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Financial Conversations with Fitz #26 - Midyear Review of Finance and Goals - 07/06/2009

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It is summer!!!!     Ground temp above 70 degree.  Corn and beans are growing.  Saw a pickup with sweet corn.  Didn’t stop this time, but will next.   Great fourth!!!!!   I thought the people responded better this year to the patriotic entries than in the past.  

Now that it is midyear, I need to review my goals at work and personal.  Have I accomplished half what I said I was going to do?   Have I read those books I put down?  Am I staying on track with my expenses???   When you get your statement this week, be sure to take a look at what you have spent.  One should probably review where your investment or retirement is at.   I finally looked at mine after a year.   I didn’t check at year end…….The figures tell me that March ’09 was the lowest the dow has been for some time…..Is it the bottom??????  I hope so.   Actually the end of June the DOW is up more than 25 points from March.   If you stayed in your investments instead of selling your account grew by more than 25%.   It is still below the drop, but it has risen in 3 months.  Actually the investors did take out about $275 billion during the downturn.   Timing the market is rarely successful for the long term.   Market could still be volatile!!!!!   Now is the time to review your program with your counselor.  If you don’t have one, be sure to bring in your retirement package to Howard Peters with our investment department.  Let him put his years in retirement packages to work to look it over.  You can increase your investment input if your employer allows.   This will let you make up for the increase while the price is still lower.   This is also a good time to review your spread between equities, bonds, and cash funds.   Remember at 65 you still have a lot of years for growth with life expectancy at 87.  There are several neat calculators out there that can help you figure how long it might take to rebuild 401 (k) retirement accounts that were reduced by the stock market crash from last year.   The calculator can help you see how increased contributions reduce the amount of time needed to return to pre-crash levels.   One of those calculators can be found at www.principal.com/rebuild or you can visit with Howard for some actual help.   If you have some surplus cash at these low rates, check to see if you have room to increase your contributions.  Of course remember that equities are not covered by the FDIC insurance.   Give us a call or stop in, we can visit.   Howard is in Tyke on Tuesday and Thursday.   He is in Forest City on Mon, Wed and Friday.   He can also come out to visit with you anytime.

Give any of us a call if you want to see how to review your midyear figures.
Where to go for help …..Your local banker!

Remember that you should deal with people in community banks and organizations that when they put something together for you that they will be sitting with them at ball games, church or community events.  So, if in doubt give us a call.