Wealth Management Blog

Posts published in May 2015

Exclusive Webinar: 2015 Economic & Market Outlook

By JJ Burns

May 22, 2015

Should you be worried about an interest rate hike?

The Federal Reserve is expected to begin raising interest rates at some point this year. How will this impact the market and your retirement portfolio?

Join JJ Burns & Company on Thursday, May 28th at 1:00 pm EST for a free webinar to discuss the 2015 Economic & Market Outlook. During this live presentation, CEO JJ Burns and Managing Director Anthony LaGiglia will review our outlook and strategy for today’s markets.

In this 30-minute webinar we'll talk about:

  • How various asset classes have performed year-to-date
  • Whether interest rate hikes are bad for the stock market
  • How rising rates may affect your bonds

Plus we’ll also answer questions from attendees.

Don't miss this informative event! Reserve your spot today.

[Update: For those who couldn't attend, you can watch the webinar video here.]

How to Talk to Your Kids About Wealth

By JJ Burns

May 15, 2015

For some people—especially those with considerable wealth—talking about money is difficult. Some families believe it’s inappropriate to talk about money, or that it’s simply not the kids’ business to know what the family’s assets are.  For children with wealth, it’s important to understand the various ways money functions in today’s society.

As trusted advisers we encourage having a well-crafted approach to the “money talk”.  In our experience this provides the foundation that will sustain a families wealth and legacy for future generations. 

Where to Start: Developing Family Values

Every family’s values are different. Some may be dedicated to philanthropy while others may be about working as hard as you can. The first step is taking a good look at your own behaviors and values:

  • Are you consistent about spending, investing, and giving money away?
  • Do you tell your kids to spend judiciously but are extravagant on yourself?
  • Do you demonstrate the difference between wants and needs?
  • Do you have your own written financial plan?

The goal is to help your kids create a purposeful life that reflects what’s important to the family. Additionally, you want to be able to protect your children—and eventually grown adults—from people who might take advantage. The more you know about finance, the less likely your children will be manipulated into investing all their money in a dubious scheme or engaging in illegal activities.

The 5 Key Financial Traits

Financial professionals identify 5 key traits that will help children with wealth succeed now—and in the future.

  1. Learn how to save. If your kids and grandkids don’t know how to put off instant gratification and save for something meaningful—whether it’s a car or a donation to charity—then there is the potential to squander their inheritance.
  2. Learn how to manage money. What do you do when you have an inheritance, investment income, perhaps a salary, and possibly employees? What can you do to maximize your funds rather than deplete them? Sure, you can hire financial advisors, tax experts, and staff to manage your wealth. However, hands-on knowledge will help your children to understand the power of compounding interest, how mortgages and loans work, and how to leverage other investments, such as property, to continue to build their wealth.
  3. How to be paid your true value. Most people enjoy contributing to something useful, whether it’s the family business, a start-up they helped create, or a foundation. Understanding money gives you negotiating skills and insight into the value of your contributions.
  4. How to handle credit. As a wealth generation and business tool, credit can help you build a financial empire. Used inappropriately, credit can decimate even large estates.
  5. How to speak the language. Just like other industries, finance, investing, and money management have their own distinct languages. Identifying financial mentors who can present age-appropriate concepts throughout the years will give your children a significant advantage as they begin to spend and invest their wealth.

We believe that families who devote time and effort to understanding and defining their financial heritage will sustain their wealth for generations.

Through heritage planning, we ensure that your family members are prepared to receive their inheritance. We mentor and train your loved ones in money management, leadership, and other key skills. We also encourage communication across all generations, so your family is united in its mission and goals. Find out how talking to your kids now can make a difference for your family for generations to come.

Is College Worth the Investment?

By JJ Burns

May 5, 2015

It’s almost graduation time—or possibly the time you’re starting your college search. Given the skyrocketing costs of a four-year college education, some parents and students are wondering if a higher education is really worth the investment. According to employers, it is. Although what one decides to study seems to be less important to businesses than what he or she can bring to the table.

The Association of American Colleges & Universities recently conducted a study that highlighted the five attributes that employers look for in newly minted graduates:*

  • Possesses innovation. This is a bit tricky as sometimes “innovation” is more of a buzzword than it is a skill. However, 95% of employers say they give hiring preferences to college graduates with capabilities that enable them to contribute to innovation in the workplace. It’s up to the job candidate to figure out how to add innovation to a project, department, or company. Researching online and conducting informational interviews can provide insight into what innovation means to a specific organization.
  • Has critical thinking, communication, and problem solving skills. It doesn’t really matter if a student majored in French or literature, or excelled in math or science. According to the study, 93% of employers said that a demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than a job candidate’s undergraduate major.
  • Has a broad learning background. Also, regardless of major, 80% of employers think that broad knowledge in the liberal arts and sciences is essential. To employers, this shows the broad-based perspective and integrative thinking skills they are seeking for a variety of positions.
  • Has an e-portfolio. In the study, 83% of employers said an electronic portfolio goes a long way in exhibiting a job candidate’s talents. Post papers, a senior project, a portfolio, blog or videos—whatever is relevant to the desired position to indicate a student’s skill and proficiency.
  • Has real-life experience. Work study, internships, and community service all showcase an ability to add value, prioritize commitments, and work within a team. Classroom learning is beneficial, however, it can be passive and 86% of employers agree that active hands-on learning gives students an opportunity to apply critical thinking, develop team skills and ethical judgment, and further hone their education.

Whether a student decides on pursuing a higher education or not, the bottom line is that it’s more important to focus on knowledge and skills than a specific field of study. Employers want students who can be flexible and adapt quickly to changing demands. The ability to think creatively, solve complex problems, communicate clearly, manage multiple priorities, and work as a team will help students to thrive in a 21st century environment and be successful in their life and careers.

*Association of American Colleges and Universities and Hart Research Associates, It Takes More than a Major: Employer Priorities for College Learning and Student Success (2013).