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investments

Being impulsive with financial decisions can cost you.

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Ever notice how much human beings act on impulse? Advertising companies sure do! So do car dealerships, banks and your local gym. Every time you go to the checkout counter at a grocery store, the strategically-placed candy bars and tabloid magazines are practically crying out: “Buy me!”…even though, five minutes before, you neither needed nor wanted them.

Pay attention the next time you watch television, or go to a store, or even open your mail. Entire industries are built on capturing the human impulse. Most of the time these impulses are harmless enough, but the worst of them can have serious consequences. In fact, one of the greatest dangers to our financial health is the fact that we don’t always think before we act. We don’t look before we leap. And we give up things we want most for the things we only want right now.

Not surprisingly, our best defense against these dangerous impulses is simple common sense. Whenever I need to renew my stock of common sense, I turn to the legendary Aesop who explained common sense in his fable, The Fox and the Goat: Read More

How a 529 Plan can work for both you and your child

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Let me start off by saying, we all know that one of the most important parts of being a parent is making sure that your child is well provided for. A large part of providing for your child is making sure that they get a good education. Which brings me to the topic of this post: funding your child’s education.

In today’s world, it’s becoming harder and harder to afford a good college education. The last thing you want is your 35 year old son or daughter sitting on your couch, flipping through different TV channels all day, eating all of your food, and sucking the life out of your bank account. So, it’s very important that you plan things out in a way that won’t bankrupt you but will still allow you to provide the best quality of education for your children so that they may be successful just like you.

Most parents, when they think of helping their child out with school, think of writing a check to help pay for tuition, books, etc. Well, rather than doing that, why not consider a 529 plan or some other kind of education-funding account? Read More

How to teach your kids about money

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At times I get asked, “Paul, what gift would you recommend I get my daughter or son?”As a parent and financial advisor, I can’t help but relate that question to my life. Aside from love, what’s the most meaningful gift I can give my daughter? Well, knowing what I know about money and finances, and that the reality that financial problems and stress plague 7 in 10 individuals, my gift suggestion is to teach your kids and grandkids about money. Studies have shown that parents have the greatest influence on their children’s financial habits, and now, more than ever, mothers and fathers are taking the primary role in educating kids about healthy money management.

“Most financial experts agree there is a need for financial discussions among families to avoid or soften potential future economic upheavals,” says Suzanne Poole, Executive Vice President, Retail Sales Strategy, TD Bank. “According to a recent financial literacy poll by TD Bank, only 50% of families report having weekly conversations with their children about finances, even though there are easy ways to incorporate tips about money in everyday conversation. Read More