Gearing Up For An August Blog Break

There is nothing like a Minnesota summer vacation. It’s the one time of year when we Minnesotan’s can actually brag about our weather and enjoy living in MN to the fullest. Well, most days anyway.

Since many of my readers will be taking some last minute time off to enjoy what is left of summer (and perhaps not reading my blog posts), I though this would be a good time to take a short blog break before I get busy again in the fall.

So after over 180 consecutive blog posts I am announcing the first ever August Blog Break. Consider it a summer vacay from the blog.

Not to worry. The blog break is very temporary. Just a few short weeks before I am back with a ton of new content to help readers pay less for college, maximize retirement income and cross the bridge to a confident retirement.

In the meantime, go to the lake! Ride your bike! Catch some fish! Eat ice cream! Hang out at the State Fair! Sleep under the stars!

Do whatever it takes to make the most of the rest of your summer because once Labor Day comes and goes, it’s back to work.

For those who really must get their weekly fix of The Bridge I will re-post some of the my most popular blog posts of the last four years. If you are a new subscriber, this new-to-you content may be just what you need to get up to speed with your personal finances. Long-time subscribers and clients may benefit from a quick review as well.

Look for my next original blog post on September 6th.


The Fed Keeps Rates Unchanged

As expected the Federal Reserve voted to keep interest rates unchanged at its most recent Open Market Committee meeting last week. This comes after four rate increases in the Federal Funds Rate since they began raising interest rates in December of 2015.

The Federal Funds Rate remains at 1.25%.  The next FOMC meeting is scheduled for September 19-20 when many Fed watchers predict another increase or possibly a change in tactics.

21st Century Estate Planning: How to Cover Your Digital Assets.

Even people who have done extensive estate planning often overlook one important fact: digital assets like your social media accounts, online accounts and other digital information may be frozen upon your death making it nearly impossible for your family and other loved ones to access this information after you die.

Unless specific language is included a traditional will or trust may not always cover your digital estate.

Reverse Dollar-Cost-Averaging. Is That a Thing?

Last week I wrote about an investing strategy called dollar-cost-averaging – the act of systematically buying more shares of your favorite stock or mutual fund in regular amounts every week or month. Generally, dollar-cost-averaging works best when markets are volatile and trending downward or sideways. With each new investment you end up buying more shares at lower prices, lowering your average cost per share over time.

Could a Dollar-Cost-Averaging Strategy Work For You?

The concept of dollar-cost-averaging – the act of investing regular amounts in a systematic way every week or month – has been around for a long time. If you take $100 from each paycheck and add it to a stock mutual fund in your 401(k) every pay period, you are dollar-cost-averaging. If you add $500 every month to a mutual fund in your IRA, you are dollar-cost-averaging. You get the idea.

When markets decline, especially if they are quite volatile, dollar-cost-averaging can be a great strategy. It effectively forces you to buy more shares when prices are low and fewer shares when prices are high. Every month you continue to add more to your investment plan regardless of whether the market is up or down. This strategy takes the emotions out of investing and can result in a lower average cost per share of your favorite stock or mutual fund.