Let Me Introduce You to a Few of My Friends… Which One are You?

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would like to introduce you to a few of my friends.   They are a bunch of interesting characters who potentially have one thing in common…one of them could be YOU!

Don’t get nervous, we all can have traits of one or a bunch of them, but as you read through them, think about which one you may relate to the most.  Does anyone resonate with your personality, even if you don’t want to admit it!  Before I get the introductions on the way, let me give you some background.  Our team deals with hundreds of households, couples, and individuals, and this means we have hundreds of different personalities we work with.  I started noticing some common traits especially after interviewing hundreds of women for my book, Strong Woman Stronger Assets.  Because of these common characteristics, I’ve put together 5 different friends for you to meet. 

And without further ado meet:

Irrational Irwin: Irrational Irwin is an overly emotional investor, who thinks whenever the market or his accounts go down, it is a direct ATTACK on him.  Because of these emotions, he will always sell at the bottom and buy at the top.  Irwin is always afraid he will lose all his money while also being concerned he will miss out on all the stock market returns.  These irrational and emotional concerns make him bounce in and out of the markets constantly.  Every investor has emotions, and most of those who reach their financial goals, tend to keep their emotions at bay when making decisions with their money. 

Aggressive Amy: For Aggressive Amy there is NEVER have enough risk in her appetite or portfolio.  She will lose thousands of dollars and still be ready for more risk.  By risk, I mean investing in high flying stocks such as start-ups, trendy companies, and anything where she can make a quick buck.  These high flying stocks tend to fly high and sink low…very low.  Even after getting it wrong a lot, she will try and try again to invest in the next hot stock or company.  Her concern is actually having to save money instead of her already saved money growing.  She’d rather try to grow her money quickly than try to spend less and save more.  We all need to have a little Amy in us, but to make sure your amount of Amy lines up properly with your risk tolerance and time horizon is critical.  Don’t take on more risk than you can afford to lose.

Hoarder Hanna:  Hoarder Hanna just loves to keep all her money in the bank or under her mattress.  Any type of risk is too much risk in her book, so she’d rather earn nothing or very little on her money than invest it.  She may or may not realize her money is depreciating in value every day, week, and month is sits in cash as inflation eats away at it.  Her $100,000 in the bank will be worth a lot less in 20 or 30 years.  If inflation is 3%, that $100,000 in 30 years will ONLY be worth $41,340.  Remember we do need to keep some money in the bank in case of an emergency expense, but remember your financial goals and see if keeping anything more in the bank is worth the possible depreciation.  Her main concern is never having enough money, that she will have to move back in with mom and dad or be stuck at a job she hates.  She is hoarding because she thinks it increase her chances of financial security, but in the end it might lead to more concerns and challenges.

Do-It-Yourself Dominic:  Do-It-Yourself Dominic thinks he is quite the expert on his finances, the markets, and everything in general.  Dominic tends to think his performance is better than it actually is, and will never admit it when he is wrong or needs help.  Sorry to the male race, but Dominics usually are men.  Why do some men find it so hard to ask for help?  Anyway, Dominic has been managing his money “just fine” over the years, and is ready to tackle his next goal such as retirement.  Once he gets a few questions answered, he can continue monitoring his accounts and spitting out advice to anyone who will listen.  While I think it is great to take an active role with your money and investments, it is still important to know when to seek professional advice.  So be hands on, while knowing when to admit you need HELP!  Dominic is too proud to admit he is wrong or hasn’t been investing well for so many years, that he is afraid to get a professional opinion.  It might seem to counter his know it all attitude, but it is really masking his greatest fear of all…that he has failed.

Oblivious Oscar: Oblivious Oscar never quite knows what is going on.  BUT he also doesn’t really care to know.  He will poke his head out every few years to check in, see how his accounts are doing, and then go back to his resting place.  Oscar’s absent mind usually has to do with his fear of dealing with reality.  It is too painful to see where he stands with his money, so he’d rather put it off for another time.  He will really go MIA when times are tough, and will check in when there is something for him to celebrate and brag about.  While I don’t recommend leaving your finances untouched or avoided for years, some people will look every day.  Looking on a daily basis can make anyone go crazy, so bring some Oscar into your life if you find yourself obsessed with what the markets are doing.  Trust me, the markets don’t check up on you that often nor do they care about you!

