The news over the past several months could lead the casual observer to believe that by now the world would be in economic meltdown due to rising interest rates, out of control inflation, and collapsed banks. It is true the endgame in Ukraine—and its affect on the global economy—remains unknown, above average inflation continues to persist, gas prices are rising again, and a few more bank failures may be on the horizon. It is also true that despite the gloom and doom, markets have continued on an above average and upward trajectory. Overall, we’re still ‘down’ off our late 2021 peaks, but those who stayed in the market over the last six months, despite the news predictions, have been rewarded.
April is Financial Literacy Month
It’s increasingly important to make sure people have the tools to understand and make sense of all the ‘financial’ news and information available. That’s where Financial Literacy comes in. When my twin daughters turned eight, they started getting a small weekly allowance so they can learn how to use money, make mistakes with money, save money, and appreciate the value of their money before they become adults. Will they avoid financial mistakes? Absolutely not, but we want them to start learning about finances early.
I believe financial education is woefully inadequate here in the United States as many people find themselves unprepared to manage basic finances in adulthood. If you have young people in your life, take some time this month to think about how you are teaching them to be financially literate and feel free to give me a call if you want some resources Likewise, if you find yourself caring for older loved ones who may be susceptible to financial mistakes or even scams, give me a call and we can talk about ways to impart financial literacy and/or mitigate the risk of future problems.
A Note on Scammers
For most of us, not a day goes by without some kind of interaction with a scam. Spam filters catch the bulk of these interactions, but sometimes scam calls, texts or emails do get through. (Is your car warranty about to expire?) Scammers have gotten more and more sophisticated, wreaking havoc and claiming success against a growing number of people. Since we’re focused on financial literacy this month, here are a few tools you can use beyond just ‘not talking to strangers’ online:
Password Managers make using different passwords on different websites easy
Virtual Private Networks (VPN) downloaded to your devices protect your internet traffic when you must someone uses else’s Wifi (e.g. at an AirBnB in the mountains) and cannot rely on your own connection to the internet
Identity Monitoring services with 3-Bureau monitoring protection will alert you if anyone actually does try to open a credit account in your name
If you’re not already using the above, I’d be happy to help you identify a solution that works for you.
Live Long and Prosper,
Dan Tobias, CFP®
Please note: The above is a copy of the 2023 Q1 Passport Wealth Management client newsletter attached to quarterly statements from April 2023. The newsletter is published to the website for informational purposes only and is not financial or investment advice. You should consult a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional for financial advice.
Past performance may not be indicative of future results. Indexes are not available for direct investment. Investing involves risks, including the potential for loss of principal. There is no guarantee that markets will act as they have in the past or that any investment plan or strategy will be successful.
Daniel Tobias is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER Professional and a Fee-Only Advisor. He owns Passport Wealth Management, a financial advising firm based in Cornelius, NC that works with clients across the globe. He helps individuals plan for retirement, manage investment portfolios, mitigate taxes, and secure their financial futures. With more than 10 years in the industry, Daniel has spoken nationally on financial planning practice management and has served on the National Association Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) South Regional Board. He resides with his family near Lake Norman in North Carolina where he enjoys mountain biking, hiking and travel.