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Bond Funds – Why do I want them?

Rates are rising, bond fund values are dropping. Why would I want any bond funds in my portfolio? This is a question often asked by clients. I explain that bond funds are the ballast to the boat to keep your portfolio from violent swings up and downs that stocks often can see.
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When something sounds too good to be true….

None of us like to lose money. All of us want a guarantee.  But watch what you fall for in trying to limit losses and agree to something that your gut might be saying "Beware."  Throughout my career as a financial planner, I have seen too many clients not follow their gut instinct. We all want to trust people and often we don't trust ourselves. 
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Volatility is normal (and good in the long-term)

Volatility is normal (and good in the long-term)The recent volatile markets have certainly caused many to worry and begin to second guess their investment choices and risk tolerances.  This is a perfectly normal reaction to the first noticeable market drops since March 2020.  The 5-10% declines in various indexes are perfectly normal for markets that have experience outpaced growth over the last several years.  Unfortunately, there is only so long that this can last.
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Scrooge or Tiny Tim – Where do you stand?

The holidays are upon us. Halloween is around the corner and Thanksgiving and Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza are next. Auditions for a community play last night for a Christmas Carol, made me start thinking of what it means to be charitable. Have you made any charitable donations of time or money this year? Is it something on your financial goal list?
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Road trips and Barbeque

I just came back from a road trip from Georgia to Kansas City and back. With Covid causing travel restrictions, many are finding travel across the U.S. to be the answer. We went to visit a client and friend in Kansas City and while there were able to attend the World Series of Barbeque competition. I learned about burnt ends which are very good, and I wish I saw them on the menus at home. My doctor may not wish that though.
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Read this book, More Straight Talk On Investing by Jack Brennan

In his Afterword, Brennan gives you a 12-point list of what he considers are the book's most important principles.  As in all things, you can read the list but to be successful, you will need to understand it and have the discipline to put it into practice.  I feel Brennan's list is right on target and something we try to help our clients here at Family First Financial Planning.
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Healthcare Options – I must sit down as getting dizzy!

Depending upon your age, you may be covered under employer health insurance, have a standalone policy through affordable care, or you are on Medicare. Or perhaps you are a gambler and have no insurance. It is important to review your options and make the decision which is right for you.
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Fiduciary – What Does This Mean?

One may have seen the word "fiduciary" in the news or even on our website. What does this word mean and why is it important to you? As a recent article (Kiplinger.com, "Is Your Financial Planner Acting in Your Best Interest?") states "At a high level, the term “fiduciary” means to always put the client’s interest first. When working with a financial adviser, many people assume that’s always the case. However, that’s not always true.
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Death and Taxes - Why Estate Planning is Important

As Ben Franklin wrote, "But in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." While we are in the midst of tax season, I would like to talk about death today.  It is not a pleasant topic and I know many who would just like to avoid the discussion. However, as a financial planner, I must often bring this topic up.  Where do you stand with estate planning? Do you have documents prepared? Have you looked at the documents recently?
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