Tag Archives: Back to Basics

April 2022 Financial Planning and Capital Market Review – By John Kvale CFA, CFP

Hello and Welcome to our April 2022 … Financial Planning and Capital Market Update!

If you are too busy to read, feel free to listen as we describe our post and thoughts in friendly podcast audio format as well as Video!

Newbies –

We like to articulate our thoughts and review on a Monthly basis our Financial Planning Tips, Capital Markets thoughts and current events!

Hope you enjoy!

April 2022 Video

YouTube

Financial Planning Tip(s)

Back to Basics Series – Educational Funding

In our continued fun “Back To Basics” Series here we discuss Educational Funding…

Here is one very important item to remember from the post:

Did you notice we put Retirement Planning BEFORE Education planning? Do you recall in Part 3 in Debt Planning we said one of the few good debts are educational related debts ….We of course are not advocating Student debt/loans… but they are available in abundance and again not a bad debt. There are not retirement planning loans…. just saying!

Proxy Vote Reminder

In this post we remind you to please reach out if you have fallen off the list for us to proxy vote for you!

If you are getting those pesky Proxy Notices (some can be small books- oh the trees that are destroyed- digressing) reach out to us, we not only vote the Proxies for you, but we get one single notice for everyone, and Jen has done an excellent job in getting a great deal of those electronically…. Did we say how Green this is?

Capital Market Comments

The Slowdown is Here

We first started speaking of the slowdown in our Q 1 2022 Newsletter here in our “Anatomy of a Slowdown” main aricle actually released in December of 2021….

And then again, here in our Q 2 2022 Newsletter ….

Then again here, here, here, here, and again here.… among a few other times…

Last week the BEA “Officially Released” a negative GDP print as noted here in our post and in this chart….

Never get the timing exactly, but we are not surprised and have been waiving the flag here in our talks and are prepared!

Have a Great Day, Talk to You at the End of May!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.

A Dallas Texas based fee only

Financial Planning Total Wealth

Management firm.

jkfinancialinc

street-cents

Back to Basics Fun Educational Review – Part Four – Retirement Planning … The Key – Start Early!

Welcome back to Part Four of our “Back to Basics” series .. we hope you’ve enjoyed the First Three which started with all about “The Emergency Fund” in Part 1 … with Part 2 being  “Protection Planning” and Part 3 discussing All about Debt Planning or “The Good the Bad and the Ugly of Debt” and now we happily bring you Part 4 Retirement Planning!

As a reminder this is a high level Financial Planning Education like overview starting with the basics of and we will continue into advanced topics in order of Planning Importance.  

Retirement Planning

The most important parts of retirement planning are very easy and as follows:

  1. Start Early
  2. Save as much as you can especially when you are young as compounding is your friend, do not worry about the amount, just save!
  3. Don’t overthink your investment options, just allocate as available and save save save…

Starting out with a healthy savings percentage of our earnings at an early age will lead to eventual maxing out of your retirement plans, forcing you happily into other savings vehicles thereby balancing your eventual portfolio with pre-tax retirement savings and after tax buckets of investments.

Continued high percentage earnings savings will also ultimately create the habits of not living on all that you are earning. This is especially important as we get closer to retirement and create just darn good habits.

There will likely be times in our lives when we may not be able to save as much on a percentage of our earnings as we would like, but constant top of mind savings habits will garner success in the long term, don’t let life’s curve balls distract your long term savings effort, you can do it!

Early savings should be very aggressive as the corpus of your savings are the actual savings component.  All equity type of investments especially during the first 5-10 years are not out of the realm of possibilities, again your continued contributions dominate the investment during these early stages.  As your retirement savings and for that matter other investments grow in size adjustments are necessary especially as we near retirement.

While there are talks of optimal retirement allocations, it’s not unusual to find inferior investment options in retirement accounts. Not to worry, don’t throw your employer or your plan under the bus … the most important item in your retirement savings program is the actual deferral of your hard earned work and the broad allocation! Be aggressive in the beginning and slowing down the allocation as it matures in size and our chapter nears retirement.

