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

Don’t Outlive Your Money: 3 Retirement Budget Tips

By Jeff Gilbert

Retirement is a milestone unlike any other, but rather than eagerly anticipating these golden years, almost half of all Americans worry about running out of money in retirement. (1) Are you one of them? Even if you’re not, you likely feel the need to be fiscally responsible in retirement in order to avoid problems down the road.

As the foundation of personal financial management, a budget is essential if you want to stay on top of your finances in retirement. Here are three budgeting tips to help boost your confidence and peace of mind as you enter and enjoy retirement.

1. Identify Flexible Spending Categories

As you build your budget, organize it based on needs. Every single expense should be identified as either fixed or variable and essential or non-essential. For example, your housing expenses are likely fixed and essential. Food is essential, but it is a variable expense. A gym or country club membership may be fixed, but it is non-essential. Other forms of leisure or travel are likely variable and non-essential.

Knowing which expenses are necessary and which are flexible can give you incredible peace of mind. If you’re used to spending $8,000 a month, once you sort your expenses and discover that only $4,500 of them are truly necessary, it relieves a lot of pressure. 

It also allows you to make wiser financial decisions and adjust better to market conditions. If we enter a bear market and your portfolio is down, you can cut spending back to cover the necessary expenses you identified. Maybe you put off that big trip or eat out less. This can potentially keep more of your money invested so you can be better positioned if and when the market bounces back.  

2. Plan For Taxes

Unless all of your money is in an after-tax account or Roth IRA, you will have to deal with taxes in retirement. Having your mortgage paid off before retirement is a common—and excellent—goal. However, don’t make the false assumption that no mortgage equals no payments. 

Part of your monthly mortgage payment may be going toward property taxes and homeowners insurance if you escrow. Don’t forget that you still have to pay these bills when your home is fully paid off, and it’s important that these figures be included in your budget. Keep in mind, these numbers will be inflating over time as well. One way to handle property taxes and homeowners insurance in retirement is to set aside money on a monthly basis, just like you did with your mortgage, so that you have the funds when those bills are due.

Property taxes won’t be the only taxes you will owe in retirement. Distributions from 401(k)s and IRA accounts will most likely be considered taxable income. Even your Social Security benefits may be taxable, depending on your overall income. It’s critical that you are withholding and paying the proper taxes so that you don’t get into a large tax bill situation. A competent tax preparer can help you with this.

3. Work With A Professional

Tax preparers aren’t the only financial professionals you’ll want to work with in retirement. A competent financial planner can make the difference between a retirement marked by fear and stress (like the 49% of Americans mentioned previously) and one of confidence.

The closer you get to retirement, the more you’ll find investment advisors who want to work with you and manage your money for you. Yes, it’s wise to have a professional help you with your investments, but that isn’t enough. You need a financial professional who will not only manage your money but help you manage your entire financial life as well. 

We at Balboa Wealth Partners will help you develop a comprehensive financial plan that includes your short-term and long-term goals, a sustainable budget, and a general road map to help you navigate retirement. To learn more about what it’s like to work with a professional who cares more about your life than your investments, contact us at 949-445-1465 or jgilbert@balboawealth.com to set up a no-obligation conversation.

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.aarp.org/retirement/planning-for-retirement/info-2019/retirees-fear-losing-money.html

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.

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.

The Biggest Financial Mistakes I See

By Jeff Gilbert

Life is hectic. If you’re like me, you run around day after day trying to finish a to-do list that never ends. This infinite to-do list is loaded with tasks we know we should do but can never seem to find the time to do them.

One of these neglected tasks is taking time to examine our financial health and make sure we aren’t making mistakes that will come back to bite us down the road. Unless we are constantly reminded of these common financial mistakes (and their consequences), life tends to take over and we forget.

Well, today I’m giving you a friendly nudge. Here are the three biggest financial mistakes to avoid—mistakes that are easy to make but that have huge consequences.

