By: Eddie Stephens | Category: Financial Services | Issue: October 2006
L-R: Financial Consultants Meg Otterstrom and Dan Hayley have practical investment advice you can put to use today.
“Make more, spend less, invest the difference.” A catchy phrase, yes, but does it work?
More so it’s a principle that wise investors have known and practiced for years. The Financial Consultants at Arkansas Valley State Bank are certain it will work for you if you’re willing to plan for your financial future.
Meg Otterstrom and Dan Hayley are two of those believing consultants backed by the 100 year history of this local financial institution. They deliver practical wisdom and savvy experience to the variety of financial circumstances you face.
“Investment needs vary today,” Hayley and Otterstrom admit while adding, “This is especially true for aging Baby Boomers as they face retirement.”
Otterstrom explains, “Like me, many are seeing their parents who created a great retirement portfolio, yet who are now living longer. Some didn’t consider life expectancy issues and the connection to their now diminishing financial resources.”
According to relevant data, there’s a fifty-percent chance individuals will live into their 80’s and 90’s. Financially speaking, it’s a whole new ballgame for boomers thinking about their approaching retirement years.
The Bank’s Marketing Director, LaTaunya Williams, affirms this reality and the expertise of their financial team, “They each bring a knowledge-based perspective to assist all ages with essential and impending investment decisions.”
“The first step toward financial peace of mind is to begin. That means looking at your future with a long-term view,” Otterstrom encourages.
Einstein observed and commented on what he noted as the “magic of compound interest”. Available charting reveals this power at work through taking a long-term financial view.
“Our role is to educate people and encourage them to look to the future that begins now. “For example,” Otterstrom continues, “If your employer is offering a “401K”, it’s good advice to get in it.”
Hayley agrees, “We see our job being not to make you rich, but to assure that you don’t die poor. Our partnership helps assure that you don’t lose your money.”
The bank’s consultants highlight another essential principle known as “diversification”. This principle relates to the varied opportunities afforded by the stock market.
Any familiarity with financial currents will warn that placing “all one’s eggs in a single basket”, so to speak, creates potential for sudden loss should a company go under for whatever reason. “Diversifying your portfolio doesn’t eliminate risk, but it can reduce it,” Hayley and Otterstrom remind.
They equally affirm their relationship with clients. For them it’s advisable to follow the client’s lead related to their personal risk tolerance with the stock market.
“It’s our personal recommendation that clients follow a diversification factor; placing no more than five to ten percent in any one stock. Managing diversification over time is the key,” Hayley clarifies.
Relating to stocks, each encourages the following: “buy quality, diversify, monitor investments and be patient”. They emphasize a long-term financial focus.
Many investors choose to be more aggressive with investment strategies when they’re younger. As retirement age approaches, the pattern shifts.
“Mostly, we take a realistic approach. There’s no guarantee you’ll see gains of 20 percent per year, so it helps to understand – if you desire to catch up – it’s not an overnight deal,” Hayley counsels.
The bank’s consultants are advocates for small business owners and non-earning spouses, too. “Plans for small business owners are available which provide retirement benefits for employees,” Otterstrom states, also affirming, “Stay at home spouses have investment options through ‘spousal IRA’ accounts.”
For those with perceived fixed retirement packages she adds, “Roll-over IRA’s are available as well. There are ways to transfer retirement funds from an existing 401K that offer you more investment control.”
“Talking to educated financial consultants is free through our banking facility. We encourage you to take advantage of this option,” LaTaunya Williams says.
The bank has two upcoming investment related seminars. On October 12th, Hayley will conduct one emphasizing long-term care issues and Otterstrom will continue the seminar series, “Investing for Women”.
Contact Arkansas Valley State Bank for seminar details and to access their financial consulting service. There’s much to be gained by deciding that today is the best day to begin planning for your financial future.