I am the self-proclaimed “World’s Most Exotic Accountant," a title that’s mostly satirical, but also telling of my non-traditional path in finance. I began my career at Ernst & Young where I traded my soul for the CPA designation, worked in sales at a tech startup, then consulted multiple Fortune 500 companies on their foreign currency hedging strategies.
Through all this, I felt I needed to use my finance and accounting knowledge to impact people on an individual level.
I am currently doing just that as the Director of Business Development at BetterWealth. My personal mission is to inspire others to fund their best life and equip them with the knowledge to do so.
I've been featured in major publications such as Forbes, NerdWallet, Huffpost, and LinkedIn News, and I have a rapidly growing LinkedIn following. As a CPA working in the financial planning industry, I am a great source for almost all topics related to personal finance, tax, investing, business, markets, etc. When I'm not nerding out over finance stuff, I'm rock climbing, electric skateboarding, playing volleyball, or surfing.
Connect with me at firstname.lastname@example.org or https://www.linkedin.com/in/trevorwardcpa/.
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“If you want to pick stocks, ask yourself what companies are poised for long-term growth,” said Trevor Ward, a certified public accountant and financial planner at Kinetic Financial. Consider what competitive edge that company has and how it is changing its industry. Ward also recommended looking at its finances ― compare debt to assets and stock price to earnings. You should also understand who makes up the management team.
“If you like what you find, buy it and hold it for at least three to five years,” he said. “If you’re not willing to put in that much effort, investing in index funds and [exchange-traded funds] is a very low-cost way to diversify your portfolio.”
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“This investment isn't sexy or cool,” advises Trevor Ward, CPA and Licensed Financial Advisor with Kinetic Financial. “It is, however, a way to protect your hard-earned principal while participating in potential gains . FIAs are tax-favored accumulation products issued by insurance companies and can be used as an alternative to investing in bonds. As interest rates increase, bond prices will decline, thus adversely affecting portfolio returns.”
Ward explains that FIAs provide principal protection guaranteed by the insurance company. They also provide tax-deferred interest, similar to retirement plans, like IRAs and 401(k)s. You won’t pay any tax on your accumulated investment earnings until you begin receiving payments from the annuity.
The income you receive on an FIA is tied to an underlying market index. And in the way FIAs are set up, you’ll benefit from the gains without getting clobbered by losses.
“For example, if an individual chooses an indexing option based on the S&P 500 index and the S&P 500 has a positive return, then the investor will be able to see a portion of that return on the credited interest to their account,” Ward explains. “On the flip side, if the S&P has a negative return, the investor’s account does not see a negative hit their account value.”
Ward also reports FIAs are fairly low on the fee front when compared to other insurance related investment products.
FIAs can be a solid investment choice if you’re looking for the principal security of short-term bonds, but with a much higher potential investment return.