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.
This month, many state 529 Plans are running promotions to encourage college savings. Find out if your state is participating!
Robo-threat? Or robo-advantage?
“Paddle your own canoe” means looking to the horizon, setting excuses aside and propelling yourself to your destination. No one else will do it for you. So grab the oars!
The initial meeting with a financial advisor is a two-way interview. But if you do not have a financial background, it’s hard to even know where to start. Budgets? Funds? The Snapchat IPO?
As an investor you should examine every cost associated with your financial life. Are you getting value for what you’re paying?
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.
The certificates themselves are beautiful artifacts. And each one is a mystery.
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.
Building wealth doesn’t require the luck of the Irish or finding a pot of gold.
While you may not be able to prevent all security breaches, you can minimize and reverse any potential damage when you know how to respond quickly.
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.
Our Valentine to you!
Over and over again, we have noticed a wide gap between what is entertaining to read and what you should actually do as an investor.
Highlighting two crucial news items this week, and why you don't need to worry about either one.
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.
To 20,000 and beyond!
All fields have their own industry jargon and alphabet soup of abbreviations, but the investment world just might have the most.
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.
Halpern Financial has been all over the news with advice to start the New Year!
Things get heated when the Halpern team competes for the Cookie Crown. Plus, all 9 recipes from the competition!
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.
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.
Even if you don’t own company stock, I hope this mini case study will give you a window into how I approach portfolio design decisions when it’s not a cut-and-dried situation.
At Halpern Financial, we are happy to help you test different potential scenarios and run retirement projections.
October 15-December 7, 2015 is Medicare Open Enrollment season! Do you have the information you need to file for the right coverage?
Every day in the markets, prices are decided when the buyers line up with the sellers. The same thing happened on Tuesday, November 8 when the votes were counted.
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.
Don't chase performance or try to guess at the future. Instead, base your investment strategy on factors well within your control.
Halpern Financial Wealth Advisor Melissa Sotudeh, CFP(r), has a new choose-your-own-adventure ebook to help families with college funding.
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.
Get your tax house in order before the end-of-year rush!
Here are a few things you can do when you’re financially well to keep yourself on the right track.
If you were unable to provide for your family, who would?
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.
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.
Here are 4 tips to take control of your spending in a sustainable way--whether you love budgeting or hate it.
Learn how to chart where you want your retirement path to lead, step by step.
No dessert until you eat your vegetables. Share your toys. Be nice to your sister. It’s funny how so many of the lessons we learn as children only become more important as we grow older!
The longer you have to invest, the more your money benefits from compound interest.
Take a sneak peek at the upcoming ebook from Halpern Financial advisor Melissa Sotudeh!
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.
There are several ideas we have come across at Halpern Financial that we would like to share to make your work, home and financial life easier.
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.
Did you know that every minute, 205.6 million emails are sent, 422,340 tweets are posted, and 400 hours of Youtube content are uploaded? Find out what that means from a portfolio perspective with this blog from Halpern Financial's Portfolio Manager, Kirsty Peev, CFP(r).
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.
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.
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.
Homeowners considering a refinance may feel worried about the trickle-down effect that Fed actions may have on mortgage lending rates.
Extra cash is a nice surprise, but it can be hard to figure out where to put these funds to work. Here is a simple framework.
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!
When is it okay to actually use emergency funds? And what about when you retire and can withdraw from retirement accounts?
For Mothers’ Day, all of us at Halpern Financial reflected on the financial lessons we have learned from our moms over the years.
Here are simple steps you can take to protect yourself from fraud.
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.
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?
What you need to know about the Department of Labor's fiduciary ruling.
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.
Without planning your route, how will you know where you’ll end up?
Corrections don’t occur with great frequency, but they do occur with regularity. We've created an infographic to illustrate this concept that we hope you will share!
Accountants across the U.S. are sorting through seemingly endless piles of 1099s, W-2s, K-1 forms and more. And at Halpern Financial, we're taking steps to invest in the most tax-efficient way we can.
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.
May your next money meeting help you get closer to the one you love and to meeting your shared goals together!
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.
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.
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 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.
A new year always brings a flurry of market predictions. We have a few 2016 predictions of our own to add to the mix.
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!
There are a lot of large and small tasks that go into improving your financial life from year to year. Here's how to motivate yourself to get all of it done.
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?
Parents can turn the holiday pressure to “buy, buy, buy” into a learning opportunity for children that will last for a lifetime.
It can be difficult to bring up money topics with family, so we’re running a two-part series about how to make the process easier.
Wealth Advisor and CFP® Melissa Sotudeh recently appeared on the Martinis and Your Money podcast for a conversation with Shannon McLay about all of the factors that go into college funding.
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?
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.
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.
Melissa Sotudeh, CFP, recently shared her top 3 tips for saving for college with GoodCall.
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.
Should you buy a vacation house? It all depends on what you want your net worth landscape to look like.
It makes a lot of sense that if your parents imparted good financial lessons to you growing up, that they would carry over into your adult life. But it’s never too late to learn.
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!
You can find our listing in the September 2015 issue available at northern Virginia newsstands now and on the Northern Virginia Magazine website. Check it out!
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.
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.
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.
Our Portfolio Manager, Kirsty Peev, CFP®, was recently quoted by the Wall Street Journal in a piece about how the upcoming rising rate environment is causing some financial advisers to panic and sell high-yield bond ETFs.
Lots of changes this summer at Halpern Financial! New employees, a new blog, and not least, a new sign at our Virginia office.
This summer has been a very productive one, as we have two new additions to your Halpern Financial team!
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.
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.
Melissa Sotudeh shares her top 10 tips for college funding in a shareable infographic.
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.