When I was a little kid, it seemed to take FOREVER for Christmas to get here. The tree would be up for ages, the presents underneath teasing me. When my parents were at work, I would shake the presents and try to determine the contents. I confess I sometimes lifted the corner on some of the packages. It’s a great way of learning whether or not you are getting that Barbie you wanted. It worked well until my little sister tattled. No one likes a snitch, Amanda.
In my adult life, time flies by. It seems like only yesterday we were celebrating a new year; now Thanksgiving is almost here, and the holiday madness is about to begin. Everything kicks into overdrive as we rush from holiday party to family event. We spend hours in the kitchen, preparing dishes that will be engulfed in minutes and forgotten almost as quickly. It seems that chaos reigns during the holiday season.
In the midst of all this activity, let’s not forget our financial lives. If you plan to donate appreciated stock to charity or give it to relatives, take care of it now. Do not wait until late December. Go ahead, and cross it off your list. The later you wait, the more difficult it becomes to process the transaction before December 31.
It is also important to take a look at your portfolio. Do you have any gains that could be offset by losses? Do you anticipate any big financial events next year (i.e. your child will be starting college; you plan to remodel your home; et cetera)? A quick conversation with your financial advisor sets up for a smooth start to 2012.
Take a deep breath. It will be okay. The holidays will be over before you know it! I hope you and your family have a happy, healthy, and peaceful holiday season.
Cristy Freeman, AAMS
Senior Operations Associate