On this episode, we’re jumping into the March Madness spirit by seeding some of your biggest financial life decisions. We have weeded through all the challenging financial decisions that you will come across in life and ranked the top 8. By carefully choosing how you decide these 8 factors you could change the trajectory of your potential to build wealth over your lifetime. These decisions can make differences in the millions of dollars! Problem is, you don’t get a lot of practice at many of these decisions, making most of them only a few times over your life. So listen in, to hear a few ideas on many of these decisions that you’ve already, are currently or plan to make.
Number eight on the list affects everyone differently since the type of car you drive says a lot about the type of person you are. With the average cost of a car at $31,000, this is the second largest purchase that most people make. What does the type of car you drive say about you? Spend some time carefully deciding what to drive, how often to replace your vehicle and whether to lease or buy. Number 7 is a costly choice, but it is a gamble that can bring the ultimate return on investment. You’ll want to listen in to hear how to bring about the best return on this important family investment.
How much and how you borrow money over your lifetime will have a lasting effect on your ability to create wealth. How you get a loan, how much can you afford, and what the overall cost of the loan are all critical factors when borrowing money. You’ll also want to be able to decipher between what is good and bad debt? How much debt to take on is an important factor when trying to build wealth over a lifetime. Everyone has a different opinion about debt, listen to this episode to hear ours and to learn how debt can affect your financial stability.
Buying a home is laden with emotional influences that can hijack your rational decision making. When you buy a home, you’re not just purchasing a house so what are all the factors you should consider? What part of the country you live in can drastically affect how much you may spend on a home. Even further, choosing a neighborhood will have a larger impact than you may initially think. Choosing some neighborhoods could leave you feeling he pressure to keep up with the Joneses. This is where it’s important to remember that the less house you buy, the more disposable income you will have to spend on your hobbies, your family, and your savings. Listen to this episode to hear all the considerations that you need to think about when purchasing a home.
The fourth item in our top eight ranking is how you choose to save your money. Many of today’s headlines are ripe with reasons to not invest in stocks, nine years in to a bull market. But investing in stocks is an important way to build wealth over a lifetime. Having a diversified portfolio increases the cumulative returns that you will see over time. So why do so many struggle to maintain an appropriate allocation to stocks? Many understand that investing early in your life can more than double your investment returns over a lifetime. But our emotions often have different plans when tough times surface. Listen to this episode to hear how important stock returns are to your wealth accumulation. I’m sure you’re wondering what our top 3 picks are, but you’ll have to listen in to find out!
When it comes to investments, too many people take a haphazard approach when what they need is an investment decision process that makes the most of a number of different available resources. This episode of the podcast is aimed at helping you understand what goes into a good investment decision process and how the team at Financial Symmetry approaches investments for its clients. Chad and Mike discuss market indicators and how they impact a good investing strategy, how consumer sentiment figures in, and why it's important to make use of the technical data available. You're going to get an inside look into the way the Financial Symmetry team helps their clients make the best investment decisions possible.
Too often, individuals make their financial planning decisions based only on what looks attractive in the moment. The fear of missing out is real. But there are many resources and data points available that take historical trends and other factors into consideration in a way that could enable your investment decision process to be much more helpful. One of the points that Chad and Mike make in this episode is that a good investment decision process can help you avoid the big mistakes that will sink your long-term strategy. It's those spontaneous decisions based on what looks hot at the moment that we're talking about, so make sure you listen and learn what you can do to avoid those kinds of pitfalls.
One of the things that should be a part of every investment decision process in consideration of short-term market indicators. What are they? They are the things we can see at the present moment that give us clues as to where the economy might be headed. For example: Are we coming out of or going into a recession? What is the current consumer sentiment about the economy? Are there technical trends and stats that inform us of what may be coming? These are things the average person doesn't take time to look into or consider but are vital components of the investment strategy that the Financial Symmetry team brings to bear on its client's investment decisions. You can hear the unique approach that the team takes, on this episode.
On many of the talk news programs and in some of the high-profile financial publications you hear talk about warning signs that the economy may be about to go down the tubes. Of course, they could be right with their predictions but making decisions based on fear is one of the weakest options for the smart investor. It's easy to sell fear, but it's not always the best way to determine how to invest your hard-earned money. In this episode of the podcast, Mike and Chad discuss why fear is not the best motivator for good financial decisions and how you can take a different approach that enables you to create a long-term strategy that actually works.
