Latest Posts

Income Tax 101

by Ray Sagner on Jan 23, 2020

A lot of people are under the impression that tax planning is only for high-wealth individuals. However, like financial planning, just about everyone can benefit from some level of tax planning, whether that means becoming better acquainted with the various tax savings options available, or making proactive decisions based on your current financial situation. One of the best investments you can make is to visit with a financial or tax advisor to determine just where you may be able to save.

Do Your Donor Due Diligence

by Ray Sagner on Jan 16, 2020

If you’re like most Americans, you make the majority of your donations to charitable organizations in November and December. But as you get ready to pull out your checkbook to write that check or go online to make a donation from your favorite organization’s website, make sure to perform some due diligence; particularly if you’re considering giving to an organization for the first time.

So, what should you know about the organization you are interested in giving to? Here are a few things to look for:

Stock Market Investing

by Ray Sagner on Jan 9, 2020

Are you ready to start investing? Investing in the stock market can be particularly rewarding, but not without risk. If you’re particularly risk averse, you may want to consider another method of investing, or start the investment process slowly. This can also be true for older potential investors who do not have the time or inclination to wait out a downswing on a stock.

Life Insurance Options

by Ray Sagner on Jan 2, 2020

When John recently lost his wife Betty to cancer, their children were surprised to find out that neither John nor Betty had life insurance. As a result, the children ended up paying the cost of the funeral, and John, currently on a fixed income, is left contemplating whether he can afford to stay in the home they had lived in for over 25 years. 

An untimely death can have a major financial impact on those left behind, particularly if there is a mortgage to pay, credit card debt, or an outstanding auto loan.  Even final expenses can be a burden. 

Keeping your Personal Finances in Shape

by Ray Sagner on Dec 26, 2019

While it’s highly recommended that we use a financial advisor when we start to grow our investment portfolio, there are a lot of things you can do before you ever speak to a financial advisor to grow and maintain your investment portfolio. Investing, like everything else in life, has no guarantees, and even the hottest stock or the best tip may not always perform the way we would like. Keeping that in mind, here are a few things you can do (or not do) when just starting on your investment journey. 

Paying off Student Loans

by Ray Sagner on Dec 19, 2019

In 2018, student loan debt in the U.S. reached $1.5 trillion. With a continued increase in college tuition, it's likely that even more young adults will be turning to loans in order to finance their education. 

With the average student loan debt coming in at around $38,000, it's important to have a plan in place to pay off those loans once you enter the workforce. If you've left school with student loan debt, here are some of the things you can do to help pay off those loans easier and faster:

Top 5 Financial Terms You Should Understand

by Ray Sagner on Dec 12, 2019

In recent weeks, you may have heard the word recession a lot. You may even have a vague understanding of what a recession is, but would like a better understanding of what a recession really is. What the Dow Jones Industrial Average? You probably hear that every night on the news and you know that it has something to do with the stock market, but aren't sure of the details. 

Here are some common terms you hear frequently and a simple explanation of what they really are:

Why Financial Literacy is Important

by Ray Sagner on Dec 5, 2019

Being financially literate in today’s economic climate is more important than ever. Understanding finances can help you make better money management decisions, budget your money properly, adequately save for college, and be financially prepared for retirement. While it may sound daunting, financial literacy starts with a budget. Today, only one third of Americans have a budget that they actively use when making financial decisions, although 75% of Americans believe you should have a budget.

What You Should Know About Certified Financial Planners

by Ray Sagner on Nov 28, 2019

Certified Financial Planners (CFP) can stand out from a rather crowded field of financial professionals for a variety of reasons. One of the most important reasons is that Certified Financial Planners are mandated to act as a fiduciary, meaning that they are required to put their client’s interests and needs ahead of his or her own. Another reason why CFPs stand out are the requirements necessary to become a CFP, including a Bachelor’s degree and work-related experience. The exam for CFPs is quite stringent, and usually takes around 10 hours to complete.