In a previous blog, The Psychology of Investing, we discussed how the concepts of loss aversion, recency bias, and selective memory can impact an investment strategy and tolerance for risk. None of us are immune to these potential psychological traps, so it’s important to be aware of the underlying feelings motivating our investment decisions. It’s a challenging but necessary exercise to separate our rational, analytical mind from our emotional response to the highs and lows of market fluctuations (and any other life circumstances we may be navigating at the time). In many ways, investing isn’t only about how the market behaves, but how we react to watching our wealth rise and fall as well. With this in mind, let’s further examine how our conscious and unconscious perceptions are intertwined with the choices we make for our investment portfolios.
Americans have heard quite a bit about inflation lately and probably noticed how the price of goods and services have risen. This is commonly referred to as inflation, but it is a little like putting the cart before the horse. In fact, the rising cost of goods and services are merely the symptoms of a debasement in the reserve currency. In other words, inflation is a word used to describe the symptoms of a weakening of the dollar relative to assets and goods and services. Understanding its implication requires an examination of inflation within the context of the modern economic era.
High earners are often looking for ways to strategically save on taxes while boosting their financial outlook. Health savings accounts (HSAs) are a great option for accomplishing this because they provide an uncommon three-point tax benefit: contributions reduce your taxable income, investments within the account grow tax-free, and, as long as you spend the funds on qualified medical expenses, the withdrawals are tax-free too. Additionally, HSAs have fewer restrictions and more benefits than flexible savings accounts (FSAs).
In this grand age of communication and technology, it is likely your teenager is on the internet and has come across the concept of investing. Perhaps their curiosity was sparked by reading the forum WallStreetBets on Reddit, seeing a Tweet about stocks, or a family member sharing an article on Facebook about saving for retirement.
If they are ready to start investing, the good news is they have options! Many custodians and platforms allow minors to open a retirement or taxable investment account with parental consent. This provides a great opportunity for teenagers to learn how to save and invest, all while gaining valuable financial literacy. In addition, the younger someone is when they begin investing, the more time their investments have to grow through compound earnings. It’s a win-win! [Read more…]
It’s no secret that the earlier you’re able to start saving for retirement, the better. Since private company pensions have virtually gone extinct and Social Security benefits are intended to only cover a portion of your working wages, the brunt of saving for retirement falls on your shoulders. With this in mind, you may wonder how much you should be saving as you progress through your career and how your current savings compare to others in your age range. Fortunately plenty of research has been conducted on these topics to help us all find clarity in the great feat that is saving for our later years!
We focus the discussion below on median retirement savings because it gives a more accurate representation as averages can be skewed by outliers: those with very low retirement savings or those with extremely high savings. [Read more…]