Blog

5 Tips for the Trump Era & Your Investment Portfolio

Norm Boone / Mar 21, 2017 / Mosaic News

President Donald Trump was elected to shake things up—to do things differently. For better or worse, he’s been doing just that.

His unpredictability makes it hard to anticipate the direction the new administration will take on issues ranging from tax policy, financial regulation, international relations, open and free media, to the judiciary and other topics.

This creates uncertainty that surrounds the direction of the investment environment.

U.S. stock markets displayed their enthusiasm for the lower taxes, reduced regulation and increased infrastructure spending they expect from President Trump.

If enacted, these policies could be good for business and could put more money in the pockets of the nation’s citizens. 

And yes, there could be costs to each, for the budget, for the environment and for citizenship rights.

The Labor Department recently announced that companies are continuing to hire at strong rates. If the trend continues, labor markets are likely to tighten and wages (and inflation) will probably rise. 

Interest rates are set to be pushed up by the Fed and the global demand for the dollar.  The increased strength of the dollar will eventually make it harder for U.S. firms to sell their products and services to buyers in other countries. 

Higher tariffs the Trump administration may choose to impose will inevitably be matched by other countries, inhibiting world trade, an important engine for global economic growth.

 

How should investors be viewing this and what, if anything, should they be doing differently?

Here are a few things to keep in mind as we move forward.

Read more...

Effective Financial Strategies: The Q1 2017 Newsletter

Mosaic / Mar 16, 2017 / Mosaic News / Retirement Planning / Investments / Saving, Budgeting and Debt Management / Financial Planning
What's Inside:
  • Tips for the Trump era - what investors should prepare for;
  • Learn how coaching strengthens and enhances client service, from financial planning to investment management;
  • Find out how to craft a personal financial policy;
  • Read about how shared values kept one couple together for five decades;
  • Get re-acquainted with advisor and CCO Geoff Zimmerman and his why
  • Read about upcoming Women's Circles, and other events;
  • Stay up to date on Mosaic advisors: their speeches given, conferences attended, and books read, with takeaways from each.

To read the new issue of Effective Financial Strategies, please click here


Read more...

6 Timeless Interior Design Tips

Mosaic / Mar 14, 2017 / Life Balance

We’re firm believers in cost-conscious lifestyle choices, and updating your house’s interior design is no different. Some of your design choices may add to your home’s value; all of them will add to your experience living there, whether you're in a starter house, vacation house, or your dream house.

In this post, San Francisco realtor Emily Beaven presents 6 tips for a framework that can help you beat design overload and get started.

From Pinterest to design blogs and yearly “hot lists,” it can be exhausting and expensive to keep your home “on trend.” Stick with these 6 timeless interior design tips to create the framework for a look that you can update easily over the years. 

 

Read more...

6 Tips for Buying a Starter Home in the Bay Area

Steve Branton / Mar 7, 2017 / Life Balance / Financial Planning

The San Francisco Bay Area has many advantages for potential homeowners—including beautiful scenery, a vibrant arts scene and proximity to some of the country’s best-paying jobs—but our housing prices aren’t among them.

A recent Business Insider survey found that 12 of the 25 most expensive housing markets in the United States are in the Bay Area, including seven of the top 10.

San Francisco is the major city with the most expensive housing market; a four-bedroom, two-bathroom home costs an average of $1.67 million.

Perhaps surprisingly, I think it’s possible to find a home in the Bay Area, even if you’re not a hot tech multi-millionaire (yet). In my experience advising clients, I’ve witnessed some effective, basic tactics that can help with buying a starter home in the Bay Area.

Here are six to keep in mind.

Read more...

In the News: combining finances, divorce and the family house

Mosaic / Mar 2, 2017 / Mosaic News

Mosaic experts wrote and were featured in financial news in February, weighing in on diverse topics such as:

  • how new couples can evaluate and begin combining finances,
  • what options divorcing couples have when it comes to the family house, and
  • business tips for women entrepreneurs.

Read on:

 

Read more...

The Job-Changer's Financial Checklist

Mosaic / Feb 23, 2017 / Employee and Government Benefits / Saving, Budgeting and Debt Management / Insurance

There may be a lot happening when you change jobs. As you look forward to starting a new job, it's important to consider how you will manage your finances while making the transition from one employer to the next. This job changer's financial checklist can help you keep in touch with important details. It's divided into two parts: the first is for those to use before beginning a new job, and the second is for those who don't have a new position lined up just yet.


Read more...

Spotlight on Geoff Zimmerman, CFP®

Mosaic / Feb 16, 2017 / Mosaic News / Life Balance

One of the core elements to Mosaic's success is our team. This post highlights Geoff Zimmerman, CFP®, and reveals how those pesky word problems from math class shaped his career, and how his family shapes his ideal retirement:

 

What brings you to Mosaic?

I joined Mosaic in 2007. I felt, according to my research, that Mosaic was one of a very few firms who I felt did financial planning ‘right’—recognized as leaders in our industry, fee-only, fewer conflicts of interest, all members of the professional staff had to be CFP® practitioners, or actively working toward the designation.
 

What do you bring to Mosaic?

The process of planning ahead for important events is one of my fundamental beliefs. I appreciate—and I believe our clients really appreciate—the time and the thoroughness of our planning approach.  I feel very fortunate that I get to do what I love to do; I find the work exciting, stimulating, sometimes challenging, and there is opportunity to be creative.   

Read more...

