Your 401K Might Be Costing You A Lot

In past podcasts you’ve seen I’m a big fan of simple, straightforward ways to add substantial wealth to your portfolio.

Well today I’m giving you another very accessible but often missed method for building your wealth. It’s a little known loophole for 401ks, called in-service distrubitions, that was created as a result of the 2008 financial crisis.

If you have a 401k of any size you’ll find this information on in-service distributions extremely useful as you put together your financial plan. If the right choice isn’t made on a 401k at the right time, it could cost you a lot.

Listen below and let’s save you some money.




What I relearned when a thirty-two trade win streak came to an end.

What did I learn from the first losing options trade after a nine month streak of thirty-two profitable trades? This is one of the single most important lessons any investor can learn. And I’m reminded of it every time I defy this principle.

Listen to this week’s podcast and hear the story about what I relearned from the experience when my thirty-two trade streak came to a halt.




How Do You Compare To The Average American? Surprised At This.

CNBC recently ran a survey the call the “All America Survey” in which they go out and survey Americans across all income levels and backgrounds. They try to get a pulse on what the average American thinks about the markets, investing and other financial topics.

I found it quite insightful to see what the “average American” is thinking right now. How good an investment environment are we in? What are the best investments available today? How stocks compare to bonds or real estate to gold.

You have to compare yourself to this crowd for one great reason: it will tell you a lot about your investment savvy. And let me tell you, the “average American”, at least according to this survey, is not terribly savvy.

Today’s podcast dives right in and talks about these results and how you might compare. I hope you enjoy.




Conventional Wisdom About Retirement Age Allocations Is Likely Costing You

I absolutely LOVE this week’s podcast topic. Why? Because it is one of those areas where I am highly confident that with just a few simple adjustments and without much heartache I can help many, perhaps even most, people save a lot of money. And that is my job.

Today, we’re talking about age based allocation formulas that are preached by the financial masses. When you’re 60, it’s 60 percent bonds/cash and 40 percent equities, right? Today you’re going to hear me talk about just how wrong this can be. And it can be BIG wrong depending on the situation.

Click below to listen and enjoy.




The Sleep Easy Plan: Podcast

In my time as a financial advisor and portfolio manager I have seen many people come to the sudden realization that they haven’t prepared fully for their retirement. It’s not just that they didn’t invest properly, sometimes they did have a good investment strategy.

It’s more than that. Often it has to do with having not mapped out their financial future. How much will they need? How much are they likely to have? What type of lifestyle are they expecting? What are the implications of their current financial status projected into the future?

Suddenly they call me in a panic having not slept the past several days. They’ve felt “the jolt” from their lack of planning.

Today we talk about that “jolt”, how to prevent it, and what to do if, or often when, you face it.

I hope you enjoy and take the lesson to heart.




Do You Have Home Country Bias and Other Behaviorally Driven Investor Topics

In this week’s podcast I’m basing my thoughts on the string of client questions I have been receiving over the last couple of weeks. You may have heard me say before, as a financial advisor I consider myself a behavioral advisor as much as a markets advisor.

Investors are antsy and they’re asking questions like:

“The market is at an all-time high is it the time to sell?”

“This political environment is making me antsy, how do I trade it?”

I address these topics head on. What does history and what does probability tell us about them? The answers formulate our response.

Finally, I also address a critical behavioral weakness of many investors: home country bias. You like many others may have this. It can hamper your portfolio’s performance.

So click below to listen as we discuss these very important topics and see how you would grade yourself against our recommended approach.




This Client Asked Two Common Questions: Here’s Our Answer

A client recently asked me two questions:

1) What is the market going to do over the course of the next year?

2) What is the secret sauce that has led to our success in the markets?

What I did was walk him through why those aren’t the right questions to ask an adviser. I walked him through what I believe any client or potential client should ask their investment adviser.

The reasoning for my answer is deeply connected with why I believe a large number of investors, either on their own or with an adviser, don’t achieve the success they should be able to.

Today’s podcast is a simple review of that conversation. I hope you enjoy.

What We’re Reading

The first rule of Investing is . . . This is a fantastic, quick read that we agree with wholeheartedly. The key to any “rules” is to implement them. It’s one thing to know the rules, it’s another to implement them.

