Do’s And Don’ts In A Market Correction

As we’ve been making our way through this market correction, we’ve been getting many questions about which financial moves you should be making and which ones to avoid. While market volatility can be stressful and scary for us all, the way in which you approach and react to the fluctuations in the markets themselves can say a lot about your portfolio and investments. So, let’s jump in. 

First and foremost, it is important not to panic and make sure you stick to your long-term plan when the market is going through a correction period. As we have seen time and time again, your long-term strategy will most likely stay the course through the ebbs and flows of the market. Don’t obsess over the markets – they will always do their own thing! 

If you do happen to have some extra cash sitting on the sideline during a market correction, you should think about putting that money to work and invest! Dips in the markets are good opportunities to enter or invest more if you are comfortable with your overall risk.

However, if you find yourself having trouble sleeping at night through all this volatility, it might be a sign that you have too much risk in your portfolio. Maybe think about re-allocating your portfolio or working with a professional to feel more comfortable about your situation. It’s extremely important to understand your risk tolerance before investing to ensure that you can handle the investments you are taking on. If you would like access to our complimentary risk tolerance questionnaire software, email us at info@shermanwealth.com to learn more or click here

If the COVID-19 pandemic taught us anything, it’s the importance of having a plan in place for when life throws uncertainties and hardships our way. If you do not have a financial plan, NOW is the time to implement one. Not only is it smart to have a financial plan set in case of emergencies, but you should also have an estate plan set up. For more resources on how to get started on estate planning, check out our blog here. Remember, long-term plans are put in place for a reason, so try not to panic and do not derail your plan in the presence of volatility. Also keep in mind that everyone’s personal and financial situation differs, so make sure not to confuse your time horizon with your friend or next door neighbor. If you find yourself nervous or anxious during this time or even feel comfortable but have questions, we are here to help. You can send us an email at info@shermanwealth.com or schedule a complimentary meeting here.

Are You Feeling The Heat From Inflation? Millennials Are Too

Has the increase in cost of living impacted your spending habits? Are you tightening your budget due to skyrocketing inflation? Well, you’re not the only one feeling the inflationary heat, many Americans are too, especially millennial millionaires. Inflation worsened in May, rising 8.6% annually, much higher than expected due to surging food, rent and energy costs, marking the largest annual increase since December 1981. The Federal Reserve raised interest rates again last week by 0.75% in order to combat inflation, and will continue to do so throughout the following months to come. So, let’s take a look at how Americans are approaching their spending during this changing economic environment. 

According to CNBC’s Millionaire survey, “Nearly half of millennial millionaires say higher borrowing costs are causing them to delay buying a car, and 44% say higher interest rates have caused them to delay purchasing a home, according to the survey.” The survey also found that over ⅓ said that recent inflation caused them to move or postpone a trip. It’s interesting to see that not only middle and lower-income individuals are feeling the impacts of inflation, but that millionaires too are feeling the need to re-adjust their budget during this time. With inflation hiking up the prices of almost everything, from everyday gasoline and grocery store prices to luxury items as well, all Americans need to revisit their financial plan. 

As we’ve been discussing for some time now, it’s very prudent to get your financial life organized and revisit your financial plan. With interest rates rising, you want to make sure you are aware of all your variable-interest rate debt and make sure that you re-adjust those potentially higher payments into your budget. The cost of borrowing will also become more expensive as well, so you should re-evaluate whether you should still pursue potential projects or loans you want to take out as those things may not make sense anymore given this climate. Lastly, take a look at your overall budget and alter it for this higher cost of living. Check out our blog on how to adjust your wallet for inflation here

We know higher interest rates and prices can be stressful, which is why having a financial roadmap and working with a financial professional to solve for these changes can lift a heavy weight off your shoulders. Regardless of your net worth or investable assets, you should create a financial plan that will provide you with strategies to reach your financial goals. If you have any questions about reaching your financial dreams or altering your financial plan during this economic downturn and uncertainty, we are here and happy to help. Email us at info@shermanwealth.com or schedule a complimentary intro call here

 

Understanding The True Value Of A Financial Plan

We’ve been talking a lot about the importance of having a financial plan in place, especially given the current market climate with hot inflation and rising interest rates. Establishing financial goals and creating a roadmap to achieve them is extremely important to your financial life.  It’s often hard to see the whole scope of your financial picture on your own, which is why we want to discuss the value of establishing a financial plan. So, for those of you who have never utilized a financial place, let’s discuss some services you can expect.

