StraightLine’s Educational Seminar Series

Investment Basics

This seminar is designed to teach basic investment concepts. It explains features of general asset categories such as stocks, bonds, CDs, and mutual funds as well as explaining market indexes. Also, the seminar introduces the importance of basic account diversification and the impact of market volatility. Finally, the seminar covers the basic tenets of account structures such as 401(k)s/403(b)s, Regular IRAs, Roth IRAs, Taxable Accounts, etc.

Intermediate Investing

This seminar is designed to expand on the concepts presented in the “Investment Basics” seminar. It covers areas such as the importance of participation in retirement accounts and dollar-cost averaging.

The seminar also delves much deeper into the concept of diversification –¬†particularly in its application for mutual fund-based 403(b) investors. It accomplishes this by explaining factors relevant in mutual fund selection such as market capitalization, growth vs. value investments, mutual fund investment overlap, mutual fund fees, and risk measures. Timely market information is also included to show the application of the course concepts.

Financial Planning When Approaching Retirement

This seminar addresses the unique needs of employees as they prepare to transition into retirement. It highlights concepts such as cash flow planning, catch-up savings, potential lifestyle changes, basic estate planning needs, and asset allocation guidelines.

The seminar also discusses common pitfalls that can derail retirement planning and increases awareness of investment advisory tactics that are often targeted towards near-retirees.

7 Deadly Sins of Retirement Investing

This seminar identifies and provides recommendations for addressing common mistakes made by retirement investors. Issues covered include: not saving enough for retirement, trying to “time the market”, taking retirement loans, and the dangerous effects of common assumptions.

What’s Guiding Your Investment Decisions?

This seminar delves more deeply into the common ways in which people choose and manage their investments. Methods addressed include those employed by investors at all levels of interest/participation, from “do-it-yourselfers” to those employing multiple types of managed options such as target-date funds or professional advisors. It identifies pitfalls associated with each of the methods as well as provides guidance to improve each method’s likelihood of success.

Selecting a Financial Advisor

Trying to determine if a financial advisor is acting in your best interest is almost impossible if you don’t know what questions to ask. We briefly review securities, insurance products, fees, and what to realistically expect for performance.

Management Options in Your Retirement Plan

A more detailed review of the funds in the University’s plan and how they can be managed. This is designed to give the employees enough knowledge to manage this account on their own if that is what they choose to do.

Estate Planning Review

This is a very common sense discussion of trusts, wills, and basic estate planning. We review how assets are transferred, how they can be protected, how they could be divided, and what legal steps may need to be put in place to ensure your desires are achieved.

Social Security Review

There are many myths about Social Security and its ultimate survival or demise. We teach how Social Security is funded, how it is paid out, a brief review of the taxation issues, and its outlook given the current political and financial landscape.

Teaching Financial Responsibility to Children

We review the most common methods to educate your children to be financially responsible. Discussions of savings accounts, spending habits, budgets, college planning, and charities gives the parents a chance to discuss these lifelong lessons.

Women and Investing

A seminar designed to address the unique aspects and challenges of financial planning for women.

Life After Death and Divorce

Traumatic life events can lead to a variety of financial issues such as questions about outstanding debt and medical bills, cash flow and budgeting, account location and management, social security, and taxation. Often these decisions are left to a spouse or partner that has little experience with financial matters. This seminar is designed to clarify many of the confusing and often emotional financial matters that arise during these times.

A Simple Guide to Saving for College

A seminar designed to explain and clarify the broad array of college savings options that exist today. Issues covered include the structure and tax benefits of 529 plans, prepaid tuition plans, Coverdell accounts, and custodial accounts.