A Popular Retirement Rule Of Thumb Isn't Wrong, But It Could Be Disruptive For Retirees

retiree baby boomer swimming old
retiree baby boomer swimming old

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A 4% Withdrawal Rate Could Disrupt Your Retirement Planning (Morningstar)

Michael Falk from Focus Consulting explained the reasoning behind using a 3% or 4% withdrawal rate with Morningstar. Falk said 4% rate is not necessarily wrong, but can increase risks based on your planned expenses.

"So what I advocate is maybe start little bit more simply, maybe start with looking at how the total spending plan splits into both the budget for fixed expenses and in the balance of the spending plan for all those discretionary things that you love to do," Falk said. "Then once you get to a point of covering your fixed expenses, and if you go into retirement with little debt--the house is paid off and maybe you go down to one car that is paid for--you make that so much more manageable. Now you can roll with the markets punches so much more easily. It also means that there is no preset amount of equities that you should or shouldn't own. It also means there is not a preset amount of liquidation 3%, 4% that you should take every month."

Two Portfolio Tweaks To Prepare For A Stronger Economy (BlackRock)

In the midst of signals that the economy is on the upturn, BlackRock's Russ Koesterich recommends making a couple changes to your portfolio. This is to account for the change in the investment climate following recent optimism. One tweak is to add cyclical stocks that are especially sensitive to economic growth, in energy, financials and some tech. Another is to avoid short term bonds.

"The outlook for bonds largely depends on the length of their maturity. Last week’s data, combined with other recent employment indicators and some signs of higher inflation, may lead the Federal Reserve (Fed) to begin raising short-term interest rates. To the extent this occurs earlier than investors expect, shorter-term bonds –those with maturities between two and five years – are likely to be the most vulnerable , and could see their value fall," Koesterich wrote.

Advisory Firms That Use More Technology Earn Higher Profits (InvestmentNews)

A technology study from InvestmentNews showed that advisory firms who use more technology actually earn a higher profit. However, that doesn't mean these firms spent more on technology. Both "Innovator" firms and other firms spent about three percent of revenues toward technology expenses.

" Investments in technology allow the advisers and business development professionals at Innovators to have more shared and centralized intelligence, more efficient access to firm technology — which is enabled by remote, cloud-based and mobile technologies — and ultimately a greater capacity to grow their firms' revenues without increasing headcount," InvestmentNews research said. " This suggests that not only have the firms that are most deeply committed to technology already experienced superior financial performance as a result, they are likely continue to benefit and build their businesses at steadier rates than other advisory firms in the near future as well."

Why You Should Use A Rules-Based Approach To Investing (Wall Street Journal)

Cokie Berenyi, CEO of Alphavest, recommends using a rules-based approach to investing, and tells investors to avoid an emotional or passive approach. "The basis for this rule-based approach is ranking the performance of the six most commonly used asset classes: domestic and international stocks, bonds/fixed income, currency, cash, and commodities," she writes. One rule is to overweight the top two classes for clients, the other is to avoid or short the sixth asset class.

"They liked the fact that this strategy isn't about hanging their hat on my ability to shift assets from one asset class to another or in and out of the market. I'm purely using data," Berenyi said. " The rules-based approach also advocates for advisers to avoid the "noise" from wholesalers. There's so much static out there in the media and the marketplace. My rules help me tune out wholesalers who stop by my office pushing the investment du jour. If it doesn't filter through the rule book, just don't look at it."

The Pros And Cons Of Using Target-Date Funds For Your Retirement (Barron's)

Target-date funds are a mix of stocks and bonds, combined in a mutual fund that becomes more conservative as you get closer to retirement. Andrew Bary from Barron's said these funds, which are taking over the 401(k) market, are beneficial because they basically manage themselves for a low fee. However, Bary said that equity allocation from these funds can go as high as 90%.

"Especially with inflation right now, if you're in a money market fund or even a stable value fund, you're going to not keep up with inflation, or barely keep up with inflation. This offers you a fighting chance to have a reasonable amount of money for retirement," he said. "Within five years, it could be the predominant investment for most people and their 401(k) plans."

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