Why HR Is Going to Save America’s Financial Future

It’s Up to HR to Save America’s Financial Future

It’s no secret that most Americans are struggling financially, even those with good jobs. The question is, what do we do about it? Obviously the status-quo isn’t the answer, because that’s how we got here.

The American workforce is in trouble financially, and it affects way more than the dream of a comfortable retirement. The current financial tools available to the average American aren’t designed to help with the basic first steps people need to take towards financial health. It’s not that the existing institutions are thoughtless, but it’s difficult to make any money encouraging people to do things that are free (like setting a budget or opening a free checking account).

In order for the problem to be fixed, a Hero needs to be found: a Hero who has it in their interest to help the American workforce, a Hero who has the tools to provide benefits to hardworking Americans, a Hero who has been overlooked in their capacity to help. That Hero is HR.

The Current Financial Crisis

Despite improvements in the economy and a decrease in the unemployment rate, 76% of workers are living paycheck to paycheck.1 Some of this results from stagnant wages against a backdrop of rising cost of living, but overspending also plays an important role. Most of us are programmed to spend up to our means, and with credit card and home equity lines of credit, it’s not hard to spend past your means.

Today’s workers are not putting funds aside for emergencies, which means that they are not prepared for expenses such as unexpected medical bills or car problems (63 percent of Americans say they’re unable to handle a $500 car repair or a $1,000 emergency room bill).2 Financial insecurity leads to significant personal stress, which impacts worker productivity. What’s really telling is this: The individuals who expressed concern about their financial health included those on the higher end of the income spectrum.3 This isn’t just a low-pay problem; it affects those who make larger wages. Remember that thing about people spending up to their means? Even if someone makes more money, they just tend to spend more.

Financial stress extends beyond immediate concerns related to living expenses. Most employees (61 percent) name retirement as a serious financial concern, and in Mercer’s 2015 survey, workers showed significant pessimism when it came to their opinions on how well their savings strategies are working: 39 percent said they expect to work at least part-time after retirement, and 35 percent are considering delaying their retirement due to financial concerns.4

401(k) Plans Aren’t the Answer

But wait, we have 401(k) plans, and they help people save for retirement! Although the 401(k) is a great tool with excellent intentions, the results of their almost 40 years in the workplace have been less than spectacular. Many employees simply aren’t ready or well-enough informed to take advantage of retirement programs. They can’t focus on retirement savings while monthly bills go unpaid. On top of that, the financial advice that comes with many 401(k) plans focuses on stocks, bonds, allocations, and annuities: completely missing the mark.

Many employees lack the personal financial knowledge to determine how much to save, how to properly use credit, how to get out of debt, and how to manage any remaining income. Advice on these topics is not usually offered as part of the 401(k) package, meaning the 401(k) doesn’t get used by many employees (31% of employees have $0 saved for retirement).5 After all, who can have a conversation about bond allocations when they can’t afford their rent or mortgage? The 401(k) plan is not the Hero we need.

We Won’t Be Saved by Standard Financial Services

There are many financial products and services in the marketplace. Unfortunately, because of the small margins that financial institutions make off of their services, people that don’t have large amounts of money to invest aren’t profitable for those institutions to focus on. Because of this, the current financial institutions are not incentivized to invest in creating and marketing solutions geared towards people on the lower end of the income spectrum. In addition, many of the services that people need (free checking accounts, budgeting tools, etc.) are very difficult to get any sort of revenue from. There’s just no profit in encouraging people to do free things.

Unfortunately, most profits derived from serving the under-banked tend to come from predatory products like high-interest pay-day loans and other detrimental products. These aren’t the tools that American workers need to improve their financial situations. In fact, they frequently make money problems worse for people. The existing financial services aren’t the Hero we need.

HR to the Rescue

HR professionals have a special interest in providing financial wellness to workers, because HR’s goals are furthered by the effects of good financial health in the workforce. Personal finances are a major driver of employee engagement. Employees that don’t have money troubles on the brain can focus on efficiency and productivity, while an employee worried about making this month’s rent is far less likely to be giving their all at work. Improving the financial wellness of employees results in lower overall expense to the organization through reduced absenteeism, presenteeism, and turnover.

HR has an extraordinary chance to change how the financial story ends for many Americans. By offering comprehensive, easy-to-use financial wellness programs, HR can help staff members improve their personal finances. Such programs provide guidance through every level of financial need, resulting in a workforce with fewer immediate financial worries, allowing them the ability to improve today as well as look forward to a well-funded retirement. HR and the company providing the financial wellness program stand to benefit from the results of a financially healthier workforce.

HR has frequently been thought of as an office that handles a few essential personnel functions, deals with compliance, and brings in new employees. It wasn’t clear before that HR has the keys to a solution that could impact the entire country. The solution comes through HR’s ability to provide benefits, HR’s need for happy and healthy employees, and HR’s impact on every worker in America.