1. Failing To Set Up A Will And A Trust

One mistake I often see with new clients is that they don’t have a will or a trust set up. Nobody likes to think about accidents or death, but if you fail to set up these documents, you’re putting the well-being of your loved ones at risk. Let me explain.

A will is a document that gives instructions on how to distribute your assets when you die. It also indicates who will become the legal guardian of your minor children. Without a will, you are leaving this all up to chance—not a good idea! So, unless you are single, broke, and have no kids, you need a will.

A trust is another document used to transfer your estate when you die. Depending on your situation, a trust could make the asset distribution process faster (and less expensive) for your beneficiaries. The best way to find out if you need a trust is to speak with a financial advisor. 

2. Waiting Too Long To Start Saving

When you’re young, life is complicated. You’re busy studying, starting a career, finding a life partner, raising kids, and frantically trying to squeeze in a social life. That’s a lot of time, energy, and expenses. And unfortunately, it usually means your retirement plan is put off until “someday when things settle down a bit.”

This common mistake has serious consequences.

If you wait until mid-life to start saving for retirement, you lose your most powerful wealth-building tool: time. Every year you wait to contribute to a retirement account is a year less of compounding interest.

Whenever I ask people why they waited so long to start, it’s usually related to procrastination. “Oh, I’ll start contributing to that Roth next year when I have fewer expenses.” But then one year turns to two, two to five, five to 10—and before they know it, they’re 45 years old with zero dollars saved for retirement.

Please don’t do this!

3. Not Having A Plan

The last critical mistake I see is when people move through life without a financial plan. They have no written road map outlining the steps to reach their short-term and long-term goals. Many times, they don’t even know what those goals are!

Here’s a hard truth: You can’t just save some money here and there and hope for the best. It doesn’t work that way. This path leads to disaster. If you want to build the wealth needed to reach your lifestyle goals, you first need to define those goals, and then you must work backward to create a step-by-step plan.

This is exactly what we at Balboa Wealth Partners help our clients do. If you’re interested in a no-obligation conversation about how we can help you design a personalized program to reach your financial goals (and avoid the above mistakes, among others), 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.

How Much Life Insurance Do You Need?

By Jeff Gilbert

Life is full of unpredictable events. If you start thinking about everything that could go wrong, you’ll give yourself gray hair and a hefty dose of anxiety. That’s where life insurance comes in. It may not solve all your worries, but it does protect your loved ones if the worst-case scenario becomes a reality.

But knowing you need life insurance is only the tip of the iceberg. Life insurance can be complicated and is not a one-size-fits-all product. Everything from the type of insurance you get to the amount of coverage you receive will depend on your unique situation. Even though there’s no exact formula, here are a few questions you can answer to help you evaluate your life insurance needs.

Is It Necessary?

Not everyone needs life insurance. If you have enough money saved so that your death would not create a financial hardship for your loved ones, an insurance policy might be an unnecessary line item in your budget. If you are a single young adult with no dependents, you may only need a small policy to cover the expenses of a funeral and burial. Take a good hard look at your financial situation and decide if life insurance is the right fit for you.

Permanent Or Term?

Now that you have an idea of how much coverage you need, you’ll need to choose the kind of life insurance that is most appropriate for your situation. Here’s a breakdown of the two primary types of life insurance.

Permanent Insurance

Permanent insurance is coverage that is not limited to a specific duration of time, meaning it can potentially last your entire life. There are several types of permanent insurance, including Universal Life, Indexed Universal Life, and Whole Life. The benefit of permanent insurance is that it can last longer than a term policy so that a death benefit will be paid to your beneficiary no matter when you die (assuming your policy has been funded properly). This type of insurance is typically more expensive than term insurance.

Term Insurance

Term insurance offers coverage for a specified length of time, which can be anywhere from 10 to 35 years. The downside to term insurance is that it only covers you for your specified length of time, so if you pass away after the term is over, no death benefit is paid to your beneficiary. But depending on your situation, you may only need insurance for a certain time period—until your kids are grown or you have enough money saved to avoid financial hardship. One of the major benefits of term insurance, as opposed to permanent, is that it is usually the most inexpensive out-of-pocket option.

