Quarterly Updates




Run Your Own Race

Life doesn’t always cooperate with the ideal path to your goals – financial or otherwise. The important thing—and the thought that Melissa Sotudeh focused on during her first Boston Marathon—is to run your own race.

It's Almost 529 Day!

This month, many state 529 Plans are running promotions to encourage college savings. Find out if your state is participating!

Your Travel Insurance Cheat Sheet

Every year, at least one client always asks us whether they need travel insurance for a trip abroad, or whether it is OK to skip the insurance pitch at the car rental desk. The answer is: it depends.

What is Blockchain and Why Should I Care?

You may wonder if bitcoin really is gaining popularity as a currency (yes), and what, if anything, you need to do about it (nothing). But the technology behind bitcoin has huge potential to modernize the financial marketplace.

You Don’t Need Luck

Building wealth doesn’t require the luck of the Irish or finding a pot of gold.

6 Things You Never Knew About Protecting Your Property

Who do you call when a tree falls on the shed? When do you need to insure a diamond ring? Is it possible for a deductible to be too low? Find answers to these questions and more in our interview with Paul Forbes.

Important News This Week!

Highlighting two crucial news items this week, and why you don't need to worry about either one.

Credit Cards for Kids?

A good option for tweens and teenagers to practice managing their money while the stakes are low is with their own debit or credit card—with some limits to keep them safe.

13 Dos and Don’ts for Digital Wallets

New digital wallet technologies are convenient, but with so many options available, it is hard to know which digital wallet to use—or even if you should use them at all, given potential cybersecurity risks.

When Interest Rates Wake Up, Bond Exposure is Still Key

Since the election, sleepy interest rates have come out of hibernation, and now the Federal Reserve has responded this week with a small, but long-awaited increase to the federal funds rate. We wanted to explain what to make of the current bond and interest rate environment.

6 Financial Concepts You Can Use Every Day

Financial jargon often sounds horribly dry, but at Halpern Financial, we get excited about it because the concepts they represent can have such a big impact on everyday life. These aren’t just terms to be learned for a test or that wealth advisors use only at work. These ideas can help you save money, gain financial security and find opportunity.

Medicare FAQs

October 15-December 7, 2015 is Medicare Open Enrollment season! Do you have the information you need to file for the right coverage?

Give the Gift of Time

At Halpern Financial, we can help you to optimize your charitable giving from a portfolio management perspective—but in this post, we wanted to highlight a different way to give.

Why Market Timing Doesn't Work

Don't chase performance or try to guess at the future. Instead, base your investment strategy on factors well within your control.

9 Ways to Avoid Detonating Your Financial Life

Warren Buffett said, "You only have to do a very few things right in your life so long as you don't do too many things wrong." And it really is that simple—but unfortunately, it’s not necessarily easy.

5 Financial Tips for New Parents

At Halpern Financial, we have personal experience of all the joy and excitement that new little ones bring…as well as the late nights and higher expenses. We can’t help with the late nights, but we can share advice on how to budget for a new baby.

Read All About Us

It’s been a very newsworthy year—Halpern Financial team members have been quoted in the media or authored personal finance columns 21 times (and counting!) so far in 2016.

Closing the Bank of Mom and Dad

Over 1 in 3 American families give financial support to adult children for various reasons. Learn how to break the cycle of dependence in this article.

Why Diversification Works

How are investors supposed to prepare for the future when tomorrow’s news is always a big question mark? The great thing is, if you have a properly allocated, diversified strategy, you don’t have to predict the future.

Brexit – Storm in a Tea Cup

Today, the E.U. is like a mall that lost one of its big corner stores – Macy’s just gave notice that it is moving out. Other occupants are naturally nervous about what this means for them. Here in the U.S., we expect this to add to what we thought would already be a year with heightened volatility.

15 Financial Lessons Learned From Our Fathers

Covering everything from the value of a dollar to the value of time spent joyriding on the highway, our fathers taught us what it means to have a rich life--and in more than a financial sense.

It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint: 4 Stages of Retirement Planning

As an avid runner and a certified financial planner, I see many parallels between the marathon world and the world of personal finance. Both require a strategy and the discipline to stick to that strategy to reach your goal — be it reaching mile 26 or retiring to Florida.

7 Things We Wish We Knew About Money Before Leaving the Nest

There are a few skills our resident millennials Jennifer Davis, CFP® and Carla LaFleur recommend for this year’s batch of graduates—so if you have a new grad at home, or you know of someone who does, pass this article along!

Debunking 5 Emergency Fund Myths

When is it okay to actually use emergency funds? And what about when you retire and can withdraw from retirement accounts?

Are You Done With Taxes? Well, Yes and No

Debt can quickly expand due to the power of compounding, whether you’re a government or a family. And the only way to overcome debt is to reduce spending or increase income. A very simple solution, but not an easy one.

6 Areas for Cybersecurity Spring Cleaning

Your annual spring cleaning should include a cybersecurity sweep. How secure are your everyday online habits? Is your personal and financial information protected from hackers?

