Financial Advisor News

Piedmont, CA

Financial Advisor News

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Piedmont, CA

by: ALISON VAN DYKE

FIRST AND MAIN FINANCIAL

(510) 601-1935

Oakland, CA | East Bay; Which Factors Contribute to a Healthy Retirement?

Hi, I’m Erik Wolfers. I’m the founder and managing member of First & Main Financial. We’ve been helping clients get through retirement since 2001. Today I want to talk a little bit about a longevity; and this specifically pertains to when people are in retirement or their “golden years”.

I go to a continuing education conference every year, and this year I sat in on a talk with a gentleman from the Longevity Institute at Stanford in which he highlighted four factors that have been shown to contribute to a long and healthy life. I wanted to share them with you.

One is connectedness—it’s not good to be isolated when you get older. You want to have a certain number of people you connect with regularly, that you have deep meaningful relationships with. It doesn’t have to be a lot of people—I can’t remember what the magic number was, but it’s less than 10, possibly even less than 5, depending on a person’s personality.

Sleep is critical for everyone, especially when you get older—you need to get adequate sleep so that your body can restore itself; there’s a big wave these days of using breathing devices to help people make sure they get enough oxygen.

Activity when you get older is known as a good for everyone in health and life. You need to be active and it doesn’t necessarily have to be super vigorous activity—but people need to get up and move and move regularly and go for walks, that kind of a thing.

The last thing is sitting. Sitting has been shown to shorten people’s lives if they do it too much.

So again this was research from Stanford and I’m sure there is other great information out there. The Stanford Longevity Institute is good resource. I wanted to share because if you spend your whole life saving money and generating good investment returns, you want to have a good life once you are able to not work anymore.

If you are looking for some financial guidance; whether for a one time financial plan or continuing advice on your investments, we invite you to meet with a First & Main Financial planner for a free consultation. We would be more than happy to sit down with you, assess your situation and review our services to help navigate your financial future.

Oakland, CA | Piedmont; Financial Planning and the Emotions of an Inheritance

Hi, I’m Erik Wolfers. I’m the founder and managing member of First & Main Financial. We’ve been helping clients get good outcomes with their personal finances since 2001. We operate as fiduciaries, where our only objective is to do what’s best for our clients and help them get the best outcome depending on their circumstances and the preferences.

Today, I want to talk a little bit about inheritance. Periodically we have people come to us who have inherited money and it’s an interesting human dilemma—people sometimes have different emotions, different feelings about getting money from someone who they love, and there always seems to be a kind of natural confusion about the taxability.

If you inherit something that was a taxable asset, something sitting in a living trust possibly or a piece of real estate, you get a step-up in basis. Whatever the cost of the asset was to the person who originally acquired it, when they pass it to you, the cost is now the current cost. It can be sold without any taxable gain or any tax consequences to person inheriting the money. Life insurance is also tax free.

We get a lot of clients who inherit retirement accounts and there’s confusion about what to do with those kinds of accounts. Mostly clients open up what’s called an inherited IRA or beneficiary IRA and the assets go into that account. They can take all the money out if they like, and the withdrawal will be fully taxable as income on their taxes.

The rules have recently changed with IRAs. It used to be you could spread the distributions out over your lifetime if you wanted to take it out slowly as possible. Now it has to be taken out within 10 years. But you don’t have to take any out until the 10th year, thus allowing the money to grow and also avoiding any tax consequence of pulling the money out on an annual basis.

We’ve been through it a lot with our clients. We understand that it can be a confusing time and a stressful time with respect to making decisions, or how to feel about the money for those who have inherited it. But it can be made very simple if you’re getting help from someone who has your best interest at heart. It can be a painless process and hopefully a lot of good can come from it.

If you are looking for some financial guidance; whether for a one time financial plan or continuing advice on your investments, we invite you to meet with a First & Main Financial planner for a free consultation. We would be more than happy to sit down with you, assess your situation and review our services to help navigate your financial future.

Oakland, CA | Piedmont; Managing Tech Volatility with Your Financial Planner

Hi, I’m Eric Wolfers. I’m the founder and managing member of First & Main Financial. We’ve been helping clients realize their financial goals since 2001. We only ever operate in the best interest of our clients and to the highest fiduciary standard. There is a written fiduciary standard, but there are people that operate at a higher level of ethics, so we always encourage people to work with someone that’s like us—if they don’t want to work with us.

Today I want to talk a little bit about current events in the market. I spoke not too long ago about a small dominant set of stocks that are making the most money in the stock market right now. Brand name firms that are generating a tremendous amount of profit. There’s been a lot of interest in those stocks lately and they recently have been driven up a lot and price.

