Advice for Savvy Retirement Planning

Lansdowne Wealth Management in the News

Robert Henderson

Robert Henderson

Check out some of the articles that Robert Henderson and Lansdowne Wealth Management have published or been quoted in over the years.

Experts Share their #1 Retirement Planning Tip for Startup Founders

Mint.Com – Expert Interview with Bob Henderson on Managing Your Finances During a Divorce

LoanNow.com – Expert Interview with Robert Henderson on Preparing for Retirement

401K Contribution Limits for 2015

USA Today – Is Your Life Insurance Through Work Enough?, Alice Holbrook, NerdWallet

Investment News – Tips for Finding the Dirt During Due Diligence on Funds and Managers, Liz Skinner

Benefits Pro – Orphaned 401(k) Accounts Stacking Up, Paula Aven Gladych

Interest.com – 5 Good Reasons to Open a Roth IRA Right Now, Craig Guillot

NurseZone.com – Nurses Worried About Retirement Prospects, Jennifer Larson

Investment News – Noise of Potential Gov’t Shutdown Worries Advisers, Liz Skinner

Newsmax Finance – Analysts: Govt Shutdown Is Either a Stock Buying Opportunity or a Disaster, John Morgan

U.S. News and World Report – The 10 Most Difficult Retirement Decisions, Emily Brandon

Dividend.com – Financial Planners Every Investor Should Follow on Twitter, Shauna O’Brien

Time – Retirement Planning: How Do You Measure Up?

Benefits Pro – Should Retirement Plans Include Social Security Benefits?, Paula Aven Gladych

Social Security Leveling Options – The Retirement Workshop, Robert Henderson

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Robert Henderson is the President of Lansdowne Wealth Management, an independent, fee-only advisory firm in Mystic, CT. His firm specializes in financial planning and investment management for retirement, with a special focus on the particular needs of women that are divorced or widowed. He is an Accredited Asset Management Specialist and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. Mr. Henderson can be reached at 860-245-5078 or bhenderson@lwmwealth.com. You can also view his personal finance blog,The Retirement Workshop at http://lwmwealth.com/blog and the firm’s website at http://www.lwmwealth.com.

If you are an employee or retiree of General Dynamics, Pfizer, or L&M Hospital, and you would like advice and direction on managing your Fidelity 401K plan, please sign up for our monthly newsletter, which provides complimentary ongoing advice, commentary, and model portfolios for each of those plans. You can sign up automatically at Your 401K http://www.lwmwealth.com/services/your401k.html.

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Fee-Only Financial Advisor in CT

Financial Planners in Connecticut

Lansdowne Wealth Management, LLC (“LWM”) is an independent, fee-only financial planning firm based in Mystic, Connecticut that offers financial retirement strategies backed by education, knowledge, and experience. Our clients depend on us to provide personalized, thoughtful service and advice. As a fee-only Registered Investment Advisor, we present you with objective, independent guidance for achieving your goals. Successful individuals and families in southeastern Connecticut, Rhode Island and throughout the United States rely on us to guide the way so they can be confident in their futures.

Our goal is to provide our clients with the most complete Asset and Wealth Management services available. From the very beginning, our objective is to provide individual investors with the same level of sophisticated management as institutional investors. We are proud to say that the services our clients receive rival that of large institutions.

In addition to providing portfolio management services, we also provide our clients with the opportunity to access our comprehensive Fee-Only Financial Planning and Wealth Management services. More details are provided regarding our Asset and Wealth Managements services in our Services section.

401K Advice in CT

For those individuals that are employed at Pfizer, General Dynamics, or L&M Hospital, we have a unique 401K service that allows us to directly manage their Fidelity 401K assets, without removing their assets from the 401K plan.

Robert C. Henderson is the President and a financial advisor at LWM. Prior to founding the firm, Mr. Henderson was a financial advisor with a nationally recognized brokerage firm. His previous experience included numerous senior corporate financial positions, including Director of Finance and Accounting and Controller positions. Mr. Henderson holds a BS degree in Accounting from Bentley University, earned the Accredited Asset Management Specialist (AAMS) designation from the College for Financial Planning, and is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA).

Mr. Henderson can be reached at 860-245-5078 or bhenderson@lwmwealth.com. You can also view his personal finance blog, The Retirement Workshop at http://lwmwealth.com/blog and the firm’s website at http://www.lwmwealth.com.

