Investments

No regrets in 2017.....

Posted by Valley Financial Group & Billy Wolfe Jr.

Every person has a story, a series of decisions and events stretched over a lifetime that has led to them to where they are today. Most of our past we wouldn't change or trade for anything, having been led to our schools, jobs, friends, and family because of it. But each and every one of us has that one thing, that one pair of shoes we wished we had worn, but that we might have been scared to wear, or even been talked out of. We're happy with where we are and how far we've come, but we'll always ask ourselves "what if?" It could be applying to that school that everyone thought was out of your reach, traveling to a land you always dreamed of going too, taking that leap to become your own boss or even asking the prettiest girl in the class for a dance all the way back in High School.

 

 When it comes to investing or financial planning, some of us regret not investing or planning sooner in our lives.  If you are one of the 31% of Americans that doesn't have a pension or any retirement saving put away for your retirement, don't think you’re defeated or give up!  https://www.federalreserve.gov/communitydev/shed.htm.  Most of us, as we get into our late forties, fifties and sixties are in our prime earning years.  The IRS has a catch-up provision for your retirement accounts once you are older than 50. For example, tax payers can contribute $18,000.00 to their retirement plan (401k, 403b & 457 Plans) for 2017 and if they are older than 50 years of age than contribute another $6,000 for a total of $24,000 for 2017.  IRS.GOV.  

 

Another step to put into action when beginning to save later in life for retirement is to create a plan on what you want your retirement to look and feel like. Remember Vince Lombardi's famous quote "Fail to plan, Plan to fail,” also reduce spending, pay yourself first and continue to review your plan.  For those younger investors, congratulations! You have a head start to put your retirement and financial plans into action, so you can avoid that regret overcoming you late one night in your bed on “why didn't I plan earlier?” 

 

For whatever reason, the word "regret" catches people's attention, whether it’s because of previous experience with the feeling or the uncertainty that most choices entail. The phrase "you're going to regret this" has changed people's minds and caused rampant indecisiveness since the inception of the English language. At the end of the day, most people's regrets are a result of the things they wish they have done and risks they wish they had taken, rather than regretting mistakes made. So take a risk or as we view it at Valley Financial, create an opportunity to live your dreams. Put yourself out there and tackle the odds. Take the risk that you've been pondering chancing. Make 2017 the year you chase your goals and accomplish them. Do it soon, because you don't want to relive watching Sally dancing with someone else at your High School Prom.  

Winterizing Your Financial Plan!

Posted by Valley Financial Group & Billy Wolfe Jr.

The days are getting colder, darker and shorter, and as we slip into our winter boots in preparation for the next few months there is no better time to take a look at our financial plan as we approach the new year, a process we’ll refer to as “winterizing”. When looking at our fiscal situation, there are several key areas to look at before the year’s end to make sure everything is in order.

1.    Make sure you have withdrawn at least the minimum amount from the necessary retirement accounts so as to meet your required minimum distribution quota.

2.     Review your financial goals and objectives. (ie retirement, education, wedding, new beach home, car, etc..)  Check up on the status of your goals for this year, as well as setting new targets for the year to come.

3.     Review your insurance plans, including life, auto, home and healthcare, and look for any changes in coverage or premiums that might be included on your plan as we put this year to rest.

4.    Review your will and beneficiaries to make sure your loved ones are financially sound and secure should the need arise.

5.    Talk to your Certified Public Accountant about your tax loss selling situation in regards to your home and income.                                                                                                                                                                                                          

 Now that your financial plans have been winterized, enjoy the holiday season and the upcoming winter months, and make sure to continue your financial preparation for the year ahead.

Thanksgiving dinner.....

Posted by Valley Financial Group & Billy Wolfe Jr.

It’s hard to believe it’s almost Thanksgiving! It’s the time of year we get to see the whole family gathered together for America's favorite meal, whether that sounds good to you or not. Most of us just want to eat, spend some time with our loved ones that we might not have seen in a while and maybe watch a little football. But every year serves as a reminder of just how crazy family can be. Every single person at the table is a unique, irreplaceable and usually hilarious part of the family. There will be the one that everyone knows is going to bring up politics at an incredibly inappropriate time. The uncle that's convinced he would be NBA MVP if it wasn't for that knee. The cousin who only has the same 3 jokes he's hoping everyone forgot he told last year. There is the mother and father-in-law, too many great aunts and uncles to remember, and regardless of if you're nine, thirty-nine or sixty-nine, there will be one person who will reminisce about changing your diaper. The list goes on and on for every family, but no one will ever remember a normal dinner without the laughs and the stories, no matter how delicious the turkey.

Thanksgiving is a time not only to share a meal with our family and hopefully watch the Cowboys lose; it is a time to be thankful for the amazing family which we have been given. It’s a time to be thankful for our Mother and Father, and all the sacrifices they've made for us, to be thankful for our grandparents, who love and spoil us more than we'll ever deserve, and to be thankful for our aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins, who each bring their own individual gifts that help to make every family perfect. We love them not in spite of their quirks and craziness, but because of them. Family is the most important thing in life, no matter who you are or what you do. So be thankful for your family this Thanksgiving, but we won't blame you for not minding the next year of waiting.

 The dinner table at Thanksgiving is a lot like a good portfolio.  There are usually several different personalities that help to make the day more memorable.  In a similar way a successful portfolio usually has several unique asset classes (personalities, if you will), helping you to reach your goals, which we hope can lead you to creating more memories with your family and friends.

 Happy Thanksgiving from Valley Financial Group!

 

Elections and Overreactions...

Posted by Valley Financial Group & Billy Wolfe Jr.

It is hard to believe, but the 2016 Presidential election is right around the corner, and no matter who you side with, Americans across the nation are all asking the same question, what effect does the outcome have on my financial assets. Despite TIME magazine’s claim that “both stocks and the bond market will plunge if Trump goes ahead with his plan to renegotiate the national debt” and that “if Clinton wins the White House she’ll cripple the economy by hiking the taxes by $1 trillion”, economists maintain that over time the election’s outcome will have no long term effect on your money.

While the election itself is irrelevant to your investment portfolio, the nation’s reaction to announcement of the new Commander-in-chief will. Often times, the biggest mistake investors make is choosing what they want now, as opposed to what they want most. Investors across the nation will either sell or buy depending on their own personal fears or biases towards a particular candidate’s policies, biases almost every American still holds despite consistent growth of the S&P 500, which has risen in almost 70% of years since 1926[AK1] (http://time.com/money/page/2016-presidential-election-clinton-trump-affect-finances/), a period in which a nearly even 8/7 split of Republican and Democratic presidents, respectively. The wisest thing you can do to help benefit your portfolio in regards to this year’s election is to not react to it. Investment advice or analysis that predicts a stocks rise or fall based the winning candidate should definitely be ignored, as stocks will rise over time more often than not regardless of who sits in the Oval Office. No matter your political beliefs and affiliations, it is best to keep your investment portfolio separate, especially with perhaps the most bitter and polarizing election in US history on the horizon. Keep your finances independent of your personal political agenda and don’t let a candidate’s plans and promises affect which stocks you believe will plummet or skyrocket. Your investment portfolio is constructed to help you pursue your long-term financial goals and navigate the market regardless of the political conditions, no matter if your voting sneakers sport a donkey or an elephant the morning of the 8th.

This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. This information should not be relied upon by the readers as research or investment advice nor should it be construed as a recommendation to hold, purchase or sell a security. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested.
 [AK1]Time Magazine