5 Stocks to Consider for Early 2021

January 2021 will be known as a historical month for the stock market when retail investors were able to make stocks like AMC and GameStop fly. However, new and veteran investors should be thinking more about some of the more long-term stocks they could pick up. Consider purchasing some of these stocks in early 2021.

Disney

Disney had a bit of a rough year in 2020 due to the closure of its theme parks and not being able to screen movies like Black Widow in movie theaters. However, 2021 is expected to bring a lot of upside to Disney due to vaccination efforts opening up more public activities. Disney + is also expected to grow the company through the release of new content like its line of Marvel TV shows.

Starbucks

Traditional cafes have had a tough time in the past year due to many people working from home. Starbucks has been able to beat this trend though through its focus on delivery and drive-thrus. The company is expected to focus its stores more on these forms of distribution while expanding the company’s outreach further into large countries like China. By looking at their numbers, it’s expected that they won’t slow down anytime soon.

AMD

The focus on CPU manufacturing has led AMD to become one of the most booming companies in the tech industry for the past couple of years. AMD was able to continue its surge in 2020 due to the release of the Xbox Series X and PS5 which both use chips for their CPU and graphics units. The computer industry also got a boost from AMD with the release of multiple AMD Ryzen chips which are known for now matching and beating similarly priced chips from Intel in gaming. It’s expected that AMD will grow in 2021 due to constantly having to keep up with the demand for gaming consoles along with spectacular growth in the computer industry.

UPS

E-commerce had one of its best years in 2020 due to people having to stay at home and quarantine rather than shopping in person. Shipping companies like UPS were able to take advantage of this by shipping for many of these businesses, creating more business than ever before. It’s expected that UPS could even raise the stock price in 2021 higher due to the company potentially having a key part in the vaccine distribution process.

Bank of America

It was expected for many banks to end up in financial trouble and potentially shutting their doors down when the COVID-19 pandemic started. However, it seems like banks such as Bank of America were able to avoid a crisis like 2008. The reason for this is that the Financial Reserve has been able to ensure that the market has been strongly supported to ensure that a pandemic couldn’t crash it along with trading not being as dangerous as it was just over a decade ago. For these reasons, Bank of America and other financial stocks can be great to invest in.

This post was originally published on Etienne Kiss-Borlase’s Finance Blog. For more info about Etienne, please visit his homepage.

5 Stocks to Consider for Early 2021

Be Wary of Free Financial Advice

Some of the biggest changes to the financial world in recent years have been the result of disruptions that make services free. One of the best examples of this is Robinhood. With a no-commission model for stock trades, Robinhood has made it more affordable than ever before to get started trading stocks.

But in many contexts, free and finance simply don’t go together. One area where this is true is the world of financial advice. Typically, experts who have lots of experience in an industry seek to make money by consulting. That means they charge an hourly fee for the advice they provide.

Often, free financial advice from professionals has hidden costs. For example, the experts providing it might earn commissions. They may be inclined to promote products with the best commissions, rather than the ones that best fit a customer’s needs.

Another source of free advice can be media figures in segments on news networks. Sometimes they offer good information. But they, too, may be pressured to act in outrageous ways that attract ratings. What’s more, they don’t know all the details of your exact financial situation.

One final source of free information is family and friends. Usually, they are not financial professionals. They may have used strategies in the past that are no longer the best fit for the present. Because of changes to the tax code and other laws, their information might be badly out of date. It can be very risky to take advice from older relatives who made their biggest financial moves a generation ago.

Paying for financial advice may seem counterintuitive when so much is being offered for no money. But high quality advice matters much more than quantity when it comes to money. Paying an advisor is prudent in the long run. It can save people from costly short-term mistakes and lead to greater profitability in the long run.

In choosing a financial professional to plan with, make sure to look for a fiduciary. Anyone designated as a fiduciary is required to put their clients’ needs before their own. That means they’re obliged to provide the right advice for the people they work with, not just details of products that offer big commissions.

This post was originally published on Etienne Kiss-Borlase’s Finance Blog. For more info about Etienne, please visit his homepage.

Be Wary of Free Financial Advice

Being Honest With Your Partner About Finance

Finances can lead to a lot of fights and stress in your household. Because of this, it’s important that you talk with your partner about money. Here are some ways to make being honest about your finances with one another easier.

Have Consistent Finance Meetings

You and your partner need to talk about finances often. You can do this by scheduling finance meetings on a weekly or monthly basis. Put these meetings on the calendar, and make a commitment to attend them. This is a great time to review your budget, and you can talk to each other about any big purchases that you’d like to make in the near future.

