It’s A New Year! Is It Time To Reevaluate Your Financial Plan?

By Jeff Gilbert

A new year is often a time for fresh starts, intentional planning, and renewed motivation to conquer goals and accomplish things that are important to you. And after the year we just had, a fresh start is just what we need. As you transition into 2021 and all this year will bring, take some time to think about your long-term plans and reevaluate your decisions, especially in the following key areas.  

Tax Strategy Planning

In the wake of a major election and a change in administration, questions naturally arise about how tax laws could change and how that will affect your wallet. If tax rates increase for your tax bracket, you may want to shift some of your savings allocations to tax-deferred vehicles such as a 401(k) or a traditional IRA. The recent stimulus bill contains several tax law changes, including the ability to roll forward unused FSA funds from 2020, (1) 100% deductible business meals, and penalty-free retirement plan withdrawals for families affected by declared disasters. (2) Because of how often new tax legislation is introduced, tax planning is not a one-and-done deal. Revisit your plan to make some shifts that will help you in the long run. 

Tracking Retirement Funds

As we learned from the Great Recession, it is important to stay proactive when it comes to your cash flow and retirement funds. The temptation to adopt a “set it and forget it” approach can create financial blind spots, especially when the demands of work and family make it challenging to carve out time to review finances. If you have not kept track of your investment accounts, retirement plan balances, and other assets, commit to start keeping a pulse on the health of your family’s finances at least once a quarter, if not monthly.

Insurance Coverage

Inadequate insurance coverage is a common issue that can derail retirement plans, especially in the event of unforeseen health problems or injuries that force individuals to retire early. A 2020 study found that only 54% of Americans have life insurance, and that 40% of policyholders reported that they wished they had bought coverage sooner. (3) Life insurance policies are not all created equal, and many policies offer living benefits that you can draw on if you need help paying medical bills or other expenses. It’s prudent to make sure you have the proper policies and coverage for your unique situation.

Estate Planning

Regularly reviewing your estate plan is a crucial component of your financial strategy. Life moves quickly, and it is all too easy to forget how much can happen in a short period of time. Arrivals of new children or grandchildren, health conditions, asset purchases or liquidations (such as buying a new home), marriage/divorce, retirement, unemployment, remarriage, and deaths in the family can make a significant impact on the big picture of your estate plan. 

Let Us Partner With You

As we settle into the new year, it’s wise to anticipate and prepare for the changes that every season of life brings. If you are ready to reassess your long-term goals or would like to discuss how to build a solid foundation for your future, give me a call at 949-445-1465 or email me at jgilbert@balboawealth.com.

About Jeff

Jeff Gilbert is the founder and CEO of Balboa Wealth Partners, a holistic financial management firm dedicated to providing clients guidance today for tomorrow’s success. With nearly three decades of industry experience, he has worked as both an advisor and executive-level manager, partnering with and serving a diverse range of clients. Specializing in serving high- and ultra-high-net-worth families, Jeff aims to help clients achieve their short-term and long-term goals, worry less about their finances, and focus more on their life’s passions. Based in Orange County, Jeff works with clients throughout the entire country. To learn more, connect with Jeff on LinkedIn or email jgilbert@balboawealth.com

Advisory services provided by Balboa Wealth Partners, Inc., an Investment Advisor registered with the SEC. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Balboa Wealth Partners and its Investment Advisor Representatives are properly licensed or exempt from registration.

Securities offered through Chalice Capital Partners, LLC, member FINRA, SIPC.

Balboa offers advisory services independent of Chalice. Neither firm is affiliated.

________________

(1) https://www.marketwatch.com/story/covid-relief-bill-will-let-fsa-money-roll-over-into-2021-a-win-for-parents-and-those-with-live-in-elderly-loved-ones-11608825806#:~:text=Workers%20could%20set%20aside%20up,year%2Dend%20or%20be%20forfeited.

(2) https://www.journalofaccountancy.com/news/2020/dec/tax-provisions-in-covid-19-relief-bill-ppp-and-business-meal-deductibility.html

(3) https://www.policygenius.com/life-insurance/life-insurance-statistics/

Happy Holidays From Balboa Wealth Partners

By Jeff Gilbert

It’s been a wild ride, but we have finally arrived at the holidays. Our team at Balboa Wealth Partners would like to take this opportunity to wish you and yours a happy holiday and a refreshing new year! The holiday season, your treasured traditions, and pretty much everything about this time of year may look different in 2020, but we believe there is still cause to celebrate. 

Look For The Good

Most of us are probably glad to see this year go, but hardship can also bring opportunities to grow, adapt, and reprioritize what’s most important to you. Were you able to cut your commute out of the equation and have more time to spend with your family? Did you reconnect with friends virtually? Did you start new traditions and make unexpected memories? Life is challenging right now, but reflect on all that this year has brought and go into 2021 focusing on the good things that have come from every victory and trial.

It can be hard to look forward to a new year with so much uncertainty still on the horizon. Let’s just say that new year’s resolutions will likely look very different this year! Regardless, think about what you want 2021 to hold for you. The end of the year is an opportune time to adjust your goals, dream about the future, and find renewed motivation. Use this season to recharge your batteries, get some well-deserved rest, and develop a vision for the coming year that isn’t based on external circumstances.

Thank You For A Wonderful Year!

Everything our team at Balboa Wealth Partners achieves as a firm is all due to you. Your loyalty brings new clients to our doors, and your trust helps us build strong relationships that last a lifetime. We hope that in serving you we have provided your family comfort in knowing we are here to help whenever you have questions or concerns. We understand that life changes can happen at any moment, and we want you to rest easy knowing when you need advice, guidance, or simply someone who will listen, we’re here for you.

