Creating Financial Plans

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:

That New Year’s Resolution

Did you make a New Year’s resolution earlier this month? The smartest one is to get your finances in order. Here is a framework for making that resolution stick.

Handling a Big Inheritance

You dream of your long-forgotten rich uncle dying and leaving you a fortune. What if you really do get a lucrative windfall? Realize that it can easily slip away. How do you stop that from happening?

The 1% Savings Secret

Your salary grows every year – presumably – and so should your savings, if even in tiny amounts. Here’s how it all adds up.

Personal finance writing uses 1% a lot lately – either as the figure to annually increase your savings or as the select slice of the population the financially aspiring want to join. Can consistently saving 1% more each year help you gain entry into the top 1% we heard much about over the past few years?

Nobel-Winning Investing

Recently the Nobel Prize committee awarded three economists who have different points of view and who themselves chuckled at their shared winning. Here’s what you can learn from each.


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