Meridian Financial Advisors, LLC
Georgia and Rich Bruggeman founded Meridian Financial Advisors, LLC in 1990 to provide truly fee-only advice and guidance without any conflicts of interest that accompany commission sales. Meridian Financial Advisors, LLC is a comprehensive financial planning and investment management firm. They have been providing financial planning services to individuals, families and small businesses since 1990 in a fiduciary capacity. While they advise their clients on insurance needs, taxes, retirement planning, estate planning, education funding and Long Term Care they specialize in portfolio management and securities analysis.
Georgia and her team give one on one attention to each of their clients and develop plans that consider their clients' specific time horizon, risk tolerance and stated goals. They take a comprehensive approach to their clients' finances because a decision in one area will affect the rest of the plan. As a financial planner, Georgia is often compared with the quarterback who not only is an integral part of the game but who depends on everyone else on the team working together.
In addition to holding the CFP® designation, Georgia is a registered investment advisor and earned her MBA in Finance from Babson College and has passed Levels I and II of the CFA program. Georgia is a member of the Financial Planning Association, CFA Institute and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA).
Georgia and Rich live in Sherborn with their 2 sons, and also spend time in Cape Cod near their alternate N. Eastham office.
MBA, Babson College
BS, Business Administration, Skidmore College
Assets Under Management:
Good for you! You want to buy a broad based index fund that reflects the entire market to start with. A good one would be the S&P 500. You can buy this index fund in a mutual fund wrapper or as an Exchange TRaded Fund (ETF). In a mutual fund you can automatically reinvest your dividends and capital gains. With an ETF you need to tell the custodian you want to reinvest the divdiens and capital gains. Additionally when you buy and sell a mutual fund you trade at the end of day price. With an ETF they trade just like stocks continuously throughout the day. VFINX (mutual fund) is Vanguard S&P 500. IVV is Blackrock S&P 500. SPY is State Street S&P 500.
All 3 of these are very low cost and should be held for a very long time and not traded.
Recommended asset allocations depend on your age, risk tolerance and time horizon. As well as other sources of income from pension or social security or annuity.
Having 90% in stocks is very aggressive. How would you feel if it dropped in value by 50%? Your portfolio would have to go up by 100%, or double, just to get back to even.
since you will no longer have a paycheck it would be wise to protect some of the growth in your portfolio with the additions of bonds. You cant go back and have another career and build up those funds anymore. Suffering a 30-40-50% drawdown on assets could be devastating for someone who was counting on those funds for retirement.
If you needed to spend money from the portfolio after a decline you would be selling stocks at low valuations. If you had income producing funds, ETFs or bonds that generated income for you you would be in a better position to leave your stocks alone and let them recover rather than being forced to sell.
After the financial crisis from the bottom in Mar 2009 a portfolio invested 100% in the S&P 500 took 3 years to get back to even. A portfolio that had 60% stocks/40% bonds took 19 months to get back to even. A portfolio that was 40% equity/60% bonds only took 8 months to get back to even.
Your portfolio should reflect what your individual goals are for income and growth and risk. Classic advice is fine but has nothing to do with you and your specific situation.
We are going to have another recession with another bear market. I dont know when but it will happen. Be honest with yourself about what impact a 50% drop would have on your financial security. If it makes you uncomfortable then it would be prudent to add some bonds to your portfolio. Even a 70% stocks/30% bond portfolio is moderately aggressive.
An experienced fee-only CFP who is knowledgeable about minimizing taxes and the best way to take distributions and Required Minimum Distributions, Long term Care, Estate Planning, Charitable giving and a host of other financial topics that will inevitably arise during your retirement would be the best person to help you transition to retirement.
Vanguard will help you with your investments but they will not be able to help you with Long Term Care or run scenarios on retirement cashflow or assist you with your estate plan. Vanguard is not free either. They charge 35 basis points.
You want to work with someone who will be able to help you no matter what comes up and who has your total financial picture in mind when making recommendations. Your investments are just one part of the puzzle. You also want to hire someone who is a fiduciary. This means someone who is obligated to put your interests first and disclose all conflicts of interest. Registered Investment advisors are fiduciaries for taxable and retirement assets.
Whether it is in an IRA or outside an IRA the earlier you start saving and investing the better. Trying to time the market doesnt work. The important thing is to get invested and stock with your plan. A good way to start would be a stock mutual fund that you can add to every month by setting up automatic deposits to the fund. We will have another downturn but dont sell your fund and dont stop contributing. This is how wealth is built.
Because you are 29 years old, you should invest the Roth contribution lump sum. Even if we have a correction or even a recession, your time horizon is long enough that you will earn a good return. Dollar cost averaging allows you to take advantage of price pullbacks, but it doesn't work if the market is in a sustained uptrend. You end up paying higher and higher prices and would have been better off investing in a lump sum. But determining whether we will have a smooth or choppy market is unknowable, so the best course of action is simply to save and invest regularly and not try to time the market.