Monthly Newsletter
March 2021
At ML&R Wealth Management, we want to ensure our clients are In The Know.

In this month's newsletter, we have an exciting series titled, "A Women's Guide to Investing". Over the past 4 weeks, the advisors at ML&R answered top-of-mind questions from women in the community. In our next article, we look back over the past year and reflect on the financial lessons most important during COVID. We are continuing our employee spotlight and introducing you to advisor associate, Alicia Horn. As usual, we are sharing helpful COVID-19 resources from our parent company, Maxwell, Locke & Ritter, and relevant investment articles and videos from Dimensional.

We are a firm that understands that managing your assets is about more than money. It is about empowering your future. At ML&R Wealth Management, we focus on you.

Happy National Women’s History Month! Each year, the month of March is a time for us to celebrate the numerous accomplishments and contributions of women throughout history. With each passing year, women continue to break more barriers and shatter more glass ceilings than ever before. While the last year was no different, having a pandemic enter our lives left many of us feeling like we were dealt a bad hand. For many women, the ability to maintain our sanity and security was challenged with each passing month due to shuttered schools, an increasing demand of domestic work-load, and having a to-do list that seemed to never end. However, even in the face of a very unexpected and challenging year for women, the fact is women are still rising up and forging ahead at a far greater magnitude than ever before.

For our contribution to National Women’s History Month, ML&R Wealth Management created a special blog series, “Women’s Guide to Investing”. With women doing and accomplishing more than ever, we wanted to create a resource to help propel women of today forward! We asked women in our community what they would want to hear from a Financial Advisor as a woman. Each week during the month of March, through our social media outlets, we shared a variety of financial planning questions that were top of mind and provided explanations to help answer those questions. Our goal was and always will be to help women feel more empowered and confident as they navigate through their own financial journey.

It’s hard to believe it’s been over a year since a global pandemic changed our lives, the reverberations of which have been a wake-up call in many ways. Many people don’t really focus on their finances until a crisis hits – when they are forced to.
Since we’ve passed the one-year mark, let’s reflect on some of the financial lessons that may have really hit home in the past 12 months. Many of us have learned important lessons from the challenges in the past year that can have a positive impact on our lives and finances going forward. Now can be a good time to evaluate your overall financial picture and make changes so you feel more confident about the future.

Have an Emergency Fund

Numerous sources ranging from Forbes to the Associated Press recently reported that 69% of U.S. households have less than $1,000 in liquid savings in an emergency fund. It is so easy to skate by when things are fine, but when temporary shocks to your income occur, it really helps to have 3-6 months of expenses in a savings account that you can dip into instead of having to sell out of the market with potential tax consequences. While the funds may not cover long-term unemployment, they can help reduce the impact of shorter-term economic disruptions. Unemployment benefits typically take several weeks to arrive, and earlier in 2020 you probably recall the news that the layoff surge from the coronavirus overwhelmed many state unemployment offices, causing further delays.

Employee Spotlight

We are excited to spotlight Alicia Horn this month! Below are some fun facts to help you get to know her better!

Works with Advisor: Stuart Smith

Birthday: February 16

Tell us about your family: My spouse (Jay) and I met 13 years ago at Texas State University and have been married for 9 years. We live in Kyle raising our two dogs and two children. Jay is also in the financial industry and teaches a course on personal finances at Texas State. Our son (Kai) just turned 3 years old and has a passion for pushing our limits at every chance he can get. He's very compassionate and has a spirit for learning and exploring. Our daughter (Kennedy) just celebrated her 1st birthday and threatens to become a walking machine any day now. Her calm demeanor is a great balance against her big brother's rambunctious attitude.

Any furbabies? We have a Yorkie named Daisy Mae and a Weimaraner named Daisy Rae. On the first date with my now-husband, we were totally surprised to realize our dogs not only had the same first name but also very similar middle names.

Most adventurous thing you've done? The most adventurous thing I've done is white water rafting the Colorado River in Colorado on class 5 rapids. It was an amazing trip, with lots of great sights.

Secret talent? My secret talent is that I am an expert snow skier. I absolutely love snow skiing! I was born and raised in Texas, but my Dad took my brother and me skiing every year since we were little. I grasped the concept very quickly. It can be an intimidating sport, but also very peaceful at the same time.

Dream job as a kid? My dream job as a kid was to become a teacher. I always loved my teachers and really admired them, so my goal has been to give back that passion in my life. I'm not teaching, but I still feel like I'm helping others find their paths in a roundabout way.

What is your favorite part of working at ML&R? My favorite part of working at ML&R is the people I work with. We are a small group that works closely with one another, we respect each other, and have each others' backs. We also have wonderful clients that I really enjoy getting to know and taking care of their financial needs.

Key Takeaways
  • The year 2020 saw stark differences in returns between fixed income categories—some of the largest in history.

  • This unprecedented return dispersion is a reminder that fixed income asset classes can behave very differently, so allocations should be tailored to an investor’s goals.

  • A one-size-fits-all approach to fixed income may lead to suboptimal results.

Bitcoin and related cryptocurrencies (now numbering in the thousands) are the subject of much debate and fascination. Given bitcoin’s dramatic price changes, it is not surprising that many are speculating about its possible role in a portfolio.

Sustainability goes beyond reduce, reuse, and recycle. Today more than ever, investors are calling for sustainability opportunities, and markets are answering. But investing isn’t as simple as paper over plastic in the checkout line. For the investor who seeks to hold a portfolio that reflects their commitment to sustainability, Dimensional builds sustainability-focused investment strategies using scientific research and sound investment principles.

As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread in the U.S. and across the world, our priority at Maxwell Locke & Ritter is the safety and well-being of our people, clients, families, and community. We are monitoring daily updates and recommendations from the CDC. Additionally, we are minimizing the impact that COVID-19 could have on our services and are staying abreast of all filing deadline adjustments. We understand that in this time of uncertainty you may have growing concerns for the financial health of yourselves and your businesses, employees and families. We have curated some helpful resources for you and will continue to update this page as new information and updates occur.

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At ML&R Wealth Management, we take investing personally. Your ML&R Wealth Management advisor will work to develop a lasting relationship with you, keeping in touch to understand your changing goals and to provide an asset management strategy to help achieve them. Whenever you need sound financial advice, you have a direct line to a trusted advisor.

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