Calm the F(inancial) Down

Calm the F(inancial) Down

Calm the F(inancial) Down

Three big questions for you:

1. How do you plan to spend your time next month?
2. How will you control your exposure to information sources?
3. What strategies will you fall back on when you’re starting to panic?

You can’t predict the timing of market declines, natural disasters, or personal life curveballs. Yet we have a unique opportunity on the horizon. The upcoming presidential election may cause some chaos. 

Investors don’t like uncertainty which can make the financial markets volatile — meaning sharp movements up-and-down. We have no idea what’s going to happen in November but you may have already noticed some companies preparing for a chaotic month.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook Prepares Measures for Possible Election Unrest. Apparently Facebook is ready to deploy some internal tools to slow the spread of misinformation which can hopefully curb election-related violence. According to the article,

“… the tools could alter what tens of millions of Amercians see when they log onto the platform, diminishing their exposure to sensationalism, incitements to violence and misinformation…”

Facebook has created a plan. Have you?

The point of this article is to encourage you to remember that you created a plan when you decided to work with Financial Planning Fort Collins. Now, we hope to help you stay committed to your plan during times of uncertainty so you can calm the f(inancial) down when things seem crazy!

Make a Plan During Calm Times

We may be experiencing “a calm before the storm.” This is the perfect time to evaluate your current plan, take inventory on your current situation, and develop a plan if you need to make changes in the future.

To proactively plan may prevent you from making emotional decisions during times of uncertainty. We were happy that the majority of our clients didn’t panic when the COVID-19 market decline happened in spring of 2020 and we encourage you to take that same mindset. We don’t want you worrying about your financial future like many did about their toilet paper in early 2020.

▶︎ Question to Answer: What strategies will you fall back on when you’re starting to panic?

Ask yourself some questions when it comes to your long-term financial plan. By developing a risk management plan on how to proactively address moments of financial panic, you can prevent yourself making an emotional decision that may not serve your long-term financial self.

Here are some questions to ponder:

  • If there’s a disruption to my income, do I have my emergency fund in order?
  • How will I give myself permission to dip into my emergency fund during times of crisis instead of going into high-interest debt?
  • With my investments, has there been a foreseeable long-lasting change to my personal risk tolerance and time horizon?
  • What needs to happen for me to decide to change the course of my current financial strategy?
  • If I find myself wanting to sell my investments because of the market’s uncertainty, how will I attempt to make a rational decision instead of an emotional decision?
  • If I feel like I’m panicking because of my finances, what can I do to calm myself? Have I ever done something like this in the past? What did I learn from that experience?

We recommend addressing these questions and truly preparing. You have a limited amount of bandwidth available, and if you feel yourself stretched, you may make some decisions that could derail your financial plan.

Keep Your Eye on the Ball

You made financial goals and you can control your savings strategies, investment decisions, and spending habits. Remember to stay focused on your long-term self and to keep your eye on the ball.

As a simple exercise, how many times do you see the players in white pass the basketball?

Now, you can see that by focusing on your long-term financial goals, you may be able to drown out the noise in the background. Shift your attention to what you want to focus on instead of being pulled in the many directions of the media.

▶︎ Question to Answer: How will you control your exposure to information sources?

This noise in the background can be the financial doomsday pundits on the news, articles predicting the markets’ directions, and what you should do since the world has permanently changed. All of this media commentary is designed to grab the attention of the masses. But how does all this news media benefit you?

Carl Richards Quote

We’re confident that your plan consisted of a longer time horizon than November 2020, so let’s remain focused on your personal goals. No matter what the news media is saying, remember that the media doesn’t offer personalized guidance. 

Make a plan on how you’ll intentionally choose to follow the news outlets that you trust and find beneficial while also unfollowing the information sources that heighten your anxiety.

Keep your eye on the ball — and ignore the gorilla!

Feel in Control

By working with us, you made a decision to chip away at many of your responsibilities and we hope to help you proactively plan for life curveballs. These curveballs include times of market turmoil. We may see some turmoil next month — or we may not. Yet the world may be a tad wonky either way.

▶︎ Question to Answer: How do you plan to spend your time next month? 

Many people got sucked into the news cycles in early 2020 because things were so chaotic. Learn from that experience and remember how some rituals benefitted you and some rituals didn’t. Ask yourself some of these questions:

  • Come up with some strategies on how you want to handle yourself if things seem crazy again. Do you want to only tune into the news once or twice a day?
  • Do you need to uninstall some social media and/or news apps from your devices?
  • Can you schedule times to discuss other areas of your life (not the news) with family or friends?
  • When you find yourself committing too much emotional energy to things out of your control, what can you do to shift gears?
  • What are you looking forward to in November, December, 2021, and beyond?

