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:
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 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 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!
This is a great question. The answer depends on what you think the stock price will do; go up, down, or stay the same. While very difficult to predict, an employee often has a good feel for the current value and price appreciation prospects for their company's stock. If you are in a growth industry with good product development or a series of new products, you might be in a growth mode. If so, a lump sum might be a good option to take advantage of price appreciation.
If you don't know or chose not to take the risk, a recurring monthly deduction makes sense. It will allow you to take advantage of dollar cost averaging on your stock purchase price over time which can lead to superior returns.
You are wise to be thinking about this now before you make any decisions regarding your new home, shared expenses, and the bigger commitment living together entails. A good approach can be to bring up the subject relative to answering questions such as what you can reasonably afford. What geographic location is best? Will one of us be farther from work and need to budget for commuting costs?
Then, how to share expenses? Will you share all costs associated with a new place? Or will you split up the expenses, one paying for utilities, one for food and supplies, and perhaps sharing the rent costs? Once some of these questions are answered, you can talk about the sharing ratio. If you both earn equal incomes, can you assume an equal split? If not, do you agree that the expenses should be paid in proportion to your incomes? There is no right or wrong way to set up shared expenses, it is important that you figure out a way to manage what works for the two of you.
Not all of these decisions need to be made at the same time, you can make a list of the most important ones and then set up times to hash out the additional details.
Discussing these details and working out a plan will open up the lines of communication regarding money matters and start you on a healthy financial path as a couple. It is also fun to plan together. Enjoy the process!