As we prepare to enter a new year, we look forward to continuing to help you achieve your financial goals in 2021. Here’s wishing you joy and laughter during the holiday season and a happy new year!

Let’s Connect

To check in on your financial plan before the end of the year and make sure your finances are prepared for 2021, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 949-445-1465 or email me at jgilbert@balboawealth.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

About Jeff

Jeff Gilbert is the founder and CEO of Balboa Wealth Partners, a holistic financial management firm dedicated to providing clients guidance today for tomorrow’s success. With nearly three decades of industry experience, he has worked as both an advisor and executive-level manager, partnering with and serving a diverse range of clients. Specializing in serving high- and ultra-high-net-worth families, Jeff aims to help clients achieve their short-term and long-term goals, worry less about their finances, and focus more on their life’s passions. Based in Orange County, Jeff works with clients throughout Southern California as well as Arizona, Oregon, and Washington. To learn more, connect with Jeff on LinkedIn or email jgilbert@balboawealth.com

Advisory services provided by Balboa Wealth Partners, Inc., an Investment Advisor registered with the SEC. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Balboa Wealth Partners and its Investment Advisor Representatives are properly licensed or exempt from registration.

Securities offered through Chalice Capital Partners, LLC, member FINRA, SIPC.

Balboa offers advisory services independent of Chalice. Neither firm is affiliated.

7 Rules Of Investing

By Jeff Gilbert

When it comes to finances, words like “saving” and “budgeting” can seem fairly self-explanatory. But how about the word “investing”? Now that sounds a bit more complicated. What does it take to succeed in investing? A set formula? A special skill and talent? Rather than being intimidated and overwhelmed, crossing your fingers, and hoping for the best, let’s conduct a quick crash course on the topic. The more you know, the more confident you’ll be.

Whether you choose to purchase stocks and bonds, contribute to a retirement account such as a 401(k), or even invest in real estate, there are time-tested principles to investing wisely, and following these 7 rules of investing will help put you on a path toward reaching your goals (hopefully without headaches).

1. Manage Your Emotions

Behavior is a major factor in investment success. By being aware of your emotions and knowing your behavioral pitfalls, you can avoid many potential investment mistakes caused by panic. Finances are an integral part of our lives and it’s difficult to separate them from our emotions, but your nest egg will thank you if you can learn to take your time when making decisions and stay strong and committed when the market feels like a roller coaster.

2. Stay Away From Predictions

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a crystal ball to predict where the markets will go or what the economy will do? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Don’t worry about what you can’t control, but channel that energy into focusing on the factors you can impact, such as the types of companies or funds you invest in and how much you save. On that same token, don’t make your investment decisions only based on past performance. Just because a mutual fund blew everyone away last year doesn’t mean it will thrive this year. 

3. Invest For The Long Term

You may want to check financial tasks off your to-do list in a hurry, but remember, investing isn’t a race. It may take time for you to reach your goals, and if you go in with that mindset, you may see more growth and can celebrate the small victories along the way. 

4. Control What You Can

It’ll be easier to stay committed to your long-term plan if you control what you can and let go of the rest. That’s why it’s important to clarify your goals, needs, and time horizon and design a plan tailored to your unique situation. Having an investment philosophy and strategy will give you purpose when hard times come. Your reason for investing could be to save for retirement, put aside money for college tuition, or save for a down payment on a home. Knowing your purpose makes the journey more meaningful. 

5. Avoid Unnecessary Risk

All investing involves risk, but that is neither a reason to avoid investing nor a reason to throw all caution to the wind. The level of risk you take should correspond to your age, time horizon, and goals. Your portfolio isn’t the place for speculation or bets, and your plan should reflect your risk tolerance. 

6. Start Now

Since investing is a marathon, time is on your side. The longer you allow your money to sit in an investment account, the more time you’ll have to reap the benefits of compound interest. Don’t save investing for the future when you feel more prepared. Each year you wait means you’ll need to save more in a shorter amount of time.

7. Diversify Your Investments

It’s drilled into us pretty regularly that we need to diversify our portfolios. Since investing is never a guarantee, you may want to consider investing in various formats and companies to help reduce your risk of loss. That way, if a company goes down or an industry tanks, you don’t lose all your money at once. 

Rules To Live (Or Invest) By

See? Don’t you already feel less intimidated now that we’ve covered some investment basics to steer you in the right direction? Investing doesn’t have to be complicated or scary, and you don’t need to learn all the ins and outs on your own. As you pursue your financial future, we at Balboa Wealth Partners would love to help you pursue a positive investment experience and implement these tips into your investment strategy. Give me a call at 949-445-1465 or email me at jgilbert@balboawealth.com to start taking control of your money and stay informed about your investments.

About Jeff

Jeff Gilbert is the founder and CEO of Balboa Wealth Partners, a holistic financial management firm dedicated to providing clients guidance today for tomorrow’s success. With nearly three decades of industry experience, he has worked as both an advisor and executive-level manager, partnering with and serving a diverse range of clients. Specializing in serving high- and ultra-high-net-worth families, Jeff aims to help clients achieve their short-term and long-term goals, worry less about their finances, and focus more on their life’s passions. Based in Orange County, Jeff works with clients throughout Southern California as well as Arizona, Oregon, and Washington. To learn more, connect with Jeff on LinkedIn or email jgilbert@balboawealth.com

Advisory services provided by Balboa Wealth Partners, Inc., an Investment Advisor registered with the SEC. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Balboa Wealth Partners and its Investment Advisor Representatives are properly licensed or exempt from registration.