You might think you are one of them or a few of them put together, but as our lives change, we might also change which one we relate to.  Here is an example, if you are nearing retirement you might go from Oblivious Oscar to Hoarder Hanna because you are more concerned about having enough money than ever before.  If you are in college, you might be a Hoarder Hanna, but as you get out and start earning money, you might become Aggressive Amy. 

he key to this exercise is to not only identify which one you most relate to, but what is the underlying trait tying you to them?  At first you might think you are a Hoarder Hanna because you love keeping a ton of money in the bank, but it is deeper than that.  Why do you keep so much money in the bank?  Is it because you are afraid of losing it?  Are you afraid you will never have enough of it and have to move back in with your parents?  Are you concerned that you won’t reach your financial goals?

I hope you got some enjoyment from these characters I’ve created while also opening your eyes up to the different underlying feelings and concerns you may have with money.  There will be a quiz to follow to help you identify which traits you may have of each of my friends so stay tuned!

To pre-order my book: Strong Woman Stronger Assets, click below!

GET THE INSIDE SCOOP FOR ESTATE PLANNING!

6/15/2017

 

 















I interviewed an estate attorney, Linda Engleby to get the inside scoop for estate planning. I wanted to uncover some of the myths with wills, the top concerns women have, and some important things to think about. I hope you get as much value from her answers as I have.

1.
In your opinion, what are the top estate planning concerns most women have?  
 
Each client is unique in her concerns, which is why it is extremely important to work with an attorney who you feel comfortable with and who you trust. Estate planning is often not the easiest process because issues around values, concerns about particular family members, and attitudes towards wealth arise.  In general, however, I find that women who have started a business or become financially successful in their careers have a strong sense of wanting to protect that for their children and want their descendants to have a similar sense of independence that comes from financial security.
Of course, if a woman has young children, the issue of naming the best guardian is always difficult.  This decision often brings up issues of values in the sense that a mother wants to name a guardian who will parent in the same way and impart the same values to her children.  I always remind a mother that no guardian will ever be able to replace her and the choice never feels completely right!

2.What are the top misleading ideas/concepts people come to you with when dealing with their estate documents?

Clients often ask me “What do most people do?” or “What can I do.” My response is always, “This is your plan and you can do whatever you think is best for your particular situation!” I understand that clients find it very helpful to know examples of what is typical, and I can provide guidance in that regard, but what is important is that each client estate plan fits their family situation.  Establishing the parameters of trust provisions, for example, is almost completely at the client’s discretion.  I’ve had clients draft their own statement about how they want the trustee to approach the use of money for the beneficiary.  I encourage clients to work on statements to include in their Wills so that their beneficiaries understand how they would like the assets to benefit them.  These statements are often not stated in legally binding language, but rather provide guidance for the trustee or the beneficiary as to how the testator desires the assets to be used.  For example, if a trust provides that distributions may be made for “education,” would that include travel for educational purposes?  Would it include a private pre-school or should the money be saved for college and higher education? Does this include summer camp that has an educational component to it? Does it have to be toward a degree program? 
Clients will also tell me, “I know this is unusual, but one of our children is not financially  responsible” or “one of our children has an addiction issue” or “we don’t think our child’s marriage is stable.” This makes me smile because what is actuallyunusual is when a client’s family is completely stable and there are no concerns about any member or financial issue!

3.How would you describe the estate planning process to someone who thinks planning for their death is an omen of their death?

I always joke that once a Will is signed, the client will never die! On a more serious note, the fear of death is so ingrained in our society that our death is indeed very difficult to talk about and acknowledge openly.  Clients often preface questions about their estate planning with “IF I die” and I try to gently state in my answer “WHEN you die.”  More often than not, clients will acknowledge this fear at the beginning of our planning process, yet refer to a sense of relief once the documents are signed and the project is completed.  I think the sense of relief at having everything in order for one’s death is far more comfortable to live with than the fear that may be very real and keep one from starting the process.
Of course, estate planning can take on a very different hue when a client has been diagnosed with a terminal illness or has reason to believe truly that their death is imminent.  It’s hard to say how this planning process goes because it is always different.  It is always humbling for me to be a part of a meeting with a client who is truly facing their mortality, and makes my job as an estate planning attorney truly gratifying and rewarding.

