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.

4 Tips for Establishing Good Investment Strategies

Simple Investment Strategies to Get You Started

 

 

Are you a part of the Millennial generation that is being discussed so frequently today? Some of the attributes that have been pinned on you aren’t accurate, nor are they fair, but you’re definitely in a generation that is coming up – fairly new to your career and perhaps struggling to come to terms with investment strategies that will see you through to a fruitful retirement. We have compiled some personal finance tips that can put you on the right path.

1. Your Parents Aren’t Always Right
One common characteristic of Millennials is that they have “helicopter parents.” These are well-intentioned parents who took great interest in every part of their child’s life. They are often thought of as friends for whom you can go to for advice. However, when it comes to helping you develop investment strategies, you have to realize your parents’ situation is entirely different from yours.

There is a good chance that the strategies your parents developed for themselves will not work for you. You shouldn’t have your retirement account invested the same way someone from another generation does. You need to look at what you want to accomplish and align with the best investment strategies for your unique personal situation.

2.  Look at Your Finances Often
It can be a source of stress when you’re constantly on a tight budget, but you need to avoid ignoring your finances, as that will make developing a plan more difficult. You’re not always going to like what you see, but at least you have the option to be proactive rather than reactive.

3. Look for Inefficiencies in Your Budget
It’s understandable that as you pay down your student loans and pay all your bills on your base salary, the money you put toward investments may not be a large amount. However, making small cuts to your budget can give you a nice little boost now that could turn into a lot of money later on.

Cable television is one expense that might feel painful to cut out at first, but that extra $100 (or more) per month can do wonders for an investment account. From clothing purchases to eating out, find areas where you can make small changes.

4. Take Advantage of Automatic Contributions
Many employers offer retirement plans with a company match. If your company has this, you’re losing money by not signing up. If your workplace doesn’t offer a plan, consider setting up an IRA and have money directly deposited into it each month.

At Family Investment Center, we’re committed to helping our clients find the right path to financial freedom. Contact us today and let’s discuss where you want your own personal “freedom tour” to take you.

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What is Important for Entrepreneurs When it Comes to Wealth Management?

Protect Your Future With a Wealth Management Strategy

 

We all admire the risk-taking entrepreneurs out there who put so much on the line and reap great rewards in return. However, while entrepreneurs are known for their abilities to creatively build a plan for their startup, they can be lacking in planning their exit strategy for safeguarding their wealth. If you are an entrepreneur and this describes you, the lack of a wealth management strategy will not only affect your own retirement, but the financial good of your family and the generations to follow.

It’s not uncommon for the bulk of an entrepreneur’s portfolio to be heavily invested in his or her own company’s shares. However, if for example, you’ve got 60 percent of your money in your own shares, the remaining 40 percent should be in something with less risk associated with it. This will give you a more diversified portfolio.

Why is it so important for an entrepreneur to take more precautions in a wealth management strategy? Most are supported by investors who could stand to lose their entire investment if something goes awry.

And what about the exit strategy? According to a U.S. Trust survey, roughly 63 percent of business owners have not formulated an exit strategy. They don’t have a plan for whether or not they’ll sell or transfer ownership upon their death or retirement. This is also an important aspect of developing a wealth management strategy because this merger or acquisition process can be quite complex, and a lot rides on the success of this process.

Also, according to a study by Deloitte, only 59 percent of family-owned businesses have a plan in place for an unfortunate event, such as the death or disability of the head of the company. The lack of a plan can lead to a difficult and damaging set of events to follow, and it can sink the company and potentially destroy business and family relationships.

If you head up a company and something should happen to you, you will want your family to be protected. Also, a wealth management plan should establish protections for all your business partners so they have the capital they need to continue on.

Many great and powerful companies have been built on the backs of risk-takers, but when it comes to building and managing a portfolio for wealth management, it’s important to turn to a professional investment advisor who is steeped in the knowledge of what risk means in investments.

At Family Investment Center, we can work with you for a wealth management strategy that considers your unique needs. Contact us today and let’s get started.

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4 Tips for Getting Your Retirement Planning Off the Back Burner:

Steps You Can Take Now to Get Started With Your Retirement Planning

 

Many people who are still years away from retirement look forward to that day when they leave the workforce to enjoy the golden years. However, when the retirement date comes close, those thoughts of rest and relaxation are often replaced with trepidation. Why?  Because retirement planning has been put on the back burner. What can you do to improve your outlook and develop a plan now?

1. Expenses
What will weekly and monthly expenses look like in retirement? This is something you must consider as you begin your retirement planning. Perhaps you have debts today that you know you don’t want to carry forward into retirement. Your plan may include managing a way to enter retirement with reduced debt so you’re not tied down.

There are various calculators, such as DebtBlaster, that allow you to come up with a more solid strategy for retirement expenses. You also need to consider how inflation and the cost of living will differ in terms of where you choose to live in retirement and for healthcare costs.