It’s been an interesting pattern because when the market dropped at the most rapid rate ever back in March of this year because of the global pandemic, people wanted the pain to end, they wanted to be out of the market. When it rebounded, people couldn’t believe that it rebounded that fast and then they wanted to be out of the market. I would say as of late we’ve gotten in a little bit of a bubble phase where everybody wants to be in the market, especially in the brand name tech stocks.

It’s unlikely that most firms will hold dominant position forever and generate the profits that they do at the rate they do. We’ve had an interesting cycle this year of greed and fear, or vacillation between greed and fear. I got a call yesterday from someone disappointed because tech stocks were down strong and it was hurting and that’s the risk of trying to jump in at what might be the end of a cycle, where there’s been tremendous demand for a certain set of stocks. This is how you lose money; things have gone too far too fast and you’re in a little bit of a bubble environment, you jump in right at the end and it hurts when you lose money.

We always think of investing in terms of decades, or the relevant time frame for somebody’s life depending on how old they are. If you’re invested in a diversified fashion, you should not lose money. You should be in a position where you have enough liquidity to ride out market volatility so that you never actually sustain losses in the stock market.

Be careful of greed and fear and know how long you’re Investing for and why—and know the things that you’re invested in.

We have clients who are competent investors but they just don’t want to watch it, or have their emotions pulled around by feeling like they’re responsible for the choices inside of their accounts. We’re happy to talk with you and we’re taking on new clients all the time. If you are looking for some financial guidance; whether for a one time financial plan or continuing advice on your investments, we invite you to meet with a First & Main Financial planner for a free consultation. We would be more than happy to sit down with you, assess your situation and review our services to help navigate your financial future.

Oakland CA | East Bay; Managing Credit and Using a System for Budgeting Expenses

Hi, I am Erik Wolfers. I’m the Managing Member of First Main Financial. We’ve been helping our clients live healthy financial lives since 2001. Today I want to talk a little bit about a term I coined for one of my clients—that I’ve since use more with other clients called, “the system.” This is related to budgeting, but it’s just a simple financial planning concept.

If you set up your financial life so that you’re saving enough money (and that might be just a retirement savings, or depending on your goals and circumstances, you may want to save additionally into taxable Investments) according to the calculations for your circumstances, the concept is then: extracting enough money from the system to meet your future needs.

Once you remove the money from your system you can spend the rest of your money and then not worry so much about it, not worried about your budget necessarily.

I’ve talked a little bit in the past about the concept of using a credit card or even two credit cards and splitting your billing cycle to be paying your credit cards twice a month to even your cash flow. However, if you put a lot of stuff on your credit card, whether it’s bills or just regular spending like groceries or eating out, whatever it is you spend money on—if you spend too much on your credit card one month, hopefully you have a source, like equity in your house or a cash reserve to pay it down.

This can be feedback that, “boy last month was too big” and then next month or the following month needs to be a lot smaller, and that way you kind of narrowed down your budgeting or you’re spending to just one thing—your credit card.

Of course, you don’t want to carry a balance on your credit card, so if you don’t have cash reserves or equity in your house to pay down over-spending on a credit card, then you need to modify your spending and monitor it. It takes a little practice and it takes some monitoring, but with this system approach, where you extract enough for future needs, whether it’s college or retirement or some other kind of a goal, then you can make things relatively simple.

We’re happy to have conversations with prospective client or existing client about creating a system for themselves that makes sense and that they’re comfortable with.

One another type of system that we do for clients when they’re in retirement is to manage their money and get money to them on a monthly basis so they have a paycheck. They just get paid monthly just like they did when they worked. Where the money comes from inside of their portfolio, they leave that up to us. If they need one-time spending bumps, that can be worked in as well. It’s simply another kind of a system for once you’ve retired, so that you can just enjoy your life and spend all the money that comes to you—or all the money that’s available once all the math and the other details have been worked out.

If you are looking for some financial guidance; whether for a one time financial plan or continuing advice on your investments, we invite you to meet with a First & Main Financial planner for a free consultation. We would be more than happy to sit down with you, assess your situation and review our services to help navigate your financial future.

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BIO: At First & Main Financial, Alison Van Dyke helps clients with their financial lives. She has worked in Corporate Finance for Bank of America and Chase Manhattan Bank. Alison is pursuing the CFP® certification; she received her MBA at Georgetown and her B.A. in Political Science from UCLA.

235 Wildwood Avenue,
Piedmont, CA 94610, USA

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BIO: At First & Main Financial, Alison Van Dyke helps clients with their financial lives. She has worked in Corporate Finance for Bank of America and Chase Manhattan Bank. Alison is pursuing the CFP® certification; she received her MBA at Georgetown and her B.A. in Political Science from UCLA.