What's Your (Money) Relationship Status?

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It’s time to have a talk. The “what are we doing here?” talk. But this time, instead of sitting down with your significant other to talk about your relationship with each other, it’s time to have “the talk” about your relationship to money. We understand that everyone has a different past, personality, and approach to handling their finances. The more you come to understand the motives and values  that guide your money habits and tendencies, the more intentional and mindful your overall approach will be. And that’s what we want for you, to be intentional with your finances, and to be inspired to live your values.

 Party of One

If you’re single, consider it a gift! You are in full control. Empower yourself by getting intimate with your spending habits. Have a date with your budget by pouring yourself a glass of wine and doing a deep dive into where your money goes. Look at the last three months' worth of transactions to figure out what your average monthly spend is per category; then go a step beyond the awareness to ask yourself how you feel about those numbers. Do any of them need to shift to get your spending more in line with what you value (and what you're trying to save for)? Set new spending goals and reward yourself with a box of chocolates if you can reach them.

 Newly Attached

Congrats! There’s no better time to talk money with your honey. It’s important to learn their money personality type and start planning for how you’d handle your finances in the next step. Try taking a money personality quiz together and sharing some numbers: credit score? Total debt? Monthly savings?  If you’re coming up against some friction, take note and try a compassionate, empathetic posture. Remember, personal finance is personal.

 Together Forever

That’s wonderful! Married folks have plenty of advantages when it comes to sharing their finances. Tax advantages and no more “going Dutch”. Maybe you've already had a money talk, but over time, relationships - and goals - change. Early in life, your goals may be focused on paying off student loans. Your 30’s and 40’s will likely be focused on paying for your kids’ education expense. By the time you are in your 40’s and 50’s you will likely have enough disposable income to invest more in retirement.

Schedule a “money date” once a month to check-in with your honey about goals, and to see if your actions are in alignment with meeting your goals. Other considerations: maybe your tolerance for risk in your investments has changed as you start to consider retirement; maybe you need to update your estate documents; maybe your life insurance needs have decreased.

Setting a date to reassess your situation can go a long way in bringing you back into sync with one another. And start the conversation with shared goals, rather than with the budget, because shared goals are often easier to agree on!  

No matter what stage your relationship is in, we’re here to help!

Roberta Keller

Alexis Advisors is a fee-only firm offering financial planning and investment advisory services. We work with families, women and businesses to integrate their personal and social values with their financial goals. We are one of the few independently owned and operated financial advisory firms, with no dealer group or corporate associations that require us to revenue share or meet sales goals. This means that we have the flexibility to operate with complete transparency, fewer conflicts of interest, and in your best interest. 

Buckling Up For A Bond Rate Bump

Individual investors tend to think of bonds as the conservative part of their portfolio, but now we're in an environment where bonds may present increased risks. The Federal Reserve began tapering its economic stimulus program in January, with market strategists widely predicting that rock-bottom interest rates, which have fueled a 30-year bond market rally, will likely trend slowly higher. The central bank's decision to take the training wheels off the U.S. economy is a positive sign overall, indicating the markets are now sturdy enough to stand on their own.

But a healthier economy also presents a challenge for fixed-income investors, who want/need to rely on conventional Treasuries and long-term bonds as a stable income source.

Many bond investors don't realize the risks they may be facing in a rising interest-rate environment… Interest rates and bond prices move in opposite directions—when interest rates rise, bond prices fall, and vice versa. Some fixed-income securities are more sensitive to interest-rate changes than others; generally, the longer the maturity, the greater the sensitivity to a move in interest rates.

Many industry experts insist that interest rates will remain at historical lows despite the government's gradual reduction of quantitative easing—and that may be true for a while. But the federal funds target rate, which is artificially low due to the Fed’s intervention, currently hovers near 0 percent. Ultimately, it likely has nowhere to go but up.

To read the entire CNBC article: http://www.cnbc.com/id/101326909. And if you would like for us to review your bond portfolio, please give us a call on 804.625.3290.

Live well. Invest well.

Join the conversation!

- Roberta

Core Tenets - H

Information contained herein is for informational purposes only and is subject to various interpretations and time-frames, and should not be considered investment advice. Advice may only be provided after entering into an advisory agreement with Alexis Advisors, LLC (“Advisor.”) Advisor does not assume any legal liability or responsibility for any incorrect, misleading or altered information contained herein. Advisor shall not be liable for the improper or incomplete transmission of the information contained in this communication. Past performance is not indicative of future results while changes in any assumptions may have a material effect on projected results. Third Party Research Disclaimer: Third party research is provided for information purposes only and has not been prepared by Alexis Advisors, LLC. The information contained herein is based upon sources which we believe to be reliable, but no representation, express or implied, is made with respect to the accuracy, completeness or reliability of the information or opinions in the reports. About : Alexis Advisors, LLC is a Registered Investment Advisor with the Commonwealth of Virginia. Advisor’s current Disclosure Brochure is set forth on Form ADV Part 2 and is available for your review upon request. Please contact Advisor promptly if there are any changes in your financial situation or investment objectives, or if you wish to impose, add or modify any reasonable restrictions to the management of your account.