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The Risks of Bonds 

The Risks of Bonds 

If you’re a conservative investor nearing retirement, a large chunk of your portfolio probably consists of bonds. You may believe your money is safe, and that you’re guaranteed to make money from your investment. While bonds are generally safer than stocks, they are by no means risk-free. In fact, bond investments are a lot riskier than you may have been led to believe. With the combination of default risk, interest rate risk, inflation, and low rate of return, your investment, and your retirement, could be in jeopardy.  

The bond market is changing, here’s what you need to know. 

What is a bond? 

A bond is an agreement between you as the lender and another party as the borrower. That borrower could be a government, a corporation, or even a municipality. To simplify bonds, let’s think about them in terms of an investor loaning money to a company. That company will give the investor regular interest payments for a period of time, typically 10 or 20 years. At the end of that time period, the investor receives their original money back. 

Things get a bit more complicated when bonds are openly traded on the public market. When you go to buy a market bond, that bond is priced according to what the market will bear. These bond prices will rise and fall as interest rates rise and fall. 
 

Interest Rate Risk of Bonds 

Interest rates and bond prices are inversely related. When interest rates decrease, bond prices increase. For the past 20 years, interest rates have been falling, causing bond prices to go up. However, experts argue that we may be at the bottom of this trend. As the federal reserve tries to combat inflation by raising interest rates, bond prices will go down. This will decrease the value of the bonds you hold. 

There’s a rule in the financial services industry called the 10-1-10 Rule. A ten-year duration bond with a 1% interest rate movement causes a 10% price movement in the opposite direction. For example, if you bought a 10-Year Disney bond for $1000, and interest rates move up 1%, tomorrow the value of your bond will now only be worth $900, which is a 10% loss. 

This may not seem like a huge problem if you only have a few bonds of low value. But, if you’re retiring soon and have a million-dollar portfolio full of bonds, you could be in serious trouble. Rising interest rates, paired with the low rate of return bonds tend to have, could mean you’re taking a lot of risk for very little reward. 

If you consider yourself a conservative investor, be wary. The bond market is changing second by second. 
 

Default Risk of Bonds 

Many conservative investors believe that their individual bond investments are completely safe, but that isn’t the case. There is always a chance that the borrower will not be able to repay the loan. This is called default risk. 

Take this story for example. In 2011 General Motors needed a bailout. The government stepped in and essentially forced the bondholders to take zero for the money they had in that individual bond. The bondholders got nothing for their investment and lost their capital. 

Some bonds have greater default risk than others. Many consider government bonds to be the highest rated, with nearly zero risk of being defaulted on. However, corporate bonds are a bit riskier. 

One way to avoid default risk is to invest in a bond fund. This way, your money is spread out, not in one company. However, avoiding this risk comes at a cost – administrative costs specifically. Many bond funds have costs and fees built into them that clients may not be fully aware of.  

Alternatives to Bonds 

So, how can you avoid all these risks while still getting a good return on investment? There are many alternatives available to individual bonds and bond funds, including floating rate funds, REITS (Real Estate Investment Trusts), ETFs (exchange-traded funds), and life insurance policies. The qualified financial advisors at DuPont Wealth Solutions are able to discuss your options with you and help you avoid the risks associated with bonds. Give us a call at 614-408-0004 for a complimentary investment analysis. 

How to Best Utilize Human Capital Based on your Generation

How to Best Utilize Human Capital Based on your Generation

It’s no secret that the economy is heading towards a recession. And, it’s likely that things will only get worse before they get better. That is why it’s important to start thinking about ways to prepare. One of the best ways to do this is by investing in your own human capital. Human capital is the value of a worker’s skills, knowledge, and experience. It’s what makes you valuable to employers and helps you earn a higher salary. 

From time to time, companies are forced to make cuts. The one thing they can’t cut is the need for skilled workers. This is where human capital comes into play. If you have the skills and experience that employers need, you’re more likely to keep your job, and even negotiate a higher salary. 

If your current occupation is just not cutting it, leveraging your human capital to find a new job can result in a higher-paying and more fulfilling career.  

Human Capital Matters Now More than Ever 

You’re probably wondering why we are going into so much detail about human capital when there are plenty of other forms of economic capital to leverage. The truth is: the economy is showing signs of going downhill, probably into another recession. Inflation has become very apparent and interest rates are rapidly rising. 

