Welcome to The Barnum Report, Barnum Financial Group’s monthly newsletter. Each month we will be covering relevant financial industry topics as well as a monthly market update.
The opportunity to acquire company stock — inside or outside a workplace retirement plan — can be a lucrative employee benefit. But having too much of your retirement plan assets or net worth concentrated in your employer’s stock could become a problem if the company or sector hits hard times and the stock price plummets. It is important you understand your concentration risk.
The summer saw the economy slow a bit, as inflation remained relatively stagnant, wages advanced only slightly, rhetoric between North Korea and the United States became testy, and Mother Nature blasted the southern states with two very powerful hurricanes. Through it all, the stock market continued to enjoy monthly gains, with several of the benchmark indexes reaching all-time highs. The start of the year’s last quarter may see the economy pick up as some economic indicators are projecting. While the Federal Open Market Committee didn’t raise interest rates in September, it most likely will do so at least once during the fourth quarter. Employment is expected to remain steady as it has averaged roughly 176,000 new jobs per month.
It’s a catch-22: You feel that you should focus on paying down debt, but you also want to save for retirement. It may be comforting to know you’re not alone. The key in managing both debt repayment and retirement savings is to understand a few basic financial concepts that will help you develop a strategy to tackle both.
It’s almost open enrollment season and for those of you who receive employer benefits, you’ve got some decisions to make. Many employers provide access to additional coverage over and above any insurance that they provide to you that you can opt into or opt out of. What are your best options?