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Financial Planning
Saying Goodbye to a Loved One: A Financial Checklist

The passing of a loved one is an exceptionally difficult time in life. It has been more than five years since my parents passed away, and at times the feeling of loss is so acute it catches my breath. I was honored to be their personal representative and executor, and had the time and experience to be sure their finances were well prepared for such a transition. Despite this preplanning, the process was still painful and cumbersome.  

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Financial Planning
Exit Your Business in Style: 5 Steps to Financial Freedom for Business Owners

Running a successful business takes a considerable amount of time and effort, and it can leave business owners without much of an opportunity to think about an eventual exit. However, a well-crafted exit strategy can make for a smooth sale or handover of the business, and it can also help ensure that you move forward to the next chapter in your life with the financial security you’ve worked so hard to build.

In this article, we will discuss the 5 steps that can help you exit your business in style.

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Financial Planning
Divorce and Your Estate Plan: Eight Steps to Take

There’s nothing easy about divorce. It feels as though your entire life changes overnight and it’s hard to manage the whirlwind of priorities as you look for your next right step.

And while there are a lot of steps to manage, an important one is to ensure that your financial plan matches your “new normal.” By this I mean making certain that your needs, newfound priorities, and redefined goals are reflected in your plan, and a great way to start this is by updating (or creating) your estate plan. 

But where do you start? In my experience, there are eight key issues you should think about and discuss with your estate planning attorney as soon as practical following a divorce. As part of this, please give your divorce decree to your estate planner to make sure they are aware of your obligations.

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Data Security
Why (and How To) Enable Multi-Factor Authentication

As the world of technology continues to evolve, we need to continually stay on top of securing our personal information and access to accounts. The best practice of enabling two-factor (2FA) or multi-factor authentication (MFA) is nothing new, but it can often be thought of as an annoyance and, therefore, unused. If you’ve already enabled the feature on your online accounts that provide personal information (think financial accounts and email providers), that’s great! If not, we’d like to encourage you to do so.

MFA provides a valuable additional layer of security. It combines something you know (your password) with something you have (a one-time verification code or approval from your personal device) or something you are (fingerprint or face scan). The goal is to make it a little bit more difficult to hack into your accounts because you need multiple items to login. The method used is dependent upon the website where you are setting up your MFA. Often there is the option to have the code sent as a text message or to your email. When possible, though, opt to use MFA that provides a code or approval through an app on your phone (for example, Google Authenticator). (See how to implement multi-factor authentication on your logins with SWP below.)

Keep in mind, enabling MFA doesn’t mean your accounts will never be hacked. It is one way to add additional security, but it is just as important to maintain your cyber hygiene in other ways as well (such as creating unique and complex passwords, not clicking on unrecognized links, and not sharing personal information through unencrypted email – read our previous post on protecting your personal information for additional ways to keep you safe online).

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Financial Planning
Retirement Plan Design: Three Ideas To Drive Down Costs, Minimize Risk, and Improve Participant Outcomes

As a Retirement Plan Advisor at Strategic Wealth Partners, my role largely focuses on advising retirement plan sponsors on the myriad and complex aspects of retirement plan management.

To facilitate our work, we are members of the Retirement Plan Advisory Group (RPAG), a national alliance of retirement plan advisors and institutions. RPAG augments our team with CFA® Charterholders that focus on Plan Investments, ERISA Specialists, Plan Benchmarking Specialists, and Plan Consultants. These relationships allow the plan sponsors we serve at Strategic Wealth Partners to access opportunities that might not be available otherwise.

I recently attended the RPAG National Conference, an opportunity for RPAG members to share best practices and learn from industry thought leaders. This article will discuss some of the takeaways from the conference and several ideas to help retirement plan sponsors reduce plan costs, improve participant outcomes, and mitigate risk.

#1 Collective Investment Trusts (CITs)

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How We Manage Our Money
How I Manage My Money – Adam Rudolph

As I write this, my fiancé Joe and I are navigating a series of major financial and life events. From a financial perspective, life is all about working towards multiple goals at the same time.

For starters, we are planning our wedding in Mexico City in November
. At the same time, we are also working through the process of starting a family through surrogacy. And if that wasn’t enough, we are also planning to buy a new house. Working toward these goals (while continuing to save for retirement) has required a lot of careful planning and disciplined saving. In this article, I wanted to share what we’ve been doing from a financial planning and investment management perspective to make it all work.

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Current Events
What We Have Been Reading – Market Commentary & Beyond

Our team regularly reads articles from industry peers and trusted resources to stay up to date on financial markets. We enjoy reading about topics related to economics, investments, current events, and financial planning.
In addition to circulating some of the best pieces internally, we thought our clients, partners, and friends might enjoy reading some of the same articles as us.
We received great feedback on the articles we circulated in the first two quarters of 2022, so we wanted to follow up with some more!
Here are eight recent pieces that our team members have read, along with some commentary on why we found the respective articles interesting.

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Investments
Is It Still A Good Time For You To Invest?

People often ask me, “is now the right time to get into the market?” If I had a crystal ball that told me when to buy and when to sell, I probably would not be writing this piece! With the highest inflation numbers since the 1980s, concerns about an economy potentially in recession, and the most prolonged downturn in stocks since the Great Financial Crisis, there is no question that investors have been challenged this year.
The good news is that there are always opportunities for long-term investors with the right plan.
Whether you are an experienced investor, have recently come into cash, or are new to the financial markets, below I discuss some things to consider when asking if now is the right time to invest.

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