Weather 401, IRA, Sep- (Simplified Employee Pension), Roth.403b. 401A or any other retirement vehicle, the vehicle is not as important as participation!.

We will help you optimize from a tax standpoint which vehicle is best. and of course with the allocations as well!

Have a Great “Retirement Planning” Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.

A Dallas Texas based fee only

Financial Planning Total Wealth

Management firm.

jkfinancialinc

street-cents

February 2022 Financial Planning and Capital Market Review – By John Kvale CFA, CFP

Hello and Welcome to our February 2022 … Financial Planning and Capital Market Update!

If you are too busy to read, feel free to listen as we describe our post and thoughts in friendly podcast audio format as well as Video!

Newbies –

We like to articulate our thoughts and review on a Monthly basis our Financial Planning Tips, Capital Markets thoughts and current events!

Hope you enjoy!

February 2022 Video

YouTube

Financial Planning Tip(s)

Third In Back to Basics Series – “Debt Planning”

The third post of a neat (well we think so) new idea, series we discuss “Protection Planning” !

This series is a review of the basics, and will serve as somewhat of a semester study of the Financial Planning foundations all the way to more advanced topics later in the series…. We plan on a mid month release of each part and somewhere south of double digit parts…. possibly with a video added to each for additional insights…. thanks in advance for sharing with those who may find this series helpful….

In this Debt Planning section we cover from a high level …

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Forms of Debt

Yes there are some debts that or ok, but there are also some that are very much sinners….

Review that Social Security Statement

In this annual reminder post, receiving a weekend email alert directly form the Social Security Administration our review was set in motion and a new post was born….

Happily as mentioned in the post, the SSA had updated the site and there are really neat new features such as a graph for delayed benefits and a neat spousal calculator.. Well done guys!

Please be sure to take 5 minutes and review that your hard earned earnings are being credited to your Social Security Benefit/Number!

Capital Market Comments

Interest Rates Jump Ahead of Fed – Short Term Pressure on Bonds Long Term Gain

While this post concerning how the bond markets, more specifically the two year and ten year treasuries front run the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) we also want to remind that such movement, especially seen in the two year treasury puts pressure (lowers) on the value of the bond but also ups the income from the bond……

So initial headwind, and eventual tail wind…yay

Re-Review “The Anatomy of a Slowdown/Recession” the Snap Back

With market jitters creating headlines and lower values, in this post we reviewed our luckily timed lead article in our Q 1 2022 Newsletter article, called the “Anatomy of a Slowdown”

The main purpose of the article and the re-run is to remind everyone INCLUDING OURSELVES, slowdowns (markets dropping in value) do occur, and while we don’t want them to, they do anyway!

In this post, we review three very large what we coined snap backs…. large rallies of 5%-to over 10% which are for some reason very confusing during slow down times and also tend to totally ignore headlines…

No idea for sure WHY they happen, just know they do … thought worth reminding as some great questions came in on the subject.

Have a Great Day, Talk to You at the End of March! Going fast this year!!!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.

A Dallas Texas based fee only

Financial Planning Total Wealth

Management firm.

jkfinancialinc

street-cents

Back to Basics Fun Educational Review – Part Three – Debt and Debt Planning, The Good The Bad and The Ugly

Welcome to Part Three of our fun educational “Back to Basics” series original started here with Part One “The Emergency Fund” and continuing with Part Two, Protection Planning, and now on to Debt and Debt Planning!

The goal of this series is to cover the most important Foundational Financial Planning items in not only order of importance but also order of technical difficulty. Once complete we expect to have a foundational, almost college like course of Financial Planning topics and goals that can be shared all at once in Netflix series drop like format for any that may be in need or interested. Longtime clients will most certainly find a repetition of items we have spoken or written about before but may occasionally uncover a topic that needs addressing due to a change in our situation.

Debt and Debt Planning – The Good the Bad and the Ugly

Debt and Debt Planning is an extremely important topic, ESPECIALLY in today’s buy now and pay later constantly pushed promotional items. But be careful, nothing is for free and one misstep could lead to an unneeded compound interest tragedy….