Finally, we have it! We’ve found our Hero who has it in their direct interest to help the American workforce, our Hero who has the tools at their disposal to provide benefits to hardworking Americans, our Hero who has previously been overlooked! HR is our one great hope to get off the path we’ve been going down. The impact after just a few years of widespread adoption of financial wellness benefits at American corporations can mean the difference between a country that struggles to support its workers and retirees, and one that can boast strong finances for everyone. HR to the rescue!

Creating a Strong Financial Future

If current financial trends continue, the average American worker will continue to struggle with day to day expenses and a comfortable retirement will be more out of reach than ever before. Increased debt, leaner retirements, and continued financial stress are in our future.

An alternative is possible. HR has an opportunity to supply the tools needed to achieve financial security for millions of hard-working Americans. By offering relevant, personalized financial wellness solutions today, HR can create a better future in which employees enjoy less stressful financial situations and look forward to a comfortable retirement, thanks to better saving habits, lower debt, and well-funded retirement accounts.

The Most Important Thing Your Doctor & Lawyer Have That 99% of Financial Advisors Don’t – Fiduciary

FIDUCIARY – A Financial Advisor held to a Fiduciary Standard occupies a position of special trust and confidence when working with a client. As a fiduciary, the Financial Advisor is required to act with undivided loyalty to the client. This includes disclosure of how the Financial Advisor is to be compensated and any corresponding conflicts of interest according to Focus On Fiduciary – an industry watchdog resource organization.

If you haven’t heard of a Fiduciary Standard of Care, you haven’t done your homework on selecting your financial advisor. The single most important thing your doctor, your lawyer, and your accountant (your accountant has an implied Fiduciary Standard) have that 99% of all financial advisors DO NOT have is the Fiduciary responsibility to you, their client. Every financial advisor should be held to a Fiduciary Standard, but 99% of them will not put it in writing, legally binding them to that extra level of care and responsibility.

So just what is a Fiduciary Standard? A Fiduciary Standard is the absolute and undeniable obligation to provide you (the client) the most appropriate financial advice and guidance REGARDLESS of personal gain (compensation/commission/fees/perks, etc.). A Fiduciary Standard entails acting with complete disregard as to how the recommendations and planning advice will affect the planner, but rather how those recommendations and the planning advice will benefit the client financially and accomplish the clients financial goals. A Fiduciary Standard requires a complete and consistent focus on the client from the beginning stages of the financial planning and investment process, through the execution, implementation, and monitoring of the clients financial plan.

What would you think, how would you feel if you went to your doctor with a life threatening condition and they weren’t held to a Fiduciary Standard of Care? What if they received compensation or perks for recommending one drug over another? What if their income was dependent on which drugs or course of treatments they recommended? What if they needed to sell “X” amount of “ABC” drug and the generic counterpart never entered their mind?

You’d feel betrayed, you’d feel distrust, you’d think your doctor didn’t have your best interests at heart, you’d be hesitant and concerned as to where to find real honest medical advice. You’d have every right to feel that way.

Attorney’s have a similar Fiduciary responsibility to their clients. An attorney must act with good faith and in their clients best interests always. The client is trusting the attorney to represent them in the most prudent manner possible, and the attorney must not breach this confidence placed in them by their client.

Yet everyday the average consumer with financial and investment needs signs over their financial security and future to an individual not held to a Fiduciary Standard of Care. Every day the average consumer continues to re-hire that same NON-Fiduciary financial advisor – because not firing a non-Fiduciary advisor is the exact same as re-hiring that person everyday that passes. Every day millions of investors naively but trustingly believe they’ve received the most prudent and unbiased advice possible, when this isn’t necessarily the case.

Your doctor has a Fiduciary Duty, your attorney has a Fiduciary Duty, and your accountant by implication is generally held to a Fiduciary Standard of Care as well.

Why would anyone accept anything less than a complete acceptance of the Fiduciary Standard on the part of their financial advisor? Simple – 99% of financial advisor “professionals” choose not to (or cannot) adhere legally (or philosophically) to a true Fiduciary Standard. They’re enriched by large commissions, perks and other hidden fees to sell products rather than solve problems. Their incentive is lining their own pockets, not helping you achieve your financial and retirement goals. These financial advisors are paid from the Wall Street firms or insurance companies they work for, not their clients.

Most consumers assume the Fiduciary level of responsibility and duty is already present in the financial services industry, and they’d be right to a limited extent. The Investment Advisors Act of 1940 mandates that to offer financial advice one must be a Fiduciary. To avoid this higher standard of care and responsibility the securities industry created what was coined the “Merrill Lynch Rule”, exempting certain types of fee-based accounts from coverage under the Investment Advisors Act of 1940 (labeling them brokerage accounts rather than advisory accounts).

The Merrill Lynch Rule was overturned in May of 2007 thanks in part to the Financial Planning Association’s legal efforts. Wall Street does NOT want the imposition of a Fiduciary Standard because it clearly opens them up to more regulation and lawsuits from many standpoints, including a breach of fiduciary responsibility and suitability. But the simple fact remains that a Fiduciary Standard protects you, the consumer of financial and investment services.

