Prepare Your Finances for 2012 and Beyond

Greek debt defaults, European bailouts, slow U.S. economic growth, and a stock market more volatile than any we’ve seen in years, have teamed up to knock the stuffing out of investor confidence. Now more than ever, investors feel an acute sense of fear and uncertainty regarding their financial futures.

I’m sure the latest market turmoil has you feeling a high level of anxiety about your finances as well. As we approach 2012, I believe now is a great time to get in touch with your personal financial plans, and to see how you can take the steps necessary to turn down the dial on that anxiety.

As a wealth advisor to hundreds of families and individuals around the country, I have a great deal of experience developing and updating wealth management plans for my clients. Here is an outline that my firm, Fabian Wealth Strategies, uses that can help put you on a more serene fiscal road. By reviewing each of the following aspects of your finances, we can tailor a plan that suits your specific needs.

1) Set goals and objectives. My dad, Dick Fabian, is fond of saying, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will do.” This means that you must have a clear understanding of your destination at all times. I coach investors to have a total return target, as well as an income stream objective, especially if they’re in retirement. This makes it easy to track your progress over time. Setting goals and objectives also includes an assessment of the disposition of other assets you own such as real estate and business interests.

2) Calculate your expenses. We all have two types of expenses—essential and discretionary. The essential are the expenses that must be paid, while the discretionary are the expenses we use to enjoy life. Part of our goal at Fabian Wealth Strategies is to help you generate more discretionary income for the enjoyable things; however, in order to do that it’s first necessary to see what your total expenses are, and how you can use strategies to minimize the essentials while maximizing the discretionary.

3) Examine your estate plans. Do you have a will? Do you have a living trust? I find that many people have a living trust, but have failed to properly fund the trust. Many haven’t updated their wills or trusts to account for changing life circumstances. At Fabian Wealth Strategies, we can help you make sure your estate plans are both up to date and sufficiently funded so that you can take care of the ones you love.

4) Review your life insurance, annuities and healthcare plans. Insurance is considered by most to be a necessary nuisance—until you actually need it. Life insurance is an invaluable tool for family security, but I’ve found that many insurance policies are outdated and extremely expensive. Annuities can be a powerful supplement to a retirement plan, but like any financial product, they must be reviewed to see if they meet your current financial goals. Health insurance gaps are becoming increasingly prevalent for many people who retire prior to Medicare kicking in.

5) Analyze your portfolios. The stocks, mutual funds and exchange-traded funds you own can either help you create wealth, or, they can take a huge bite out of what you’ve worked so hard to accumulate all of your life. Now more than ever, it’s important for you to inventory, review and assess precisely the investment vehicles you own to see if they are right for you.

I believe that 2012 will be a monumental year in terms of future direction for our country. The fall election will set the tone and frame the risks and opportunities for many years to come. If we do not start addressing our country’s financial fitness, then we will have to prepare for a weaker U.S. dollar, higher inflation and persistently slow growth. And, if the European economy falters—and I suspect that it will—we could be staring down the muzzle of a new bear market.

What this means is that it’s absolutely critical that you have the proper mix of assets in your portfolio, along with the right strategies in place to help you navigate a treacherous new year.

Success requires planning, and planning for success is what we do at Fabian Wealth Strategies.

We are a fee-only wealth management firm that helps clients achieve their goals by providing a clear pathway for success. At Fabian Wealth Strategies, we help you take the steps necessary to address the aforementioned aspects of your fiscal fitness, and it all starts with a complete review of your goals and objectives. Our individually designed client roadmap helps you see where you are now, where you’re going, and what steps are needed to get you there.

There’s no better time than the end of the year to prepare for success, and there’s no better time to get started with Fabian Wealth Strategies than right now. For more information, give us a call at (800) 391-1118.

Sincerely,

Doug Fabian
President, Fabian Wealth Strategies
3070 Bristol St, Suite 610
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Phone: 800-391-1118

P.S. Fabian Wealth Strategies custodies their client assets at Fidelity Investments. If your accounts are already at Fidelity, it’s even easier to get started today. Simply contact one of our account representatives to schedule an appointment with me to review your goals and develop a wealth management game plan.

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