Dec. 3, 2011 A Lasting Gift
Oct. 27, 2011 SRI in the Rockies Conference
Sept. 27, 2011 Global Economy
Aug. 27, 2011 Fees
Aug. 13, 2011 Volatility and the Average Investor
Jul. 23, 2011 Under the Hood
Jun. 14, 2011 Vegetarian Advocacy
Apr. 30, 2011 Humane Equity Index Portfolio
Mar. 26, 2011 Firms of Endearment
Feb. 16, 2011 Japanese meat processing company
Jan. 6, 2011 Animal Spirits Point to a New Trend
Dec. 13, 2010 Proposed Tax Plan
Nov. 30, 2010 Animal-friendly Fund
Oct. 15, 2010 Financial Planning for Young People
Sept. 17, 2010 Shareholder Resolutions
May 5, 2010 Math of Loss and Recovery
Apr. 13, 2010 Roth IRA reminder
December 3, 2011
Greetings! Have you considered giving the gift of a financial consultation to a family member this holiday season? Here are five reasons to consider...
1. If your friends and family wanted a ______(scarf, tennis racket, or bottle of cologne), they would have already purchased it for themselves.
2. You don't have to wrap a consultation.
3. You want your loved one to be the best person they can be. They have a better chance of this happening if they aren't always worrying about their finances.
4. Whether your daughter just married, your dad just retired, your sister just had her second baby, they will benefit from this practical gift that they may not have thought to get for themselves.
5. You know your friends and family members don't want to be lectured on the benefits of a Roth over dinner, but know they need to hear the message from someone.
How will this one-hour($175) phone consultation benefit you or your loved one? By discovering the answers to some of these questions they may have been asking themselves:
o Am I saving enough for retirement?
o What is the best college savings plan?
o How can I minimize estate taxes?
o Do I need a will?
o Which retirement plan is best - IRA, Roth, or 401k?
o How can I reduce my debt?
o How do I ensure long-term financial success?
o How do I survive a financial crisis?
o Can I afford long-term care for my loved ones?
o Should I refinance my mortgage now?
o How do I reduce my debt?
o What does my credit score mean?
o Should I take out a second mortgage or home equity line?
o What should I know about buying my first home?
o How can I reduce my taxes?
o How can I minimize estate and death taxes?
o Are my social security benefits taxable?
o Will I be taxed on the sale of my home?
o Can I reduce taxes by contributing to an IRA or 401k?
Your friend or loved one will leave our meeting knowing if they are on track to meet or exceed their goals, whatever those goals might be. As a reminder, I serve my clients as a fiduciary and do not sell any products and accept no incentives or compensation in any form from any entity.
With Social Security benefits possibly being reduced, pension plans falling by the wayside, college costs sky-rocketing, and credit card debt mounting, the question no longer is, do you need a financial planner but can you afford to do without one?
October 27, 2011
Two and a half weeks ago at the SRI in the Rockies conference I had the opportunity to hear from some dynamic people who don't spend their time wishing their days away and their evenings watching reality tv. These people are affecting positive change to the best of their ability and are encouraging the rest of the world to join them. Here are just a few of the individuals to whom I had the honor to listen:
Phillippe Costeau, grandson of the legendary Jacques Cousteau. He discussed his nonprofit, EarthEcho, the impending water shortage, and the importance of getting rid of corn and fish subsidies.
Gary Cohen, founder of "Healthcare without Harm" discussed the importance of sustainable health care that is not only good for the environment, patients, and staff, but also good for the bottom line. Healthcare is the 2nd most energy intensive sector in commercial buildings; more than 250 MILLION pounds of pharmaceutical waste is generated annually from hospitals and long-term care facilities. Imagine healing and recovering in a hospital that promotes healthy food, sunlight, and fresh air!
The mayor of New Orleans, Mitchell Landrieu, discussed innovation + economic development in New Orleans, post-Katrina.
Taryn Goodman of RSF is working on the newly launched Program Related Investing Fund focused in food and agriculture. Our food system currently uses 19% of the fossil fuels in our country; she discussed the importance of shifting pay from the doctors to the farmers, as the cost of inexpensive food is actually not reflected in the price we see at the grocery store.
Retired Vice Admiral Dennis V. McGinn with the Navy is now actively engaged in efforts at the national level to highlight the close link between energy, climate and national security. He discussed how using biofuels other than corn can potentially save millions in fuel costs, and how California is already using geothermal energy, which I was able to witness firsthand earlier this year in Iceland.
