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4 Ways to Prepare for a Prosperous Financial Future

The first few months of the year are the perfect opportunity for introspection, strategic planning, and establishing goals. This period is especially crucial for managing your personal finances. By evaluating your present financial situation, setting goals, and laying the foundation for the future, you can significantly influence your financial objectives. In this blog, we will delve into four practical measures you can implement to ensure a secure financial future.

1. Develop Goals and Priorities

Each person and each financial situation is unique. As a result, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to creating your financial plan. Each individual has their own goals and unique objectives for the future. As you identify your needs, wants, and wishes, it’s also important to think about your long and short-term financial goals. For example, are you interested in retiring in the next 10-15 years? Is buying a second home in the next 2 years feasible? Taking the time to review your goals from the past, as well as outlining goals for the future, will help you lay the foundation for success. 

Talk to your financial advisor to develop a financial game plan for your particular objectives. Be sure to consistently re-visit and re-evaluate your plan and priorities to ensure you’re on track to reach your goals. 

2. Identify All Assets and Liabilities

Next, conduct a thorough review of your assets and liabilities. Start by compiling a comprehensive list of your liquid assets and tangible properties. This detailed inventory provides a clear view of your financial standing and is an opportune time to re-evaluate your beneficiary designations. Next, identify any liabilities you may have, such as mortgages, auto loans, student loans, and so forth. With a clear picture of your assets and liabilities, it’s time to consider your income. Are there any bonuses or salary increases expected this year? If so, how will they impact your financial planning? Utilize all this information to refine and update your yearly financial plan accordingly.

3. Identify Any Barriers to Achieving Your Goals

With your liabilities and assets clearly outlined, it’s now important to recognize any obstacles that might prevent you from reaching your financial goals. These barriers may include existing debts, like student loans, that limit your capacity to save. Acknowledging your personal financial constraints is an essential piece to planning. When you acknowledge potential barriers, you and your financial advisor are able to create a more realistic set of financial goals based on your individual situation.  

4. Think About What Keeps You Up at Night

As you’re planning for the year, think about what’s keeping you up at night. For many, one question often looms large: how will I plan for long-term care without burdening my children? Long-term care insurance emerges as a practical solution, offering a versatile approach to funding care needs, whether for a nursing home or at-home care. This type of insurance not only provides peace of mind but also features options like receiving a cash benefit or allocating funds to your estate. If benefits are directed to your estate upon passing, they are typically exempt from income tax and can bypass the probate process. Consult with a financial advisor about long-term care insurance, as it can be a vital part of your estate planning strategy to ensure you’re prepared for any future care requirements.

Remember, preparing for a prosperous financial future is not only about financial planning but about setting the stage for a secure and fulfilling life ahead. The steps you take today can shape your financial tomorrow. Are you ready to plan the remainder of your year? Contact the Blakely Financial team today. 

 

Blakely Financial, Inc. is an independent financial planning and investment management firm that provides clarity, insight, and guidance to help our clients attain their financial goals. Engage with the entire Blakely Financial team at WWW.BLAKELYFINANCIAL.COM  to see what other financial tips we can provide towards your financial well-being.
Commonwealth Financial Network® or Blakely Financial does not provide legal or tax advice. You should consult a legal or tax professional regarding your individual situation.

Tis the Season: End-of-Year Tax-Saving Strategies

As the year draws to a close, so does the window for strategic tax planning and benefits. The decisions you make regarding your finances before December 31st can significantly impact your tax liability and overall financial well-being for the year ahead. Here we’ll explore end-of-year tax-saving strategies you can take advantage of before the year-end deadline to improve your financial picture in the upcoming year. 

Capitalize on Retirement Contributions

We’re nearing the end of the year, but there’s still time to boost and capitalize on your retirement savings. Be sure you are contributing to retirement accounts, like a 401(k) or an IRA, as they offer immediate tax advantages while helping ensure a secure, financially healthy future. Assess your current contributions and consider optimizing them before the yearly deadline to enjoy both short-term and long-term tax benefits. For IRAs, contributions can often be made until the tax filing deadline of the next year (usually April 15th). Remember: it is important to take a look at your entire financial picture before making significant changes to your financial plan. Talk to your financial advisor to find the best course of action to continue on a path to financial security. 

