Financial Advisor Higgins Reveals ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Survival Strategy

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With only days left before the federal government’s deadline for avoiding tax hikes and deep spending cuts, noted financial advisor Michelle Perry Higgins lays out a plan to keep you from taking the plunge.

We can’t control the potential outcome in congress, but we can manage the risk in our clients’ portfolios.

Whether or not you believe that the United States is heading for financial disaster shouldn’t prevent you from preparing to survive financially, according to noted financial expert Michelle Perry Higgins.

“While Washington lawmakers parrot talking points from their respective parties, most Americans will probably feel some financial impact if the U.S. does go over the fiscal cliff,” Ms. Higgins says. “It doesn’t matter whether you’re a liberal or a conservative, this is a significant issue that could affect us all and we need to be prepared.”

Ms. Higgins advises having what she terms a “defensive barrier,” the portion of an investment portfolio that is not in the stock market, within a diversified portfolio. “It should be enough to adequately cover the income needs of an investor through unpredictable stock market cycles,” she says. “I want my clients to sleep well at night and focus on the long term. Understanding that they have a cushion in their portfolio helps them do just that.”

One of the key pieces of advice Ms. Higgins gave during the 2008 financial crisis was that having a long-term strategy was key for those who were able to weather the storm. She advises a similar strategy now. “We can’t control the potential outcome in congress, but we can manage the risk in our clients’ portfolios.”

What exactly is the ‘fiscal cliff’? Ms. Higgins explains: “It’s a metaphor for what will happen at the end of 2012 when terms of the Budget Control Act of 2011 are scheduled to go into effect. Tax rates will increase, dramatic spending cuts and new taxes from the Healthcare Act go into effect at the same time. Medicare will undergo particularly deep cuts. The outcome could have far-reaching consequences.”

Ms. Higgins advises seeking professional investment advice before making financial decisions. “It’s understandable that some people may be full of anxiety right now and have a lot of questions. It would be wise for investors to determine the adequate defensive barriers they need and to avoid making emotional decisions within their portfolios.”

Michelle Perry Higgins is a financial planner and principal of California Financial Advisors in San Ramon, California. Ms. Higgins specializes in wealth management, and has built a successful practice advising executive professionals into retirement. Her passion for financial management has helped hundreds of individuals better understand the process of investing and financial planning. She was featured as a 2012 Five Star Wealth Manager Award winner by Diablo Magazine, and was also ranked in the Top 25 Women RIAs 2012, by WealthManagement.com. For more information please visit http://www.calfinad.com.

Maloon, Powers, Pitre & Higgins, LLC is a Registered Investment Advisor, offered through Financial Telesis Inc. (Member FINRA/SIPC).

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