Monday, August 29, 2011

Financial Tech Pod Cast #9: Tips for a Wild Market


Most of us are involved with the securities markets on some level, for most of us it is simply within a 401(k).

So how can we reconcile the extreme swings in the market with our own personal savings goals?

Ask yourself a few questions:

· How long is my time horizon

· How long can I stomach a depressed portfolio balance

· Can I afford to buy more

So what’s going on? Why is the market so volatile?

So as a 401(k) participant what can you do?

· Revisit your investment allocation

· Evaluate your objectives

· Measure your risk tolerance

· Get professional advise

Thursday, August 25, 2011

How to Spend Extravagantly on the Things You Love

Money is a pretty revealing thing. When you sit down and take a look at the comings and goings of the funds in your checking account you can learn quite a bit about what you value.

Your spending habits don’t lie. When you look at where you spend your resources, the truth is, that you chose to spend there over somewhere else. It’s not good or bad; it just is what it is. It might be subliminal, but I suspect that we often think we were forced to spend money on things. But in fact, it is a conscious choice every time we pull the debit card out. The strange thing this is that even though we each have a choice, when we preform a self audit on our checking account, what the numbers say we value may not be in fact what we want to value.

So how can I make my bank statement reflect what I value?

Guys, I don’t know about you but I love to be in control of my finances. I feel empowered when I have the ability to make my money work for me instead of me for my money. The honest truth is that sometimes that’s not the case. Sometimes when I look at my bank statement I spent money on things that I honestly do not care about… but you couldn’t tell by just looking at the numbers. 

I have had to change the way I think about taking control. Obviously I have to spend on the essentials. I have to keep a roof over my head, I have to eat, I need transportation to get to work, etc. But after those basics, I have some choices and I want those choices to reflect what I value. Some people might value gym memberships, others might value fine dining, it really could be anything. The point is that everyone has different loves and most people don’t love everything. So spend lavishly on the things you care about and then cut out the things you don’t care about with intensity.

Make your bank statement a reflection of what you love to do. Take control of your finances and make your money work for you.

Friday, August 12, 2011

20 Bucks, Pocket Lint, and a Big Smile

Have you ever found a forgotten 20 dollar bill in your winter coat pocket? How about 5 bucks in your gym bag from several months back? I don’t know about you but this rarely happens to me. However, I can think back to one of the few times it did happen and it makes me smile. Seriously! I am smiling right now while I write this.

It feels like found money!

I like that feeling so much that I have started the practice of creating my own “found money”. I am sure you have heard me talk about one of the best financial decisions I have ever made – the Christmas club account. I think I love this account so much because it feels like found money. I do a simple payroll deduction every two weeks. It’s not big money, only about $40 per pay check, and to be honest I don’t even notice it. But when Christmas rolls around we suddenly have all of the presents covered and even have some funds left over for our travel expenses!

It’s like a pre-paid holiday – I am smiling again just thinking about it!

Here is the deal guys, you can create found money situations all around you. How about a short list of some ideas that you can win at and smile about:

  • Retirement saving
  • Christmas expenses (including travel)
  • Vacations
  • Gifts
  • Insurance premiums
  • Vehicle registration
  • Home repairs
  • Back to school expenses

As you can see the possibilities are endless! I know some of you are already doing this, what are some of the expenses you set aside for? Please share!

You know what else makes me smile? A picture of my puppy (see below)

Koki Bear

Friday, August 5, 2011

Podcast #8: Keeping up with the Jones’


Keeping up with Jones’… Are you sure that’s what you want?

Check out this great article:

Why do we find the need to compare ourselves to our neighbors?

  • · A big part of our culture is based on competition
  • · We have an inherent need to further ourselves
  • · If you are not careful it feeds the “rat race” and leads to a dissatisfied life

We tend to overestimate other people’s financial positions

  • · We exaggerate there income
  • · We minimize their spending habits
  • · We assume they are better than we are

What is the secret to finding satisfaction within your means?

  • · Become a realist
  • · Start a conversation with your family, or if you are brave, with your friends
  • · Set some goals
  • · Save first, then spend.

Check out some of the statistics you can find on on-line communities like, but remember you don’t want to be average! Consider checking out some of my favorite blogs such as:  – Great book called “Stop Acting Rich: And Start Living like a Real Millionaire”