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Divorce and Your Money - #1 Divorce Podcast

Visit us at www.DivorceAndYourMoney.com Divorce and Your Money is your guide to avoiding costly mistakes during divorce. Shawn Leamon, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst and MBA, wants to help you learn the fundamentals of how to get a divorce. Whether you are looking for an uncontested divorce, a do it yourself divorce, or an online divorce, resources are available to offer guidance. Through his divorce podcast and divorce blog, Shawn offers his professional opinion on the best ways to handle the end of your marriage. He covers topics including how to file for divorce, divorcing a narcissist, and finding the best divorce attorney. Even tricky subjects such as a “what is a QDRO?” and “is alimony taxable?” are tackled through these venues. If you need to know what the first steps are or what you should do to head to trial during litigation, you can find resources to give you a step-by-step guide to what comes next. Think of his advice as an alternative to divorce support groups where you can find exactly what you need when you need it. He offers one-on-one divorce coaching to give you a solid grasp on the decisions that are bound to affect your financial future. Before you have a divorce decree in hand, you will likely go through some type of divorce mediation. For any spouse saying, “I want a divorce,” you need to make sure that you are getting the financial future you are entitled to. Do not allow yourself to be blinded by the emotional, legal, and financial burden that divorce can become. Instead, take control of your situation with sage wisdom to help all individuals make better financial decisions for their independent future. If you find yourself asking “where are the best divorce lawyers near me?”, Shawn can help you to recognize the best of the best. Whether you need a divorce in Texas, a divorce in Florida, or a divorce in New York, you will have all the knowledge you need to find the best team of professionals to assist you. You can start from a place of being legally separated or once you have already started to file for divorce using free divorce papers or an attorney. No matter where you or your marriage may be in the process, Shawn Leamon has professional advice to offer your unique situation. A simple no fault divorce or a high-stakes power struggle are all areas he has vast experience with during his work outside of Divorce and Your Money. Let his advice be a guide to help you get all that you need for a secure financial future in your divorce records. It will not make a difference whether you are getting a divorce in Ohio or a divorce in California if you are following the basic principles set out through Divorce and Your Money’s divorce blog, divorce podcast, and divorce coaching.
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Jul 25, 2017
This episode is the sixth part in a series about your post-divorce finances. If you have not already heard the first five parts of this series, be sure to listen to them because they build upon each other.
 
By now, you should have outlined your financial goals, found out how to choose a financial advisor, and learned some key financial terms and concepts. Even if you are early in the divorce process, planning ahead will help you know what you need to think about during the divorce.
 
How do you know that your financial advisor is doing a good job? You may not keep the same advisor for the rest of your life, and in some cases, you may want to consider changing advisors. Here are some tell-tale signs that you may want to change sooner rather than later:
 
1) Your investment performance is worse than the benchmarks.
 
Monitoring your investment performance is an important part of assessing your investment strategy. For a given year, what return are you receiving on your accounts? Of course, stocks fluctuate from day to day and year to year. To see how your investments are performing, compare them to benchmarks (i.e., groups of other stocks).
 
For example, the S&P 500 is an index of the top 50 stocks in the US. Perhaps your stocks went up 5% in one year, but the S&P 500 went up 7%. If so, you may want to ask your advisor why. However, perhaps the stock market as a whole went down one year, but you lost more money than the benchmark. If so, that is a problem.
 
If you see a trend where your portfolio is repeatedly performing worse than the benchmark year after year, you should strongly consider making a change. We recommend that you do your own research to learn what the best benchmarks are to accurately compare your portfolio.
 
2) Your investment portfolio is overly complicated.
For most people, a few investments are enough. Those investments might be funds, such as an index fund that contains 500 stocks. However, each investment will be a single line item in your portfolio.
 
Reportedly, Warren Buffet, a great investor, plans for his money to be invested in just two funds after he dies: 10% in short-term government bonds, and 90% in Vanguard’s low-cost S&P 500 index fund. Keep in mind that Buffet is a billionaire, but the point is that it is fine to have a simple portfolio. You should understand every investment in your portfolio. If you have 50 different line items in your portfolio, it probably is not a good sign.
 
3) You have red-flag investments in your portfolio.
You should probably not have some types of investments in your account if you are listening to this podcast. You are unlikely to need any high-fee investments; they are probably unsuitable for you and your lifestyle. Low-fee investments will help you earn more money over time from your investments.
 
Below is a list of investments that are not appropriate for most people. If you have these investments, you should reconsider keeping them:
  • Structured products
  • Annuities
  • Hedge funds
  • Private equity funds
  • Any kind of illiquid fund, which involves locking your money up for 2 years or more
  • Options
  • Any sort of directional strategy
  • Anything that cannot be explained in a few sentences, or that takes up more than one sheet of paper to explain in-depth
  • Anything that has high fees (over 1.5% for any investment fund)
 
To decide if your financial advisor is doing a good job for you, you should look at the three points above. Of course, they are general recommendations, so please take your own circumstances into account. Remember to seek professional guidance about making the best decision for you.
 
In the next episode, we will discuss the financial documents that you will need to update after your divorce.
 
Thank you for listening to the Divorce and Your Money Show. Visit us at www.divorceandyourmoney.com for personalized coaching services. If you enjoyed the show, please take a moment to leave a review on iTunes, as it will help other people discover this free advice.
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