Although the Merrill Lynch rule was overturned, there still today does not exist any reasonable or consistent set of Fiduciary Standards in the financial planning and investment management industry. The primary reason this issue is so challenging for the industry to manage is compensation. If a financial advisor is paid directly from the client (or the financial advisor’s only source of income is through fees from the client in some form), they can in theory embrace a Fiduciary Standard. However, if a financial advisor is paid by some Wall Street investment banking firm or insurance company – their responsibility is to their employer who signs their paycheck first!

If you believe that extra level of care and responsibility should be present in your financial advisor, demand clearly and in writing from them that they agree to be held to a Fiduciary Standard as described under the Investment Advisors Act of 1940. Demand they put your best interests first. Demand they provide you exceptional and unbiased financial and investment advice.

A Fiduciary Standard is the highest standard of care, duty and responsibility in a relationship. Anything less than a Fiduciary Standard of care from your financial advisor is unacceptable. This is your financial future, your nest egg, your retirement, your family, and your security we’re talking about…right? Isn’t it time you expected more from your financial advisor?

Financial Advisers Are Not All Equal!

There are several different types of financial advisers in the UK and, if you are currently looking for financial advice, it is important to you that you understand the main differences between them. Just as not all medical professionals are the same – there are paramedics, auxiliary nurses, nurses, GPs, registrars and consultants, for example – neither are all financial advisers the same!

Types of Financial Advisers

There are three main categories:

Tied advisers, who usually work for a bank or an insurance company. They are only authorised to advise you on their own company’s products;
Multi-tied advisers, who are able to offer advice from a limited set panel of companies;
Independent financial advisers (IFAs) who will offer you unbiased advice from the whole of the market.

The Importance of Independent Financial Advice

IFAs differ from tied and multi-tied advisers, not only because they offer whole of market advice, but also because they do not represent a company – they act as the representative of their client, and it is their primary responsibility to act in the best interest of their client at all times. IFAs must also offer clients the option to pay by fee, rather than commission from the product provider.

Once an IFA has carried out a detailed fact find with you, so that he (or she) can fully understand your current financial situation, as well as your financial needs and objectives, he will go away and do some research to find the most suitable financial products for you. He will then present his recommendations to you at a follow-up meeting.

Qualifications

Minimum qualifications: All advisers giving investment advice must have the minimum qualifications of the Certificate in Financial Planning (CertPFS) or its predecessor the Financial Planning Certificate (FPC) from the Chartered Institute of Insurance (CII), or the Certificate for Financial Advisers (CeFA) from the IFS School of Finance.

Higher qualifications: By the end of 2012 advisers who wish to continue to give investment advice must have achieved higher qualifications – either the Diploma in Financial Planning (DipPFS) from the CII, or the Diploma for Financial Advisers (DipFA) from the IFS. Roughly one third of all financial advisers in the UK are currently qualified to this level already. The others are studying hard!

Certified Financial Planner: This is an internationally recognised qualification for financial advisers all over the world. In the UK it is awarded by the Institute of Financial Planning (IFP). To become a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) a financial adviser must first hold the DipPFS, or equivalent qualification, must have at least three years’ relevant financial services experience and must have worked on a case study to produce a detailed financial plan of a sufficiently high standard to be passed by the IFP examining board. They must be members of the IFP, abide by a strict code of ethics, and commit to continuing professional development (CPD).

Chartered Financial Planner: To become a Chartered Financial Planner – the pinnacle of the financial planning profession – an adviser must be a member of the Personal Finance Society (PFS), have a minimum of five years’ relevant experience and commit to continuing professional development. He or she also has to gain the CII Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning, which is the highest qualification currently awarded by the CII to financial advisers. The CII operates a points system for its Financial Services exams. For example you must achieve 70 points to be awarded the Certificate in Financial Planning and a further 70 points to be awarded the Diploma in Financial Planning, making a total of 140 points. However, to be awarded the Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning the candidate has to gain 290 points – more than four times the minimum requirement for financial advisers!

CFPs and Chartered Financial Planners are the elite of the financial planning profession. They have demonstrated, not only advanced technical knowledge and financial planning expertise, but also an exceptionally high level of commitment to their clients by the time and money they have spent in attaining their qualifications to enable them to give the highest level of advice.

Do financial advisers’ qualifications matter? Certainly there are many excellent advisers who do not have higher qualifications (yet). However, if you had a serious illness, you would expect your doctor to refer you to a highly qualified and experienced consultant would you not? CFPs and Chartered Financial Planners are like the consultants of the financial planning profession and the good news is that, unlike in the medical profession, you can consult them directly.

Power Motivation For Successful Financial Management

Don’t let the rising cost of fuel and expenses steal your dream of financial success!