5 Financial Lessons for Families Paying for College

Wealth Advisor Melissa Sotudeh, CFP® has helped dozens of families plan for college funding. As she sends her youngest child off to college this fall, she shares the lessons her family has learned from personal experience.

7 Mistakes to Avoid in Your 401(k)

In most cases, you are the one managing your 401(k) plan. This can be a great opportunity for you to understand what you own, but there are a few pitfalls to avoid.

How to Search for Independent Senior Housing

Deciding whether to move yourself or an older family member to a new home is incredibly challenging. We have several resources to help your family through this process.

What You Should Share With Your Financial Advisor

As part of our discovery process at Halpern Financial, prospective clients fill out a comprehensive survey to give us the data we need to provide advice appropriate for their financial situation. But of course, numbers don’t tell the whole story of your life.

The Economy vs. Your Economy

While benchmarking your own personal economy is not as simple as comparing to the S&P 500, it’s not overly complicated. We hope you’ll find it to be a useful exercise!

Ted Halpern Featured in the Wall Street Journal

Ted Halpern was featured in the Wall Street Journal's Wealth Adviser column, which seeks out advisers who have come up with creative strategies to financial planning problems.

6 "Predictions" for 2016

A new year always brings a flurry of market predictions. We have a few 2016 predictions of our own to add to the mix.

Halpern Financial: The Best of 2015

We hope you have enjoyed the first year of the Halpern Financial blog. As we look back on 2015, a year where we received a record amount of media attention and started regularly publishing our own articles, we wanted to revisit some of the best posts of the year. Enjoy!

Make Charitable Donations Easy on #GivingTuesday 2015

Around this time of year, charitable giving can feel like just one more thing added to your to-do list. How can you turn giving from a tangled mess of good intentions, lost receipts and tax deduction headaches into a streamlined, easy process?

Talking to Children About Money

Parents can turn the holiday pressure to “buy, buy, buy” into a learning opportunity for children that will last for a lifetime.

Trick Yourself into Making Good Financial Decisions Automatically

Multiple studies have shown that when you swipe a card as opposed to physically giving away cash, you tend to spend more. This is nothing new. But have you ever considered how the tendency to spend electronically without really thinking about it could help your finances as opposed to harming them?

The Return of Volatility

As Halloween approaches, don’t be afraid of volatility. At Halpern Financial, we are well prepared with portfolio strategies that use diversification across several asset classes and sub-asset classes to smooth out the effect of the ups and downs of the equity market.

Halpern Financial’s 3 Tips to Tackle Wall Street

Most people want an advisor who keeps up with the latest investment news and innovations. But they also want someone who will steer them away from bubbles and fads, and help them to stick to their long-term financial plan. How do advisors walk that line? Well, at Halpern Financial, we do a lot of critical research. And sometimes, we even go directly to the center of the financial world to find it.

What's Your Financial "Safety School"?

Too often, the discussion of cost is left until the end of the admissions process rather than at the beginning. Take the teachable moment to discuss the value of various schools and budgetary limits.

Client Adventures: 3 Ways to Love Learning This Fall With Oasis

If you’re looking for something fun to do as summer winds down, consider going back to school just like all of the kids this week through a program like Oasis, a community college, or senior center. Except this time, you can skip straight to the electives you wish they had offered while you were in school!

Don't Stray From the Investment Path

It’s very beneficial for publications to put out quick articles reacting to market events. It’s not so beneficial for investors who follow those headlines.

Why I Hate Mondays

Stress, worry, uncertainty of what’s to come—these emotions describe pretty much any Monday, but this morning, many investors shared in my feeling that Mondays really are the worst. But if you’ve done your homework and preparation, facing a test on Monday (or any other day) becomes much less nerve-wracking. And as the markets have shown us so far this morning, it might just turn out to not be as awful as you thought it would be.

7 Steps to Accumulate Wealth

Being “wealthy” is different than being “rich”—it’s a mindset of using money in ways that will benefit you and your loved ones the most.

Hanging a Shingle

Lots of changes this summer at Halpern Financial! New employees, a new blog, and not least, a new sign at our Virginia office.

Halpern Financial is Growing

This summer has been a very productive one, as we have two new additions to your Halpern Financial team!

A New 'Agreekment' and Why China Isn't So Scary

Welcome to another week of news that doesn’t affect our diversified investment strategy. So why update you? We want you to know exactly why we continue to follow a low-cost asset allocation approach with an index-based focus in the face of geopolitical events that, on the surface, make it seem like the sky is falling.

It's All Greek to Me

You may have seen recent headlines out of Greece and wondered what the impact, if any, could be on your own investment landscape. We wanted to provide a brief update on the situation from our perspective at Halpern Financial.

6 Tips to Protect Yourself Against Cyber Fraud

Keeping your information secure from criminals is a top priority for our firm. To better protect you and your accounts from cybersecurity threats, we continuously review security procedures to ensure that we are following best practices recommended by the custodians, financial institutions, and industry experts with whom we work.

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