Coffee Talk Series: Be Financially Empowered

The current turmoil in the financial markets has more and more people thinking about their financial future.  Suddenly,  what seemed safe ground seems to be quick sand.  The “sure” thing is now uncertain.  Compound this with problems such as paying our regular bills and you realize the increasing importance to making (and keeping) a budget sufficient to satisfy future needs. 

On Sept 20,  attend a wealth management forum with Financial Columnist Karen Galarpe hosted by Mom Exchange and Alveo Verdana Homes.

Date: Saturday, September 20
Time: 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Where: Coffee Bean Tea Leaf Greenbelt 3

Please RSVP to Geisler Maclang at 812-8828 or 812-9919 if you would like to attend. Here is the invitation.

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Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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The smartest advice I ever got

Learning is a continuous process and it’s great to hear the words of wisdom of people I admire.

Money magazine recently came out with a feature in which 40 great minds share the best money lessons they ever learned.  I would like to share my favorites:

  1. Know where your money goes – Derek Jeter.  “Even if you have someone who handles your finances for you, you should always be involved in the process”.   It is important that you know exactly what is entering your bank account(s) and more importantly,  what it is being spent on.    You don’t want to want to wake up one day to find out that your life savings has been frittered away.
  2. Be frugal but not stingy – Meir Statman.  “Use money well, but do not waste it.. money is there to do good things, to support your family and others.”   Use money judiciously in order to live a good life.  
  3. Don’t get too good at the wrong stuff- Timothy Ferriss.  “If you excel at the menial tasks, those are the responsibilities people will associate you with and give you.  Get noticed for doing things that help the big picture.”   Great career advice.
  4. Be careful of people you trust – Scott Adams.  “.. the only people who screw you are the people you trust.  The people you don’t trust never get the chance.  So keep an eye on the people you trust”.  Enough said.  This goes hand in hand with #1.

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Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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Got debt to pay off? Color it away!

We do whatever we can to pay off debt or save for the future. I don’t know about you but constantly looking at numbers just gives me a huge headache (ironic, considering the nature of my work) which is why it is sooo easy to fall off the bandwagon. I came across a website which shows the most fun way I’ve seen of tracking actuals versus goals.

Josephsangl.com has a number of downloadable .pdf files for visually tracking either paying off or saving for a major purchase in the future. For example, if you’re saving up for a home downpayment, go to the website and download the House Down Payment Saving Spectacular chart. Calculate how much you have to go on paying (or saving) up for the downpayment by dividing the total by 520 (the number of squares on the picture) and post the picture on your ref, bulletin board, or bathroom door. Track your progress by coloring in each square every time a payment/savings deposit has been made.

Easy to track, easy to tell progress, easy to update and visually interesting. It’s so simple yet effective and ranks up there in my “Why didn’t I think of that first?” chart.

I would imagine that it would also be a great motivator for that teen who’s saving up for the latest PSP or Wii. =)

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Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

Subscribe to my feed or subscribe via email to get notified of my next post.

Do you need a personal financial advisor for your 401K?

A few months ago, following a health scare in the office, I started to seriously think about our family finances. I realized that there are so many loose ends which need to be tied: from beefing up term insurance to estate management. Each family in unique in its needs and spending habits and it is increasingly apparent that we might need the help of professionals, particularly given the convoluted legal system that we have and the dearth of investment options.

I’m really looking forward to seeing the finalized implementing guidelines to the PERA (Personal Equity and Retirement Account). It has set my hopes up that we will finally have the equivalent of the 401K in the United States which assists ordinary blue and white collar workers build a nest egg for the future.

Which then brings me to the role of a personal financial advisor. Here, that role is usually taken by insurance agents and bankers, both of whom have vested interests as their ultimate employers are the insurance companies and banks, not the individual. There is definitely a need for personal financial advisors.

