FIC Blog

We believe in – and live by – a philosophy of excellence.

Average is not good enough … Our goal at Family Investment Center is excellence. We find excellent investment products and supervise an excellent service package. We maintain a library of excellent research materials and financial planning resources. We also demand top safety and security for our clients.

We won’t settle for average. We continually seek top managers or securities and meld them into superior custom portfolios. Each palette of investments is carefully tailored to personal or family goals. We enlist excellent managers, research, resources, and effort for our clients. Don’t settle for average. You deserve excellence.

Please search our blog posts for answers to common investment questions, and we look forward to sharing our knowledge and experience with you first-hand.

Is Investing for Women More Stressful?

Take a Different Approach to Investing for Women

 

Are Americans on the right track with a strategy for adequate retirement savings? A report by MassMutual would put the answer at a resounding “no.” The report found that 72 percent of people overall agreed they aren’t prepared for retirement. But what about women? Is investing for women any different than it is for men?  Do women feel they are as unprepared financially for retirement as men do?

The answer is “yes,” as the report found that women are three times more likely to say they can’t save for retirement. Women are also more likely than men to say that financial concerns are a cause of stress in their life, limiting how they function in the world and receive medical care. Not surprisingly, it can also be the source of friction in relationships.

The report did find that women are more likely than men to seek employer-sponsored programs to help them feel more confident about their finances. However, when it comes to Social Security counseling, men are more apt to seek that out than women. That doesn’t mean women are less concerned about their Social Security and talk of cuts to that program, as the report found that only 33 percent of men were concerned compared to 52 percent of women.

What are some steps women can take now toward a financially secure retirement? Here are some keys for starting:

·         Workplace Retirement
If your workplace offers a retirement plan, sign up for it. Your contributions could help reduce your income taxes, and it’s often money that you don’t miss because it is directly deposited to the account from your payroll.

·         Pursue More Education
You will gain more confidence and conquer reservations or outright fear of investing if you’re more financially literate.  Consider talking to an advisor that cuts out financial jargon and explains things simply.

·         Avoid Emotions
It’s been said before – emotions and investing don’t mix. Bad decisions are almost always made on a “gut feeling” that is brought on by an emotional outburst.

·         Stay the Course
Investing shouldn’t be a short-term strategy. Only people looking to “play the market” think of it that way. The market will rise and fall, sometimes sharply in the short term.  Stick to a long-term plan and diversify your portfolio to boost your return potential.


If the process of going to a financial advisor intimidates you, just remember that we work with people in every stage of their investment strategy, from young investors just starting out in their careers to those who are well into their retirement. We work with people who are quite literate in finances and investing and with people whose knowledge goes no further than a checking account.

At Family Investment Center, we can help both men and women with an investment strategy that is personalized for their unique needs. Come in today and let’s chat about your plans for the future. Here’s another note of interest:  November 2017 is Millionaire’s Month at Family Investment Center. Why are millionaires rich? How do they think? What do they do (or not do) that you can apply to your own life? Is there a secret? Read more on our website or listen to Money is Freedom on SoundCloud or iTunes for a special four-part series.

 

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What Makes Our Investment Advisors Unique?

3 Things You Need to Hear an Investment Advisor Say

 

Dan Danford, CEO and founder of Family Investment Center, came to the industry “by accident.” While working in the trust department of a bank, Danford was in charge of pension and profit sharing plans. He found that he was proficient at explaining investing to people that helped them better understand the process.

He parlayed that talent by creating Family Investment Center, bucking the trend in the industry by establishing a fee-only structure of payment. As a fiduciary, Danford and his team are solely focused on the best interests of their clients.

Danford is featured in a video on Investopedia where he explains how the Family Investment Center approach is unique in the industry. He also offers insights into how the team thinks about investing. Read on for a summary of these insights.

1. About Family Investment Center: You get a whole team

“People who walk in our door don’t get assigned to a particular advisor and work with that advisor. Instead, our team helps every single client. Each and every one of us sees all the transactions for all our clients every day. Each and every one of us has access to notes and files. That way, no matter who you are or what your situation is, you aren’t dependent on the whims of one person.”

2. Investing Values: Practical insights

“I favor the ones that have been shown to work. When someone comes to me and they ask about investing, one of the first things I want to know is what their situation is so I can compare them in my mind to people I’ve worked with in the past. Then I can draw upon my experience and ask, ‘What has worked for those people and what is likely to work for these people?’”

3. Advice Most Frequently Given: Be mindful

“What I suggest to people is that they are mindful of what they do financially. If they’ll just give it some thought ahead of time, they’ll make wise buying decisions, and those pay off in the long term.”

For more information about how Family Investment Center works for our clients, contact us today and schedule a visit. November 2017 is Millionaire’s Month at Family Investment Center. Why are millionaires rich? How do they think? What do they do (or not do) that you can apply to your own life? Is there a secret? Read more on our website or listen to Money is Freedom on SoundCloudor iTunes for a special four-part series.

 

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Planning for Retirement as a Small Business Owner

Planning For Retirement Requires Focus on Diversification

 

Are you a small business owner who has avoided planning for retirement? If so, you’re one of a third of respondents to a survey from Manta that said they do not have a plan in place for their retirement. Among those, 37 percent said they don’t have enough money to save for retirement. But, what’s really happening?

A number of small business owners say they’re not planning for retirement because they simply don’t make enough to open a retirement account. However, there really isn’t such a thing as “too little” to begin saving. The truth is, many small business owners are actually reinvesting in their own company instead of focusing on a retirement account. While this seems at first glance as a responsible action, it really puts the owner at risk.

Almost 20 percent of those surveyed by Manta said they’ve taken what retirement accounts they had and sunk them into their business. Doing this means the business owner is losing money due to taxes, penalties, and tax-deferred potential growth. It’s a risk that shows the owner has really invested in the growth of the business, but it comes at a high cost.

