Welcome to the Winter Edition of The Ultimate Guide For the Successful Steward, Fourth Dimension Financial Group’s newsletter.
As our Ohio wintry wonderland continues to remind us why we love spring so much, we’re enjoying seeing many of you in our office for progress reviews. It’s always fun to reconnect with the families we serve, especially when so much progress is being made. And while the world is still turning on its axis as I write this, our start to 2018 has been shaped by the tale of two markets; the stock market before the decline and the market after. Because of timing, some of our reviews were warning of a pending market decline…someday, while others were discussions of what had just happened.
In some ways, the stock market decline is very helpful to investors and to the markets as a whole. Uninterrupted prosperity is not a real thing, and the stock market was beginning to make people wonder if this time really was different. Not only do we need to have a stress test from time-to-time to ensure our income plans are secure, and proper investment risk management is in place, but declines serve as real opportunities to rotate from safer investments – like bonds – into quality dividend-paying stocks that are now on sale. This is one way that investment managers like Steve Hanley (who’s featured here in The Steward) are able to help retirees grow their investment income over time, by capitalizing on market disruptions. In other words, bad news can often become good news, given enough time and the right strategy with which to take advantage.
During our reviews, we’ve also been looking closely at beneficiary arrangements on all accounts to ensure you’ve named the right people or trusts to receive your assets at death. Not only do these relationships change, but many retirees are finding that a full and proper review of their estate planning may be wise. Richard Chamberlain, an Estate Planning Attorney, shares some wisdom in this issue in a discussion of irrevocable trusts, a topic that is very often misunderstood.
Also check out the Briefcase Study and Back To the Basics, where I share some concepts and discussions that may help you feel more confident in your planning, and understanding of some economic fundamentals.
As always, we’re extremely grateful for the trust you place in us, both in your retirement planning and the introductions you make to friends. Fourth Dimension exists for you and because of you, so thank you for all that you do.
All the best,
Adam B. Cufr, RICP®