Six Things to Think About for Year-End 2021

With yesterday’s 72 degree day (here in Maryland) behind us and today’s 40-ish degrees setting in, it’s a fierce reminder that winter is coming; and that means another calendar year is coming to a close. That said, there’s still time to warm up that financial plan and position yourself to finish out the year well.

With that in mind, we thought it would be helpful to send along six financial “best practices” to do just that:

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Waypoint Wealth Management

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Waypoint Wealth Management

Stimulus 2.0

What You Need to Know About Stimulus 2.0

After nearly six months of back-and-forth negotiations, and in response to the economic hardship that many Americans face from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Congress proposed a new, $900 billion relief package.

Many elements—like stimulus payments and PPP loans—will sound familiar from earlier this year.

However, debate surrounding certain provisions in the economic stimulus and relief package has intensified since it left Congress, and as of this posting, President Trump has yet to sign the bill.

Luckily, should it become law, few measures in the whopping 5,593-page bill require prompt action before the end of 2020. Nevertheless, extensive media coverage has prompted questions regarding how it will affect you and your family. To help offer some clarity, here’s a high-level breakdown of six important provisions in the bill you need to know about. > SEE MORE

Waypoint Wealth Management

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Waypoint Wealth Management

Which Path Would You Take?

“I don’t know…something just doesn’t feel right,” you mumble through your mask to your primary care doctor while sitting on the examination table under a flickering fluorescent light in a room decorated with anatomical charts and hand-sanitizer dispensers. After listening to your heart and your lungs, the doctor diagnoses your feelings of worry as a mild condition that is easily treatable but could become serious if a proper treatment regimen isn’t followed. The doctor gives two treatment plans: one coming from the New England Journal of Medicine and the other from a health magazine that can be purchased at your local convenience store. Which plan do you choose?

 

The health magazines are filled with tips and tricks, such as how to burn body fat, jump-start the body’s metabolic rate, and build immune system strength. And they might even work sometimes. If you want to choose the treatment plan with the highest odds of success, it might give you more confidence to know that the medical journal, and its recommendations, are based on decades of data collected from research studies performed by medical experts and peer-reviewed by the medical community.

We face the same decision when it comes to investing. > SEE MORE

Waypoint Wealth Management

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Waypoint Wealth Management

What Has Historically Followed A Time Like This?

Having patience can be challenging when recent downturns have occurred. But the reality is that some of the biggest innovations (and opportunities) arise out of difficult times. And when it comes to investing, all we have is what those opportunities might bring us in the future. This is why investing can be hard when focusing on short-term movements for your long-term retirement plan.

We can’t go back in time and change the past, but we can return to the evidence, and review what has occurred each time.  And while not perfect or any guarantee, we can put the odds in our favor to grow over time.

Our partners at Dimensional put this visual together (below) showing how returns have averaged coming out of downturns of -10%, -20%, and -30%. Please take a look as a reminder of how having a longer-term outlook has helped investors in times like these – to not only stay on course but also to be confident in what can lie ahead.  > SEE MORE

Waypoint Wealth Management

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Waypoint Wealth Management

How Is A Horror Movie Like The Economy And The Markets?

I am not a big fan of scary movies.  You know, the ones with the guy in the hockey mask or the girl with the head-spinning thing; that’s just not for me.  If I’m honest even just typing those words made me cringe at the memories of seeing those scenes.  But there’s an analogy going on between those films and the economy and the stock market.  Bear with me, and I’ll explain (hint: it’s not scary).

In those movies, there is a point in which you realize something really, really bad is about to happen.  It’s that “oh boy, this is going to be very terrifying” type of moment.  Physiologically, some people might experience an increase in heart rate, dryness of mouth, eyes watering or goosebumps.  The emotion known as fear is palpable, and we’re anticipating something but we have no idea what to expect.

Some would say (I can’t) that the best horror film keeps this feeling “alive” in you for as long as possible–drawing you in, and keeping you engaged and fearing the absolute worst.  Then there is that point that we’re let in.  We see the monster, or the face, or the ‘thing’ coming out of the TV and it’s in front of us.  It’s at this point that something begins to change.  It might be scary, but we know what we’re facing now–it’s in front of us, and there’s almost a sigh of relief as we begin to adapt to a new phase of the film.  Some might say “this isn’t really that bad” and the heart rate returns to a more normal pace and the goosebumps subside.  Things still need to be dealt with in the movie, but we at least know what we’re dealing with.

How are the economy and the stock market similar to this?  > SEE MORE

Pete Dixon, CFP®

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Pete Dixon, CFP®

Partner and Advisor