Financial Advisor & Retirement Planning

Four Tips To Boost Your Employees’ Retirement Outlook

  • As many employees look ahead to retirement, 47% of workers feel somewhat confident that they’ll have enough money saved to retire on time and then live comfortably.1 However, forward-thinking employers have the ability to help their employees work toward a confident and happy retirement. According to the 2018 Retirement Confidence Survey from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), only 17% of American workers feel very confident in their ability to live comfortably in retirement. Additionally, their 28th annual survey found…

    Risky Business: Why Plan Governance Matters

  • Participant-driven lawsuits are on the rise, and employers are facing heightened scrutiny of the way they manage their retirement plans. In today’s continually-evolving regulatory and legal environment, it’s more important than ever to make sure your organization’s retirement plan is both effective and compliant. A well-structured retirement plan governance program can help you pursue these goals when aiming to limit fiduciary risk and improve plan performance, while striving to boost participant outcomes. What is retirement plan governance? Simply defined, governance…

    Plan Sponsor Guide: How Protected Is Your Company’s 401(K) Plan?

  • Did you know cybercrime is a possible threat for your company’s 401(k) plan? Technology is evolving fast, but cybercriminals are evolving just as fast. Cybercriminals are now going after a plan sponsor’s company 401(k) plans and you could be liable if disaster strikes! You should be aware of the multiple cyber threats that can affect your plan and the protective measures available to help you thwart those threats. Our guide provides you with many ways you can help protect your…

    Why Should You Diversify?

  • As 2019 approaches, and with US stocks outperforming non-US stocks in recent years, some investors have again turned their attention towards the role that global diversification plays in their portfolios. For the five-year period ending October 31, 2018, the S&P 500 Index had an annualized return of 11.34% while the MSCI World ex USA Index returned 1.86%, and the MSCI Emerging Markets Index returned 0.78%. As US stocks have outperformed international and emerging markets stocks over the last several years,…

    We’re Hiring! Join Our Team As A Financial Planning Associate.

  • Do you have superior client service skills and a great work ethic that you want to contribute to an established and continually growing financial advisory business? Fiduciary Financial Partners is looking for strong, detail orientated people with high follow-through to join our team. Our formula for success is to put our clients first. If you’re looking for the tools, resources and freedom to build a great future, take a look at our newest available position for a Financial Planning Associate. Responsibilities…
    the financial marathon

    The Financial Marathon

  • A Marathon for Everyone Recently, I went to cheer on a friend running in her first marathon. The excitement of watching thousands of people accomplish such an amazing goal was an experience like no other. I waited at the last bend before the finish line so I’d have a good vantage point for cheering my friend on. What I did not expect was the wave of emotion that washed over the faces of each runner as they saw the finish…

    “Lipstick On This Pig”: Why The Broker System Is Broken

  • It was supposed to be so much different by now. Check out this ad from Schwab where the head of a brokerage firm instructs his staff to “put some lipstick on this pig.” This ad ran in 2002. Ah, how times have changed, right? Wrong. Years later, many brokerage firms are still pushing investments that are suitable for client portfolios but not necessarily in the client’s very best interests. “But wait,” you say. “What about all the problems encountered by…

    Education Shopping Now May Mean Everything For Your Kids Post-Graduation

  • We continue to see a trend in which employers are considering how to help their people tackle the challenges of paying off high student loan debt. If this seems outside the norm, think again. In fact, we believe the need for employer assistance on student loans should only continue to grow based on the statistics we see such as the one from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York that estimates student loans have risen to 10.6% of all U.S.…
    Your retirement Magic Number can be a moving target

    Is Your Retirement “Magic Number” Stressing You Out?

  • As someone who is obsessed with watching market numbers in all varieties daily for my clients, it may seem odd for me to talk about one number that constantly comes up in planning conversations: Your retirement “Magic Number.” It’s not that you shouldn’t have a goal to plan for, of course. It’s that this Magic Number at times gets entirely too much weight. People can focus on it so much that their entire life is boiled down to the success…
    Can you manage to separate your feelings from finance?

    Finance Is Never About Your Feelings

  • How do you FEEL about the stock market? Do you FEEL that it is too high and ready for a big fall? Well, people may love to share their FEELINGS about investing. Yet at Fiduciary Financial Partners, we spend a great deal of our time separating financial emotion from financial reality. FEELINGS should not enter into the discussion. It can be challenging to do that with a constant swirling of dramatic news media stories. We get that. Still, at the…
    Why fiduciary duty matters: Is What’s “Suitable” For Your Portfolio Enough?

    A Fiduciary Duty Question: Is What’s “Suitable” For Your Portfolio Enough?

