5 Shortcuts to a Successful Financial Future in 2021

Available for Interviews: Don Garman

Don Garman is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Mirador Capital Partners and Co-Founder of Tri-Valley Ventures. A seasoned investor in both public and private companies for over 30 years, Don leads Mirador’s Investment Committee and oversees each of the firm’s proprietary investment strategies.

What Don Garman can say in an interview:

1. Maximize your retirement plan contributions. Investors looking to set themselves up for a rewarding retirement are wise to maximize the use of tax-advantaged savings vehicles. For 2021 the IRS will let you contribute $19,500 to a 401(k) plan, $6,000 to an IRA, and an additional $1,000 to an IRA if you are over the age of 50. If you can’t contribute the max, find out what your employer’s match is and contribute at least that amount, to take advantage of the “free money.”

2. Increase the percentage you’re investing. One of the most efficient moves you can make throughout your career is to regularly increase the amount you set aside from your paycheck to invest for goals such as retirement or home ownership. The increase does not need to be huge; one or two percent each year will have a considerable impact on your savings.

3.  Rebalance your portfolio, if necessary. 2020 was a banner year for the U.S. stock market. As a result, your investments are likely overweight in some areas. The beginning of the year is a logical time to ask yourself, “Do I own the right amount of stocks? bonds? cash?” Younger investors should concern themselves with any individual positions that outperformed and now represent a large percentage of their portfolio, while investors nearing retirement should evaluate their allocation to fixed income vs. equities so their risk tolerance remains appropriate. If you have a financial advisor, they should be monitoring your portfolio and making these adjustments as necessary.

4.  Invest your savings. If you have more cash than you need to survive a three month emergency, you’re not doing yourself any favors. Make this the year that you invest your savings. It’s best to invest in a diversified portfolio but even a conservative investment, for example a money market fund, will return more than the interest on a basic savings account.

5. Shore up your estate plan. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that you can never predict a tragedy. When tragedy does strike, the last thing you want to be doing is arranging financial and legal affairs. The best way to prevent this hardship is to be prepared: create an estate plan. Essential components of an estate plan include a living trust or will, power of attorney, an advanced healthcare directive, and a shared understanding of your family’s plan.

 

Interview: Don Garman

Don Garman has earned the prestigious designations of Certified Financial Planner® and Certified Investment Management Analyst®. Prior to founding Mirador, Don served his clients at two of the nation’s largest advisory firms. He is very active in the Tri-Valley area and supports many community organizations, including The First Tee of the Tri-Valley, The George Archer Foundation, and the Livermore Valley Wine Growers Foundation. He also serves as President of the Tri-Valley Cal (UC-Berkeley) Alumni Club. Don lives in Pleasanton with his wife Mindy and has two children, Emma (Georgetown University) and Scott (high school sophomore). He is an avid drummer, golfer, and snowboarder.

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