Securities offered through Chalice Capital Partners, LLC, member FINRA, SIPC.

Balboa offers advisory services independent of Chalice. Neither firm is affiliated.

How To Prepare For Volatility In The Market

By Jeff Gilbert

Here’s the thing: Even though we had been enjoying our record-long bull market and knew that it couldn’t last forever, no one saw our current situation coming. For example, when we turned the page of our calendar to 2020, analysts predicted modest returns (1) and the financial world saw little risk of a recession. 

But just because we didn’t see this coming doesn’t mean you are powerless. While the severity of our current events is not to be minimized, we can battle fear and anxiety by going beyond the headlines and educating ourselves with the facts. With that in mind, here are 4 ways to prepare your finances for more volatility. 

1. Keep A Level Head

Times of uncertainty are not ideal for making drastic changes or decisions. In today’s digital world, we have 24/7 access to news media outlets, and there are a lot of them. With so many different voices fighting for our attention, headlines are getting more and more alarmist. We are constantly bombarded with articles and videos telling us what we need to do based on the last hour’s market performance. 

That’s why one of the worst things you can do in a volatile market is let your emotions drive your actions. Volatile times call for a logical outlook. Remember: The numbers you see in your account are just that—numbers. They don’t mean anything unless you sell. Don’t let fear get the best of you. This brings me to my second point.

2. Consider Long-Term Results

Instead, stick to your long-term perspective. The market might be down tomorrow and it might be down a month from now. But if you needed your money tomorrow or a month from now, you wouldn’t have invested it in the stock market. Stock market investing is for the long term, so you shouldn’t let short-term volatility scare you. Volatility and market drops will only hurt you if you panic sell when the market is down and lock in those losses. 

History shows us that about every four years the markets post negative annual returns. In spite of that, the S&P 500 Index has averaged gains of 12% from 1979 to 2019. (2) Here is a graph that shows this long-term stability, despite short-term market fluctuations. This is the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) showing over the last 30 years of investment value, which is a fair representation of the market as a whole if you are an average investor. 

If you remember the 2008/2009 crash, as seen above, the market recovered well. The market always recovers, and it will continue to do so. 

3. Trust Your Portfolio

Markets go up and down, and investment professionals understand the movements and prepare for them. If you’re a client of ours, then we designed your portfolio with this in mind. We knew it would happen and you are ready for it. 

Just because the Dow Jones Industrial Average is bouncing all over the place doesn’t mean that your portfolio is. Your portfolio consists of not just stocks but also bonds and other assets as well. They are designed to work together and balance each other out so that you won’t experience the wild ride that other investors experience. We custom-design every portfolio with your specific time horizon and investment goals in mind, so you have the opportunity to achieve your goals regardless of what the markets do today or tomorrow.

4. Talk To A Professional About Risk

This is not the time to go it alone. It’s extremely beneficial to talk with someone who has been through these situations before and can help answer concerns specific to your needs and phase of life.

Depending on your age and financial circumstances, you might not feel like you have as much time to let the market bounce back. This is why it is even more crucial to make sure the types of investments you have align with your risk tolerance and time horizon. Are you ready to see all your options for protecting your money and build a foundation that can lead to success in any market? We at Balboa Wealth Partners are here for you. Give me a call at 949-445-1465 or email me at jgilbert@balboawealth.com to schedule an appointment.

About Jeff

Jeff Gilbert is the founder and CEO of Balboa Wealth Partners, a holistic financial management firm dedicated to providing clients guidance today for tomorrow’s success. With nearly three decades of industry experience, he has worked as both an advisor and executive-level manager, partnering with and serving a diverse range of clients. Specializing in serving high- and ultra-high-net-worth families, Jeff aims to help clients achieve their short-term and long-term goals, worry less about their finances, and focus more on their life’s passions. Based in Orange County, Jeff works with clients throughout Southern California as well as Arizona, Oregon, and Washington. To learn more, connect with Jeff on LinkedIn or email jgilbert@balboawealth.com

Advisory services provided by Balboa Wealth Partners, Inc., an Investment Advisor registered with the SEC. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Balboa Wealth Partners and its Investment Advisor Representatives are properly licensed or exempt from registration.

Securities offered through Chalice Capital Partners, LLC, member FINRA, SIPC.

Balboa offers advisory services independent of Chalice. Neither firm is affiliated.

____________

(1) https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/01/business/wall-street-markets-2020.html

(2) http://www.moneychimp.com/features/market_cagr.htm

(3) https://www.macrotrends.net/1319/dow-jones-100-year-historical-chart

Insurance Policies For Each Stage Of Life

By Jeff Gilbert

 

Raise your hand if you have insurance. That’s probably most of you. But did you know that you may need different types of insurance, and definitely different amounts of coverage, for each stage of your life? Here’s a breakdown to give you some direction as you make insurance decisions to protect yourself from the risk and uncertainty that is simply part of life.

College Students

Many students are still eligible for health and auto insurance through their parents’ plans. They don’t typically have dependents or property. This may lead you to think that students don’t need to be part of the insurance conversation, but there is one type of policy that could make a difference to your finances: a hospitalization policy. Hospitalization policies cover unexpected medical costs students accrue from surgery or hospitalization, essentially shielding them and their parents from going into debt to pay for medical expenses.

