No one expected 2020 to look like this: a global pandemic, increased market volatility, and political uncertainty; and that’s not even all we’ve encountered! First and foremost, the coronavirus crisis brought about drastic market lows and daunting unemployment numbers (not to mention upending our schedules, work lives, and families). Even months after its introduction, understandably, many people are still struggling financially or worried about their money—among other things.
When so much is out of your control, it’s best to focus on what you do have power over. There are ways you can be proactive about your finances and make the most of these uncertain times. Let’s look at 4 strategies you can use today to leverage the 2020 financial crisis and grow your wealth.
1. Reevaluate And Reposition Your Finances
A financial crisis is the perfect time to go back to the drawing board and reevaluate your current financial situation. Did you realize your emergency fund is too small? Is there more risk in your portfolio than you’re comfortable with? Do you have more debt than you should?
Take a hard look at your finances to identify ways you could save money—either now or in the long run. For example, now can be an ideal time to:
- Refinance your mortgage to a lower rate. Interest rates have fallen back to a historic low. As of August 3, 2020, the average APR for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.052%. (1) If you’re looking to cut your mortgage payment, call up your lender and see if you qualify for refinancing. Just be sure to factor in closing costs, which could eat into your savings.
- Take out a life insurance policy (or increase your current coverage). If you’re like most people, the coronavirus pandemic has you thinking a lot about life insurance. The good news is that it’s not too late to apply and lock in a low rate if you’re healthy. Life insurance rates are largely tied to interest rates and the market, so buying now while rates are low could be a good way to secure your family’s financial future. (2)
2. Limit Your Losses
If you’re looking at all the market chaos and losing sleep at night, know that we have specific rules in place so that if the markets trend below a certain point, we move to a more conservative position. This allows us to respond to market conditions and make adjustments rather than just hold on no matter what, allowing us to protect our clients’ money from staggering losses.
In other words, you don’t have to go on the market roller coaster. Instead, we’ll continue to use indicators like relative strength, supply and demand, and trendlines. We’ll continue to follow the rules we’ve put in place: getting in the markets when they trend above a certain point and getting out when they trend below a certain point.
3. Check Your Risk Tolerance
But what if you’re retiring soon and this financial crisis has made you realize you’re too heavily invested in stocks? In this case, it could be a smart move to re-check your risk tolerance and possibly adjust your investments to reflect how much volatility and risk you are willing to take.
4. Find Ways To Save On Taxes
Growing your wealth doesn’t necessarily mean making more money. One of the most efficient ways to maximize your savings is to minimize your tax burden. Fortunately, there are plenty of strategies you can use to legally reduce your tax bill, such as:
- Contribute the maximum amount to your tax-advantaged retirement and HSA accounts.
- Use deductions to reduce your taxable income and credits to reduce your tax bill.
- Consider tax-loss harvesting while you are repositioning your portfolio.
- Use charitable donations to minimize the financial impacts of required minimum distributions (RMDs).
5. Rely On A Financial Professional
Just about everyone is experiencing stress of one kind or another during the 2020 financial crisis. I know you have enough to worry about, so I urge you to consider connecting with a trusted financial advisor to help you create a step-by-step plan for protecting and growing your wealth today, no matter the circumstances.
Whether you need help managing your portfolio, creating a financial plan, or minimizing taxes, I’m here to help, and I’m dedicated to helping you weather any financial storm that comes your way. Email me at email@example.com or give me a call at 916-276-8677 to see if I am the right fit to help you pursue your ideal financial future.
James Callens is a financial advisor at GLH&C Financial Services, a full-service, comprehensive wealth management firm. Jim has over 30 years of experience in the financial industry and uses his extensive resources, knowledge, and experience to help his clients experience simplicity and clarity in their financial life. Jim spent over 20 years working for GE Financial Advisors, both in their insurance services department and as a regional manager and financial advisor. He took part in GE’s Six Sigma Quality Training program and completed the National Association of Life Underwriter’s four-year LUTCF course. Jim also earned his certificate in financial planning from the University of California at Davis. In 2011, Jim combined his own firm, Callens Financial Group, with GLH Financial Services, creating GLH&C Financial Services, so he could provide even more value to his clients.
Jim is a member of the Financial Planning Association of Northern California and National Association of International & Financial Advisors (NAIFA). He has served as a board member of several nonprofit organizations and has been involved in Cub Scouts leadership and youth sports coaching. Jim lives in Folsom, CA, with his wife, Melissa, and his four children, Jacob, Kristen, Grant, and Andrew. Together, they enjoy outdoor activities such as kayaking, bicycling, and vacationing at Lake Tahoe. To learn more about Jim, connect with him on LinkedIn.
The views stated in this piece are not necessarily the opinion of Cetera Advisors LLC and should not be construed directly or indirectly as an offer to buy or sell any securities mentioned herein. Due to volatility within the markets mentioned, opinions are subject to change without notice. Information is based on sources believed to be reliable; however, their accuracy or completeness cannot be guaranteed. Past performance does not guarantee future results. All investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal. There is no assurance that any investment strategy will be successful. For a comprehensive review of your personal situation, always consult with a tax or legal advisor. Neither Cetera Advisors LLC nor any of its representatives may give legal or tax advice. Distributions from traditional IRAs and employer sponsored retirement plans are taxed as ordinary income and, if taken prior to reaching age 59½, may be subject to an additional 10% IRS tax penalty.