Whether you work with a financial professional or build a financial plan on your own, having all your finances in one place with a strategic plan and goals in mind is crucial. Financial literacy in this country is lacking, so it’s extremely important to educate individuals on the true value of financial planning. Financial planning isn’t as daunting and scary as you might think – it’s actually quite a seamless process that allows you to organize yourself and set you and your family up for financial success in the future. 

At Sherman Wealth, we take a holistic, micro and macro approach when attacking your financial plan, beginning with a qualitative risk tolerance questionnaire to gauge your comfortability with your current asset allocation risk and risk for future investments. We then take a look at everything you have, aggregating your whole financial into our financial software in order to analyze it and see the bigger picture.

As you can see in the document above, we offer many services and can help you in all assets of your financial life, whether its getting organized and automating, establishing a budget and goals, discussing your cash flows and tax efficient strategies, reviewing your insurance and estate planning needs, or preparing for college. While these are only a few of the services we offer, having a financial concierge to talk these topics through with can simplify your life.

For example, as mentioned in a previous blog, many people sit on too much cash that is not growing as inflation rises, while others find themselves with too little cash when an emergency pops up. It’s okay not to know what to do with your money, but it’s important to seek advice or ask for help. A solid financial plan can help you separate your needs from your wants and create a budget that allows you to put your money into “buckets” – one for saving, one for investing and one for spending. 

Many people think they are in a good financial situation if they can simply pay their monthly bills and have some money in a savings account; however, oftentimes, this mindset won’t allow you to reach your financial dreams. While this isn’t necessarily a bad position to be in, creating a financial plan can help you learn some different ways to grow your money and how to save for retirement. 

At Sherman Wealth, we say that life is complicated, but your finances don’t have to be. We have designed a customized and comprehensive financial plan system that helps you see your whole financial picture and makes sure you don’t forget about things such as investing, employee benefits, and more. Encourage your friends and family to start thinking about their personal finance and empower them to seek help to better their financial future. If you have any questions or would like to demo our financial planning software, email us at info@shermanwealth.com or schedule a complimentary 30-minute consultation here

 

The Federal Reserve Raised Interest Rates by 0.75%. What Now?

The Federal Reserve announced at its meeting today they are increasing its benchmark interest rate by 0.75%, the largest increase we have seen since 1994 in order to combat Friday’s 4-decade high inflation report. We saw rates rise over the last few days following the hot inflation report as you can see in the chart below. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell also said that he expects the Federal Reserve to hike rates by yet another 50 to 75 basis points during the July meeting and that “inflation can’t go down until it flattens out”. We will continue to monitor future rate hikes, but let’s take a look at how these increasing rates will impact the consumer. 

We previously wrote a blog discussing how a rise in interest rates will affect your wallet and future financial situation. A great place to start during this uncertain environment is to make sure your financial plan is up to date. Make sure you know everything you have and aggregate your entire financial picture into one place.

While we don’t know exactly where the market and interest rates will go, with talks of a recession near, it’s important to revisit your cash flows, keep a comfortable emergency fund, and review your budget and goals. Next, take a look at the debt you currently have and think about how these rising rates may impact variable interest rate debt you may be carrying or will carry in the future. Additionally, remember the importance of time in the market over timing the market. Especially for you long-term investors out there, make sure you stick to your financial plan and don’t let panic derail your roadmap and financial portfolio. As we continue to watch interest rates rise, seek out high-yield bank accounts with the highest interest rates that you can take advantage of.

