As the holidays approach, I can’t stop fixating on the fact that we are about to hit 2020. It seems like yesterday that the world was supposed to end at Y2K. Yet, here we are 20 years later, still plugging along, some things better, some things worse. But, being a nerd, I do love the numerical symmetry of this upcoming year – 2020. With a number like that, it has the makings for an epic year and decade to come. So, let’s prepare for this monumental event with Twenty Do’s and Don’ts for 2020 so we kick this decade off right.
- Do plan your spending ahead of time, at least month by month. It will help in numerous ways.
- Don’t keep up with the Joneses. Who likes those guys anyway?
- Do track your purchases for a couple weeks to see where your money is going.
- Don’t look at the market/your investments every day – it will drive you bananas. Play the long game.
- Do enlist the help of a qualified financial advisor at a firm with a talented and deep bench to plan your financial future and to run your retirement projections so you can make proper adjustments as you proceed through life.
- Don’t ignore your credit score and credit report. If something looks awry – deal with it immediately.
- Do implement a savings plan and automate it.
- Don’t ignore your workplace benefits. Take advantage of any employer retirement matches, HSA plans, etc.
- Do calculate your essential monthly expenses and have at least three months of it saved in an emergency fund. Poop happens. Be prepared.
- Don’t speak, write or post the term “New Year, New Me.” Just don’t.
- Do take advantage of 401(k) catch-up provisions once you hit age 50. When that nest empties, ramp up your savings even more.
- Do try to move/exercise regularly. You can’t enjoy your hard-earned retirement if you’re battling health problems. Movement is crucial.
- Do know your risk tolerance. A portfolio of 90% equities is equipped for substantial gains during the bull markets but could suffer more significant losses when the bear appears. Make sure you have the stomach to weather the downturns and if not, a more moderate/balanced portfolio is likely appropriate.
- Don’t give up. If you have a month where spending was inordinately high and you didn’t save or stick to your budget, it’s okay. Regroup, reload, and fire away next month. You got this.
- Do revisit your investment accounts with your financial advisor regularly. Don’t set and forget; circumstances change.
- Don’t put “wants” ahead of “needs”. See, Number Two. Stay in your lane, stick to your game plan.
- Do, once a week, sing embarrassingly loud. It’s good for the soul.
- Don’t try to market time. Missing just a few of the best days of the market will substantially lower your performance over a twenty year time span. Patience grasshopper, patience.
- Do be properly insured. Providing for your loved ones makes you sleep better. Sleep is good.
- Don’t overspend on housing. Being house poor limits your retirement savings, your vacations, your children’s college savings – it limits everything.
And, so as to not end on a “Don’t”, one more: Do have an amazing Christmas and New Year. Laugh. Eat. Drink. Be merry. Be safe. Live well, live with love. Until next year.
Original content provided by Gregory Mattacola, Esq., Financial Advisor at Strategic Financial Services.
Content is provided for educational purposes only and should not be used as the basis upon which to make investment or financial decisions.
Founded in 1979, Strategic is a leading investment and wealth management firm managing and advising on client assets over $1.6 billion.Overview
Strategic Financial Services, Inc. is a SEC-registered investment advisor. The term “registered” does not imply a certain level of skill or training. “Registered” means the company has filed the necessary documentation to maintain registration as an investment advisor with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The information contained on this site is for informational purposes and should not be considered investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. Every client situation is different. Strategic manages customized portfolios that seek to properly reflect the particular risk and return objectives of each individual client. The discussion of any investments is for illustrative purposes only and there is no assurance that the adviser will make any investments with the same or similar characteristics as any investments presented. The investments identified and described do not represent all of the investments purchased or sold for client accounts. Any representative investments discussed were selected based on a number of factors including recent company news or earnings release. The reader should not assume that an investment identified was or will be profitable. All investments contain risk and may lose value. There is no assurance that any investments identified will remain in client accounts at the time you receive this document.
Some of the material presented is based upon forward-looking statements, information and opinions, including descriptions of anticipated market changes and expectations of future activity. Strategic Financial Services believes that such statements, information, and opinions are based upon reasonable estimates and assumptions. However, forward-looking statements, information and opinions are inherently uncertain and actual events or results may differ materially from those reflected in the forward-looking statements. Therefore, undue reliance should not be placed on such forward-looking statements, information and opinions.
No content on this website is intended to provide tax or legal advice. You are advised to seek advice on these matters from separately retained professionals.
All index returns, unless otherwise noted, are presented as price returns and have been obtained from Bloomberg. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be purchased directly by investors.