What’s My Ideal Coverage Amount?

Finally, the question at the forefront of your mind. Here’s how to dig into the numbers to calculate how much coverage you need to protect your family adequately. 

The DIME Method

Conduct a needs analysis by separating your finances into different areas:

  • Debt and final expenses
  • Income
  • Mortgage
  • Education costs

In addition to these areas, two of the biggest factors that affect how much insurance you need are your marital status and your financial dependents. The more people depend on you, the more coverage you need. 

Multiply It

After calculating and totaling each of those dollar amounts, apply an income replacement multiplier to determine your needed coverage amount. The multiplier varies based on your age and the status of your home mortgage. For example, if you’re under 50 years old, you can likely use a multiplier of 20. Older couples may be able to use a multiplier of 10 or 15, depending on the number of years left on their mortgage. 

Keep in mind that these are just guidelines designed to give you a general idea of the amount of insurance coverage you need. There may be adjustments for your particular situation and what makes the most sense for your family. 

Put It All Together

You now have a sheet of paper with a lot of different numbers on it. Here’s how to put it all together.

  • Combine your annual income (plus the multiplier), your mortgage balance, your debt load, estimated future financial needs, and death expenses. 
  • Then subtract your liquid assets (think savings, life insurance policies you already hold, any college funds, etc.).
  • The number you end up with should give you a general idea of how much insurance you should buy. 

Now What?

If you’re ready to take the plunge into life insurance, it can be helpful to talk to a financial professional and review your options. Our team at Balboa Wealth Partners is experienced with insurance policies and can offer you guidance on the products available to you and how they can integrate into your other financial strategies. If you have questions about your life insurance policy or would like to schedule a review or discuss your options, 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.

What Should You Do About Market Volatility?

The U.S. stock markets had the worst day of the year on Monday, reacting to news of escalating trade issues with China and fears of an economic slowdown. After the Dow closed down 767 points, investors are understandably nervous. If you are worried about your retirement accounts, you’re not alone. But during stock market volatility, it’s important to keep a level head to avoid financial mistakes.

To put our current market environment in perspective, let’s take a look back at history. Single-day 1,000-point gains or losses for the Dow Jones have only happened eight times in stock market history, but in 2018 alone, there were five separate occasions when the Dow Jones moved more than 1,000 points in one day. (1)

It’s understandable to be worried with so much volatility in the air, but we want you to know that we’re here if you have questions or want to talk. Here’s what we recommend during times of increased market volatility.

Stay Calm

At times like these, it’s important to put current conditions into perspective. This is not the first time the market has taken a tumble and it won’t be the last. Declines in the Dow Jones Industrial Average are actually fairly regular events. In fact, drops of 10% or more happen about once a year on average.

Play Dead

There’s an old saying that the best thing to do when you meet a bear market is the same as if you were to meet a bear in the woods: play dead. While easier said than done, successful long-term investors know that it’s important to stay calm during a market correction. 

Market volatility has increased in recent years and the media can often make it seem like each episode is worse than the one before. In reality, volatility does not hurt investors, but selling when the market is down will lock in losses. We recommend not making changes in your long-term financial plan due to short-term market fluctuations.

Remember That Your Portfolio Is Diversified

Volatility and market declines are stressful. But keep in mind that while the stock market may be down significantly, your portfolio is made up of both stocks, bonds, and other assets that are designed to work together to decrease overall losses in times like these. If you have questions about your portfolio, please get in touch.

Review Your 401(k) And Other Accounts

Now is a good time to take a look at all of your investment accounts, including your 401(k), to make sure they are diversified well. If you have not reviewed your other investment accounts, get in touch with our office and we’ll take a look and offer recommendations to minimize potential losses.

Turn Off Your Phone (Or TV)

In today’s digital world, we have 24/7 access to the countless number of news media outlets. Because sensationalism sells, most of what you hear will be dramatic. While things may be down for the moment, history shows us that if you wait a couple of years, the gains will likely outweigh any losses you have experienced. 