A SIMPLE SYSTEM FOR MEASURABLE AND SIGNIFICANT FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT SUCCESS

I want to take the time to share some positive information on one of the most important subjects that I can deal with when it comes to successful living, especially in these financially volatile times, and that is the subject of successful financial management. I have known people who have made a substantial amount of money in their professional life, but because they did not have a financial plan, they spent more than they made, thought that the income would last forever (and of course, often it doesn’t), and they ended up owing thousands of dollars in debt and taxes to the government. I would like to help people to avoid those types of problems if at all possible, it is not only extremely simple, but extremely possible. After all, it’s not how much you make that counts, but how much you keep, and how much you give to worthwhile causes!

I’m convinced that most people have all the ingredients within them, to:

1.) pay off their bills,

2.) get out of debt,

3.) make wise investments for their financial future.

***THAT’S WHY THIS COURSE IS PRICELESS!***
My task is to draw it out of you by providing a motivating challenge to you, along with a simple system for your success, that literally anyone can implement into their life in this crucial area. Most people think that the task is to complicated, and the subject to vast, making it impossible for the average person, without the training of a financial planner to succeed in their personal finances. Although we certainly advocate that a person takes the time to study the subject, and consult with professionals, we believe that a person must take ownership of their own financial success or failure, because no one is going to care about it as much as you! The bottom line is that you must take responsibility for you and yours, and with a simple system you can literally accomplish the task in about 120 seconds a day! That’s right, I’m saying that you can pay off your bills, get out of debt, and make wise investments with only an average daily investment of time, of approximately, two minutes a day! I’m going to show you how in this report!

Most people think that they need to earn more money, and we are totally for that, but that is not the main problem that most people face. Most financial problems are created by poor money management, rather than a lack of money. If you do not have a system to manage your money, and if you do not consistently work that system, you will always find that even as you earn more money, your expenses will always rise to meet your income, and usually surpass it! I am going to share a simple money management system that anyone can use for financial success!

Everyone faces financial difficulties at different times in their life. This is a financial age that we live in, and it’s easy to fail in this area of life, but the good news is that even your past failure can give you the wisdom to succeed, and certainly it is a great motivator to succeed next time! You must always keep in mind that your financial past does not have to equal your financial future! I have found that wisdom usually comes from experience, and experience usually comes from problems, obstacles and failure. The fact is that it is easy to beat yourself up in this area, which usually just makes matters worse but once you have a clear cut strategy, your attitude will improve, and you will feel better about things immediately! Some people become arrogant with their financial success, but its best to take care, and not be critical as things can change in a “New York Minute”, as many have discovered in the past.

With the advent and invention of credit, it’s very easy to spend more than you make, and most families today, live paycheck to paycheck. Most are living then, from crises to crises, and in survival mode, rather than facing their financial life courageously, paying themselves first, and working an investment plan! Most people find the money to spend on what they really want, but saving money is not a priority. Somewhere, sometime, somehow you must make saving money a priority, if you are going to have financial freedom and independence in the future, and I’ll help you do that!

Most people lack a simple system for successful financial management including a simple savings vehicle. Once that system is learned, implemented, and acted upon, major and positive progress begins to take place!

FIRST: HOW BAD IS THE PROBLEM IN AMERICA?

***98% of Americans over age 65 are unable to support themselves without the help of the government or family members.

***Fewer men are worth $100 at age 65 than at age 18.

***According to the social security administration, of people over age 65: 45% are dependent on relatives, 30% live on charity, 23% are still working, and only 2% are totally self sustaining.

***85% of the over 50 crowd can’t come up with $250 on their own.

***Most senior citizens live out their years feeling like they are a burden to society and their families.

*** The number one cause of stress in a marriage is caused by financial pressure. 85% of all marriage problems can be traced to financials difficulties.

***Today’s young people face constant financial pressure, because of the emphasis on things in our society. When you’re starting out, you cannot have things and money too, because if you want things, you must exchange money for things. You can’t have both. How many young couples want in their first year of marriage, everything that it took their parents to accumulate over a thirty year period and more.
But most of these problems could be solved with a simple financial plan, worked consistently over time by both parties!

***95% of all self proclaimed financial failures say they lacked a plan for their finances.

Most people are just too busy in day to day living, just trying to survive, to take the few minutes a day necessary to insure their financial success! We’re really without excuse, as there are so many great books, audios, and videos on the subject, that we could take advantage of, but we lack the motivation because we are so tired and worn out from the struggle, and stress of our fast paced lives. It’s one thing to have the answers at our finger tips; it is another thing to take the action necessary to solve the problem. In this report you will have the system, a complete strategy for financial success, but you must supply the effort, and I encourage you to not procrastinate, but immediately apply this system and strategy to your life!