Even though this episode is focused on making the best investment decisions possible through a good investment decision process, that process and strategy won't do you much good if the rest of your financial life is a mess. What are those areas? - Do you have enough life insurance? How are you spending compared to the spending plan you've made? Do you have an adequate estate plan in place? Are you being tax-efficient? These are only some of the fundamental questions you need to address before you get too involved in making a long-term investment strategy. If you don't, you can wind up wasting a lot of time with no benefit to show for it.
CHART TO GO INTO SHOW NOTES?
Studies show that most women don't think of themselves as having financial savvy. Honestly, it's a very sad situation but one that is improving as years go by. In this conversation, you will hear some of the latest statistics about the improving state of women's finances, the causes behind these improvements, and what any woman can do to grow to be savvier when it comes to financial planning. But the Financial Symmetry team isn't going to stop there. Allison Berger and Grace Kvantas present their Top 10 Financial Tips For Women and explain why each one is important.
If there are women listening who have a goal to increase their financial savvy, this is the episode they should listen to.
It's not an exaggeration at all to say that women face unique challenges when it comes to building wealth and managing their finances in a way that leads toward a secure retirement. In this conversation, Allison and Grace highlight 3 challenges women face that men do not. First, nationwide, women tend to be paid less than men. Second, women tend to live longer which means the finances needed over their lifetime and retirement is greater than that of men. Third, women have the opportunity to become mothers, which means time out of the workforce that men don't experience. Don't miss this insightful episode that highlights how women can address the challenges effectively and increase their financial savvy.
We are coming out of a cultural period when women were not typically encouraged or expected to be very savvy when it comes to finances. That leftover mindset has caused many women to feel overwhelmed at the thought of understanding or managing finances which in turn, causes analysis paralysis to set in. But the good news is that women don't have to be paralyzed with overwhelming fear when it comes to building wealth and planning for a secure future. This episode highlights 10 of the first steps women can take to grow their financial knowledge, so be sure you take the time to listen.
Many women struggle with guilt regarding finances: “If I have less, someone else will have more.” The reality is that the opposite is almost always true. In general, women tend to be empathetic and helpful toward the people in their lives. That wonderful trait can take a bad turn though when it causes them to believe that making a meager living will enable someone else to have more. That is an entirely false belief in light of the facts. Building wealth for yourself and your family enables you to have the resources to be a benefit to the people who truly have needs. Being wealthy doesn't take from others, it enables you to be a blessing. Find out more about this backward mindset and how to reverse it, on this episode.
Knowing what your earning and spending allows for more control. It's one of the basic principles of budgeting and money-management but many women are not diligent about doing it: Track your cash flow. You can't grow to be savvy when managing your finances if you don't know what is coming in and what is going out. In this conversation, Allison and Grace provide a number of financial tips for women in hopes that the things that keep them from being confident about building wealth and a secure future can be overcome through practical steps that anyone can accomplish. You will enjoy the practical and common sense approach they take on this episode.
Checklists make life easier. Research has demonstrated the value of checklists in all industries from medicine to construction. Often our financial to-do lists are scattered tasks we think about often but struggle to complete due to the multiple steps involved. Most of us start the year with hope that this year will be different from this perspective. How much easier could tackling these tasks be if we had a checklist to follow?
In this episode, we’ve compiled 12 steps to make sure you are starting the year on the right foot. We also discuss how powerful these things can be longer-term due to the value of compounding. Albert Einstein knew this, calling compound interest the eigth wonder of the world. But how much does compounding matter in other financial areas outside of strictly math. Tune in to assure you have worked through this checklist, and if not, find ways to get help.
Check out the detailed show notes here: https://wp.me/p6NrVS-2UR
As we approach year end, we now have the first major tax overhaul in over 30 years, which became effective January 1, 2018. As financial planners, we are focusing a great deal of our attention on the changes that are coming and how they are going to affect each of our clients in the coming years. The reform creates new opportunities for some, and closes the door on others. So, what are the major changes that are coming and how do they affect you? Join us in this episode as we discuss the biggest likely impacts that will influence your personal situation.
Some of the biggest changes are in these areas:
Read more detail in the show notes here: https://wp.me/p6NrVS-2UU
We read, write and talk a lot about better ways to build wealth, and after reading Dr. Daniel Crosby's latest book, The Laws of Wealth, we wanted to dive deeper on his 10 rules of wealth building. Daniel does a great job of weaving relevant stories in to topics that often can be overly complicated.
