With Labor Day weekend behind us, we are in the home stretch for 2017. Hard to imagine, I realize, but September and October are prime deliverables time. What that means for our readers is that you should ensure their retirement plan is sound. You should also verify that your portfolio matches your plan – rebalancing. Finally, you should stay alert for opportunities.
The Home Stretch: Keep disciplined, have a plan and stick with it.
If there is one drum we beat consistently here it is that you need to have a retirement plan and you need to stick with it. You cannot chase the deal of the day. You cannot panic when things go sour. Be consistent and it will pay dividends over time. Now, sequencing risk remains a valid concern. Right around your retirement date (before and after) you cannot afford a major setback. So, your plan should account for this by dialing back aggressiveness or dialing up diversification here. One element of retirement planning we have not touched upon before is timing. This is an interesting piece for the many approaching that decision point. When should you retire? Consult this checklist of questions.
The Home Stretch: Will markets ever correct?
One important variable these days, especially for those around their retirement date, is the potential for a correction. The tremendous bull run since the 2009 bottom has generated a lot of market growth … and paper profits. This situation begs more for the diversification approach than anything else. With proper offsets in your portfolio you should cushion any adverse impact of a stock market correction, for instance. One thing we often discuss is the need to be more aggressive than you think in retirement. Since we live longer and costs, especially healthcare, are rising, old adages don’t hold up any longer. How to Balance Investment Risk and Reward in Retirement Advisor sentiment is trending downward now Risk Tolerance Falls as Correction Fears Rise
The Home Stretch: Some ideas to consider as you constantly evaluate your portfolio.
So, what ways are there out in the market to help enhance your long-term performance? We often talk about top dividend stocks as providing good total returns. You tend to see the occasional article about dividend stocks. It is important to note that any given article, on its own, may not be genius, but the authors we pick tend to have good reasoning. 5% Plus Dividend Yield Portfolio: Catching Fallen Angels and Falling Knives is a good example. While current year performance has not been stellar, cash flows have. Similarly, here are a series of articles that outline a coherent dividend strategy. Buying Stocks for a Dividend Growth Portfolio While you may not like everything in here, you will like the education you get. Maybe this is the right answer for a portion of your portfolio 5% or 10% say. In the end, food for thought.
The Home Stretch: Something to lighten things up for those in Hurricane zones.
What better escape than a NASA probe? Cassini’s Last Photos Will Be Spectacular
What a week it has been, clearly it is time to focus, focus, focus. Donald Trump won the election by promising a whole lot of things. Not much of this has been done, one might argue none of it. Boy has there been controversy, though. Whether you agree that media reports and hearsay trump first person accounts from General McMaster or not, Congressional Democrats and the media will not let the latest story go. All this smoke seems to mean that any progress you were hoping for on taxes, healthcare, jobs, or any other important area of focus for the government is not likely to happen any time soon. That’s why you and I need to focus, focus, focus on what we can control. Sadly, this seems to be a theme of late because there is a never-ending stream of scandals or wanna be scandals. Don’t fall for it, wait for the process to work. Did you notice the reporting on Seth Rich and Wikileaks? http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/05/16/family-slain-dnc-staffer-seth-rich-blasts-detective-over-report-wikileaks-link.html Here, too, sensitivity to the nature of the underlying evidence produced – in both these cases none – is paramount, and the lack of actual evidence reinforces our topic today: focus, focus, focus.
Focus, Focus, Focus: Have a plan and stick to it.
There are only so many drums we beat here to help you navigate your way to a comfortable retirement. One of those is to have a plan and stick to it. This article reinforces this notion, pointing out that investor behavior is a big driver in returns. Don’t get sidetracked by Washington, please. Up on Trump or in the dumps, don’t invest emotionally
In that vein, here is a nice tutorial on why it is important to have a plan and stick to it. The Most Important Rule in Investing
Another important thing, have the right expectations. With retirement savings so anemic in the US, ever increasing longevity and related healthcare costs … what do you expect? This is somewhat cutesy way of slapping you on the same old retirement notion. A personal finance writer explains what too many people get wrong about retirement
Focus, Focus, Focus: Another dose of dividend investing ideas to keep you thinking.
Yes, dividend stocks and ETFs may not be the sole component of your strategy, but the right ones can provide income and principal protection. Here are some interesting takes on the space right now: Not all Dividend Growth ETFs are Created Equal Great Dividend ETF to Simulate Dividend Yield of 21.5% and Recent Price Declines Make MORL Attractive Dividend Champions Everywhere Patience Leads to Great Dividend Growth
Markets remain a perplexing, challenging read and a dividend defense may not be the worst approach. The first thing you need to do is understand the environment. Whether you are in the accumulation phase or the distribution phase, dividend defense may be a good approach.
Dividend Defense: What are the risks you face today and how can you protect against them?
As you plan your retirement you have to be wary of myriad risks, and reliable dividend stocks can be a good way to insulate your portfolio through the cycles.
Let’s start by assessing the risks that can derail your retirement plan. 7 Dangers that Could Derail Your Retirement (and What to Do About Them) and 5 Silent Killers of a Financial Plan
Then, of course, there’s the truly defensive way of thinking. Seems like we have been waiting forever for the ‘other shoe to drop.’ It really has been a long run up since the debacle that was 2008/2009. Will it go on forever? Unlikely. Retirement Strategy: Do You Have What it Takes for the Next Major Correction? or Positioning a Portfolio Properly for Any Outcome
A quick word of caution: all signs point to passive investing as the way to go. Indeed this week Warren Buffett essentially endorsed the model saying: “ “ Two ways of looking at this, if markets are going to correct, indices go with them and how much of the market rise comes from the move to indexed products? Indexing Investment Strategy Becoming Increasingly More Risky? Not to mention, Monday Morning Memo: Is Capacity a New Restriction for the ETF Industry?
Dividend Defense: Using dividend stars to deliver returns or income and preserve capital
All too often we focus solely on the income aspects of dividend stocks. They are a great way to deliver income and preserve capital in the distribution phase. They are also a decent way to deliver returns and build basis in the accumulation phase. Regardless how you plan to utilize your dividend investments, fundamentally sound selection is the key. 15 Straight Dividend Hikes, Raised Guidance Again, Major Earnings Growth, 12% Upside or 10 Champion Dividend Dogs Said to Gain 7% – 22% by May 2018 or Dividend ETF to Retire On
Dividend Defense: Evolving political landscape aims to make self-determination easier.
No matter your opinion on where markets are heading or dividends as a tool, this is a good idea. TIAA, IRI Back Bill Requiring Retirement Plan Income Projections