2. From Where is the Income Derived?
You should develop a complete list of pension, 401(k), IRA, Social Security and other income resources. This will help you gain a better picture of how much you can spend at any given moment. Also, be sure to write out all the contact information, passwords, account numbers, etc., so should you become disabled or pass away, there will be no confusion regarding these accounts.

3. Retirement Goals
Part of planning for retirement is looking at things aside from money. Will you follow a passion or pursue a hobby? Will you be focused on recreation, or will you take this time to continue your education? Obviously, if travel is on the itinerary, you’ll need to budget for that, as frequent travel can get pricey. However, it’s important that your retirement goals will work with the plans of your spouse, family and friends.

4. Finding an Advisor
Planning for retirement can be a process full of complexities. When you partner with an investment advisor, your eyes will be opened to a number of issues that you likely would never have known existed. Look for an advisor with transparent fees and for one that will act as a fiduciary.  When you have a fiduciary working for you, they are acting in your best interest – not their own. Unfortunately, there are many investment professionals out there who are driven by the commissions they earn, which means their investment advice isn’t always in clients’ best interest.

At Family Investment Center, we’ve always acted as a fiduciary, which means you can trust that when it comes to your retirement planning, we’ve got your best interests as our primary focus.

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401(k) Investing at Age 50 and Over

Preparing for Retirement With 401(k) Investing

 

Once you hit the big 5-0, there are some financial advantages that can be beneficial for everyone who hits this milestone, including some tax breaks and perks where your retirement investments, like 401(k) investing, are concerned.

As of 2017, you can contribute $18,000 a year to your 401(k). However, once you hit the age of 50, you can put an extra $6,000 into your 401(k) each year. These are referred to as “catch-up” contributions, which can offer people with less time until retirement to contribute more to their plan.

If you’re turning 50 or have already hit that milestone, it can be beneficial for you to take advantage of that extra $6,000 investment. There are also advantages for business owners who have yet to establish their retirement investments. For example, say a couple in their mid-50s wants to finally get the ball rolling on their retirement accounts. They can open a self-employed 401(k), which is also referred to as an individual or solo 401(k), and sink the full regular contribution plus the “catch-up” $6,000 into this account.

For those who would rather go with an IRA investment, there are some options here as well. While traditional 401(k) contributions are tax-deductible, any withdrawals from the 401(k) are taxed as income. A traditional IRA works similarly, but the maximum annual contribution is $5,500, with an extra $1,000 “catch-up” contribution. With a Roth IRA, however, no deduction may be taken for contributions, but then withdrawals in retirement are not taxable. IRAs can be extremely advantageous for extra savings, especially when used in conjunction with employer-sponsored plans. 


According to a recent Forbes article, 50 percent of investors age 50 to 69 took full advantage of catch-up contributions in 2015. For those putting their investments into a Roth IRA, 45 percent did the same.  

 

The rules are different depending on the type of plan to which you’re contributing, so be sure to ask an advisor for the applicable rules. Aging into 50 and beyond can be an exciting and rewarding time. At Family Investment Center, we know a lot about the various ways that age has advantages when it comes to investing. Come in and talk to us today about your investment goals. If you’ve yet to establish a strategy, we’ll discuss the options available to you and get you started on the right path.

 

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How do Fees Impact Investing for Non-Profits?

Cutting Fees When Investing for Non-Profits Can Lead to a Boost in Profits

 

Do you have a favorite charity? If so, you want to see their investments do well so your favorite cause can receive the maximum amount of assistance possible … and in turn, so they can do the most good possible. You may not consider this often, but investing for non-profits is an important part of funding .

Here’s some insight from Dan Danford, founder/CEO of Family Investment Center, on how your favorite nonprofits can see a better return on their investments, which will allow them to do more for those they serve.

First, it’s important that a non-profit gets the best returns possible on their investment. That means whoever is managing the investments should aim to choose stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or other investments that seek to balance risk with reward.


As most of us know, nobody can predict exactly what the market is going to do. If there were such a person, they’d be unbelievably wealthy. But it is important for someone managing a non-profit’s funds to understand the balance between risk and reward. And perhaps more importantly, you want them to have the utmost transparency when it comes to fees.

When times are great and the market is booming, a non-profit may not be worried about fees, especially if it’s half of a percent. But what about when the market sours and funding is desperately needed for all the programs the non-profit administers?

When the economy takes a nose-dive and investments are suddenly reduced to one percent returns (or worse), that fee of half of one percent becomes a massive piece of the equation. This may be the time a non-profit finds out about all the extra fees they’ve been paying for years and never knew about. The new fiduciary rule, which went into effect in June of this year, should help stamp out any fine print that left people unaware of these fees.

If a non-profit wants to boost their portfolio returns, they should look for a safe and insured custodian with a figurative allergy to high fees. Find one that will provide verified statements. Also, it could be a good move to shift portions of a portfolio to a low-cost index or institutional-share manager. Finally, if a non-profit is happy with the performance of a current investment advisor, they can simply ask them if they’ll reduce their fees – some will take that cut.

At Family Investment Center, we’ve always operated as a fiduciary, which means we put our clients’ best interests first. Need advice investing for non-profits? Contact us today.

 

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