“Wonder how to be a better #dad to your kids? The answer is surprisingly simple…love their mother”
“Wonder how to be a better #dad to your kids? The answer is surprisingly simple…love their mother”
Each of these 30-minute weekly podcasts will be posted on Tuesdays. All the episodes will have two separate segments:
1) PLAN WELL - This segment will include basic financial planning concepts to help you make smart financial decisions that are aligned with the things you care about most and the flexibility to adjust as your life unfolds. And
2) INVEST WISELY - This segment will show you how to grow your assets and work towards your objectives. Our INVEST WISELY process gives you the framework to make smart investment decisions that are aligned with your long-term objectives.
Episode #1′s PLAN WELL segment covers creating an ICE Plan (in case of emergency plan). Here is a free worksheet to help you do that. You’ll also learn more about secure password managers like 1Password.
Episode #1′s INVEST WISELY segment covers four reasons why you should ignore extreme market predictions.
If you’d like to receive my podcasts automatically, go to iTunes.com and subscribe.
In the beginning, remembering a couple of passwords to online accounts seemed easy. I used a variation of one or two passwords on every site. I kept a list of all my username and passwords in the notes section of Outlook. Safe, huh?
Wrong. As my online presence grew, so did my list of usernames and passwords. Soon, easy became difficult. Even before difficult turned to unmanageable, I had a security problem.
Since we’re not just talking about logging onto social forums, cyber security and managing passwords are more important than ever. Remember, hackers are better educated and more sophisticated each day, and they don’t discriminate. When your entire financial life resides online, it’s no longer safe to reuse simple passwords that have a direct connection to you (like mother’s maiden name, birthplace or dog’s name).
The solution I found to increase my online security and give me peace of mind is the password generator and manager program called 1Password (for Mac). It allows me to manage my online life simply and to feel more secure about it. Is it the best password generator program out there? I’m not sure. But it does accomplish these important things for me:
From a planning perspective, using a password generator and manager has been essential in building my “in case of emergency plan.” By using a password manager, my family can access my online life even if I can’t. This is an often overlooked area of creating an action plan. [To help you build your ICE plan, here is a free worksheet called Organizing Your Financial Life.]
My digital life is now neatly organized, always up to date and easily accessible by my wife or trusted advisor. How about yours?
Share your security tips via Tweet to @roger_whitney
Since 2008, extreme stock market predictions have become big business. Falling for these fear-filled forecasts can be dangerous to your financial health. Please, use caution when listening to them.
Last week, a client sent me one of the extreme predictions he’d received from a so-called research firm whose mailing list he’d been on for years. He wanted to know if I thought the guy was on to something or “just nuts.” The fact that my client called me told me he already had doubts.
Over years of my client receiving numerous emails and videos from this firm and others, most contained comments and warnings like this:
Okay, you get the picture.
This isn’t the first time I’ve been asked to review such stock market predictions. Most aren’t so extreme, but they all hold common threads. They:
If you want to invest wisely, it would be wise to ignore most stock market predictions (especially the extreme ones). In the last 24 years I’ve read countless predictions (and even fallen for a few) from the mundane to the extreme, and I’ve found four clear reasons why you should ignore them.
My counsel would be to accept that the future is fundamentally unknowable, embrace it and begin to focus on ways to manage through the uncertainty. It took more than half of my career to understand and accept this. Do this, and you have taken the first step to building a framework to Invest Wisely.
What’s the craziest (market or otherwise) prediction you’ve seen marketed?
Let me know below or Tweet to @roger_whitney
Investing wisely is like planting an orchard, less exciting but much more fulfilling
Keeping a family budget is a pain. Tracking every transaction, categorizing them and then figuring out why your spending doesn’t “fit” the plan is not what most of us like to do in our free time. Even with bank downloads to programs like Quicken, it takes time to categorize and reconcile. Who wants to be a part-time bookkeeper??
The idea of budgeting is valid. It is foundational for creating wealth. It can help you capture excess income for savings, investment or to pay off debt. I have clients that enjoy it and create amazing spreadsheets that give them great insight into managing their lifestyle.
Most client don’t keep clear budgets though and neither do I. “WHAT?” you say. “How can YOU not keep a budget? Your a Financial Planner for heavens sake!”. Over the years I’ve tried but trying to keep up with it month after month didn’t seem productive for the time spent.
Instead I created a simple method that allows you to manage your spending, capture excess income and give you more free time. I call that a win win win! I’ve dubbed it the Cash Flow Bucket method.
The advantages of the Cash Flow Bucket method:
1. You don’t waste time tracking every transaction.
2. You have less stress deciding how to spend money each month.
3. You don’t spend money just because it’s there.
4. You easily capture (save) excess income as savings.
5. You can make smarter decisions on allocating savings.
6. You maintain flexibility for unexpected expenses.
Here are four simple steps to establish your lifestyle budget and capture excess earnings.
Step 1: Determine Your Monthly Lifestyle Budget
• Print or download your last three monthly bank statements.
• Click and print this free worksheet
• Use table A (on the worksheet) to list your fixed monthly expenses.
• Use table B (on the worksheet) to list all other monthly expenses. Don’t create a lot of categories; focus on finding an estimated monthly variable expense total.