Young, Single, Working, And On Your Own

The most important types of insurance that those in this stage of life should consider include health, renters, auto, and disability insurance. Most likely your employer will provide health insurance for you, but if they don’t, it is important to research your options to find the best rates available. Renters insurance is very affordable and often required by landlords. It will help protect you in the case of stolen or destroyed property (think jewelry, laptops, or other big-ticket items). And when it comes to auto insurance, it is important to shop around and find the most competitive coverage.

Finally, for this stage of life, disability (or critical illness or income replacement) insurance should be considered. This type of insurance pays a portion of lost wages if you are unable to continue your job due to an accident or illness. Because there are limits and gaps in coverage from your employer, state, and workers’ compensation, it is vital that you also have your own disability policy.

Newly Married Homeowners

As a newly married couple with a house, it’s time to turn your attention to life, homeowners, and liability insurance. The last thing you want to do is get married, buy a new home with your spouse, and unexpectedly pass away. In this extreme case, you would be leaving your spouse responsible for paying off the entire mortgage with one income. If you have life insurance for yourself, you would alleviate such a risk.

Speaking of your home, homeowner insurance policies vary in what they cover, so it is important to make sure you understand the terms. Weigh the pros and cons of purchasing a more expensive policy that will pay for the full cost of rebuilding your home and for replacing your possessions versus a policy that just pays for your home’s market value. (1)

Finally, you should also consider liability insurance, also known as umbrella coverage, which essentially will protect you beyond the protection of homeowners and auto insurance. Because your net worth is growing, this type of insurance is important.

Proud Parents

The most important types of insurance to have at this stage include life insurance and health insurance for your children, as well as disability insurance. On your existing medical policy, it is important to claim a life event when you are pregnant or within a month of your child’s birth. This will allow you to add your baby to your medical policy.

If you don’t already have a life insurance policy, now is the time to get one. If you do have a policy, be sure to boost your coverage to include the future cost of raising a child, college costs, and maybe even coverage for a stay-at-home parent. Either way, make sure that your children and spouse are taken care of should anything happen to you.

Another type of policy to revisit is disability insurance. Now that you are providing for children, possibly paying off a mortgage, and reworking your budget to include childcare or a reduced income for a stay-at-home parent, your income needs to be guaranteed. Make sure that you cover the risk of not being able to work due to an injury, accident, or unforeseen complication.

Empty Nesters And Pre-Retirees

This is a pivotal life stage where making decisions for the future comes into play. You may still need many of the above-mentioned policies, but you should also look into long-term care insurance. This type of insurance covers the future costs of long-term care, which may include in-home care or the costs of living at a nursing home to assist with the basic personal tasks of everyday life. There could come a time when you cannot take care of yourself independently, and you don’t want to drain your savings to get the care you need. There are different types of policies, including traditional LTC policies or hybrid LTC policies, so do the research to find the best choice for your situation.

Retirees

Once you retire, your insurance priorities change. For the most part, you will not need to protect your ability to earn income since you are no longer working. However, as you get older, insurance can significantly lessen the impact of medical expenses and long-term care costs. 

When you officially retire and lose your employee healthcare coverage, you will either have to reassess or obtain new coverage on the following: health insurance, Medigap, Medicare prescription drug plans, and long-term care insurance. If you retire early, you may need an additional short-term health insurance policy since Medicare does not kick in until you reach age 65. It is also important to consider Medigap policies since Medicare will most likely not cover all of your medical expense needs. Also, because Medicare Part A and Part B do not cover most prescription drugs, you will need to shop around for Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (Part D). Finally, as discussed in an earlier stage, it is very important to make sure you have LTC insurance. The longer you wait, the more expensive this type of coverage will be.

And remember to take the time to review all of your in-force policies to make sure you aren’t over-insured, and update beneficiaries of your life insurance policy as needed.

What Stage Can We Help You With?

With different stages of life come very different insurance needs. The Balboa Wealth Partners team would love to help you determine what insurance policies and coverage would benefit you in your unique life circumstances and stage of life. To learn more about what we do or to request a complimentary consultation, give me a call at 949-445-1465 or email me at jgilbert@balboawealth.com.

About Jeff

Jeff Gilbert is the founder and CEO of Balboa Wealth Partners, a holistic financial management firm dedicated to providing clients guidance today for tomorrow’s success. With nearly three decades of industry experience, he has worked as both an advisor and executive-level manager, partnering with and serving a diverse range of clients. Specializing in serving high- and ultra-high-net-worth families, Jeff aims to help clients achieve their short-term and long-term goals, worry less about their finances, and focus more on their life’s passions. Based in Orange County, Jeff works with clients throughout Southern California as well as Arizona, Oregon, and Washington. To learn more, connect with Jeff on LinkedIn or email jgilbert@balboawealth.com

Advisory services provided by Balboa Wealth Partners, Inc., an Investment Advisor registered with the SEC. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Balboa Wealth Partners and its Investment Advisor Representatives are properly licensed or exempt from registration.

Securities offered through Chalice Capital Partners, LLC, member FINRA, SIPC.

Balboa offers advisory services independent of Chalice. Neither firm is affiliated.

____________

(1) http://www.plannersearch.org/assets/brochures/fpa_choosing%20the%20right%20insurance_web_060315.pdf

3 Ways To Prepare Your Teenager For Financial Independence

By Jeff Gilbert

Teenagers aren’t always known for being logical and responsible, especially with money. But given the right tools and opportunities, this is an ideal time for them to set a financial foundation that will benefit them for the rest of their life. So, before they leave the nest and head out into the real world, take these steps to help them prepare for financial independence.