The traditional routes people used to aid themselves during a recession are just not cutting it anymore. Bonds will not give back the way they once did, real estate is subject to high-interest rates, and investments are tied to inflation and not as reliable.  

Cash has proven to be the most stable and profitable way to withstand a possible recession. The best way to get cash is by utilizing your human capital within the workforce. 

 

How You Can Utilize Human Capital 

Everyone is at a different spot in their career, meaning everyone is at a different point in their retirement plan. A possible recession and a longer lifespan (due to medical advancements) can have an impact on your retirement plan. 

Retirees 

For years the norm was to retire comfortably around 65 with ample savings. However, this is no longer the norm and for many is not as achievable. Medical advancements have extended the average life expectancy. This means the typical 15 year retirement may now extend to 30 plus years. The normal retirement savings amount will no longer be enough. 

To prepare for this you could stay in the workforce longer in your current field. If you have been in this field for a while you have most likely accumulated a comfortable salary. Try to leverage your human capital for an even higher salary or transfer to a field that is more enjoyable to you.  

Gen X and Younger 

For those who are farther from retirement, your workplace may be hit hard by a recession and as a result, need to make cuts or layoffs. You can use your human capital to navigate new or current careers. 

Much like retirees, you have the ability to negotiate a higher salary with your employer. Use your human capital to show how valuable your skills are to the workforce. Currently, many companies are experiencing a labor shortage You can use this to your advantage and find a new, more fulfilling career. Those with the proper skill set can pick and choose the job they want. 

This will not only give you more cash to handle a possible recession but will also better prepare you for a longer retirement. 


Human capital is an important factor in both economic growth and recession. During the good times, human capital can help drive the economy forward by providing skilled labor and innovation. During the bad times, human capital can be a useful tool to help withstand the unstable economy. 

The financial advocates at DuPont Wealth Solutions can help you navigate through the ever-changing economy. Give us a call at 614-408-0004 to schedule a free assessment. 

And to hear more about what human capital is and how you can best utilize it, listen to Episode 30 of our podcast, Your Financial Advocate.  

A Warning from the 1970s

A Warning from the 1970s

The United States has had 35 recessions since we first started collecting economic data in 1854, and it looks like we’re heading into another one soon. 

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research’s Business Cycle Dating Committee, a recession can be defined as a significant decline in economic activity that is spread across the economy and lasts more than a few months. The Great Depression of the 1930s is regularly taught in schools and most people are aware of the Great Recession that occurred in 2008. However, unless they lived through it, not many people know much about the Great Inflation of the 1970s. 

How it Happened 

The 1970s were a period of high inflation, high unemployment, and high-interest rates that is thought to be as equally transformative as the 1930s or 2008. The impact of these three factors together was called stagflation – a time marked by low growth and high inflation. The road to stagflation began with the passage of the Employment Act of 1946. The act declared that the federal government had a responsibility to promote maximum economic growth through high employment, production, and purchasing power. It was meant to facilitate greater coordination between economic policies. In 1946, and the decade following, the U.S. was enjoying the post-war economy and trying desperately to avoid the unprecedented unemployment rates of the 1930s. As a result, the US economy adopted a Keynesian economic policy. The focus of this policy centered around managing aggregate spending through fiscal and monetary policies. It was seen as a quick way to change the economy and saw government intervention as necessary.  

The combination of Keynesian economics and the Employment Act of 1946 presented an exploitable relationship between unemployment rates and inflation. Policymakers believed lower unemployment rates could be manipulated by higher rates of inflation. This relationship became known as the Phillips Curve and would become very damaging to the United States’ economic well-being. 

How it Impacted Americans 

In reality, policymakers were not able to control the Phillips Curve. People and businesses anticipated rising inflation. As a result, both inflation and unemployment became incredibly high. By 1974 stagflation had officially begun with inflation over 12 percent and the unemployment rate above 7 percent. 

Americans lost an immense amount of purchasing power during this time. Many families faced economic instability and there was an ever-looming threat of losing savings. It became very difficult to plan ahead for long-term purchases or even week-to-week purchases. During this time, inflation diminished the average standard of living that many families were accustomed to. 

How the Great Inflation Ended 

By the late 1970s fighting inflation was absolutely necessary. The ability to fight it would come with a change in leadership. In 1979, Paul Volcker became chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. Volcker was determined to end inflation.  

