Financial Wellness @ Work

What Does “Financial Wellness” Mean To You?

Last week, we kicked off “Ask A Planner Week” at Financial Finesse. This was designed to allow our social media fans and followers an opportunity to ask us questions so that our team of CFP® professionals can provide an unbiased answer. This initiative is being led by Erik Carter, JD, CFP® and you can check out Erik’s response to the first question “When Should You Sell Your Mutual Fund?” by clicking here to see his Thursday blog submission. We have already received many additional questions that are excellent and this is an ongoing initiative. So we encourage others to keep the questions coming in to Facebook and TwitterRead more

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How Our History Can Help Us Shape Our Future

200 years ago, Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner in the Baltimore harbor near Fort McHenry.As a Baltimore guy, this past weekend was glorious.  There were thousands of people celebrating the bicentennial of the Star Spangled Banner in the Baltimore area, tall ships from all over the world were in the harbor, the Blue Angels were doing aerial shows, there were fireworks and the Orioles were beating the Yankees in an important series.  (That has no bearing on the bicentennial, but it makes being in Baltimore a lot more fun.)  It was a great weekend to look back at our country’s history and reflect upon where we’ve been as a country and where we’re headed.  Read more

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When Should You Sell Your Mutual Fund?

As the stock market reaches new highs, have you been wondering if you should sell and take profits before the next eventual dip? If the stock market does take a dip, should you sell and cut your losses? With the launch of our “Ask a Planner Week” on Monday, here was the first question we received: “I have absolute percentage rules for taking profits and losses on individual stocks. When should one consider taking profits or losses on index funds?” Read more

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Cyber-Thieves Strike Again: What To Do If You Are a Victim

Well, it’s happened again. Another national retailer has had its payment systems hacked. This and similar cyber attacks against corporations appear to be on the rise so as a consumer you will want to be especially diligent in watching your accounts for unauthorized use. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) offers four steps you should take when you suspect that your debit or credit card information has been compromised: Read more

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Power Tools Aren’t Just for Professionals

Are you an HGTV fan like me? If so, you’ll probably be watching the premier tonight of The Jennie Garth Project, where the recently divorced 90210 star takes on a rehab of a 1970s ranch home in Hollywood Hills.  Based on the previews, she’s not afraid to pick up a power tool to get the job done. Read more

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Will Changes to FICO Scoring Affect your Credit Score?

Are you thinking of applying for a loan in the future? If so, you might want to know that there are some upcoming changes in how FICO calculates credit scores. This is important to be aware of since FICO is one of the most widely used credit scoring methods. The new FICO® Score 9 will incorporate three major changes. Read more

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Do You LUV Your Brand?

As someone who travels a lot for work, news from airlines always gets my attention.  Southwest Airlines is doing an overhaul of their logo, their paint jobs on planes, their snack bags…virtually everything associated with their brand.  We see the same images and messages all the time and after a while we stop noticing. I always think of Charlie Brown’s teacher when I hear a friend of mine threaten her kids with some form of punishment (which never happens, they still get ice cream after failing to listen to anything she says).  The same “you’re going to bed early” or “no technology if you don’t do X” or some similar thing is held out as a consequence, yet there are never consequences. In order for her kids to take her seriously or for companies to get us to pay attention again, sometimes a change is required.  Southwest is doing exactly that with their makeover of their logo and branding efforts. Read more

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The Three Most Useless Things a Financial Columnist Tells You

I often like to question much of the conventional wisdom of the financial services industry so I was intrigued when I saw this article titled “The four most useless things financial advisors tell you” by Howard Gold. Instead, I found myself questioning most of the conclusions in the article itself as pretty useless (with one exception). Let’s take a look at each of these “four most useless things:” Read more

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Three Ways to Skin the Asset Allocation Cat

Over the past several weeks, you’ve heard me talk a lot about investing and for good reason. Investing is one of the most important parts of any financial goal or wealth accumulation strategy. The problem, like with most things, is that there is no one perfect way to do it. You probably know the basics—diversify, re-balance, dollar-cost average—but did you realize that there are at least three forms of asset allocation? Knowing what they are, how they are different, and which one may be right for you could make you a better investor over time. Read more

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Managing Mom’s (or Dad’s) Money

I recently spoke to a caller on the Financial Helpline, where we provide over the phone financial coaching as an employee benefit through her employer.  She had just learned that her parents had deeded over the family home to her nephew, who was in his early 20s and barely getting by. Her mom had just recently settled into an assisted living facility at $5,500 a month due to an onset of dementia. Her dad, age 93, still lived at home with her sister and nephew and was getting worried he might go broke trying to pay for her care and he didn’t want to lose the family home.   Read more

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