1. Let Them Earn An Income

Kids learn best by doing, by having hands-on chances to try something, fail or succeed, and learn from the experience. If your teen is old enough, let them get a part-time job, either permanently or temporarily, during school breaks. If they’re not quite old enough (or too busy with extracurricular activities), pay them for doing jobs around the house, whether that’s mowing the lawn, making dinner, or cleaning out the garage. 

Letting your teen earn their own income is exciting! It teaches them about taxes, gives them their own spending money, helps them become a more responsible and independent person, and allows them to feel empowered and capable.  

2. Help Them Set Financial Goals

Once your teen has some income to work with, help them set financial goals. They may want to save for a car, some college expenses, or even a post-graduation trip with friends. Whatever it is, help them calculate how much they need to save each month to reach their goal by a certain date. This gives them something tangible to work toward and shows them the value of saving. If they are motivated to save for something in the future, it encourages them to weigh the opportunity cost of buying something now versus saving it for later.

3. Show Them How To Track Spending

We all know how little purchases can add up to huge expenses over time. Coffee on your way to work. Take-out on your way home. A small purchase on Amazon. Before you know it, $100 is out the window. 

Your teen can keep their spending in check by tracking their own expenses. As a tech-savvy teen, they’ll likely find a budgeting app more appealing than using the old pen-and-paper method. A quick online search will reveal several apps out there that can help your teen stay on top of their spending and track expenses in real time. 

Set Them Up For Success!

Teaching your teen the importance of financial independence is no easy feat. But if you put in the hard work now, they’ll be less likely to depend on you financially in their 30s and beyond. At Balboa Wealth Partners, we’re dedicated to helping you and your teen reach financial success. Give me a call at 949-445-1465 or email me at jgilbert@balboawealth.com if you’d like us to do just that!

About Jeff

Jeff Gilbert is the founder and CEO of Balboa Wealth Partners, a holistic financial management firm dedicated to providing clients guidance today for tomorrow’s success. With nearly three decades of industry experience, he has worked as both an advisor and executive-level manager, partnering with and serving a diverse range of clients. Specializing in serving high- and ultra-high-net-worth families, Jeff aims to help clients achieve their short-term and long-term goals, worry less about their finances, and focus more on their life’s passions. Based in Orange County, Jeff works with clients throughout Southern California as well as Arizona, Oregon, and Washington. To learn more, connect with Jeff on LinkedIn or email jgilbert@balboawealth.com

Advisory services provided by Balboa Wealth Partners, Inc., an Investment Advisor registered with the SEC. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Balboa Wealth Partners and its Investment Advisor Representatives are properly licensed or exempt from registration.

Securities offered through Chalice Capital Partners, LLC, member FINRA, SIPC.

Balboa offers advisory services independent of Chalice. Neither firm is affiliated.

Our 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update

By Jeff Gilbert

As everyone knows, 2020 has not been a normal year by any stretch of the imagination. The world as we know it has been turned upside down by five letters and a number: COVID-19. While the coronavirus pandemic is at its core a health issue, it has been the cause of many other issues, perhaps the greatest being economic. Today we’ll take a look at what is going on in the economy, most of which can trace its roots back to COVID-19.

Stock Market

The year started off strong, with the S&P 500 reaching all-time highs and peaking on February 19. Then it all fell apart. In a little over a month, the index fell 34%, bottoming out on March 23. It’s been a bumpy ride, but the market has climbed out of the hole it was in and gained back 36% (as of May 27) from that low. (1)

Now, it may seem as if the S&P 500 has made up for all of its losses if it lost 34% and then gained back 36%. However, that is not the case because each percentage is based on its relative high or low. The index peaked at 3,386.15 points before falling 34% to 2,237.40. That loss was 1,148.75 points. Growth of 36% from the low point only accounts for 798.73 points, which means that the index overall is still down 10% from February’s high.

In addition to stock prices improving, volatility is calming down as well. In mid-March, things were swinging around so fiercely that the S&P 500 achieved double-digit movement in single days. Things have calmed down a lot since then, but volatility is still higher than it was pre-crisis. Things just seem calm now compared to the craziness of what has been called the longest March ever. (2)

Unemployment

Perhaps the area that has been impacted the most by the COVID-19 containment efforts is employment. It’s hard to keep a job when companies are being shut down and people aren’t allowed out of their homes. Weekly new unemployment claims have shattered all previous records by multiples. The official unemployment rate for April is 14.7%, though estimates put it closer to 20% due to some data-collection errors. (3) There are now approximately 25 million Americans receiving unemployment benefits (4) on top of millions who have seen hours and wages cut and business revenues fall.

Federal Reserve & Government Intervention

The Federal Reserve stepped up early on in the pandemic to slash rates to near zero. It has also worked hard to provide financing for businesses trying to stay afloat in these turbulent waters. 

Congress has passed a number of bills to aid both individuals and organizations, the largest being the $2 trillion CARES Act, which was signed into law on March 27. The Act provided individual stimulus checks, enhanced unemployment benefits, and loan programs to help businesses. Despite extreme actions taken by both the Federal Reserve and the federal government, some economists still say that they will need to do more before meaningful recovery will take place. (5)

Economy

As the country eases out of lockdown and restrictions are being loosened, there has been an uptick in economic activity, though not enough to stop the economy from contracting. The leisure and hospitality industries have been devastated (6) while the service sector is still struggling under social distancing guidelines. (7) Factory activity is still down and agricultural conditions are deteriorating. (8) Overall, pessimism reigns supreme over the economy even while some Federal Reserve policymakers believe we are either at or near the bottom and are expecting a rebound in the second half of the year. (9) The global economy is continuing to decline, but at a slower pace than it did in April, (10) which seems to confirm their predictions.

