Protecting and growing your nest egg is key to reaching your retirement goals. This requires a commitment of time, a high level of expertise, proper resources, and the discipline to stick to your plan.
Portfolio Safety Net
We help our clients manage a variety of investment accounts. No matter what type of investment account you have, it’s a good idea to protect it from severe losses in the market. This is especially true if you are getting close to retirement, or you are already retired. The last two major stock market crashes (2000-2001 and 2007-2009) each wiped out about 50% of the markets value. It took over 10 years for the market to get back above the 2000 levels, a period of time known as “the lost decade”. You may not be able to wait, or may not want to wait that long for the market to recover the next time this happens. And you may not have time to go back and earn your money again. This is why it is so important to minimize losses in the later stages of life. To help our clients with this dilemma, we developed proprietary software to protect and preserve client assets in a declining stock market. Portfolio Safety Net can be added on to any of our model portfolios to help protect client assets. We utilize this software no extra cost to our clients. Watch this short video to learn more about how it works.
If you are an investor in your 50’s or older, you should strongly consider adding Portfolio Safety Net to your investment strategy. This is just one more way that we help our clients protect and preserve their money so that they can achieve their retirement dreams.
What Types of Accounts Do We Manage?
We can help a client manage almost any type of investment account. Whether you have an 401(k), IRA, 403(b), mutual fund, brokerage, college savings account, fixed or variable annuity, or cash value life insurance, we can help.
Most people have the bulk of their investment dollars inside of their company sponsored retirement plan, most often a 401K. A 401K is a great way to invest for a lot of reasons. First, your contributions come out of your paycheck pre-tax. This reduces your taxable income, which means you keep more of your pay and give less to the government. Second, your employer most likely has some kind of matching contribution as a benefit to you. Many employers will match your 401K contributions dollar for dollar up to a certain limit. This is free money for you and helps you build up your savings quickly. The biggest downside of a 401K is that you are limited to investments available inside the plan. Many plans only give you a few handfuls of choices, and a lot of them aren’t that great. We manage 401K accounts for a lot of our employees through a self-directed option, sometimes called a brokerage-link account. This type of arrangement allows you to move your money into an account with your custodian that has unlimited investment choices in it. All you need to do is ask your 401K custodian (Fidelity, Schwab, etc.) if your plan offers a self-directed option, or brokerage-link option. Many 401K plans also allow active employees to roll over a portion of their account to an IRA even though they are still working. The best way to find out what your options are is to talk to your 401K custodian (where the money is invested). We have found that even many employer human resource representatives are not aware of all the options available to 401K participants.
IRA accounts are the next most common investment account that we help our clients with. After you leave a job, you can roll your old 401K or 403(b) into an IRA account where you have more investment choices. This is a non-taxable event, so doing this won’t create a tax burden for you. IRA’s continue to grow tax-deferred just like your 401K or 401(b) did. Many clients will ask, “What does your IRA pay?” This is a good question that comes from dealing with banks and credit unions where your IRA investment choices are limited to CD’s or savings bonds. The earnings you get on your IRA depends on how you have it invested. At Turning Point Financial, we invest clients money into well diversified portfolios of mainly no-load (meaning no commission) mutual funds and ETF’s (exchange traded funds). We may also invest a portion of a clients IRA into individual stocks, individual bonds, fixed annuities or CD’s, depending on the clients situation. Give us a call to set up a free consultation, and we’ll show you more about our diversified portfolios, their low fees, and how they have performed.
A 403(b) account works much like a 401K, but 403b’s are usually for school or government employees. They are a great way to save for retirement and we can usually help a client manage them, depending on the custodian for the plan.
Mutual Fund or Brokerage Accounts
Mutual fund or brokerage accounts are a common way that people save money that they want to invest in the stock or bond markets. We manage many of these types of accounts for clients, and they are easily moved from one company to another. We only use no-load (meaning no commission) mutual funds or ETF’s for our clients. We are a fee-based investment adviser so the only way we get paid when managing money for a client is by a fee we charge directly to the client. This way our interests are in line with the client. As the client makes more money, so do we. If the client loses money, so do we. We want to grow and protect our clients money. This way there is no incentive for us to invest in one company over another, we only use the best money managers in the business. Inside a brokerage account we can invest in mutual funds, ETF’s, individual stocks, individual bonds, and CD’s. We can give you a no-cost, no-obligation review of your current investments and show you how they compare to what we are doing for our clients. Call us today for a free second opinion!
College Savings Accounts
Saving for college can be done through a number of vehicles. Some of the most popular ways to save for college are 529 accounts and custodial accounts. We use both of these with many of our clients who have children or grandchildren they are saving for.
Annuities are another tax-deferred investment vehicle that have specific uses for many situations. Annuities are a tax safe-haven that investors can fund even after they’ve maxed out their IRA or 401(k) contributions for the year. They are not a “one-size-fits-all” type of investment, but there are many cases where they are the best way to invest. There are a lot of different kinds of annuities, some are good, and some are not so good.
Fixed annuities can be a great, safe-money investment, especially in a rising interest rate environment. Compared to bonds or bond funds, fixed annuities won’t decline in value when interest rates are rising. Some fixed annuities pay interest that is linked to the performance of the stock market indexes. While your principal is safe and protected, these types of annuities offer the potential to earn more than traditional CD’s or bond funds. Many offer guaranteed minimum returns, lifetime income, and extra payments if you ever need long term care.
Variable annuities can also be a great way to save for retirement. If you have a variable annuity, we recommend that you take a close look at what’s inside it. When you hear on the news and media say that annuities are bad, they are usually referring to certain types of variable annuities. Variable annuities can have internal annual expenses the 3.5% per year range or higher. High expenses translate into lower returns on your investment. Not all variable annuities have these hefty charges. We help our clients manage variable annuities using a no-load, no surrender charge annuities through Fidelity Investments & Vanguard. If you have questions about your annuity, or if you are thinking about investing in an annuity, call us first for a free consultation and some education about them.