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How Risk Tolerance Influences Your Financial Plan

This past year, market volatility prompted many investors to think about how much risk they’re willing to tolerate. An investor’s risk tolerance is how comfortable they are with potentially losing money in hopes of higher gains, depending on market performance. Whether or not last year has inspired a more aggressive or more conservative approach, investors should work with their advisor to align their risk tolerance with a comprehensive and personalized financial plan.

How is risk tolerance determined? The first step we utilize at Girard to establish risk tolerance is to have each client complete a questionnaire, so we can get a…


Benefits of Working with a Professional, Community-Based Trust Group

Part of any complete estate plan is the naming of a number of important positions. Whether that be a Guardian to raise your minor children, an Agent to act as your Power of Attorney when you cannot act for yourself, an Executor to administer your estate, or a Trustee who is charged with managing any trusts that you create as part of your overall plan; these are important decisions to make.

Some of these roles can be filled by a trusted individual (family member, friend, attorney, etc.), but the role of an Executor and Trustee may be best filled by…


Should You Get Out of Debt Before Entering Retirement?

Many people headed towards retirement are faced with endless “Should I?” questions: Should I move to a warmer climate or stay closer to family? Should I take Social Security now or delay it a few years? Should I pick up a part-time job or take up a few hobbies to stay active?

One of the most common and important questions we hear at Girard — and see debated throughout the industry — is, “Should I pay off debt before entering retirement?” While there are many schools of thought on this, we’re here to share our insight and provide best-practice tips…


Should You Consider Using the Backdoor Roth IRA Strategy?

Should you consider converting traditional IRAs to Roth accounts? With individual tax rates at a low by historical standards and a pending reversion in 2026 to the higher rates that preceded the current tax law, it could be an opportune time. Roth IRAs can potentially produce significant income tax savings over years, or even decades, and can represent a valuable investing, tax planning, retirement income planning, and estate planning strategy. In this article, we will explore the Roth IRA and a strategy known as the backdoor Roth IRA that allows individuals with high incomes to utilize a Roth IRA.

The Appeal…


Investment Currents – March 2021

What’s been driving volatility in the market? In this video, Timothy Chubb, Chief Investment Officer, shares his insight on the economy, interest rates, the bond market and inflation. He also provides his thoughts on the importance of having a diversified portfolio.

If you’re looking for guidance or assistance with your financial plan, the advisors at Girard are here to help. Contact an advisor to have a conversation about your plan.

This material represents an assessment of the market and economic environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future…


Navigating Love and Money

The topic of finances can be difficult for couples and families to talk about, but creating a plan together should be a top priority. In this video, Jordan Sowhangar, wealth advisor and Certified Financial PlannerTM, and Brian Hungarter, wealth advisor, share their advice for how to navigate discussing money with your loved ones so you can create a plan for your financial future.

The topic of finances can be difficult for couples and families to talk about, but creating a plan together should be a top priority. In this video, Jordan Sowhangar, wealth advisor and Certified Financial PlannerTM, and Brian…


Adapting Your Financial Plan Ahead of Changing Policy

Many people are unsure how the incoming administration’s economic policy will impact them and are concerned about the potential for rising taxes. While Biden has committed to not raising taxes for individuals earning less than $400,000 per year, it may be a good idea to adapt financial plans to accommodate shifting tax policy.

Two key tax changes planned by the Biden administration include:

  • Taxing long-term capital gains and dividends at the ordinary income tax rate of 39.6% for annual incomes greater than $1 million.
  • Reducing the amount of funds an individual can transfer tax-free to…

Why Your Advisor, Accountant and Lawyer Need to Talk

Do your financial advisor, accountant and lawyer talk? It may sound like the start of a bad joke, but ensuring that these three professionals are conversing with one another is no laughing matter. With tax season around the corner, and as you look at your financial documents, it’s a great time to revisit your overall financial, tax and estate plans. Your financial advisor is an expert in planning for your financial goals, but also has tax and long-term planning to take into consideration. Your accountant is a tax expert, but also has to consider your investments and inheritance plans…


Hold a Financial “State of the Union” with Your Partner

Navigating and managing finances can be difficult and becomes even more challenging as you begin to share major life events with a significant other. When planning the future with your partner, finances should be a top priority. But how do you approach this tricky and potentially uncomfortable discussion?

I suggest that couples hold a financial “State of the Union” meeting. Doing this at the beginning of the year is a good start, but I also suggest this is not a once and done discussion. Create a frequent, predetermined timetable that works for you to discuss finances (weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.)….


Learn from the Ghosts of your Financial Past, Present and Future

Making good choices about saving and spending can be difficult, especially when you’re young and relatively inexperienced with finances. Research shows that costs such as housing and student debt can greatly hinder a person’s ability to save adequately for their future. But not all is lost. As the holidays approach, we are reminded of Charles Dickens’ classic novel, “A Christmas Carol,” in which the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future help Ebenezer Scrooge embrace the joy of helping his fellow man after decades of mean-spirited behavior. Similarly, by taking a look at your past money mistakes and…

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