It was not an easy fight, to say the least. The introduction of the Monetary Control Act (1980) allowed for more restrictive management of the federal reserve and the introduction of credit controls. Following the act, interest rates rose, causing a brief recession in 1981. The 1981 recession was just as difficult as the 1970s economy but proved to be what needed to happen in order to end the Great Inflation. 

Why Does This Matter? 

You’re probably wondering why we are bringing up the 1970s economy in 2022. It’s because many economists see the United States possibly going down a very similar path that could result in another recession. 

Our current economic situation is not an exact copy and paste of the 1970s. Unlike the 1970s, current unemployment rates are at their lowest point in decades. However, we are beginning to see inflation rates rise to a point that could impact the average standard of living. The origins of the situation are much different than the 1970s. The economy of the 1970s can largely be accredited to poor choices made by policymakers. However, today’s economy has been largely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. Both of these have wreaked havoc on the supply chain and caused inflation to spike. 

The good news is the world is learning from the 1970s and governments are attempting to fight a recession ahead of time. Economists do not think the impending recession is imminent. (Although consumers should still expect rising costs.) Many are giving the economy 12-18 months before there are any major consequences. This means there is over a year to prepare and some countries have already begun preparations. Across the globe, central banks appear to be altering interest rates in an effort to combat inflation. The US central bank recently announced its highest increase in rates since the early 2000s. Governments appear to be committed to fighting this recession before it can even begin. 

What Can I Do? 

Now, this does not mean we are completely out of the woods. A recession is still a very real possibility within the next few years. While the government has its own way of preparing, there are a variety of ways you can prepare and protect yourself from a recession. 

Have an Emergency Fund 

Having an emergency fund is good practice for any household. The best way to store your fund is in a high-interest savings account that is FDIC insured. This gives you easy access to your funds when you need it. 

An emergency fund allows you to be dependent on yourself and your own funds rather than borrowing from creditors. 

Live Within you Means 

This is one of the best ways to prepare for a recession. Making a point to live within your means during times of economic stability means you are less likely to go into debt when the economy becomes unstable. You’ll be able to more easily adjust your budget and resist taking out loans or depending on a credit card. 

Keep a High Credit Score 

Speaking of credit cards, it is vital to maintain a high credit score. During a recession, credit availability tends to decrease. Those with excellent credit scores are then the ones being approved for new loans or credit cards. 

The easiest ways to increase your credit score are paying bills on time, keeping old cards open, and maintaining a low debt-to-income ratio. 

Hire a Pro 

A financial advisor can help you make the most of the good times while preparing for the bad times. The experienced financial advocates at DuPont Wealth Solutions can help prepare you for any economic future. Call us at 614-408-0004.  

To learn more about what you can expect in our future economy listen to Episode 29 of our podcast, Your Financial Advocate. 

How Living Longer Will Impact Your Retirement

How Living Longer Will Impact Your Retirement

New medical technologies are on the horizon, making “living to 100” not just a dream anymore, but a reality. Biotechnology has come an extraordinarily long way since the days when antibiotics and chemotherapy were first used. As we enter this science-fiction-like age, the question becomes – “how do I financially plan to live a longer life?”. As biotech continues to advance rapidly, your retirement plan will have to adapt. Here is what you can do to ensure that your retirement is financially stable and enjoyable.

Origins of Biotech

Some of the biotechnology we see and use every day is actually a bit old by science’s standards. The first insulin injection was in 1922, penicillin was first discovered in 1928, and metastatic cancer was first treated using chemotherapy in 1956. In 2017, Harvard medical school reported that the half-life of medical knowledge was between 18 and 24 months. This means that half of everything a doctor learns in medical school is no longer applicable within that time frame. Biotechnology keeps advancing faster and faster.

Why Are Humans Living Longer?

The medical field is changing rapidly right under our noses. Artificial Intelligence has allowed medical professionals to run simulations on virtual patients, stem cell research has had tremendous results in stroke victims, and the manufacturing of drugs is becoming faster and cheaper by the day. Diseases that were incurable a hundred years ago are now completely manageable.

As a result of the rapid improvement of biotech in the last few decades, people are living longer. Statistical modeling shows that a life span of 130 years will be possible by 2100. It’s safe to say that if you practice healthy habits, you could live well beyond your wildest dreams.

Not only are we living longer, but we’re also staying healthier for longer. Folks well into their retirement years are traveling the world, staying active, and doing things that people their age could never do before. Retirement looked very different just a few decades ago. Retirement used to be the years when we would wind down. The elderly’s time consisted of doing crossword puzzles, watching TV, doing crafts, and playing board games. Now, retirement is often referred to as our golden years. It’s our time to travel, discover new hobbies, and do all the things we never had time to do during our working years.

How to Plan for a Longer Retirement

How do we save for retirement, when our retirement could be well over 40 years long? How do you plan for living to be over 100?

We have to start thinking differently about retirement. We need to plan for a retirement that will be enjoyable and longer.

If social security isn’t eliminated entirely, the full retirement age will likely continue to be pushed higher and higher. For many of us, that means we might not be able to completely stop working at age 65. And with all these medical advancements, would we really want to? Companies are recognizing the value of their older workforce, and are opening up opportunities for them to work longer. This includes independent contractor arrangements and greater work flexibility. If you love what you do, it might be a good idea to negotiate some part-time work, rather than quitting entirely. By doing this, you prolong your savings years.

After hearing all of this information, you’re probably ready to break the spreadsheet out and crunch some numbers. Planning for a longer retirement isn’t as simple as just adding 10 more years on and adjusting your savings patterns. Once you get into the distribution phase of retirement, when you are taking money out of your 401(k) or IRA, things can get complicated. If you don’t withdraw money in a very specific way, you’ll incur tax penalties.

If you’re concerned about how living longer may affect your retirement plans, you can talk to the financial advocates at DuPont Wealth Solutions. We will do our best to make sure you meet your financial goals. Call our office at 614-408-0004.

This blog was inspired by the book Life Force by Tony Robbins and Peter Diamandis. Listen to us discuss the book further on Episode 28 of our podcast, Your Financial Advocate.

Is There Any Value in Bitcoin?

Is There Any Value in Bitcoin?

You’ve heard stories of young people becoming billionaires off of Bitcoin. You might be feeling a little left out, and wondering, “How can I do that?”. Well, the purpose of cryptocurrency and blockchain has changed in recent years, and it’s not a get-rich-quick scheme anymore. If you’re looking to break into the crypto space, there are a few things to keep in mind. Most importantly, be safe and be careful where you buy it. Second, don’t invest more than you’re willing to lose. Bitcoin is extremely volatile, and it’s not a good idea to put your entire retirement fund in it. Here’s what you need to know to safely invest in crypto.

Types of Cryptocurrency

Broadly defined, cryptocurrency is any virtual or digital money. You can’t hold it in your hand like you can a dollar bill. There are many different types of cryptocurrency out there other than Bitcoin. Here are some of the most popular:

  • Ethereum (ETH) is a decentralized software platform. The goal of Ethereum is to offer bank accounts, loans, insurance, and other financial products to anyone in the world. Applications on Ethereum are run on Ether, its platform-specific cryptocurrency. Many people use Ether to buy virtual items, collectibles, and virtual real estate. Ether is currently the second-largest cryptocurrency in the world by market capitalization.
  • Dogecoin (DOGE) is seen by many as the first “memecoin”. It was originally created as a joke but has since risen in popularity due to increased demand.
  • Tether (USDT) is one of the first “stablecoins”. In an effort to reduce volatility, this cryptocurrency aims to ‘tether’ itself to the value of the U.S. dollar. Tether is currently the third-largest cryptocurrency in the world by market capitalization.

You don’t have to invest in just one cryptocurrency. There are ETFs and other funds out there that allow you to invest in a slightly safer way.

How Bitcoin Gets Its Value

Bitcoin’s value is tied to its demand. When it first came on the market in 2009, it had virtually no value, and now 1 Bitcoin is valued in the tens of thousands of dollars.

Because Bitcoin’s value is determined by its demand, it is very vulnerable to market manipulation. To make matters worse, <1% of Bitcoin holders control nearly a third of its supply. The average person has effectively zero control over the value of their Bitcoin.

There are also regulatory risks that come with investing in cryptocurrency. Many people invest in Bitcoin thinking it’s safe from the government, but that’s not entirely true. The IRS can still tax you on the gains you make, and there’s the potential for heavier taxes on it in the future.

How NFTs Get Their Value

Many of you may find NFTs to be a bit silly. You might be thinking, “Who would actually pay millions of dollars for something that’s not even real?”. The value of NFTs comes from blockchain technology. Blockchain allows us to track a piece of cryptocurrency or digital item as it passes from person to person. Each transaction is added as another ‘link’ in the blockchain.

Blockchain makes it easy to verify the authenticity of a digital item, making NFTs attractive to collectors. Think of NFTs as an original Van Gogh or Picasso painting. The novelty of it is in owning the original.

Should I invest in Cryptocurrency and NFTs?

If you choose to invest in cryptocurrency and NFTs, our advice is to only invest a reasonable amount of money. It’s very possible that you could lose upwards of 50% of your investment, and not be able to access your money when you need to.

The financial advocates at DuPont Wealth Solutions can help you navigate through the crypto space safely. Give us a call at 614-408-0004 to schedule a free assessment.

To learn more about cryptocurrency and NFTs, listen to Episode 27 of our podcast, Your Financial Advocate.

Alternatives to Bonds

Alternatives to Bonds

Many investors consider bonds to be one of the safest investments. You may have even heard that they have a “guaranteed rate of return”. The fact is, bonds are a lot riskier than you have been led to believe. Even treasury bonds don’t come without risks. There are many alternatives to bonds, including CDs, REITs, precious metals, cryptocurrency, ETFs, floating rate funds, and life insurance. Each investment has its own benefits and drawbacks. An experienced financial advisor will be able to help you craft a portfolio that aligns with your goals and risk tolerance. 

Are CDs (Certificates of Deposit) worth it? 

Simply put, money put in a bank won’t grow any significant amount. It’s important to keep some money in a savings account for emergencies (about 3 to 6 months’ worth of expenses). But as far as long-term investments go, Certificates of Deposit aren’t your friend. 

Currently, most CDs don’t even have a 1% interest rate, and therefore don’t keep up with inflation over the long term. Compare that to the stock market, which has had an average annual return of 10% over the past century. There is also another disadvantage to CDs, the early withdrawal penalties. If you need to withdraw your money before the CD matures, you’ll have to pay. However, there are a few benefits to Certificates of Deposit. They’re very safe investments since they’re insured by the FDIC up to $250,000 per account. They can also be used to teach children about saving money and financial responsibility. 

But when it comes to saving for retirement, you shouldn’t be relying on CDs. 

REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) 

REITs are a way to invest in the real estate market without having to actually purchase property. When you invest in a REIT, you’re buying shares of a company that owns or finances income-producing real estate. 

There are many different types of REITs, but most of them can be classified as either equity REITs or mortgage REITs. Equity REITs own and operate properties, while mortgage REITs lend money to real estate owners and operators. Both types of REITs are required to distribute at least 90% of their taxable income to shareholders in the form of dividends. 

The main benefit of investing in REITs is that they offer a high rate of return. Some are advertised as having insane rates of return, up to 8%. But, there is always the risk of the company going bankrupt, and plenty do, especially when the economy tanks. REITs are also much more volatile than bonds, and your actual return may vary from what’s advertised. Beware especially of closed-end REITs. These are REITs that have a finite number of shares, and your money will be locked away for whatever the term length is. 

Although REITs may look like a great investment on paper, they’re actually quite complicated and volatile. Before investing in REITs, in a good idea to talk with an experienced financial advisor. They can help you determine what types of investments will help you meet your goals and risk tolerance. 

Precious Metals and Cryptocurrency 

Some investors believe that precious metals and cryptocurrency are safe from economic disasters and government overreach. They’re often advertised as a way to “hedge against inflation”. 

The main benefit of precious metals and cryptocurrencies is that they are not controlled by governments or banks. This makes them a popular investment for those who are skeptical of centralized authority. However, precious metals and cryptocurrencies are also very volatile. Their value can go up and down a lot in a short period of time. Unlike other investments, they don’t pay out interest or dividends, leaving you purely at the mercy of the market. They’re also not very liquid, which means it can be difficult to sell them when you need the money. 

Investing in precious metals and/or cryptocurrency is risky. ETFs and floating rate funds may be better options for you. 

ETFs (Exchange-Traded Funds) 

So, how do you avoid risky investments while still getting a relatively high return? ETFs are one option. An ETF is a collection of stocks, bonds, or other investments that can be bought and sold like a single security. They have become very popular in recent years because they offer investors a lot of diversification for a relatively low price. 