What Matters and What Doesn’t in Investing (and in Life) This echo’s a lot of what we discussed in our podcast. There are some things you shouldn’t waste your energy worrying about (even though the media sure does!).

Two Simple Ways to Trounce the Market – While trouncing the market is never “simple,” this article does point out some two important principles that we agree with. In fact, for a lot of our clients, this is how we manage their money.




How Your Peers Are Managing Their Money – Survey Results

Four weeks ago we had our newsletter subscribers participate in a survey and promised to share the results along with our thoughts on what they mean. Well the results are in and there are some interesting insights into what it means for you and your peers as you manage your money.

We recognize that the data is not a perfect representation of investors as a whole.  Our subscribers are definitely a wealthier, more educated and more sophisticated slice of the population. Those subscribers who chose to participate may slant one way or another compared to those who chose not to. And finally, to keep it short and anonymous we didn’t get much of the detail that would have given even more insight into investor behavior.

That said, below are the survey results and some of our thoughts on what they may mean for you as you consider your investments and those of your peers.

What is your expected timeline to retirement?

The responses to this question reiterate one of the most common themes of investors everywhere. People don’t engage with their retirement as early as they should. Decisions made when young will usually have a far greater impact on your retirement than those made when you are nearing it.

Yes, the money you make is often less when young, and psychologically we feel far removed from the reality of retirement. Whether it is that our subscribers as a whole are closer to retirement, those who chose to respond are closer or something else, it was very clear that the level of engagement and interest in the data from the survey was far higher for those closer to or already in retirement.

Takeaway: If you are young and just starting out get engaged with your retirement planning now. If you are closer to or in retirement tell every younger friend you know the wisdom you have now – plan for retirement while young.

Which of the following asset classes in your portfolio has the highest dollar value?

We’re thrilled to see that most of our respondents understood that equities are so crucial to their portfolios. It was even interesting to note that the majority of those who are in the “Currently retired” category had the largest portion of their assets in equities.

Even when in retirement your investment timeline should very often justify a substantial allocation to equities. We recommend you speak with a qualified financial advisor to make that decision.

How much would you estimate your net worth to be?

We were not surprised here. We have always known that our subscribers had a fairly diverse (but skewed towards the more wealthy) wealth base with a variety of income and wealth levels.

How do you feel about the current economic outlook for investors over the next year?

This was exciting to see for a couple of reasons, the first obviously being that there is a general positive outlook for the coming year.

The second reason is that we know our subscribers are more often strong contributors to the market as entrepreneurs, managers, engineers and those who have a strong insight both into how the economy should be doing but also into what it takes to make that happen.

Which matters more to you regarding your portfolio?

Very interesting to see that not only was there a fairly even split between growth and stability but it was not dramatically different across retirement time frames. There were many who saw that even though they were into retirement it was important to consider that growth was a more important requirement from their portfolio than stability.

We assume that this is because they know their time frame beyond retirement is sufficiently long to justify the volatility that comes with growth.

How well planned out do you consider your financial future to be?

We were glad to see that not one respondent considered their financial future to be “completely unplanned.”  However, we encourage those who are not in the “very well planned” category to take the time to get there. The actual financial benefits for the future plus the psychological benefit of removing some uncertainty are both strong reasons to make planning your future well a priority. (I’m anxiously waiting for a call from those of you looking to make that happen 😉  ).

How much confidence do you have that you will realize your financial goals?

There was no big surprise here that there was a very strong correlation between the degree to which respondents thought their financial future was “well planned” and how confident they were in achieving their financial goals. This suggests that you really can see the improvement in the probability of achieving your goals when your plan has sufficient effort behind it.

We were also happy to see that not a single respondent selected that they “would most likely not” achieve their financial goals. Probably has to do with the type of audience that is subscribed to our newsletter but good to see nonetheless.

The response was so strong to this survey that we will very likely carry the tradition forward in either a quarterly survey that gives insight into other areas of investment behavior across our subscribers or at least doing an annual survey to see how the results on this particular survey change over time.

A Final Request

If you’re reading this you certainly have a strong interest in your financial future. You consider it of importance and want to improve it. You might be one of our subscribers who have not yet taken the chance to have a simple and easy Iron Gate portfolio assessment. You’ve heard it before but we strongly believe that you will be enlightened by what it shows you whether you choose to invest with us or not.