In this episode, we walk through our favorite rules along with steps you can take to put these rules in to practice in your own life. Daniel's examples of why so many of us are overconfident will provide a laugh along with some head-nodding. This discussion will help you take a step back and evaluate potential flaws in your current wealth building journey. Understanding why we have trouble doing this on our own could be the best Christmas gift you receive this year.
One of the most asked questions we receive centers around the HSA. It's also one of the largest missed opportunities for tax savings we see people are missing, if they are eligible. Health Savings Accounts, known also as HSA, are gaining more and more popularity. But there is still a lot of confusion on how this account is different.
Join us this week, as we break down the ins and outs of all you need to know about how an HSA can benefit you and your family. We address why so many are still not using these accounts to their full capacity. Also, we break down how the HSA provides triple tax savings, or the hat trick as Mike likes to call it.
For more, check out show notes here.
Near tax time each year, do you find yourself wondering what other tax strategies you may be missing? Many people have a goal of paying less in taxes but are missing opportunities to be as tax efficient as possible with their entire financial picture. Fact is, there are things you can do between now and the end of the year that could be a nice benefit when filing your tax return this year.
Join us this week, as we are interviewing a seasoned CPA expert on tax strategies people miss. Will Holt has spent 25 years preparing, reviewing and revising tax returns for clients. It was fun picking his brain to tease out seven tips for people to better position their tax situation next year.
What You'll Learn In This Episode
What if you knew the secret to building wealth? For many, asking that question alone is part of the problem. That's because it's less of a secret, and more of a discipline of small habits and behaviors we are programmed to ignore. Whether it's how easy we get distracted or our propensity to keep up with the Joneses, understanding our thought patterns around these topics is informative and can lead to trans-formative long-term behavior change. Join us for this episode, as we discuss the specific researched backed factors it takes for each of us to build wealth. The mindsets, habits and predispositions we all experience that set us up to build (or not build) our wealth. You'll also hear Chad and Mike's surprise, as they reveal each others results to a Building Wealth assessment they took.
Find out more and discover links mentioned in the show here: http://bit.ly/2lWyxn5
Did you realize that we are hardwired to make irrational financial choices? The incentives to spend now vs. save are difficult to overcome on our own.
On this episode, we break down six key behavioral biases we all share at some point around our finances. The good news is that human accountability and automated savings programs can go a long way to fight against these instinctual biases.
So join us as we celebrate the recognition of Dr. Richard Thaler winning the Nobel Prize in Economics for his Behavioral Economics research and what it means to your financial situation.
Find out more and discover links mentioned in the show here: http://bit.ly/2zvzyVe
Interest remains high of how to protect yourself after the Equifax Credit scandal. The good news is there are steps to take to mitigate your risks to guard your credit reputation. The bad news is that similar breaches have happened before and will happen again.
Listen this week as Chad and Mike discuss ways thieves will try and take advantage and the details on steps you can take to decrease your risk of having your credit compromised.
For many, the open enrollment period is just another email you quickly delete thinking nothing has really changed since last year. But this passive approach can be extremely costly if new benefits are being offered or life changes you forget about throughout the year may have happened. On this episode we share some of our unique perspectives given how many different employee benefit packages we see regularly. We also reveal some of the more unique benefits companies are now offering that could be a nice benefit for you this fall. Find out how to assure you are picking the best options for your employee benefits this year.
You can find show notes and more information here: http://bit.ly/2xqX7kR
Picking out a small business retirement plan can be daunting. This is why we see many small business owners, or those with side hustles, not taking advantage of a retirement plan for them or their employees. This is often because they are overwhelmed by the number of plan options, plan administration requirements, fiduciary responsibilities or they think they are too expensive. On this episode we share some insights to potential options that are not as complicated or as expensive as you might think. Making this decision could put you on the fast track to significant tax savings while also saving more for your retirement goals.
You can find show notes and more information here: http://bit.ly/2xqX7kR
Once you hit your 40s, it becomes more important than ever to evaluate your financial plan and fill in any gaps in your future. Many of the planning tasks can be tedious or seem unimportant now, but you will thank yourself later when you look back on your conscious and careful financial decisions. Life throws a lot of curveballs and it’s easy to get busy and forget to keep your plan up to date. But taking time to get your ducks in a row will save you a lot of stress later on.
