In the spirit of helping as many people as possible get through these truly trying times, I am volunteering my services in the following way:
Do you know or have you noticed a friend, family member, someone at your work, church or a parent at your kid’s school struggling (perhaps financially or job-wise) during the coronavirus pandemic and the related market turmoil?
In the case that you have, I am offering to get on the phone or a video call with that person or people and start by listening to them. If appropriate, I volunteer (free of charge) to offer advice on the basics of financial planning.
Note: this is NOT an offer of stock ideas and NOT about market timing strategies. Rather, this free advice offer is to share and inform about the critical basics of personal financial management. These basics have never been as important as today – and will continue to be critical to people’s financial survival and that of future generations. Because there WILL be another crisis of unknown timing – crises are part of our lives and our world unfortunately.
Several of the basics sound so simple (or boring) that people skip over them for their entire young adult and adult lives! These include:
- handling debt
- managing a couple’s or family’s most basic finances.
Here is a sample of the basics in more detail:
- How much to set aside in rainy day or emergency fund?
- How to come up with a “smart” or adequate amount of monthly or weekly savings? (fantastic to start young on this one)
- How much to spend on rent or mortgage as a percent of income?
- What results* to expect when starting a “savings bucket” or investment portfolio?
- How many “savings buckets” to create?
- When and how to take on debt (as in borrow money or use credit)?
- How to manage spending on kids and families? (often seemingly impossible)
- Where to start?
For me as a financial adviser the process starts with simply asking, “How are you doing?” or “How are you making it through this very weird time?”
In listening to the answers, I have learned of common struggles and unique challenges. But consider this: just as a software engineer can develop a solution to a complicated problem, or a marketing person crafts an effective messaging strategy, or a doctor diagnoses a cold or more serious illness, or a business-owner solves problems each and every day, as a Certified Financial Planner™ I am trained in certain financial skills to break down financial issues and offer solutions – and encouragement.
A principal part of the mission of the CFP® Board is education. I am as committed as ever to educating people of all ages about financial security and financial independence. Please take me up on this offer or tell someone you care about to call me. All conversations are strictly confidential.
*results in terms of expected timing in years to accomplishing goals.
Thank you for reading, STAY STRONG and enjoy your weekend. And Happy Mother’s Day!!