Leverage Health Savings Accounts and Flexible Spending Accounts

Health-related expenses can take a toll on your finances, but utilizing Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) can offer significant tax relief. Both HSAs and FSAs allow you to save for qualified healthcare costs. Any contributions made to these accounts may be tax-deductible, helping to reduce your taxable income. Whether or not you can open an HSA is dependent on your health insurance. These typically offer higher contribution limits and allow you to carry over funds. Opening an FSA is dependent on your employer. This type of account typically has lower contribution limits and does not allow you to carry over funds, so be sure to use them before the end of the year to avoid forfeiting them. Some FSAs allow a grace period or a limited carryover, but it depends on each individual plan. It is vital to weigh your options carefully and discuss any plans with your financial advisor to ensure the best financial outcome for you. 

Optimize Investment Portfolios

End-of-year is a great time to fine-tune your investment strategy. Consider tax-efficient investment practices such as:

  • Diversifying your account types
  • Holding investments for more than one year to qualify for lower capital gains tax rates

Take this opportunity to speak with a financial professional. They can help you diversify and rebalance your portfolio for tax efficiency and long-term growth. 

Charitable Giving for a Purpose

The final months of the year are the season of giving, and your generosity can translate into tax benefits. Charitable contributions to qualified organizations offer the opportunity for tax advantages including deductions, exemptions, and estate planning benefits. Consider various giving options to optimize your end-of-year tax-saving strategies. For example, explore bundling multiple years’ worth of donations into one tax year to exceed the standard deduction. Consult your financial advisor about your philanthropic giving to optimize your financial situation while bettering the world around you. Regardless of the details, remember to gather receipts and any other necessary documents surrounding your charitable contributions to claim the deductions. 

Explore Deductions and Credits

Among the end-of-year tax-saving strategies, there is an abundance of tax credits and tax deductions that should not be overlooked. Tax credits offer a direct reduction of your tax liability. Investigate credits such as:

Thoroughly research any deductions and credits to ensure you meet the eligibility criteria. Take the necessary steps to maximize them to put more money back in your pocket. If you need help discovering which ones are available to you, speak with a financial professional. 

After addressing your current end-of-year tax-saving strategies it is important to review your financial health as a whole. Revisit your financial goals and begin adjusting for the upcoming year. Being financially proactive and making informed decisions will help to optimize your tax situation and begin the new year on solid financial ground. If you are looking to improve your overall financial outlook and secure your financial future in the new year, contact the Blakely Financial team today. 

Blakely Financial, Inc. is an independent financial planning and investment management firm that provides clarity, insight, and guidance to help our clients attain their financial goals. Engage with the entire Blakely Financial team at WWW.BLAKELYFINANCIAL.COM  to see what other financial tips we can provide towards your financial well-being.
Commonwealth Financial Network® or Blakely Financial does not provide legal or tax advice. You should consult a legal or tax professional regarding your individual situation.
National Entrepreneurship Month: Managing Irregular Income and Retirement Options When You’re Self-Employed

National Entrepreneurship Month: Managing Irregular Income and Retirement Options When You’re Self-Employed

November is National Entrepreneurship Month and is dedicated to celebrating entrepreneurs, their spirit of innovation, risk-taking, and the economic growth they bring to our communities and the global economy. Honoring these entrepreneurial spirits would not be complete without acknowledging the unique financial challenges they face as self-employed individuals. In this blog, we’re answering common questions about managing irregular income and retirement options when you’re self-employed. These financial strategies and considerations will help you build a healthy financial future as an entrepreneur. 

How can I plan for my retirement while also reinvesting in my business?

When you are self-employed and running your own business, it is tempting to reinvest every dollar you earn right back into your business. Of course, it is important to reinvest some of your earnings to fuel essential growth in your business, but your financial security is also of high importance. Balancing these needs can be challenging, but is possible with proper and thoughtful planning. There are various types of retirement accounts for self-employed individuals including SEP IRAs, 401(k)s, and SIMPLE IRAs. These accounts offer tax advantages while allowing you to save for your retirement and a financially healthy future. The key to successfully utilizing a retirement fund is to contribute consistently, even when income is irregular. Work with a financial advisor to establish a realistic retirement savings goal, and aim to meet it each year. 

What deductions and credits are available to entrepreneurs?

