Your Valuable Assets Are Simply Your Evolving Estate
Your investment portfolio and other property assets are simply your evolving estate
A previous financial article, “The Solution – ONLY follow financial strategies that are scientific, passive, diversified, savings focused, risk controlled, low cost, and tax efficient,” suggested that investors are much better off with a well-considered financial plan. A stable set of financial beliefs can help you to keep focused and on track throughout your life. This follow-up article discusses the additional need for you to have an estate plan in place.
Your investment portfolio and other property could become your estate at any time.
As you proceed through life and become more successful financially, you need to monitor the size and trajectory of your potential estate assets. In particular, if you have responsibilities to others, you need to prepare appropriately for the day when your valuable assets become your estate. Prepare for your demise in advance. For the sake of your family, find a good estate lawyer sooner rather than when it is too late.
Estate planning is highly complex and estate tax laws and other laws keep changing. Requirements for estate planning preparation depend on your wealth, family composition, financial dependents, age, health, tax exposures, charitable intentions, and many other special factors. Because you cannot predict when your assets will become your estate, you should have in place now an estate plan that is appropriate for at least the short-term and medium-term future.
While you usually do not need to do it very frequently, you should continue to review your existing estate plans periodically. Many people establish an estate plan and let a decade or more slip away without reevaluating the adequacy of their estate plans. Thinking about your demise is probably not high on your list of pleasurable activities. Therefore, you may wish instead to think of reviewing regularly your estate plans as a sign of your advanced wisdom. If you do not walk away from that hypothetical car crash, your family might. They will miss you both emotionally and financially. If your estate plans were not in order, then your family may miss you even more from a financial point-of-view.
While many individuals can competently and profitably self-manage their financial and investment planning destinies, few of them are prepared to make estate planning decisions without professional help. An experienced attorney specializing in estate planning is required for any modest or larger sized estate.
At a minimum, an estate planning attorney will draft proper documents that should remain standing and protect your intent long after you cannot. However, valid paperwork is not the sole objective, when you hire an estate attorney. You also should look for an attorney who is well versed in the tradeoffs between different estate planning approaches.
Particularly, if you can already use the term ‘million’ in describing your total gross assets before subtracting your debts, you need a competent estate planning attorney who can help you understand what you need to do now and how things might change for you in the future. Then, after taking sensible estate planning measures, get on with your life and let your heirs and/or your favorite charities figure out what to do with the largesse that you leave behind.
Personal Financial Planning
- American Balanced Fund – Class A Mutual Fund Shares (ABALX) collect a +1 Fund Authority Score (The table below in this article presents The Skilled Investor's Fund Authority Score and other information for the American Balanced Fund - Class A Shares.
The diversified investment fund strategy of the American Balanced Fund - Class A mutual fund shares
According to its prospectus filing on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission EDGAR system, the investment [...])
- Passive Index Investment Strategies are Superior (Passive index investment strategies are superior, because they narrow the range of outcomes and lower your investment risk
A previous article, “The Solution - ONLY follow financial strategies that are scientific, passive, diversified, savings focused, risk controlled, low cost, and tax efficient,” suggested that individuals are much better off with a well-considered financial viewpoint. A stable [...])
- Using Google Scholar to Find Financial Articles (
Using Google Scholar to Find Finance Articles
If you want to do some research about financial planning and investing by yourself, try using Google Scholar.
Be prepared for a lot of the material you find to be esoteric. Nevertheless, Google Scholar is littered with diamonds that can improve your understanding of personal finance and save you money.
- How to Lie with Statistics – Investment Performance Charts (How to lie with statistics: Investment performance charts - A Tip from The Skilled Investor
Darrell Huff wrote a short and very informative book, "How to Lie with Statistics," which was first published in 1954 and was amusingly illustrated by Irving Geis. This book is still in print and remains very popular (Amazon book rank #2,040 [...])
- Conclusion to: What Is a Well-Diversified Investment Portfolio? (<<-- Continued from Part 1
In addition to showing that large numbers of additional stocks are required to achieve measurable improvements in diversification, the Evans and Archer study clarified other requirements for a well-diversified portfolio. The number of stocks selected for a highly diversified portfolio also depends on what one actually means by "the market."
