Author - James A. Daniel, CFP®

1
Here’s When you Should Refinance Your Mortgage
2
Does Asset Allocation Still Work in Today’s Economy?
3
Why Advertising Affects Your Investment Decisions
4
The Best and Worst Times to Convert to a Roth IRA
5
How To Start Investing In Mutual Funds And ETF’s

Here’s When you Should Refinance Your Mortgage

I received an email request recently that I thought would be of interest to readers of figuide.  The request read like this: 

“I currently have 5 1/2 years remaining on a 15 yr. mortgage at 5 1/2 percent.  I owe $96,000 on the mortgage.  Does it make sense due to the time remaining on the loan to refinance at this time to a 15 yr. loan?  I know I would drop at least 2 percentage points of interest, but do I need to consider the amortization schedule in regards to interest vs. principle paid each month when making this decision?”…

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Does Asset Allocation Still Work in Today’s Economy?

A recent conversation with another Financial Advisor led me to revisit a post I wrote just over a year ago about Diversification.  This particular Advisor was having second thoughts about the investing philosophy he had been sharing with his clients for years. 

Namely: long term stocks go up, buy and hold is the best strategy and it’s futile to try and time the market.  He was particularly frustrated with the fact that many asset classes seem to be highly correlated nowadays.  It seems that the market is always in a “risk on” or “risk off” mode where everything either rises …

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Why Advertising Affects Your Investment Decisions

Today’s post is a little about psychology and how our brains work.  I don’t profess to be an expert in these areas but as a Financial Planner, I have learned a lot about how people think when it comes to money and most importantly how they are influenced in their investing decisions. 

Here is a question for you:  How much of what you see and hear on TV, in Newspapers or from family or friends influence your thinking as it relates to investing and the economy?  I’ll bet it is much higher than you think.  It’s not that it is …

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The Best and Worst Times to Convert to a Roth IRA

In 2010 the rules for doing a Roth IRA conversion were liberalized, making it an option for all income brackets.  Previously there was a $100,000 Adjusted Gross Income limit for those wanting to convert.  If you are contemplating a Roth conversion this year here are the basics for you to consider:

Roth Conversion defined

  A Roth IRA Conversion is when you take a traditional IRA and convert to a Roth IRA.  This is a taxable event as any pretax money within the traditional IRA will be taxed as ordinary income.  The benefit is all future growth within the Roth IRA …

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How To Start Investing In Mutual Funds And ETF’s

Like any occupation, we in financial services sometimes take for granted that clients understand all the industry terminology we use.  But much like your occupation there are probably words used that someone outside that industry wouldn’t quite understand.  Take for instance a Mutual Fund,  has anyone ever explained to you what exactly this investment vehicle is and how it works?  It seems fairly straight forward, you invest in them inside your retirement plans and hear the word quite often, but do you really know how it works?  How about ETF’s (exchange traded funds)?  There have been plenty of advertisements for …

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