6 min read

Putting the K in Your 401(k)

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Happy Thursday!

Maybe it’s just us, but the fall/back-to-school season evokes this primal desire to get life in order. While most of us are no longer packing our bags with freshly sharpened pencils and TI calculators (which, amazingly, kids are still using), it’s as good a time as any to start fresh routines — especially where your finances are concerned.

In the face of inflation, rising interest rates and the ever-looming threat of a recession, here are five steps you can take to put yourself on a positive financial path:

  1. Do your homework: How can you make smart investing decisions without understanding where you’re putting your money? Learn how analysts value stocks and use these resources to find independent analyses of sustainability and values-aligned stocks and funds.
  2. Chat with an advisor: If you’re just starting to invest, have a complex financial situation, or have trouble keeping emotions out of your investing decisions, a financial advisor can help set you straight. Here’s how to find one.
  3. Fight the bullies: In the world of investing, the biggest bully today is inflation — no one can escape what economists call “the invisible thief.” Consider these inflation-fighting strategies to give your cash the greatest chance of keeping up with inflation. It is kind of like holding onto your lunch money.
  4. Bank smarter: While rising interest rates are bad news for home buyers, they also mean that rates for high-yield savings accounts have climbed to their highest level since 2019. Now is a good time to shop for a better rate on your savings. And while you’re at it, evaluate how your bank’s practices align with your values.
  5. Think about your future: Retirement may seem a long way off, but tomorrow is National 401(k) Day, reminding us that it’s never too early to start socking away money for the future. We’ve got answers to your 401(k) FAQs here, and in today’s edition we’ve got more tips on how to make the most of an employer-sponsored retirement account, so keep on scrolling.

Remember, no matter what kind of return your investments yielded this year, you can plant the seeds for future growth.

News you can use

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  • Clean energy projects are picking up speed since the passage of the US Inflation Reduction Act (aka, the climate bill). Toyota, Honda, LG Energy Solutions, Piedmont Lithium, and First Solar all announced plans to build factories that will take advantage of EV and renewable energy incentives. And don’t expect a slowdown — investment in renewable energy will total $1.2 trillion by 2035, according to Wood Mackenzie.
  • Businesses keep hiring, even as the economy slows. US companies added 315,000 jobs in August, beating analyst expectations. Also rising: the unemployment rate, which reached 3.7%, and wages — average hourly earnings are up 5.2% from last year. This could all play a key role in any Fed decision-making about interest rate increases.
  • CVS is moving deeper into the healthcare sector, joining Amazon and Walgreens as it expands its offerings for patients. The retail giant announced plans to buy in-home health-care company Signify Health for about $8 billion.

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