In a perfect world, no debt of any type may be a desire and many might feel success is reached upon this achievement, but not all debt is bad, and there are likely mandatory times of debt!

Once again, adhering to Part 1, and having a healthy Emergency fund allows control of ones own destiny giving full control of this topic… so let’s jump in!

The Good Debt

Student Debt May Be The Best Debt Someone Can Have

An investment in ones self in the form of higher education … while we can discuss the merits on how enrollment costs have increased rapidly, is generally a very helpful item for the long term and again generally, if career pointed will frequently pay off in the long term.

  • Reflect on what you are incurring the student debt for with watchful eye for help upon completion i.e. Might not be a good idea to incur debt for something you may never use career wise in the future
  • Keep an eye on the total expected amount of debt you may be saddled with upon completion and mind possible less expensive options
  • Watch the terms of the debt, deferred interest, government subsidized, zero interest, low interest
  • Of course try to keep it at a minimal

Residential Mortgage Debt

With long term Mortgage rates (30 year) recently in the 2% -3% range we can argue that Mortgage debt is not bad debt. Cautiously we put Mortgage Debt here in the good, but there is an interest rate that would make it bad debt i.e. An exaggerated example from decades ago of 10%+ would not be good debt.

Tax Benefits of Mortgage Debt can help make the headline rate even lower after tax benefits. But those can come and go as tax laws change.

Most can qualify for WAY WAY more than one should actually have! Our conservative view equation is generally a mortgage of twice annual earnings is a really good place to start, especially for those early in their careers.

Free/Zero Interest Debt is Ok if Handled Properly

Again pointing to our healthy Emergency Fund, Interest Free/Zero debt CAN be ok. Do not take it as an excuse to make an unaffordable purchase!

Watch the terms, as one mistake often carries a huge carry forward of interest, far negating the extra interest one would earn by using the “Free” debt.

Also be careful with a large lump sum payment at the end of a “Free” term… make darn sure we have the funds available and it will not damage our Emergency Funds stash!

The Bad Debt

Interest bearing debt for an item not needed is Bad Debt and borderline Ugly debt. As mentioned earlier, we live in a highly promotional world of “Buy Now, Pay Later” …. Do not bite.

Examples may include what we call Toys, such as extra motorized or floating vehicles, overly expensive devices or equipment and the like.

It is fine to “Treat” ourselves every once in a while, but don’t do it on Bad Debt and don’t mess up your Emergency fund !

The Ugly Debt

Any high interest debt, especially Credit Card type debt.

With interest rates very low on savings rates, having a debt interest rate over mid single digits would be called Bad Debt!

Most of the time this debt occurs is usually attributed to our Part 1 Emergency Fund inadequacy … possibly combined with a “life’s curve ball” unexpected event.

Rates as high as 20% are not common in this swimming pool… please don’t swim here and keeping that emergency fund healthy will keep you out of the water!

Now that we have a good foundation…. next up, Retirement Planning!

Have a Great “Debt Planning” Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.

A Dallas Texas based fee only

Financial Planning Total Wealth

Management firm.

jkfinancialinc

street-cents

January 2022 Financial Planning and Capital Market Review – By John Kvale CFA, CFP

Hello and Welcome to our January 2022 … the First Month Review of 2022 – YAY … Financial Planning and Capital Market Update!

If you are too busy to read, feel free to listen as we describe our post and thoughts in friendly podcast audio format as well as Video!

Newbies –

We like to articulate our thoughts and review on a Monthly basis our Financial Planning Tips, Capital Markets thoughts and current events!

Hope you enjoy!

January 2022 Video

YouTube

Financial Planning Tip(s)

Second In Back to Basics Series – “Protection Planning”

The second post of a neat (well we think so) new idea, series we discuss “Protection Planning” !

This series is a review of the basics, and will serve as somewhat of a semester study of the Financial Planning foundations all the way to more advanced topics later in the series…. We plan on a mid month release of each part and somewhere south of double digit parts…. possibly with a video added to each for additional insights…. thanks in advance for sharing with those who may find this series helpful….

