OK, we’re a week into the new year.  Have you already cheated on your resolutions?  We aren’t encouraging you to give up, but if you’d like to add some new resolutions – ones that would make your financial advisor proud – we have a few ideas.  In 2018, why not skip the line for the Stairmaster and at The Container Store; instead try our accessible, yet impactful ideas for re-resolving to make 2018 a great year.

Rusty

Resolve to eliminate stock certificates!  While the aesthetics may appeal to some, you’ll avoid potential headaches if you deposit those certificate shares into your brokerage account. 

I’ve been working with a client for 4 years trying to recover shares his now deceased wife owned in certificate form.  The shares were originally for a small North Carolina bank which subsequently was part of several mergers and is now Royal Bank of Canada (RBC).  And because RBC is a Canadian company, there are additional hurdles.  Sadly, all this was avoidable.  

So look in your safety deposit box and file cabinets where stock certificates like to hide.  If you find any, let us know and we’ll help you deposit them in your brokerage account.

Kali   

Striving to create a strong and relevant online presence? Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and shake things up. Instead of your typical blog or social media post, post a video. Over the past year, we’ve experimented with video content (see our market update videos here) and enjoy the ability that video gives us to connect more deeply with viewers near and far. In 2018, I plan to publish more videos along with the same great content that Hilltop Views is known for. Be sure to regularly check Hilltop Views and like our Facebook page for our latest content!

Chris

Consolidate your banking relationships.  I have several clients who keep accounts at multiple banks or credit unions.  To me, this just amounts to mental clutter.  There’s usually no point to holding savings and checking accounts at different places – it just complicates management of your financial life.  You have to open and read more statements every month, monitor activity in disparate accounts, and work harder to transfer money.  Of course, it’s a good idea to make sure that you have full federal insurance on your accounts.  But banks and credit unions are typically insured for $250,000 per account owner, so this isn’t an issue for most people.

Save yourself some trouble by figuring out which one credit union or bank deserves all your banking business, and transfer your accounts to them.

Note, you can also use a data aggregator like our Hilltop Wealth Portal to view all of your accounts in one place.

Protect your identity.  I won’t rehash our full recommendations, because you can read our blog post on the Equifax data breach for more detail.  But here’s the short version:

  • Freeze your credit reports.
  • Monitor your credit.
  • Remind your loved ones not to give away their Social Security numbers or other personal information to anyone who has first contacted them.