As you can see, this year has been anything but normal so far and there are more than likely going to be even more plot twists as we enter the summer and fall. While the global economy seems to be gasping for breath, it is not the end of the world. We may have some hard months and years ahead of us, but it isn’t the first time our nation has faced challenges like this.  

We’re Here For You

While our economic woes may not be new for history, they very well could be new for you. In difficult times like these, it is helpful to have a trusted advisor that you can turn to for financial guidance and support. If you don’t want to go through this economic crisis alone, our team at Balboa Wealth Partners is here for you. Give me a call at 949-445-1465 or email me at jgilbert@balboawealth.com so we can have a no-obligation conversation about where you are and how we may be able to help.

About Jeff

Jeff Gilbert is the founder and CEO of Balboa Wealth Partners, a holistic financial management firm dedicated to providing clients guidance today for tomorrow’s success. With nearly three decades of industry experience, he has worked as both an advisor and executive-level manager, partnering with and serving a diverse range of clients. Specializing in serving high- and ultra-high-net-worth families, Jeff aims to help clients achieve their short-term and long-term goals, worry less about their finances, and focus more on their life’s passions. Based in Orange County, Jeff works with clients throughout Southern California as well as Arizona, Oregon, and Washington. To learn more, connect with Jeff on LinkedIn or email jgilbert@balboawealth.com

Advisory services provided by Balboa Wealth Partners, Inc., an Investment Advisor registered with the SEC. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Balboa Wealth Partners and its Investment Advisor Representatives are properly licensed or exempt from registration.

Securities offered through Chalice Capital Partners, LLC, member FINRA, SIPC.

Balboa offers advisory services independent of Chalice. Neither firm is affiliated.

____________

(1) https://www.google.com/search?q=s%26P+500&oq=s%26P+500&aqs=chrome..69i57j69i59j0l3j69i60j69i61j69i60.5893j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

(2) https://www.carsonwealth.com/insights/market-commentary/market-commentary-economy-slightly-improves-as-restrictions-loosen/

(3) https://www.forbes.com/sites/shaharziv/2020/05/10/dont-be-fooled-by-official-unemployment-rate-of-147-the-real-figure-is-even-scarier/#5965a85455dd

(4) https://www.carsonwealth.com/insights/market-commentary/market-commentary-economy-slightly-improves-as-restrictions-loosen/

(5) https://www.marketwatch.com/story/feds-beige-book-says-businesses-are-pessimistic-about-pace-of-a-recovery-2020-05-27

(6) https://www.marketwatch.com/story/feds-beige-book-says-businesses-are-pessimistic-about-pace-of-a-recovery-2020-05-27

(7) https://www.carsonwealth.com/insights/market-commentary/market-commentary-economy-slightly-improves-as-restrictions-loosen/

(8) https://www.marketwatch.com/story/feds-beige-book-says-businesses-are-pessimistic-about-pace-of-a-recovery-2020-05-27

(9) https://www.marketwatch.com/story/feds-beige-book-says-businesses-are-pessimistic-about-pace-of-a-recovery-2020-05-27

(10) https://www.carsonwealth.com/insights/market-commentary/market-commentary-economy-slightly-improves-as-restrictions-loosen/

How To Prepare For The Potential Economic Impact Of Our Current Crisis

By Jeff Gilbert

COVID-19 may be primarily a health crisis, but it’s already had a significant impact on our economy. With thousands of businesses temporarily shut down and millions of people staying at home, we could be on the brink of a recession. And as some economists have predicted, the longer our economy is on pause, the harder this potential recession may hit. (1)

Regardless of what the future holds, here are 5 ways to financially prepare for the next economic downturn. 

1. Don’t Panic

Right off the bat, stop and take a deep breath. Accept that there are going to be things that happen during a recession that are out of your control. Your portfolio will dip. Your work hours may be cut or you could lose your job altogether. The media will go on and on about the disastrous state of our economy. There will be moments of fear and doubt. 

But instead of giving in to these feelings, focus on the facts. We’ve had 12 recessions since World War II—and we’ve recovered from all of them in an average of 11 months. (2) This too shall pass.  

2. Build Up Your Cash Reserves

Nearly 70% of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings. (3) If you’ve kept your cash reserves pretty lean up until this point, now is the time to build them up. Make sure you have at least six months of expenses in an emergency fund. If you’re nearing retirement, you may want to bump it up to a year or two. Keep this money in a liquid savings or money market account where you have easy access to it when you need it. 

One quick way to build up cash reserves is to cut out any unnecessary spending. This could be subscription services, shopping, vacations, and so on. You can also sell any items you no longer want or need. Remember, this isn’t forever. You can increase your spending once you’ve built up your savings. This is all about recession-proofing your finances so you’re ready for whatever comes next.

3. Pay Off Debt

Debt is an issue for most people even when the economy is at its best. But this issue magnifies when your investments take a hit and there’s a risk of losing your job. Make a plan now to pay off as much debt as you can. This could be anything like credit card debt, medical debt, car loans, and student loans. The more you pay off now, the fewer expenses you’ll have in the future (and the better off you’ll be if things take a turn for the worse).  

4. Don’t Stop Investing

Our gut reaction is to sell when the market is shaky and buy when it’s strong. But this is the exact opposite of what we should do. In reality, a recession is the perfect time to buy investments at a steep discount.

The average bear market lasts 1.3 years with an average 36% dip. But bull markets usually last 6.6 years with an average 339% increase. (4) This means that if you buy when the stock market is at its worst, you’ll reap the benefits of huge gains when it rebounds (which it historically always has).

