Helpful information for first-time investors
We’re here to help first-time investors navigate the often-confusing options of investing. At the Millstone Evans Group, our approach centers on a personal touch that focuses on removing the barriers to financial planning that many often experience. We do whatever it takes to make sure our clients feel very comfortable in a world that doesn’t often feel comfortable. Our personalized, realistic planning approach helps you think through all your options in an easy, jargon-free way that, unlike with many investment advisor firms, you’ll find personable and relatable.
The financial choices you make in your 20s, 30s and 40s have a tremendous impact on the options you will have in your 50s and beyond. We can be your guide. We help you make smart choices at every life stage, while keeping an eye on long-term goals.
We’ll help you create an initial financial plan that considers your life goals at every age – including potential retirement. We’ll update the plan with you every five years and at major transition points.Smart Strategies That We Will Review With You In Greater Detail
As soon as you start working, start saving in a retirement plan. The younger you are, the more benefit you will receive from a Roth IRA or 401(k). The money you save in a Roth IRA will never be taxed again, and you will have decades of earning compounding returns ahead. Even a small annual savings can have a big impact over time. If your employer offers a retirement plan with a match, make sure you contribute enough to receive the full match – it is part of your compensation. If you are self-employed, there are many good options as well. Increase your contribution every year. If you change jobs, keep the retirement savings invested – do not pull it out and spend it. As soon as you can, in your early 30s at the latest, get disability insurance.
If you decide to become a parent, get life insurance that goes at least through your child’s or children’s college years. Open a 529 college savings plan, but prioritize retirement savings. Visit with an estate planning attorney and put a plan in place that addresses your wishes and protects your family.
As your career advances, make sure you understand all the benefits your company offers and how you can best take advantage of them. If you are self-employed, there may be new options worth considering.
We’ll make a detailed financial plan as you enter your 50s that maps out your baseline scenario of how you envision your future.
We start with an initial conversation about your current situation and future goals: cash flow, investments, timelines, challenges and goals. The planning process will proceed in stages and will generally be completed in four to six weeks. We will ask you to provide specific information to us, and for that reason, this is the stage that requires more of your time than any other. However, it is the only time in the process that will take a significant time commitment from you. We estimate two or three hours of your time will be sufficient. Once we receive the information we need, we can complete your plan with only occasional questions along the way.
The results will give you a road map to follow while you have plenty of time ahead to make any adjustments needed. Going forward, updating and testing the plan can help you make decisions that have major financial impact.
Other Important Financial Actions
If possible, max out retirement savings vehicles available to you. Thoroughly understand all the benefits your company offers and make sure you are taking the best possible advantage of them. Review your investment portfolio and consider whether the risk level and expected return needs to be adjusted. Become educated about long-term care insurance and strongly consider purchasing this coverage. Review and update your estate planning documents, including financial and healthcare powers of attorney and your living will.
As soon as you decide when you will go part time, take a job with lower compensation or fully retire, we’ll update the financial plan and your portfolio.
We will update your financial plan with all relevant data for the imminent change and test for success. We’ll determine when you will need to start drawing an income from your investments and add some protective measures to your portfolio about one year to six months in advance:
- We will make sure you have one full year of needed withdrawals liquid and available.
- We will reserve a second full year of needed withdrawals in a short-term bond fund or CD.
- We will examine the income stream your portfolio is producing with a goal that the income will be roughly half of the planned one-year withdrawals.
- We will discuss the overall asset allocation as well to make sure it is appropriate for you during this major transition.
Every investor's situation is unique, and you should consider your investment goals, risk tolerance and time horizon before making any investment. All investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss regardless of strategy selected. Prior to making any investment decision, you should consult with your financial advisor about your individual situation. This example is for illustrative purposes only. Individual cases will vary. Any information is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision and does not constitute a recommendation.