Making Your Own Decisions – Mutual Funds

January 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

Mutual funds are the investment vehicle inside most retirement plans and they are comprised of a ‘basket’ of stocks and bonds. Stocks and bonds will be next week’s tiny tidbit.

Making Your Own Decisions

January 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

Life is busy. Work, family and all the other activities you do leave little room for learning about…your investments. (For the full dramatic effect, there should probably be the sound of a thunder-clap.)

 Yes, the dreaded investments. I seldom meet people, no matter their profession, who feel that they have a good grasp on their investments. Here are some things to keep in mind when pondering your options.

Only Ponzi-scheme operators make money every time. The future is a mystery and none of us know it. I like and read economic news voraciously so I have more knowledge of issues that you in your busy life, may not know. But none of us knows what the stock market will do next week. We are all doing what works best for us and the best we know how to do.

The Ten Commandments of Finance: Commandment VII Expect the Unexpected

June 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

7.)  Expect the unexpected

 Things change. Be it bumps in the road with your plan. You’ve seen enough of life and had enough experience to realize that your very good plan of using this particular check go towards paying down the credit card may get sidelined. Maybe the car and the refrigerator break or your daughter needs special sports paraphernalia tomorrow and forgot to mention it.

 Eventually, if you persist in doing good, the money will go to pay down debt and you will have more money saved for retirement. Don’t be too quickly discouraged.

 Sometimes the fork in the road may be an entirely new road, a new way of thinking about mortgages or investments, as new instruments are developed. You don’t want to assume new things aren’t bad because they are ‘new fangled.’  Cars , computers and texting were new for someone.  Instruments you, or your parents, didn’t know about previously doesn’t automatically make them bad.

 Learn what you need to know, be open, concerning the new things so you can have options about different ways to save for retirement or get a mortgage.

 The lesson here? Be flexible and expect the unexpected.

The Ten Commandments of Finance: Commandment V

May 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

5.)  Don’t let others disrespect you – demand helpful advisors

 When you have an advisor you have a helper. My clients have ready access to all this information because I help them learn how to be in control of their money. From budgets to tougher emotional decisions, from names of great accountants to wonderful attorneys, whatever I can do is done for a bright and well-planned financial future.

 Do you know how many folks I work with who tell me that they have no idea what’s going on with their money because their present person doesn’t speak with language or they never see them.

 Don’t let advisors who are supposedly there to help, disrespect you instead. If you don’t know what the heck they are saying what are you doing business there? We are all different so there are CPAs, attorneys and financial advisors for every type of person. Advocate for yourself! Find the advisor that speaks to YOU! Insist on it!

The Ten Commandments of Finance: Commandment II

May 5, 2011 § Leave a comment

2.)    It’s in your hands – I don’t care what you didn’t learn. And I know all about being raised by wolves. But here we are in the Land of TODAY. What are we planning on doing about things in the here and now.

You must take responsibility for your life, for your happiness and for your money.  Please don’t let me hear that this is ‘too hard for you.’   Dive in and dig deep.  What would you tell your daughter if she told you, ‘finance and learning about money is hard; I don’t really like it?’  Perhaps you’d advise her that she needn’t worry, ‘You’ll get a prince and he will take care of all the hard things…’

The First thing you should know- the most basic thing is: Know where your money goes.  How much do you bring home each pay period or month or year.  Knowing where you money goes is NOT a budget.

A BUDGET, from the French word for PURSE, how awesome is that?!!!! Is a numerical representation of your action plan. It’s the numbers that goes with the dreams of your life and future!  The story might be: I want the freedom to take a job that I really love because I have less debt and more liberty! Make paying off debt part of your plan, your numerical story, your budget.  A budget has what you pay in rent or mortgage, debt repayment and’ living.’  How much goes to investments?

You should be very clear, you should be able to tell me right now- don’t, but you should know!- what percentage of your money goes to various categories. If you don’t know, that’s fine for NOW. We all star somewhere. But by next week, you need to KNOW.

What are some standard figures for these categories? You can do an online search or email me and I can get you something I use, but there are many ways to organize this depending on YOUR brain and your most comfortable tools. Just be a grown-up and do this.

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