4.What is the biggest benefit you’ve seen from estate planning?  Instills confidence, caring for your loved ones when you are no longer here, leaving your legacy the right way, etc.

While working with clients, my goal is always to create a finished product that gives the client confidence.  The planning process is generally not done overnight, because often clients need to think about certain issues and really discern what they feel is best for their situation.  It may be that the decision they arrive at after a few weeks of pondering and discussion with me or with their family members is the same decision they would have arrived at right off, but the act of discernment is often important to allow the client the sense that it is the right decision.  I will say to a client that sometimes you have to go ‘round the bend a few times to get comfortable with your decision.  I think that process is important and has value.  The planning process can, therefore, take more than a few weeks and it is not unusual for clients to take a few months.  I’ve even had clients with more difficult situations take several months before we get drafts that they are comfortable signing. (I had one couple, both in their 80s and very happily married, tell me that the planning process had elicited more “hearty discussion and some controversy” than they’d had in years, but at the end when they signed their documents, they both felt sure that their estate plan carried out their intentions clearly and in keeping with the values they had lived together for more than 60 years of marriage.)  If a client signs documents and still has concerns because they are thinking “should I have included my daughters-in law as beneficiaries,” or “should I run the trust out longer for my son if he cannot manage money” or “did I leave someone out of my Will and do I regret that,” then I haven’t done my job. 

5.What is your biggest piece of advice for women going through a transition: divorce, retirement, loss of a spouse?

Each of these situations is so very different, but each comes with a lot of emotion and upheaval, so acknowledging that first and foremost is important.  Often a woman will hear the advice that she shouldn’t make any decision for a year after such an event, and this is often very wise because I don’t think we process information as clearly and precisely directly after an emotional event.  I’ve certainly had the experience after a significant loss of thinking I was understanding an issue clearly, but in retrospect, I see that I really wasn’t because I was still in a bit of a fog. I meet with clients directly after the death of a family member, and I can tell that they are listening intently to my legal advice about the estate administration process, but I know that they will not retain a lot of the information because they are on “overload.”  I will tell clients in this situation that I will send to them a follow-up letter letting them know what issues they will need to keep in mind, and what issues I will keep in mind, and nothing falls through the cracks.  So my first piece of advice is to recognize that for most of us, we will be in that “fog” for a period of time and to be gentle with ourselves.
 However, some decisions need to be made within a certain timeframe having to do with tax issues or federal and State filing requirements, so many issues need addressing within that first year.  Indeed, after a death, estate tax returns must be filed within nine months, and in New Jersey, Inheritance Tax Returns must be filed within eight months. Income tax returns are also due, generally within the year, and ultimately, the estate needs to be distributed.  Making sure you have trusted advisors and attorneys who will not let details and decisions languish is vitally important.  In the best case, these trusted advisors are already part of a woman’s life so that introductions don’t have to be made at these difficult times. 
Retirement is an opportune time to review your estate plan and particularly your beneficiary designation forms.  It is a good time to take stock of your financial life, readjust your budget, and determine what might be most tax efficient in terms of not only income taxes but estate taxes.  A woman who has significant wealth may want to start a gifting program to transfer assets to descendants and will want to have advice about doing so in tax efficient ways. 
Divorce presents its own circumstances that I want to give particular attention.  If a woman is working with her attorney on a property settlement agreement with her soon-to-be ex-spouse, it is often very helpful to have an estate planning attorney review the property settlement agreement with an eye toward any ongoing obligations which the woman may have or benefit from in order to make sure that her estate planning is integrated with the property settlement agreement.  For example, if each party must carry a life insurance policy for the benefit of the ex-spouse or their children, it may have estate tax consequences, because the value of the life insurance policy will be included in the woman’s estate.  If the property settlement agreement states that the ex-spouse will provide life insurance for their children and the proceeds are to be held in trust if the ex-spouse dies, who would the trustee of the trust be and what are the trust provisions?  Generally a property settlement agreement will not go into great detail about these types of issues simply because a family law attorney will not be reviewing the agreement with an eye to estate planning issues.  It is very difficult to remedy these omissions and oversights after the death of the ex-spouse, but very easy to revise the agreement before it is signed if an estate planning attorney reviews it. 
No matter what time in a woman’s life, the estate planning process should be a positive one and the end result should provide her with confidence.
Linda Engleby is an attorney in Morristown, NJ who specializes in estate planning and trust and estate administration. Her contact information is below:

