if anything, is what we save. Re-order your list (and priorities):  Pay required household bills and then budget your savings, moving nonessentials to the bottom of the list.

Smart planning starts with a simple principle: Pay yourself first.

Save systematically to take advantage of the potential for compound growth. As a hypothetical example, Sally, age 23, invests $5,500 a year for 10 years in a Traditional IRA. At age 65, her investment will be worth $363,418, based on a hypothetical, consistent return of 5%. By contrast, David starts funding his Traditional IRA at age 40, putting in a total of $143,000 over 26 years until he’s 65. Using that same assumed return, his investment will be worth $295,180 — about $68,000 less than Sally has in her account even though she invested $88,000 less.

A small amount can be huge here, even if you are saving $10 a week or $50 a month or $200 a month. Doing so may be more reliable than hoping for an inheritance from your parents, who may incur unexpected medical bills or give their money to someone else.

This article was written by/for Wells Fargo Advisors and provided courtesy of Whitney McDaniel, CFP®, Financial Advisor in Beaufort, SC at (843) 524-1114.  Any third-party posts, reviews or comments associated with this listing are not endorsed by Wells Fargo Advisors and do not necessarily represent the views of Whitney McDaniel or Wells Fargo Advisors and have not been reviewed by the Firm for completeness or accuracy. Investments in securities and insurance products are: NOT FDIC-INSURED/NOT BANK-GUARANTEED/MAY LOSE VALUE. Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, Member SIPC, a registered broker-dealer and non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company. © 2017 Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC. All rights reserved. 

1 2 3 20
Go to Top