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Financial Conversations with Fitz #112 - Midyear Review of finance and goals - 06/26/2012

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It is summer!  Ground temp above 77 degrees.  Don’t have to be concerned with this any more.   Will start tracking Degree Days.   We are 997 in Kanawha….This is above last year by 150.   Corn and beans are growing.  I heard they are having  sweet corn in Des Moines farmers markets.   Several small rains that seem to help this weekend.   Corn looks good in most areas.    Made a lengthy trip last week.   Good is certainly varied but not quite as much as our bean planting.   Lots of missing spots for plants.   Not sure if the seed ever started.

Now that it is coming up on 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 here at the end of June the DOW is up more than 2200 points from a year ago .  The DOW was at $10,362 and now it is about 12,640.   If you stayed in your investments instead of selling your account grew by more than 22%.   It is still below the drop, but it has risen in 12 months.  Actually the investors did take out about $275 billion during the downturn.  Huge amounts of cash on corporate balance sheets.    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 me with our investment department.  Some interesting decision to make on mutuals.     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.  Be sure to use up your tax programs.   Remember if you are over 55 you can increase your IRA amount.    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 2008.   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 me 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.   I can meet with you any time at your home or either of our offices.

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.

Questions call TSB at Forest City, Thompson, and Titonka 

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.