5. Diversify Your Skill Set

Losing your job is everyone’s biggest fear during a recession. Minimize your chances of a layoff by keeping your skill set sharp. Some common ways to do this include: 

  • Maintaining certifications
  • Taking online classes
  • Earning an advanced degree
  • Taking on new responsibilities at work

Even if your company ends up downsizing and you’re on the chopping block, improving your skill set will make you more marketable to future employers, which will make it easier to find a new job. 

How We Help

Recessions are inevitable. There’s nothing we can do to stop them. But there are concrete ways you can prepare for the next one. In addition to the suggestions above, one way to recession-proof your finances is to get unbiased advice and guidance from a financial professional. 

At Balboa Wealth Partners, we’re dedicated to guiding you toward financial independence. Whether you need help managing your assets or creating a financial plan to help get you through the next recession, we’re here to help. Give me a call at 949-445-1465 or email me at jgilbert@balboawealth.com to get started.

About Jeff

Jeff Gilbert is the founder and CEO of Balboa Wealth Partners, a holistic financial management firm dedicated to providing clients guidance today for tomorrow’s success. With nearly three decades of industry experience, he has worked as both an advisor and executive-level manager, partnering with and serving a diverse range of clients. Specializing in serving high- and ultra-high-net-worth families, Jeff aims to help clients achieve their short-term and long-term goals, worry less about their finances, and focus more on their life’s passions. Based in Orange County, Jeff works with clients throughout Southern California as well as Arizona, Oregon, and Washington. To learn more, connect with Jeff on LinkedIn or email jgilbert@balboawealth.com

Advisory services provided by Balboa Wealth Partners, Inc., an Investment Advisor registered with the SEC. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Balboa Wealth Partners and its Investment Advisor Representatives are properly licensed or exempt from registration.

Securities offered through Chalice Capital Partners, LLC, member FINRA, SIPC.

Balboa offers advisory services independent of Chalice. Neither firm is affiliated.

____________

(1) https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2020/04/01/covid-19-and-the-economy/

(2) https://www.nber.org/cycles.html

(3) https://www.gobankingrates.com/saving-money/savings-advice/americans-have-less-than-1000-in-savings/

(4) https://www.ftportfolios.com/Common/ContentFileLoader.aspx?ContentGUID=4ecfa978-d0bb-4924-92c8-628ff9bfe12d

How To Manage Your Finances In A Crisis

By Jeff Gilbert

Change is hard on everyone. And the changes that are happening daily due to the coronavirus pandemic, not to mention the roller-coaster ride our markets are on, are disrupting our lives, causing us to feel uncomfortable and worried about the future. We are living in unprecedented times and no one can predict what will happen or what our nation’s and world’s recovery is going to look like. 

But just because we didn’t see this coming doesn’t mean you are powerless. There are certain measures you can take to give you peace of mind now, as well as opportunities for you to improve your financial picture and make positive changes that could benefit you for years to come. 

Here are 5 financial actions you can take during these turbulent times.

1. Check In With Your Advisor About Your Portfolio

Your advisor is educated about what’s going on and will be able to give you clarity on exactly what is happening to your portfolio. This is an important first step since you should feel confident that you have a well-balanced portfolio, based on your needs and your risk level. 

2. Take Advantage Of Lower Prices By Maintaining Discipline 

This quote by Warren Buffett is all too applicable: “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.”

In every stock market downturn, opportunities are waiting for those with the right perspective to see it. Where many people go wrong in volatile times like these is selling near the bottom of a bear market, staying on the sidelines during a good portion of the recovery, and then jumping back in closer to the next top. Put that together, and you not only lose money but also lose out on potential growth and compound interest from the time you were out of the market. Emotional investing will cost you.

It may seem counterintuitive, but keep investing consistently. When stock market prices are down, think of it as an opportunity to snap up some bargains before the recovery takes place. In the previous market crash of 2008/2009, the people who continued to invest strategically made a significant return on their investment. 

3. Consider Tax Loss Harvesting

Tax loss harvesting is the strategy of selling a security that has experienced a loss. By realizing a loss, investors can offset taxes. The sold security is usually replaced by a similar one to maintain the desired asset allocation and expected returns. With the markets hitting low points, it might be an ideal time for you to sell something and take the loss, but then buy something to participate in the market’s recovery. If you look for the opportunity to invest in something similar or rebalance, you win and have a tax deduction to use for this year and potentially even future years. 

Before doing this, talk with your advisor about how much of a difference this could make on your financial plan.

4. Look Into A Roth Conversion

Market downturns are the perfect time to convert to a Roth IRA and pay significantly less in taxes, not to mention we may be at the lowest tax rates we will see in our lifetime. Let’s say you have an IRA that used to be worth $100,000 and is now worth $75,000. You could convert this position now and pay less in taxes than what you would have paid when it was worth $100,000…25% less.

There are many factors to consider when deciding if a Roth conversion is right for you, such as your current income versus your expected retirement income, your projected minimum required distributions, the tax implications, current liquidity, etc. Making this decision is something you should discuss with your advisor. 

5.  Look For Unique Opportunities

A few other opportunities you could take advantage of with lower interest rates and stock prices are the following:

  • Consider refinancing your home.
  • Purchase future travel at a discount. 
  • Fund a 529 for your child’s college tuition with low market prices.
  • Refinance any outstanding debt.
  • Buy a home at a discount if you are renting. 

Are You Ready To Take Control?