• Determine your monthly lifestyle budget. This should be a set monthly amount you are committed to staying under.
Step 2: Set Up an Income Account
• Set up a separate checking or savings account to receive all income.
• Deposit any and all in-flows (paycheck, etc.) into this account.
Step 3: Establish a Monthly Transfer
• At the beginning of each month transfer your monthly lifestyle budget to your spending account.
• Spend this money each month. Don’t worry about tracking each expense or category. Towards the end of each month this account should be nearly depleted.
• If you start to run short near the end of each month, have a short meeting to understand why and consciously decide to move addition funds to your spending account from your income account.
Step 4: Adjust and Decide
• Every three months review how well you did staying within your lifestyle budget. If you consistently had to transfer addition funds, determine why and work on spending habits or redo step one.
• Assuming you’ve had excess cash built up in your income account, review your net worth statement and determine where it should be deployed: spending, debt reduction, savings, investing and/or giving.
QUESTION: If you hate to budget, how do you manage your monthly spending to assure you are saving for the future?
Answer below or Tweet to @roger_whitney
When we bring out the best in ourselves, we bring out the best in others.
Last week, a friend died of cancer. When you reach your 40′s, these things start to happen.
My friend, “Zippy,” was a sharp investor. He did well financially, but he excelled in investing in people and relationships. That is where his true wealth was stored.
My 23 years of serving clients has taught me two important facts:
Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with performance coach John Sowada of Fort Worth, Texas. John’s clients include individuals, athletes, and business partners who want to reach their “peak performance” in life and work.
Improving our relationships through respect
John Sowada reminds us how current relationships—whether good or bad—shape our future, and how by improving our relationships, we can improve our future. And we can start today.
John says, “The marital difficulties or business partnerships difficulties . . . that end up in court in an ugly nasty expensive mess . . . start out with tiny little violations of disrespect.”
In any relationship, John explains, “the way we operationally convey respect [to one another] is by doing three things.”
How do we apply the principle of respect to improve relationships?
Both wealth- and relationship-building take time, care, patience, and effort. But if wealth-building were to be compared to simple arithmetic, then relationship-building would be differential calculus.
Benefits of quality relationships
The benefits of improved, quality relationships go far beyond “good feelings.” They often include:
The reward of sharing our wise financial investments with those whose relationships we value is one of life’s greatest (and possibly the most underestimated) joys!
John Sowada grew up in Minnesota and worked there as a clergyman (1980-86) and then as a licensed psychologist before moving to Fort Worth in 2008, when he made the move from mental health psychology to peak performance coaching. John’s office is located at 3880 Hulen Street, Suite 410, Fort Worth, TX 76107
CHALLENGE: Spend a day practicing the three key ways to convey respect and let me know your experience (in the form below).
In this month’s Feature Fort Worth I’m to excited talk with Reata Restaurant‘s Mike Micallef and Russell Kirkpatrick about the inaugural Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival.
The four-day Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival honors the distinctive nature of Fort Worth cooking, food, beverage and culinary traditions in a multi-day festival highlighting gastronomy diversity in Fort Worth and North Texas.
Signature events include:
-Kickoff Party at Billy Bob’s ,Thursday, March 27th 7-9 pm
-Grand Tasting at the Worthington Hotel, Friday, March 28th 7-11 pm
-Tastes of the World at Bass Hall, Saturday, March 29th 11 am-2 pm
-Burgers, Brews and Blues at Edwards Ranch, Saturday, March 29th 6-10 pm
-Meals on Wheels for Meals on Wheels at Coyote Drive-In, Sunday, March 30th 3-5 pm
-Sip and Savor, Saturday and Sunday at the Worthington Hotel 11am-pm
In addition, there will be exciting activities in Fort Worth’s new Sundance Square Plaza
To register go to www.fortworthfoodandwinefestival.com
The recent stock market weakness is making people nervous. If this includes you, heed this advice. The LAST thing you should do is watch or read stock market forecasts.
When the stock market plunged in 2008, it scared a lot of people. Since then these same people have been looking around every corner for the next stock market drop. That’s one reason stock market forecasts are so popular. And it’s usually the most extreme forecasts that get the most attention.
Many investors think if they increase their understanding of how the stock market works, they’ll make better decisions. They listen to a myriad of stock market gurus and pundits, equating a higher stock market acumen with a better return on their investment.
The fact is Wall Street firms spend hundreds of millions of dollars and much of there intellectual capital ”predicting” the future of the stock market and then marketing their “insights.” Other than the fact that their predictions sell well, no one can predict something that is fundamentally unknowable.
If working towards your goals involves investing (in the stock market or otherwise), it’s important that you invest wisely. Stock market forecasts don’t help you do that. Investing wisely is process-driven and unexciting. It includes:
YOU: Setting clear objectives and risk comfort zone
PATIENCE: Establish a clear investment time horizon
DIVERSIFY: Build a globally diverse portfolio in a broad range of asset classes
PROTECT: Be flexible to work to protect against large losses in bad markets
GROW: Position to grow greater than inflation over time
If you want to learn how, subscribe and I’ll do my best to show you how.
QUESTION: Do you have a consistent process for making investment decisions?