We live in a time when almost any question can be answered by picking up a smartphone. But finding the correct answer isn't always easy and can be overwhelming. That's why we've compiled this list of answers to common financial questions. Maybe you'll find one of yours here!
What's the difference between putting money in an investment account and a savings account?
Money in a savings account is readily available and typically won't decline in value. The trade-off is it earns a low, fixed-interest rate. This strategy works well for emergency savings or short-term goals because the money will be there when you need it.
In an investment account, you buy stocks and bonds expecting to earn higher returns over time but face the risk of losing your money. This strategy is generally better for longer-term goals, when you need higher returns and can wait out potential market declines.
How much should I have in stocks vs. fixed income?
Many factors go into building a portfolio, and there's no one-size-fits-all approach. The mix of investments you hold in your portfolio will depend on several things: your life stage, the amount of time available to grow the money, your risk tolerance and your goal for the money. Answering these questions can help you build a portfolio with the right mix of assets to achieve your goal.
Should I pay down debt or invest?
Assuming you have an emergency fund and already contribute enough to a Health Savings Account or 401(k) to receive any employer match available to you, start whittling away at your high-interest-rate, non-tax-deductible debt – like credit cards. If your debt has relatively low interest and is tax deductible, like a mortgage or student loans, consider investing the money instead.
How much do I really need to retire?
There is no easy answer to this question because it's based on your goals for retirement. First, think about what you want to do in retirement. How much money will it cost to do it? When do you want to retire? Will you continue working part-time during retirement? Answering these questions with the help of a financial advisor can help you get closer to figuring out the amount that's right for you.
Have a question you don't see here? Contact your financial advisor to discuss it.