Hindsight is 2020

Perhaps the perfect way to “look at” 2020 – is in hindsight! Who on earth could have predicted what went down in world and market events in 2020, both bad and good? Who will ever be able to accurately predict markets? And why is this important?

Funny, there will always be those people who seriously believe and will say out loud that:

  • they knew a pandemic would strike,
  • the economy was due to come to a screeching halt,
  • they predicted the timing of the market turnaround,
  • they knew the US Fed would abruptly lower benchmark interest rates back to zero,
  • Etc., etc., etc.
The smartest of the smart recently admitted they could never have predicted the events of 2020 and how they played out in stock, bond, real estate, and commodities markets.

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Thankful vs. Grateful

A good one for Thanksgiving from the Archives of TGIF 2 Minutes….

Bottom line: being Thankful and Grateful are both positive things.

Simply saying “Thank you” out loud is hard to do without smiling either inwardly or outwardly. Try it! But say, “I am grateful for X” whether it is for a person, place, or thing, and it likely brings a deeper feeling. Perhaps that is why in the science of happiness – yes, there is a whole branch of science around happiness – the concept of gratitude is central.

Thankfulness to includes being simply “conscious of benefits received” versus gratefulness which involves a deeper “[appreciation] for benefits received”.
Photo by August de Richelieu on Pexels.com

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Goals Gut Check

From the TGIF 2 Minutes Archives earlier this year PRE-coronavirus…

Earlier this year in February things were GOOD! The economy was cranking, unemployment was low, wages were up, and it was a somewhat perfect time of the year to set goals. Think: it was pre-tax filing time and after the holidays.

Fast forward to today… the world has changed. Our savings have been tapped in the pandemic — and new savings and other goals need to be reset! While the kids may now be going back to school (followed by maybe not??) using this precious time to set just a handful of goals can pay off toward achieving those goals.

silver and gold coins
Give yourself a “Goals Gut Check” with this precious time before things potentially go a little haywire.

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Free Advice Offer

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. Continue reading “Free Advice Offer”

Avoiding the Pain of Aging

It may be impossible to entirely avoid the pain of aging – in the context of you, a family member or both. But wouldn’t it be nice if you could at least lessen the pain and stress?

man and woman sitting on bench in grayscale photography
Knowing what questions to ask and simply where to go to get started in the “home care planning process” can greatly lessen the strains on time AND cost.

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What am I Saving For?

Most people would define their primary savings goal as “retirement.” …Or would they?

Of course, retirement is often a primary long-term savings goal, but not always. The definition of retirement itself has morphed over the recent decade with people living longer lives. “Retirement” encompasses more than simply stopping work and being on a “permanent vacation.”  In fact, recent research published in the Journal of Financial Planning* reports that quitting work cold turkey often is not reality – for a number of reasons.

selective focus photography of person holding the adventure begins mug
There is more to the long-term savings equation that a simple line from Point A (today) to Point B (retirement).

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More on “Free” Trading

Considering last week’s news of “free trading” (Fidelity jumped on board this week) here are two things that are NOT – and unlikely to become – free:

  • Financial Planning advice & guidance
  • Non-proprietary mutual funds trading transactions

Two very different things… but both are consistent with successful long-term financial planning and strategy. There are still far more moving parts to “free trading” so stay tuned.

Free Trade Continue reading “More on “Free” Trading”

The Year Ahead

Where do we stand going into the Year Ahead?

It is always helpful to define where stand today and understand a few points about how we got here. So as a sequel to my last post, here are a handful of data points about today’s economy and market stats from the recent past. Several of these may surprise you.

hand pen writing plant
Photo by Natalie B on Pexels.com

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Straw Hats in Winter

“TGIF 2 Minutes” was never meant to simply report current events. Rather, my intent is to highlight topics in personal finance – or a current topic – that affects your financial life and decision-making. BUT (there is always a “but”) certain pieces of news affect our mindset – both positively and negatively – and if I can comment on how to avoid letting the news sway you too far either way financially-speaking, then I believe it worth commenting!

federal-reserve

ECONOMIC TIMES ARE GOOD! This week the revised U.S. GDP report (the key measure of economic growth) revealed a strong, strong US economy. There is a reason I am mentioning this news as it relates to our mindset for making all sorts of major spending and savings decisions – decisions for us, our families and businesses in the short-term and longer-term.

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What’s Your Financial Life Emoji?

What Emoji are you feeling these days when it comes to your financial life? Recall that an “emoji” is that little character that expresses an emotion using the keys on your computer or phone keyboard. Happiness, joy, confusion or sadness… there’s an emoji for it all. But just because the markets have been mostly joy … :o) … does not mean that your financial life is all joy and satisfaction. :/ (That is the “uncertainty/confused” emoji.)

box cheerful color cute
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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