Remember how you want to spend your time, create a plan to spend your time this way, and find ways to remind yourself of how you want to spend your time. You only have so much time, treasure, and talent to give in a certain day, so try to make these resources worthwhile. 

Again, we have no understanding or prediction on what may happen in the near-term. We could see the market skyrocket and shatter more all-time records day after day, or we enter a time of volatility after the presidential election, or things continue a similar rhythm without much change. Who the f(inancial) knows? 

Yet you’re doing something to benefit yourself. You’re investing in yourself by creating the habit to proactively plan ahead for times of stress. And you’re committing to not allow financial stress add to stressful life events — events within or out of your control.

Take care of yourself, remain civil, and we hope you found this article helpful. Remember, ask yourself these questions so you can keep calm and carry on.

1. How do I plan to spend my time next month?
2. How will I control my exposure to information sources?
3. What strategies will I fall back on when I’m starting to panic?

Ready to schedule your next meeting?

Simply head to the Meeting page where you can find and schedule a convenient time to discuss whatever is on your mind.

Dan Andrews
dan@fpfoco.com

Dan Andrews is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and the Director of Estate and Financial Planning at Financial Planning Fort Collins. Helping clients since 2012, Dan aims to make the financial planning process less daunting. Even though he also has extensive knowledge in estate planning, Dan enjoys financial planning with a professional yet light-hearted approach. To learn more about Dan, read his blogs or the articles he’s been featured in.



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Strategy:FOCO financial planning services are ongoing, and include unlimited phone, email, web and in-person meeting and consultation time. Pricing is based on the unique circumstances of each client situation. Generally, there is a one-time plan development fee ranging from $500 - $2,000 and a monthly fee of $150 - $500; cancel anytime. Clients utilizing investment management services with portfolios of $500,000 or more will typically receive financial planning services for no additional fee.
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Assets Under Management (AUM)Annual fee as a % of AUM or flat-dollar
$0 - $249,999(See Invest:FOCO)
$250,000 - $499,9990.90%
$500,000 - $999,9990.80%
$1,000,000 - $1,999,9990.65%
$2,000,000 - $2,999,9990.50%
$3,000,000 - $3,999,999$15,000
$4,000,000 - $4,999,999$20,000
$5,000,000 or more$25,000 + $2,000 per additional $1mm
MINIMUM ACCOUNT SIZE
There is a minimum initial investment of $100,000 per Strategy:FOCO client household. This minimum can be met via transfer of existing accounts or with new funds. A client household may generally include accounts for a head of household, a significant other, dependents, and any controlled organizations or entities.

Minimums do not apply to inStream proactive financial planning as a stand-alone service.
ANNUAL FEE
Assets Under ManagementFee as a % of AUM
$100,000 - $249,9991.00%
$250,000 - $499,9990.90%
$500,000 - $999,9990.80%
$1,000,000 - $1,999,9990.65%
$2,000,000 or more0.50%

inStream proactive financial planning as a stand-alone service: $1,000/year or $100/month
MINIMUM ACCOUNT SIZE
There is a minimum initial investment of $100,000 per Strategy:FOCO client household. This minimum can be met via transfer of existing accounts or with new funds. A client household may generally include accounts for a head of household, a significant other, dependents, and any controlled organizations or entities.

Minimums do not apply to inStream proactive financial planning as a stand-alone service.
ANNUAL FEE
Assets Under ManagementFee as a % of AUM
$100,000 - $249,9991.00%
$250,000 - $499,9990.90%
$500,000 - $999,9990.80%
$1,000,000 - $1,999,9990.65%
$2,000,000 or more0.50%

inStream proactive financial planning as a stand-alone service: $1,000/year or $100/month
MINIMUM ACCOUNT SIZE
The minimum initial investment for the Invest:FOCO platform is only $5,000 per account. This minimum can be met via transfer of an existing account or with new funds. Invest:FOCO is currently available for Individual, Joint, Traditional IRA, and Roth IRA registrations.
ANNUAL FEE
0.65% of assets under management ($65 per $10,000 managed)
MINIMUM ACCOUNT SIZE
The minimum initial investment for the Invest:FOCO platform is only $5,000 per account. This minimum can be met via transfer of an existing account or with new funds.
ANNUAL FEE
0.65% of assets under management ($65 per $10,000 managed)
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Invest:FOCO clients are eligible for a 10% discount on income tax preparation services offered through Fort Collins Tax Service, LLC. This discount applies to the base cost for return preparation as well as Schedules B & D. More details can be found here.
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There are no minimums when utilizing inStream proactive financial planning as a stand-alone service.