Of the survey’s respondents, 20 percent also said they don’t have retirement accounts because they plan to sell their business before retiring. However, what if the timing isn’t right? What about those business owners who had a long-term plan to retire in 2009? They are likely still working today, trying to recoup what they lost. The fact is, nobody really knows what the market will bring, so your best-laid plans can fall victim to unforeseen circumstances.

As a small business owner, here are a few important steps for you to take toward a solid retirement strategy:

·         Invest in a self-employed retirement plan, such as an individual 401(k), a SEP-IRA, or a SIMPLE IRA.

·         Create a plan for leaving the company. A succession plan can keep your business afloat in your absence, offering you a stable income.

·         Planning for retirement should include setting a tentative retirement date. Evaluate your lifestyle and talk to your investment advisor about how you can make a smooth exit that allows you to live comfortably in retirement.


Planning for retirement isn’t easy, especially when you’re passionate about your business and you want to see it succeed after you leave, or if you want to get what you feel it is worth when it’s time to sell. At Family Investment Center, we can help you navigate all the various decisions that have to be made. Contact us today and let’s begin planning for your retirement.

 

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Need Investment Advice to Help You Develop Your Portfolio Strategy?

Get Started With Some Investment Advice From Warren Buffett

 

Are you confused by all the conflicting advice out there on how to best invest your money? What would an investor who has seen a large amount of success with his investing list as top investment advice? Warren Buffett has been successful with his investment strategies and offers up some basic foundational steps that can be a key part of any investment strategy. Let’s take a look at several of his recent tips:

Keep it Simple

Warren Buffett says he doesn’t look to “jump over seven-foot bars” with his investments. Instead, he seeks out the one-foot bars he can step over. These one-foot bars include non-flashy investments like utilities, insurance and manufacturing, which is something that will always be in demand, thus representing a generally safer and potentially successful investment.

Be Careful With Forecasts

Buffett is known to say that forecasts say more about the forecaster than they say about the future. He’s extremely mindful of trying to guess how markets are going to behave, and doesn’t go into panic mode when the market fluctuates. Instead, investors need to stick to their long-term plans.

Think Long-Term

Trustworthy investment advisors will tell clients to always think long-term in their investment strategies, especially if they’re putting any assets into the market. Yes, when the economy takes a turn, so too may your investments. However, the market recovers, and so too do your investments. Buffett says you can’t think short-term and that if you’re not willing to own a stock for 10 years, don’t even consider it for 10 minutes.

Don’t Make Impulse Decisions

Buffett is a great student, which means he’s always reading and always thinking. He says the more he does that, the less likely he is to make impulse decisions. Impulse decisions can actually be prompted by something investors read – especially anything that touts a stock as a “sure thing.” Don’t jump on it. Always be reading and thinking.

Don’t Sit Fearfully

The only time you should be fearful of jumping on an investment is when others are feeling greedy. However, a careful and well-planned strategy can provide great results. When an opportunity arises that you’ve had your eye on for some time, take action.

Buying Stocks and Homes Have Similarities

Buffett encourages people to buy stock the way they buy a house. Why? Because, if you understand a stock in the same way you understand a house you plan to live in for decades, you’re on the right path.

At Family Investment Center, we like the words of Buffett because we too share the same values in terms of not being impulsive, having a commitment to attention to detail, looking at investments as long-term strategies and not trying to forecast what the market is going to do. We know every investor is different and requires a different strategy to reach their goals.  Contact us today to help you develop your personal investment plan.

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How Does Your Investment Portfolio Look at Age 60?

The State of the Target-Date Mutual Funds in an Investment Portfolio

 

The best investment portfolio goals are long-term in nature. However, as you get into the latter part of your career, it makes sense to start rethinking how your investments are diversified.

Changing your investment strategies by shifting assets to safer places as you get older could be a change you need to make. Does this mean all ofyour stock investments need to be shifted as you near retirement? Not necessarily. We know that there are risks related to investing in stocks, but there are also rewards.  Generally, when one retires, there’s still a need for at least a portion of stocks, just to keep pace with inflation.  So, for many, the changes to investment portfolios near retirement are only slight.


The Target-Date Fund
The advantage of target-date funds is that you can invest in a variety of stocks and bonds that will automatically become more conservative as you age. The closer you get to your retirement date, the more bonds and less stocks you’ll see in the portfolio.

For instance, you can choose a fund that currently invests 55 percent of your assets in stocks and 45 percent into bonds. The bonds will help to ensure that a good portion of your money is safe while the stock investments give your investment portfolio room to grow with the market.  As you age, the fund manager will adjust the portfolio more conservatively.

Exchange-Traded Funds
Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are similar to mutual funds in that each ETF owns shares of numerous stocks or bonds. ETFs give you the opportunity to customize how you make investments in equities and bonds in a way that are more suitable for your specific goals and your style of investing.

Another advantage is that ETFs offer lower expense ratios than typical mutual funds. And similar to individual stocks, they are actively bought and sold from open to close of the market.

Going Solo
While buying shares of individual stocks could be the best fit for you, that will definitely not be the case for everyone. Although many of the dividend-paying stocks have rallied for a number of years, that also means that many share prices are higher now. Ask your investment advisor about stocks that will give you a good mix of income, value and growth potential.

Build a Strategy With a Professional
Taking the DIY approach to your investment portfolio might feel gratifying, but this is too important an issue to treat it like a hobby. Consider asking an investment advisor for help assisting you in adjusting your investments as you get closer to retirement.

At Family Investment Center, we’ve worked with many clients in situations just like yours, and we have strategies that can provide you with confidence. Contact us today and let’s work toward your goals together.

 

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