Apprise Wealth Management’s Selected Readings for the Week of April 28, 2019

Credit Card in Pocket and How to Easily Monitor Your Credit

At Apprise Wealth Management, we want to help people make better decisions about money. We also read constantly and like sharing some of our favorite commentaries each week.

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Here are this week’s articles as well as a brief description of each:

1.   How to Easily Monitor Your Credit. It is important to stay on top of your credit. At a minimum, you want to know if someone illegally accessed your accounts or may have stolen your identity. Paying attention can also help you raise and protect your credit score. A higher credit score offers many benefits, including lower interest rates when you borrow money and the potential to lower your insurance costs. The article shares information about free services as well as suggestions on how to monitor credit on your own.

2.   Die, Robocalls, Die: A How-To Guide to Stop Spammers and Exact Revenge. Are you frustrated by the seemingly constant stream of robocalls we seem to get every day? This article estimates there were more than 5.2 billion automated calls in March alone. This article offers some suggestions for how to cut down on the number of these calls you receive. It includes apps specific to your mobile service provider as well as some robocall-blocking apps. I’ve tried some of the free tools and found them helpful.

3.  Getting Rid of Debt May Actually Make Your Brain Work Better. There are different types of debt and reasons for carrying debt. If you have good credit, and the interest rate is low, having a mortgage can make sense. However, some people want to pay off their debts as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, financial uncertainty can create stress. According to the study cited in the article, getting rid of debt does more than unburden our finances, it also makes our brains work better, reduces anxiety, and helps us act less impulsively. While the study is focused on low-income people, the anxiety associated with debt can impact anyone.

4.  5 Easy Ways to Be a Giver When Networking. Since launching Apprise, I have likely engaged in more networking activities than I did in the entirety of my prior working life. One of the keys to successful networking is to be a “giver” rather than a “taker.” In other words, make it a priority to think about what you can add to a relationship instead of what you can take from it. Curious about what you might be able to offer others? Read this article for five suggestions. One that is highly relevant to both networkers and those that provide personal services is to be a good listener. If you pay attention to what others say, you may even have some ideas of what you might be able to give a new network contact.

5.  The Unforeseen Distribution of Stock Market Returns. Market timing is hard, which is why many say that “time in the market” is more important than “timing the market.” If you reduce your market exposure out of fear when the market falls, it is hard to know when to get back in. This article looks at the distribution of returns in various markets. For example, it says that over the 92-year period from 1927-2018, the S&P 500 Index rose 10.1%. However, if you remove the returns of the 92 best-performing months during that 1,104-month period, the return for the remaining 1,012 months is only 0.01% (virtually zero). In other words, 8.3% of the months in this 92-year period provided more than 100% of the annualized return over the entire time frame! This data is not unique to the U.S. either.

We hope you find the above posts valuable. If you would like to talk to us about financial topics including your investments, creating a financial plan, saving for college, or saving for your retirement please complete our contact form, and we will be in touch. We can schedule a call, a virtual meeting via Zoom, or a meeting at Apprise Wealth Management’s office in Northern Baltimore County.

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