photos courtesy of Gary Morrison

What is the Purpose of Your Money?

by Steve on May 20, 2015

When we ask this question of clients, the answers are often enlightening because the question is different than asking about financial goals. Those are important too, of course. However, asking what is the purpose of your money digs deeper into the reason you work, why you save and spend.

One day recently I asked a long-time client this question. She and her husband are fine financially and have retired relatively young. She thought long and hard about the question and then said simply, “Security.” Her answer surprised me and it lead to a discussion about some of the reasons she feels in-secure sometimes. It was a good conversation for us both and I thanked the client for sharing her insights and feelings with me.

I don’t know why this simple question raises deep emotions for some people. Maybe because it touches on our reason for being. Maybe because it’s a unique question that people have never asked. I’m not sure. However, I suggest you ask yourself this question (and your partner if you have one) and pay attention to what comes up. It may give you some insight into yourself and the significance you give to your money.

Today Is A Special Day For Me

by Steve on May 19, 2015

I don’t usually write much about myself or my family on this blog because I want to be helpful to you and reading about the Juetten family is not that great. However, today is a special day. Our son, Kyle, was born at 6:01 p.m. 18 years ago today. The day he joined us in the world was life-changing for us.

Before he was born, people with kids would tell us that things would be different when we had our own and we would nod in appreciation and think we understood what they meant. But we had no idea how our lives would be turned upside down. In a good way, I might add.

Through 18 years of early morning feedings, countless diapers, pre-school, learning to read, scraped knees, broken bones, play dates, firsts (like Disneyland, fishing trips, boat rides, airplane trips, learning to ride a bike), soccer games in the rain, middle school, and high school, Kyle has changed our lives in ways I could never have imagined. The joys, tears and lessons learned along the way for him and us are many and deep felt.

So if you don’t mind, I want to take a moment and say “thank you” to Nancy, my wife, for holding my hand on this journey of discovery and wonder. And to tell Kyle (even though he won’t read this because he’s a teenager and is not that interested in the work I do) “thank you” for being a great son. We are so proud of the young man he’s become.

May I remind you to celebrate the great moments in your life too? Yes, the journey is long and hard; yet, these milestone days are great and worth the wait.

What Is A “Fiduciary” and Why It Matters to You

May 12, 2015

I’m studying to take the CFP® Board exam on ethical standards today and the idea of being a fiduciary really struck home for me. As part of being a CFP® financial advisor, I take the ethics exam every other year. It’s one of the elements of being a CFP® that I appreciate. It’s a reminder […]

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What Does “Retirement” Mean to You?

April 28, 2015

This is a multi-layered question, of course, and my bookshelves are piling up with books that help people try to figure this out. A slightly different take on this question comes from Chris Farrell, author of “Unretirement: How Baby Boomers are Changing the Way We Think About Work, Community and the Good Life.” Mr. Farrell […]

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45th Anniversary of Earth Day

April 22, 2015

Did you know that: Earth Day was created by Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin in 1970? He was appalled by the environmental damage done by an oil spill off the coast of California and wanted to do something to raise awareness of the fragility of Mother Earth. The first Earth Day was celebrated on April […]

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Celebrate Earth Day on April 22

April 20, 2015

Each year, nations across the globe celebrate Earth Day: the annual celebration of Mother Earth. There are numerous ways for you to contribute to Earth Day. Google “earth day events” and the name of your City and events and volunteer opportunities will pop up. I encourage you to do so and participate. Another way to […]

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Will The Financial Past Repeat?

April 9, 2015

I was listening to the car radio recently and two commercials that aired back-to-back struck me. The first one was for some expert who could teach me how to flip houses for profit. The one that followed was for a local casino. Both ads are promoting gambling. Not sure what it means, but start paying […]

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Power of Positive Money Habits

April 7, 2015

A habit is something you do regularly or a fixed way of thinking. A habit is triggered by an external stimulus. For example, if you brush your teeth when you go to bed at night, it’s probably a habit triggered by the act of getting ready for bed. Or if you immediately feel fear when […]

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Investment Winners Over Last 20 Years

March 31, 2015

Recently I was looking at the last 20 years of investment returns for five major asset classes: • Large U.S. stocks • Small U.S. stocks • Stocks of Developed Countries outside the U.S. • Long-Term Government Bonds (20 year bonds) • Government Bills (30-day U.S. government bills) Over the 20-year period from 1995 through 2014, […]

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Words of Wisdom

March 24, 2015

Nick Murray worked as a financial advisor for 25 years and now coaches financial advisors. He often has something interesting to say. Here are some thought-provoking comments I gleaned from a recent interview he gave. On financial success: “All financial success comes from acting on a plan. A lot of financial failure comes from reacting […]

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