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The Formula for Success

The formula for success isn’t rocket surgery – but applying it can be tough. There are ways to make it work for you, as it has for so many!

What Can a Broker Do For You?

You have choices when it comes to investing. You can go directly to a mutual fund company (such as Vanguard or T. Rowe Price) and choose investments yourself, or you can use a fee-only financial advisor to assist you in choosing investments. One of the most common methods is to work with a broker. Brokers are companies like Edward Jones, plus many, many other companies, including insurance company brokerage divisions, banks, and the like. What’s the Difference? You’re probably wondering – what’s the difference between a broker and, for example, a fee-only advisor? You’re right to be confused, because until you start working with one or the other and you know what the difference is, they look pretty much the same from the outside. Here’s the difference: Brokers are salesmen. It is their job to sell you an investment product, and that’s how the broker gets paid. They are required […]

Have Confidence – In Good Times and Bad

Note: this is a re-working of a note I received in email some time ago… it’s not necessarily about money or investing, but rather success in all things. It is particularly applicable to financial matters, I think, as it is critical to maintain confidence in your plans, both in prosperity and adversity. Confidence is one of your most important success ingredients. With it, you can achieve most anything. Without it, there is no psychological pill that can make you succeed. Faith is the ability to believe even when you have no reason to. Faith is necessary sometimes to move forward and do something you don’t know if you can do, or when the world around you is telling you that you cannot. This is also when a trusted guide can be useful to help you figure out what is valid and what is not. Experience gives you the proof you […]

What Is It That You Want To DO?

Having a purpose to aim toward is important in all things that you do…

What to do with an extra 1,000 dollars

I occasionally get this question – especially around the time of tax refunds.  When someone comes up with an extra $1,000, they often want to know how to best use that money wisely to help out their overall financial condition. Of course this question has different answers for different situations.  I’ll run through several different sets of conditions that a person might find him or herself in, and some suggestions for how you might use an extra $1,000 to best improve your financial standing.  (It’s important to note that you don’t have to have an extra $1,000 lying around to use this advice – you could have an extra ten or twenty or fifty bucks a week and put it to work with the same principles.)  The point is to find money that isn’t being spent on something critical, and put it to work for you!  Even small steps amount to wonders. […]

The Great Recession – What We Did Right

The “Great Recession” may have not been officially declared over just yet, but things we’re seeing in the financial world are showing that we’re regaining momentum, or at least solid ground in the markets.  We’ve seen the stock market gain more than 60% since the low a year ago, which is remarkable even though we’re still a ways off the peak of 2007. Now is the time to look back and review our actions during this difficult period – review is useful for us to understand what helped us weather the storm and wind up with positive outcomes.  According to some of the things I’ve been seeing and reading, it appears that many folks came through the financial crisis pretty much unscathed. What We Did Right We Didn’t Panic – As in most “crisis” situations, it’s a good thing to maintain calm.  In this specific crisis, we held true and […]