There are many tax deductions and benefits available to self-employed entrepreneurs. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TJCA) went into effect in 2018 and put several changes into place in tax deductions for the self-employed, some of which are permanent and others which are temporary. The following are only some of the current deductions that may be available to you to help reduce your taxable income:

  • Self-employment tax deductions refer to Medicare and Social Security taxes self-employed people are required to pay
  • Home office deductions allow you to deduct the cost of any workspace used regularly and exclusively for business, the business percentage of deductible mortgage interest, home depreciation, utilities, and repairs if you own your home. Rent deductions are also available if you rent your office space outside of your home. 
  • Internet and phone bill deductions allow you to deduct the business portion of these expenses regardless of whether or not you claim home office deductions. 
  • Health insurance premiums deductions are available if you pay for your health insurance premiums and are not eligible to participate in a plan through your spouse’s employer.
  • Meal deductions are relevant when traveling for business, at a conference, or dining with clients. 
  • Travel deductions apply to business travel lasting longer than an ordinary workday, requiring rest, and taking place away from where your business is located. 
  • Retirement plan contributions deductions are available and help you build up tax-deferred investment gains for the future.

Tax credits such as the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit and the Research and Development Tax Credit are also available. It is important to review your deductions and credits every year in order to make your business as profitable as possible. Consider speaking to a financial professional to help you maximize your benefits while remaining compliant with tax laws.

How can I ensure financial security for myself and my family after retiring from my business?

Planning for a financially secure retirement is not solely about accumulating wealth, it also involves creating a reliable income stream in your post-working years. Many different strategies can be used to build your retirement income plan such as investments, annuities, and Social Security. Additionally, be sure to create your estate plan to ensure your wealth lasts beyond your lifetime and can contribute to your family’s financial security. Consider life insurance and disability insurance as an extra layer of protection in the case of unforeseen events. Sit down with your financial advisor to determine which options are best for you based on your personal retirement goals and your individual financial circumstances. 

How can I balance my personal financial goals with the financial needs of my business?

Balancing your personal goals with the needs of your business may be daunting, but it is essential to your (and your business’s) financial well-being. To begin your balancing act, set clear priorities for your personal finances while keeping your business’s financial needs in mind. Use these priorities to create a budget that accommodates both business and personal aspects of your life. Build an emergency fund into this budget to help take care of any unexpected expenses, whether they are personal or business-related. The most important part of budgeting is sticking to your budget! If you are struggling to establish or stay within your set budget, reach out to a financial advisor.

What steps should I take to prepare for audits or regulatory inspections?

Facing audits or regulatory inspections can be nerve-racking, but with proper records and a strong financial team, you can navigate them smoothly. The best approach involves maintaining accurate financial records and documentation to ensure transparency in your financial affairs. Keep receipts, bills, and records of any necessary communication on hand. Additionally, take time to understand relevant regulations and tax laws through your own research and professional financial guidance. By staying informed and organized, you can help avoid any accidental lack of compliance to mitigate regulatory headaches.

By seeking professional financial guidance as an entrepreneur, you can proactively address financial challenges and reap the long-term benefits of effectively managing your irregular income and retirement planning. At Blakely Financial we understand that running a successful entrepreneurial venture is challenging, and our team of financial advisors would love to see how we can support your entrepreneurial efforts. Contact us today to get started. 

 

Blakely Financial, Inc. is an independent financial planning and investment management firm that provides clarity, insight, and guidance to help our clients attain their financial goals. Engage with the entire Blakely Financial team at WWW.BLAKELYFINANCIAL.COM  to see what other financial tips we can provide towards your financial well-being.
Commonwealth Financial Network® or Blakely Financial does not provide legal or tax advice. You should consult a legal or tax professional regarding your individual situation.

Monstrous Money Mistakes

It may be the season of spooky haunts and horrors, but don’t let these monstrous money mistakes lead you to the financial graveyard!

Investment Zombies

Don’t neglect your investment strategies. Just like zombies mindlessly wander, not actively managing investments can lead to missed opportunities or poor performance, even for high earners. Revisit and reevaluate your investment portfolio periodically to be sure you are diversifying your investments and maximizing your returns. Talking to your financial advisor can help you avoid an investment zombie apocalypse.

Estate Planning Ghouls

Failing to create a comprehensive estate plan can haunt families after a high-earning individual passes away. This mistake can lead to unnecessary taxes, legal battles, and confusion over asset distribution. Meet with your financial professional to discuss the best estate planning options for you and your loved ones. Review your plan annually and make adjustments to reflect any life changes that may occur.

Lifestyle Vampire

This monstrous money mistake involves succumbing to lifestyle inflation. High earners might start spending excessively as their income rises, without properly considering the long-term impact on savings and investments. Don’t bite off more than you can chew with your spending.  It is crucial to find a balance between your desired lifestyle and your long-term financial goals and well-being to really enjoy life to the fullest. 

