3 Tips to Plan Your Investments for Year-End

I hope you enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday!  

We have just over a month remaining in 2016, and it’s going to go by super quickly. To be honest, I was both annoyed and excited by the Christmas music I heard before Thanksgiving. I wanted to just enjoy Thanksgiving. Since Christmas is my favorite holiday, however, you’ll have to bear with my side-eye excitement.

 

Are you ready to close the year?

 

I saw Arrival this past weekend, and it reminded me that we have little control over the future. If you’ve seen it, you know what I mean.

 

If you haven’t yet, I encourage you to see the movie because it provides an interesting twist on our ability to control (or change) the future. I will whet your appetite with this question – If you could change the trajectory of your life’s journey thus far, would you?

 

Well, I asked this loaded question to several people over the weekend. Many responded that they would make different financial and investment decisions to put them in a different position today. If you can relate to this feeling, leave a comment below and let’s chat it up. If not, I want you to leave a comment about one financial action you made that changed your life’s trajectory for the positive.

 

Either way, I want you to read these 3 tips that you can use over the next 30 days to help set you up for a 2017so that you can (or continue to) feel ahead of the game:

 

3 Tips Before 2016 Ends:

  1. Make changes to your 401k contributions as needed. If you want to stash some extra cash away for retirement and get a tax deduction, it’s not too late. Check your 401k statement, where you will find out how much you’ve contributed thus far.

 

If you got an increase in salary, or stopped paying social security tax already this year, then you probably have the capacity to put a little more money away if you haven’t maxed out at the $18,000 cap already. Or, if you just want to be a badass investor and get ahead of the game, go for it. If you missed last week’s post on how to do a full 401k check-up, check it out.

 

  1. Plan your tax deductions now. Most people think about taxes after the calendar year ends, when they are about to file their tax return. But, now is really the time to start planning what and how much you will deduct. Drop your tax advisor a note now to ask how you might strategize for the end of the year today. I’ve previously talked about how a Trump Presidency could affect your money, and here’s another insight – favorable tax deduction policies could change, as denoted in this Wall Street Journal article “Maximize Your Deductions Now. A Trump Presidency Means You Could Lose Them.”

 

  1. 2017 planning starts now. Whether you are single or married, now is the time to start thinking about your financial situation for next year. Make a date with yourself and/or your partner, and start the money conversation. You’re already doing this indirectly by planning those trips, weddings, baby celebrations, or investments you want to make. But, now is the time to do this holistically with some concrete goals in mind. Want to know how? Leave a comment below.

 

As 2016 winds down, my wish for you is joy and peace. And, let’s get that money right!

Money Matters in a Post-Election Trump World

So, last week I was nervous and optimistic. And, many of you left comments on your reaction to my pre-election thoughts. Thank you for your continued engagement and thoughts. This week, I am still nervous and optimistic, just in a different way as I’ve now had several days to process and reflect. I’ve previously written about my choice in Hillary for President. But, I voted for a candidate who did not win the election.  I’m going to take it as a given that you can surmise why I’m still nervous, but here's how I’ve summed up my optimism, though frankly somewhat tempered:

I’m pouring my emotion into the things I can control and that can have impact, including trying to equip you with wealth-building and investing strategies and tactics.  I want to close the divide among those who have been utilizing wealth-building strategies and those who want to empower themselves to get some too!

Whomever you voted for (or if you chose not to vote at all – which is a topic that would take me a whole book to write about), we are all saddled with the question – how do we as individuals, which ultimately make up this country, move forward together under President-elect Trump? I had to deal with this personal reality this past weekend when I had to tackle this very question with my family members who voted for Trump. Yes, it has been up close and personal and time will ultimately judge us all!

Interestingly enough, the conversation circled back to how this Trump Presidency will affect our wallets and what we could do as individuals to create more opportunity in our lives across the board. So, here’s a few of my own takeaways on what we should be looking out for.

A Trump Presidency on Our Money:

Stick to Your Investing Philosophy. As we saw in the hours leading up to the stock market open on the day of the election, the market will show you how it feels about a particular event. The market’s rise over the week in the wake of a Trump win totally surprised many people, including some of the smartest economists around the globe. We are reminded that we cannot time the market.  According to a really good NYT article, the market is surely telling us that companies should benefit from a Trump Presidency. Only time will tell. Amidst uncertainty, we need to stick to our guns with our investment philosophies.  If you don’t have an investment philosophy yet, what’s holding you back? Send me your thoughts.

Companies Still Move On. Last week, one of my favorite companies, Shake Shack,reported very good earnings, which positively reflected that consumers value their product and their innovation on BURGERs and MILKSHAKES. Companies will keep moving - Oh My!

Entrepreneurial Wealth Matters. I am hopeful that this election will spur more entrepreneurship activity and innovation, which tends to drive wealth over time. If we really want to close the income equality gap, which was a major focus of the overall Presidential election, we need to begin to shift our thinking toward executing (and supporting) entrepreneurial endeavors. We all know that business formation typically requires money, and so we should be asking ourselves – can we allocate some of our funds to start businesses ourselves or invest in others? (As you might guess, this is a sneak peak to 2017…oh yeah!)

I know it’s been emotional whiplash for all of us over the last year, so I hope that you take time to enjoy the people in your life – albeit a Hillary or Donald supporter – because it’s these people that drive us to work hard, invest, and build wealth.