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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…


How March Madness Can Guide Your Investment Strategy

Picking the right investment strategy to meet your financial goals may seem as challenging as predicting which team will win the annual NCAA tournament. However, there are a few ways that picking an accurate March Madness bracket parallels a successful investing strategy. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Look for a solid coach. A good way to successfully create a bracket is by selecting teams that have a coach with a solid track record. This is also true for your investment strategy – set yourself up for success by working with a qualified, experienced investment advisor.

Think about…


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…


The Benefits of a Revocable Living Trust

As you age, planning must be done for potential reductions in mental capacity. A general power of attorney naming a spouse or family member as agent is sometimes appropriate. However, when you have complex circumstances or no family members with sufficient time, integrity, proximity and competency to be the fiduciary, a revocable living trust naming a corporate trustee is often the best solution.

One of the significant benefits of creating and funding a revocable living trust is that it encourages you to review the entirety of your financial situation, get organized, and trim down excessive complexity. The time to do…


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…


Saving for College in a Post-Pandemic World

For many students and their families across the country, the financial aspect of going to college has changed drastically over the last few months as states grapple with how to address the coronavirus pandemic. Many colleges moved to online classes, and families may have lost the income needed to cover college expenses for their children. In order for families to understand their options and how to move forward through these uncertain times, it’s critical to know the different costs to consider, savings vehicles available for college savings and how to navigate the financial aid application process amidst changing finances.

Know…


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…

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