Managing your financial life is not just about money.

Posts by Alyssa McNamara Reed

Volatility

I'm sure you've noticed, volatility has returned to the stock market.  As of 4 PM on Thursday
Read More

Socially Responsible Investing

Social Responsible Investing is defined as an investment that adds the goal of a social good of some kind to the broader investment goal of purely making money.  However, the terms ‘social good’ and ‘socially responsible’ mean different things to different people.  I’m guessing there would be broad agreement that a hypothetical mutual fund that invests in tobacco companies would not be considered a socially responsible investment.  But what is?  The good news is that there are plenty of options, so most investors will be able to find something that fits their preferences. The most common types of socially responsible
Read More

Savings vs Paying Debt

By Alyssa McNamara Reed, CFP® I often get the question “what’s more important- paying down debt or saving?” The answer is, of course, different for everyone, but here is some generic advice. If you have high interest rate debt (by that I mostly mean credit card debt), absolutely pay that off before you start saving. Paying 20% interest on a debt (that is not tax-deductible to boot) is an enormous waste of money. I suppose it goes without saying, but once you’re past that debt, don’t rely on cards again unless you can pay them off immediately. The caveat to
Read More

Elder Abuse

As many of our clients age into their golden years, we remain committed to providing them the best service and financial guidance possible. Sometimes that takes on a new meaning if we have concerns about cognitive abilities and/or someone being taken advantage of by a friend, family member, or other trusted advisor. Financial exploitation of elders is unfortunately a real issue in our society, and one that could easily fly under the radar if people aren’t paying attention.  We will be paying attention. With the help of our friends at Old Colony Elder Services, we have recently begun establishing some
Read More

Maybe you need an SMF, or at least the budget

We just finished up the 4th annual Marshfield High School Smart with Money Fair.  One student said to me, “life is expensive, I better get a good job!”  At that point, I was done. It was all worth it. I realized that the budget sheet the students worked with might actually be helpful for adults.  It’s incredibly comprehensive.  The idea was to account for all expenses you have in real life, and I think we did a pretty good job. Hey guess what?  Life IS expensive, and you’d better think about where your money goes when you spend it!  Maybe
Read More

Smart with Money Fair – Volunteers Needed!

  The 4th annual Marshfield High School Smart with Money Fair will be held March 7th and 8th, and for the first time, will be open to the entire senior class at Marshfield High (350 students) ! This is an incredibly educational event that teaches students lessons in personal finance such as: budgeting saving not relying on credit investing and plain old “figure out how much life really costs”! Because of the two day commitment this year, we are having more trouble than usual recruiting local businesses and volunteers to help out. If you have some free time, please consider
Read More

Perspective

Dow Jones 20,000, It’s Just a Number Well, it’s a good number, but still just a number.  The press, and many people get a little too hung up when the stock market hits a big round number, and 20,000 is the biggest round number we have seen to date. There will be a number of articles and commentary that appear strongly suggesting that this historical bull market has a long way to go for any number of very plausible reasons.  There will be an equal number of articles and commentary predicting that this market is overpriced, will soon take a
Read More

Annual Financial Checklist

Take some time every January to review your financial affairs.  And take some time every December to review your tax liability.  Looking back over the last calendar year, what went well?  What went poorly?  What needs some attention? What needs fixing, and how are you going to fix it?   Is your Comprehensive, Written Financial Plan on schedule? Are your Emergency Reserves adequate? Is the size of your Nest Egg on schedule for retirement? Are you working down your Debt on schedule? Is the date you have chosen to retire still good? Is your College Funding plan on track? How
Read More

An Unusual Holiday Gift for You

The first part of this article will be little scary (and not filled with holiday cheer). Your special gift comes at the end. According to the website StudentLoanHero there are 44.2 million Americans that carry college debt (it must be true if it’s on the internet). Some 11.1% of these loans (well over four million people) are in default. In its 2015 study on Investor Education, Financial Regulatory Authority interviewed 27,000 people on various investment issues.  This study is conducted every three years, but 2015 was the first year there were questions about college and graduate school student debt.  Some
Read More

It Is What It Is!

I just passed 35 years in the financial business.  There are times when it is fun, or at the very least peaceful.  There are times when it is scary and unsettling.  It’s never been boring.  During the good times, I spend a lot of my time telling folks to enjoy those great investment returns, and to be ready for some unpleasant times in the future.  The phrase “lowering expectations” comes to mind.  During the bad times, I spend a lot of my time telling folks that the world is not likely coming to an end, and that these bad times
Read More