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Continuum Insights

Good Financial Advice is for More People Than You Think

The basic premise of financial planning is to create a roadmap for your financial future, which includes setting goals, identifying risks and opportunities, and creating a plan of action to help you achieve your objectives. It's about making the most of your income, managing your expenses, and building wealth over time. These are all tasks that sound easy, but many times it’s these priorities that we push to the side because we’re too busy or we feel that since it’s long-term planning, it can wait. The saying “time waits for no one” comes to mind with this thought process. It’s never too early nor too late to address this.

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How I Analyze the Stock Market

At its core, TA is the study of supply and demand as expressed through price. Without needing to take an Econ 101 course, most people understand the basic idea of supply and demand. Where supply and demand meet, we arrive at what price gets paid at that moment in time for a stock, bond, commodity, etc. There are humans on both sides of the transaction, so the study of price also incorporates a lot of human behavior tendencies.

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How New Rules Have Potentially Made 529 Plans More Attractive

529 Plans are investment vehicles meant to help fund college education expenses. They allow parents (and others) to contribute to a plan in the name of a child with the intention that the money is used for education expenses in the future. Those dollars can be invested and grow tax free and distributions are tax fee if used for qualified expenses. One of the historical downsides of 529 plans is that if the child does not go to college, then distributions will be subject to income tax and potentially penalties. So one of the challenges parents faced was what if my child doesn’t go to college? The good news is that the rules have changed. Beginning January 1, 2024 unused 529 account funds may be transferred to a Roth IRA in the child’s name with no penalty.

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Silicon Valley Bank Explained

The banking system is built on trust, and things can get messy once that trust erodes. The government has taken steps to alleviate concerns about other similar banks, but nobody truly knows how this will play out, which can be unsettling. However, this is nothing like 2008 which saw our largest financial institutions with truckloads of bad loans on their books from making questionable lending decisions. This is not the first time something like this has happened, and it won’t be the last.

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Is the Stock Market Just Gambling?

Gambling is in vogue right now. Thanks to the increased prevalence of online betting, bettors wagered a staggering $16 Billion on Super Bowl 57. After a rough 2022 in financial markets, investors are finding it hard to tell the difference between their 401(k) and their online sportsbook account. I cringe whenever I hear somebody say that the stock market is like a casino. Sure, the green and red numbers and the up and down arrows make it *feel* like a casino, but there is one key difference (besides free drinks): the odds are easily in your favor with your investments.

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