Financial Guessing

Question MarkMaybe you’ve heard the Churchill quote,

“Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”

Despite all the issues we face in our country, at all levels, I still can’t imagine a better place to call home.

And while I feel like “American Pride” is becoming more and more rare as a nation and among our citizens, I’m proud to be an American.

With this in mind, I hope you and your family have a happy, safe 4th of July holiday this weekend as we celebrate our country’s birthday.

Today, I’d like to talk briefly about financial guessing, which is really what financial planning really boils down to.

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475 Hours

475According to the latest Legg Mason Global Investment Survey, the top 3 concerns shared by affluent U.S. investors are:

  1. Having a catastrophic event (i.e. illness, injury) that uses up my retirement funds
  2. Living longer than my retirement funds last
  3. My income won’t keep up with inflation

These issues were identified as most likely to prevent people from living the lifestyle they want later in life.

Perhaps you share some of these same fears and concerns.

But the result that really caught my attention from this survey is represented by 475 hours.

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Mortgage Math

Mortgage MathOwning a home is widely considered a key component of the “American Dream.”

In fact, I suspect for many, owning a home is the American Dream.

You’ve almost certainly heard or read things like, “why would you throw your money away on rent when you could be building equity in a home?”

And then there are people like James Altucher who claims he’ll never own another home again. I enjoy reading Altucher’s writing even though I don’t always agree with him.

Regardless of which side of this often-polarizing issue you fall on, very few people can pay cash for a home. Especially their first home.

So you borrow.

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The Complete Guide To Identity Theft Protection

Lock

Photo Credit: vlc3k via Compfight cc

If you don’t have a personal identity theft protection plan in place, internet hackers, data thieves, and other vicious-minded people can obtain your personal information easily by various means and can gain access to your financial information. Once the cat is out of the bag, anything can happen. Both online and offline, these individuals can utilize technological means to garner your financial information, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage. Often, this theft occurs via credit-card or debit-card swaps or with technological manipulation.

As more people turn to online systems for credit transfers, online banking, and shopping, they also face the risk of exposing their financial information. Often, people fail to secure their information because they are too busy with other daily tasks. However, sometimes recklessness in financial matters can lead to significant financial difficulty. Because your identity is linked closely with your financial information, implementing strong checks on information related to your identity can also secure your financial information.

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Every Dream Has A Price

Wall Street MovieI’m not sure where you were in December, 1987, but I was an Oconee County Warrior (in high school in Watkinsville, GA).

December, 1987, marked the release of Oliver Stone’s Wall Street.

I don’t remember exactly, but I’m pretty sure the first time I watched this movie was probably eight or ten years later.

I’m pleased to report I was no longer in high school by the time late 90s rolled around. Instead, by that time, I’d made it through high school and college, got a job as a broker at Merrill Lynch and gotten married.

Knowing what I know now about the financial services industry, I see some flaws in the movie, but I still found it entertaining. Plus, I’m not a movie critic.

Even if you haven’t seen the movie, I’m guessing you’re familiar with it. Michael Douglas won a best actor Oscar for his portrayal of Gordon Gekko, most famously remembered for his line, “Greed is good.”

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