The first step in the process of financial success is to find out where you are now. If you want to fly to Tahiti, you must know the city you are going to be leaving from. So in your destination to financial freedom, you must ascertain where you are leaving from, or what is your financial situation right now. You must take the time to do a little personal financial analysis. Take out a sheet of paper , and list all your assets. It doesn’t take a lot of effort, but it is essential if you are going to design a roadmap to follow to fulfill your financial dreams. Write down every thing you can think of, such as, do you own a home, a car, property, mutual funds, stocks, bonds, does someone owe you? List all jewelry, and collections, anything and everything of value that you can think of. The idea is to get a realistic financial picture of where you are currently in your financial journey. You are taking inventory of every asset you have that has a financial dimension to it. As you make your list, put a financial worth next to each item of a dollar amount. When you are all finished, total up the list, and that will be approximately what you are worth in assets at this particular time.

Now take another sheet of paper and make a list of all your liabilities. In other words, make a list of everything you owe. Most people do not enjoy this part because it is so revealing. Most people also do not know what they have in assets, and most people are not really aware of what they owe in liabilities. This is important in the process of charting your new course to financial freedom. Write on your liability list, every debt you can think of. What you owe on your house, your cars, you visa and charge accounts, any property, even list relatives and friends that you might owe. Be as thorough as possible so that you can get as real a financial picture as possible.

You then take the amount of your assets, and subtract the amount of your liabilities, and you have a true picture of your net worth! This is necessary to know, if you are going to increase your net worth. Now that you know where you are, you can set goals, and develop strategies, to take you from where you currently are, to where you really want to be.

Many people will find themselves in the negative balance. It was Donald Trump, who had just gone through a financial reversal, and several banks had just put him on a cash control system, was waking down the street and saw a homeless person rustling through the trash, when he thought, “well at least I’m not as bad off as that guy,” and then he realized, “wait a minute, that guy is at ‘0’, he doesn’t owe anything, when I owe billions!” So if you take stock, and you hit the negative, don’t feel too bad. If your not feeling to good after you have done this, let us share with you five things that cause financial failure, so that you can avoid them in the future:

1.) Failing to purpose to become financially wealthy. Remember, good things happen on purpose, and bad things happen by accident. You must make it a priority if you are going to make financial independence a reality in your life.

2.) Failing to control the resources at our disposal. Everyone has something that they can invest to make more money and secure their financial future. Winning the lottery, or striking it rich, is probably not going to happen, but if you take the resources that you already have, and put them to work for you, and let time compound your investment because you have a plan you can develop substantial wealth.

3.) Failing to set financial goals, and to develop a financial plan with strategies for financial success. Most people spend more time planning their one week vacation than they do their financial future! That’s a tragedy! That’s why people fail, they have no specific financial goals, they have no serious financial plan, and consequently, they cannot take effective action! It really doesn’t take a lot of action, just action for a few moments consistently, every day!

4.) Failing to let the money you have, and the money you will have, to create wealth, for you. If you just get started, your efforts will compound every day because of the magic of compound interest, which works for you in investments over time, and against you in debts. Daily activity and action compounds, just like compound interest!

An illustration of the magic of compound interest is, that if you were to open a mutual fund account for a five year old child, and deposit $500 in that account, and never adding to that account again, when that child becomes 65 years of age they could have as much as $500,000 in that account because of compound interest.

Whatever resources you have right now, you need to invest and let this wonderful asset builder, work for you. If you invest properly and wisely, you’re letting your money make money for you, even while your asleep!

5.) Failing to find out what you love to do, and using that to create opportunities to create wealth. So many people are trapped in life, just earning a living, instead of creating a life of abundance. People are afraid to let go of the familiar, and get out of the rut, even if they hate doing it every day. People continue to work in controlling, manipulating, miserable environments, with unhappy people, with bad attitudes, instead of using their special gifts and talents to create something of value that brings them great pleasure to work at! Find out what you love to do that charges your battery, empowers you, and then make that your life work, and find a way to make that create wealth for you!

Now that we have discussed how to fail, and have revealed the problems, let’s continue on and discuss the positive solutions. The obvious solution is to make more than you spend, and invest the difference. Is that ever profound? The real trick is, how do you do that? That’s exactly what I intend to show you! Basically there are three things that you must do:

*First, control your out-go;

**Secondly, increase your income;

***Thirdly, pay yourself first!

All it takes is an easy to understand plan, that is also easy to initiate, and then a lot of desire on your part, enough desire that is, to move you to action! Emotion produces motion. So when you are emotionally sick and tired of being broke, you can create the energy and motion to produce stellar results if you have a strategy to focus on and implement in your life! This is the strategy you have been missing!

Once you have initiated the plan, you will find immediate comfort because of the hope created by knowing that you are finally on a plan that will get your financial life under control. As you then begin to pay yourself first, you will feel much better, as our attitude is usually in direct relation to our bank account balance. Even if we still have unpaid bills. That’s why; again, it is so important to pay yourself first!