Debt Demons

Credit card ghouls, student loan specters, and mortgage monstrosities. Oh my! These debt demons come in many forms and can feel like never-ending financial nightmares if not managed properly. Be sure to explore interest rates and different repayment options to pay down your debt, and even consider refinancing your loans or mortgage to make payments more manageable. Utilizing a budget can help you do this more easily. Exorcize these debt demons and keep control of your financial future!

Budget Banshee

You’ll hear the eerie wails of the budget banshees if you neglect proper budgeting. The shrieks serve as haunting reminders of overspending, impulse purchases, debt, disorganized finances, and unexpected expenses. Create a budget unique to your financial situation by tracking your income and expenses and establishing your financial goals. Explore where you may be able to save and remain disciplined when it comes to your spending. Don’t forget to factor an emergency fund into your budgeting to cushion the impact of any unexpected financial shock! Evaluate your financial health routinely and adjust your budget accordingly to banish the budget banshees. 

If you need help battling these monstrous money mistakes, contact Blakely Financial today. 

 

Blakely Financial, Inc. is an independent financial planning and investment management firm that provides clarity, insight, and guidance to help our clients attain their financial goals. Engage with the entire Blakely Financial team at WWW.BLAKELYFINANCIAL.COM  to see what other financial tips we can provide towards your financial well-being.
Commonwealth Financial Network® or Blakely Financial does not provide legal or tax advice. You should consult a legal or tax professional regarding your individual situation.

Debunking 5 Common Financial Planning Myths

Did you know only 74% of Americans partake in financial planning and 90% of people say financial planning helped them achieve their savings goals? Financial planning is for everyone, regardless of income level, as it plays a major role in achieving financial security in the long run. These common financial planning myths often prevent people from engaging in financial planning, and we’re here to debunk them. 

Myth: It’s Too Late to Start Financial Planning

Don’t be fooled by this common financial planning myth – it’s never too late to begin financial planning! It is essential to recognize the power of starting now to ensure your financial security and well-being in the years to come. Even small steps can make a significant difference in achieving your financial goals, whether they are big or small. Talk to your financial advisor to begin your financial planning journey and see what steps you can take towards a secure future. 

Myth: Financial Planning is All About Investments

While having a diverse investment portfolio is a critical aspect of your financial plan, the financial planning process does not solely involve investments. In reality, it encompasses many elements including the following (and more): 

Work with your financial advisor to create a comprehensive plan based on your unique financial situation and goals. Utilize every tool in your financial toolbox to maximize your financial benefits long-term!

Myth: Financial Planning is Too Complicated

Financial planning can seem daunting, but your plan can be as simple or as complicated as you need it to be. You don’t need to be a financial expert with complex financial knowledge to create a basic financial plan! Simplify the process by breaking it down into more manageable steps. There are many resources and tools available for you to begin your plan, and financial advisors are here to assist you every step of the way. 

Myth: Financial Planning is Only for Retirement

Financial planning encompasses life as a whole, not just retirement. The process can yield results important to various life stages and goals such as paying for education, buying a home, family vacations, or even simply financial security. Set short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals, and use your comprehensive financial plan to meet these objectives. 

Myth: Financial Planning Guarantees Wealth

During the financial planning process, it is important to have realistic expectations for yourself and your finances. A financial plan can significantly improve financial well-being, but it does not guarantee instant wealth. By setting realistic and achievable financial goals, you have the opportunity to build your wealth over time. 

A financial advisor can significantly improve your financial planning process and help you lay your path to achieving your financial goals and securing your financial future. Contact Blakely Financial today to get started. 

 

Blakely Financial, Inc. is an independent financial planning and investment management firm that provides clarity, insight, and guidance to help our clients attain their financial goals. Engage with the entire Blakely Financial team at WWW.BLAKELYFINANCIAL.COM  to see what other financial tips we can provide towards your financial well-being. Commonwealth Financial Network® or Blakely Financial does not provide legal or tax advice. You should consult a legal or tax professional regarding your individual situation.
Blakely Financial Market Update Image (1)

January Market Update 2023

Join Steve LaFrance, CFP® with Blakely Financial as he updates you on the last month in 3 minutes.