Valentine’s Day Relationship Resources

Mosaic / Feb 14, 2017 / Saving, Budgeting and Debt Management / Life Balance

Tired of giving the same old gifts to your valentine year after year?

Supplement the heart-shaped chocolates, red roses, and mylar balloons with an offering that displays a little more depth: financial literacy.

Hey, “balance the budget with me” doesn’t sound sexy on a card, but discussing and accomplishing money tasks can definitely bring you closer to your significant other. Doing so can help you weather life’s inclement events together.

In fact, talking about money can strengthen bonds in a range of partnerships.

Read more...

Turning 30 and Getting Serious About Finances

Mosaic / Feb 9, 2017 / Retirement Planning / Saving, Budgeting and Debt Management

This article profiles one hypothetical investor in order to highlight the benefits of beginning to pursue important financial goals as early as possible.

Throughout her twenties, Nancy McKinsey dreaded the day she turned the big 3-0. It signified adulthood, closing the door on her young adult years. 

The day finally came—and went. “And it was no big deal,” said Nancy. “It was really sort of a letdown after all that worrying,” she joked.

One thing did change for Nancy, however. After turning thirty, she decided to get serious about her financial life—and her future. “I wasn’t dreading the future anymore. I started to plan for it.”

Here's how she pivoted.

Read more...

Trusts: Maximize Charitable Giving While Minimizing Estate Taxes

Mosaic / Feb 7, 2017 / Estate Planning / Tax Planning

Charitable remainder trusts (CRTs) and charitable lead trusts (CLTs) are two popular types of split-interest trusts commonly used by individuals and families for managing taxes in an estate plan while simultaneously supporting charitable organizations. 

Interested in how trusts maximize charitable giving while minimizing estate taxes? This article describes the key characteristics and potential benefits of two these types of trusts—charitable lead trusts and charitable remainder trusts. 

 

Read more...

In the News: Planning for Retirement, Planning with Millennials

Mosaic / Feb 2, 2017 / Mosaic News

Mosaic experts wrote and were featured in financial news in January, weighing in on diverse topics such as:

  • how to make assumptions that will positively impact your planning for retirement,
  • how the Millennial mindset effects the advisor-client relationship, and
  • ways to ensure your divorcing client is getting her financial house in order. 

Read on:

 

Read more...

Time to negotiate salary? 6 smart tips for women asking for a raise

Sabrina Lowell / Jan 31, 2017 / Women's Issues / Financial Planning

If you want to build wealth, the two main things you can control are your income and the amount of it that you spend. You might be making smart spending decisions, but you should also take steps to increase your pay.

This is especially true for women, who tend to earn less than their male counterparts. Because of this, women may have less money to put aside for retirement.

While some research suggests that women experience more negative consequences for negotiating their salaries than men do, asking for a raise usually works. In a 2014 survey of more than 31,000 employees, PayScale.com found that 75% of people who asked for a raise got at least a small increase, even if it wasn’t the amount they requested. Many people who were denied the first time they attempted to negotiate salary learned ways to increase the effectiveness of their ask, simply by virtue of making the attempt and bringing the issue to the forefront.

If you're looking for tips for women asking for a raise, here are a few that can help.

Read more...

Happy Chinese New Year from Mosaic

Mosaic / Jan 28, 2017 / Mosaic News


 Gong xi fa cai! Fling open your doors and windows, and let the old year out.

Read more...

Market Watch: Our Take on the Fourth Quarter of 2016

Mosaic / Jan 26, 2017 / Investments / Market Watch

Every quarter, our investment management committee produces Market Watch, Mosaics take on the markets and the current economic affairs that influence them. The fourth quarter edition has just been published, and were excited to share our commentary with you. 

Summary
  • US stocks were the big winners in 2016. All three major indices reached all-time highs.
  • With Trump's election, markets are anticipating economic growth via lower taxes and fewer regulations.
  • Markets remain anxious about his lack of political experience, threats about world trade, and the absence of a detailed economic plan. 
  • Small stocks and value stocks out-performed large stocks and growth stocks. 
  • Bonds ended the year positive, despite falling at the end of the year due to rising interest rates in anticipation of a faster growing economy in 2017. 
  • International equities produced positive returns in 2016, led by emerging market equities. 
  • Alternative investments, as a group, contributed positively to portfolio growth. 
Read more...

Women's Circles: The Power of Personal Financial Policies

Mary Ballin / Jan 24, 2017 / Mosaic News / Women's Events

A lot of us start the New Year by setting resolutions based on goals we’ve been meaning to get around to achieving. You know the goals I am talking about: “I will lose weight,” or “I will save more money.” Unfortunately, every year, many of us lose track of such goals quickly because something derails us from committing. We have to ask ourselves: is this a goal that we really value and want to attain, or is it a goal because it is something we have been told we “should” do? The “should” goals don’t work a lot of the time because we don’t have the personal “buy in” that is needed to commit to change and actually make the goal a reality.

Then there are the times when our good nature is exploited by people around us. Are you the “go to” person when another donation is needed or when an event needs a chairperson? Everyone knows you will say “yes,” so they continue to ask, and you continue to feel more and more stretched and taken advantage of.

If you recognize either of these scenarios, you are not alone. There are many reasons why things like this may happen, but there is one solution we’d like to propose: craft one for yourself.

At a recent Women’s Circle participants learned how to craft a personal financial policy to have an established framework to rely on when it comes time to make decisions when you’re stressed, conflicted, or tempted. 

Read more...