  • Why should you care that a financial professional follows a fiduciary duty instead of what’s suitable for your portfolio?   By Nick Economos At first glance, the idea that someone like a wealth manager, broker or financial advisor touts an investment that’s suitable for your goals seems perfectly fine. After all, it seems in line with your risk tolerance and what’s more, that professional might be talking about the high standard they’re held to through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, also…
    Fiduciaries and brokers are not the same - here are three more key differences.

    5 Huge Differences Between Fiduciaries And Brokers (part 2)

  • Fiduciaries and brokers aren't the same - in the continuation of our previous post, we explore three more key differences that you'll want to be aware of. Broker: “So tell me. How do you feel about risk?” Client: “I hate it. I hate risk. It scares the hell out of me. I’m afraid of what the market will do to decimate my finances, which I’ve worked my tail off to build.” Broker: “I think I have a product that you’re…
    Senior couple shaking hands with fiduciary

    5 Huge Differences Between A Fiduciary And A Broker (part 1)

  • Fiduciary. Broker. Same thing, right? Wrong. In a series of blog posts, Fiduciary Financial Partners is here to help clarify the key points of difference. “Look. I’ve worked tirelessly for decades to accumulate the kind of life savings that came with a lot of sacrifice in the form of working weekends. I missed a child’s soccer game or ballet recital as a result of it too. For all I’ve been through to this point, I don’t want to take on…
    Financial stress

    7 Smart Ways To Kick More Financial Stress To The Curb

  • The bad news is that we have many categories of financial stress. The good news is that if we can prioritize and plan better, that financial stress can feel more manageable.   By Nick Economos Anxious. Overwhelmed. Headache. Upset stomach. Insomnia. What are all these symptoms primarily stemming from? According to a recent survey, financial stress. Try as they might, people can’t get finances out of their minds and it’s causing psychological or physical effects. Conducted by Greenwald & Associates on…

    Why Protectionism And Portfolios Don’t Always Mix

  •   We’re really not into making political predictions at Fiduciary Financial Partners (projecting market behavior is more our specialty), but this much is easy to predict: The debate between proponents of free trade vs. anti-globalization we’ll see between now and Election Day will be hotter than a volcano. With his poll numbers hurting, Donald Trump is clearly making a political play for favor in states such as Pennsylvania and West Virginia with consistent anti-trade messages against Mexico and China. Not…

    Calling BS On Monday Morning Investment QBs

  • by Miaciah Manuel, CFP® I had to chuckle. How could I not? The headline at the top of my Google Finance page read: Here’s Proof That ‘Definitely This Is A Stock Pickers Market’. Finally! The proof we’ve all been waiting for! OK, I’m being a bit sarcastic here because the Monday Morning Quarterbacking constantly expressed in articles like these is a good example of what’s “easier said than done” when it comes to investing. Consider the article I found on…
    Have you located the North Star to guide you toward an investment plan?

    What’s Your North Star? The Compass For Your Investment Plan.

  • The answers to these questions can uncover the North Star to guide you toward an investment plan that’s right for you.   One day, the market is at an all-time high. The next day, the Dow loses hundreds of points. Not more than a week later, the markets spring upward and are acting like that last drop never happened. What’s going on here amid all this volatility? And what impact could it have on your investment plan? Well, for one,…
    women and retirement: isn't it time to include her more in the financial planning conversation?

    Women And Retirement: Why Is The Struggle Harder Than Men?

  • Generally speaking, it’s no secret that people aren’t saving enough for retirement. But when the conversation focuses on women and retirement, that struggle may be even more pronounced than what men face. By Nick Economos We continue to see data that shows women are outliving men yet, in many cases, still aren’t on equal ground with men in terms of salary. Now, new research from Aon Hewitt suggests that 83% of women in the U.S. won’t be able to meet their…

    What Are Negative Interest Rates And Could They Impact My Portfolio?

  • As we were watching former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan the other day being interviewed about the current state of the economy, he was pessimistic about the economic outlook here and across the globe. That’s not terribly unusual. By his own admission, Alan Greenspan hasn’t been optimistic about the economy in a while. However, there was one item that we did agree with Greenspan on, which is his opinion of negative interest rates. While he didn’t view negative interest rates…
    Chief Retirement Officer Nick Economos shares why your retirement planning should include the days beyond your first day of retirement.

    Is Insurance Really My Best Investment?

  • By Nick Economos Whenever you’ve heard about insurance as an investment option, there’s an excellent chance that you’ve heard pitches rather than plans. The truth is, insurance could be a perfectly fine option to consider, but it’s challenging to know when you’re bombarded with promises like: “It’s got a dividend of 6%!” Not to mention you can get lobbed easy questions like, “How do you feel about risk?” and “How do you feel about taxes?” With your eye on retirement in…
    Chief Retirement Officer Nick Economos shares why your retirement planning should include the days beyond your first day of retirement.