Blakely Financial, Inc. is an independent financial planning and investment management firm that provides clarity, insight, and guidance to help our clients attain their financial goals.
Engage with the entire Blakely Financial team at WWW.BLAKELYFINANCIAL.COM to see what other financial tips we can provide towards your financial well-being.
Commonwealth Financial Network® or Blakely Financial does not provide legal or tax advice. You should consult a legal or tax professional regarding your individual situation. Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser.
Financial Wellness Month – Time to Review, Learn & Plan

Financial Wellness Month – Time to Review, Learn & Plan

Financial wellness month is the perfect time to take a look at your savings plans and learn new ways to be financially independent. Even if you are satisfied with your current level of financial knowledge, there is always more to learn! Take some time this month to look into a certain aspect of financial wellness you are curious about or think you could improve upon. Here are some of our top tips to help you on your path to financial freedom! 

Improve Your Knowledge

If you have been curious about certain aspects of financial wellness, there are hundreds of great books out there that can answer all your questions. Freakonomics takes a sociological approach to financial thinking and examines the ways in which you can apply economic rationale to your everyday life. Though this book does not provide specific tips for saving and spending, it may change the way you think about wealth and the economy overall. Think and Grow Rich is perhaps the single most popular piece of motivational literature there is. This book examines the most successful people of all time in an attempt to answer the question “what makes a winner?”. Though the title “Think and Grow Rich” may imply that it is all about money, the book instead focuses on the self-confidence required to be successful, and how it can be learned and taught. 

In addition to reading books, there are also a myriad of online resources that can assist you in your research. The Blakely Financial blogs and newsletters contain tips on personal finance and investments to help you increase your financial savvy. Simply reading an article or two a day can increase your financial knowledge throughout the course of the month! 

Small Changes Add Up

Small changes can make a big impact on your finances! If attaining your goals feels like an impossible task, start small. Over time, your smart habits will become routine, and your ambitions will no longer feel out of reach. This can be done by limiting your takeout meals, canceling unused subscriptions, or even just buying generic brand items at the grocery store. These types of changes may feel overly frugal, but they can quickly add up to significant savings you can use on more important purchases and adventures later. 

Emergency Fund

One of the most important, but easily forgotten, aspects of a sound financial plan is an emergency fund. This money should be easily accessible, and significant enough to protect you from unexpected crises. Medical emergencies, car problems, and home repairs can severely affect your budget. Having cash set aside for such events will not only prepare you for the worst but decrease your stress level as you will be confident in your ability to handle anything life throws your way. 

Work with a Financial Advisor

Perhaps the best thing you can do for yourself this financial wellness month is to seek the advice of a professional. A trained financial advisor can build you a custom plan to guide you to your long-term financial goals. Please feel free to contact our team at Blakely Financial today to help get you started.

Blakely Financial, Inc. is an independent financial planning and investment management firm that provides clarity, insight, and guidance to help our clients attain their financial goals. Engage with the entire Blakely Financial team at WWW.BLAKELYFINANCIAL.COM  to see what other financial tips we can provide towards your financial well-being.
Commonwealth Financial Network® or Blakely Financial does not provide legal or tax advice. You should consult a legal or tax professional regarding your individual situation.
Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser.
10 Ways to Help Yourself Stay Calm During a Volatile Market

10 Ways to Help Yourself Stay Calm During a Volatile Market

Staying calm can be difficult when the market goes on one of its periodic roller-coaster rides. It’s useful to have strategies in place that prepare you both financially and psychologically to handle market volatility. Here are 10 ways to help keep yourself from making hasty decisions that could have a long-term impact on your ability to achieve your financial goals.

1. Have a game plan

Having predetermined guidelines that recognize the potential for turbulent times can help prevent emotion from dictating your decisions. For example, you might take a core-and-satellite approach, combining the use of buy-and-hold principles for the bulk of your portfolio with tactical investing based on a shorter-term market outlook. You also can use diversification to try to offset the risks of certain holdings with those of others. Diversification may not ensure a profit or protect against a loss, but it can help you understand and balance your risk in advance. And if you’re an active investor, a trading discipline can help you stick to a long-term strategy. For example, you might determine in advance that you will take profits when a security or index rises by a certain percentage, and buy when it has fallen by a set percentage.

2. Know what you own and why you own it

When the market goes off the track, knowing why you originally made a specific investment can help you evaluate whether your reasons still hold, regardless of what the overall market is doing. Understanding how a specific holding fits in your portfolio also can help you consider whether a lower price might actually represent a buying opportunity.

And if you don’t understand why a security is in your portfolio, find out. That knowledge can be particularly important when the market goes south, especially if you’re considering replacing your current holding with another investment.

