Alp Atabek, AIF®

Recent Posts

The Equifax Headlines: Free Money?

Alp Atabek, AIF®

Alp Atabek, AIF®

Blog Post

If you’ve been paying attention to the news recently, you have most likely noticed the plethora of headlines boasting the opportunity to claim a free $125 from Equifax, one of the three national credit bureaus that experienced a massive security breach nearly two years ago, in September 2017. To give a brief overview of the situation: Equifax has agreed to pay nearly $700 million to settle federal and state investigations into how the company handled its massive data breach that affected over 50% of Americans. The settlement states that an individual who had his or her data hacked is eligible to receive either up to ten years of free credit monitoring or claim a $125 payment. To determine if you are among the more than 140 million Americans whose information was compromised by the Equifax breach, use the Equifax claim verification form (this takes less than a minute to do!). After determining your status, the next question is, should you go for the $125 and never look back or sign up for the ten years of free credit monitoring? One thing is for sure: do something! Jack Gillis, Executive Director of the Consumer Federation of America, says “There should be no reason whatsoever not to file,” as the process is quite quick and easy. 

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Financial Jargon Defined: Cash

The world of finance and investments is notorious for its extensive use of jargon. With a goal of enhancing financial literacy and making the finance world more transparent, we are committing to a “monthly jargon” post that focuses on debunking various financial terms that are continuously used sans explanation. This month, we are addressing the oversimplified and mistakenly one-dimensional term “cash.”

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Five Ways to Optimize Your Employer’s Retirement Plan

With traditional pension plans fading away, the 401(k) is the easiest way to save for retirement. Think about it – the money is taken out of your paycheck before you even have the chance to spend it! Because of this, your 401(k) is most likely your biggest source of retirement savings; yet, over half of Americans don’t understand exactly how 401(k) plans work. Our goal is to change that. Here are five pieces of advice to consider when it comes to maximizing the benefits of your company’s retirement plan.

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Is it Time to Set Your Kids Financially Free?

Alp Atabek, AIF®

Alp Atabek, AIF®

Blog Post

Conversations that bring money into play are notoriously difficult to have. As parents, we want to help and support our children in every way we can – even if doing so is at our own financial expense. When it comes to setting your young adult kids financially free: When is it time to (forcibly) nudge them to spread their wings? Here are three questions to ask yourself and reflect on when determining if it’s time to cut the purse strings.   

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Market Volatility: 5 Steps for Managing Your Long-Term Investments

Alp Atabek, AIF®

Alp Atabek, AIF®

Blog Post

You can’t avoid market volatility; it reaches into every corner of the economy and touches all investors in some way. That includes your retirement accounts. For most people, this type of long-term savings is the most interaction they have with the investment world. So how do you know what to do when it seems like things aren't working in your favor? We outline what you need to know about market volatility (i.e. when the markets take you on a roller coaster ride), and what you can do to manage the risk in your retirement portfolio. 

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Update: New Bill Affects Social Security Claiming Strategies

Alp Atabek, AIF®

Alp Atabek, AIF®

Blog Post

As you may know, President Obama recently signed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 into law. Among other things, this two-year budget deal contains several provisions designed to close perceived loopholes in social security claiming strategies. Those most likely to be affected by this legislation are individuals who have yet to claim their benefits and who planned to employ the file-and-suspend/restricted spousal application strategies.

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Market Update: Stay Focused on the Long-Term

Alp Atabek, AIF®

Alp Atabek, AIF®

Blog Post

We would like to take this opportunity to share with you some of our observations and perspective regarding recent market movement. The long anticipated market correction has finally occurred.  For the first time since October 2011, the S&P 500 Index experienced a pullback of over 10%.  It was an amazing run, and at over 1400 days, it was the 3rd longest streak in history without a 10% correction.

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A Quick Reminder on Market Risk

Alp Atabek, AIF®

Alp Atabek, AIF®

Blog Post

It has been a great year for the financial markets with both the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average setting all-time highs. The current S&P 500 rally is the eighth longest in history without a 10% correction, and it has been over 700 days since the S&P 500 has pulled back by at least 10%. (FYI: The longest streak was during the 1990-97 bull market when stocks rose 233% in 2,553 days.) Although many outstanding issues - rising interest rates, the debt ceiling, municipal bankruptcies, Syria, etc. - could affect the market, it seems as if it has grown immune to the media crying wolf every three or four months predicting the next apocalypse.

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