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Class Offered: Building Your Retirement Income

Retirement WorkshopIf you or someone you know in the Mystic, CT area is getting ready to retire, or is already retired, and wants to learn more about how to structure their retirement income, this class may be helpful.

Education is the foundation of personal financial empowerment. Without the necessary comprehension, most feel ill-equipped to make the significant financial decisions we face today.

Lansdowne Wealth Management hosts classes to build the necessary framework for a successful retirement financial plan. On an ongoing basis our classes are focused on the areas we see most relevant and timely to your personal finances.

Consistent with our lifetime commitment: Classes are free of sales-pitches and commitments, and anyone is free to attend unless stated otherwise in the description. Since we are a fee-only registered investment advisory firm, we do not sell products.

To see the current classes offered and sign up to attend, you can go to our Retirement Workshop site here.

See the class description here.

Robert Henderson is the President of Lansdowne Wealth Management, an independent, fee-only advisory firm in Mystic, CT. His firm specializes in financial planning and investment management for retirement, with a special focus on the particular needs of women that are divorced or widowed. He is an Accredited Asset Management Specialist and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. Mr. Henderson can be reached at 860-245-5078 or bhenderson@lwmwealth.com. You can also view his personal finance blog, The Retirement Workshop at http://lwmwealth.com/blog and the firm’s website at http://www.lwmwealth.com.

General Dynamics 401K Connection Newsletter – November 2012

401KHere is the November 2012 issue of the General Dynamics 401K Connection newsletter.

The 401K Connection Newsletters are independent evaluations of 401(K) plans that help participants better understand their retirement accounts, the many investment options available to them, and provide them with model portfolios that they are free to follow and emulate at their discretion.  The newsletters are in no way affiliated with General Dynamics, Pfizer, L&M Hospital, or any of their affiliates. They are 3rd party newsletters provided for no cost to assist employees with better understanding and managing their 401K plans. Lansdowne Wealth Management is an independent wealth management firm that has no affiliation to General Dynamics, Pfizer, or L&M Hospital, nor the administrators of their 401K plans, Fidelity and Hewitt & Associates.

Around the first week of each month, subscribers receive our newsletter, customized to their employer (currently General Dynamics, Pfizer, or L&M Hospital). The newsletters are chock-full of useful information to help manage their 401K plan, including market & economic updates, analysis of your retirement plan, feedback on the various investment options, and model portfolios that are developed by our firm using the same strategies and philosophies we utilize for our own private clients. In addition, periodically you will receive articles written by our firm that can be useful in managing other aspects of your financial life, in addition to your 401K. The articles can always be accessed at our blog as well – http://lwmwealth.com/blog/.

To sign up for one of the newsletters, please go here:  http://www.lwmwealth.com/services/your401k.html

Pfizer 401K Connection Newsletter – November 2012

401KHere is the November 2012 issue of the Pfizer 401K Connection newsletter. The Pfizer 401K plan is administered by Fidelity Investments.

The 401K Connection Newsletters are independent evaluations of 401(K) plans that help participants better understand their retirement accounts, the many investment options available to them, and provide them with model portfolios that they are free to follow and emulate at their discretion.  The newsletters are in no way affiliated with General Dynamics, Pfizer, L&M Hospital, or any of their affiliates. They are 3rd party newsletters provided for no cost to assist employees with better understanding and managing their 401K plans. Lansdowne Wealth Management is an independent wealth management firm that has no affiliation to General Dynamics, Pfizer, or L&M Hospital, nor the administrators of their 401K plans, Fidelity and Hewitt & Associates.

Around the first week of each month, subscribers receive our newsletter, customized to their employer (currently General Dynamics, Pfizer, or L&M Hospital). The newsletters are chock-full of useful information to help manage their 401K plan, including market & economic updates, analysis of your retirement plan, feedback on the various investment options, and model portfolios that are developed by our firm using the same strategies and philosophies we utilize for our own private clients. In addition, periodically you will receive articles written by our firm that can be useful in managing other aspects of your financial life, in addition to your 401K. The articles can always be accessed at our blog as well – http://lwmwealth.com/blog/.

