Monday, April 2, 2012

Financial Tech Podcast 12: Investing 101, BrightScope, Money Desktop


What’s the latest happenings for Guide Rock and GFCU?

We have a learning series

                March 30th is our 3 class of 10

                Investment focused – entry level

                Tackle one topic each session

                Focus on an environment where questions are encouraged

You are welcome to come, just rsvp to so I know how many bagels to buy!


How do you know if an advisor or if a 401(k) plan is what they say they are?

You can look on the sec… but that is kind of cumbersome.

You can just trust that they are telling the truth.

Or there are a few companies that are emerging and trying to cast some clearer light on the issue

BrightScope is one of these – They rate 401(k), Give information on Advisors and firms

Another level of transparency

Free to consumers

Money Desk Top

New in April for our members

Cloud based financial account aggregator and budgeting tool

Integrates with GFCU and our on-line banking system

Neat new alternative others such as

Jim’s Twitter:!/jcollison

Andrew’s Twitter:!/AndrewDHunt

Andrew’s Blog:

Contact the show at

Find this and other great Podcasts from the Average Guy Network at

Visit the new Facebook page for the The Average Guy Network

Intro and Exit Music from “Motion” by Adelaide.  Hear more great tunes at

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Conversation You Need with Aging Parents

talkingwithfriendsDan Taylor faced a precarious situation after his father suffered from a stroke at age 72 and couldn’t live alone. Dan was responsible for looking after him and had no idea how to proceed. He was overwhelmed by the plethora of options and was determined to find a place where his father “would be treated with dignity and respect.”

His experience inspired him to write The Parent Care Conversation, a book that helps parents and their children converse meaningfully about long-term care issues they may face in the future. It includes strategies for handling six key challenges one must confront when dealing with aging parents: money, property, house, professional care, legacy, and the “Big Picture.”

Taylor notes the house conversation can be extremely emotional. The objective is to get a fix on how your parents feel about their ability to keep living where they are now. For example, is their home already a physical or financial burden? Do they see it becoming one?

If so, what is the preferred next step? Staying, but with help, or selling and moving? And, if the latter, to where: a smaller home, retirement community, or perhaps an assisted-living facility?

The property conversation, which deals with personal possessions, also poses interesting choices and boils down to these three: Make a will or create a trust for disposing of the property after they’re gone; start giving it away now; or do nothing.

Most people resort to the third choice. “As parents, doing something — whether it is choice one or two or a combination of both — is tough physically, mentally, and emotionally. The default option of doing nothing is the easier route for everybody, at least in the short run. But, in the long run, it is the hardest and most painful for all concerned,” says Taylor.

“However extreme or overboard some of their concerns and anxieties may seem to you, don’t minimize or dismiss them. To your parents, these worries are substantial and very real. Your role is to help them transform these challenges into a set of realistic possibilities for achieving a positive experience,” he adds.

This is a book about how to make plans with some of the most important people in your life – your parents. It’s about having the important conversation.

The above material was prepared by Peak Advisor Alliance.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Being Financially Savvy is A Family Business

Like it or not, we’re all involved in running the “family business.” We worry that our parents might outlive their retirement savings. We’re comforted by the thought that family members would probably bail us out if we got into money trouble. We strive to help our children financially, and we’d like to bequeath them at least part of our nest egg.

In short, our family is our asset, liability, and legacy. Now here’s the contention: It’s time to build this notion into the way we manage our money.

Here are just some of the reasons why:

Raising Children: If your children grow up to be financial deadbeats, you may likely rise to the rescue. Indeed, your children could turn out to be your greatest financial liability.

Don’t want your adult children swimming in credit card debt, missing mortgage payments, and constantly asking you for money? Your best bet is to make sure problems never arise by raising money-savvy children.

That’s trickier than it seems. Children grow up spending their parent’s money, so it’s almost inevitable that they will have a skewed financial outlook. After all, for children, all purchases are free, so why should they fret about the price tag or control their desires?

Make your children feel like they’re spending their own money. Give them a candy allowance when they are younger and a clothing allowance when they are teenagers, and insist they live within this budget. This way, instead of you constantly saying “no” to your children, they will learn to say “no” to themselves.

Launching Adults: Once your children get into the work force, you want them to get into the “virtuous financial cycle” where they are steadily building wealth.

They will become able to own their home rather than renting, buy their cars rather than leasing, fully fund their 401(k) plan and their individual retirement accounts each year, and never carry a credit card balance.

The sooner your 20-something children get into this virtuous cycle, the easier it will be for them to meet their goals and less of a financial drain on you. To that end, encourage your children with your words and with your fine example.

A few financial incentives may also help. Tell your adult children if they scrounge together a house payment, you will lock in some additional dollars, or offer to subsidize their 401k contribution at 50 cents on the dollar.

This doesn’t mean you intend to fund their retirement instead of your own, but getting them started as investors sure seems like a smart idea.

The above material was prepared by Peak Advisor Alliance.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Holiday Afterglow

Maybe it’s just me, but just after “the most wonderful time of the year” is my favorite time of year. I love the start of the new year and all of the passion and resolve that it brings. I have been especially busy these first few weeks of January simply because I have soo many new things I am researching and implementing. I have overheard several conversations during the last few days where people are talking about their new fitness goals or new resolutions to make positive impacts on their financial situation – and I have to admit that the latter statement really made my ears perk up.

What is it about the first week of January that makes us feel all warm and inspired? Why do we feel the need to make changes simply because a date changed? I have a theory that I think holds true in my life and maybe for your too:

I crave improvement

I think I might be an improvement addict. It doesn’t matter how marginal the improvement is, I love it. I even love just thinking about it. That might give some of you a little insight to who I am as a person but the truth is there. I think at the end of the day the reason I love the afterglow of the holidays is simply because I can see what we did, measure it, and think about ways to improve next year.

Does that hold true for you? Why do you chose to make resolutions or goals around the first of the year?