One of the first lessons of finance we are taught, by our parents or through some basic personal finance course, is to make creating an emergency fund our top priority. Having a reserve of cash equivalent to six to 12 month’s worth of living expenses is considered the most fundamental principal of financial security.
Most people couldn’t bear the financial hardships resulting from unexpected events, such as a major house fire, a car accident, a disability or the premature death of a family breadwinner, which is why one of the most important component of a sound financial plan should be your personal risk management strategy.
Chances are good that if you turn on the prime time news on any given day or pull up your favorite newspaper on your iPad one of the top stories will relate to emerging risks around the world.
For anyone who has dealt with an aging parent or grandparent the concept of long term care is likely a familiar one. Those unfortunate enough to suffer from Alzheimer’s or other cognitive illness can end up requiring nursing care that can reach and exceed $80,000 per-year depending on the quality of care.
All investors – be they conservative, moderate or aggressive – need to understand that the level of returns they expect to generate is directly related to the amount of risk they are willing to assume – the higher the return, the higher the amount of risk one needs to take.
In my opinion, it is impossible to predict future stock market returns. Investment models can produce hypothetical returns but they can’t account for future events. So, in my opinion, investors who manage their investments based on market performance or what they perceive as opportunities for better returns have very little control over the outcome.
The one thing we of which we can all be certain is change. Life happens every day and, as a result, we are constantly assessing our situation and changing our course, usually by making small adjustments. A life insurance purchase is one of the few decisions we make with a more long term perspective.