Here are some things that I read recently that I wanted to share my thoughts on:
Why advisors end client relationships (Financial-Planning.com, by Amanda Schiavo)
Many articles are written about how consumers can choose financial advisors, as well as reasons to search for a new advisor. Not as frequently discussed – the other side of the coin…reasons to fire a client! Typically an advisor is hesitant to “fire” a revenue-producing client, often times holding on to the relationship wayyyyy too long. The reality is there can be benefits to both the client and the advisor, by recognizing that the relationship should be terminated sooner-than-later. I’ll admit it’s not very fun to fire someone (for any reason) but why should an advisor be expected to work with people who may be rude or overly demanding? Not me! Another of my criteria for determining if a person is a good candidate to work with or not is if they are receptive to my advice. Call it a pet peeve, but I really don’t want to take the time to provide quality and well-thought out financial planning recommendations to those who won’t take action on it. There are plenty of people out there who need help and will take my advice, so I would rather focus on them. And in case you are wondering what my other “nice-to-haves” are, I prefer people who are open to new ideas….and responsive to my requests for information. This shows me that people are both collaborative and motivated to make changes to gain more control of their financial lives. If you know anyone with these qualities, please let me know about them!
How to Save Money: Daily, Weekly and Lifelong Habits (TheStreet.com, by Brian O’ Connell)
I love reading and sharing articles like this. I always get some good take-aways from them, things I want to try and incorporate into my daily routine. Let me share one that I am currently doing as I type this: CUTTING THE CORD! That’s right, no more ridiculously high cable bills for a service that I barely use. Many less-expensive options exist these days providing plenty of options for those who need to watch the Bachelorette or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Also, it’s not like I get to get out of the house/office much, but if I did – I would prefer to go to a bar/restaurant during happy hour. Take advantage of 50% off drinks and food – this isn’t being cheap, this is being smart! Lastly, I’ll share a story based on the habit of reviewing your car insurance on an annual basis. Recently I was talking with a friend of mine (BTW this friend chooses to NOT use a financial planner), and he was telling me that he’s gone many years using the same auto insurance company. Three kids and twenty years later, he never thought to shop his insurance around….he just assumed the rates his currently company gave him were competitive and normal. Little did he find out, just by asking around and price shopping was he able to save hundreds of dollars A MONTH! I kindly pointed out that any on-the-ball advisor would have reviewed it with him on a regular basis – and probably saved himself thousands of dollars over the past decade or two. Lessons learned my friend!
Employers have to give more (Pensions and Investments editorial, by Roger Schillerstrom)
This quick read caught my attention this week, because it had me wondering “what is the author referring to – employers have to give more”? But I agree with his sentiment, that with the recent corporate tax cuts, the time is NOW for corporations to pass along some of these savings to it’s employees. There several ways to do this of course, with the most preferred (from a worker’s standpoint) being PAY ME MORE WAGES! But equally as beneficial can be the retirement account “match”, if the company didn’t do it prior (or took it away previously), now is a good time to bring that back. Matching an employee’s 401k contribution can result in tax savings for the business, and increases the chances the employee saves for his/her retirement so they get the match (aka “free money”). Also, a company who offers a 401k match (versus a company that does not) shows they care about employees and typically leads to increased employee retention. Wouldn’t a company rather hang on to key employees as opposed to seeing them take a better package somewhere else? I would think so. We have a good number of years left for this corporate tax cut – companies should consider using it to their advantage.
I hope you enjoyed my thoughts!