For example, think back to where you were in 2000, 2011, and 2015, all difficult years for the stock market. Do you remember what you did then? Probably not. Over time, these swings look more like bumps in the road as you zoom out and put today’s upheaval into the broader picture. 

Speak With Your Advisor

Whether you’re new to investing or an experienced investor, it’s helpful to consult with an objective third party. 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 aren’t driven solely by emotion. 

We’re Here For Your Friends And Family

If you have friends or family who are worried about their financial plan, 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 day-to-day market activity. We’re never too busy to help those you care about, so please forward this email if you know someone who needs our 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.cnn.com/2019/01/01/investing/dow-2018/index.html

Love And Money: Financial Planning Considerations For Couples

By Jeff Gilbert

When you’re part of a couple, you’re a team. You plan vacations together and support each other’s pursuits, but do you manage your money as a team? Whether you have joint or separate accounts, are savers or spenders, enjoy talking about money or would rather stick your head in the sand, you’ve probably experienced the tension that finances can cause in a relationship.

Is it even possible for love and money to peacefully coexist? Here are a few simple strategies that may help couples avoid financial friction.

Be Honest

As nice as it would be, financial honesty isn’t a guarantee in a relationship. It’s important for both partners to offer full disclosure of their finances. You and your spouse should be aware of how you spend your money, especially when it comes to significant expenses, loans, or ongoing fees. By maintaining an open line of communication regarding spending habits and upcoming bills, you may be able to keep financial arguments at bay.

Time It Right

Since conversations about money are often emotionally charged, choose a time to talk about your financial situation or make decisions when both of you are at your best. Don’t wait until the end of a long, stressful day or right before you have to walk out the door. It’s also important to be preemptive, having discussions to set boundaries and expectations to avoid future problems. In other words, don’t wait until one of you splurges on a new TV or you go over budget on a vacation to set limits on spending.

Take Ownership 

Most often, one spouse acts as the Chief Financial Officer of the household, managing all bills, budgets, savings, investments, and insurance policies. However, it can be helpful for both partners to understand their financial situation. If time allows, sit down together once a month for a financial check-in to review credit card statements, account transactions, and other bills and check for any possible errors. Ongoing input from both partners will strengthen your relationship and create a true partnership.

Find The Right Fit

You don’t have to go far to find financial advice, but not every system or philosophy will work for your relationship. Glean ideas from experts, family members, or friends, but be flexible, allowing yourself to experiment and find a financial framework in which you both can thrive. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different methods of budgeting, saving, or debt payoff, and remember that as life changes, you may need to adapt your finances to your new circumstances. 

Reward Yourself

Set aside a portion of pocket money that you and your spouse can each spend every month on something you love, whether it’s a massage, a round of golf, or a steak dinner. Along with saving for long-term goals, set small objectives you can reasonably accomplish each month and celebrate your success.

Bring In A Third Party

Sometimes the best way to ease money tensions is to work with an objective third party, whether that’s a financial professional, a marriage counselor, or both. A financial professional can work with you and your spouse to review your financial landscape, identify any gaps in your insurance coverage, assist you in establishing short-term and long-term goals, help you stay on track, and provide professional and knowledgeable advice.

Although the topic of finance can occasionally cause tension, money doesn’t have to become a constant source of concern in a relationship. Invest the time to address spending habits and savings goals, uphold transparency regarding purchases, and communicate effectively.

How We Can Help

At Balboa Wealth Partners, we care about your relationship. We want to help you and your partner by walking you through the challenges of life and acting as your advocate as you pursue your financial goals together. If you know that your relationship and your finances would benefit from the objectivity and experience of a professional, we are here to help. Give me a call at 949-445-1465 or email me at jgilbert@balboawealth.com to set up a no-obligation appointment and start down the road to financial harmony. 

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 and to worry less about their finances and more on their passions in life. Based in Orange County, he 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.