Financial Tips from Industry Leaders

Te Equiery and Maryland Horse Council asked financial professionals, who also happen to be horse people, to give us their five top financial tips for individuals when coping with difficult economic times. Our experts work in different areas of the financial industry, but many of their tips are applicable for everyone.

General Finances by Jennifer Allen, CPA, J. Allen & Associates

When times are

tough, as they are now — or anytime life throws you a fi- nancial curveball — focus on the small- but-mighty money savers that add up. 1) Cancel no- and

low-benefit expens- es you can do with-

out, such as apps and other types of subscrip- tions, Amazon nice-to-haves, entertainment and other non-essentials. 2) Call credit card companies to ask about

lower interest rates and a removal of any annual fees. Tey want to keep your business and often will renegotiate instead of losing you. 3) Do the same with your auto insurance and

utility providers. Kill them with kindness and then ask what they can do to help you save a few dollars. 4) Soon, you’ll find yourself with some ex-

tra money on hand. Remove the temptation to spend it by making regular deposits in a rainy- day fund (any amount is great). 5) If you’re a business owner, move some of

your company income into a separate bank ac- count earmarked for profit. Ten keep the habit going in the weeks to come. By proactively making better choices, such as

these, you’ll be more prepared next time. And there will be a next time.

Jennifer and her staff compete in the horse world as adult amateurs in a variety of disciplines, and they understand the unique requirements of the horse pro- fessional, as well as the professional who has horses.

Stock Market Investors

by Dawn Edgerton-Cameron, Financial Advisor, Edward Jones

tation to panic. Mar- ket pullbacks, unsettling, don’t forever.

1) Avoid the temp- while

last Downturns

are a regular part of the market cycle and upturns always fol- low downturns. Also keep in mind that | 800-244-9580

while there are no guarantees in the investment world, historically the upturns last much lon- ger. While no one can predict when the recov- ery will come, when it does you’ll still want to be invested in the financial markets because the biggest gains usually occur in the earliest stages of a market rally. Tere’s a saying that success- ful investors get that way from “time in the market, not timing the market.” In other words, buy quality investments for the long term and stay invested throughout all parts of the market cycle rather than jumping in and out of invest- ments with changing conditions. 2) Measure your progress against your goals.

It may be tempting to look back longingly at the peak value of your portfolio, but anchoring to an interim number isn’t a good “measuring stick” of your financial situation. Instead, con- sider the overall progress you’ve made towards your goals since you first started investing. If you’ve been at it for quite some time (at least a decade) you’ll probably see that you’ve actually come a long way in spite of what’s happened recently. Bottom line: if your goals haven’t altered, then your strategy to achieve them shouldn’t either. 3) Put time on your side. Your portfolio

strategy should balance the amount of money required to achieve your personal goals, the time until you want to achieve them, and your tolerance for risk. If you’re investing for goals you expect to be decades away, you have the ad- vantage of time to overcome market downturns (even severe ones). In that case, if you were happy with your strategy before, keep your eyes on the distant horizon and stay the course. If you’ll need money from your portfolio for a shorter-term goal such as your next horse or a new trailer, keep those funds in more con- servative investments like high quality bonds and government securities that offer greater protection of principle and are less susceptible to stock market fluctuations. Of course, you should always have some cash set aside in a “rainy day fund” to float you through difficult times like sudden unemployment or unexpect- ed situations like emergency vet bills. Tree to six months is ideal, but if you don’t have that yet, start with a smaller goal like $500 and once achieved, work up from there. 4) Benefit from diversification. Headlines

show how much the major stock market indi- ces like the Dow Jones Industrial Average have fallen. However, investors with properly bal- anced portfolios are not seeing the same level of decline as those whose holdings are almost

entirely in stocks. Although diversification can’t prevent all losses or guarantee profits, it can re- duce the impact of volatility and smooth out returns of your holdings. It may not be easy to look at your investment statements today, but review your portfolio to see if it is properly bal- anced between stocks, bonds and other invest- ments in a way that reflects your unique goals, risk tolerance, and time horizon. If you’re not sure, consider consulting a financial advisor. 5) Go against the crowd. When prices are

falling, it’s not hard to join the crowd and start selling in an attempt to “cut losses”. However, it’s important to remember that share price fluctuations are not losses unless you sell the assets and lock those losses in. Instead, consider that when the market is down prices of quality investments are often lower, making for com- pelling buying opportunities for investors who are in a position to take advantage of the situ- ation and are willing to go against the crowd.

Dawn lives in Annapolis with her husband Per- ry and their Australian Shepherd “Dutch”. Tey moved here in 2011 to be closer to Navy football and be part of USEA Area 2 eventing. When she isn’t working, she’s (still) working her way up to Beginner Novice on an OTTB. She experienced first-hand what happens when families don’t have clear financial strategies to manage family tran- sitions and knows the decisions made in times of crisis can impact you – positively or negatively – for a lifetime. As a result, after 25 years in cor- porate America she became a Financial Advisor to use the strategic thinking and consumer focus skills she’d developed to have a more direct impact on people’s lives as a trusted resource for clients and their families.

Home or Farm Owners

Keith Wills, Loan Officer, MidAtlantic Farm Credit

In today’s unprec- edented environ- ment, you may find yourself becoming more self-aware of your individual and/ or family finances. As a loan officer, and someone who works with individuals like you on a daily ba-

sis, I want to share five quick tips to help you continued...


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