Tag Archives: emergency fund

Your 2016 Year-End Personal Finance Checklist

Unfortunately, it’s human nature to push off thinking about personal finances until the end of the year, if at all. If this describes you, don’t despair! There’s still time left before 2016 draws to a close to make some meaningful decisions, which is why we put together a checklist of important tasks you should consider before the New Year. Top off your emergency fund Give yourself and your family the gift of an emergency fund. We typically suggest you set aside three to six months of your monthly spending, but everyone’s situation is different. To help determine what’s right for you, we suggest you read Build the Emergency Fund That’s Right for You. Our recommendation is to keep your emergency […]

Financial Advice for Young Lawyers in Debt

What to Do First? Invest or Pay off Debt? Among the many decisions facing young professionals as they embark on their careers is how to begin a lifetime of financial planning. And young attorneys have an especially tough call. Most of them leave law school with significant student debt, but without the sort of starting salary necessary to quickly pay off their loans. At the same time, they are usually smart enough to appreciate that they need to start saving for major life events, including a home, college for their children, and their own retirement. So what to do? Pay off their loans, or start in on a nest egg? The answer for young lawyers, just like it is for […]

14 Things to Consider for Your Year-End Financial Checklist

The last few weeks of the year are always a mad rush to wrap up loose ends, often in a frantic fashion. In the spirit of the season, we thought it a good time to share a checklist of important items to consider before the calendar year ends, all related to your investments and finances. We also wanted to reiterate some key topics we’ve already discussed, but that are especially important to review by end-of-year. Here are some brief pieces of financial advice on several fronts that could benefit you and yours in multiple ways, and that could ultimately add to your long-term bottom line, not to mention peace of mind. 1. Establish or Tune Up Your Emergency Fund If you […]

Build the Emergency Fund That’s Right for You

One of the pillars of sound personal finance is the emergency fund.  An emergency fund is money set aside before everything else to cover unexpected expenses. This is the first step to building your financial future, even before you start investing. The challenge is it’s hard to predict when or if you’ll need money to cover your living expenses if you lose your job or experience unusual healthcare costs associated with a family member becoming seriously ill. Therefore it should not be surprising that the most common question we receive with regards to emergency funds is how large should they be?  For most people the answer is probably enough money to cover your living expenses for three to six months.  […]

Eight Financial Planning Actions You Should Consider for the New Year

Many of our clients like to use the beginning of a new year to create a plan for their personal finances.  They often ask us what we think are the most important issues to consider.  We believe there are eight critical actions to focus on: Create an emergency fund Pay off high interest debt If you own a home don’t pay off your mortgage If you’ve yet to purchase a home determine how much home you can afford Set up a 529 plan for your kids Evaluate early exercise of your options Create a long-term investment account Avoid Angel Investments Create an emergency fund As you have read in many of our posts, we believe the first thing every young […]

Managing A Silicon Valley Windfall

Sudden money – such as comes with an IPO or an acquisition – is a good thing, right? Yes, but it’s often accompanied by stress. People who have been working within a constrained budget, steadily paying off college loans and sizable Silicon Valley mortgages, suddenly find themselves with a seemingly limitless number of options for spending their money. In this recent Quora post, Wealthfront Director of Research Jeff Rosenberger answered the question: “What advice would you give to someone who has the opportunity to cash in some of his private company stock in the low seven digits?” Jeff offered a three-step plan. Divest your stock “Unless you have an informational advantage that tells you your company stock is meaningfully under-valued […]

Preventive Medicine for One Young Doctor’s Growing Portfolio

Amy Batterstein, 25, has a one-word refrain: Save! Though the West Coast medical student has adopted a few other choice philosophies that govern her financial life, the one at the top of the list is simple: Don’t spend it all. Ms. Batterstein only earns about $25,000 a year from a part-time job and as a medical student, but she still manages to invest $1,000 a month – which she puts into a Vanguard S&P 500® index fund. “I do not check my balances frequently. I do not want to convince myself to make frantic decisions,” says Ms. Batterstein, who also established a $50,000 cash account for herself during the two years before medical school, when she worked as a consultant. […]

People in Their 20s & 30s: Become a Savvy Investor

People in their 20s or 30s, you face some of the biggest challenges and the biggest opportunities of any investor. (See Preventive Medicine for One Young Doctor’s Growing Portfolio). If you have a solid income stream, you face a bewildering array of demands on your money. You may want to save to buy a house; you probably have college loans to pay off; and you’re already thinking about socking money away for “big ticket” items in your future like cars, vacations and kids’ college! One crucial realization you’ll have as a young investor is that different goals will require different investment vehicles. Key Investment Vehicles The Rainy Day Fund There’s no clear consensus among experts as to exactly how much […]

How Much Cash Do You Really Need Before You Start Investing?

The convention wisdom is that you need 3 to 6 months’ worth of cash on hand to cover emergencies BEFORE you start investing. There is no substitute for the reassuring feeling of fast, hard cash on hand. Sounds rational, right? But it’s not quite so simple. A growing number of experts say that there’s more wiggle room in this question of cash reserve than you might think. The latest thinking suggests that there are five things that you should take into account when deciding how much cash you need before investing: your monthly expenses the kinds of crises you want to prepare for your job skills and your industry whether you have equity in your home to be tapped the […]