financial advice

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There are a lot of ways to judge the success (or lack thereof) of a small business: how much stuff they sell, their profits, number of employees, years in business or any combination of these things. Each of these factors is important (perhaps irreplaceably so).

 

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In order for priorities to be profitable, they must first be planned and then be practiced.

John Maxwell writes, “There are two things that are most difficult to get people to do: to think and to do things in order of importance.” Maxwell says this is the difference between a pro and an amateur.

So, step one is the thinking part – you’ve got to put together an actionable plan that gets you where you want to go as efficiently as possible. Here are the priority areas (as I see them) for any well-rounded financial plan.

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When it comes to spending, are you in control or out of control?

Well if you tilt towards the out of control camp, you’ve got a lot of company. But the good news is…you can change.

But it won’t be easy. And you likely can’t do it alone.

Some people look at themselves in the mirror and see someone who is out of control, impulsive and just plain messed up when it comes to spending habits.

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Whether you are an employer looking for talent, or a student looking for an internship, we all know there are things you can learn in the marketplace that can never be adequately communicated in a classroom or textbook.  

So far, so good.

But we have to go a bit deeper than that. If you simply aim at everything, you will inevitably aim at nothing.

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Last week, we began looking at the four most common ways to tap into your retirement funds for a regular income stream.

Let me do a quick recap in case you missed it, then I’ll cover the third and fourth methods.

1. Interest only. This once most-common method involves depositing or investing one’s funds so they will produce interest, which is paid out and used as income. As we said last week, one risk is that interest rates fall so low that one can’t live off the pittance of interest produced. Like today.

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With interest rates so low, does it still make sense to keep a pile of cash on hand for emergencies?

Short answer: yes!

You may have a line of credit at your bank or a credit card with high spending limits. Btu not a single one of your credit cards comes with a lifetime guarantee. You could get a letter in the mail any day informing you that your bank no longer wishes to extend you credit (under any circumstances) and your credit cards can be canceled with little notice.

Cash … can’t be canceled.

Here are a few reasons why you need to save money:

Advice for Young Adults

Apr 13, 2018
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The only question I get asked more than “which way is the stock market about to go?!” is “Can you give some advice to my young adult children so they don’t end up like me?”

SO…Kids, you heard your mom (or dad). You don’t have to make the same financial mistakes they did. You can do better (and believe me, they want you to!).

Here then is a short list of actions you can take, which if followed reasonably well, will give you the best chance possible for a successful financial life.

Best of all, It’s pretty simple.

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Are you ready to retire?

How would you know?

Retirement is certainly about financial readiness. But it is also about so much more than that. I think it is important that you address some very important issues:

First, Are you emotionally ready to retire? Work is a great source of identity for most of us. Just read the death announcements. “Joe Blow, 66, a plumber, died.” That’s it – how old he was when he died, and what he did for a living while he lived.

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Last week, I reviewed the identify crisis suffered by insurance companies, who forgot they are primarily security providers and not investment managers.

History shows that no matter how you package it, using the cash values of a life insurance policy as an investment accumulation vehicle is rarely a good idea.

What escapes many, however, is the corresponding truth that investments are usually very poor insurance.

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Life insurance. We need it. We hate it. We don’t really understand it. But we know we don’t want to be sold it.

If I had a message for life insurance companies, it would be this:

When you forget who you are, it’s easy to lose your focus.

The two decades spanning the 1980s and 1990s represent one of the most lucrative periods in history for investors. It was a time of declining interest rates, expanded borrowing, baby boomer buying and a growth in productivity made possible by the dawn of the personal computer.

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