Investors are nervous; despite the recent rally in stocks, and they are looking to sell shares because of the virus or the economic environment. It’s forcing some individuals to reconsider their exposure to risk assets. As the market climbs higher and interest rates fall to zero, what else can you do with your money?
If you want to sell your stock holdings, and you’re not excited about investing in bonds, consider a few other alternatives for your assets. Here are a few suggestions.
- Reduce your debt. Though interest rates are low, reducing or eliminating your debt is a smart choice, especially debt you can’t deduct like credit cards or auto loans. It doesn’t make sense to store your cash in a bank account with a zero percent interest rate if you’re mortgage rate is 3%, 4%, or higher. Let’s assume your current mortgage balance is $250,000, with twenty years remaining, and it carries a 4% interest rate. If you pay it off today, you will save $113,588 in interest payments.
- Buy a second home. Buying a second home in the mountains, at the beach, on a lake, or in the country sounds inviting. In a COVID-19 world, a little elbow room would be nice. Several years ago, I helped a friend run numbers before he purchased a lake house. He made the plunge, and his family has enjoyed the property for many years. Recently, a client purchased a small ranch in central Texas after we completed his financial plan. The plan validated his decision. My grandparents owned an immaculate second home in Laguna Beach – family and friends used it often. A second home can create experiences and memories that last a lifetime.
- Remodel your home. The shutdown is creating a remodeling boom. Individuals are upgrading kitchens, bathrooms, and backyards. If you plan to stay in your home for another five to seven years, then give it an upgrade. If you don’t want to spend big bucks, consider a paint job or a few small landscaping projects. According to HGTV, bathrooms, landscaping, and kitchen upgrades have the best ROI.
- Donate to a charity. Nonprofits and charitable organizations are struggling, so any money you donate will go along way to help those in need. Consider contributing to groups or organizations you support. A Google search for nonprofit organizations in your neighborhood will yield many results.
- Love your neighbor. Are you aware of any friends or relatives who are struggling financially? Do they need a new car? Can you help them pay their medical bills? According to the BBC, “The US is expecting an avalanche of evictions.” If you know someone who is on the brink of being evicted, pay their rent.
Money should be spent; it’s meant to change hands, and hoarding cash is not a wise investment. If you’re not sure how much to spend on a home project or donate to your favorite charity, consider a financial plan. Your plan will help you quantify and prioritize your goals. When a client asks me if they can buy a car or a home or donate money, we will review their financial plan together. And, more often than not, they can proceed. A financial plan gives them the confidence to act on their wishes.
So, if you’re not ready to invest in the stock market, look for alternatives.
“Each time you muster up what it takes and go for it, the next go-round becomes that much easier. Real and important changes begin with small, courageous acts.” ~ Chip Gaines
July 14, 2020
Bill Parrott, CFP®, is the President and CEO of Parrott Wealth Management located in Austin, Texas. Parrott Wealth Management is a fee-only, fiduciary, registered investment advisor firm. Our goal is to remove complexity, confusion, and worry from the investment and financial planning process so our clients can pursue a life of purpose. Our firm does not have an asset or fee minimum, and we work with anybody who needs financial help regardless of age, income, or asset level. PWM’s custodian is TD Ameritrade, and our annual fee starts at .5% of your assets and drops depending on the level of your assets.
Note: Investments are not guaranteed and do involve risk. Your returns may differ from those posted in this blog. PWM is not a tax advisor, nor do we give tax advice. Please consult your tax advisor for items that are specific to your situation. Options involve risk and aren’t suitable for every investor.