Email: lengleby@coughlingduffy.com
Phone Number: 973-631-6032
Address: 350 Mount Kemble Ave
Morristown, NJ 07962
 
Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse the opinions or services of Linda Engleby.

 

 

WANT TO ORGANIZE YOUR ENTIRE LIFE?

6/7/2017

 

 

 

ow would you like to organize your ENTIRE life?  Does it sound a little daunting of an undertaking?  Probably since everyone I talk with would love to organize and simplify their life, BUT very few actually will do it.  Very few will create a plan, implement their plan, and stick with it.  So I started to wonder why do we all, or most of us, want a different type of life, but very little of us actually do something about it. 

Do you know the answer?  I’d love to hear it!

After posing this question to several women, it seems, we all want it but without the hard work.  We are TOO busy to simplify our life, which in the end would make us less busy.  Seems a little silly when I put it that way, doesn’t it?  It’s like when we are dealt with the question of investing in ourselves and our lives.  It will cost you time and money up front, but what if you got all of your money back…times 10?  Would it be worth it to you?  Let’s say you invest $5,000 into your life to get organized, focused, motivated, and you start spending less, saving more, and earning more.  Would that be worth it to you?  What if I add in more confidence, happiness, and satisfaction from your life?  The women I work with would say YES and Yes please! 

f you invest money into your life, will you be more dedicated to your goal?  Most likely.  If you invest your precious time into your life, will you be more accountable with your outcome and success?  Probably.  In the end, it is what you take out of your investment in yourself that counts.  If you are doubting the investment, the process, or your coach the entire time, then guess what your results will be?  Pretty lousy.  But what if you take action each step of the way, no matter how scared you are or uncomfortable you are?  If you believe in the steps and the outcome, then you will most likely get the outcome you are yearning for.  Our behaviors fall right in line with our beliefs, so once we start changing our beliefs, our actions follow, and we see some success.  This only fuels more beliefs and more actions, which gets you what?  MORE success

I can tell you from experience the pay off from investing in yourself.  In the fall of 2016, I invested in a coach to help me continue my growth as an advisor and as a person.  Now I say I invested in her because at the time that is what I thought, but really I invested in myself since I was getting the huge benefits.  And this is what I tell the women I work with, they aren’t investing in me, they are investing in themselves.  

If you have a limiting belief about working with me, it’s really your limiting belief about yourself.  That maybe you won’t be as committed as you’d like to be.  Maybe you don’t believe you are worth the change.  And to me, this is the saddest and hardest thing to overcome.  It tears me a part when people don’t see the value I see in them, that they don’t believe their life is worth the change.  I’ll spend extra time with them to try to help them get over this hump, but sometimes it is not enough.  They might come back to me months or years later, and I always say “You should want it for yourself as much as I want it for you.”  Those are the women who get the biggest transformations and the best results.

However, the issue most people deal with, is they don’t like being uncomfortable or scared.  You’re going to a party, and you don’t know anyone besides the hostess.  You’re probably trembling in your stilettos, right?  Who are you going to talk with the whole party?  Will people like you??  What do I do when that awkward moment comes, and I’m by myself in the corner???  At least, these are the thoughts that cross my mind as I’m trembling just thinking about it!  But isn’t everything we want outside of our comfort zone?  Otherwise, everyone would have their dream job, big house, and amazing family, everything they’ve ever wanted. 

