A Better Identity Management

Civic has launched an identity management service. It is a free service. The alerts are in real time, It shows when your identity information like address or social security number is being used to open an account.
In addition to credit monitoring it will let you know when your email account or phone number is being used and you can mark as authorized or fraudulent. This is all done in real time. Check it out!
www.civic.com

“Always choose the future over the past. What do we do now?” Brian Tracy

Secure Your Documents Safely

Fidelity has officially launched a free service called Fidsafe, which lets you store copies of important documents online. Wills, health care proxies, power of attorney documents, passwords, credit card and passport numbers, and insurance information can be securely stored.
There’s a mobile app, which can come in extremely handy as I recently learned. A relative of mine was taken to the emergency room in the middle of the night, but I didn’t have her medical insurance information or her ID handy. Nor did I have her advance directive, which the hospital wanted before starting treatment. She’s better now, and all her important documents are in a FidSafe file (FidSafe.com)

“Life can only be understood by looking backward, but it must be lived by looking forward.” Soren Kierkegaard

Ways to Protect Your 401k Nest Egg

The current stock market volatility has placed many people into a frozen state. They look at their 401k balance daily and wonder if their lifetime savings will be decimated like in 2009. There has not been a 20% market correction since 2009. Normally, there is a correction of this magnitude every 3 years, so we are very overdue. You could take your 401k money and move it all to cash, but, you will miss any upside in the market. Keep it in the market and you can lose 40 – 50%.
For many of our clients we have been using a special program with one of our private money managers, Howard Capital Management. It is designed specifically for 401k plans. Their trade name for the program is: “401k Optimizer”. The program can work with any 401k plan. After a short risk quiz you will be instructed as to how to spread your monies among your plan’s various funds. Then, at least on a quarterly basis (or more if market conditions warrant), you will be sent an email to change your asset mix. In some cases they may tell you to move totally into cash, or, totally into market.

You must make the email instructed changes in your 401k since Howard Capital cannot. Typically, you will have up to 48 hours to make the changes after the signal from Howard Capital in order to benefit from the service. The program was very successful in the 2000 and 2009 meltdowns. The cost for the program is $79 per year… total!! If you want to subscribe or learn more about the program go to www.HCM401koptimizer.com. Once at the home page simply click the button at the top “Individual Investor” and hit “sign up”. Choose “standard subscription” by clicking “sign up now” and complete the personal information. Should you desire to save 10% on the annual fee simply enter coupon code HCM5152 at the bottom of the information sheet.

(I do not receive any compensation from this program). If you would like additional information or to talk with me personally about this, you may call our office Founder’s Group at 713-871-5919, or email: Jamie@fgmci.com.
(This is not an offer to buy or sell any securities and is strictly for educational information).

One thought of advice…Don’t close the barn door after the horse leaves, namely, make your decision to protect your 401k now before the next correction.

Can You Pass the FINRA’s Literacy Quiz?

FINRA’s Investor Education Foundation launched the National Financial Capability Study in 2009, with input from the Department of Treasury and former President George W. Bush’ s Advisory Council. The goal of the study was to develop a benchmark to study consumers’ financial capability and how that capability changes with different demographics. The study was updated in 2012 after consultation with the Treasury Department, President Barack Obama’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability and other federal agencies.

Take this simple quiz to see how you measure up. www.usfinancialcapability.org/quiz.php.

“Invest in yourself. Your career is the engine of your wealth.” – Paul Clitheroe

Saving Tips for Technology

Don’t overpay for your cables. Shop at monoprice.com or at AmazonBasics to buy off-brand phone chargers or connector cables. They work as well as those from Apple or other brand names.
Do you know the best time to buy tech? TV’s, Blu-ray players and cameras go on sale during the year-end holidays. Computer prices drop in late spring. Older Apple products often get discounted when new versions hit the store, usually in the fall.
Need expert budget picks on your technology? Try websites like Reviewed.com, The Wirecutter.com and The SweetHome.com review home tech gear. Along with their top-rated items, they usually include a budget pick.
Looking for a free music “Speaker”? Insert your cellphone-speaker first-into a mug and enjoy the increased volume and richness.

“No one limits your growth but you. If you want to earn more, learn more.” Tom Hopkins