We know that the current market environment might have you questioning your finances and current financial plan, which is why we are here to help. For more information on how rising rates will impact your portfolio and financial life, email us at info@shermanwealth.com or schedule a complimentary meeting to discuss your personal financial situation here

Why Organization Is So Prudent In Your Financial Life 

Do you have questions about the markets and skyrocketing inflation? Well, we’re here to break it down for you. We have officially entered a bear market in the S&P500. The markets have gone down 8.9% in the last three days, which is a historic figure. Friday’s consumer price index (CPI) report revealed that inflation was not as contained as investors had thought, leading to huge spikes in Treasury Yields, with the 10-year Treasury note up to 3.44%, hitting its highest level since 2011. The 2-year yield to 3.42%, and the 2- and 10-year yield inverted for the first time in quite some time. We also saw massive increases in mortgage rates. We will continue to monitor and ultimately see how these increases in rates will impact the consumer and the housing market, along with the dollar hitting 20-year highs. 

Due to the 4-decade high inflation numbers, all eyes are now on the Federal Reserve meeting tomorrow where they now anticipate to raise rates by 0.75%, the biggest rate hike in 28 years. Previously, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said that a 0.75% raise is off the table but with the CPI report from Friday, things seem to have changed. 

So, given this uncertain economic climate we are in, we want to make sure we discuss the timeliness of establishing a financial plan and getting organized. We wrote a recent blog that uncovered that many Americans do not have any sort of financial plan, which is worrisome during this time. For those of you who may be panicking about the market declines and volatility, along with the rapidly rising cost of living, you should consider re-visiting your financial plan as a whole, re-thinking your budget, asset allocation, cash flows, and overall goals. Whether you have a financial plan or not, it’s never a bad time to get started or updated to make sure you are on the right path and headed in the best direction. 

Have you automated your finances yet? With the great technology we have today, it’s so easy to aggregate your finances all in one place, so you have access to it at all times. Taking a look at everything you have and seeing the bigger picture will help you make smarter financial choices in uncertain times or economic downturns. At Sherman Wealth, we utilize state-of-the-art financial planning software that allows you to see your whole financial picture at your fingertips. If you would like to trial our financial software, email us at info@shermanwealth.com and we are happy to help.

We believe it’s important for all individuals to have a financial roadmap that will help them navigate murky waters as well as ride out the high times in order to achieve long-term financial success. We know that economic uncertainties in the market can be stressful, so we are here to help you through it. We will be following rates for you after tomorrow’s Fed meeting along with this hot inflation data. Stay tuned for more updates and let us know how we can help you with your personal financial situation. Email us at info@shermanwealth.com if you have any questions or schedule a 30-minute complimentary intro call here

Inflation Hits a 4-Decade High. Are You Feeling The Impacts?

New inflation data was released that reported a CPI increase of 8.6%, marking a 4-decade high. According to the WSJ, prices for energy jumped 34.6% from a year earlier and groceries increased 11.9% on the year. This rise was largely attributed to rising energy and food prices, which we have been tracking for a few months now. So are you feeling the impacts of inflation and rising prices? We certainly are. Have you altered your spending and summer plans? Restaurants have even begun adding additional fees on the bottom of bills for a “non-cash adjustment,” “fuel surcharge,” or “kitchen appreciation”. Have you noticed this?

As you can see from the tweets above, CPI numbers are skyrocketing. We will continue to watch inflation data and its impact on the economy and markets. If you are feeling the impacts of rising prices, now might be a good time to revisit your budget and financial plan as a whole. If you have any questions for us, email at info@shermanawealth.com or schedule a complimentary intro call here.

Are Your Finances Negatively Impacting Your Mental Health?

Does money and financial conversations stress you out? Do you feel uncomfortable when having money discussions with your partner? If so, you’re not alone. Money conversations can bring up underlying insecurities and cause anxiety amongst individuals. Given the current market environment and economic uncertainty, extreme volatility, and newly reported record high inflation data, it’s extremely important to discuss mental health as it relates to money.

According to a survey from Bankrate, “some 42% of U.S. adults said that money has a negative impact on their mental health” (The study included nearly 2,500 American adults and took place between April 6 and 8.). We found this statistic alarming, as they also reported  “that 28% of those who said money has a negative impact on their mental health worry about it on a daily basis.” This data reinforces not only the importance of mental health awareness, but the importance of utilizing financial strategies to lessen this overwhelmed feeling individuals have when doing daily financial tasks such as checking their bank statements and paying bills.  

