Investing your way to financial security

By: Jenny You Email
By: Jenny You Email

CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) – The rising stock market has pushed America’s millionaire population close to an all-time high.

Four years ago, we saw a recession. Now the Dow Jones reached a record high for the 10th day in a row, but most of the benefits from rising stocks have gone to wealthy investors.

According to financial experts, there are now nearly 9 million U.S. households with a net worth of a million dollars or more.

It’s no easy task to become a millionaire, but with the right investment at the right time, investors say you could be one step closer to being financially secure.

Ramana Hladilek said she’s making sure to have her bases covered.

"I've actually been investing in a 401k since I was 21. When my employer stopped having a 401k or when I wasn't employed by somebody, I needed to reinvest all of my money,” said Hladilek who works as a tax preparer at Chippewa Valley Tax.

She said she’s investing towards her retirement through mutual funds and she’s in it for the “long haul.”

“When the stock market went way down, that's when everybody wanted to sell theirs, so I just left mine in there and I continued to mine and it’s growing now,” said Hladilek. “I actually just leave it there. I don’t get all excited when it loses money or when it gains money.”

Instead she said she hopes by the time she retires, the investment will make her more secure.

Her financial planner and advisor Mike Pope with Ameriprise said she’s making a smart move.

“Mutual fund is put together with 50 or 60 different stocks so you might own Apple, you might own Johnson and Johnson or a number of different companies in there,” said Pope. “The idea being if one company falls, other companies are there to do well.”

Pope said now may be a good time to also invest in oil and gas.

“If the economy continues to get better, we need to move gas from North Dakota to the places where it needs to be used on the east and west coast. Companies that move that oil are going to generate some profit,” said Pope.

He said having a financial advisor can also be helpful when trying to figure out where to put your investments into, which is the route Hladilek took.

“She came to me and we discussed what her long term plans were and it’s money she’ll need for retirement. We picked some investments we think will do well over time,” said Pope.

Hladilek said from working in the tax business, she’s seen people reap the benefits of investing into the market.

“In doing taxes for people who have actually retired, they’re not collecting something besides their social security. There are definitely some people who are making a great living in retirement because they invested ahead of time,” she said.

As for investing in something like housing, Pope said it all depends on the time frame.

“If you're going to be in a house for a long, long time, you need to have a house. You need to have some place to live. If you're going to be in a house for a long time, maybe a house isn't a bad place to put some money as well, but if you’re in stage where you own a house, probably buying another house may not be the best thing,” said Pope.

With the Dow and S&P at record highs, experts say everyone’s got their finger on the trigger because they don’t know when it’s going to turn.

“Maybe the question is, is now the time to get out? The market’s up 20 to 25 percent in the last 18 months. Markets are over 100 percent in the last four years, so we're getting to a scary point in the market,” said Pope. “But again if you look at the economy, there’s nothing in the horizon that tells us we're doomed the market is in for a big downturn.”

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