To achieve [...])
- Avoid Very Large Actively Managed Mutual Funds (
Avoid very large actively managed mutual funds
Big actively managed mutual fund portfolio positions and higher percentage ownership of any company’s bonds or common stock are not good things for actively managed mutual funds. Nor, are these big positions and high percentages good for you.
Large portfolio size constrains how efficiently an actively managed mutual fund can [...])
- Fund Authority Scores for Stock ETFs and Mutual Funds – Management expenses, sales loads, and trading cost factors (
Fund Authority Scores range from -10 to +10 and measure five factors for diversified stock or equity investment funds: 1) annualized management and sales expenses, 2) trading costs, 3) historical performance, 4) fund maturity, and 5) operating efficiency.
Go to Part 2 -->>
This article explains how Fund Authority Scores rate stock or equity mutual funds and [...])
- Most Individual Investors Are Poor Personal Portfolio Managers (Most individual investors are poor investment portfolio managers
Investors more easily understand investment costs that are directly measurable, such as fees deducted on investment statements. However, many investors ignore or are unaware of the “opportunity costs” of their sub-optimal investment behaviors. Opportunity costs are usually much more difficult to measure directly, but these investment costs can [...])
- A Financial Decision Tool That Becomes Increasingly Valuable Over Time (As a financial decision tool, VeriPlan becomes increasingly valuable with the passage of time
Summary: While VeriPlan is an genuine bargain because of its low cost, it is an even greater bargain, when you consider that VeriPlan has no built-in obsolescence and that it can be used productively for years. We have engineered VeriPlan, so that [...])
- Avoid Mutual Fund and ETF Sales Commissions and Fees (Avoid mutual funds and ETFs with sales commissions and marketing fees
Summary: There is no convincing evidence that sales loads and other sales fees charged to investors result in higher mutual fund and ETF performance.
In fact, the opposite has repeatedly been proven true with mutual funds, which have a long performance history to evaluate. Paying a [...])
- Risk-Free Investment Money Is Fantasy Money (
For Individual Investors Risk-Free Investment Money Is Fantasy Money
Securities with low investment risk and high investment returns are just fantasies.
No "risk-free" investment money is consistently and reliably available to individuals. Luck dominates skill in the securities markets. Clever investment selection is vastly over-hyped, and only the promoters tend to benefit. On average over long periods, [...])
- Set your personal savings and other financial goals – Step 2 of 10 Financial Planning Steps in the Right Direction (CLICK HERE TO READ THE SKILLED INVESTOR's OTHER ARTICLES ABOUT THESE "10 FINANCIAL PLANNING STEPS IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION."
The single most significant financial lever that individuals control directly is their management of personal expenditures. The second is their lifetime effort to obtain sufficient income. Most people simply do not save enough of their current income [...])
- The Biggest Personal Finance Story of the Past 30 Years (
The Biggest Personal Finance Story of the Past 30 Years - Part 1
What could the biggest personal finance story of three decades be?
The growth of mutual funds and ETFs? Nope.
The dot com boom and bust? Nope.
Vanishing pensions? Nope.
The not-so-high quality of mortgage bonds? Nope.
A 0% personal savings rate nationally? [...])
- Are Your Financial Planning and Investing Strategies Scientific? (
Your financial planning and investing strategies should have a scientific basis
A previous article, "The Solution - ONLY follow financial strategies that are scientific, passive, diversified, savings focused, risk controlled, low cost, and tax efficient," suggested that individuals are much better off with a well-considered financial viewpoint. A stable set of financial beliefs can help you [...])
- The Fund Authority Score – A Better Mutual Fund and ETF Rating System (Fund Authority Scores rate mutual funds and ETFs on the most important economic factors influencing long term diversified investment fund performance
The Skilled Investor developed the Fund Authority Score system to provide individual investors with concise and objective mutual fund and ETF comparisons within investment asset classes.
Fund Authority Scores measure investment fund cost, maturity, efficiency, and [...])
Comments are closed.