Don’t Be Critical Of One Another

We’ve all struggled with finances at some point. When you talk to your partner about money, you shouldn’t be critical of one another. You and your partner will be able to have more meaningful financial conversations if you feel as if you can be open and honest without hearing harsh criticism. You should support each other even if the other person messes up. 

Instead of being critical, you should develop ways to help the other person stay on track. This can include making lunch to avoid eating out or figuring out some frugal things that you can do together for entertainment on the weekends.

Create Long-term Goals

Even if you don’t have a lot of extra money, you can still create long-term goals. These can include everything from paying off debt to buying a house. Just make sure that you and your partner are both in agreement with these goals so that you can make a plan to reach them together. It may be beneficial to create a chart that highlights your progress towards your goals. This will keep you motivated during those months where you are struggling to stay on track.

Many couples deal with financial issues. You can avoid some of this conflict by being honest with each other about money. If you do the things mentioned above, you can create an open dialogue, and you can create financial goals that you can achieve while cheering each other on. 

Being Honest With Your Partner About Finance

How to Transition from Two Incomes to One

Many families enjoy the security of a two-income household. Many working parents admit that they would rather spend more time at home raising their kids. In the current economy, it is easy to see why. Having at least one parent at home is preferable in certain situations, although they will be losing one income. Transitioning from two incomes back to one is a big change but can be accomplished if you have a plan.

 

Transitioning from two incomes down to one can seem a little overwhelming, but if you follow these tips for living on one income, you’ll make the transition smooth and easy.

 

Have a Plan

 

Having a plan ahead of time relieves stress and worry about what will happen when the change occurs. If you have a budget based on a single income, it will be easier to see how the money will be spent and help you worry less.

 

Put Money in a Savings Account

 

Announcing your departure and heading off without any savings in the bank is a recipe for disaster. Financial experts recommend having at least 6 – 12 months of income put aside in savings to live on in the event of an emergency.

 

Pay Off as Many Bills as You Can

 

It will be easier to make the transition to one income by not having car payments and credit card bills looming overhead. It is a good idea to pay down the largest bills first, and then the smaller ones.

 

Eliminate Unnecessary Expenses

 

Living on one income means cutting back on expenses to stay within the budget. There are free sources of entertainment that can be utilized while cutting out cable and trips to the movies.

 

Find Alternative Health Care Coverage

 

Leaving a job means losing the health benefits from that position. Research insurance companies and find one with low-cost premiums that cover the whole family.

 

Practice Living on One Income Before You Decide

 

If the thought of losing half your income is worrisome, practice it for a month before making the transition. You can use one income to pay the household bills and buy groceries and save the second income in the bank.

 

Making the switch to a single income can be made easier by planning and covering the most important things.

This post was originally published on Etienne Kiss-Borlase’s Finance Blog. For more info about Etienne, please visit his homepage.

How to Transition from Two Incomes to One

How to Budget as a Couple

Finances can cause stress for any family, and it’s hard to sit down with your significant other to draft a budget. The process of combining both your incomes and your needs can take some adjustment. If you don’t talk about your financial situation, though, you’ll be more likely to experience stress about financial responsibility.

 

To create a life together and have a successful relationship, you’ll need to commit to budgeting together.

 

Budgeting might seem overwhelming, but you can start with the basics. Before even bringing numbers into the situation, talk to your partner about what each of you wants, buys, and aims to achieve. It’s important to understand the relationship that each of you has with money.

 

This part of the process isn’t about arguing or proving who’s “right.” It’s just about understanding the other person and respecting what they need.

 

After you’re comfortable with each other’s basic financial thoughts, the first part of budgeting is setting down the needs of the household. This covers month-to-month bills like rent and utilities, transportation costs like gas and car maintenance, food, and required debt payments.

 

You must cover all of these costs before you can begin spending money on extraneous items. However, you can reduce the costs by purchasing less expensive groceries, getting a used car, or moving to a smaller space. Needs must be given higher priority than desires.

 

Long-term goals are the next thing to set down. As a couple, you should have a long-term financial plan. This plan may help you determine when to meet milestones like having a baby or buying a house. Specific monthly goals make it easier to save. If you aren’t saving for anything specific, you’ll be more likely to spend the money instead.

 

Now you can talk about the desires and needs you each have outside of the home essentials. These might involve clothing costs, hairdresser appointments, gym memberships, and online subscriptions.

 

You will likely have different needs and priorities than your partner. You might also not understand all of your partner’s priorities. But budgeting is about finding compromises that allow both of you to have the things you want to live your ideal lifestyle.