I was thrilled to meet both vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike at my table on the impact of animal agriculture on the environment. Moxy Vote's, Mark Schlegel, informed us that they were just getting ready to release an informative piece on "cheap meat"(i.e. animals from factory farms). If you haven't already, you'll want to check out Moxy Vote. This organization has partnered with over 50 organization in an effort to keep $2 TRILLION of your voting power from being tossed in your circular file over the course of the year(as a reminder, First Affirmative clients don't have to worry about this if we are voting your shares). Chris Meyer, from Everence, told us about shareholder resolutions that his group is initiating for the benefit of animals. All and all, the week was a injection of energy, hope, and action.
On an entirely different note, mortgage rates hit all time lows in the past few weeks. If you plan on staying in your home for any duration, consider a refinance. Bankrate.com has some easy to use calculators to help you decide whether or not this is an option worth pursuing.
Also, Medicare's enrollment season began earlier this year and will last until December 7. Here is a site that you can use to assist your parents and grandparents decide if they are in the best plan:
As always, please let me know your thoughts on how we can move the world in a positive direction using shareholder advocacy on the behalf of the environment AND the animals.
Have a fantastic weekend!
September 27, 2011
Last week I had clients who were visiting Nova Scotia. This week I have a client who is sailing around the Cyclade Islands of Greece, and earlier in the week I received a call via Skype from clients in Nepal. Why is this relevant? I believe it is worth noting that this is so very telling of the times in which we live. This past weekend a portfolio manager on Bloomberg was commenting on his belief that multinational companies is where we should be looking. We hear it every day, but really we need to be listening: we live in a global economy.
I remember reading several years ago how little the endowment funds(Harvard and Yale, specifically) invested in the US. This is not about being anti-American; again, this is just a reminder that when we look at our portfolios we need to include sectors where there might be the potential for the most growth. In the interim, I would also remember to look at funds that focus on the dividend paying stocks of some of the larger, more established companies for income when the market is flat, or all over the place. Again, please consult with your financial advisor so that these statements can be considered in the context of your overall financial plan.
On a different note, according to the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation the number of proposals on animal welfare and industrial agriculture fell to just 5% of the total proposals in 2011. We need to step up our efforts if we want to make a difference. Please let me know if shareholder advocacy is of interest to you.
Lastly, on a call today a statistic was noted that literally made me cringe. Apparently, FORTY-FIVE percent of folks leaving their jobs CASH OUT their retirement funds. For most of us, that means a 10% penalty AND a tax bill. If you have left your job, willingly or because of hard times, do your best to either roll the funds into your new employer's plan OR roll the funds into an IRA. Please call if you need assistance with this or with any of your financial planning needs.
Have a happy September(autumnal) equinox to you!
_______________________________________________________________________________________________ August 27, 2011
The SRI in the Rockies conference is a little over a month away. I will be leading a discussion group on the "Environmental Impact of Meat Production" at one of the luncheons(sadly, my table on "humane investing" wasn't very popular last year; it was suggested to me that the name may have scared some folks away, unfortunately). This event is also a great opportunity to make a push for animal-friendly portfolios with many portfolio managers with whom I will have the honor and pleasure of speaking. Please let me know if this is of interest to you as the more I know about what YOU want, the better equipped I will be to defend our case.
On a different note, I am now in the very fortunate position of being able to charge my clients a maximum fee of 1% a year. This means that if you roll your 401k from a previous employer into Schwab and want first Affirmative to manage your account professionally---using portfolios that have been screened for ESG concerns(environmental, social justice, and corporate governance)---then your fee on a $100,000 account would be $1000/year($250 deducted quarterly). First Affirmative keeps a portion of this fee for managing the account. If you are already working with a CFP® professional, prefer to handle the management of your own investments yourself, or do not yet have enough assets to warrant being managed(less than $50,000), I am also available for consultations on an hourly basis. I believe strongly in the adage that we can "do well while also doing good" and want to encourage you to consider the impact that you are able to make with your investment dollars.
Lastly, I was recently asked to complete a survey by Schwab regarding my thoughts on the economy over the next 6 months. Though I do not purport to know what is in store for us in the coming months and years ahead, I continue to believe that regardless of your propensity for risk and adventure in "real life", when it comes to your portfolio you should take the least amount of risk possible while still being able to achieve your goals.
That's all. Please be safe this weekend and remember to unplug your computers if a storm or hurricane is imminent in your area.