3. Remember that everything is relative

Most of the variance in the returns of different portfolios can generally be attributed to their asset allocations. If you’ve got a well-diversified portfolio that includes multiple asset classes, it could be useful to compare its overall performance to relevant benchmarks. If you find that your investments are performing in line with those benchmarks, that realization might help you feel better about your overall strategy.

Even a diversified portfolio is no guarantee that you won’t suffer losses, of course. But diversification means that just because the S&P 500 might have dropped 10% or 20% doesn’t necessarily mean your overall portfolio is down by the same amount.

4. Tell yourself that this too shall pass

The financial markets are historically cyclical. Even if you wish you had sold at what turned out to be a market peak, or regret having sat out a buying opportunity, you may well get another chance at some point. Even if you’re considering changes, a volatile market can be an inopportune time to turn your portfolio inside out. A well-thought-out asset allocation is still the basis of good investment planning.

5. Be willing to learn from your mistakes

Anyone can look good during bull markets; smart investors are produced by the inevitable rough patches. Even the best investors aren’t right all the time. If an earlier choice now seems rash, sometimes the best strategy is to take a tax loss, learn from the experience, and apply the lesson to future decisions. Expert help can prepare you and your portfolio to both weather and take advantage of the market’s ups and downs. There is no assurance that working with a financial professional will improve investment results.

6. Consider playing defense

During volatile periods in the stock market, many investors re-examine their allocation to such defensive sectors as consumer staples or utilities (though like all stocks, those sectors involve their own risks and are not necessarily immune from overall market movements). Dividends also can help cushion the impact of price swings.

7. Stay on course by continuing to save

Even if the value of your holdings fluctuates, regularly adding to an account designed for a long-term goal may cushion the emotional impact of market swings. If losses are offset even in part by new savings, your bottom-line number might not be quite so discouraging.

If you’re using dollar-cost averaging — investing a specific amount regularly regardless of fluctuating price levels — you may be getting a bargain by buying when prices are down. However, dollar-cost averaging can’t guarantee a profit or protect against a loss. Also consider your ability to continue purchases through market slumps; systematic investing doesn’t work if you stop when prices are down. Finally, remember that the return and principal value of your investments will fluctuate with changes in market conditions, and shares may be worth more or less than their original cost when you sell them.

8. Remember your road map

Solid asset allocation is the basis of sound investing. One of the reasons a diversified portfolio is so important is that strong performance of some investments may help offset poor performance by others. Even with an appropriate asset allocation, some parts of a portfolio may struggle at any given time. Timing the market can be challenging under the best of circumstances; wildly volatile markets can magnify the impact of making a wrong decision just as the market is about to move in an unexpected direction, either up or down. Make sure your asset allocation is appropriate before making drastic changes.

9. Look in the rear-view mirror

If you’re investing long-term, sometimes it helps to take a look back and see how far you’ve come. If your portfolio is down this year, it can be easy to forget any progress you may already have made over the years. Though past performance is no guarantee of future returns, of course, the stock market’s long-term direction has historically been up. With stocks, it’s important to remember that having an investing strategy is only half the battle; the other half is being able to stick to it. Even if you’re able to avoid losses by being out of the market, will you know when to get back in? If patience has helped you build a nest egg, it just might be useful now, too.

10. Take it easy

If you feel you need to make changes in your portfolio, there are ways to do so short of a total makeover. You could test the waters by redirecting a small percentage of one asset class to another. You could put any new money into investments you feel are well-positioned for the future, but leave the rest as is. You could set a stop-loss order to prevent an investment from falling below a certain level, or have an informal threshold below which you will not allow an investment to fall before selling. Even if you need or want to adjust your portfolio during a period of turmoil, those changes can — and probably should — happen in gradual steps. Taking gradual steps is one way to spread your risk over time, as well as over a variety of asset classes.

Remember that while they’re sound strategies, diversification, asset allocation, and dollar-cost averaging can’t guarantee a profit or eliminate the possibility of loss. All investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal, and there can be no guarantee that any investing strategy will be successful. If you need further assistance in remaining calm during a volatile market, contact Blakely Financial and we will talk you through it.

 

This material has been provided for general informational purposes only and does not constitute either tax or legal advice. Although we go to great lengths to ensure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult a tax preparer, professional tax advisor, or lawyer.

Engage with the entire Blakely Financial team at WWW.BLAKELYFINANCIAL.COM to see what other financial tips we can provide towards your financial well-being.

Blakely Financial, Inc. is an independent financial planning and investment management firm that provides clarity, insight, and guidance to help our clients attain their financial goals.

Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser.