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michael.loo@natplan.com

Mike Loo, MBA

Vice President of Investments

Blog

Welcome to my blog page.  Here, you can find ideas from the investment services world and concepts from the financial services industry. Many of my articles can also be found on Investopedia’s Advisor Insights Page. I update my blog posts regularly, so please keep checking in and feel free to ask questions. I’m glad to have you reading along. 

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Friday, June 16, 2017

If you are in a relationship, I bet you’ve had your fair share of arguments about money. Money is the primary reason for arguments between couples, with many couples averaging three fights per month over financial issues....

 

Friday, June 16, 2017

The last thing you want to do is lose money, but that is exactly what many investors do when they underperform their investments. When it comes to our finances, we are often our own worst enemy. We overreact, make emotional decisions,...

 

Monday, June 5, 2017

Depending on where you are in life, retirement may feel far off. But have you stopped to consider how quickly life is going these days? The busier we get, the easier it is to put off the things that don’t seem pressing, such as...

 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

There’s plenty of buzz about the income possibilities of owning rental property and the opportunity to supplement your income with the extra cash, but is owning a rental property a good fit for you in this stage of your life?...

 

Friday, April 28, 2017

Did you know that 62% of Americans do not have a financial advisor of any kind? Why is that? Perhaps they have preconceived ideas about what an advisor does, or it’s possible they have had a negative experience with a financial...

 

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Monday, April 24, 2017

Once upon a time when I lived in a two-bedroom condo and had no children, I considered myself to be a foodie. My wife and I would try out new restaurants with little concern about the wait time to be seated and no worries about how...

 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

As a financial advisor, one of the most common questions I hear is, “Am I saving enough for retirement?” This seems to be at the top of people’s minds, especially as they get older. Because every person’s dreams...

 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

You’ve spent decades planning for retirement, putting all of your ducks in a row, saving to ensure a steady income, and looking forward to this new season of life. But once you reach this pivotal milestone, the planning...

 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

My daughter recently gave a presentation to her kindergarten class about the differences between needs and wants. As a dad, and a financial advisor, I’m glad my daughter and her classmates are thinking about these things so early...

 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

With the tax filing deadline rapidly approaching and the possibility of owing additional money for last year’s taxes, many people may find themselves wondering, “Is there a way for me to pay less in taxes?” While your...

 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Saving for retirement is an important step in securing your future, and there are many different savings vehicles to choose from, including a Roth Individual Retirement Account (IRA). But, in order to contribute to a Roth IRA, you have...

 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

It’s not surprising that saving money and getting on track financially are some of the most popular resolutions people make each year. Regardless of your current situation in life, most people want to work towards greater...

 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

When it comes to retirement accounts, the options can be overwhelming. Each has its pros and cons, unique opportunities, and various fees. Today, I will cover the elusive Roth 401(k), with which many employees, professionals, and...

 

Friday, December 2, 2016

Picture this: at age 60, you have a net worth of $3 million, and you’re feeling confident about your upcoming retirement. However, after 10 years of market growth, you somehow end up with a $2 million net worth when you turn 70....

 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Planning a wedding and getting married can be overwhelming. But once the rings are on, vows shared, and marriage license signed, there are still a few necessary steps to take. Change Your Last Name While some couples choose to each...

 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

‘Tis the season for giving. Beyond exchanging presents with your loved ones, now is the time of year when many people choose to give back. Whether it’s your first or your thirtieth year donating to charity, it’s a...

 

Friday, October 21, 2016

If you’re an investor, you’ve probably been less than thrilled with the markets this year. Thanks to Brexit, the election, and other forces, the markets have been a roller coaster in 2016.

 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

If your family is expecting, congratulations! A baby on the way is one of the most exciting, life-changing, and overwhelming times of one’s life. The arrival of a baby also means changes in your finances. From the hospital bills...

 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

As parents, we want to be able to provide the world for our kids. In the beginning, we just want them to succeed in the little things, like walking, which you can see my wife attempting here with our daughter. But as our kids get older...

 

Friday, September 23, 2016

The day you become a parent is a day of overwhelming emotions. You may experience joy at the sight of your precious child, relief that he or she made it out of the womb, and for many of you, fear and anxiety because you somehow have to...

 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Hindsight is 20/20 and whether or not we have regrets, there are plenty of things we wish we knew when we were younger. Not only have I personally learned from my choices and mistakes, but as a financial advisor, I’ve also had...

 

Monday, September 12, 2016

If you currently work with a financial advisor, congratulations! You’ve taken a positive step towards your financial future. First and foremost, it’s important to work with someone you trust and with whom you feel...

 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

If you’ve read some of my previous blogs, I’ve talked about how a financial advisor can help you and why many people, regardless of their job or income, can benefit from working with an advisor. For one, an advisor helps...

 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

One of the most common reasons why people avoid investing and strategic financial planning is because it can seem overwhelmingly complicated, dense, and challenging. And because many of us like to think we still have plenty of time to...

 

Monday, July 18, 2016

In 2015, more than 4 in 10 people didn’t own a life insurance policy in any amount and only 3 in 10 Americans felt they had sufficient coverage1. When it comes to life insurance, most people have a vague idea that they should...

 

Monday, June 27, 2016

When’s the last time you felt unprepared for something, whether it was a meeting at work or an event at your kid’s school? Now when’s the last time you ever regretted preparing ahead for an event or presentation?...

 

Monday, June 27, 2016

As you’ve likely heard in the news, voters in the United Kingdom (U.K.) have chosen to leave the European Union (E.U.) after 43 years of membership. The resulting “Brexit” will likely affect the U.K. markets as well...

 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Congratulations! You’re now engaged, and the months ahead will surely be busy with wedding planning, family gatherings, and celebrations. During this exciting time of your lives, what should the two of you be doing before you get...

 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

There are a lot of preconceived notions out there about what a financial advisor is and what they do. Often, people assume a financial advisor is a stockbroker, making daily trades and helping wealthy individuals strategically play the...

 

Friday, May 27, 2016

Retirement. Some view it as a destination. Others view it as a journey. Regardless of how you perceive that day when work becomes an option, there are things you can do before you retire to make your golden years less stressful and...

 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

I believe that providing investment advice and building financial plans are just two small responsibilities of your financial advisor. The other equally as important areas revolve around a client’s experience working with their...

 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

I have always been fascinated with money, especially learning how to manage assets and be more efficient with investments. But growing up, money was often a source of stress for my family. With a father in law enforcement and a...

 

Friday, April 29, 2016

A financial setback can have different meanings among different people. Some may define it as a stock market crash. Others may define it as depleting their non-retirement accounts because their emergency fund wasn’t enough to cover...

 

Friday, April 8, 2016

As parents, we want the best for our children. We work hard to provide opportunities for them so that they can start their lives a step ahead of our own as they grow up, and we believe these opportunities begin with providing a good...

 

Friday, March 11, 2016

With interest rates being at historic lows for the past several years, clients have been wondering, “should I pay down my mortgage or would it make more sense to invest the money?” While both options have their own unique...

 

Monday, February 22, 2016

This year, many Americans will get a tax refund. Some will use it to pay their property taxes. Some will use it to pay for a vacation. Others will use it as a means to invest for their future. Who’s doing the right thing? The...

 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Over the years I’ve been a financial advisor, I’ve told clients that there are some things that I can’t control (i.e. stock market performance), and there are others that I can control. One of the most basic things...

 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Towards the end of a first meeting with a new client, I always ask the question, “If we were to fast forward 3 to 5 years into the future and you were to look back on the work that I had done for you, what did I do over those 3...

 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

On the day before Thanksgiving (a day before Costco is closed for the Thanksgiving holiday), I noticed that my gas tank was half full, so I came up with the brilliant idea to stop by Costco for gas while I was running errands. It was 8...

 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

For many, the end of the year is a time of reflection. The optimists among us look back on their experiences and think about how much they’ve accomplished over the previous year. The pessimists among us look back on their experiences...

 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Over the course of my career as an advisor, I’ve found that clients who have a budget have greater financial success because a good budget enables them to make great planning decisions. For example, I met a couple a few...

 

Monday, October 26, 2015

For many families, the expense of adding an additional member oftentimes brings up the question of whether or not it makes financial sense for one of the spouses to continue working or to stay at home to care for the children. When...

 

Friday, October 16, 2015

Life insurance is a critical piece in one’s financial portfolio, yet at the same time, tends to be the piece that's frequently neglected. Aside from the obvious benefit of replacing your income and covering your major debts such as a...

 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

One of the largest assets owned by Americans, a 401(k) or similar pension plan will be one factor that dictates the kind of lifestyle you will live in retirement. Many people nowadays have been familiarized with the messages of saving...

 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Retirement. It’s a stage in life that we’ve all dreamed about at one time or another, but how many of us are actually saving the right amount of money and know exactly how much we need to make this dream become a reality? Many people...