Georgia's Own Credit Union will be closed on Monday, February 18th in observance of Presidents' Day.
What is a financial advisor and do I really need one?
Some think that only wealthy people need financial advisors. Whether it’s a financial planner, wealth manager, money manager, retirement planner, or a slew of other similar titles, they generally all mean the same thing: financial guidance for people who want a strategy to achieve some future monetary goal.
Planning for life events
Eventually, we all experience some big life event, whether it’s paying for college, or buying a home, starting your own business, or caring for aging parents. Often times, your financial goals can overlap, collide, or simply seem unmanageable. A financial advisor will not only help you navigate the journey, but they’ll also work with you to prioritize your efforts. Sometimes you just need a more structured savings and investment strategy that can lead you to a more comfortable and less overwhelmed mindset.
Maximizing your current assets
Sometimes the help of a financial advisor is about managing the funds you already have. Many people use an advisor’s expertise to invest their savings and maximize the opportunity to put their money to work. They can help manage an investor’s tax liability, too. A financial advisor that specializes in tax-deferred investment vehicles can help you determine the most advantageous time to take a distribution from your retirement plan or identify beneficial tax-sheltered options.
Regardless of intellect, an investor may lack the appropriate knowledge when it comes to choosing investment options. Trying to balance the relationship between risk and return with your time horizon and your financial goals can be tricky. A smart investor seeks out and leverages the guidance of experts, even if they have investment experience. Don’t ever underestimate the value of professional advice.
Getting back on financial track
For some, their finances are one step away from crashing and burning. If you’re struggling with debt, a consolidation plan might be a wise first step. Financial advisors can develop a plan–not a get rich quick fix–where you’ll learn discipline, recognize your spending habits, and be held accountable so you can move toward improved financial health.
When you work through your goals with an advisor that has in-depth knowledge of your financial situation, you’re able to create realistic expectations and learn to plan accordingly. Recommending appropriate investment vehicles and a savings strategy can help guide you through the uncertainty.
While some advisors require a long-term arrangement, there are many who offer free consultations and no-obligation appointments to review your financial plan–or lack thereof. Check out the services offered by your local bank or credit union and set up a meeting. If they don’t give you a gold star and a pat on the back, they’ll be sure to recommend a realistic strategy. Either way, you win!
Todd’s Mortgage Minute: “How are rates?” Hmmm…
I’ve been in lending for almost 20 years and a question I receive from friends, family, and acquaintances alike is often the same, “how are the rates?” Well, this all depends on many factors, but it is mostly dependent on what YOUR situation is and what YOU’RE trying to accomplish.
You’d have to have lived under a rock the last couple of years not to know how low rates have been — and not just low, but HISTORICALLY LOW. But, over the last three months, it’s been well publicized that “rates are going up”…again, from a historical low. Just because rates are rising doesn’t mean they’re high, it just means they’re higher in some capacity than what they were yesterday. Not to mention many factors go into determining the rates, as well: credit scores, loan to value, type of occupancy, length of loan term, etc.
So consider this: if you’re trying to purchase a new home and you’ve found the house of your dreams AND it’s in your budget, then the rates should be good for you! Or, if you’re looking to refinance your current mortgage to save money each month by securing a lower payment and rate, then the rates should be good for you, too!
Remember, none of us in the industry can tell or predict what the rates will be tomorrow or anytime in the future, we can only share what they are today, and if it meets your needs and is better than what you have, I would say the rates are good!
Best Resale Value Vehicles
Most experts agree that the best time of year to purchase a new model car is in January and February – plus, if you finance with us by January 31 this year, you can enjoy 60 days of no payments*! Sales at the beginning of the year are usually slow and dealers start to raise prices as the year progresses. One thing to keep in mind when buying a new ride is the best resale value vehicles. As you probably know, cars start losing value the second you drive off the lot which is a bad thing if you think you’ll resell or trade it down the road. Resale value begins when you buy the “right” car in the first place. Here are a couple of things to look for that affect resale value.
Color — Standard colors are much easier to sell than trendy colors.
Upgrades and options — Options like leather seats and sunroofs add to a car’s value, but a navigation system or upgraded stereo won’t bring any extra money when selling. Also, automatic transmission is much more popular than manual transmission.
Geography — Demand for vehicles varies in different parts of the country and even in different communities. Convertibles may be good for warmer weather states, but it’s not as valuable in the colder northern states. Likewise, a pickup truck holds less value in bigger cities as opposed to rural towns.
These are just a couple of tips to consider when purchasing a car. Though resale value is important to many who purchase a new vehicle, if you plan to keep it until it dies, then you won’t need to worry about the resale value.
*Restrictions apply. Offer valid December 1, 2016 through January 31, 2017. No payment period only applicable to first 60 days of the loan. Interest will begin to accrue as of the loan date.