My financial success strategy is going to be a four step strategy that is so simple that anyone can do it! A word of warning though, many great things are missed by many people, because we think complicated is better! Yet I have found the greatest things of life are found in simplicity, and some will miss the power of this system, because their frame of reference will not allow them to accept simple solutions! I challenge you to try, and test these concepts thoroughly, and see them pay dividends in you finances! I have seen many people apply these principles to their life, and in many cases, it has not only allowed them to, pay their bills, get out of debt, become financially free, and even start their own business. The sky is the limit, but the results are totally up to you. So lets get started with the incredibly effective four step strategy for successful financial management.

MY ASSETS
(Write down everything you own, your house, car, cash, savings, stocks, bonds, property, jewelry, collections personal loans owed to you, anything and everything of value that you can think of.)
____Item______________________________Est.Value
__________________________________________________ Total_________
MY LIABILITIES
(Write down EVERYTHING THAT YOU OWE. What You owe on your house, your cars, your credit card accts., bank loans, student loans, properties, even list relatives and friends that you owe money to. Be as thorough as possible so that you get a realistic financial picture.)
____Item_____________________________Amt. Owed___ Total_________
Part 2
POWER MOTIVATION FOR SUCCESSFUL FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT!
(The Strategy For Success) instituteofchampions.com

The management of your finances can be broken down into four major and critical steps.

1.) You must reconstruct your expenditures daily. The average person has no idea where their money is going, because it slips away daily, in little increments. Most people come to the end of the month, and find out there is more month, than money. How often I have counseled people who make good money, yet at the end of each month their bills are unpaid, and they have no idea where all that money went. You can never control your out-go until you know exactly where it is going. This is paramount to taking control of your finances, and if attended to for just a few seconds a day, you will know exactly what’s happening. Let me ask you, what exactly did you spend your money on yesterday, the day before, last week, or last month? I mean every penny! This is so easy to reconstruct if you do it daily, and impossible to do if you don’t. There is no place for arrogance here. I have known many people in my seminars that confidently declared that they knew exactly where their money was going, and upon closer questioning they came to the conclusion, that they really had no idea! I’m going to share an easy way to accomplish this simple task.

2.) You must record your income. Once again, most people have no real idea as to how much money they really have coming in to work with. Many people think they make more money than they do, because they have never studied all the deductions taken from their pay-check. Other people have no idea that they have extra money coming in such as a refund from an insurance company, or interest dividends, or some other source. If you will begin to focus on this daily, and start to record it daily, your mind will even begin automatically search for new ways to increase your income, and that’s powerful! If you cannot control what you already have coming in, at least by knowing exactly how much that really is, how will you even take advantage of an increase when that happens? You must prepare for increasing your income, by recording it daily as it comes in, start now!

3.)You must review your obligations daily! Most people make the fatal financial mistake of only looking at their bills on the first or the fifteenth, depending on their payday. If you remember, we have previously shared the principle, that whatever you look at on a daily basis is what you will do. If you will take the time to look at your obligations daily, keeping them in the forefront of your mind, you will find that your brain will discover all kinds of creative ways of retiring your debt. This concept is so powerful, you will not believe the mileage you will get out of this when it comes to getting debt free, and I am going to show you how to do it!

4.) You must reflect on your investments every day. Again, whatever you focus on, you become. Its not enough to go to an inspiring investment seminar, or to read a good book on the subject, daily focus and daily action, are critical for success in any endeavor, and much more so in this area that is so important to you! If you will exercise the little, small, discipline of focusing, every day on your investments, then again your mind will start looking for good investment opportunities, and your mind will also find, and free up funds to build you investment portfolio into a fantastic future for you. Again, I WILL SHOW YOU HOW!

Financial success is really the result of simple but good financial habits that are initiated over a period of time, and repeated over and over. Wealthy people have simple habits that are successful, that they have learned and that they just keep doing again and again. Success leaves clues, and once discovered they will work repeatedly if you will just simply repeat them.

Let’s discuss thoroughly, point number one in my four point strategy for financial success, that is; Reconstructing daily expenses. I encourage you to purchase a three ring binder to set up your simple management plan. The first thing to do is to take some regular notebook paper, (or make copies of the form I have provided in this report) and at the end of each day, you simply write the date, and then write out everything that you spent money on that day. If you have a spouse, be sure to include them in this exercise. It will only take a few moments. Just ask yourself, “what did we spend our money on today?” Write down everything that you can remember, including every cup of coffee, every snack, lunch, dinner, drinks, newspapers, gasoline, groceries, anything and everything that you can think of. If you will do this for a few minutes at the end of every day, before you go to sleep, you will get a new appreciation for where your money is slipping away to. At the end of the month, you can then categorize your expenses, and easily see where you can cut back so that you will have more money to pay your bills and invest.

This simple process will make you accountable to your self and to your spouse; you will find that you will stop wasting money on non-essentials because you don’t want to have to add it to your list at the end of the day. The principle works on the same idea as “Weight Watchers”, where they have you write down every thing that you eat every day. What an eye opener that is! I guarantee, this little discipline will work wonders in your life, if you only work it. Your mind will automatically begin to control your spending, and you will feel great because you know you are making process, all because you are simply aware of what you are spending on a daily basis. Daily is the key! If you want it to work, it will only work if you take the little discipline of doing it daily! At the end of each month, (because you will want to continue this effective process), you should have an entry for every expense for every single day. You don’t have to get fancy, but you do have to be consistent and thorough.

