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Are Your Investment Goals Unrealistic? Goldstone Financial Group Weighs In

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How much should American retirees temper their investment expectations against market fluctuations? 

If you had posed the question this time last year, you probably would have received a flurry of cautiously optimistic responses as investors looked forward to what they had every reason to believe would be another bull market year. Optimism was rampant — and exciting for investors and retirees, who saw the climbing Dow as a sign that they would be able to live out their sunset years with comfortably-padded retirement accounts

“Nobody in the financial sector wanted to bring people down with dire predictions when the market appeared to be doing so well,” Anthony Pellegrino, the owner and co-founder at Goldstone Financial Group, noted of the mentality at the time. “Investors get fired up when they see reports of record highs.”

“I remember in 2015, there was major pushback from financial professionals when experts at Research Affiliates analyzed financial data from the preceding century and reported that it would be ‘optimistic’ to plan for even a five percent long-term return on a traditional portfolio. People were shocked — and a lot of them rejected those projections as being overly cautionary when the market remained strong.”  

And at the close of 2019, the market’s strength appeared to be on-track to persist. But within the first few weeks of the new year, the Covid-19 pandemic upended the global economy and caused the Dow to plummet. Ten months have since passed, and both have begun to recover.

“It’s not so much about good vs. bad news,” Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist at LPL Financial, recently told USA Today. “The economy is still nowhere near its output prior to the pandemic. But things are getting better.”

However, amid that improvement, those saving for retirement have been forced to question whether the need to revise their expectations for their accounts. The pandemic has demonstrated the dangers of assuming that good times will continue indefinitely — but how pessimistic should investors be about the future?

“This conversation always reminds me of the letter that Warren Buffett sent to his shareholders in early 2008,” Goldstone Financial Group’s Anthony Pellegrino says of expectation-setting. “Back then, he told people to check their perceptions of Dow growth and warned about the dangers of taking those increases out of context. That advice remains just as relevant — if not more so — today.” 

For context, here’s the passage that Pellegrino references from Buffet’s 2008 letter:

“During the 20th Century, the Dow advanced from 66 to 11,497. This gain, though it appears huge, shrinks to 5.3% when compounded annually […] For investors to merely match that 5.3% market-value gain, the Dow — recently below 13,000 — would need to close at about 2,000,000 on December 31, 2099 […] I should mention that people who expect to earn 10% annually from equities during this century — envisioning that 2% of that will come from dividends and 8% from price appreciation — are implicitly forecasting a level of about 24,000,000 on the Dow by 2100.”

“If your adviser talks to you about double-digit returns from equities,” Buffett concluded, “Explain this math to him.”

When taken into consideration alongside the uncertainty posed by Covid-19, Buffett’s math provides investors with ample reason to be careful. But what measures can aspiring retirees take to protect themselves and their accounts? 

Goldstone Financial Group’s Anthony Pellegrino points to three main strategies — consulting a fiduciary advisor, exploring IRA opportunities, and moving away from a buy-and-hold norm. 

Consulting a Fiduciary

Are you intimidated by market fluctuations and want a professional’s help in navigating them? A fiduciary advisor can help. 

“I cannot stress the importance of finding a fiduciary advisor enough,” Pellegrino emphasizes. “If you opt for a non-fiduciary professional, well, I’ll borrow another Buffett quote — ‘beware the glib helper who fills your head with fantasies while he fills his pockets with fees.’”

A fiduciary advisor is a financial professional who is legally obligated to act in their client’s best interests. They can only purchase and sell investments that they believe are well-suited to their clients’ needs and goals, and they cannot base their decisions on whether their suggested investments would provide the best kickbacks. 

As writers for NerdWallet summarize: “Fiduciaries are held to a significant level of trust with their clients and must avoid conflicts of interest. If your financial advisor does not have a fiduciary duty to you, they may be able to recommend investments or products that pay them a bigger commission over ones that would be the best fit for you, which could cost you more.”

Every single investment advisor employed at Goldstone Financial Group is a certified fiduciary advisor. The logic behind this policy is simple. 

“We want our clients to get the best possible advice,” Anthony Pellegrino says. “Having advisors who are held to a fiduciary standard ensures that they receive exactly that.” 

