Building a healthy investment portfolio requires some well thought out strategies and a smart investment mindset. It also requires an overall smart-money lifestyle and financial literacy. Whether you are a new investor or a seasoned veteran, there are always things that can be done to increase your financial well-being and up your strike rate with smart financial decisions.
Four out of five Americans have financial regrets and wish they could turn the clock back so that they could make smarter decisions with their finances. A common regret is not saving early enough or not saving at all for that matter. According to statistics, one in three Americans has saved $0 for retirement.
Retirement savings were top of the list that people wished they had done more of, followed by saving for emergency expenses, taking on too much debt, and not saving for children’s education.
If you are still relatively young, now is the time to avoid regrets later in life by putting together a smart financial strategy while you still have the luxury of time. If you are a late starter, not all is lost. But you will have to make some clever moves to reach your financial goals.
The longer you save, the better off you will be. Compound interest over time is what does the trick. The more time you have to let it work, the better. If you're already in your 50s, make this a financial priority. Start right now. Delay spending on non-essential items, and put away as much as you possibly can. If you’re employed, contribute to your employer’s retirement plan. If you are self-employed, set up an IRA.
Emergency funds are a very important component of a healthy financial life. Having that safety net sitting in an account somewhere will give you peace of mind. Knowing that should something unexpected happen, requiring the use of savings to get you through a number of months, you have it readily available.
If and when an emergency does happen, you’ll be able to sleep at night, knowing that you planned ahead and can continue living your life undisrupted.
American Credit Card Debt Statistics show that the average American household debt is over $5,500. The average for balance-carrying households is over $16,000, with a total outstanding U.S. consumer debt of $3.4 trillion.
Good credit card management boils down to:
- Making payments on time
- Paying more than the minimum payment due
- Keeping balances low
- Having a portfolio of cards with good rates
While it may seem to be the wisest course of action to make every effort to pay down your credit cards - it’s not a good idea to do so at the expense of other financial goals. Experts advise that you focus on increasing emergency savings, taking advantage of the employer match in a 401(k) plan, and investing while paying down debt.
Whether you want to start saving for your children's future or have grandkids that will need help paying for college, a 529 plan is a great investment tool. Earnings on your contributions to these plans are tax-deferred, and withdrawals used to pay for tuition and other qualified expenses are generally tax-free.
Material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to be used in connection with the evaluation of any investments offered by David Lerner Associates, Inc. This material does not constitute an offer or recommendation to buy or sell securities and should not be considered in connection with the purchase or sale of securities.
To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law.
Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances.
These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable-- we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice.
David Lerner Associates does not provide tax or legal advice. The information presented here is not specific to any individual's personal circumstances. Member FINRA & SIPC.