August 13, 2011
Whew, what a week it has been! With all of this volatility you may be wondering how you are doing in the "big picture". If we have already completed a financial plan together, let me know if you are interested in seeing how your portfolio is faring in light of the recent activity and I will gladly share the updated results of your probability analysis. Also, if you would like to be able to access this information yourself going forward, let me know and we'll set you up so that you can log into the site directly.
On a different note, I had a bit of an argument with a good friend last night about what it will take to get out of the mess in which we, our country, finds itself. Sadly, he recited what so many others have said, that we, the consumers, need to keep spending. I am not an economist and do not purport to be one, but I can't help but think that encouraging folks to spend, creating "false demand" is the last thing we need to be doing. Please do your best to tune out all of the noise and stick to the plan you have in place. You have probably heard this 100x already but, according to Dalbar, for the twenty years ending 12/31/2009 the S&P 500 Index averaged 8.2% a year while the average equity fund investor earned a market return of only 3.17%. Instead of trying to time the market, just make sure you are taking the least amount of risk possible while still being able to hit your goals.
That's all for now. Have a great weekend.
July 23, 2011
Several weeks ago I was researching the holdings in my Roth IRA(custodied at Schwab, managed by First Affirmative) when I discovered that the smallest position that I owned was in a company called Female Health Company. While this is not a solicitation to purchase stock in this company, I would love for this company to succeed, and not because it comprises <.01% of my Roth account, but because it empowers women. If you have a chance, check it out(they also have an informative, if not comical, youtube video on using their product, but I don't feel it is appropriate to share it here!)
Also, the CEO of First Affirmative was recognized by CSRwire, a newswire specializing in up-to-the-minute corporate social responsibility and sustainability information. I recommend taking a minute to see what George Gay has to say about the performance of SRI when compared to the market as a whole.
Note: Past performance does not indicate future results.
CSRwireMemberSpotlight: Black Swans and Fat Tails
Lastly, some fantastic news out of California regarding ESG and its endorsement from two of the country's largest pension funds. Both the California Public Employees’ Retirement System as well as the California State Teachers Retirement System, with combined assets under management of $389 BILLION, have announced commitments to fully integrate the analysis of environment, social, and governance (ESG) issues into their investment processes. Please see First Affirmative's quarterly newsletter(attached) for this and other exciting news in sustainable investing.
That's all for now. Please let me know if you have any questions about your own portfolios and how we might be able to assist.
June 14, 2011
The week before the Richmond Vegetarian Festival is the most exciting, fulfilling, and nerve-wracking week of the entire year for me. I schedule television and radio spots to promote our event and coordinate with local vendors to make sure we have delicious vegetarian food to showcase to the world(well, the local viewing audience!)
Anyhow, yesterday was a particularly tough day. First, one of my dearest friends and inspirations had to cancel his appearance to speak on Saturday due to a family emergency. Next, I didn't communicate properly to our graphic design artist and appeared to make more work for him than was necessary. After three years of promoting my practice I now have a steady stream of clients, wonderful, amazing people who all want to change the world with their investment dollars. I felt spread too thin and that by taking on too much I wasn't doing anything right. However, the day took a most amazing turn when I drove, somewhat begrudgingly, to a health fair thirty minutes away to promote vegetarianism--and the upcoming festival-- to school-age children and their parents. I cannot tell you how this small act of outreach changed my entire outlook. I've exhibited at various events for YEARS, but on occasion I fail to remember how these interactions help ME as much as it helps those with whom I speak.
What does this all have to do with financial planning and sustainable and responsible investing? I am a capitalist through and through and want our country and our world to prosper. I really do. HOWEVER, a large and growing part of me embraces, truly embraces, the type of world that encourages families to attend fun, free, educational events that emphasize the simple lessons in life(eat fruits and vegetables = feel better; save money, don't spend everything = have more $later and peace of mind later).
I'll end with a quote that I shall paraphrase(especially important for those of you who work alone or at home): "The number of people you speak with daily has a direct correlation with your longevity." Hear, hear!
That's all. Have a fantastic day and please feel free to join us at the festival if you are able.
April 30, 2011
I received great news this week and thought I would share. Incidentally, I don't know anyone who wouldn't be pleased with these developments whether you have a passion for animal welfare or not.
A financial advisory firm based in CA announced that it has created a "Humane Equity Index Portfolio" which excludes companies that the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary has deemed inhumane. Not only that, but the representative with whom I spoke informed me that enough folks have shown interest following this press release that they are now wondering if such an animal might work as a mutual fund for individual investors in the future.