Some couples use an allowance to use on their personal desires without needing to okay it with their partner.

This post was originally published on Etienne Kiss-Borlase’s Finance Blog. For more info about Etienne, please visit his homepage.

How to Budget as a Couple

How to Create a Backup Plan For Your Personal Finances

If COVID-19 has taught us one thing, it’s that an earth-shattering event like a pandemic can happen at any time, and it could even cause you to lose your main income. Even if not, it could affect your financial future, such as setting back your retirement plans or hurting your investments in other ways. The good news is you can always create a backup plan if future disasters or common life events disrupt your original goal.

 

Build A Sizable Reserve Fund

 

You should use a savings account or a short-term CD account to save up money for a worst-case scenario like a job loss. You’ll want to make sure it can cover your rent or mortgage payment over the course of six months to a year. It takes some discipline and focus to set aside funds in savings, but even a little bit set aside here and there can add up to a lot of savings.

 

Choose The Right Life Insurance Policy

 

Life insurance is also something you should have as a protective measure against the unforeseen. Not only is it used for covering the needs of beneficiaries if the policyholder passes away, but it can also be used to cover other financial setbacks. With a cash-value life insurance policy, you can take cash distributions depending on how much you’ve paid into it so far. But you will deplete your death benefit amount if you aren’t careful about how much you cash out.

 

Know When To Change Your Investment Portfolio Strategy

 

Sometimes you need to change the kind of investment funds you have in your portfolio when markets go through major changes. It may be better to invest in bonds over stocks if the stock market is struggling, or if bonds are more stable and offer more consistent returns. There are even other assets you can invest in for retirement, including real estate and precious metals. It’s good to have a knowledgeable advisor working with you letting you know when you should buy or sell your assets to match the market conditions.

 

The bottom line is financial setbacks are always a possibility because of circumstances you can’t control. However, you can always be ready to reallocate your savings, investments, and insurance policies into new savings opportunities when your original ones don’t work anymore. 

This post was originally published on Etienne Kiss-Borlase’s Finance Blog. For more info about Etienne, please visit his homepage.

How to Create a Backup Plan For Your Personal Finances

Personal Finance Tips to Better Your Retirement

Planning for your retirement is something you should begin to think about whether you just started a job or you’re just about done. The truth is that it’s never too early, or too late to start saving and investing. For those who didn’t start early, know that other people are on the same boat as you. No matter where you stand in life right now, you are capable of boosting your retirement savings. Here are some tips that can help you grow and better your retirement plan. 

 

Start Today

 If you haven’t already, start saving and investing today! Compound interest allows you to generate earnings off your assets. By investing a smaller amount of money over a longer period, you can make a greater impact than investing a larger amount of money in a shorter amount of time. With that being said, start saving for your retirement as young as you can. Putting a little something aside every month can make a huge difference.

 

Work on your 401(k)

Many places offer eligible employees a 401(k) plan where they can add pre-tax money to their retirement account. Let’s you’re in the 14% tax bracket and want to put $200 into your 401(k) every pay period. The money will come out of your paycheck before federal taxes are taken away, meaning instead of taking home $172 in your paycheck, the full amount will be put into your savings plan. This helps individuals invest more of their income without it feeling like they’re cutting into their monthly budget. If you happen to leave your employer before retirement, here are a few choices on what to do with your 401(k) account.

 

Open an IRA

Consider building more retirement savings aside from your employer with an individual retirement account. There are two different types of IRAs that you can choose from. There’s the traditional one that gives your earning the chance to grow tax-free until you begin to make withdrawals during your retirement. The Roth IRA includes after-tax contributions which means that once you retire your earning are federal-tax-free if they were in the required holding period. Many factors play a role in choosing an IRA, so do some research before picking which is best for you. 

This post was originally published on Etienne Kiss-Borlase’s Finance Blog. For more info about Etienne, please visit his homepage.

Personal Finance Tips to Better Your Retirement

The Basics of Crypto-finance

f you’ve ever heard of Bitcoin or Blockchain, you have some of the basics of crypto-finance. If those words don’t mean anything to you, you must learn about them quickly, and they will lead you on the way to understanding and engaging in the unique world of crypto finance.  

Bitcoin

Bitcoin is where it all started and is the basis for the field. Putting it simply, bitcoin is a digital virtual currency. You can purchase bitcoin like it’s foreign money and spend it on shops online. You can also use bitcoin as an investment option. Although that is a risky choice considering the worth of bitcoin often fluctuates enough to make investment a high-risk decision. The most significant difference between bitcoin and the physical currency is that bitcoin is not linked to any particular country or province; it’s universal. So as you engage in crypto finance, remember that bitcoin is the universal currency that solely exists virtually. 