When investment management services are desired, there is a minimum initial investment of $125,000 per Strategy:FOCO client household. This minimum can be met via transfer of existing accounts or with new funds. A client household may generally include accounts for a head of household, a significant other, dependents, and any controlled organizations or entities. inStream proactive financial planning is then included at no additional cost.
ANNUAL FEE
inStream proactive financial planning as a stand-alone service: $1,250/year or $125/month

Assets Under ManagementFee as a % of AUM
$125,000 - $249,9991.00%
$250,000 - $499,9990.90%
$500,000 - $999,9990.80%
$1,000,000 - $1,999,9990.65%
$2,000,000 or more0.50%
TAX PREPARATION
Strategy:FOCO clients are eligible for a 50% or 100% discount on income tax preparation services offered through Fort Collins Tax Service, LLC. This discount applies to the base cost for return preparation as well as Schedules B & D. More details can be found here.
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Monthly Economic Update
Stay in the loop with our Monthly Economic Update. It's a great way to catch up on the things effecting your financial plan in an easy to read and relatable format.

We promise to only use your name and email address for sending our Monthly Economic Update. We will not sell, rent, lease, loan, or use your name or email address for any other purpose, internally or externally. You can easily unsubscribe at any time.
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Minimums do not apply to always-on, real-time financial planning as a stand-alone service.

For investment management services there is a minimum initial investment of $125,000 per Strategy:FOCO client household. This minimum can be met via transfer of existing accounts or with new funds. Investment management fees are generally debited from the accounts to which they apply. Financial planning services are included for Strategy:FOCO investment management clients at no additional charge.
ANNUAL FEE
Always-on, real-time financial planning as a stand-alone service:  $125/month or $1,250/year

Assets Under ManagementFee as a % of AUM
$125,000 - $249,9991.00%
$250,000 - $499,9990.90%
$500,000 - $999,9990.80%
$1,000,000 - $1,999,9990.65%
$2,000,000 or more0.50%
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FINANCIAL PLANNING
Financial planning services are ongoing, and include unlimited phone, email, web and in-person meeting and consultation time. Pricing is based on the unique circumstances of each client situation. Generally, there is a one-time plan development fee ranging from $500 - $2,000 and a monthly fee of $150 - $500; cancel anytime. Clients utilizing investment management services with portfolios of $500,000 or more will typically receive financial planning services for no additional fee.
INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT
Assets Under Management (AUM)Annual fee as % of AUM or flat-dollar
$0 - $249,9991.00%
$250,000 - $499,9990.90%
$500,000 - $999,9990.80%
$1,000,000 - $1,999,9990.65%
$2,000,000 - $2,999,9990.50%
$3,000,000 - $3,999,999$15,000
$4,000,000 - $4,999,999$20,000
$5,000,000 or more$25,000 + $2,000 per additional $1mm
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Your fee is determined by the complexity of your needs and situation. The primary proxy we use for complexity is your investable net worth, which is generally your total net worth, excluding your primary residence. Your investable net worth includes the value of cash, bonds, stocks, mutual funds, rental real estate, and other business or financial interests. This aligns with the holistic nature of our comprehensive services. You can use the chart below to estimate your fee based on your investable net worth. In some circumstances, your fee may be more than the minimums in the chart below.
Annual Fee Investable Net Worth (INW)
$4,000 (minimum for an individual)Up to $500,000
$6,000 (minimum for couples)Up to $1,000,000
$8,000Up to $1,500,000
$10,000Up to $2,000,000
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ESTIMATE YOUR FEE
Your fee is determined by the complexity of your needs and situation. The primary proxy we use for complexity is your investable net worth, which is generally your total net worth, excluding your primary residence. Your investable net worth includes the value of cash, bonds, stocks, mutual funds, rental real estate, and other business or financial interests. Our transparent pricing aligns with the holistic nature and value of our comprehensive services. You can use the chart below to estimate your fee based on your investable net worth. In some circumstances, your fee may be more than the minimums in the chart below.
Annual Fee Investable Net Worth (INW)
$4,000 (minimum for an individual)Up to $500,000
$6,000 (minimum for couples)Up to $1,000,000
$8,000 - $12,000$1,000,000 - $3,000,000
+ $1,000per additional $1,000,000 of INW