By R.J. DeLuke
Where and how to invest disposable income
can be a tricky decision, especially in
an economy that has been in a recession for a
decade or more, according to many economists.
Enlisting the service of a financial planer
or investment firm can take the burden off a
person, though maybe not the angst.
Stephen Jenkins, a financial planer with
Sterling Manor Financial in Saratoga Springs,
said “we’re seeing a lot of people hunt for income,”
meaning investing in various things they
hope will yield a profit in a shorter span of time.
He said the stock market has provided “some nice gains” recently, as the economy survived cries about the “fiscal cliff” and other dire predictions.
Jenkins, AAMS (accredited asset management specialist), said those that staid firm and held blue-chip stocks without panic came through the more problematic months without getting hurt. Others watched the market and were more tactical about where money was moved.
Currently, he said certificates of deposit and money markets were not that strong. Bonds had a strong period, but at present are not quite doing as well.
Stocks with dividends have been good since January, he noted. Investment in health care entities have been particularly successful. “with interest rates so low” investing in real estate is also strong, he said. That includes things like investing in medical offices, commercial ventures, shopping malls and ventures with capital appreciation. People have also invested in second homes or homes as rental properties.
“A lot of people feel a little safer (with a real estate investment). Having a tangible thing is appealing to people,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins said any investment plan should take a comprehensive look at the picture. “Look at the best options across the board,” which is what financial planners can do with their expertise.
“We keep people thinking more broadly,” he noted.
For example, some older people are looking at ways to save money for the education of their grandchildren. Some CDs are losing money, as there is no inflation protection. Investors should “look at the data picture years down the road,” he said.
Jenkins said that if a person is investing in stocks with the goal of making 6 percent on his money, and has reached that early in the year due to good choices, they may want to ask “do I need to stay there?” They may want to take some of the money and use it elsewhere, but keep some in the stock market.
“It makes sense to re-evaluate your return,” he said. “Still participate, but with a smaller amount of money.”
He said people considering the stock market should take the first step, because the market is up. It isn’t too late. But investing a sum of money should be done over time, he noted.
“Come in over time and come out over time. Don’t just jump in and out with both feet.” Said Jenkins, “Our objective is to help people make those decisions.”
The Sterling Manor Financial website is www.sterlingmanorfinancial.com.