Here’s to wise investing,

Brett Pattison

 

What We’re Reading

Two Simple Ways to Trounce the Market: While we don’t like the title of this article (beating the market is not a simple task), we do like the content. Chris Mayer discusses two simple things Warren Buffett has done over time in the Berkshire portfolio. We try to implement these same things in our portfolios as well.

4 Signs of a Bubble: A question we often get from clients is “how do you know when a bear market is coming?” Our answer is very simple, “we don’t know for sure, no one does. What we do know is when we see bubbles forming, it’s time to be cautious.” This article discusses the 4 Signs of a spotting those bubbles wrapped in euphoria.

Stock Picking is Dying Because There are No More Stocks to Pick: This article is pretty fascinating. The number of publicly traded companies in 1997 were 7,355. Today there are fewer than 3,600. Two things come to our mind after reading this. 1) The bulk of companies are privately held, and it’s important to have a strategy in place to invest in those privately held companies, and 2) It’s hard to be a stock picker these days, but well worth picking stocks if you’re good at it!

Disclosures: All investments have inherent risks. There can be no assurance that the investment strategy proposed will obtain its goal. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Options contain risk that may result in the loss exceeding the original investment. Do not trade options until you talk with a financial professional and understand the risk.

Material discussed is meant for general illustration and/or informational purposes only, and it is not to be construed as investment, tax or legal advice. Although the information has been gathered from sources believed to be reliable, Iron Gate Global Advisors does not guarantee its accuracy or completeness. Please note that individual situations can vary, therefore, the information should be considered when coordinated with individual professional advice. Investors should be aware that there are risks inherent in all investments, such as fluctuations in investment principal and the potential loss of principal.

Neither the information in this document nor any option expressed herein constitutes an offer to sell or solicit any person to purchase any security. Investment decisions should not be made based on information in this document. Individuals should rely exclusively on the offering material when considering whether to invest.




Volatility Is The Price You Pay For The Returns On An Investment: The IGGA Podcast

If you are one of the many investors, who, like one of my client’s, has a misplaced notion of risk, you’ll get a lot out of today’s podcast. Also, you will probably want to talk with us about assessing how risk and returns play into your portfolio decisions.

I can’t tell you the number of truly bright, hard working individuals that have deeply limited their portfolio’s value because they misunderstood risk.

I hope you enjoy the podcast, and encourage you to give me a call to discuss how you should be looking at risk and investments for your time frame.

Listen below.




Iron Gate Global Advisors June Survey – Enter For A Chance At A $50 Amazon Gift Card

The Iron Gate Global Advisors newsletter is received by thousands of participants like yourself who have an interest in their financial future.  Many have expressed a desire to improve their standing by enhancing their knowledge about personal finances, retirement and investing.

In an effort to help you understand your peers so that you can perhaps improve your own portfolio, we would like to invite you to participate in a short survey. We will share the results in a few weeks with you through the newsletter and via our blog.

All participant information will be undisclosed except as aggregate answers. As an added bonus we’re throwing in three Amazon $50 gift cards to be given to three lucky participants. Simply add your email at the end of the survey if you’d like a chance to win.

We look forward to sharing the results with you.

Complete The Survey Below

Disclosures: All investments have inherent risks. There can be no assurance that the investment strategy proposed will obtain its goal. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Options contain risk that may result in the loss exceeding the original investment. Do not trade options until you talk with a financial professional and understand the risk.

Material discussed is meant for general illustration and/or informational purposes only, and it is not to be construed as investment, tax or legal advice. Although the information has been gathered from sources believed to be reliable, Iron Gate Global Advisors does not guarantee its accuracy or completeness. Please note that individual situations can vary, therefore, the information should be considered when coordinated with individual professional advice. Investors should be aware that there are risks inherent in all investments, such as fluctuations in investment principal and the potential loss of principal.

Neither the information in this document nor any option expressed herein constitutes an offer to sell or solicit any person to purchase any security. Investment decisions should not be made based on information in this document. Individuals should rely exclusively on the offering material when considering whether to invest.

The Amazon gift card will be rewarded randomly to those who enter the contest.