Folks, this is HUGE. People are demanding that their money managers think twice about what investments they make on their behalf. I implore you to speak to your own advisor and find out in what companies your own retirement dollars are invested.
That's all. Have a fantastic day and please feel free to share your thoughts on this exciting advance.
March 26, 2011
I just finished reading "Firms of Endearment: How World-Class Companies Profit from Passion and Purpose". This passage below is referring to the companies that made the cut for this study in 2007:
"These companies pay their employees very well, provide great value to customers, and have thriving, profitable suppliers. They are also wonderful for investors, returning 1025% over the past 10 years, compared to only 122% for the S&P 500 and 316% for the companies profiled in the bestselling book Good to Great -- companies selected purely on the basis of their ability to deliver superior returns to investors." - Raj Sisodia, Jag Sheth, David B. Wolfe
A cumulative return of 1025%? What a great reason to look beyond "just" the bottom line when making the decision on how to invest one's hard-earned dollars!
Also, although I believe folks should be dollar-cost-averaging into the market all year while accumulating assets for retirement, I must acknowledge that this is indeed "IRA season". As such, your last chance to contribute to your IRA(Roth or Traditional) is April 18th.
Please call me if you have questions about whether or not you can and should contribute. I am not making myself available to be nice, but because I don't want to be taking care of everyone who fails to plan adequately for their retirement years.
Febuary 16, 2011
After experiencing two deaths in the family in the same week, one expected, one not, I am finally able to get back to my mission of changing the world using investment dollars. While our time here may be fleeing, we can still make such a tremendous difference.
When you have a few minutes, please tell me your thoughts on this most recent "issue". Domini, one of several funds in our managed account programs, owns a Japanese meat packing company. When I contacted the company to find out why out of thousands of investment choices they chose a company that supports what I believe to be an UNsustainable industry I was told that the industry is "very different in Japan" and that their increased regulations(no hormones) and smaller size make it a suitable fit even with their screening requirements. What? The information below was taken directly from the company's website:
The Nippon Ham Group appreciates the blessings of nature and we consider it our responsibility to leave a beautiful planet to the next generation. We will take pains to preserve the environment in every aspect of our corporate activities. Guidelines for Conduct
Each one of us will study and deepen our understanding of environmental problems and practice "global harmony" in every aspect of our business processes.
1. We will take pains to develop products and services that are attentive to the issues of safety and environmental conservation.
2. We will strive to conserve energy and resources and to reduce the burdens affecting the environment.
3. We will make efforts to organize and promote projects, enhance our consciousness and strengthen environmental control systems.
4. We will work to set up our own criteria for enhancing the level of environmental preservation to fulfill both the letter and the spirit of the related laws.
5. We will take pains to cooperate in establishing harmonious relationships with our local communities through our corporate activities in order to protect the environment.
Would you feel comfortable holding this company in your portfolio? If not, do you know what you are currently holding in your 401k, IRA, Roth IRA, or taxable investment account? Remember, this is held in a socially responsible fund that purports to be "part of the solution".
Some of us have dedicated our lives to saving animals; my hope is that we can either persuade fund companies to remove holdings that we do not want to support from their portfolios OR to convince companies that are committing acts with which we don't agree to do so in a more humane manner. Oprah's special on Cargill and veganism two weeks ago made me sick to my stomach. Like she said, sadly, Cargill is one of the "better"(ugh) factory farms, but that doesn't mean that I want to own it.
As a reminder, this is NOT a recommendation to buy or sell a particular security. For information on the suitability of any investment for your portfolio, please contact your investment adviser.
Animal Spirits Point to a New Trend | By Alyce Lomax | December 30, 2010
January 6, 2011
Greetings, all! I hope that the new year feels as promising to you as it does to me. If not, perhaps this article, part of Motley Fool's Rising Stars Portfolios series, will help get you there. I truly live for articles such as these that are geared towards mainstream America...Greetings, all! I hope that the new year feels as promising to you as it does to me. If not, perhaps this article, part of Motley Fool's Rising Stars Portfolios series, will help get you there. I truly live for articles such as these that are geared towards mainstream America...
As a reminder, this is not a recommendation to buy or sell the investments mentioned in this article.
May the whole world continue to evolve into a kinder, more humane place for all!
