Author Archives: Claire Harrison

Claire Harrison
Claire Harrison is a Campaign Manager at blooom. A high-fiver, thinker, and coffee drinker, Claire loves the Oxford comma and clean design. She’s werkin’ hard to help people learn about their retirement savings and how easy blooom is to use.

Market downturn? Think, “Stocks on sale!”

In recent years, investors have grown accustomed to seeing their savings grow at some impressive clips and have seemingly forgotten that markets go up and down by nature. We drown in news about what the negatives could be, but we’re here to help you through it. Here are some items to help you become an expert shopper.

Tips on shopping…

  1. Make a list.
    Never go to the grocery store hungry. Make a plan and stick to it. You wouldn’t normally just show up to a random store and wander aimlessly throwing money about. Saving and investing are similar – there’s a lot of distractions and having a plan when you’re in a solid frame of mind will help you when things get hectic.
  2. Read product reviews.
    You would never jump into a big purchase without reading the reviews to figure out which product is best for you. Savings vehicles, whether your 401k, HSA, 529, you name it, could benefit you in different ways. So do a little research before you start dumping your hard earned dollars into a new account. OR just hop into your blooom account and chat with one of our experts. We’re here to help you make the best decision for your situation.
  3. Stock up while supplies last!
    When the markets drop, think of it as a sale on savings! It’s a great time to consider whether you’re contributing enough to your 401k and other savings accounts. If your debt is under control, and you can afford to put away a few more dollars… a downturn may be the time to do it!
  4. Read the manual.
    You get the most out of a new gadget when you know how it works. Here’s the quick start guide: Stocks go up. Stocks go down. Repeat. Understanding how the market operates can help you make the most of it in the long run. Taking advantage of “sales “ can help you get the most out of your savings and not panic when things seem to be going haywire.

 

 

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November 2018 PastCast

Mostly Cloudy With a Glimmer of Sunshine

While the market remained bumpy at times, US stocks ended the month up slightly from where they ended October (down almost double digits). While the sun began to peak through the clouds slightly last month in the US, overseas markets continued to lag behind. Globally, stocks remain in the negative for the most part, with US stocks coming in slightly positive… but nowhere near the returns investors were bragging about at the dinner table last Thanksgiving.

 

Holiday shopping season is upon us, but as you’re planning to check gifts off your list this year, remember that the stock market tends to have several big sales every year too. While October wasn’t fun and November wasn’t great either, there are still great opportunities out there.

 

It can’t rain forever.

Market corrections can seem ominous, but remember, the occasional rain shower is necessary for your flower to grow. Also, this cloud isn’t lingering on your flower only! Most of the world is living with the same weather pattern. So put on those rain boots and make the best of these gloomier stock market days. Read more about how we’re approaching unpredictable markets here.

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How to Make the Most of Your 401k in 2018

2018 is coming to an end… are you making the most of your hard earned 401k dollars? Blooom breaks down the best ways to make the most of your existing company-sponsored retirement plan in 3 easy steps. Just ask yourself…

1. Does your employer match?

Contribute enough to get the full match! It’s essentially free money.

2. Can you max out?

2018 max contribution is $18.5k (below 50 years old), increasing to $19k in 2019. Savers above 50 have higher contribution limits.

3. Are you making the most of your funds?

See if you’re properly diversified… try blooom’s free analysis.

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It’s now free to freeze your credit.

Did you know that it’s now free to freeze and protect your credit at all the major credit bureaus? Equifax, Experian and TransUnion allow you to take the precautionary measure to freeze your credit to prevent fraudulent activity. So if you don’t plan on opening any new lines of credit in the near future, you may want to put yours on lockdown!

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Why does rocking the vote rock the markets?

Politics…not exactly a “safe” subject to be writing about in this polarized atmosphere we currently live in, but with the 2018 midterm election just about behind us, now is as good of a time as any to discuss a very common question/concern we’ve been hearing from clients on both sides of the political spectrum. Clients often ask:

“With the election coming up, how will the results impact my returns?”

 

First and foremost, a quick and very important reminder that blooom manages retirement accounts. The investments in which are determined based on your age and how far away you are from retirement. The closer to retirement you are, the less a stock market reaction to an election will impact your retirement account balance. But for the vast majority of blooom clients that are decades away from retiring and have significant exposure to U.S. stocks – no matter the results, markets movements in either direction will likely be reflected in your retirement account balance, for better or worse.

 

That being said, let’s talk about that question because it’s an important one and it’s what is on nearly every investor’s mind right now.

 

Neither party knows how the elections will affect returns.

October was bad one for stocks, with the S&P 500 dropping over 10% from all-time highs set in September. A lot of this can be attributed to the uncertainty of the midterm election and what it could mean for the economy and the stock market going forward. The stock market does not like uncertainty, but this is not something new by any means. The lead up to any election is often accompanied by increased stock market swings, both up and down. Historically, we’ve seen that the period following elections has, on average, been a positive one for stocks. But remember, that is an average. What actually happens this time is truly anyone’s guess.  

 

Why worry this time?

The truth is we tend to always think that this next election is different or more important than any other and we very easily seem to forget that political uncertainty and polarization are nothing new to the stock market. Wars, political scandals, terrorist attacks, you name it. We still don’t have a single example in our entire history of a market downturn that was not followed by a recovery, and often a robust one. So why worry this time? There is very little this market hasn’t experienced already at some point in the past and we know that no matter which party is in power, the impact on the stock market is not measurably different in a way that should influence any change in a long-term investment strategy.

 

You know what happens when you assume…  

Elections often provide us with fantastic examples of the reasons why attempting to guess or make short-term return assumptions (market timing) is one of the worst things you can do to yourself and your future when it comes to your investments. No matter what the market does in the month or months following this election, a simple chart dating back all the way to 1896 can show us why it truly doesn’t matter one bit. We often tell clients that it’s not a matter of timING the market, but instead time IN the market that makes the biggest difference in the end.

 

Source: https://www.oppenheimerfunds.com/investors/article/mid-terms

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