Sound Asset Management Inc.
Russell Wayne is a Certified Financial Planner and President and Chief Investment Officer of Sound Asset Management, Inc., an independent financial advisor based in Weston, Connecticut primarily serving clients in the greater New York tristate region and throughout New England.
Russell began his career with Arnold Bernhard & Co., Inc., the parent company of Value Line, Inc. Positions he held while associated with Value Line included Managing Editor, The Value Line Investment Survey; Portfolio Adviser, The Value Line Mutual Funds; Executive Editor, The Value Line OTC Special Situations Service; Business Manager, Value Line, Inc.; Portfolio Manager, Value Line Asset Management; and Director of Investment Software, Value Line Software.
From 1991 to 1995, Russell was Vice-President and Chief Investment Officer with Heine Management Group. He was also Vice-President and Secretary of the LMH Fund, Ltd. Clients for whom he has managed portfolios include Xerox, Texas Utilities, National Maritime Union, and United Cerebral Palsy Association.
Russell has been a featured guest on television, including CNN and the Bloomberg Network. He has been quoted in leading business print periodicals and well-known websites, including The Wall Street Journal, Barron's, BusinessWeek, The Wall Street Transcript, The New York Times, Investment News, MSNBC, Yahoo! Finance, NASDAQ, and Facebook.
Russell earned his B.A. and M.B.A. at Hofstra University. He earned his Certificate in Financial Planning from Florida State University and has pursued postgraduate studies at New York University School of Law. He is listed in Who's Who In The East, Who's Who In Finance and Industry, Who's Who In America, and Who's Who in the World. Russell has contributed to a number of published works. His own published works include Markets, Myths, and Memories (2010) and Live Well and Sleep Well With Your Investments Now and When You Retire (2016).
Russell is a proud member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors.
M.B.A. (Finance and Investments). B.A., N.Y.U. Law, Hofstra University
Certified Financial Planner, Florida State University
Assets Under Management:
Yes, definitely pay off your credit card bill. As you probably know, the interest on credit card balances is usually excessively high, quite possibly over 20%. So if you're paying ony the minimum each month, you're hurting yourself and it will take a very long time to get down to zero.
The fact that you've had a return of 15% or so in the past is no guarantee that you will continue to be so fortunate in the future. Indeed, given the richness of current market valuations I think it's quite likely that returns over the next few years won't get above single digits. Whoever thinks the market will hit 26,000 next year is spending too much time in FantasyLand. Although it's possible that the current rally may be extended, that will almost certainly lead to a substantial correction. Please do keep that in mind.
The best course of action is to reduce your debts and take a more moderate view of prospective returns on your investments. By doing so, you will be better prepared for the inevitable ups and downs that lie ahead.
Some just buy treasury securities. That's known as a flight to quality, which typically happens on the way down.
Bear markets are driven by fear, so when stocks go into the tank investors may tend to sell, often far too late. This, of course, is illogical, because in most cases, when prices go down, it's a good time to buy. In the stock market, however, what's logical is a path that's rarely followed.
Bear markets don't announce themselves. They just happen. They begin with a sell-off when that most folks dismiss as a brief correction. As they deepen, the question then becomes how far down will it go. From my many decades of experience, it's been obvious that most investors are so shocked by what's going on that they do nothing. Or, at the point of greatest pain (the bottom), they sell. Very few have the fortitude to view the situation unemotionally and move their money to where the best opportunities are. During bear markets, the best opportunities are in stocks, since the sell-off has reduced values to much more attractive levels. But it's the rare investor who has the courage to buy in. Most are paralyzed by fear.
Yes, you most certainly can sell or buy stock by yourself. Just go to one of the major online broker/dealers such as TD Ameritrade, fill out an application, deposit funds, and start trading. It really is that simple. Let me suggest, however, that if the funds involved are for savings you should give serious thought to investing in a broad-based investment fund rather than in individual stocks. To provide a reasonable likelihood of success you would probably need to hold at least one or two dozen stocks in different industries. This is doable, though not likely to be the best way to get started. You may be better of buying exchange-traded funds such as Vanguard's Total U.S. Market Index (VTI) as well as Vanguard's Total International Market Index (VXUS). These two would provide you with extraordinarily broad diversification. Thereafter, if you are interested in researching possible stock candidates for your portfolio, you should do so, knowing that you have already built a worthwhile investment base.
If these are traditional IRAs, they should be combined. Since your mother is 74, you need to be aware that Required Minimum Distributions begin at age 70 1/2. With six separate IRAs, I am wondering whether the RMDs have been made or overlooked. If the latter, there is a 50% penalty due to the IRS. I would check that first since it's quite serious.
Once the IRAs are consolidated, you will want to make a proper asset allocation, which will depend on other assets you mother has as well as other considerations such as need for current income. It sounds like you certainly do need an advisor for this situation. You should consider going to findanadvisor.napfa.org for a listing of those who could help in your area. That's the website for the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, probably the best qualified people available.
It would be helpful to learn your mom's age as well as her need for current income. Another question is whether you are referring to a fixed or variable annuity. In the case of a fixed annuity, the annuitant turns over the funds in return for a guaranteed regular payment over a specified term, which could be expressed as lifetime or a period of years. Once the funds are transferred, they are gone. In the case of a variable annuity, the funds can be invested in a variety of different securities, which typically would be mutual funds in different asset classes such as stocks, bonds, or alternative opportunities. Unlike a fixed annuity, the funds are still owned by the annuitant and the value of the annuity can fluctuate, both up and down. Usually, it is not guaranteed.
Annuities are insurance products and the fees are often quite high, more than those that would be incurred with direct investing in the securities rather than through an intermediary. So, based on your comment that she has more than enough money to provide for her remaining years, my sense is that an annuity would not be a good idea, but I'd need additional information to properly respond to your question.