Harbor Finanacial Group, Inc.
Elyse Foster founded Harbor in 1988 and provides strategic direction for the firm. In addition Elyse works with individuals, families and businesses to create a unique plan for their present and future.
Harbor explores financial planning for life events such as saving for college and retirement, a job change, business sale or inheritance. The firm assists in minimizing taxes and passing wealth to the next generation. Elyse and her team believe a good plan incorporates risk management, including a review of casualty, life, disability, health and long-term care insurance. They review and monitor company benefits. They believe in interactive education and bring current topics and education to their clients and professional partners in the form of small group presentations and workshops, outside speakers, book discussions, economic discussions, and articles groups.
Investments play an important role in a successful plan. Elyse and her team's investment models are integrated into the wealth management plan and have high, consistent returns with correspondingly low risk. They have a history of taking profits when the market prices were high throughout market cycles in 1999-2000, and 2007-2008 and have success in re-entering markets in 1987, 2001 and 2009. They identify and implement opportunistic strategies to capitalize on opportunities created in turbulent times. In addition to a market tested process for core investment selection, they have positioned their firm to take advantage of private equity and debt investment opportunities offering access to institutional offerings with historical relationships cultivated during our long history. Real estate is a specialty however they have a long history and experience in a broad range of alternative investments.
Prior to founding Harbor, Elyse was an investment banker, Director of Operations for a planning firm and a staff accountant. She earned her B.A. degree in Political Science from the University of Colorado-Boulder and has held the CFP designation since 1984.
Elyse enjoys an active Colorado lifestyle year round as well as photography, dance and travel. Community involvement is also important to Elyse. She is Chair of the board of directors for the Humane Society of Boulder Valley and is a board member for the Burridge Center for Finance and at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her work on the board was instrumental in bringing the CFP curriculum to the university. She also enjoys spending time with family and friends.
BA, Political Science, University of Colorado -Boulder
Assets Under Management:
Your time frame is fairly short, it is best to consider your guaranteed interest options so as not to risk the house downpayment funds.
A search of current online bank rates indicates that you could get 1.65% per year on savings and 2% for a 6 month CD, 2.3% for a 12 month CD. Checking with your local bank or credit union is a good idea as well, they may offer a special savings rate that would be higher than what is available with the online banks.
First, some homework is in order. Refer to or if you do not have one prepare a simple net worth statement which will assist in guiding you to what other assets you might have to provide for your support. Then determine how much income you need to support yourself monthly and annually. Next, explore your personal risk tolerance, there are online calculators to assist in this process.
Once you have these questions answered begin putting together a diversified portfolio of stocks, bonds, and cash. Your portfolio should include U.S. as well as foreign stocks and bonds. Some of the investments will produce dividends to assist with your cash flow/income others will be growth oriented to provide for your future. If you own your home this might meet your real estate investment category, if not you might consider adding a REIT (real estate investment trust) to provide a hedge against inflation. Consider investing in sections over a period of months to smooth price movements in this current volatile market.
If all of this seems to be more than you are ready to manage and monitor, you might consider a target date fund for some of your investment assets. Vanguard, Schwab and TD Ameritrade all have target date options. These investment vehicles put the allocation of stocks and bonds together for you.
Last, you have the assets to consider hiring a professional to assist you with the planning and investment management. The fees you pay should come back to you in a steady return, education, and peace of mind.
Look for a fee-only fiduciary, preferably a CFP (Certified Financial Planner). NAPFA has lists of qualified professionals in your area.
Best of luck!
You are wise to ask this question and to be thinking about your future. I have a few absolutes that have served me well and also many young clients of our firm.
- Develop a plan and modify it periodically, reaching goals is rewarding and will encourage you to stick with your plan.
- Pay yourself first. You are worth it! A target of 10% of your gross income to begin is a good goal.
- Know yourself. Will you take the time to learn about investing and develop a plan? If not, seek advice.
- Take the time to enjoy your money and successes. Don't hesitate to travel, donate, and invest in yourself along the way. Planning and investing is a lifelong pursuit, not a sprint.
You are facing one of the most difficult decisions for an investor. First, assure yourself that if you invest, this can and will happen. You are questioning how to proceed which is your logical next step.
In order to make a good decision, you need to reevaluate the stock. What are the company's prospects? Review market share, new products, competitor performance, all of the statistics on free cash flow, management, etc. If you think the company might turn around in future, you can still sell the shares and lock in the loss. Then re-buy the shares 31 days later. If you don't want to be 'out the market' in this category for the 31 days, you can employ a strategy of buying an index fund that covers this exposure for you. Once you are ready to re-buy your shares, sell the index.
If you think the stock has poor prospects and your company research supports this, simply sell the stock and take the loss. Given the underperformance timeframe, in my experience, this is the most likely outcome.
You are embarking on a fun, challenging and often rewarding pursuit. I agree on two of your basic building blocks, you have saved some of your earnings (the don't spend all that you earn rule) and the notion that you want your money to work for you. Other basic areas that you do not mention are how much you can continue to save and if you have other cash reserves for your emergency or unforeseen expenses reserve.
I will assume that you do not have a reserve and would suggest a segregation of some of your funds for this purpose. Once removed you will have an amount you can commit to your investments.
Learning about investing is important, I would suggest that you find a good book or two to guide you and to answer some of the basic questions every investor has. Then subscribe to a periodical or two to get current advice, the Wall Street Journal and Barrons are examples.
I think it is ok to invest a bit while you learn. You might consider an S&P or another large cap index for a portion of your funds. These are baskets of stocks whose companies/holdings are a broad cross section of domestic (US) stocks. Last, I would caution against a lump sum deposit given the height of the current US market. You might onsider investing a set amount each month in your initial strategy which will take advantage of dollar cost averaging and can smooth out market swings.
Good luck and have some fun!