To sign up for one of the newsletters, please go here:  http://www.lwmwealth.com/services/your401k.html

Don’t Buy-and-Forget the Investments in your 401K Plan

401K InvestmentsThe buy-and-hold investment strategy for company sponsored retirement plans, such as a 401K plan, has become a relic of the past. Let me re-phrase that: Buy-and-forget investing is a relic of the past.

Read: 401K Contribution Limits

Buy-and-Forget is not an Investment Strategy
I often have prospective clients come to me with a stack of statements…brokerage accounts, 401K accounts, IRA’s, CD’s, and other odds and ends. Invariably, one or several of the accounts have been completely ignored over the years. In some cases, the investment allocations in their company 401K plan account is still invested with the same exact options they chose when they first opened their accounts.

Just recently, I helped a new client re-allocate his 401K funds that had not made a change in over 15 years. It was entirely invested in high-growth (or high-risk, rather) funds that performed superbly – until the year 2000. He had managed to eke out a total return (not annual return) of about 31% – over the course of 15 years. That works out to less than 2% per year (compounded). The technology bubble and growing euphoria for the stock market drove much of the investment gains in the 90’s, a situation which reversed abruptly in 2000, and is not likely to repeat itself anytime soon.

We are currently in an economic environment vastly different from years past. Interest rates are at an all-time low, unemployment still remains remarkably high, and the federal debt is unsustainably high and growing rapidly. The point is, what may have done well 5 or 10 or 15 years ago, is most likely NOT working well today.

READ:
401K Contribution Limits
IRA Contribution Limits

What to do
If you are the type of person that has neither the time nor inclination to regularly review your investments, you need to begin reviewing your 401K portfolios at least once per year. I usually recommend doing this at tax time, since you can get all your painful financial exercises out of the way at once.

The place to start is with your 401K plan provider. If you work for a large company, chances are they may have some great online tools to use to help guide you to an appropriate allocation. But buyer beware; some 401K product providers (brokerage firms, mutual fund companies, and insurance companies) will attempt to steer you towards the products THEY want to sell you. In some cases, these may not be in your best interest, even if they might be considered “suitable” for you. So make sure you are comfortable with the recommendations provided by online tools.

If you do not have the resources of a 401K provider, or are not comfortable taking advice from an online calculator, you can consider seeking out a fee-only financial planner to assist you in creating a simple allocation for your 401K plan.

Robert Henderson is the President of Lansdowne Wealth Management, an independent, fee-only advisory firm in Mystic, CT. His firm specializes in financial planning and investment management for retirement, with an added focus on the particular needs of women that are divorced or widowed. He is an Accredited Asset Management Specialist and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. Mr. Henderson can be reached at 860-245-5078 or bhenderson@lwmwealth.com. You can also view his personal finance blog, The Retirement Workshop at http://lwmwealth.com/blog and the firm’s website at http://www.lwmwealth.com.

If you are an employee or retiree of General Dynamics, Pfizer, or L&M Hospital, and you would like advice and direction on managing your Fidelity 401K or Hewitt 401K plan, please sign up for our monthly newsletter, which provides complimentary ongoing advice, commentary, and model portfolios for each of those plans. You can sign up automatically at http://www.lwmwealth.com/services/your401k.html.

Have We Separated From Reality?

Stock Market Reality CheckThe month of June was a good one. The S&P 500 was up over 6% for the month, but essentially just took back most of what it lost in the month of May (May was down over 8%). What we are seeing is the constant daily battle between bad news (unemployment, political battles, Fed actions, low GDP numbers, historically low interest rates, European meltdown, etc.) and good news (unemployment, political battles, Fed actions, historically low interest rates, European resolution?, etc.). Do you see the point I am making? Sometimes the same issues fall on both sides of the fence – often on the same day, and it creates this untethered whipsaw in the markets (known as volatility). Not a day goes by when we don’t read competing opinions (disguised as “expert” guidance from financial journalists with no real experience in finance) on the state of the market and its future.