Can you think of one time when you went outside your comfort zone, and came out better than ever?  You hit a new goal because of it?  Think about it for a second.  What motivated you to take that leap of faith?  Was it worth it for you? 

I’ve had hundreds, maybe even thousands of times I’ve gone outside my comfort zone in the past year or two.  When I created my first women’s event for Transitioning Women in the fall of 2015.  I was terrified, what if no one comes?  What if I’m so boring people start to fall asleep or leave?  What if it is a complete failure, and I can never show my face again in public??  But I went through it anyway, and it was a great event.  We had about 20 women, and I got all the women to openly share about their transition, both the hard times and good times.  What a success!  And because of the success and feedback from it, I’ve now had 7 more events.  I overcame my discomfort and fear, and was able to help and engage more women with their money.  Thank goodness I got outside my comfort zone!

Another big and terrifying thing I did was start this blog.  Again I had so many horrible beliefs about why it is a bad idea to start one.  What if no one reads it, what if I really am a terrible writer, what if…  If I never stepped outside my comfort zone, I’d never have thousands of readers a week.  I’d never be able to touch so many women’s lives and give them some joy, knowledge, and motivation with their finances. 

And how about spending money on my coach?  I couldn’t be happier to have spent that much money, funny isn’t it?  The impact it’s had on my mindset, behaviors, and success is amazing.  I’m so happy I keep stepping out of my comfort zone, otherwise none of this would be possible.  I wouldn’t have a blog with 10,000 readers a week, a book coming out, and a career where I get to impact and empower women.  Because I love being scared and taking risks so much, here is my step by step guide to getting out of that pesky comfort zone we all love to hide in:

  1. Take action, no matter what.  Take action before you overthink it and before you talk yourself out of it.  Take one step in the direction of your goal, it could be scheduling a Discovery Call with me.  I highly recommend this to give you that boost to change, and my whole purpose on the call is to give you as much value as possible.  The people who schedule a call with me tend to get some much needed clarity over what it is they really want.  So many times, we think it is a surface issue, but it rarely stops there.  The call can help you get to the root of your money concerns and what is really stopping you from the life you want.  So schedule a call, it’s 30 minutes of your life, but isn’t it worth 30 minutes if you can start living the life you really want?
  2. Believe in your action…or borrow my belief.  Believe you are worth the change and that whatever it is you want is worth the change.  For me, this is where my Strategy Sessions come into play.  Where we take an in depth look at where you are now, where do you want to be, and how do we get you there.  And we work on your mindset to make sure your beliefs are in line with your goals, and discover any limiting beliefs that have been stopping you from getting that goal.
  3. Invest in yourself.  Invest some time, energy, and money into yourself so you can have the life you’ve always wanted.  So you can have that life today NOT tomorrow or maybe if I win the lottery.  Let’s start living our lives to the fullest, or as a great saying goes: Whatever you do today, make it count because you are trading a day of your life for it.  A day you can never get back.  Some pretty powerful stuff there, huh?  Make it count and find someone to work with who is a passionate about your goals as you are.  Click below to get started:

Schedule Your Call NOW!


lease keep in mind that investing always involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss. Past performance is not indicative of future results.  No investment strategy can guarantee success.

 

 

LEARN THE POWER OF YOUR MIND

6/1/2017

 

 

The Power of Your Mind
by Traci Blank, FIBH, CMS-CHt, CPC
 
We see patterns throughout the world.  We see patterns in our thoughts, in our behaviors, in the people we surround ourselves with, even in the things we give our focus and attention to.  We can usually even predict what will happen next based on these patterns.  It stands to reason then that these patterns are deeply ingrained within us – deeply imprinted in our mind, our subconscious mind. 

These patterns come from our programming.  As you may be aware, our programming affects everything about our world, how we see it, how we act and react, the emotions we have, etc.  Basically, it predicts our patterns. Many have tried to change their patterns through conscious awareness and change.  For some this works, but for the majority, they eventually slide back into our programming.  To make true lasting change, we must make the change on the subconscious mind. 