December 30, 2010
Greetings, all! As 2010 comes to a close, I thought it was the perfect time to remind everyone how important it is to #1, NOT time the market and #2, DIVERSIFY.
As of November 19th, the top 25 companies in the S&P 500 index had returned anywhere from 52% to 107% while the bottom 25 had returned -20% to -57%. Do you want to try to figure out which stocks are going to make over 100% and which ones were going to lose over half of your hard-earned dollars going forward? I don't. Between October 2007 and March 2009, the stock market plunged 57%. From the low of March 9, 2009 the index has rebounded over 80%(remember, the market has to return more than it lost just to breakeven). Do you think you can guess which way the market is going to go next and for how long? I don't.
Dalbar, a financial-services research firm, released a study in 2001 entitled "Quantitative Analysis of Investor Behavior", and concluded that not only did average investors fail to achieve market-index returns, but that in the 17-year period ending in December 2000, the S&P 500 returned an average of 16.29% per year, while the typical equity investor achieved only 5.32% for the same period. They updated their study to include a 20-year period ending in 2008 and found the same thing; while the S&P 500 returned 8.35%, the average equity investor earned just 1.87%. The last paragraph of the article below speaks to this unfortunate "phenomenon
When Is the Right Time To Invest? | By Adam Bold | December 28, 2010
I hope this past year brought you fulfillment, taught you life lessons, and gave you the opportunity to make connections with new friends. May you find time in the days ahead to reflect on ways to exhilarate your mind, body, and soul in 2011.
Happy New Year!
* Indexes are unmanaged groups of securities and are not directly available for investment. Past performance is not indicative of future results.
December 13, 2010
Happy holidays, all!
As you are probably aware, Congress is in the midst of deciding whether or not to accept President Obama's proposed tax plan. Below are some of the major changes taken from Schwab.com that have been suggested and how they may affect you and your family:
Income tax rates—A two-year extension, through 2012, of the current tax brackets: 10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33% and 35%. * Without this extension, tax rates would revert back to 15%(removal of the 10% bracket), 15%, 28%, 31%, 36%, and 39.6%.
Capital gains and dividends—A two-year extension, through 2012, of the 15% rate for capital gains and dividends. * This applies to taxable accounts ONLY. Funds in your 401k and IRAs grow tax-deferred.
Estate tax—Tax rate of 35% on estates valued at more than $5 million ($10 million for couples) for 2011 and 2012. * Tax rates for estates over $1 million would be 55% if no changes are made.
Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)—A two-year patch (for 2010 and 2011) of the AMT to ensure that approximately 21 million additional Americans will not have to pay it this year or next.
Payroll tax cut—The current 6.2% Social Security payroll tax would be reduced to 4.2% for 2011 only.
IRA Charitable Rollover—The IRA Charitable Rollover expired at the end of 2009, but under the agreement, it would be extended for 2010 and 2011. IRA holders who've reached age 70 ½ would be able to transfer up to $100,000 from their IRA directly to a charity.
Unemployment benefits—The agreement would allow the emergency benefits (up to 99 weeks) to remain in place through the end of 2011.
Also, if you own securities in taxable accounts, remember you can write off up to $3000 a year in losses after you account for any capital gains.
Lastly, unless you believe that tax rates will be going down in the future, consider funding a Roth for 2010(max contribution is $5,000 for those under 50yrs) as these funds grow tax-FREE. Regardless of what the tax rates are later, you can withdraw these funds without having to pay tax on the earnings.
As a reminder, the above bullet points are for your information only and should not be interpreted as recommendations to buy or sell securities. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Have a merry Christmas and a very happy new year!
November 30, 2010
Greetings! After having returned from First Affirmative's much anticipated SRI in the Rockies conference I was pleased to see this write up by Jennifer Schonberger in Kiplinger's about Parnassus*, one of the more animal-friendly fund families: Parnassus Small-Cap Fund Blends Ethics With Success
While in San Antonio I was fortunate enough to meet Benjamin Allen, Director of Research of Parnassus. Not only is Ben vegetarian, but he and his team informally screen their investment recommendations with an animal welfare overlay. Please contact me if you are interested in getting a phone appointment in for December. I know a lot of you are interested in getting your finances in order and December 31st is right around the corner.
Have a great day!
* As a reminder, this note is not a solicitation for Parnassus and is intended to be informational in nature only.
October 15, 2010
Hello, all! I hope you have had a chance to enjoy the cooler temperatures(I jog two miles every morning; one of the many reasons I really look forward to autumn!)
