Articles, Blog Entries and Case Studies

  • Irrational Exuberance?

    Enjoying the Economics fo 2019 Returns So Far?  The 2019 Run in Historical PerspectiveMost of us have been enjoying the portfolio boost provided the financial markets so far in 2019. What a run!   Read More...

  • Top 10 Tips for Grads (and The Rest of Us)

    At Astoria Strategic Wealth, our Principals are 20+ (in some cases 30+) years removed from graduation from college, but as we think about some of the more valuable lessons learned, understanding the time value of money stands out as one of the most useful. We have often said that this concept and other sound financial principles should be required to be taught at the high school level. Unfortunately, in most instances, they are not.Accordingly, we thought the timing was right to focus the follow...  Read More...

  • March 31, 2019 Market Recap

    Executive SummaryWe suggested in our 4th quarter commentary that volatility would remain high in 2019 unless there was a material improvement in trade negotiations, the U.S. Federal Reserve became more accommodative, or global economic data improved. Two of these three risk factors materially improved in the 1st quarter which resulted in a strong rally in equities globally.Furthermore, we wrote that the U.S.   Read More...

  • Are You "Old"? And, What Does Work Look Like if You Are? The New "Retirementality" Continued

    With deference to Mitch Anthony, who writes often about this topic, we agree that the idea of institutionalized retirement is nothing more than an Industrial Age social experiment that, for many, has run its course. Chancellor Otto von Bismarck in the 1880s in Germany mandated that the age for retirement was 70, while the average German worker didn’t live past 46. The legislation was imported to the United States during the Great Depression as a lever to move older workers out and younger worker...  Read More...

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401(k) Resource Center

You and Your 401(k) Retirement Plan

Your 401(k) is a key element of your overall financial plan. Importantly, it enables you to ‘pay yourself first’ by making contribution elections to fund your retirement and other goals directly from your paycheck.


  • Decide ‘Roth’ vs. ‘Traditional’ contributions –Traditional 401(k) contributions are made with pre-tax dollars – defers taxes on your contribution and gains until you withdraw funds. ‘Roth’ contributions are made with post-tax dollars – you pay the taxes on your contribution now but pay no tax when you withdraw your contribution or the gains (providing you are at least 59 ½ at the time of withdrawal).
  • Determine your Risk Tolerance - Important factors to consider in assessing your risk tolerance include your goals, your investment time horizon, and your current financial situation. The Investor Profile and Asset Allocation Calculator can help with assessing your risk tolerance and indicate an asset allocation suitable for you.
  • Select Funds for your Asset Allocation. From the fund menu, select and assign percentages to funds in the asset classes which best support your situation. Provided are two approaches:
  • A ‘basic’ core strategy with a limited number of funds which contain multiple asset classes and providing exposure to the bulk of the world’s capital markets.
  • An ‘advanced’ core and satellite strategy delineating a more robust selection of fund choices per asset class.
  • Ensure your beneficiary designations support your estate plan – failure to do so may undermine the estate plan you’ve worked out with your estate planning attorney. Consider checking with your attorney for direction.

Planning and Investing Basics

Planning and Investing: Digging Deeper