How To Be An Olympic Champion With Your Money

Happy Tuesday! I know – you are use to me giving you a shout on Monday evenings, but I thought you might need some inspiration in the middle of the day. I AM an Olympian….One who embodies the spirit of the Olympic games (haha – don’t hurt me). True badass, right?

I am all pumped up because the summer Olympics kicked off this past weekend.  Two of my favorite athletes this year are Simone Biles (who is the TRUTH) and Kerri Walsh Jennings (who is back to try and secure her 4th gold). I cannot help but to be inspired by these athletes.

We all could use an Olympian attitude when it comes to investing because the process is the same – set some goals, work toward them, and eventually hit the mark. We often never see the YEARS of work it takes to get to that stage, but it is there. Well, I want to share with a few places you might be able to put in work over the next few months for your portfolio…..

A few places to put in work:

  1. Check those portfolios. The market continues to soar to new heights, as demonstrated over the past few weeks. Continue to evaluate your entire portfolio, figure out whether you need to rebalance, and/or find out if you’re due for a check-in with your financial advisor. You want to make sure you’re set up for success to ride the waves of the market upswings and protect from the downsides of market turbulence.
  2. Look into a roboadvisor account.  Remember, I talk about how to take advantage of roboadvisors in my series. I just finished a year in Betterment and I will share my analysis next week. For all you fellow roboadvisor investees, leave a comment below.
  3. Find out if your 401k has a brokerage window. Yup, this acts like a self-directed brokerage account, where you have more options than the standard line-item options. There are pros and cons to using a brokerage window, but the biggest thing to know is that research has shown that more options does NOT lead better returns and you can still pay hefty fees. Nonetheless, some of you expressed interest, so hit me up if you have additional questions.

Wrap up 

Let’s not kid ourselves – these 2016 Olympians are gunning for the gold and as one commentator put it, “Coming in 4th just sucks.”

The beauty of having an Olympian attitude for your money is that your biggest competitor is yourself.  Yup, why I’m a big fan of others helping to make us better, you still have to run your own race and set the vision for yourself.

Go Get Em!

Does Your Family Talk Moola?

If you celebrate, I hope you all had a wonderful Easter holiday! I sure did. There is nothing more satisfying to me than spending time with family and friends. My family and I actually talked a lot about investing over the last few days. I am SO proud of my family for being open about their money. Unfortunately, family discussions around money tend to turn ugly, but rest assured that it doesn’t always have to be this way.

If you have kids, there are so many great ways to introduce financial concepts. I told my little 6-year-old cousin that he could only have the $20 cash gift if he saved $5 of it to do something with 6 months from now. He took that trade! Would you take that trade? Leave comment below letting me know what you’d do.

So, I wanted to share 3 tid bits I gathered around this year’s festivities:

  1. Getting into an investment club is a powerful way to hold yourself accountable for investing consistently to other people who value investing.
  2. Look into the injured spouse tax clause if you are in a situation where you owe child support and do not want it to suffer the financial consequences of filing jointly as a married couple. 
  3. If you’re planning a wedding out of town, give your bridal party more than six months to prepare for the financial commitment of participating in the wedding.

If you have any other tidbits to add from this holiday weekend, please leave a comment below and share the goodies. Don’t keep them to yourself.

If You Missed It

This Thursday, March 31st, I will be speaking on the topic of leadership in front of the Willow Creek Business Summit in Chicago. If you’re in town, I’d love for you to join me. This is the rescheduled event from the original speaking engagement I had in February, which was cancelled due to weather.

I hope you enjoy the rest of March – we’re flying by in 2016.

Let Madness Be Your Guide

Madness will drive you to new heights. Even if you are not immersed in this year’s NCAA basketball tournament, women’s or men’s, or March Madness, you cannot escape your friends like me who keep bringing it up.  Every NCAA basketball participant wants to win sooooo badly that they will go quite mad until they get the ultimate prize: winning.

When it comes to investing and your money, sometimes madness, or “the quality or state of being mad,” is just the kind of motivation you need to spur you into action. My mad state came yesterday when $553.69 was debited from my checking account for my Sprint bill. We have a family plan, and with all the taxes, hot spot, data, we typically pay close to $180 for 2 lines.

I HATE when I get an unexpected surprise for a bill that should be fairly consistent from month-to-month. Don’t you? And, I was hot because that’s almost $350 that could go into my savings.

Well, I called Sprint this morning and gave them an ear full. I went over my minutes, which has never happened to me. But, Sprint failed to notify me that I was close to the limit NOR did they proactively offer me a better plan (which they are currently offering to new customers) that would have prevented this. As soon as I said I was going to switch to T-Mobile, which was offering $65 per line, after 19 years of being with them they suddenly told me about their new plan of $65 per line + taxes. My credible threat worked!

It just goes to show you that you have the upper-hand with your phone carriers. Call them and see what they can do for your plan. And, have some pep in your voice.

Here’s My Madness Advice:

If something is really bothering you, let that be your guide to taking action. In your year of action, it is so important that you have control of your own destination. Some of us are encouraged by fear and others are encouraged by positive outcomes. But, every now and then, it is the madness that is the true driver of change.

This week, examine what aspects of your life are driving you mad. I suspect that there is a financial implication associated with that madness.

Leave a comment below letting me know what it is so we can brainstorm together on how to tackle it. There’s HOPE!

Until then, be well.

You Got Entrepreneur Swag!

I hope you enjoyed the weekend. If you trekked down to the festivities at South By Southwest also known as SXSW, I hope you enjoyed it. If you don’t know what SXSW is, no sweat - it is an annual set of film, interactive media, music festivals and emerging technology conferences that takes place in mid-March in Austin, TX.

What I want for you is to get inspired by the goal of SXSW, which is to be the “premier destination for discovery.” This year, I read about a robot trash can – oh my!   

When I think of discovery, I think of entrepreneurship. I believe that you have a little bit of entrepreneurial swag. It’s that entrepreneurial swag that helps us stay focused on reaching the new investing goals that we’ve set for ourselves in this year of action.

Investing in your own business might be one of your goals for this year. You may have highlighted this in response to my question last week - What is something you claim you want to do involving investing this year but you haven’t been able to do it yet? If you missed the opportunity to respond, just reply to me as it’s not too late.

Well, guess what? It takes some amount of money (and dumb luck or what I call “favor”) to get it off the ground to be successful. If you are toying with the idea of investing in your own business, here’s one of my biggest pieces of advice:

Figure Out How Much Money You Need to Get-off the Ground

One of the biggest challenges for entrepreneurs is to build that first product or service offering. One key question should be - HOW MUCH MONEY you need to get to that first milestone? Think about what that first milestone will accomplish for you. Do you have the money sitting in a savings account now, and if not, how many months will it take you to get to the required amount of money you need to hit the milestone?   

Leave a comment and share your approach of how you reached your financial goal. Did you abandon investing in the stock market, or pull money out of the market?

If you need help in coming up with this figure, just leave a comment on the blog and I’ll be sure to respond. You won’t be alone, so be brave and comment so that others can benefit too.



P.S. – Don’t keep this goodie to yourself. If investing in your own business is not on your list for this year, I know you know someone who does have it on their list. Share this blog with at least 1 friend.