While surfing the net, I came across the website of a company which I hope could be mirrored here some day. The Steidle Financial Group, LLC was set up to assist NJ-based individuals with their investment, insurance, estate and retirement planning. Hmmm… are you a small business owner or employee interested in but uncertain on how to proceed with 401K Administration, 401K Plan Retirement and Small Business 401K? Let this group assist.

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Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

Subscribe to my feed or subscribe via email to get notified of my next post.

Saving and Investing: Michael Fischer makes the complex, simpler

I was surfing through youtube the other day and came across the savingandinvesting channel of Michael Fischer.  A former Goldman and Sachs man,  Michael has made financial literacy his personal advocacy and seeks to demystify various financial concepts for the man on the street. 

He writes: 
“This subject is not about greed, short-cuts, opinions or speculation – it is about being informed, and about being rewarded for participating in our financial system in order to provide better lives for ourselves and others that we care about.”

View one video a day and increase your financial knowledge bank.

Other key links:
The Website:  http://www.savingandinvesting.com
The Book:  Saving and Investing: Financial Knowledge and Financial Literacy that Everyone Needs and Deserves to Have!

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Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

Subscribe to my feed or subscribe via email to get notified of my next post.

Get a Free Copy of 10 Mistakes Every Investor Makes and How to Avoid them

Ryan of In the Money is offering a free copy of his special report: 10 Mistakes Every Investor Makes and How to Avoid Them to all subscribers to his newletter.  Click on this link for more details.

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Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

Subscribe to my feed or subscribe via email to get notified of my next post.

Rules to Grow Rich By

I got these tips from CNN”s Money e-magazine. It’s a very useful guide for most of our financial questions.

 

 

Home

  1. For return on investment, the best home renovation is to upgrade an old bathroom. Kitchens come in second. It’s worth refinancing your mortgage when you can cut your interest rate by at least one point.
  2. Spend no more than 2½ times your income on a home. For a down payment, it’s best to come up with at least 20%.
  3. Your total housing payments should not exceed 28% of your gross income. Total debt payments should come in under 36%.
  4. Never hire an electrician or plumber who is going door to door.

Invest

  1. To figure out what percentage of your money should be in stocks, subtract your age from 120.
  2. Invest no more than 10% of your portfolio in your company stock–or any single company’s stock, for that matter.
  3. Aim to build a retirement nest egg that is 25 times the annual investment income you need.
  4. If you don’t understand how an investment works, don’t buy it.

 

 

Plan

  1. If you’re not saving 10% of your salary, you aren’t saving enough.
  2. Keep three months’ worth of living expenses in a bank savings account or a money-market fund for emergencies. If you have kids or rely on one income, make it six months’.
  3. Aim to accumulate enough money to pay for a third of your kids’ college costs. You can borrow the rest or cover it from your income.
  4. You need enough life insurance to replace at least five years of your salary–as much as 10 years if you have several young children or significant debts.
  5. When you buy insurance, choose the highest deductible you can afford. It’s the easiest way to lower your premium.
  6. The best credit card is a no-fee rewards card that you pay in full every month. But if you carry a balance, high interest rates will wipe out the benefits.
  7. The best way to improve your credit score is to pay bills on time and to borrow no more than 30% of your available credit.
  8. Anyone who calls or e-mails you asking for your Social Security number or information about your bank or credit-card account is a scam artist.

Spend

  1. The best way to save money on a car is to buy a late-model used car and drive it until it’s junk. A car loses 30% of its value in the first year.
  2. Lease a new car or truck only if you plan to replace it within two or three years.
  3. Resist the urge to buy the latest computer or other gadget as soon as it comes out. Wait three months and the price will be lower.
  4. Buy airline tickets early because the cheapest fares are snapped up first. Most seats go on sale 11 months in advance.
  5. Don’t redeem frequent-flier miles unless you can get more than a dollar’s worth of air fare or other stuff for every 100 miles you spend.
  6. When you shop for electronics, don’t pay for an extended warranty. One exception: It’s a laptop and the warranty is from the manufacturer.

 

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Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

Subscribe to my feed or subscribe via email to get notified of my next post.