Computing your net worth annually is like taking a sextant reading to chart your course toward financial security. Net worth gives you a snapshot of how much money would be left if you converted everything you owned into cash and paid off all your debts.
Financial resolutions usually don’t even last until the end of January. Making a permanent change in our behavior requires both time and a steely resolve. We can only develop financial character one action at a time. Here are seven practices to take you from pauper to prince or princess if you add one each year.
The old saying is true: Money can’t buy happiness. Families earning $25,000 a year overspend trying to keep up with those making $50,000, who in turn attempt to live like those making $100,000. For many families the lure of consumerism wins out over qualities like foresight and patience that saving requires.
Someone asked me what disclosures I would require for financial advisors. I’ve written these principles in a yes-or-no format and reworded the questions. “Yes” is the best answer and “no” means you should seek more information or not consider that advisor at all. Although answering affirmatively to all 10 questions would be my first screen in selecting a financial advisor, it still does not guarantee the person has the competence necessary to offer comprehensive wealth management.
Most investors are not aware of a critical division of professionals in the world of financial services. This distinction lies between fee-only fiduciaries who are free to act in your best interests and commission-based agents and brokers who are required to act in the best interest of the companies that employ them.
If you’re like most of today’s college graduates, you may find yourself ill prepared for the real world of financial responsibility. You never saw how your parents lived when they were first married and struggling. Consequently, you may be basing your after-school expectations on an upper-middle-class lifestyle. Here is my financial advice for those of you learning to live on your own.