The second crucial part of my strategy is to, Record your income. If you will go to any office store, you can pick up some simple ledger sheets that will fit in your notebook, behind the notepaper. (Or use the form I have provided) Start by placing the month at the top or the sheet, and title the sheet, “Monthly Income”. Each day, when you take your 120 seconds to get your life under financial control, ask yourself the question, “did we have any money come in today?” What about money from a garage sale, or someone who repays you a loan, or a gift from someone, or money from an investment, or money back from a refund. Any number of items would apply. If the answer is yes, then enter it on the ledger sheet. Many days there will be nothing, especially if you get paid twice a month, but get into the habit of asking the question, daily, anyway, as your mind will start looking for ways to earn money to put on the list, and you will be surprised at how really creative you can be in this area. It really does work! At the end of the month total up your income so that you can really know how much you had to work with, and watch that amount begin to grow every month!

Now lets discuss the third crucial part of this four part strategy, that of reviewing all your financial obligations daily. This is where it can get a little negative in the beginning, but soon this list will be a great encouragement to you. Take another sheet of the accounting ledger paper, and entitle it, “Monthly Obligations”, and also include the month. Now list any and every bill that you owe! Start with the most important first which would probably be you, (because your going to start paying yourself first, and we suggest that 5-10% is a good place to start). Then list your mortgage or rent, and so on down the line. Dig out all your bills, and jog your memory, and list everything you owe, no matter how painful it seems.

We have seen people with fifty to sixty entries on their list in the beginning, and after a few months the list will shrink and shrink, until finally there will only be about fifteen entries each month that are essentials that you will always have.

A word of warning…when you have your list completed do not go on a drinking binge, or contemplate suicide. Its not worth it. We said this is the negative part, and one of the big reasons that people never go to financial seminars, or ever follow through, is that it is just to painful to face the truth and see how bad things really are. So we would rather hide our head in the sand, like everything else is not exposed! This though is a crucial step as everything revolves around this. Now you are on the road to recovery.

Once you have your list completed, take the time to not only prioritize your list, but also to identify bills that you are paying the highest interest on, and bills that will be the easiest to pay and remove permanently from your list so that next month you can apply that money to other bills. Each evening, look over your list and ask, “is there anything that I can pay today?” Your mind will automatically begin to look for ways to clear this list, and shorten it month by month. As you are tempted to make purchases that you cannot afford yet, your mind will remind you that you would rather pay your debt list down. Its almost magical how it works, but the key is again “daily”. As you pay each bill, write the date paid, and make a big deal of it, maybe crossing it off with a red pencil, anything so that you can see the progress you are making. At the start of a new month, transfer the regular payments to your new list, as well as those that you have not been able to take action on yet, and watch that list shrink month after month. If you will follow this plan daily, it will shrink, and you will have a great sense of accomplishment every month instead of being overwhelmed and discouraged because your finances are out of control.

The fourth and final step in this strategy is to, reflect on your investments every day! As I stated earlier, make it a point to pay yourself first. Your creditors will wait, because they have to, the important thing is you, and you must start to pay yourself first, methodically and consistently, if you are going to secure your financial future. Take another accounting ledger sheet, and entitle it, “Investments”, at the top. Begin to list how much money you are putting aside each month, and ask yourself the question everyday, “can I increase my investments today?” Savings accounts are the worst financial vehicle you can have your money in, as they pay such low rates that inflation will slowly eat up your money but take action and do something! Mutual funds are generally the best and most consistent investment if you study them. Look for funds that are “no-load”, which means that they don’t take a commission off the top the minute you invest, thus lowering your investment amount, and causing your fund to have to grow substantially just to break even. There are good “no load” funds that you can invest in for a minimum of $100, and you can even start an automatic deduction, monthly out of your checking account, so that you will be consistent in investing. Be sure to look at a funds growth over the last fifteen years, and find out how many years it will take to double your investment in the current market. The important thing is to pay yourself first, start investing, and if you will focus on it everyday, again your mind will begin to study investing, and cause you to focus on good opportunities that cross your path. It’s an automatic when you use a simple system like this that is so powerful. As you work your system you will see what I mean, and you will become a proponent of it, to all you meet. It will totally revolutionize your financial life, if you will just discipline yourself, a little every day, for about two huge minutes, out of twenty-four hours. Do you think it’s worth it?

Remember; if you always do what you’ve always done. You’ll always get what you’ve always got. So, if you don’t like what you’re getting, you MUST CHANGE WHAT YOU ARE DOING!