Highlighted items in FAFN's fall newsletter(attached) include "UNPRI passes $22 Trillion Mark" and "The Greenest States"(Virginia, sadly, is at the bottom of the list).
Also, here is a nice reminder regarding the term "financial planner"(broker/advisor) from Katy Marquardt, US News & World Report(August 5, 2010):
Should Young People See a Financial Planner?
"Most young people who are just starting out don't have a lot of money to save or invest – much less pay a professional to advise them on how to save and invest. But some experts say financial guidance at a young age is worth the cost.... Online resources can help you find a reputable financial planner. A good place to start is The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards' website, where you can search for planners in your area who are certified by the CFP Board. The search results will note if a particular planner has been publicly disciplined by the Board. A scary truth is that anyone can call himself or herself a financial planner so it pays to double-check what you're told with organizations that issue credentials."
Have a great weekend!
September 17, 2010
PETA is one of the most active grassroot groups involved in shareholder activism. Animal welfare proposals targeting humane slaughter, animal welfare improvements, animal sales, glue traps, and animal testing have also been filed by the Humane Society and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM).
PETA works with members and supporters regarding shareholder activism by submitting resolutions with various companies. If you already own any stock in the following businesses, you may be able to work with PETA by sponsoring a resolution in the near future(this is NOT a recommendation to buy or sell these securities):
• Johnson & Johnson
• Charles River Laboratories
In order to be eligible to submit a resolution you must have held at least $2,000 worth of stock for one year prior to submitting a resolution.
Please let me know if you already have a position in any of the companies listed.
Thank you for all that you do for the animals each and every day. Have a fabulous weekend!
_______________________________________________________________________________________________ May 5, 2010
Hello! This is an excerpt from FAFN's Market Commentary for April 2010(attached):
Big Losses Followed by Big Gains: The Math of Loss and Recovery
According to a Bloomberg National Poll conducted March 19–22, 2010, only three of ten investors owning stocks, bonds or mutual funds say the value of their portfolio has risen in the past year. Presumably, 70% of investors may be surprised that the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained more than 73% since its low on March 9, 2009.
Several experts were asked what could explain such a huge gap between perception and reality. The reasons given had primarily to do with people’s perceptions being colored by the weak economy and high unemployment. But, another reason may be that a significant percentage gain following a steep decline may not be enough to overcome the loss that people experience.
There is a tendency among investors to measure loss from peak portfolio value rather than from some other starting place, such as the date they opened an account, or from their portfolio’s value as of five years ago. This tendency naturally accentuates the perception of loss.
Here’s the "math" of loss and recovery: the S&P 500 was down 37% in 2008; it gained 26.46% in 2009. For every $100 invested in the S&P 500 at the beginning of 2008, $63 remained at the end of 2008. In 2009, 26.46% of $63 was gained back (+$16.67), leaving $79.67 of the original $100 invested. The S&P 500 Index actually shows a loss of 20% for investments made on January 1, 2008 and held through December 31, 2009.
Consider how much an asset must gain to recover after it loses 50% in value. If an asset valued at $100 falls to $50, in order for it to climb back to $100, the $50 must double in value—in other words, a 100% gain is required.
The mathematics of gains and losses may help explain why so many investors are still feeling beaten up by the stock market during the past couple of years, in spite of the tremendous market rally of the past twelve months. It also illustrates the importance of managing a portfolio’s downside exposure.
Please let me know if you have any questions. Have a great day!
April 13, 2010
Hello, all! I am very late in getting this email reminder out, and for that I apologize. I have been helping a lot of young folks lately with budgeting and savings issues and, out of all the sophisticated analyses that are available "out there", I still find exhibiting the effect of compounding interest to be the best tried and true method for encouraging savings(see, "Why Start Now?" on this, my very "unsophisticated" website). I don't care if you can't deposit the whole $5000 into a Roth IRA for 2009; contribute what you can.
You only have TWO MORE DAYS to open and/or contribute to your account for 2009. If you've already made your contribution, kudos to you! If you are expecting tax rates to go down and are not worried about your future, then disregard. Everyone else, please consider calling Schwab(or your local bank...or whomever!) and opening a Roth IRA. Make sure you stipulate that your contribution is for 2009, that way you have the next 12 months to maximize your contribution for 2010.
FYI: You or your spouse need to have at least $5000 in EARNED INCOME to contribute AND your AGI must be less than $105,000 if you are single and less than $166,000 if you are married and filing jointly.