    What If I Reach Retirement And Hate It?

  • By Nick Economos  Can you imagine fearing retirement once you’re actually in it? It’s more legitimate and common than you realize, even as you have a blank canvas for mapping out the rest of your life by engaging in retirement planning. Allow me to illustrate from a client conversation and you’ll see what I mean. Recently, I was contacted by a 401(k) plan participant from a company that I serve as the Chief Retirement Officer for. I’ve had the pleasure of…

    Will Trump’s Fiery Talk Give Investors Heartburn?

  •   “America is going to hell. Our workers are losing their jobs. We have a problem with China. We have a problem with Japan. We have a problem with Mexico both at the border and in trade.”                                - Donald Trump As we’re getting soundbites from candidates every day heading into the home stretch before each party’s respective convention, most of the rhetoric is still deeply rooted…
    Chief Retirement Officer Nick Economos shares why your retirement planning should include the days beyond your first day of retirement.

    Are Blue Chips Really “Safe” Investments?

  • By Nick Economos Something about that Blue Chip stock just seems to be safer to you. After all, it’s a household brand name. It’s listed on that exclusive list of only 30 companies, the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Its earnings appear stable and without much risk. So what could go wrong? It’s an easy assumption to make – and that’s where we’ve seen investors get into trouble. They believe stability yesterday means stability in the future based on the simple…

    Fear Sells, But Should Investors Be Buying?

  • If you consume any kind of financial media, you can’t help but notice a recurring theme: Negativity. Why all the doom and gloom? Our theory is that there’s actually an incentive to scare from the media because it makes for a compelling story that sells. Firms that create financial products stand to benefit from fear too. What’s that? You’re an investor craving greater stability? They’ve got a product for that. Yes, fear sells. However, just because someone is telling you…

    3Q 2014 Market Review Recap

  • By Nicholas Economos, CRPS® The editorial mission of the Fiduciary Advisor blog, and all of our FFP University publications, is to help investors translate the latest market news from a fiduciary perspective — putting their needs first on an active basis. Our quarterly market review webinars are a big part of that. We know that many of our clients don't have time to view the recent Q3 Market Review webinar, so I’ll summarize the key points here. And we’ll try to do this…

    The Longevity Risk of Extended Care Needs — What’s Your Plan?

  • By John Hillman, MBA, CFP®, ChFC®, CLU®, CLTC Planning how you will make up for any potential shortfalls from reductions in Social Security and Medicare benefits is critical to minimizing longevity risk. My inaugural post for The Fiduciary Advisor went into some detail on this. Another key longevity risk factor to plan for is extended care. If there is at least some risk that you might live long enough to become frail or cognitively impaired — and therefore need the…

    Retirement Funding Risk & Working Longer as “Plan B”

  • Our post for The Fiduciary Advisor briefly discussed funding risk and the fact that most Americans do not adequately contribute to their retirement plans. Funding risk is simply the risk of not having enough money with which to retire. Your contribution rate is very important, but your growth rate, and distribution rate when you eventually stop working, also factor into the equation. Not long ago, the majority of private sector employees had a defined benefit pension with a professional manager…

    Longevity Risk & Social Security — Pay More, Get Less

  •   By John Hillman, MBA, CFP®, ChFC®, CLU®, CLTC In our last post for The Fiduciary Advisor, we went into detail on investment risk. Another major retirement risk that has increased for many individuals is longevity risk. Simply put, longevity risk is the risk that payout levels are higher than expected due to increasing life expectancy trends. Knowing how much longevity risk you are taking on and how to best mitigate it is a crucial component of fiduciary financial planning. Social…

    Avoiding Investment Distractions & Reactions with Fiduciary Advice

  •   By Nicholas Economos, CRPS® In our inaugural blog post for The Fiduciary Advisor, we discussed how the risks of the American retirement crisis call for fiduciary advice — financial guidance that puts investor needs first by law. In this post, we’ll explore investment risk in more detail. Investment risk can be thought of as simply the risk that an investment’s actual return will be different than expected. As investment decisions have largely shifted from professional pension managers to individuals,…

    The Fiduciary Advisor: Fiduciary Financial Advice Simplified

  • The daunting risks of the American retirement crisis call for fiduciary financial advice — financial guidance that's legally obligated to put investor needs first. In 1983, 62% of private sector employees had a defined benefit pension plan. In 2010, that number was down to 19% as corporations moved to defined contribution plans like the 401(k). Financial planning risks that were largely handled by professional pension plan fiduciaries have almost entirely been handed over to individuals. Many of these individuals are…

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