When Markets Move: Putting Big Numbers in Perspective

Driving home yesterday evening, this is what I heard on the radio… Host leads with great emphasis in her voice, “The stock market was hammered today with The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping over 326 points. Stocks fell sharply after a disappointing report on U.S. manufacturing and ahead of a busy week for economic indicators.”   Then in a more matter-of-fact, by-the-way-tone, she went on to say, “The S&P was down 40.7 and the Nasdaq was down … Read More

How to Pay Yourself First

I’m sure you’ve heard the financial advice, “Pay yourself first.”  Many experts consider this to be one of the most important financial tips around. But let’s consider what this financial advice really means. It refers to the practice of saving some of your income before you pay any of your lifestyle bills. Ideally, the money would be taken out of your paycheck before you ever see it and deposited into either a savings or … Read More

Want to Change Banks? 9 Tips for a Smooth Transition

Maybe you’ve wanted to change banks for some time now, or perhaps you’re in the process of making the switch. Many consumers feel that banks have become less hospitable in recent years, so you’re not alone if you feel it’s time to move on. Regardless of why you want to change banks, follow these tips to make a smooth transition: 1. Finding a new bank. It only makes sense to find a new bank … Read More

What’s an index?

Maybe you’ve seen headlines reporting that a particular index is up or down. But do you actually know what an index is and how it works? Do you know why understanding the nuts and bolts of different indicies can make a difference in your investment portfolio? An index is simply a way to measure and report the fluctuations of a particular securities market or segment of a market. An index is developed by a … Read More

What does a drop in the stock market have to do with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs?

Up one day, down the next…is the stock market roller coaster making you nervous? I completely understand. To help you get a better handle on this, check out the post I made today on my Kinkelaar & Associates’ financial planning blog.  It highlights the importance in having an investment strategy that you can stick with. Now, I also have to share a personal annoyance with you.  One of the comments you hear from financial … Read More

What would you do with an extra $1,000?

With The Tax Relief Act of 2010 Employee payroll taxes have been cut from 6.2% to 4.2% for 2011.1 So if you pay into Social Security, you’re looking at a slight increase in your take-home pay. Have you considered what you will do with that extra money? How about directing it into your 401(k) or IRA? That 2% “tax savings” will show up in higher take home pay throughout the course of the year – it … Read More