One example of an ETF that you’ve probably heard of is the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO). VOO is made up of stocks from the 500 largest companies in America. When you buy a share of VOO, you get a little piece of every company in the S&P 500. This avoids the default risk that investing in a single company can have. Compared to traditional bond funds, ETFs have virtually no administrative costs, generally perform better, and are considered to be a very safe investment. 

An experienced financial advisor can help you pick ETF(s) that match your risk tolerance and will help you meet your retirement goals. 

Floating Rate Funds 

Floating rate funds are another great alternative to bonds. They are mutual funds that invest in bonds with variable interest rates. The advantage of these funds is that, unlike regular bonds, they will go up in value when interest rates rise. 

Floating rate funds offer protection against rising interest rates, which would typically lower the value of a bond. They are also a relatively safe investment since the bonds they invest in are often issued by large, stable companies. However, there are some downsides to floating rate funds. They generally offer a lower rate of return, and tend to have higher fees than other types of mutual funds. 

Before investing in a floating rate fund, it’s important to understand the benefits and risks. An experienced financial advisor can help you decide if a floating rate fund is right for you. 

Life Insurance 

Insurance companies are some of the safest investors in the world. They have extremely broad portfolios full of treasury bonds, and other secure investments. Their ability to invest so broadly enables them to eliminate a lot of risks that an individual investor can’t do on their own.  

Life insurances companies don’t run the risk of having to pull their investments out early. The average consumer may have a water heater go out in their house, or need a new furnace, and will need to pull money from their investments. Life insurance companies don’t have to worry about that. 

So, how can you reap the benefits of a life insurance company’s investment strategy? One option is by purchasing an indexed universal life insurance policy. You’ll get the death benefit that comes with any life insurance policy, along with cash value to use throughout your lifetime. The cash value in an indexed universal life policy grows at a rate that is linked to the performance of an index, like the S&P 500. So, you have the potential to make higher returns than you would with a traditional life insurance policy, at a minimal risk level. 

Of course, there are some downsides to investing in an indexed universal life policy. The fees can be high, and you may not have access to your cash value right away. It’s important to understand the terms of the policy before you sign up. 

An experienced financial advisor can help you figure out if life insurance is right for you, and what type you should invest in. 

What should I invest in? 

Each of these investments has its own benefits and drawbacks. If you’re looking to avoid the interest rate risk and default risk associated with bonds, there are plenty of other options out there. We discuss them in great detail on my podcast Your Financial Advocate [LINK]. The experienced financial advocates at DuPont Wealth Solutions can help you decide which investment options are best for you, based on your individual needs, risk tolerance, and goals. Call us at 614-408-0004. 

5 Steps for Aspiring Senior House Flippers

5 Steps for Aspiring Senior House Flippers


Even if you’ve saved up a comfortable nest egg for your retirement, you might be interested in other profitable projects that can help cover your expenses in your golden years. And if you’ve ever been curious about house flipping, retirement might be the perfect time to give it a try! With expert guidance from DuPont Wealth Solutions, you can make smart real estate investments with low risk. Here’s how to approach your first house flip.

Choose the Right Property

Investing in a property that ultimately turns out to be unprofitable can put a dent in your retirement portfolio. That’s why selecting the right property for your first flip is crucial. Flipping Prosperity recommends personally walking through neighborhoods where you would consider investing, checking out real estate auctions online and in-person, and researching affordable foreclosures for sale. You can also get in touch with an investor-friendly real estate agent for guidance. Before purchasing a particular property, make sure that you understand what kinds of repairs you’d have to carry out and how much it would cost you.

Secure a Mortgage Loan

While you may be able to purchase an investment property in cash, you can also qualify for a mortgage loan. Consider which option would be most appropriate for your financial situation. It never hurts to check in with a financial advisor to see what they would recommend! To get a mortgage on investment property, HSH states that you’ll need to be prepared with a minimum down payment of 20 to 25 percent and demonstrate your financial reserves.

Form an LLC

You’ve purchased your first home to flip, and you’re already thinking about how you can use the future proceeds from this sale to fund your next real estate investment. If you see yourself purchasing more investment properties in the future, you may want to form your small real estate business as an LLC. This will allow you to qualify for specific tax breaks and enable you to protect your personal financial assets, which is especially important in retirement. You can register LLC in Ohio through a convenient online formation service to save money.