You can find show notes and more information here: http://bit.ly/2vdPDBd
It doesn’t get much more stressful than preparing your child for college. From the testing and forms to the outrageous tuition prices, the process can truly be a nightmare without the right strategy. Cozy Whittman from College Inside Track joins us on the show today to share some really valuable information that could save your family tens of thousands of dollars over the course of the college process.
You can find show notes and more information here: http://bit.ly/2wMLyAp
You know those things you know you should do - eat healthy, work out every day, sleep eight hours - but struggle to get done? We all do it, and skipping over financially healthy habits is another common way to cut corners.
Overlooking seemingly small aspects of your financial life now is just like skipping floss or skimping on sleep - they don't have a huge impact immediately, but can really affect you down the road. Tuning up your financial habits is a good way to keep yourself in good shape for the long run.
On another note, we'd love to see and hear how you're listening to the podcast. Walking the dog? On your commute? Let us know!
You can find show notes and more information here: http://bit.ly/2vekwVO
There’s always more to learn when it comes to the world of finance. A great way to squeeze in some extra know-how this summer is through reading. So on this episode, we have a list of 13 great titles that you may want to add to your reading list, no matter where you are financially or what interests you have.
You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2ukGIgu
When was the last time you asked yourself: what purchases have I made in the last month that really made me happy? It might sound like a silly question, but as we'll reveal in this episode, the answer is key to making sure you spend money in a way that supports short- and long-term happiness.
In this episode, we're switching it up a bit and giving you a rundown of one of our favorite books: Happy Money: The Science of Happier Spending. Happy Money gives you the tools to spend in ways that can help you build and sustain happiness over a lifetime. And to make it even more fun, we're talking about popular movies that align with each of the book's five principles.
You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2tOcm2r
How you take your retirement pension can be a more consequential decision than many people realize. The debate over whether to take your pension as a lump sum or as monthly payments can be tricky.
On this episode, Chad and Michael share 5 things you should keep in mind when making decisions about your retirement pension. They cover some of the key terms you should know, and point out the importance of finding what age is the breakeven point in your calculations. Inflation is also key to factor into your decision, as well as how your pension will affect your spouse.
You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2sBJw8f
We are so excited to welcome back Cameron Hendricks to the Financial Symmetry Podcast! He is back to discuss the journey of writing a book about financial decisions and how they affect your family dynamics. We chart his growth in thinking about financial planning and helping people achieve their financial goals.
You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2rfNp0z
As with any financial decision, investing in real estate requires a lot of thought and planning. We've pulled together five of the most important things you should consider before you buy any time of investment property, be it residential or commercial.
You should also consider whether you're passionate enough about maintaining property to dedicate significant time and money to the endeavor. Real estate is no small undertaking, but can be fulfilling if you enjoy the process.
You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2q5NC5T
Everyone has a unique road to financial literacy. One common trait we all share is that we hope to pass our wisdom on to the next generation, and that they will learn valuable lessons while they are young. In today’s episode, Chad and Mike share their best tips and tricks for educating your children about money.
You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2oTSL1K
Saving for retirement often feels like the biggest and most-talked about goal of financial planning. And while there's a lot that goes into successful retirement planning - healthcare costs, keeping track of spending, and tax planning - there are some pitfalls that a comprehensive financial plan can help you avoid.
Today we're doing one of our famous Top 10 episodes and counting down the top ten retirement mistakes to avoid. We cover everything from how you should budget your spending, to unanticipated costs, to the tens of thousands you could save with intelligent tax planning.
You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2oypJDI
Today we're talking about one of the larger purchases you might make: buying a car. 90% of consumers say that price is their most important consideration when buying a car, and that negotiating is the most painful part of the process. Big purchases can be stressful and confusing, but there's no reason your financial planner shouldn't be able to make them easier.
We walk step-by-step through the process of buying a car, beginning with determining what you can afford. You'll also have to consider the functionality of your new purchase, and what owning a car really means to you. We also cover the question of buying vs. leasing, and where to go to get independent consumer reports about cars you're considering.
You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2nxfDAj
The word "fiduciary" is being tossed around a lot lately, largely because of the Department of Labor's oncoming regulations. We thought it would be a good idea to talk about what fiduciary advisors don't look like, so you can choose an advisor that always puts your interests first.
First we talk about what fiduciary means and why it only applies to retirement advice. Then we go through a list of five examples of non-fiduciary advice so you'll know it when you see it. We cover the importance of transparency, duty of care, and the difference between suitable and fiduciary advisors.
You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2na4Iif