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Oaktree Financial Advisors Blog

Calculating Your Retirement Needs

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Calculating a retirement savings goal is one of the most important steps investors can take to help determine if they are on pace to meet that goal. However, less than half of American workers have tried to figure out how much money they will need to accumulate for retirement and the wide majority of these individuals admit that they either guessed or did their own calculations.1 What about you?

Where's the Crystal Ball?

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To quote an article in Investment News "Following the advice of equity analysts may be perilous to your profits".

According to a Bloomberg study, stocks of companies that analysts liked the most rose 73% on average since the market recovery began in March 2009.  That seems great until you find out that the companies with the fewest "buy" recommendations gained 165%.

Too many so-called "advisors" focus on trying to time or predict markets or providing "market commentary" or "economic commentary".  As we have always said, the markets are unpredictable. This shows that accurate predictions are hard to come by.

Investments are subject to risk, including the loss of principal. Because investment return and principal value fluctuate, shares may be worth more or less than their original value. Some investments are not suitable for all investors, and there is no guarantee that any investing goal will be met. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Talk to your financial advisor before making any investing decisions

HSA Can Double as a Retirement Account

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If you're making maximum contributions to your 401(k) and IRAs and want some additional tax-favored savings, you might use an HSA to supplement your nest egg.  Even in retirement, you can tap the funds tax-free for medical needs. And starting at 65, you can withdraw penalty-free for any reason, though you'll owe income taxes.

Equity Awards: Hold 'em or Fold 'em?

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*Oaktree Financial Advisors is neither endorsed by nor affiliated with Eli Lilly 

Eli Lilly employees will soon be receiving your 2010 equity awards.  In determining whether you will continue to hold the stock or redeem it, you should consider how much of your overall investments are in Eli Lilly stock.  Between equity awards and 401(k) matching contributions, many Lilly employees accumulate a large percentage of their wealth in Lilly stock. Having a substantial position in company stock could have severe consequences should there be a significant decline in the stock price.

Don't Believe the Hype

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That was the title of a popular song in the 80's by rap group Public Enemy.  It's also good advice when tuning into the financial news media, whether it be the national evening news, the 24 hour news networks or print publications. 

The S&P 500 is up 72% as of October 5th from its March 9, 2009 low, but we haven't heard much yelling on the news about it.  We do remember hearing a lot about how terrible things were when the market was declining.  By the end of February 2009, just before the market bottomed, the S&P 500 was down 45% for the prior 12 months.