Explore IRA Opportunities

Think you can’t touch the money in your 401(k) until you retire? Think again! Pellegrino and the fiduciary advisors at Goldstone Financial Group often suggest that their clients withdraw a portion of their account balance and roll it over into an IRA account. The benefits of this tactic, Pellegrino says, include increased flexibility with investments.

“A nontaxable rollover to an IRA would give you more freedom to work with your financial advisor in choosing investments,” Pellegrino explains. “That said, you should always consult with your tax professional about potential tax implications before embarking on this strategy.”

Rethink Buy-and-Hold

Making investments and holding onto them indefinitely isn’t always the best strategy for long-term growth. 

“You may want to opt for tactical managed asset accounts that will allow you to capture and participate in the stock market’s upside and then, when the market declines, shift your assets to cash,” Goldstone Financial Group’s Anthony Pellegrino suggests. “Sure, you may still experience a loss — but typically, you’ll lose less than you would with a buy-and hold-strategy.” 

At the end of the day, Pellegrino offers one piece of advice that supersedes all others. 

“Don’t go through this alone. Your situation is unique, and the solutions you need will be equally so. Consult with a fiduciary advisor to see how your expectations and plans stack up against market conditions.” 

The idea of Bigtime Daily landed this engineer cum journalist from a multi-national company to the digital avenue. Matthew brought life to this idea and rendered all that was necessary to create an interactive and attractive platform for the readers. Apart from managing the platform, he also contributes his expertise in business niche.

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Business

Designing Secure Commercial Spaces Without Compromising Aesthetics

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In the realm of commercial design, security and aesthetics often seem like opposing forces. Business owners and designers alike grapple with the challenge of creating spaces that not only captivate and inspire but also ensure the safety and security of assets and occupants. The good news is that integrating security features into commercial spaces without sacrificing visual appeal is entirely achievable. This blog post will delve into innovative design strategies that harmonise security with aesthetics, including a look at the best deadlocks for front doors in Australia, ensuring your commercial space is both beautiful and fortified.

Embracing Technology for Seamless Security

Modern technology offers a plethora of options for discreet yet effective security measures. For instance, advanced surveillance systems can be integrated into the architectural design in a way that they blend seamlessly with the environment. Smart locks and biometric access controls offer robust security without the clunky hardware, maintaining a sleek and modern aesthetic. Implementing these technologies not only elevates the security level of your commercial space but does so without disrupting its design flow.

Strategic Use of Materials and Design Elements

The choice of materials and design elements plays a crucial role in balancing security and aesthetics. High-strength materials such as tempered or laminated glass, for example, offer excellent security without compromising on the visual openness that glass provides. Similarly, incorporating natural barriers like decorative boulders or planters can serve as subtle physical deterrents while enhancing the space’s visual appeal.

Lighting: A Dual-Purpose Tool

Lighting is another powerful tool that serves both aesthetic and security purposes. Well-planned lighting can highlight architectural features and create a welcoming atmosphere while ensuring visibility and deterring unauthorised access after hours. Motion-sensor lighting, in particular, can be a discreet addition that enhances security without detracting from the design.

The Role of Deadlocks in Aesthetic Security

A critical aspect of securing any commercial space is the choice of locks, especially for front doors which are the primary entry and exit points. Deadlocks offer a high level of security, making them an essential feature for commercial spaces. However, selecting the right deadlock doesn’t mean you have to settle for a utilitarian look. Today, the market offers a variety of deadlock designs that complement any aesthetic, from modern minimalist to classic elegance. For those in Australia, choosing the best deadlocks for front doors involves considering both the security features and how the lock’s design integrates with your commercial space’s overall look.

Collaboration Between Security Experts and Designers

Achieving a balance between security and aesthetics often requires a collaborative approach. Security experts and interior designers need to work hand in hand from the early stages of the design process. This collaboration ensures that security measures are not afterthoughts but are integrated into the design in a way that complements the space’s aesthetic appeal.

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Designing secure commercial spaces without compromising aesthetics is not only possible but essential in today’s world. Remember, the goal is to integrate security seamlessly into the design, enhancing the user experience and ensuring peace of mind for both business owners and visitors. With thoughtful planning and collaboration, your commercial space can be a testament to the harmony that can exist between security and aesthetics.

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