INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT & PLANNING
For those "accumulating" assets, growth may be your objective and for those nearing or in retirement; you are probably more interested in "maintaining" or "preserving" your assets as you look to withdraw your investment assets during retirement.
Because your investment program plays a critical role in helping you pursue the retirement lifestyle you desire, we spend time with our clients setting up the appropriate investment mix to help address their investment goals, taking into consideration their risk tolerance and length of time in the market(s).
We offer a range of account types and services including:
- 401(k)'s and 403(b)s
- SIMPLE IRA's
- SEP IRA's
- Traditional & Roth IRA's
- Rollover IRA's
- Brokerage & Advisory Accounts
- 529 Plans (College Savings)
- UTMA Accounts (Uniform Transfer to Minor Act)
Key investment questions
We recommend purposeful goals be assigned to any investment activity you engage in. Depending on your life stage, are you working toward accumulating money to fund a future need, or do you need to generate income from the investments for current expenses? Assigning goals to your investment accounts (e.g. retirement, college, vacation, flex-use) can help you remain focused, organized and motivated.
"Liquidity" is a financial term that refers to how quickly an asset can be converted to cash. To illustrate, money held in checking and savings accounts would be most liquid. Money held in investments such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and ETF's are less liquid because it's market value can fluctuate. However, they are still relatively liquid in comparison to other types of assets because they can be sold on an exchange during open market trading hours and be converted to cash in a short period of time. In contrast, a real estate asset (e.g. a home or investment property) is less liquid than exchange traded assets because the sales process requires a longer period of time to complete.
Having a mix of liquid and non-liquid investments is helpful. Investments designed to meet longer term goals such as retirement generally do not need to be as liquid as investments that may need to be tapped into for emergency purposes. Before making any investment, always ask how liquid you need your investment to be.
With any investment, taxes can have a significant impact on investment results. Taxes are a factor no matter the investment option you choose and should always be considered strategically. For example, with any investment account it's important to know what type of tax you'll be liable to pay (capital gains vs. income tax), and when the tax is payable (now or in the future).
Unfortunately, we find too many investors do not consider the long-term impact of taxes on investments. For example, tax-deferred retirement savings in accounts such as 401(k)'s or Traditional IRA's can be excellent tools to help you grow and accumulate wealth. However, if all of your retirement investment activity is concentrated solely in tax-deferred accounts, 100% of your retirement wealth will be subject to income tax during retirement. Which means in retirement, if you want to spend $20,000 extra in a given year to take the whole family on that Hawaii vacation you've always dreamed about, Uncle Sam will be calling to tag along. Furthermore, the additional income has the potential of putting you in a higher tax bracket.
To curb some of the tax bill in your retirement years, Roth IRA's, non-retirement investment accounts and other alternatives can help you diversify and spread out or minimize the amount of taxes you pay over time. This is a major area of strategic planning we incorporate for our clients.
A general truth in the investment world is that risk and reward go hand in hand. The greater the risk an investor is willing to take, the greater the potential reward. The less risk an investor is willing to accept, the less potential reward. We believe risk is everywhere - in life and investments. The key is to take measured risk by reducing risk wherever possible within the context of your investment objectives while recognizing some degree of risk will always be necessary to pursue the financial future you wish to see.
We like to ask our clients what amount of risk and return is necessary to pursue your desired financial future? A financial plan helps answer this question by taking into account all of your financial resources and looking at it from a 30,000 foot view for a better perspective. Perhaps the amount of risk you think is necessary for your investments is in fact less necessary than you think. Or at the other end, perhaps the future you're aspiring for would require higher risk, higher reward investments to become a realistic possibility?
In today's world, your investment options are greater than ever and technology has made it easier than ever to get started. The important question is how much personalized guidance and expertise do you require? Do you have the skill and knowledge needed to manage investments on your own, and if so, do you have the time and resources to do it well (or the desire)? How you answer these questions can help you determine if seeking professional investment advice is of value to you.
At Blom & Howell, we encourage investment decisions be made within the context of a financial plan. For these reasons, we provide more than just investment advice and serve our clients through ongoing financial planning services. If building a relationship with someone who can be a resource to you and your family over the years, and having a professional third party to help you plan wisely and strategically with your finances is important to you, then we're likely a good fit to work together.
Still have questions?
"A successful financial life doesn't happen by chance, it happens by choice."