5 Tips to Jump-Start Your Christmas Savings Now

5 Tips to Jump-Start Your Christmas Savings Now

We’re several days into the month of August, which is a great time to talk about Christmas. Why? Because Christmas is still a few months away, and you can start preparing for it now! Too many people wait until December to buy gifts. With no money saved, they turn to credit cards in a panic and pay for Christmas until April. Not the best approach. It’s much easier to get ready for the yuletide season little by little. You just need to know where to start. Here are five ways you can get a jump on Christmas—in August. 1. Save a Monthly Amount Determine the total you want to spend on Christmas gifts and divide it by four (the number of months left until Christmas). For example, if your budget is $1,000, then save $250 a month for four months. Not only do you enter December with your money ready, but you also have a few weeks to enjoy shopping. 2. Look for Deals Now Wouldn’t it be awesome if you see a bargain this month and you can just snatch it up? That’s what happens when you keep an eye out for possible gifts in August—you can save some serious cash. Laptops, camping gear, luggage, towels and more are on sale in August. Keep your eyes peeled for those deals! 3. Use Your “Under Budget” Cash When you come in under budget on monthly expenses like groceries or clothing, take the difference and stash it away in your Christmas fund. That $20 here or $50 there adds up in a flash, and it gives you one more reason...
Patience can be your ally when it comes to your investment plan.

Patience can be your ally when it comes to your investment plan.

Patience can be your ally when it comes to your investment plan. I wanted to write a quick note, because I understand that with the recent behavior of the stock market, you may be getting concerned and impatient. It’s a natural response. You may be thinking, “What should I do? Should I do something different? Should I get out of the market now?” Don’t panic. Don’t make a rash decision. Take a step back and remember: Our Approach: The plan that we’ve created is for the long-term. We created it based on your unique needs and goals, and with your time horizon in mind. Adjusting a long-term financial plan in response to short-term market movements and headlines can be a costly mistake. Perspective: The market is always going to rise and fall. Short-term stock market fluctuations happen, and they can occur quickly without warning. Long-term is Essential: Don’t let headlines effect your long-term outlook. Your time horizon is measured in years, even decades – not months or days. We should be more concerned with those prices, not todays. While it’s okay to keep up with the news, try to look beyond the moment and keep your long-range goals in mind. As always, if you’d like to discuss your investment goals with me, or if you have any questions about the recent market activity, please call us at 248-528-0485 or send us an email to set up a time to talk. We’re here to serve you and your family.   -Brandon Kennedy...
Should You Pay an Advisor for Investing Advice?

Should You Pay an Advisor for Investing Advice?

Blog Post Originally From DaveRamsey.com Part of Dave Ramsey’s investing philosophy is that you should work with an experienced investing professional to build your retirement nest egg. He knows from experience that you can get a lot of value from the advice and expertise of a trusted pro. But as beneficial as an advisor’s help can be, you should never put up with a “pro” who can’t, or won’t, answer some tough questions. For example, you’ve probably already asked yourself, Why shouldn’t I invest on my own in low-cost mutual funds or exchange-traded funds, get the same returns as the stock market, and skip paying an advisor’s commission? That’s a great question for a smart investor to ask an advisor as well.You deserve to know what you can expect from an investing professional before you decide to spend your hard-earned money paying any fees. But asking the question is just the first step. You’ll also need to know how to judge your advisor’s answer before you place your trust in them. Here’s the kind of honest and detailed response you’re looking for: An Advisor May Cost More Up Front, But . . . A good advisor will understand your concern about expenses. After all, the money you pay them reduces the amount you’re able to invest for your retirement. “In an apples-to-apples comparison, you will pay more by using an advisor,” Clayton Shearer, an investing advisor in Colorado, said. But for this to be a true apples-to-apples comparison, you, as an investor working on your own, would have to choose the same investment as the advisor, make the same...
Your Age, Your Money: How to Spend, Save and Invest Right Now

Your Age, Your Money: How to Spend, Save and Invest Right Now

Blog Post Originally From DaveRamsey.com We say it all the time around here: Anyone can retire a millionaire. It simply takes discipline and attention to a few common-sense concepts like living on a budget, paying down debt, and saving like crazy. But what does that specifically look like in your 20s, 40s or even 60s? Here’s our list of the best money moves to make at every age. And if you feel a little behind in the game, use it as fuel to work harder and smarter to get to where you want to be. It’s never too late. 20s — Build a Solid Foundation Newly married or about to be? Go ahead and get on the same page about money. Good communication now will pay off in spades later. Avoid debt. That means no credit cards, car payments or shopping sprees you can’t afford. If you have student loans, pay them off ASAP! Sallie Mae is not your Bestie. Buy good medical insurance. A single hospital stay can bankrupt you in a heartbeat.   30s — Shift to a Family Focus If you’re having kids soon, rework your budget for diapers, daycare, cribs and car seats. You’ll have a little less money, but you’ll have a whole lot more love. Buy enough term life insurance to cover your family should anything happen to you or your spouse. We recommend getting 10 times your income. Build up your emergency fund to 3–6 months of expenses. Sooner or later, you’re gonna need it. With children in the picture, you may be thinking about home ownership. Just make sure you can...