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money

Shakespeare on Finance

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For centuries, people have studied Shakespeare for his wit and his wisdom. He never wrote about finance, of course, but I have found that many of his lines contain important financial lessons. Let’s look at one such line from perhaps the most famous of his plays:

“Go wisely and slowly. Those who rush, stumble and fall.” – Romeo and Juliet, Act 2, Scene 3.

In this scene, Romeo asks his mentor, Friar Laurence, to wed he and Juliet as quickly as possible. In response, the friar counsels Romeo to “go wisely and slowly. Those who rush stumble and fall.”

You can probably guess the lesson here: avoid the temptation to rush into rash, impulsive financial decisions.

Have you ever noticed how often people act on impulse? Advertising companies sure do! So do car dealerships, banks and your local gyms. In fact, every time you go to the checkout counter at a grocery store, take a moment to look at all of those candy bars and tabloids strategically placed to take advantage of people’s impulsiveness.

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 grave consequences. In fact, one of the greatest dangers to our financial health is that we don’t always think before we act. We rush into things. Read More

The Six “W” Questions of Retirement

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As you know, a major part of my job as a financial advisor is to help you plan and save for retirement.

That said, it’s critical to take a hard look at what you are doing to ensure that you remain on track to reaching your retirement goals. Has anything changed in your life that could effect your retirement? Has your vision of retirement changed? Do you need to change how much money you’re saving, or how you’re saving it? Are your income needs still taken care of?

To make sure that you are still on track, I recommend that you ask yourself the following questions at least once every few years. I call them:

The Six “W” Questions of Retirement Read More

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