The subconscious mind is only one of three parts of the mind.  We have our conscious mind, which holds our analysis, reasoning, will, volition - basically the running monologue in our head that we are aware of as we go through our day.  There is the subconscious mind which holds numerous things including the automatic functions of our body, our imagination, emotions, memories, and programming.  The third part of our mind is the superconscious, which holds our problem-solving intelligence, our connections to others, love, etc.; for many this might be akin to our soul.  The superconscious lives in the subconscious mind. 

In between the conscious and subconscious minds is the critical factor.  The critical factor develops between the ages of 7 and 11, and after that time, it is our filtering system for how we see and perceive our world.  When an idea comes into our minds, the critical factor checks the subconscious mind to see if this idea matches our programming – what we already hold to be “the truth”.  If it matches, it lets it in which reinforces the belief.  If it doesn’t match, then it kicks it back to the conscious mind for more analysis.  In this way, our minds only allow in that which reinforces what we already believe is the truth.  That is why it is so difficult for people to change their patterns without going to the subconscious mind.  But how do we do that?

There are five ways that information passes through the critical factor once it is fully developed: authority figures, peer groups, emotional situations, repetition, and altered state.  I use the altered state of hypnosis with my clients to bypass the critical factor.  In the natural, yet altered state of hypnosis, we can input new programming, uncover the programming that already exists, and change the current programming.  All this is done during hypnotherapy sessions. 

There are many myths about hypnotherapy – that only weak-minded people can be hypnotized, that I’ll make you cluck like a chicken or rob a bank, that you won’t remember what you did, etc.  The truth is that hypnotherapy is a natural, yet altered state that everyone has the ability to go into and actually does go into every day.  Hypnotherapy is knowing how your mind works and using that to change our own programming.  All hypnotherapy is self-hypnosis meaning that it will only work on those who want to go into hypnosis that if you don’t want to you won’t, just like if you don’t want to make a change in your life then you won’t.  Hypnotherapy is actually an amazing way to make the life you want, the life you have.  Hypnotherapy is real and comes from science, it’s just relaxing the critical factor to access the subconscious mind. 

If you would like to change your patterns and see the world differently, it’s time to make some changes to your subconscious mind.  Awareness of your programming and a conscious effort through positive affirmations, reversals of negative thoughts, etc is a great place to start on your own.  To take it to the next level, look into trying hypnotherapy. 
            
Traci Blank, FIBH, CMS-CHt, CPC is a medical support clinical hypnotherapist who specializes in anxiety.  Her company, Tracing Your Path Hypnotherapy, LLC is located in Somerville, NJ.  If you have any questions about the mind or hypnotherapy contact Traci through her website
www.TracingYourPath.com.  

Opinions expressed in the attached article are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Raymond James.  All opinions are as of this date and are subject to change without notice.  The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete.  Links are being provided for information purposes only.  Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse, authorize, or sponsor any of the listed websites or their respective sponsors.  Raymond James is not responsible for the content of any website or the collection or use of information regarding any website’s users and/or members.  Raymond James is not affiliated with Traci Blank and/or Tracing Your Path Hypnotherapy, LLC.

 

 

IT'S YOUR LIFE, IT'S YOUR CHOICE.

5/25/2017

 

 

Let’s talk about choices today, choices baby!  It always comes down to choices, even if you think you don’t have any choices, trust me, you do.

My husband and I went to test drive some cars the other day.  I need a new car since a car seat is not going to fit in the backseat of my teeny tiny convertible.  Before we left for the dealership, I ran some numbers to get a better idea of how much we’d like to spend.  If we went $5,000 over our budget, it would cost us about $100-$150 more a month depending on the interest rate.  An extra $1,200 a year isn’t going to drastically change our life, but what if we put that extra $100 each month into a 529 plan for our child?  What about if we spend an extra $10,000?  That would be about $200 more each month, so we could spend it on a car or put $2,400 away each year for our child’s college.  Again it won’t really change our life now, but what an impact it would be for us as we get closer to college.  I’m sure we would have a lot less stress trying to figure out how we will budget college costs. 