Blockchain

Bitcoin is based on the platform blockchain. Blockchain is considered a distributor ledger. The distributed part of that term means that it does not exist on one single computer but instead is distributed upon all computers. The ledger part of that term refers to a means of recording and tracking bitcoin. Who is spending what, where the money is being transferred to, who has how much, and much more. Consider it a large book that is growing all of the time. Just like the pages of the book are all bound together for a greater story, the blocks of blockchain are interlinked. Imagine the effect of the usage and spending of bitcoin like dominoes falling, and each domino is tracked and recorded.

Cryptofinance is a unique form of spending, that is here to stay. As we evolve and change as a world, and technology becomes an inescapable part of that, we need to learn the ropes, even as they are changing. 

This post was originally published on Etienne Kiss-Borlase’s Finance Blog. For more info about Etienne, please visit his homepage.

The Basics of Crypto-finance

Why Everyone Should Learn About Finance

Nearly everyone deals with finances on a daily basis. From receiving a paycheck to buying produce at a grocery store, people are constantly exchanging money to live. Many schools, however, don’t teach their students much about finance even though it is such a crucial part of life. As a result, it is important for people to do their own homework and educate themselves about the many financial opportunities that this world has to offer. There are several things that people should strive to learn about finance as soon as possible.

 

Credit

People don’t understand the importance of credit. Though many people use credit, through either credit cards, bank loans, or student loans, many don’t understand how much it matters. Credit can be very good or can be very bad depending on how it is used. Many financial professionals use credit to their advantage when making deals, but for most people, credit places them at a huge disadvantage because they misuse it. When using credit, people should aim to always pay back as much as they can. In the case of credit cards, when they aren’t paid back in full, additional interest is applied to the loan amount on a daily basis.

 

Budgeting

Budgeting is one of the most important financial skills that most people don’t really understand. Many people struggle because they don’t track their expenses and end up overspending based on the amount of money that they have coming in. Budgeting is used by even the savviest of financial experts, including large investment firms. Budgeting teaches a person how to spend based on their income.

 

Life is Fluid

Most people fail to realize that their current financial situation is changeable. Whether they have to work more, invest smarter, or change their complete approach, no one has to be stuck in the same financial position. Though it may be harder for some than others, depending on the stage of life that someone is in, changing a financial situation can be as simple as placing aside a few dollars with every paycheck. Small changes really do lead to big results and the best way for someone to realize this is to try it for themselves.            

 

This post was originally published on Etienne Kiss-Borlase’s Finance Blog. For more info about Etienne, please visit his homepage.

Why Everyone Should Learn About Finance

New Rules of Finance

The concept of finances has existed since the beginning of time. In Mesopotamian days people would trade goods for other goods and services, which would quickly morph into a form of currency. Some rules have existed since the beginning of time about finance. Budget, save for retirement, spend less than you earn to build up your wealth.

Other financial advice holds up less than adequately in the 21st century. With a new financial culture and the everchanging way of the younger generation viewing finances, the rules of the trade have changed. A common rule preached throughout the late 20th century was to save six month’s worth of living expenses for emergencies. That includes rent, utilities, and any fixed necessary expenses. While saving for emergencies is incredibly important, it’s not necessarily doable for Millenials in today’s market. Most individuals have trouble saving 1,000 dollars for emergencies, much less 6 months’ worth of expenses. There are now new and other ways of looking at finances and saving money.

Another old rule is that buying an old home is better than throwing away money on rent. While that may be applied in the 1920s when buying a house was equivalent to now buying a smart refrigerator, the same can not apply now. Since the 2008 housing crisis, buying a home has become an increasingly difficult process. Instead of that old rule, make your new rule of thumb is to examine your expenses, and don’t rule out renting. Often in today’s market, renting is the safest option, especially for Millenials and Generation Z.

Another old rule had to do with investing. Previously it was recommended that you do not invest in any stocks until you pay off your debts. The thought process that investing in stocks with the risk of not paying out debts was greater than reward. With the current options for not only paying off debts but investing, the opposite may be true. As a new rule of thumb, focus on paying off your high interest and regular debt payments, while investing in a low-stakes stock. The ability to grow your portfolio can help in the long run instead of hurting.

While trends come and go, the importance of finances do not. Don’t be afraid of new lines of thinking, and more relevant options for your financial journey.

This post was originally published on Etienne Kiss-Borlase’s Finance Blog. For more info about Etienne, please visit his homepage.

New Rules of Finance