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Investment Planning

A well-developed investment plan is created based on your unique life goals. At Sapient CPA, we take the time to analyze your unique financial situation and understand your risk tolerance before developing strategies that can lead you to the retirement you’ve spent a lifetime working to build. Whether you’re in the initial stages of planning or are already retired, we can help you make your retirement funds last.

Our Approach:

  • Assess each client financial situation

  • Determine each client's risk tolerance and financial goals

  • Understand investing options

  • Establish an investment policy statement

  • Determine each client's money personality

  • Provide investment education to clients appropriate to their current level of knowledge

  • Provide investment recommendations to clients

  • Monitor your investing progress and consider tax implications

Things to Consider Before You Invest

Do you have a financial goal in mind, such as saving for retirement, paying for college, or buying a new house? If so, then you may decide to invest your money to earn enough to fund your goals. Before you invest, make sure you have answers to all of these questions:

  • How quickly can you get your money back? Stocks, bonds, and shares in mutual funds usually can be sold at any time, but there is no guarantee that you will get back all the money you invested. Other investments, such as limited partnerships, certificates of deposit (CDs), or IRAs, often restrict your ability to cash out your holdings.

  • What can you expect to earn on your money? While bonds generally promise a fixed return, earnings on most other securities go up and down with market changes. Keep in mind, just because an investment has done well in the past, there is no guarantee it will do well in the future.

  • What type of earnings can you expect? Will you get income in the form of interest, dividends, or rent? Some investments, such as stocks and real estate, have the potential for earnings and growth in value. What is the potential for earnings over time?

  • How much risk is involved? With any investment, there is always the risk that you will not get your money back or the earnings promised. There is usually a trade-off between risk and reward--the higher the potential return, the greater the risk. While the U.S. government backs U.S. Treasury securities, it does not protect against loss on any other investments. 

  • Are your investments diversified? Some investments perform better than others in certain situations. For example, when interest rates go up, bond prices tend to go down. One industry may struggle while another prospers. Putting your money in a variety of investment options can reduce your risk. 

  • Are there any tax advantages to a particular investment? U.S. savings bonds are exempt from state and local taxes. Municipal bonds are exempt from federal income tax and, sometimes, state income tax as well. Tax-deferred investments for special goals, such as paying for college and retirement, are available that let you postpone or even avoid paying income taxes.

Choose a Financial Professional

A financial professional can have multiple titles and be authorized to provide various services, including investment, financial planning, and insurance products.  When researching a financial professional, find out what the titles and licenses mean, as well as the educational, work experience, and ethical requirements. Keep in mind that a professional title is not the same as a license. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and state regulators do not grant or endorse any professional titles. 

When choosing a broker or investment adviser, research the person's education and professional history as well as the firm the person works for. Make sure you have answers to all of these questions:

  • Has the person worked with others who have circumstances similar to yours? 

  • Is the person licensed in your state? Your state securities regulator lists individuals and firms that are registered in your state. Ask whether the regulatory office has any other background information. To find out how to contact your state securities regulator, consult the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA).

  • Has the person had any run-ins with regulators or received serious complaints from investors? Contact your state securities regulator or the SEC. To review licensing, employment, and disciplinary information, use FINRA's BrokerCheck tool.

  • How is the person paid? Is it an hourly rate, a flat fee, or a commission that depends on the investments you make? Does the person get a bonus from their firm for selling you a particular product?

  • What are the fees for setting up and servicing your account? 


Resources to Help You Choose a Financial Professional

For more information on choosing a financial professional, refer to these resources:

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