Getting Started

Join us for one of our regular educational meetings on investing for our clients and prospective clients. Or call us to arrange a portfolio review and to develop a strategy of next steps.

And if you’re feeling that now is not the right time due to the economy or various other factors in your life, the Q&A below might help to get you on the right path.

Q: I don’t have extra income to invest at the moment, but want to get on the right financial track. What should I do?
A: There is a saying that its “time in the market and not market timing” that can have a big impact on your wealth creation. Make a commitment to your future by choosing to set aside some amount each month and investing those funds in an index mutual fund on a regular basis. To consider where that money could come from, think about where you spend money on what you want versus what you need. For some, it’s the latte at the local coffee shop that could be used to start funding that account. Remember, if you don’t take the time to find the money to save, you will be the one who lives with the consequences.

Q: My money is tied up in mutual funds that I think I might be paying too much for. Can I move these investments and will it benefit me in the long run?
A: Paying attention to the “total” expenses you pay for your investments will mean that you keep more of your money over the long term. Consider the difference of $930 a year to own the average “actively managed mutual fund” compared to $140 a year to own the average “”broadly diversified index fund “if you have $100,000 invested. Since this expense is “automatically deducted” from the funds returns, many are unaware that they are choosing a “higher cost option” and incurring the burden of this expense”. Over ten or twenty years, this savings of almost $800 a year can really add up! Switching to low cost index fund for the majority of your investments could be a smart move.

Q: I’m in my 50s and know nothing about investing. Have I missed the window of opportunity to make strategic investments?
A: Absolutely not. The best time to learn is always now! And know that you are not alone. On August 30, 2012 the Securities and Exchange Commission released a 212-page “Study Regarding Financial Literacy Among Investors” that showed that the vast majority of Americans are unprepared to manage their financial future. This is not surprising as investing is not a subject that is taught in school or that many study. Yet most of us have become responsible for our own retirement. You have learned many things in your life; start by taking that first step. We recommend two books: The Little Book of Common Sense Investing by John G. Bogle and The Investment Answer by Daniel C. Goldie & Gordon S. Murray.

Q: I have not been involved and I don’t think I can have much of an impact on my family’s future. Why should I try?
A: Consider what Federal Reserve member Governor Elizabeth Duke said in a 2010 speech to women in Philadelphia who were committed to learning personal finance:

“You have gained common-sense knowledge and the confidence to make financial decisions that will serve you and your families now and in the future. Some of you are already entirely responsible for the financial decisions that impact you or your families. Those of you who make financial decisions jointly will become a better partner in making those decisions, and some of you will become a resource for your family, friends, and neighbors on financial matters. I hope that for many of you, this is just the first step in a lifetime of learning. Knowledge is power, and I submit that financial knowledge is security.”