Julie Fletcher Featured in Denver Post: Why Americans are scared of financial advisors

Julie FletcherMeet_Julie, CFP® at Sharkey, Howes & Javer wrote an article that was featured in the Denver Post this week. Below is a small excerpt from her piece as well as a link to read the full article.

Why Americans are scared of financial advisors
We can blame the movies, and our “money taboo” society

Since the 1980’s, Hollywood has made millions of dollars creating a slew of movies depicting the greed and crime of the financial services industry. Which is your favorite? “Wall Street,” the “greed is good” movie from 1987? “Boiler Room,” “The Wolf of Wall Street” or “The Big Short”? Based on the media’s portrayal of “financial professionals,” it is no wonder that Americans are scared to death to trust anyone with their hard-earned money. Based on these movies, I would guess that a person who has never met with a financial advisor likely envisions it would go something like this:

As a frightened receptionist walks me through their chaotic cubicle hell, red-faced frenzied suits scream “SELL, SELL NOW!!” into their phones. When we finally reach the conference room, the theme song from “Jaws” runs through my mind as a cigar smoking man wearing a red bow tie slowly turns in his chair to face me. He puffs out smoke as his smile creeps into a wide Cheshire cat grin. “Welcome. Please have a seat. Did you bring all your account statements?” As I cautiously hand my private and personal information to a complete stranger, his grin turns into a frown. “Did you not read our website? I hardly think $150,000 meets our $50 million minimums.”

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Inside the Economy with SH&J: August 29, 2016

This week’s Inside the Economy with SH&J brings a focus on inflation, both in the U.S. and globally, with insight on what needs to happen and why it’s important to have an economy with inflation. Will it be entrepreneurs or the government that steps up to the plate? Here in the United States, although existing home and new auto sales have slowed, overall wealth is growing. Listen in to hear about these issues and more, including international equities and employment in Italy.

The Pros and Cons of Owning Stock Where You Work

SHJ082916_Owning_Stock_Where_You_Work_Blog_ImageMany companies offer stock options and stock bonuses to their employees, but is owning stock where you work a good idea? The short answer: it depends. Below are our thoughts on the pros and cons of owning stock where you work.

One ‘pro’ to owning stock in the company where you work is the added motivation you have for the company to succeed. As an ‘owner’ in the company, your success is tied to their success. This holds true for the employees you manage as well.

More than the incentive to work hard, owning stock in the company you work for can pay off quickly. Often companies offer their stock at discounted prices to employees. Buying stock at a discount can pay off if the company does well. In general, you may want to limit your company stock exposure to 10% of your net worth (or less) to maintain diversification.

Your paycheck is already tied to your employer and tying more of your investment portfolio to the company where you work could significantly increase your risk. While being motivated to help the company grow can positively benefit your investment, it doesn’t mean the company is destined to be successful. Their downfall can mean a big financial loss for you. Remember General Motors, Enron and Lehman Brothers?

Owning stock in the company you work for can be a beneficial part of your financial plan. Talking to your financial advisor before making a decision to invest where you work is a good idea. Call 303-639-5100 for a complimentary consultation.

Broadening Your Horizons with Non-traditional Higher Education

SHJ082116_College_Options_Blog_ImageReleased by The College Board, the average price paid for tuition, fees, and room and board in 2015-2016 was $43,921 at private colleges and $19,548 at public institutions. Along with the rising tuition prices, the balance of outstanding student loans has risen over $1.2 trillion with 40 million borrowers and an average balance of $29,000 (source). With numbers like this, parents who are saving for their child’s higher education may start to wonder, what is the value of attending a 4-year public or private university? And, are there other options?

As technology improves and the definition of a “traditional student” evolves, community colleges are starting to gain traction. Community colleges benefit a wide range of learners varying in age, location and need. Many offer two year programs, some of which can be completed entirely online. These programs make degrees more accessible for individuals who are already in the workforce or need flexible class schedules. By attending a community college, individuals can take advantage of program variety and small class sizes without the price tag of a private or public university.

However, if your student wants the “traditional campus experience”, consider taking a few general classes at a community college close to home over the summer to help reduce overall costs.

Another option is to look internationally to broaden your experience and reduce your costs. Pursuing a degree abroad opens the door to once-in-a-lifetime travel opportunities while acquiring marketable cultural skills that short term study abroad programs may not provide. You may also find studies more tailored to your interests or needs, perhaps art history in France or a culinary program in Italy.

Make an appointment with your Certified Financial Planner™ to further discuss your college planning options. If you have already started contributing to a 529 College Savings plan remember that these funds can be used for Community Colleges and 339 schools in foreign countries!

Inside the Economy with SH&J: August 15, 2016

The combination of improved earnings, strong U.S. economic data, and the prospects for continued low interest rates are likely indicators that propelled the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq indices into all-time highs this month. Listen in to hear more on this and about U.S. consumer spending, debt levels and savings.

Facebook 101: Protect Your Identity While Connecting with Friends and Family

Facebook is a convenient and valuable way to stay in touch with friends and loved ones. We understand the importance of staying in touch while keeping your identity secure. The guide below will get you on Facebook, help you connect and make sure your privacy settings are set to keep your identity safe. If you already have an account, jump down to #5 and check your privacy settings.

Here are 7 steps to get started on Facebook:
1. Create a profile
Your first step will be to create a profile. Go to facebook.com and fill out the sign up form right on the home page! Create your account with your email address instead of your phone number, for privacy reasons.SHJ081516_FB_Image_1

2. Choose a secure password
Pick a password using at least one capital letter, one lowercase letter and one number. For added security use characters such as exclamation points (!) or at signs (@). Avoid using names, addresses, birthdates and other personal information in your password. Continue reading

“The Silver Tsunami” Costs of Long Term Care Services in Denver

Processed with VSCO with a7 presetHelping a loved one navigate through the long term care puzzle can be emotionally draining, time consuming, and downright frustrating. In addition, learning about the associated costs can be like throwing salt on a very open wound. Unless a money tree is growing in the backyard, finding a way to pay for long term care costs can be a major struggle for families.

Thankfully, companies like Genworth do the research for us and provide Cost of Care Surveys to help us set appropriate expectations. Here are the annual median costs for the Denver* area for 2015: Continue reading

Inside the Economy with SH&J: August 1, 2016

July wrapped up with a nice rally in the U.S. markets, proving that summer can be a productive season in your investment portfolio. Today’s discussion brings our attention to U.S. GDP, the bond markets, and the emerging markets. Listen in to find out which two emerging market countries are projected to be the fastest growing in 2016!

8 Creative Ways to Win Your Dream Home Without Making a Poor Investment

SHJ080116_Win_a_Bidding_War_Blog_ImageIn a hot real estate market it’s easy to let your emotions get involved possibly resulting in making a poor real estate investment. It’s not uncommon in today’s market for buyers to waive inspections or pay an amount over the listed value in order to get the home of their dreams. Instead of risking your investment with emotional decisions, we’ve put together some more creative ideas to help your offer stand out.

Here are 8 tips for standing out in a bidding war: Continue reading