Creating Financial Plans

Inheritance for the Kids? Why?

A survey done by the financial services company HBSC finds that only 59% of U.S. parents intend to leave their children an inheritance, the lowest of the 15 nations studied. The fact the U.S. is last came as no surprise to me. What did surprise me was that 59% seemed high.

Sochi and Retirement Plans

To listen to me commenting on the Olympic figure skating in Sochi, you’d think I was an expert. But I know very little about it. Tragically, too many investors make decisions whose basis is as thin as my knowledge of skating.

As we watched the Winter Olympics skating competition on TV, I pointed out to my wife a Salchow jump and then a death spiral. She looked at me with surprise and marveled at how much I knew about the sport.

A Simple Way to Set Goals

Setting goals for a new year can feel overwhelming.  We all know that resolutions don’t last, but we also feel the energy that comes with a new year of possibilities.  Here’s a clearer path for setting and reaching your goals.

I love complex processes. Intricacies of a large spreadsheet really get my brain going and I can spend lots of time deeply analyzing financial questions.

What Forecasts to Believe

Market and economic forecasts for 2014 abound throughout the financial news media, especially cable shows. Take them with a ton of salt. Even someone who makes a great call once is unlikely to repeat that feat. Several one-hit wonder pundits showed us that. Better ways exist to direct your investing.

There is only one forecast that is guaranteed to be accurate.

Back to Basics Investing

If you follow financial news, you hear a lot of ideas about strategies to strike it rich. Some advice: Don’t listen. Every once in a while it’s important to go back to basics when evaluating how you manage your money.

There is an investment strategy out there for just about everyone, whether you want to be aggressive or preserve your capital long-term. What is often too easy is getting bogged down in the Investing section of a Barnes & Noble bookstore, looking at all the books promising to make you rich in five easy steps.

Get Financially Organized

You need to get financially organized for 2014. Here’s how.

Many people remain unsure where to start with their finances. Kick off with this printable financial checklist with actionable strategies, boxes to check off and spaces to fill in on your own. Stop stressing about your money and start writing down goals and checking your financial status.

How to Think Long-Term

Thinking – and acting – long-term is not easy. It requires the resolve to be consistent and persistent into the future. More than that, though, it requires that you set the right objectives. What’s the point of expending cost and effort if the objective is ill-defined or unwise?

Reboot Your Financial Life

Are your finances drowning you? Here’s how to resurface.

Maybe you took out loans you didn’t need, bought crap on your credit card you can’t afford or delayed saving. You’re not the only one. Time to take action.

Recognition factor. Highlight the positive financial aspects of your life by answering the following questions:

The Big Question: Why?

The most important thing you can ask when setting out a financial plan is: “Why?” For what purpose are you building wealth? The answer is far more crucial than how you acquire assets.

Children have a knack for asking a question that gets to the heart of the matter. You tell them what to do, or how to do it, and they look at you wide-eyed and ask, “Why?”

Your response? “Because I said so.” Yes, your cute little why-machine may be exasperating, but you really did not answer the question. Consider the wisdom behind the why?

What’s Your Net Worth?

Your net worth, representing your assets minus any liabilities or debt, measures your financial health. One of the first steps on your path to workable wealth: Calculate your net worth to give you a starting point to look back on in the future.

Maintaining a positive net worth not only keeps you on a positive financial course; it helps you qualify for loans and more attractive credit terms – saving you a lot of money over the long run.

When crunching numbers for your net worth:

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