A New Year, An Old Way
2018 is fast approaching. There are a multitude of articles, blogs, and tweets being published listing the “top 5” things to do to improve your life, achieve your dreams and invest successfully in the new year.
Rather than replicating the herd, I thought I would try to give you some food for thought. 2017 has been glorious for about half the country and horrifying for the other half. The amount of vitriol spewed against Americans by their fellow citizens has reached heights I haven’t seen since the Sixties. Yes, I was very young in the Sixties, but that tells you that all this hate is affecting our children. Our children see this all played out on more devices than a black and white television with rabbit ears.
I believe, we as citizens have a responsibility to rise above the acrimony and partake in our society. We have more things in common than our differences. Find a common ground and build from there. Have discussions, not arguments. Use facts, not hyperbole. Don’t belittle, insult or troll. And so, I come to the “Old Way” in the title above: The Golden Rule. Without attempting to proselytize, this simple adage is a means to becoming a more civil society. Treat others like you would like to be treated. It’s as simple as that. If we all acted this way, we would come together as Americans.
Some other things that everyone might benefit from:
Unplug: We are entirely too tied to our smart phones, the internet, and social media. Give yourself a break, disengage and go take a hike with loved ones. Try it for several hours or even a day or weekend. I think we will all be the better for it.
Read a book: Reading is a calming act. I realize not everyone enjoys reading and it is difficult for some. I would challenge you to keep at it. A great long-time friend perseveres even though it’s a chore for him. He reads at a slow rate, but in turn he often gains a deeper insight than I do. For those with a philosophical interest, I highly recommend: How To Be A Stoic by Massimo Pigliucci. For something a little lighter, I recommend the Jack Reacher novels by Lee Child. And for something in my industry, a book I just started: A History of the United States in Five Crashes: Stock Market Meltdowns that Defined a Nation by Scott Nations
Give back: Many of us are in enviable positions. We have housing, savings and families. There are many who don’t. Find a way to make an impact. Give time to volunteer or dig deeper for your favorite charities. A simple way to do this is use the Smile feature on Amazon. You can also add a Chrome extension Smile Always, so when you click an Amazon link it always takes you to your Smile Amazon page.
Now for the professional guidance, check your statements. I can’t tell you how many new clients come to me having never checked their statements. I invariably find either high fees or simple account “maintenance” fees being paid year in and year out. Guess what? You don’t have to pay high fees or account fees to get professional help and great client service.
Finally, check your portfolio allocation. With the market advances this year, your portfolio may be sorely in need of re-balancing. And make sure that the % allocation is still in line with your risk profile.
A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional can help you to develop a financial plan that addresses your future needs.
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Remember, it all starts with a plan.