Apprise Wealth Management's Selected Readings for the Week of August 4, 2019

Personal Finance

August 5, 2019
Personal Finance

At Apprise Wealth Management, we want to help people make better decisions about money. We also read constantly and like sharing some of our favorite commentaries each week.

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Here are this week’s articles as well as a brief description of each:

1.   Student Loans: What You Need to Know. Unfortunately, many families have not saved enough money to pay the cost of having their children attend college. Given how much college costs these days, it is easy to see how this can happen. Oftentimes, students and/or parents must take out student loans to help pay college costs. There are two types of loans – federal and private (bank). No matter who you borrow money from, it will need to be repaid with interest. As a result, it is important to understand the different types of loans and how they work. With my second son’s first tuition bill expected to arrive any day, this is certainly a topic that’s near and dear to my heart.

2.   The Most Important Asset – of Dollars And Data. Since our lifespans are limited and no one grants us any extensions or do-overs, one can argue that time is our most important asset. When should you trade time for money? If you’re considerably younger than Warren Buffett (87), would you consider trading your youth for his fame and fortune? I suspect just about everyone would say no. I also share the author’s appreciation for the time each of you spends reading this blog each week as well as the related articles that interest you.

3.   Tax Rate Debate. If the vast majority of your retirement savings is in a 401(k) account or an IRA, it can make sense to convert a portion of those funds into a Roth IRA. While a “Roth Conversion” will cause you to pay taxes currently, it can save you money and make you wealthier over the long term. When working on a client’s financial plan, I point out there maybe windows of opportunity to complete Roth Conversions when the tax facts warrant it. If (like me) you think today’s tax rates are low, such a transaction could make even more sense. If you are interested in discussing the potential value of a Roth Conversion, please feel free to reach out.

4.  Why So Many of Us Don't Lose Weight When We Exercise. Have you had luck losing weight when you increased your exercise levels? If so, according to this study, you are in the minority. Past studies have shown that most men and women who begin new exercise routines lose only about 30%-40% as much weight as would be anticipated. According to the study, here is the problem: When we exercise more, we eat more. We often use a workout as a justification for eating a doughnut or some other sweet treat. If you really want to lose weight through exercise, it is still important to pay close attention to what you eat.

5.   Morningstar Tweaking Ratings to Emphasize Cost. As discussed in this article, in 2018, the asset-weighted expense ratio for U.S. open mutual funds (MFs) and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) fell about 6% from 2017. The expenses paid when investing limit returns. As a result, when evaluating funds for potential inclusion in client portfolios, fund expenses are an important consideration. Morningstar is well-known for its efforts to evaluate and rate MFs and ETFs. The firm’s heightened focus on underlying fund costs provides further support for the importance of limiting investment expenses when managing a portfolio. If you are interested in learning more about the types of fees investors pay, you can also read this blog post.

 

We hope you find the above posts valuable.If you would like to talk to us about financial topics including your investments, creating a financial plan, saving for college, or saving for your retirement, please complete our contact form, and we will be in touch. We can schedule a call, a virtual meeting via Zoom, or a meeting at Apprise Wealth Management's office in Northern Baltimore County.

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