Launching the Younger Generation to Financial Success

There are many personal finance activities that we engage in as adults that are almost second nature, from working to saving to borrowing and building credit. We’ve compiled some simple actions you can take (and when) to increase your child’s financial success as they mature.

Grade School Age +
1. Encourage them to get experience with a job (in or outside the house)
> Let children get experience managing their own cash flow – learning about how much money comes in (and when), how to spend wisely, and how to save for future expenses both large and small.

Junior High/High School Age
1. Help them open their own checking & savings account (& obtain a debit card)
> In addition to learning about how to manage money with a bank, this is a critical step before engaging in any future lending.
> Provide experience for managing money the way most of us do today (digitally).

2. Open a secured credit card (or make them an authorized user on your card) – build credit!
> Building credit is an often-overlooked aspect of setting young people up for financial success.
> A secured credit card allows you to build your credit with significant guardrails in place
– Allows for building credit with very low (and secured) credit limits
– Available to people with poor or no credit
> To start, authorizing a child as a user on your card may be a good way to allow them to learn to make purchases, build & manage credit, while still allowing you to monitor their spending and ensure their success.

3. Go through a tax return with your teen
> At school, kids learn a lot – however, as you may have experienced in your own life, the intricacies of a tax return is not one of them. Help your younger generation understand what taxes they are paying & why.

College Age
1. Understand the difference between “good” debt & “bad” debt
> With credit, comes the need to discern how to use credit wisely. Teaching young people the difference between high interest rate credit cards, auto loans, and federal/private education loans is critical to making informed decisions about debt.
> Review the costs and benefits of particular schools & majors when determining when (and how much) to borrow for school – it’s critically important as college costs & student loan debt continues to balloon.

2. Take them to a meeting with your financial advisor
> Be open about your financial journey & allow them to learn from your successes & failures.
> Make the most of the resources available to you – we would be more than happy to help be a part of your young person’s financial success.

The “SMART” Way to Navigate Life’s Transitions

Change in life is inevitable – and so too are the periods of transition which big changes can bring. Whether you’re buying a home, having a child (or grandchild!), getting married, getting divorced, changing careers, or saying goodbye to a loved one – it is truly an understatement to say life is full of moving parts. As planners, we strive each and every day to ensure our clients are set up for success, no matter what changes they face.  So it is our most important responsibility to come alongside them as they navigate all of life’s biggest transitions.

While helping our clients through countless transitions, we have learned a few things about what it takes to successfully navigate a big transition. First and foremost, we know it’s “SMART” to do at a little planning in advance of life’s big events.

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A Different Way to Invest in Our Tumultuous World

Everyone loves a good story. It’s what keeps you hooked watching a movie or reading a book…it’s also what keeps investors committed to poor investment solutions. Investors like a good story that keeps them engaged, and that story usually involves a savvy manager. But there is a different narrative—written by financial scientists.

Now, academic finance isn’t exactly an engaging story. However, it has changed the face of investing and market analysis for every investor. In the 1960’s, University of Chicago romance-language-scholar-turned-economist Eugene Fama and his protégé’s (namely, Michael Jensen of Jensen’s Alpha performance measurement “fame”)  first used the power of advanced computing and the capital asset pricing model (CAPM) to price securities and study what impacts returns. Their breakthroughs in finance led to an understanding that, on average, mutual fund managers don’t outperform the market, as well as the idea that there are other factors in the marketplace that contribute to investment returns.

Enter: Evidence-based investing Read more

Recession-Proof Your Retirement Portfolio

Sharon Allen, CEO and Co-Founder of Sterling Wealth Management was recently interviewed by Money Magazine about tips for investors to prepare their portfolios for retirement. Click here to read more: | Money https://swmi.co/moneymag-recession-proof-portfolio

Raising Financially Sound Kids

The vast majority of children are destined for a financial future that differs little from that of their parents. Research has found that the financial future of younger generations can sometimes even be worse due to a combination of societal influence and last of intentional “fiscal training”.

You can change that.

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