Creating Financial Plans

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How to Make a Good Plan

Submitted by Joseph A. Clark on Friday, November 14, 2014 - 12:00pm

What’s the primary reason to invest in stocks and bond? To build assets for your retirement. For some, that may be a long way away, so they focus on more short-term needs. That’s a mistake. You need a plan.

Two-thirds of Americans have no financial plan, a Northwestern Mutual survey shows. And of those who do have one, it too often is flimsy.

The Best Money Mindset

Submitted by Rick Kahler on Thursday, November 13, 2014 - 3:00pm

Do you want to more easily change your over-spending behavior? According to some new research, maybe all you need is to count your life’s blessings. A mindset of gratitude gives people the patience to handle money better.

Invest Everything at Once?

Submitted by Dan Crimmins on Tuesday, November 4, 2014 - 12:00pm

The market skyrockets one day, plunges the next. Is this the wobbling before the crash? Should you invest now? If so, how? Everything at once? That’s tempting, but not always wise.

A common question we received over the last several months from people like you: “Is it too late to invest in the stock market?”

Many people maintained large cash positions since the Great Recession ended in early 2009. These people watched the Standard & Poor’s 500 index rise from 677 to around 2,000.

Getting Professional Advice

Submitted by Jeff Rose on Thursday, October 30, 2014 - 3:00pm

We’ve all been there: whenever you have a question, you Google it. But when it comes to your finances, don’t rely on the Internet. There’s so much going on in a person’s life that is unique to him or her. The advice that applies to others doesn’t apply to you.

Consider this question a woman asked me:

Invest Like a Girl

Submitted by Maureen Crimmins on Monday, October 27, 2014 - 3:00pm

Patience is a virtue. When it comes to investing, that’s why women often do better than men.

My household is filled with girls. When raising them, my husband and I always tell them that their gender does not limit them. They can do anything they choose; that means playing softball and soccer, dancing, shoveling in the winter and landscaping in the spring. If you still think doing something “like a girl” is a bad thing, watch this latest ad by Always.

Money Lessons From Baseball

Submitted by Gary Brooks on Thursday, October 16, 2014 - 9:00am

As you cheer your team in this year’s World Series, consider that America’s favorite pastime can teach you a lot about America’s main preoccupation: money.

How does baseball resemble your investing or financial decisions?

1.      Probability of outcomes matters, whether concerning stolen bases or investment returns and financial goals.

2.      Separating a manager’s skill and luck takes a long time.

3.      A quality process matters more than immediate or short-term outcomes.

Stewardship and Your Money

Submitted by Eric Ross on Monday, October 20, 2014 - 12:00pm

What traits of the wealthy make them good at managing money? That question assumes a direct correlation between your wealth and your skill at managing that wealth. Wrong idea.

Better to ask, “What are the traits of someone who is a good steward of wealth?”

Getting Free Advisor Help

Submitted by Cherice Chen on Thursday, October 2, 2014 - 3:00pm

Financial advisors are not just for the wealthy. If anything, the financially insecure need advisors more. If you can’t afford one, the good news is, free advisory services exist to help you stand on your feet.

“We do tons of planning for people with very limited assets,” said Anthony Canale, president of the Financial Planning Association, New York Chapter, during a panel discussion.