Financial Resolutions for the New Year from J.P. Morgan’s head of Long Island

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Jennifer Marks, Head of J.P. Morgan Private Bank Long Island

Jennifer Marks, head of J.P. Morgan Private Bank Long Island
Jen is a Syosset resident and leads J.P. Morgan across Long Island and Queens. She was recently named one of Long Island Business News’ Leaders in Business and Finance, and Top 50 Women.

It’s been a challenging year, full of uncertainty – we’re all looking to leave 2020 behind and start fresh in a new, and hopefully more positive and more prosperous year. Before 2021 starts, we’re all making resolutions to start off on the best note, but many don’t consider financial resolutions. Three financial resolutions can help you feel more sound and secure heading into a year when peace of mind is at the top of everyone’s wish list.

1. Make a financial plan, or revisit your plan if you already have one. Given how unusual this year has been, planning for 2021 is crucial. While every end of year should prompt you to assess your finances as well as your tax liabilities, with this year’s global pandemic, economic uncertainty, U.S. elections and soaring U.S. equity markets, we encourage a “Big Picture Review” of personal and family finances. Evaluate your long-term goals. After the markets’ ups and downs, understand if your assets are still appropriately allocated for you and your family. Consider if you have flexibility to make large gifts to your family or community.

2. Commit to family discussions about wealth, even if the pandemic means your get-together has to be virtual. Family gatherings often coincide with the year-end holidays, when people traditionally travel to celebrate together. If family members are staying home this year because of the global pandemic—or are worried about gathering at this time—there are other ways to maintain healthy connections and have a productive conversation about financial plans.

Communicate and share important updates about the health and well-being of family members, celebrate important milestones or report on the status of the family’s assets. Educate family members on strategies that help steward the family’s wealth, including financial and investment principles, cybersecurity practices and basic estate planning techniques. Decide the future direction of family assets, philanthropic commitments, investments or banking activities

3. Analyze your investment strategy, seek out durable growth trends for long-term returns. It was the “high contact” sectors that were hardest hit by the pandemic, but the boost to sentiment has been clear in the wake of recent news of a vaccine. Going forward, three areas stand out as opportunities for growth.

Enabling-technologies such as 5G are paving the way for future, yet-to-be-launched “killer apps,” including remote surgery, augmented reality and autonomous driving could be a core driver of revenues.

The confluence of healthcare data and AI is accelerating the speed of innovation in healthcare, gene-based technologies and new treatments, and peak sales from these are yet to be reflected in company and industry valuations.

A more sustainable future will be a defining movement of the decade. Consumer preferences and a government focus on moving to a circular economy will spur yet-to-be realized opportunities in packaging, recycling, food and water technologies, and more. Also the COVID-19 crisis and the mass demonstrations against systemic racism and inequity in the United States have sharpened the focus on Environmental, Social and Governance issues in investing. The world needs to make changes, and investments can align with those values.

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