When you come up to a big decision like we are, it is really important to think about how it will affect you NOT today, but in 15 years and 20 years.  I always get asked by women if they should increase their retirement plan contributions.  I explained that while an extra $50 or $100 each paycheck won’t really affect their life now, it will drastically affect their life as they get closure to retirement.  A little bit extra each month over 20, 30, or even 40 years, makes a HUGE different.  So each year when you salary goes up a little, (hopefully) increase your retirement plan contributions.  You won’t even feel it, trust me!

Some people explained they have no choice, they have $3,000 a month in housing expenses so there isn’t enough money left to save.  Wait a second, I didn’t realize you were chained to your house and can never sell it.  Try downsizing or renting for a little, and lower your monthly mortgage payments to $2,000 a month.  You’ll have a whopping $12,000 more each year, which means more confidence and control for you, fewer years to work, and a whole lot less stress.  One couple came in and they were faced with a very similar situation.  They were barely getting by each month, and some months depending on their credit cards so their debt kept climbing up. 

We met with them for a strategy session, and found a way to save an extra $1,000 each month, pay off all of their debt, and put aside $75,000 to invest.  How on earth did we get so much progress in one session?  We went through their choices!  They had no idea they even had choices, and thought they were stuck in this situation forever, but as you know by now, that is NOT true.  In the end, it made the most sense for them to rent for a few years until they retire.  And it will allow them to save more money, pay off debt (and not go back to debt), and invest more money.  They felt so good after our meeting, when I asked their time frame for the move, they said in 2 months!  What a difference it makes to know your choices.

They didn’t realize it while they were younger, but they were making choices constantly.  They put their time and focus on their child.  They spent extra money on the kid’s sports and spent a little too much on her college too.  They didn’t know it at the time, but these choices were why they are in the predicament they are in now.  All of us are where we are today because of the choices we made in the past.  No one forced us here, and now it is our choice to see how we want to live going forward.

You can choose to invest your money or keep it in the bank and probably lose money to inflation each year.  You can choose to spend your money on frivolous things now or invest it for your future.  You can buy the higher end car, or put money away for your kids.  It is very tempting to spend it now, it gives us very good BUT quick satisfaction.  It is why it is so important to remember your end goals during your major life decisions.  

Ask yourself will this get me closure or farther away from my goals? 

Happy Decision Making!
Jessica Weaver, CFP®, CDFA™, CFS®
Wealth Advisor

Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James.  Information contained was received from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy is not guaranteed.  Investing always involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss.  No investment strategy can guarantee success. Past performance may not be indicative of future results.

 

 

LET ME INTRODUCE YOU TO A FEW OF MY FRIENDS...WHICH ONE ARE YOU?

5/19/2017

 

 

I would like to introduce you to a few of my friends.   They are a bunch of interesting characters who potentially have one thing in common…one of them could be YOU!

Don’t get nervous, we all can have traits of one or a bunch of them, but as you read through them, think about which one you may relate to the most.  Does anyone resonate with your personality, even if you don’t want to admit it!  Before I get the introductions on the way, let me give you some background.  Our team deals with hundreds of households, couples, and individuals, and this means we have hundreds of different personalities we work with.  I started noticing some common traits especially after interviewing hundreds of women for my book, Strong Woman Stronger Assets.  Because of these common characteristics, I’ve put together 5 different friends for you to meet. 

And without further ado meet:

Irrational Irwin: Irrational Irwin is an overly emotional investor, who thinks whenever the market or his accounts go down, it is a direct ATTACK on him.  Because of these emotions, he will always sell at the bottom and buy at the top.  Irwin is always afraid he will lose all his money while also being concerned he will miss out on all the stock market returns.  These irrational and emotional concerns make him bounce in and out of the markets constantly.  Every investor has emotions, and most of those who reach their financial goals, tend to keep their emotions at bay when making decisions with their money. 