Carry Out Renovations

Now, you’re ready to get to work on renovating your property! This is the most labor-intensive aspect of the house flipping process, and you’ll likely want to hire contractors to take care of major repairs. However, you can likely save money by tackling smaller repairs on your own.

Before you begin making renovations, spend some time looking at listings for homes in your neighborhood that recently sold. Examine the photos from the ads to get a feel for what buyers in your area are looking for. You’ll want to prioritize projects that will boost your home’s value, like updating your kitchen cabinetry and appliances, swapping out old bathroom fixtures for new hardware, repainting your walls, and adding new flooring.

Selling Your Property

You’ve completed the necessary repairs and renovations, and you’re excited to put your first flipped property on the market and find a buyer! Naturally, you’d prefer to connect with the right buyer quickly. You’ll need to price your home competitively in comparison to similar homes in the immediate area, take time to stage it properly, and even spruce up the yard to create more curb appeal. It’s also a good idea to list your home in the spring when more buyers are looking at properties.

Flipping homes and making sure that your efforts are profitable can be complicated. By researching the process and potential pitfalls in advance, you can make worthwhile investments. With these tips, you’ll be prepared to start flipping properties!

Need guidance on managing your assets in retirement? Turn to DuPont Wealth Solutions for financial advising! Call us today at 614-408-0004 to learn more about our services.


Article courtesy of Karen Weeks at elderwellness.net

Photo via Pexels

The New Retirement Reality

The New Retirement Reality

In an excellent article in InvestmentNews, 5 Ways To Start The Purpose Conversation,  author Dan Sharishevsky shared these insights on finding purpose in retirement.

  • Retirement is undoubtedly one of life’s biggest transitions.
  • Today, 75 is the new 60 and 65 is the new 50.
  • Retirement is no longer the finish line.  It’s the starting gate!
  • Retirement is a time to redefine yourself… A chance to pursue new passions and live with renewed purpose.
  • While working, you devoted two-thirds of your day to sleeping and work.  In retirement, every day is Saturday.
  • Once you retire, your free time more than doubles with 16 hours to fill every day for what could be 20 to 30 years.
  • Without purpose driven plans in retirement, you could experience feelings of boredom, anxiety, depression and loss
  • Studies have shown that discovering our purpose in retirement is the key to health, healing, happiness and longevity.
  • Even with an adequate next egg, retirement is about much more than just money.
  • Having A Life Plan For Retirement may be even more important than your Financial Plan to finance your retirement.

Maybe it’s time you had the “Purpose Conversation”.

This Complimentary eBook will help facilitate that conversation by helping you to think deeply about your life well beyond your portfolio.

CLICK HERE to download this outstanding Ebook!

4 Red Flags to Watch Out for in Your Annuity Provider

4 Red Flags to Watch Out for in Your Annuity Provider

A new Ohio law was passed in February 2021 that attempts to impose ‘best interest’ fiduciary standards onto life insurance and annuity providers (you can learn more about the law here, here, and here). While this initially might spark hope, unfortunately the ‘best interest’ standards are extremely vague. If a salesman is able to argue why their product benefits their client, they are allowed to sell whatever financial product they want.

Operating in these separate silos of insurance agent, financial advisor, CPA, tax lawyer, etc. leaves room for abuse to the consumer. Many annuity providers and so-called financial advisors plant their product as a solution to a variety of problems, when in reality another product is likely more useful. Below are 4 cautionary tales from clients that have come to us for help in the past. If any of these situations have happened to you or a loved one, or are currently happening, we encourage you to seek out additional financial tools and professionals.

Pushing Annuity Sales, No Matter the Age

There are some financial advisors that will sell annuities to people in their twenties! While the argument can be made that money will grow in an annuity, and hence be a great product for a consumer, there are much more downsides to purchasing an annuity as a young adult. If you need to get that money out before retirement age (at age 59 and a half) you will have to pay penalties.

One particular client in their forties came to us as they were changing jobs and evaluating their personal finances. We found out together that all their retirement savings were slammed into a variable annuity! Having all your eggs in one basket is simply not a good idea, especially in a variable annuity that has a large fee structure. This client’s former ‘financial advisor’ sold annuities and didn’t bring to the client’s attention other financial tools that they could use. The continually accumulating fees greatly eroded their potential wealth and growth for the future.

