What’s Important NOW?

Lately it seems that reaching Friday is a goal in itself. In markets like these it is not easy to “keep calm and carry on” as if there is nothing different going on. There are, in fact, multiple very different things going on. The coming weeks and months may bring even more different events and uneasiness – with a bit of good mixed in.

So, then the question becomes, What is important NOW? It may be tempting to answer:

  • Federal Reserve policy on interest rates
  • the coming November elections
  • mortgage rates
  • the level of inflation
  • energy prices
  • the US and world economies.
Photo by Kathy Jones on Pexels.com

Continue reading “What’s Important NOW?”

End of an Era?

Just as this week’s TGIF 2 Minutes goes to press, the news of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, the longest reigning monarch in British history, is hitting the airwaves. God bless the royal family in their mourning of an amazing woman!

The “end of an era” closer to home is the end of 3% 30-year mortgage rates. Does this mean it is time to put off a home purchase? The simple answer is NO. The longer answer is, NO, IF. The “if” stands for:

Today’s 5%+ mortgage rates are more normal and reasonable in the longer-term picture than the media is making them out to be.

Continue reading “End of an Era?”

The New Car Conundrum

Shorter post today – the summer weather is HOT! And car purchasing decisions can make a person sweat, or not.

Last July, yours truly bought a new car – after 16 years driving the same fully-paid for car. The old car was purchased as a certified pre-owned (back when CPO saved tens of thousands of dollars); the new car purchase last year was a brand-new car from a dealership. There were “those people” who commented, “Why buy a car now (last July) amidst high prices for new and used cars? Why not wait for prices to come down?” There were valid reasons to ask those questions. But looking back, the decision was a wise one and has stood up amidst full-on, continuing high inflation.

When the time comes to replace an older vehicle, even inflation may not hold up as the most valid reason to delay the purchase.

Continue reading “The New Car Conundrum”

Can Walking Make Us Richer?

Long walks and successful long term financial & life goal setting go hand in hand. Lots of people have zero interest in long walks but even a walk to the mailbox can turn into a long walk – so stay with me here. A recent, rather long walk on the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain (pictured) taught me life-changing lessons about goal setting. Namely,

  • There is no truly right or wrong way to formulate financial or life goals. Yes, goal setting is easier when pen & paper are involved, but the process is more about quality of thought (meaning being honest and open with oneself) than any set of “rules.”
  • There need not be a rush to set financial, business or life goals. Although starting sooner rather than later can help – and momentum will develop on its own. The list of goals may then turn out longer and more exciting than ever imagined! (Dreams can become goals too.)
  • Accomplishing goals in a quality way becomes a series of decisions made along the way – seemingly small decisions and larger, more serious-feeling decisions.
A walk, short or long, can give space for free thought by separating us from the stress of beeping appliances, phones, laptops – even briefly from bosses and colleagues.

Continue reading “Can Walking Make Us Richer?”

Looking Back On… Money & Therapy

Money and Therapy: two things that people may love or hate thinking about. However, among other things in life, money and therapy help. 

About five years ago I read a must-read book for young and old, wealthy, or building wealth, married or single. Anyone who wants to have a “life” someday… or even have a life NOW. The book is called The Number* and was written by Lee Eisenberg nearly 15 years ago but reads like he wrote it yesterday.

Here are several of the chapters:

  • “Welcome To Numberland”
  • “Debt Warp”
  • “Alone At Sea”
  • “Covering Your Assets” (nice play on words)
  • “Night Sweats”
  • “Deep Breathing”
  • “Bottom Lines”

All of these topics could be covered in conversations with friends, or by reading The Number, explored in a therapy session… or all 3! I recommend all three (and the therapy session could be with your financial adviser – because a real financial adviser makes this conversation mandatory.)

Continue reading “Looking Back On… Money & Therapy”

Murphy’s Law & YOLO Can Be Expensive

One of the most critical factors of long-term personal financial success is… guess:

  • The markets
  • Spending
  • Interest rates
  • Stock selection
  • Income level

And the answer is…. SPENDING. This fact is why a truly competent financial planner will spend the most time on discussing spending, both today and future projected, along with GOALS. (Goals are what people spend money on.)

Holding an amount of cash – un-invested cash savings – is key to surviving Murphy’s Law events.

Continue reading “Murphy’s Law & YOLO Can Be Expensive”

Money, Therapy & 20 Years Later

From the Archives of 2016 with excerpts and updates to “The Coronavirus Life Experience” version of this edition (February 2021) plus a closing message.

Money and Therapy. Two things that people may love or hate. However, among other things, both money and therapy can help. 

From the must-read book for people of all ages The Number* was written by Lee Eisenberg, long time editor-in-chief of Esquire magazine.

Continue reading “Money, Therapy & 20 Years Later”

Getting a Dog

“Man’s (or Woman’s) Best Friend”. At a time when true friends have proven to be more valuable than ever, it seems that getting a dog is something that a good number of people and families did during the past year of “stay at home.” Dogs, in many cases, brought true happiness to an overall terrible situation. Similarly, long-time dog lovers seem to agree: “if you want a friend, get a dog.” The benefits range from personal happiness to family happiness… with a good deal of responsibility mixed in.

The benefits of owning a pet range from personal happiness to family happiness… with a good deal of responsibility mixed in.

Continue reading “Getting a Dog”

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

Continue reading “Thankful vs. Grateful”

What the Markets Are Telling Us

The markets are telling us that the Coronavirus situation and the aftermath of an economic slowdown is likely not going away any time soon. The evidence is in the “indiscriminate selling” of nearly every asset class:

unnamed
Data of the history of major market declines since 1926 – and their 1, 3 and 5-year aftermaths on average.*

Continue reading “What the Markets Are Telling Us”