The fact is, on a historical basis, we are still thickly settled amongst some of the most negative conditions the market has experienced in the past 100 years. This is not to say that recession and/or a significant market fall is inevitable. However, I DO feel that this is the likely outcome.  As we have talked about in the past, the economy can only overcome so many obstacles before it succumbs to overwhelming pressure. In the current case, I believe we are closing in on that point. Last week we witnessed the Federal Reserve announce further activities related to Operation Twist (selling short term notes and buying-up long ones) in an attempt to further manipulate the yield curve (lowering long-term rates for things like mortgages). During their announcement, they hinted (strongly) that they still had the ability to take one more shot at quantitative easing (QE3), whereby they would re-establish a policy of buying assets from banks and injecting further liquidity into the economy. The problem with this whole concept is that this is essentially the last shot they have at actually turning things around. They are, essentially, out of any other options should this fail to provide adequate stimulation to the economy. It is the equivalent of storming the beach with your last rounds of ammo, hoping to take down the enemy.

What we saw with previous rounds of quantitative easing (QE1 and QE2), was successively less-effective results. And now that we are at the point of a zero-interest rate policy, and long-term rates the lowest they have been at any point in history, other than the few years following the end of WWII, rates have very little room to move any lower (thus the diminishing returns from successive rounds of easing).

Now the Reality Part

The market recovered nicely beginning in 2009, through early 2012, with a few significant stalls along the way (notably, the summers of 2010 and 2011). Much of this was driven by restored confidence, a slow but steady drop in unemployment, and economic activity (GDP) that was showing signs of life. However, those three metrics, typical measurements of economic health, have all turned considerably worse in recent months. Unemployment appears to have stalled around the low 8% range (8.2% at last count), GDP continues to be revised downwards, falling to anemic 1.9% in the first quarter of 2012, and Consumer Confidence is now at a 6 month low.

Unemployment July 2012As we mentioned in our last commentary, government spending and stimulus has accounted for much of the growth and rebound over the past few years. Aside from a few pockets of investment here and there ( a warm winter helped construction in late 2011, as well as inventory buildup), government intervention has accounted for much of the growth. But again, with interest rates at near all-time lows, Fed intervention is no longer the shot in the arm that we have come to expect. It should be noted that we are now facing the only time in history when we have seen four straight quarters of sub-2% GDP growth and NOT been in a recession. This begs the question as to whether we have already entered another recession.

Impact on Portfolios

We continue to maintain very modest allocations to equities in light of current conditions (10-15%). For private client portfolios, allocations to income-producing investments make up the bulk of portfolios. This includes mortgage-backed securities (both US Government Agency as well as non-agency bonds), emerging-market bonds (for obvious reasons, we are not invested in bonds of most European nations), high-yield bonds, short-duration bonds, real estate, as well as small allocations to global equities.

For 401K model portfolios, we continue to maintain a conservative stance. Although many local 401K plans do not offer many of the alternative asset classes that we seek out to find relative value and income, it’s important that our allocations remain conservative in order to avoid potential abrupt downtrends in the market. As such, our most aggressive model portfolios for employee 401K plans remain at only 25% equities, one of the most conservative positions we have taken in several years.

Should conditions further deteriorate, we will consider further lowering our exposure to risk assets – both in our 401(K) plan model portfolios, as well as in our private client portfolios.

If you are an employee or retiree of General Dynamics, Pfizer, or L&M Hospital, and you would like advice and direction on managing your Fidelity 401K or Hewitt 401K plan, please sign up for our monthly newsletter, which provides complimentary ongoing advice, commentary, and model portfolios for each of those plans. You can sign up automatically at http://www.lwmwealth.com/services/your401k.html.

Robert C. Henderson is the President of Lansdowne Wealth Management in Mystic, CT. His firm specializes in financial planning and investment management for individuals approaching retirement or already in retirement, with an added focus on the particular needs of women that are divorced or widowed. He is an Accredited Asset Management Specialist and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. Mr. Henderson can be reached at 860-245-5078 or bhenderson@lwmwealth.com. You can also view his personal finance blog at http://lwmwealth.com/blog and the firm’s website athttp://www.lwmwealth.com.

Pfizer 401K Connection Newsletter – June 2012

Pfizer 401KHere is the June 2012 issue of the Pfizer 401K Connection newsletter. You can either read it on-screen, or right-click (for PC’s) and save as PDF file on your computer.

The 401K Connection Newsletters are independent evaluations of 401(K) plans that help participants better understand their retirement accounts, the many investment options available to them, and provide them with model portfolios that they are free to follow and emulate at their discretion.  The newsletters are in no way affiliated with General Dynamics, Pfizer, L&M Hospital, or any of their affiliates. They are 3rd party newsletters provided for no cost to assist employees with better understanding and managing their 401K plans. Lansdowne Wealth Management is an independent wealth management firm that has no affiliation to General Dynamics, Pfizer, or L&M Hospital, nor the administrators of their 401K plans, Fidelity and Hewitt & Associates.