Free Financial Planning – One Must Give Before They Can Receive

The general concepts of financial planning are heavily rooted in high moral and ethical standards. Rather than randomly investing and making general assumptions regarding one’s finances, the true purpose of a financial plan is to provide a detailed and unbiased understanding of one’s financial picture in order for them to achieve their specific goals. Establishing a foundation of financial planning has helped many clients and advisors alike bring logic and reason as to why and how to invest, helping to supplant the negative emotions of investing with a sense of financial confidence and security. With this said, one could suffice that a financial plan would be the basis for nearly all financial decisions. Likewise, it could be utilized by nearly every financial professional in helping determine proper suitability for their clients. Needless to say, all people would benefit from an objective financial analysis by a qualified professional, and these professionals would then benefit from implementing their unbiased advice. Why then should a client have to pay for financial planning services in the first place? Or, to put it more directly, why should a client have to pay a fee in an attempt to ensure that their best interests are being met? The answer is rather straight forward. Financial planning should be free.

The first question that must come to mind is, “Well then how does the financial planner make a living?”. Believe me when I tell you, they make a living, and a handsome one at that. It is not the financial planning fee from which they reap their vast rewards. When a client pays for a “financial plan” they are paying only for advice. The advisor or planner is still going to receive a commission from implementing the plan, and that is where the majority of their income is produced. So be careful of a professional who designates themselves as simply, “fee-based”. This means that they are either charging for the financial plan while also collecting a commission, or even worst, simply charging a management fee for allocating your portfolio. Unfortunately, not many financial professionals let this be readily known, and make it appear as if they are being compensated only for their expertise in the form of the financial planning fee.

So with a check already in hand, how sure can the client be that the advice thereafter is going to be truly objective? With a monetary commitment from the client, the professional is then in a position of power and is required to only fulfill an obligation, not provide true value. By paying for financial planning services the advisor is stating that the client’s best interest cannot be obtained without proper compensation. Thus, any value above and beyond what the client has paid for is not expected on the part of the advisor. So, not only is the client paying for your best interest to be met but that best interest may not be fully obtained. Remember, a financial planner is a business owner. Their time is equal to money, so with a check already in hand, the client is giving them permission to do “just enough”. They are only compelled to fulfill a contract, not add value.

Free financial planning builds a foundation of honesty. By exemplifying their services and not simply fulfilling an obligation, the financial professional must earn the client’s trust, highly raising the likelihood of the client receiving objective recommendations. Granted, many financial professionals believe themselves to be of the highest integrity, but the only way for the consumer to be sure of this is for the advisor to put their money where their mouth is. You would be surprised how many financial advisors who pride themselves on their virtues would magically change their tune when their recommendations (aka: their time and effort) must result in implementation to ensure their income.

The two main objections that a financial planner may have against free financial planning are that their time and their credibility may be compromised. To begin, it is true that a business owner’s time is their most valuable asset. In fact, their time may be more valuable than money itself. The argument follows that if they are spending their time putting together recommendations for clients who may not implement them, it can severely cut into their profitability. This ideal is flawed on many levels. First and foremost, if an advisors is lacking the confidence to offer free services in fear that their work may not be accepted, it demonstrates that the bottom line and not the clients well-being is paramount above all else. Thus they lack the confidence to properly represent the client’s needs and fulfill their objectives. However, the most obvious reason for an advisor or planner to offer financial planning as a free service is monetary. In offering their financial planning services for free, a financial planner is establishing a relationship of trust and honesty with their clients. This strong foundation will inevitably result in a multitude of referrals for the advisor, which are the life blood of their business and the ultimate maximization of their time and effort. The small percentage of income that a financial planning fee provides for the advisor pales in comparison to the financial gains experienced by a steady stream of high-quality referrals. Indeed, when a financial professional stops concentrating their efforts on instant gratification and begins to operate an honest and trustworthy business, the long-term benefits will assuredly follow.

Here, the idea that free financial planning downgrades the financial professional’s credibility is defeated. An advisor may believe that they are devaluing themselves in the eyes of the prospect by offering their services for free. However, true credibility is established by providing exemplary service, not by the fee that is charged. The truth of the matter is that by offering their financial planning services for free, the financial professional is maximizing their time and legitimizing their credibility. If they do not succeed using this method, then they are not going above and beyond for their clients, and do not deserve their business nor their referrals. It is a win-win for all parties. The client receives the objective advice they deserve, and the advisor maximizes his time and effort.

If I call my doctor with what I believe to be heart burn, I do not want to pay for cardiovascular surgery ahead of time. I want to be properly evaluated, given a professional diagnosis, and then billed accordingly. In something as vital as an individual’s personal finances, business should be completed in a similar fashion. It is absolutely imperative that an individual receive the most objective advice possible in regards to their financial future. By giving first and receiving later, the financial professional is more likely to provide that objective advice and will go above and beyond to fulfill the client’s needs. Consequently, by providing the client with the services they deserve, the advisor will be rewarded with a highly reputable and profitable business.To be sure, the public should let the experts have the opportunity to perform their duties. However, as with the majority of other professions, they should at least earn the individual’s trust through hard work and exemplary service.