Now, both of these types of situations will still happen under the new Ohio law because a creative argument can be made that these salesmen still acted in the best interest of their client. They still provided some value to their client, albeit other tools could have provided more value.

Another client that came to us was in her nineties. Her Certificate of Deposit (CD) matured, and the in-house advisor at her bank pressured her to move her money into an annuity. This locked her money up for many years, and the advisor didn’t educate her about other alternatives. She didn’t have much time to see any substantial growth from her annuity.

Again, this transaction will still be allowed to happen under the new Ohio law.

The Most Abusive Case We’ve Seen

The last story is something that actual would not be allowed under this new Ohio law, and is the most abusive action we’ve seen by a financial advisor. This person was in their sixties and wanted to secure some safe financial growth for the future. Their former ‘advisor’ in this situation was aware that this consumer that they were selling an annuity to had dementia and was heading towards long-term care in the future. This annuity did not even allow access to funds for a long-term care need. There are plenty of other tools out there that DO allow access to funds for long-term care needs, and even provide ENCHANCED benefits for long-term care. They would have to pay penalties to get that money out of the annuity on a monthly basis to pay for long-term care.


Situations like these are why financial professionals need to broaden their horizons and surround themselves with a network of experts in different areas. At our financial planning firm, DuPont Wealth Solutions, we draw on a variety of experts to best serve our clients.

Annuities are not in themselves bad, nor the financial industry as a whole. Many financial salesmen are simply trying to make a living like the rest of us. However, many also try to make their discipline work to the exclusion of other tools that will do the job better.

If you are looking to ease some long-term care concerns, and develop a retirement income plan please call 614-389-9711.

How to Become Your Own Financial Hero

How to Become Your Own Financial Hero

We need leadership everywhere in our lives: in our government, religious organizations, and businesses. It’s a common misconception that you have to be a certain age or hold a certain title to be a leader. That is simply not true. Anybody can lead from where they are in any organization.

What makes a good leader?

There are two traits that make up a good leader. One is the ability to connect with people, and the other is the ability to be trusted. If you have those two things, you can develop the rest. A leader also has to be willing to listen more than they speak. By doing this, you can meet people where they are and understand them better.

How can you become a better leader?

There are no natural-born leaders. Leadership is a skill that you can develop. Think of it like playing the piano. Even if you don’t believe you have an innate knack for it, you can sit down, practice, and become more proficient.

It’s also important to tailor your coaching strategy to whoever you’re coaching. Are you going to be more commanding, or softer? What level or type of leadership is appropriate for a situation at work, home, or play?

Another thing you should know about leadership is the difference between a fixed mindset and growth mindset. A fixed mindset means that you’re set on what you can and can’t do. For example, maybe you were always bad at math in school and now believe that you will always be bad at math. A growth mindset means the exact opposite. You are willing to try new things, and work on those things to succeed. A good coach can help unravel our fixed mindsets and undo the limiting beliefs we have about ourselves. They inspire us to grow.

Before you start leading others though, you should work on leading yourself. Start by destroying your own fixed mindset and limited beliefs.

What’s the difference between a coach and a mentor?

A good coach will assume that you, as an individual, have the answers to your own problems within you. A coach will ask you unbiased questions, attempt to learn the most possible information about you, and lead you to discover your own truths about your own life. They will meet you where you are, and help you find out where you need to go, and how to get there. A mentor on the other hand, will give you examples of what they do to succeed, and not necessarily tailor their recommendations to your specific needs.

What’s the difference between a manager and leader?

A manager is a leader without that element of connection we talked about previously. A leader inspires people to grow, while a manager simply oversees and handles tasks that people do. Managing is a stable and stagnant act, while leading is a dynamic task.  You manage things, you lead people.

So, what does this have to do with financial planning and estate planning?

I look at the label ‘financial advisor’ as a manger’s label, and ‘financial advocate’ as a leader’s/coach’s label. My job isn’t to tell you that you need a revocable living trust, annuity, will, or any other estate planning or financial planning tool. Rather, my job is to learn the most about you as I possibly can, and lead you to discover what you need in your own life. If we find some financial mistakes, or opportunities, I can help you manage your assets in the best way to meet your goals.

If you’d like to schedule an appointment with me and transform your finances call (614) 389 – 9711.