Establishing a financial plan is a great place to start when trying to organize your financial life. If you are feeling anxious, maybe it’s a good time to revisit your budget, risk tolerance, and asset allocation. As mentioned in a previous blog, many Americans actually do not have a financial plan, which means they have no road map to follow. At Sherman Wealth, we always say that life is complicated, but your finances don’t have to be. Consider working with a financial professional to lessen the burden and anxiety you feel when tackling your financial life on your own. With customized solutions and behavioral finance strategies, we can provide you with a plan that will seamlessly lead you in the right direction. 

As mentioned prior, we know money topics can be uncomfortable and scary for some, but it’s very prudent to recognize it and utlilize financial strategies so it does not negatively impact your mental health. We recorded a podcast episode with Music City Pysch’s David Pearl and he provided us with tips on having transparent, honest, judgment-free, conversations with your partner. If you have any questions about your financial situation or are feeling like money is negatively impacting you, please reach out to a mental health professional to  discuss or schedule some time here and we are happy to help. 

Is Lifestyle Creep Impacting You?

Brad Sherman:  Today we want to discuss lifestyle creep, a big topic in the news, along balancing increasings costs, inflation, home prices, and more. We also want to talk about saving for your future and paying yourself first. Ashley, I know you wanted to talk about it being a really important balance strike, so do you want to share some thoughts and ideas that you may have about it?

Ashley Perlmutter: Yeah, well, for starters, for those of you who don’t know what lifestyle creep is, it’s pretty much when your income is rising or has rise, but your discretionary spending rises as well. So oftentimes, when you’re making more, you start to spend more, whether it’s voluntary or not. Obviously this varies per person, but sometimes life style creep makes it feel like your raise or increase in pay no longer feels like a raise, because your spending is going up as well. So a lot of times, we see individuals let their lifestyle creep get carried away. Brad, do you want to talk about some tips that you have for people who maybe let lifestyle creep take over when they get a pay raise?

Brad Sherman: Yeah, to bring it back where we started from, I think there’s two separate things here, there’s inflation that that people are concerned about. And then there’s lifestyle creep. So getting a $10,000 raise at work doesn’t necessarily mean buying a more expensive car, or going out to more dinners or taking greater vacations. I think that you should stick with your financial plan, regardless of the amount of money that you’re making. And certainly we want you to increase your lifestyle. But as you define lifestyle creep, it really is when your expenses are far exceeding your raise or increase in pay. So certainly understand the environment that we’re in where things cost more, but find a balance between saving and paying yourself first. I think that paying yourself first is really important. We always advocate to maybe increase your 401 K contribution. If you’re not already maxing that out. If you’re eligible for a Roth IRA, start contributing to that, maybe focus on your long term goals. And then we talked about this last week, but 70% of the folks out there don’t even have a financial plan, so it’s really hard to know where you’re going without a map in mind.

Ashley Perlmutter: Yeah, that statistic was really interesting and surprising. We wrote a blog last week about how important having a financial plan is, especially given the current market environment. Like Brad said, try not to increase your discretionary spending too much when you get a raise, and stick to those long term financial goals. And like we said earlier, with inflation, things are just becoming more expensive on the day to day, so keep that in mind if you decide to spend more.

Brad Sherman: Great, let’s keep all that stuff in check, like we said, if you get a 10% raise, maybe you allocate a certain percentage to going out to dinner more, something that makes you happy, whether that’s concerts, food, but don’t go too crazy to where you’re spending the raise in excess of what you can afford. So anything else you want to touch on?

Ashley Perlmutter: No, I think that is a great place to wrap up. Let us know if you have any questions about lifestyle creep. If you feel like you need to revisit your budget, I think that’s a great place to start, especially given inflationary prices and everything going on. If you’re stressed about your investments and your portfolio allocation, now’s a great time to revisit that as well. So let us know if you have any questions and if we can help in any way. Email us at info@shermanwealth.com or schedule a complimentary 30-minute intro meeting here.