Aggressive Amy: For Aggressive Amy there is NEVER have enough risk in her appetite or portfolio.  She will lose thousands of dollars and still be ready for more risk.  By risk, I mean investing in high flying stocks such as start-ups, trendy companies, and anything where she can make a quick buck.  These high flying stocks tend to fly high and sink low…very low.  Even after getting it wrong a lot, she will try and try again to invest in the next hot stock or company.  Her concern is actually having to save money instead of her already saved money growing.  She’d rather try to grow her money quickly than try to spend less and save more.  We all need to have a little Amy in us, but to make sure your amount of Amy lines up properly with your risk tolerance and time horizon is critical.  Don’t take on more risk than you can afford to lose.

Hoarder Hanna:  Hoarder Hanna just loves to keep all her money in the bank or under her mattress.  Any type of risk is too much risk in her book, so she’d rather earn nothing or very little on her money than invest it.  She may or may not realize her money is depreciating in value every day, week, and month is sits in cash as inflation eats away at it.  Her $100,000 in the bank will be worth a lot less in 20 or 30 years.  If inflation is 3%, that $100,000 in 30 years will ONLY be worth $41,340.  Remember we do need to keep some money in the bank in case of an emergency expense, but remember your financial goals and see if keeping anything more in the bank is worth the possible depreciation.  Her main concern is never having enough money, that she will have to move back in with mom and dad or be stuck at a job she hates.  She is hoarding because she thinks it increase her chances of financial security, but in the end it might lead to more concerns and challenges.

Do-It-Yourself Dominic:  Do-It-Yourself Dominic thinks he is quite the expert on his finances, the markets, and everything in general.  Dominic tends to think his performance is better than it actually is, and will never admit it when he is wrong or needs help.  Sorry to the male race, but Dominics usually are men.  Why do some men find it so hard to ask for help?  Anyway, Dominic has been managing his money “just fine” over the years, and is ready to tackle his next goal such as retirement.  Once he gets a few questions answered, he can continue monitoring his accounts and spitting out advice to anyone who will listen.  While I think it is great to take an active role with your money and investments, it is still important to know when to seek professional advice.  So be hands on, while knowing when to admit you need HELP!  Dominic is too proud to admit he is wrong or hasn’t been investing well for so many years, that he is afraid to get a professional opinion.  It might seem to counter his know it all attitude, but it is really masking his greatest fear of all…that he has failed.

Oblivious Oscar: Oblivious Oscar never quite knows what is going on.  BUT he also doesn’t really care to know.  He will poke his head out every few years to check in, see how his accounts are doing, and then go back to his resting place.  Oscar’s absent mind usually has to do with his fear of dealing with reality.  It is too painful to see where he stands with his money, so he’d rather put it off for another time.  He will really go MIA when times are tough, and will check in when there is something for him to celebrate and brag about.  While I don’t recommend leaving your finances untouched or avoided for years, some people will look every day.  Looking on a daily basis can make anyone go crazy, so bring some Oscar into your life if you find yourself obsessed with what the markets are doing.  Trust me, the markets don’t check up on you that often nor do they care about you!

You might think you are one of them or a few of them put together, but as our lives change, we might also change which one we relate to.  Here is an example, if you are nearing retirement you might go from Oblivious Oscar to Hoarder Hanna because you are more concerned about having enough money than ever before.  If you are in college, you might be a Hoarder Hanna, but as you get out and start earning money, you might become Aggressive Amy. 

he key to this exercise is to not only identify which one you most relate to, but what is the underlying trait tying you to them?  At first you might think you are a Hoarder Hanna because you love keeping a ton of money in the bank, but it is deeper than that.  Why do you keep so much money in the bank?  Is it because you are afraid of losing it?  Are you afraid you will never have enough of it and have to move back in with your parents?  Are you concerned that you won’t reach your financial goals?

I hope you got some enjoyment from these characters I’ve created while also opening your eyes up to the different underlying feelings and concerns you may have with money.  There will be a quiz to follow to help you identify which traits you may have of each of my friends so stay tuned!

To pre-order my book: Strong Woman Stronger Assets, click below!

Strong Woman Stronger Assets


Happy Investing!
Jessica Weaver, CFP®, CDFA™, CFS®


The hypothetical characters presented above are for illustration purposes only and do not represent any actual investor. Any opinions are those of Jessica Weaver and not necessarily those of Raymond James.