When it feels like the galaxy’s forces are all working against you when it comes to your finances, fighting back may seem incredibly daunting. However, becoming a financial Jedi Master is not as hard as you think. Here are four money lessons that may help you gain wisdom, perspective, and possibly some mastery of your finances.
TLWM Market Updates
When people think of life insurance, what usually comes to mind is settling the deceased's final expenses and providing financial support for their beneficiaries. Although these are the most common uses of life insurance, cash value, or whole life insurance, they offer financial resources to other situations. Here are six cases where using life insurance may be appropriate:
We saw increased volatility in stocks and bonds in March, as the S&P 500 rallied to finish the month up about 3.5%. (YCharts)
It was an eventful month of headlines, primarily with turmoil in the banking sector as two banks failed in three days. Concerns surrounding the banking system became the number one issue for investors, with the subsequent Fed meeting and rate decision a close second.
We’ve received a number of questions about the banking system and will tackle three of the biggest ones below:
- Are these failures systemic? At this point, we don’t believe these bank failures are a sign of widespread issues. One reason for this is that the cost to insure against banks failing increased (as expected), but remained below the levels we saw in 2020 and far below levels seen during the financial crisis. That said, we will continue to watch this sector carefully and be ready to make adjustments to portfolios if needed.
A 2022 Gallup Poll found that 58% of all adult Americans own stock. The top 1% owns more than half the total amount invested among those who own stock. 1 Making investing possible for your children, nieces, nephews and other loved ones may be the key to improving their financial future and getting them off to a good start in adulthood.
When people think of “myths,” they often think of such stories as Pandora’s Box (the woman who took the lid off of a jar releasing all of the world’s ills upon the world, were taxes one of them?), or the Tale of Prometheus (who stole fire from his fellow gods to give to humans and was punished by Zeus with eternal suffering).
With April’s federal tax filing and payment deadline on the horizon, Americans are dotting their i’s and crossing their t’s as they prepare for the countdown to Tax Day. But before you rush to get that return out the door, are you confident you have everything in order to make your tax filing go as smoothly as possible?
Most people know that once they approach retirement age, their reward for years of work comes from Social Security payments they put money towards during their employment. Deciding when to file for your Social Security payments is likely what you may focus on, but there are some other Social Security benefits you may be missing out on that are worth investigating.
After a strong start to the year February brought with it some volatility as the S&P 500 ended the month down about 2.5%, but is still up roughly 3.4% for the year. We were not surprised to see volatility, and think that we could see more choppiness in the months ahead as investors continue to digest recession risk and potential Fed policy changes.
The impact of these factors is not limited to stocks, but also affects the bond market. In February the 10 Year US Treasury Yield jumped from 3.52% at the beginning of the month, to 3.92% at month’s end. For perspective the 10 Year Treasury was yielding 1.83% at this time last year. (YCharts)
Below, we’ll highlight two key groups that are impacted by higher rates:
Spring can be a fantastic time to refresh your retirement plan and savings habits. With 2023 bringing increased limits for 401(k)s, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), and other tax-advantaged accounts, it's worth taking a closer look at your retirement savings. Below, we discuss three ways to refresh your retirement plan this spring.
One silver lining in the current bear market is that this could be a good time to convert assets from a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. Converted assets are subject to federal income tax in the year of conversion, which might be a substantial tax bill. However, if assets in your traditional IRA have lost value, you will pay taxes on a lower asset base when you convert.