Do You Have A Financial Plan? Many Americans Do Not

With rising inflation and cost of living, the Ukraine war, and recent market volatility, the need for a financial plan has become more urgent. Interestingly enough, however, during this time, it has been revealed that many Americans do not have a financial plan or are letting the current economic uncertainty derail their original plan. In fact, “nearly 70 percent of Americans at or near retirement age have less than $250,000 in savings, according to a recent survey by Schroders, the London-based asset manager.” We found this statistic quite startling, as we believe that financial planning for the long-game is extremely important in order to achieve financial success throughout your lifetime and in retirement. 

While some may not understand the underlying purpose of financial planning, a financial plan and working with a financial professional allows individuals to take both a macro and micro view of their whole financial picture, assess both their life and monetary goals and qualitative and quantitative risk tolerances, and set strategies to achieve long and short- term financial success. They are also able to uncover hidden investor and behavioral underlying biases that may be impacting their financial decision making process. 

According to a February survey of 1,000 investors across the U.S. between the ages of 45 and 75 by Schroders and 8 Acre Perspective, “76 percent of Americans say they feel overwhelmed by the thought of creating one and 56 percent say life is too uncertain for a plan to have any value”. At Sherman Wealth, we believe that life is complicated, but your finances don’t have to be. We are here to simplify the financial planning process and relieve our clients of some financial stressors they may feel on the day-to-day. Given the rollercoaster the markets have taken us on so far this year, many of the “do-it-yourselfers” might be realizing that their life is becoming too hectic to also be navigating their financial picture which is why we are here to help. We believe that it is never to early nor too late to create a financial roadmap for yourself and your family, and that you never need a certain amount of investable assets to get started. 

For those of you who do not have a financial plan in place or would like to revisit your old plan that may be outdated given the current market conditions, please reach out to us and we are happy to help. Email us with questions at info@shermanwealth.com or schedule a complimentary 30-minute consultation here

A Rule Change Allows Grandparents To Give More To A 529

Do you have a young child in your life that you want to save college money for? In honor of 5/29 day, it’s a great time to think about putting money aside for your grandchild’s and child’s future education. Also, great news, theres a new rule change that may be beneficial to you and your grandchild! With rising inflation, we don’t know what the price of tuition will be when your young grandchildren are finally old enough for college, so, now is a great time to begin looking into contributing to a 529 savings plan. 

So, for those of you who don’t know, 529 plans are a type of investment vehicle that allows you and encourages you to save for your child or grandchild’s higher education using tax incentives, such as such as tax-free earnings and withdrawals for qualified educational expenses. Depending on the state in which you reside, choosing your state’s 529 plan may offer a tax deduction; however, consult with your CPA or financial advisor to see if the deduction outweighs the investment options and fees versus an out-of-state plan. 

You can think of a 529 account like a traditional IRA or 401(k)account, where the growth compounds tax deferred as long as its used properly. In addition, parents and guardians have the potential of earning more by investing instead of leaving the money in a traditional bank account.

In fact, for you grandparents out there, there was a recent change to the financial aid rule allowing you to contribute to a 529 savings plan without penalizing or interfering with your grandchild’s eligibility for financial aid. This eligibility has long been issue for many individuals, so starting in the 2024-25 school year, children will no longer have lessened eligibility for financial aid while also having a grandparent 529. “The fear that a grandparent helping their grandchild by using their own 529 plan would interfere with them getting financial aid, that worry is gone now with the new rules,” said Stuart Siegel, president of college financial-aid service FAFSAssist.

A 529 plan is a great idea for parents and grandparents who place importance on a college education and want to save money when making financial contributions. Also, given the new rule change, if you are a grandparent, you now have the opportunity to contribute even more dollars towards college education. The benefits seem so advantageous! So, even if you think your grandchildren have many years until they are off to college, it’s never too early to start thinking about saving for it.  For more information on 529s, check out the IRS website here. If you have any questions about setting up a 529 plan, please reach out to us at info@shermanwealth.com or schedule a 30-minute complimentary intro-call here -we are here to help!