Warren Buffet Retirement Planning Rules: What Would Warren Buffet Do?
Everyone can learn some valuable lessons from Warren Buffet, arguably the most successful investor of all time. Buffet has two strict rules about investing that anyone would find, well, frustratingly simplistic. The first – “don’t lose money,” and the second – “don’t forget rule number one.” But for Buffet, winning can only happen in the stock market. Obviously, when your money sits in low yielding savings accounts it is impossible to win. In fact, if your money is earning below two percent interest, you lose each day to inflation. Over a twenty year period, your dollars are worth just a fraction of what they were.
For Financial Planning Success Consider the Impact of Behavioral Finance
The success or failure of a financial plan is driven by a variety of possible influences. Factors like the right rate of savings, good investment selection, and careful risk management are all important and commonly recognized as elements of a high quality plan. Going a step further and incorporating a well thought out estate plan can turn a good plan into a great plan.
But what can sabotage a plan? The obvious answers, like not saving enough or poor diversification of course apply. In spite of these apparent risks, financial planning can be like an iceberg, where much of the danger sits below the waterline. It is the hidden aspects of our own decisions that represent the greatest risk to the success of a financial plan, yet most of us remain unaware of the common flaws in financial decision making that tend to undermine even the best laid plans.
Investors Beware: The Media Noise can be Deafening
Most people would argue that living in a digital world, with instant access to an endless stream of information has made us smarter and more self-empowered than past generations. Investors believe that it has “leveled the playing field”, enabling them to make investment decisions based on the same information once only available to the investment pros. The incessant quest for information has reached such a fever pitch that the media outlets, including the cable channels, print media, and now the blogosphere, are churning out content 24/7, and it still isn’t enough to satiate peoples’ ravenous appetite for information. So, it’s all good? WRONG.
Are Alternative Investments Right For Your Portfolio?
In recent years it would be difficult to read any financial newspaper or website without seeing headlines about “alternative investments”. This term is rarely defined by media accounts but seems to encompass hedge funds, private equity, infrastructure investments, as well as real estate.
While a common definition of alternative investments continues to prove elusive it’s probably fair to say that alternative investments tend to be less regulated, less liquid, and less transparent than most stock and bond funds available to individual investors.
What You Need to Know About Social Security
Social Security was never intended to be an income source that could support you in retirement. Rather, its sole purpose was to provide a safety net for people who were unable to accumulate sufficient retirement savings. For more than seven decades, the majority of Americans never gave much thought to their Social Security benefits – it was nothing more than a box they checked when it was time to collect. Today, an increasing number of people are starting to pay attention to their benefits, and Social Security Planning is becoming a vital element in securing a lifetime income.
After several years of wallowing in financial upheaval caused by a severe recession and financial crisis, Americans are, once again, looking to the future. A renewed confidence has many people setting their sights on long term goals that, just a few years ago, may have seemed out of reach. However, as too many people have painfully learned, simply having a long-term goal, whether it’s an early retirement or a college education for your children, is not enough to realize your ambition.
A financial goal is a life destination which requires a map and a way to get there; and, assuming you have finite resources with which to successfully make the trek, they need to be used wisely or you are likely to come up short. If you have a long term goal, financial planning can help you get there.
Seven Deadly Sins of Personal Finances Much is written on the “biggest financial mistakes” that people make with helpful tips for avoiding them. We’re used to seeing many common examples of how people can get themselves in trouble through certain activities, such as charging up credit cards, making minimum interest payments, buying cars new rather than used, not shopping auto insurance plans, etc. The list of common mistakes people make in their finances can fill a book, yet they are all rooted in the failure to adhere to the most basic rules of finance. If you follow these rules, you will be less likely to make the common mistakes. If you fail to follow the rules you will be committing one of the seven deadly sins of personal finance and the mistakes will likely follow.
Understanding Investment Risk All investors – be they conservative, moderate or aggressive – need to understand that the level of returns they expect to generate is directly related to the amount of risk they are willing to assume – the higher the return, the higher the amount of risk one needs to take. It probably doesn’t dawn on most people that, regardless of where you put your money, you assume some element of risk. For instance, if you focus solely on keeping your money safe from the possibility of loss, you risk not accumulating enough money to meet your goal. In this case, trying to avoid “market risk” increases your exposure to other types of risk, such as “inflation risk” or “longevity risk.”