Around the first week of each month, subscribers receive our newsletter, customized to their employer (currently General Dynamics, Pfizer, or L&M Hospital). The newsletters are chock-full of useful information to help manage their 401K plan, including market & economic updates, analysis of your retirement plan, feedback on the various investment options, and model portfolios that are developed by our firm using the same strategies and philosophies we utilize for our own private clients. In addition, periodically you will receive articles written by our firm that can be useful in managing other aspects of your financial life, in addition to your 401K. The articles can always be accessed at our blog as well – http://lwmwealth.com/blog/.

To sign up for one of the newsletters, please go here:  http://www.lwmwealth.com/services/your401k.html

General Dynamics 401K Connection Newsletter – June 2012

Here is the June 2012 issue of the General Dynamics 401K Connection newsletter. You can either read it on-screen, or right-click (for PC’s) and save as PDF file on your computer.

The 401K Connection Newsletters are independent evaluations of 401(K) plans that help participants better understand their retirement accounts, the many investment options available to them, and provide them with model portfolios that they are free to follow and emulate at their discretion. The newsletters are in no way affiliated with General Dynamics, Pfizer, L&M Hospital, or any of their affiliates. They are 3rd party newsletters provided for no cost to assist employees with better understanding and managing their 401K plans. Lansdowne Wealth Management is an independent wealth management firm that has no affiliation to General Dynamics, Pfizer, or L&M Hospital, nor the administrators of their 401K plans, Fidelity and Hewitt & Associates.

Around the first week of each month, subscribers receive our newsletter, customized to their employer (currently General Dynamics, Pfizer, or L&M Hospital). The newsletters are chock-full of useful information to help manage their 401K plan, including market & economic updates, analysis of your retirement plan, feedback on the various investment options, and model portfolios that are developed by our firm using the same strategies and philosophies we utilize for our own private clients. In addition, periodically you will receive articles written by our firm that can be useful in managing other aspects of your financial life, in addition to your 401K. The articles can always be accessed at our blog as well – http://lwmwealth.com/blog/.

To sign up for one of the newsletters, please go here:  http://www.lwmwealth.com/services/your401k.html

Everyone Has Access to 401K Advice

Piggy BankFor most people, their 401K (or 403B, TSP, etc.) is their single largest asset beyond their home. The unfortunate part is that very few people seek advice for managing this asset. Part of the problem in the past has been that due to Department of Labor rules, employers have been limited in their ability to recommend advice for their employees, and advisors have been limited in their ability to provide these services for the same reason.

Fortunately, late last year the Department of Labor finalized new regulations paving the way for better access to investment advice on employee retirement plans. There are still some strict rules governing the regulations, but by and large, all employees now have access to seek out advice on their plans. Access to advice on investment plan options can help plan participants improve their investment returns and better manage their overall portfolio risk.

As I mentioned above, advice for retirement plan assets must be given under strict guidelines. For example, the advice given must either be given based on pre-determined computer models, or provided on a “level-fee” basis, where compensation is not based on the types of investments recommended, but rather on a fee-only basis. In other words, advice cannot be given on a commission basis.

This is great news for Connecticut-based employees that seek advice for their 401(K) assets, a service we at Lansdowne Wealth Management provide.

Robert C. Henderson is the President of Lansdowne Wealth Management in Mystic, CT. His firm specializes in financial planning and investment management for individuals approaching retirement or already in retirement, with an added focus on the particular needs of women that are divorced or widowed. He is an Accredited Asset Management Specialist and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. Mr. Henderson can be reached at 860-245-5078 or bhenderson@lwmwealth.com. You can also view his personal finance blog at http://lwmwealth.com/blog and the firm’s website at http://www.lwmwealth.com.

If you are an employee or retiree of General Dynamics, Pfizer, or L&M Hospital, and you would like advice and direction on managing your 401K plan, please sign up for our monthly newsletter, which provides complimentary ongoing advice, commentary, and model portfolios for each of those plans. You can sign up automatically at http://www.lwmwealth.com/services/your401k.html.