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Tending your financial garden: How hard work today will let you flourish when it counts

So much of gardening is the hard work and growth that takes place underneath the soil — feeding and nurturing our plants so they can build strong roots that will sustain them long after our work is done, allowing us to sit back and enjoy the fruits of our labor. Nobody ever comments on the roots, on the quality of the soil, or on the weeding we did that gave them room to grow. All they see is the beauty that lives above the dirt — the finished product.

Budgeting for gig workers: How to spend and save on a fluctuating income

Building, maintaining, and sticking to a budget can be a tough task for many of us with regular, full-time jobs. But it gets a lot more difficult if you don’t have a regular income, like those in sales-based jobs, seasonal workers, or folks who work in the gig economy. If you fall into one of these categories — as more and more young earners do — it’s especially important to budget wisely to have a plan for those months when the checks don’t come in quite as high as usual.

The Most Powerful Investment Tool is Time

How investing a little can lead to much more.

You may remember learning about erosion in school, how a small trickle of water, over time, can wear away rocks and soil and transform into a raging river.

That image always enters my mind when I talk with young investors about how to make their money work for them early in their careers. Coming into their first jobs out of college, they probably aren’t making much income, and that’s while they’re considering student loans, saving for a first down payment on a home, and the other expenses that come from starting life on their own. Many of them feel that there just isn’t enough left over to start funding an investment account in a meaningful way.

Dave’s Inbox: Should I stop contributing to retirement during the bear market?

I keep track of the many questions I receive from client families about their financial pictures, and I wanted to address two of those questions that have come up quite a bit recently regarding retirement accounts in a down market.

Investment vs. Speculation: What’s the difference?

Before making any decisions, let’s make sure the next big “Investment” is actually an investment and not just speculation.

Don’t Rush Your Financial Plan

When it comes to saving and investing, it’s always a good idea to start young and be consistent. Early and often, right? While this is solid advice, I also advise my clients not to rush the process when it comes to building a solid financial foundation.

Your Financial Personality

As everyone is thinking about financial perspectives and priorities during the first weeks of the new year, we encourage client couples and families to ask themselves a few lifestyle and values questions that will help them determine their approach to money – and help us in going over their budgets and goals. No two clients are alike, and lifestyle goals are as varied as the people we work with.

Manage Your Own Money? We Can Still Help.

Every so often, I’ll get a call or have someone come into the office and say they want to bring their spouse in for a meeting, but they’re not really sure how or if we can help them, and then they pause. I long ago stopped filling that pause with all the reasons why and how we can help them. Instead, I’ve learned that the best approach is often to simply ask, why? While the responses I receive vary, the storyline is predictable. Here it is. 

It Might be Time for a Roth Conversion

I have had a couple of conversations recently with people who have come to the same conclusion about 2022. It goes like this: the financial markets have tanked, they have made no progress whatsoever toward their long-term investment goals, and they’re declaring the year a total loss. 

Your Financial Persona

If you Google “questions to ask a financial advisor,” you’ll find a plethora of articles out there listing out dozens of things to ask your new financial professional. There are so many that we’ve randomly pulled three and put them here, here and here. Even if you don’t read further, at least you have that. This strategy also works for accountants, and probably for your plumber or electrician. And while we haven’t tried, it might also work for your proctologist.

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