In this Protection Planning section we cover from a high level … Health, Auto/Home/Umbrella and Life Insurance basics and best ways to implement !

New Uniform Table Gives RMD Break – We are all Younger!

In this post we highlight as the calendar turned, we are all viewed as younger (actually the tables have us living longer- semantics)…

A very important result of this change is to give those mandated by RMD’s (Required Minimum Distributions) relief…. since the tables in effect make us younger/living longer, less money is demanded out (Uncle Sam wants his taxes) thereby lowering taxable income!

Capital Market Comments

Re-Review “The Anatomy of a Slowdown/Recession”

With market jitters creating headlines and lower values, in this post we reviewed our luckily timed lead article in our Q 1 2022 Newsletter article, called the “Anatomy of a Slowdown”

The main purpose of the article and the re-run is to remind everyone INCLUDING OURSELVES, slowdowns (markets dropping in value) do occur, and while we don’t want them to, they do anyway!

In this post, we review the following chart and outline the normal 9-12 month slowdown time line… very much unlike the last three we have experienced…

Have a Great Day, Talk to You at the End of February!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.

A Dallas Texas based fee only

Financial Planning Total Wealth

Management firm.

jkfinancialinc

street-cents

Back to the Basics: Fun New Complete Financial Planning Series/Course, Part 1 : The Emergency Fund

This is the first of a “Back to Basics” Financial Planning Series that is meant to start from the very ground floor of basic Financial Planning and build on to more advanced techniques and strategies.

The goal of this series is a course like experience in Financial Planning that will touch every step in the process in order of importance. When complete, we will be adding Video’s and making into a full planning course/workshop.

Those of you that are long time clients have likely heard much of this before but may get an occasional reminder. 

If you know someone (kids, friends, relatives or the like) that may find this series useful, we ask you share, much like we did with the stimulus explanations during the pandemic, we are using our venue to give back and help as many as possible, while hopefully having fun and keeping a sometimes, boring subject matter, educational, and entertaining!

Without further ado … we begin the series with the most important primary foundation step of the Financial Planning process:

Meet the Emergency Fund

An Emergency fund is just what it sounds like, a non-investment, non-risk, extremely liquid savings account, without worry that is available at a moment’s notice. In our current environment of low interest rates, this fund is likely earning a low interest rate. That is fine, safety and liquidity are most important for this fund. Do not stretch to earn extra return on these funds, as this could lead to it not being there completely when you need it most… Return and risk are directly related and we are in a very low rate environment currently.

3-6 Months Expenses

The general rule for an emergency fund is 3 to 6 months expenses but there are many situations that may make this vary greatly on a case-by-case basis.

Here are some examples that may cause families to desire more than 6 months Emergency Fund

  • Income fluctuations – such as 100% commissions, or volatile income years – you know who you are, keep extra to avoid the stress in the down years
  • Occupational risk – if you are concerned about losing your job, get that emergency fund very healthy
  • Large purchase on the horizon- New asset, or known large expense, larger amount may be necessary
  • Sleep Well – If you need a larger than 6 months cushion to sleep better, NO PROBLEM, good is what will allow you to sleep well.

Low End Emergency Funders

On the other side of this are folks with very stable lives, possibly with multi family incomes. You may feel comfortable on the lower end of the 3 to 6 months. Other examples are those with very low overhead and stable expenses as far as the horizon can see you may error on the lower end. Lastly those with less or no dependents would also be a candidate for the smaller end of the emergency fund.

If your situation changes for some reason, prepare to increase, too low of an Emergency Fund leads to short term credit situations, stress and just a much less fun day in day out way of life!

There you have it, the General Rules of the Emergency fund, the fund itself, and examples of reasons to keep it higher or lower!

See … that was not that bad, Next Up in Part 2, Protection Planning!

Have a Great “First in Series Emergency Fund” Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.

A Dallas Texas based fee only

Financial Planning Total Wealth

Management firm.

jkfinancialinc

street-cents