Insurance is the topic near and dear to me. The conversations about risk management and insurance were one of the things that lead me to start the Financial Witch Project, and I cannot stress enough how important it is to have protection from all kinds of unexpected and unwanted circumstances, as well as different types of losses. My rule of thumb always is, If you can get insurance for something, do it. No exceptions, no excuses.Read More
“By the pricking of my thumbs something wicked this way comes.”
Quote from “Macbeth” by William Shakespeare
L ook what I’ve got! A gorgeous life planner with “Something wicked this way comes” with sticker sets for my @financialwitch project made by @erincondren. I’m in love with everything she does! Big thanks to @foxcloudsblog for introducing me to these beautifully made agendas.Read More
In "Budgeting Tools. Part 1", we talked about general principles of keeping a budget and various tools we can use to keep a budget manually. However, I do believe that if something can be done automatically and by itself, without our constant effort, let’s automate it. Please note: the automated monitoring will only work if most of your expenses are paid by card, not in cash.
Here are some applications we can use to set up our budget and monitor our income and expenses automatically.Read More
I never talk in absolutes, especially when it comes to books. What one person will like and rave about to everybody they know, another person will find irrelevant and hate. So, I usually exercise caution when giving my recommendations. However, there is no place for caution with “The Thank You Economy” by Gary Vaynerchuk. It’s an absolute must-read! Even better, listen to the audiobook. That’s what I did, and it’s always fun to listen to Gary talk.Read More
Financial advisors, business owners, and entrepreneurs all over the world have a lot to learn from Jeff Erdmann, who has been named the top wealth advisor in the USA for three years in a row by Forbes.
As per Forbes, as of September 2018, Erdmann’s 28-member team, The Erdmann Group, manages $7.1 billion in assets for about 194 super-wealthy families. Median investable assets are about $36.7 million. The group is based in Greenwich, Connecticut.Read More
Today, I want to talk about different kinds of tools which allow us to track our income and expenses and understand where we are heading on our financial journey. Our goal is to keep our income higher than our expenses so that by the end of the month (or another period of your choice) we have some money left. This means we want to have a positive cash flow every month to grow our net worth which is our ultimate goal.Read More
“We live in a world where in order to be successful each of us has to treat ourselves, even our personal lives, as a business venture.”
In “Net Worth”, we reviewed a snapshot of our financial situation. I want to remind you that for data from this snapshot to mean anything, we need to take those snapshots periodically along the road. However, now it is time to talk about our financial journey, which is dynamic, not static, and our work in progress. Our financial journey is reflected in our Cash Flow Statement.
While in the Net Worth Statement, we compared our assets to our liabilities, in Cash Flow Statement, we will compare our income to our expenses. Income means everything that brings us money: our salary, business income, dividends, interest, and capital gains from our investment portfolio, rental income, tips for those who get them, social security or insurance payouts and so on. Expenses mean anything that we pay money for to somebody else. It can be rent, mortgage, property taxes, regular taxes on personal or business income, groceries, transportation, utilities and bills, gym membership, subscription services and so on.Read More
“I like my money right where I can see it… Hanging in my closet.”
This article is meant for those of you who took my single most important investment advice “Invest in yourself” and interpreted it as a carte-blanche to spend the money on beauty procedures and shopping sprees. Those Gucci belts, Chanel glasses, and Prada bags are not going to buy themselves. And to the male part of my audience which is currently laughing gleefully, I want to remind that Hermès ties, Rolex watches, and state-of-the-art-barely-out-of-the-factory-brand-new gadgets also count as incriminating evidence. The Jury is back, and the Judge is ready to announce the verdict, “The defendant is guilty of being a shopaholic.”Read More
I’ve wanted to read “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek for a while, ever since one of my ex-boyfriends told me about it. My ex is an executive at a Big Five Canadian bank. At that time, he was preparing a presentation for C-level executives in his company, and he was raving about this book, but he couldn’t explain well WHY it was so great that everybody had to read it. (If you are reading this, just so you know, you should work on your book reviewing skills).
Sinek is the author of five books including “Start with Why.” He is a very well-known motivational speaker and organizational consultant. He also teaches Strategic Communications at Columbia University. His Ted Talk “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” is the third most-watched TED.com with over 40 million views. I love to watch Sinek talk. He is a brilliant and inspiring speaker. He wants to inspire other people to do what inspires them. Whatever story he tells, I will listen to. That’s why I was so surprised that my feelings about his book could be at best described as conflicted.Read More
As we embark on our financial journey, let’s start first with understanding where we are right now. It’s great if we already have some financial goals and know what we want to achieve but unless we check the map and figure out our current location, we wouldn’t know how to reach our destination.
I think our generation (say hi, fellow millennials) lives in a different reality than our parents and grandparents. Though what I’m going to talk about applies to them as well, it’s even more important to us. We live in a world where in order to be successful each of us has to treat ourselves, even our personal lives, as a business venture. You may be quite startled by this realization. We have heard multiple times at school, at work, on YouTube, and on TV about our personal brand, and how we have to work hard and think about what we do and say, and what image we present to the outside world.Read More
I want to start this year with a single most important piece of financial and investment advice you will ever get, and surprisingly it is not about stocks, bonds, budgeting, or debt reduction strategies. They do not teach this in college even if you major in finance, and you will not find this in books about finance or investing, nor in materials for industry exams to trade securities and provide financial advice. Even if your work in the industry, unless you have a very good mentor, you will never know it.
If you will ever take away just one thing from everything I write here, please take away this.Read More
This is just a quick list of topics I plan to cover in the coming posts; a little cheatsheet for both you and me. It doesn’t mean I will never deviate from it. I may talk about something else in-between if somebody asks me questions, or if I feel like there is another topic I want to cover. But I plan too stick pretty close to it.Read More
Before we go any further in our financial exploration, let’s talk a little bit about returns, and what kind of return should be important to us. Everything presented below is an approximation, a simplified view on how it really works just to carry my point across and make you think. If you want, I can present the actual formulas either in the comments or in another post. Please feel free to ask about it.Read More
"There is no such thing as a free lunch." Milton Friedman
This is not what I wanted to talk about after my last post, but here we are.
Your relationship with an advisor, any advisor, even a blogger like me, should be based on trust. It's the same as your relationship with your family doctor, lawyer, or tax accountant. It's OK to seek a second, or a thrid, or even an n-th opinion but once you decide on a course of action, you should trust the person whose advice you are taking. Otherwise, nothing good will come out of it, and to avoid you both a lot of trouble and misunderstandings, it's better to seek another specialist whose opinion you will be able to rely on.Read More
Today, I want to talk about the concepts of risk and return. Like demand and supply in economics these are the most important concepts in finance, and they lay a foundation to understanding everything else that is there to know about this field.Read More
“As a storyteller I want to convey something truer than truth about our common humanity. All stories interest me and some haunt me until I end up writing them.”
I watched Isabel Allende’s TED Talk at least eight years ago. I was so impressed; I remember this quote until now, word for word. Some stories and some ideas do haunt us until we end up expressing them; they just wouldn’t leave us alone. And this is exactly how Financial Witch came into being. I have a lot of stories to tell, and thoughts to share, and it looks like they are done sitting in my head. They desperately want out. So, I’m going to write them down, spread them around, and share them with you.Read More