When this market volatility has passed (and it will), some will lose, some will break even, and some will get ahead. We at Balboa Wealth Partners want to see you get ahead, and we welcome the opportunity to help you make decisions that will enhance your finances so that when we go back to our regular routines, we do so with more clarity and confidence. To get in touch, email us at jgilbert@balboawealth.com or call 949-445-1465 to set up a phone or virtual appointment. 

About Jeff

Jeff Gilbert is the founder and CEO of Balboa Wealth Partners, a holistic financial management firm dedicated to providing clients guidance today for tomorrow’s success. With nearly three decades of industry experience, he has worked as both an advisor and executive-level manager, partnering with and serving a diverse range of clients. Specializing in serving high- and ultra-high-net-worth families, Jeff aims to help clients achieve their short-term and long-term goals, worry less about their finances, and focus more on their life’s passions. Based in Orange County, Jeff works with clients throughout Southern California as well as Arizona, Oregon, and Washington. To learn more, connect with Jeff on LinkedIn or email jgilbert@balboawealth.com

Advisory services provided by Balboa Wealth Partners, Inc., an Investment Advisor registered with the SEC. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Balboa Wealth Partners and its Investment Advisor Representatives are properly licensed or exempt from registration.

Securities offered through Chalice Capital Partners, LLC, member FINRA, SIPC.

Balboa offers advisory services independent of Chalice. Neither firm is affiliated.

What You Need To Know About Recessions And Bear Markets

As global markets continue their roller coaster ride due to fears surrounding the coronavirus, our most recent bull market officially turned into a bear market. But what does that mean? And are we on the verge of another recession like the one we had in 2008?

In light of all these concerns, today we’ll share what you need to know about recessions and bear markets. If you are worried about your portfolio, we understand and we’re here to help. Feel free to contact our office to get answers to your specific questions. 

What Is A Bear Market?

A bear market happens when an overall market benchmark, such as the S&P 500, dips by 20% or more from its most recent high. (1) This is often accompanied by negative investor sentiment and more selling than buying.

It’s important to highlight that normal stock market volatility isn’t an indicator of a bear market. Normal dips and swings are necessary for long-term growth and shouldn’t be cause for concern.

What Is A Recession? 

A recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of economic decline (emphasis on the word economic). They’re measured using factors such as the employment rate, gross domestic product, bond yield curves, and other factors independent of the stock market. (2)

Economists declare recessions retroactively. For example, the Great Recession wasn’t confirmed until November 2008—11 months after it started. (3)

Bear Markets Vs. Recessions: How Are They Related?

A bear market relates to the stock market. A recession relates to the economy. Contrary to popular belief, the stock market is not the economy. What drives the stock market is investor emotions—which, as we all know, can be fickle. As humans, we have a tendency to be overly optimistic when there’s no data to support our feelings, and pessimistic when data looks great. 

Recessions are the complete opposite. Tangible factors determine the state of our economy. There’s no emotion involved. Which begs the question: Why do people correlate recessions and bear markets? 

If you look back on history, recessions and bear markets have usually occurred around the same time. Of the last 11 S&P 500 bear markets we’ve had since 1957, 63.6% came after a recession. (4) The two go hand in hand, but they’re not the same.

Not even highly educated economists can predict a bear market or recession. There’s a lot of speculation that goes on in the news, but it’s just that—speculation.

What Should Investors Do?

The best thing to do as a long-term investor is to find an optimal portfolio that balances your comfortable level of risk and return. The actions you take in the stock market should be independent of whether economists think we’re entering a bear market or recession.

And as many financial experts have advised: Your 401(k) right now is like your face: Don’t touch it. Selling due to fear when the market is down locks in your losses and can do long-term damage to your financial future.

Speak With Your Advisor

Whether you’re new to investing or an experienced investor, it’s helpful to consult with an objective third party during times like this. Human nature causes us all to act out of emotion when our accounts go down. As an independent firm, we put your best interests first. We seek to serve as a support system for our clients, helping them make informed financial decisions that are not driven by emotion.

We’re Here For Your Friends And Family

If you have friends or family who need help with their investments, we are happy to offer a complimentary portfolio review and recommendations. We can discuss what is appropriate for their immediate needs and long-term objectives. Sometimes simply speaking with a financial advisor may help investors feel more confident and less concerned with the most recent market activity.

About Jeff

Jeff Gilbert is the founder and CEO of Balboa Wealth Partners, a holistic financial management firm dedicated to providing clients guidance today for tomorrow’s success. With nearly three decades of industry experience, he has worked as both an advisor and executive-level manager, partnering with and serving a diverse range of clients. Specializing in serving high- and ultra-high-net-worth families, Jeff aims to help clients achieve their short-term and long-term goals, worry less about their finances, and focus more on their life’s passions. Based in Orange County, Jeff works with clients throughout Southern California as well as Arizona, Oregon, and Washington. To learn more, connect with Jeff on LinkedIn or email jgilbert@balboawealth.com

Advisory services provided by Balboa Wealth Partners, Inc., an Investment Advisor registered with the SEC. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Balboa Wealth Partners and its Investment Advisor Representatives are properly licensed or exempt from registration.

Securities offered through Chalice Capital Partners, LLC, member FINRA, SIPC.

Balboa offers advisory services independent of Chalice. Neither firm is affiliated.

___________

(1) https://www.investopedia.com/a-history-of-bear-markets-4582652

(2) https://www.bankrate.com/personal-finance/smart-money/watch-these-indicators-know-when-recession-could-be-coming/

(3) https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2019/08/19/recession-what-does-mean-and-what-like/2030642001/

(4) https://dqydj.com/relationship-bear-markets-recession/