October 6, 2017

Would You Invest Your Money the Way You Are Going to Invest Mine?

Job interviews can be one of the most nerve-racking experiences anyone faces. It is like playing 20 questions with someone you barely know. Obviously, the point is to get to know them thoroughly and find out if they will be a good fit for a company. The same process goes into hiring a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™. Each prospective client we talk with typically brings a myriad of questions for us to answer. Being a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ in Knoxville, TN doesn’t mean I just get interviewed by local individuals. I actually have clients all over the country, and one question that is almost always asked is this: “Justin, would you invest your money the way you are going to invest mine?” While that seems to be a fair question on the surface, it really is not. Here’s why. I completely understand where the inquiry is coming from. They want to know if I, in fact, take my own advice when it comes to investing. Am I using investments, planning strategies, or a product mix that will offer me a better return than what I will provide them? They want to know if I’m doing what’s in their best interest or […]
August 24, 2017
when should you start investing

When Should You Start Investing?

One of my biggest pet peeves as a financial planner is debt. Debt is something I deal with on a consistent basis when it comes to my clients. The question that I get the most concerning debt many times is this: Should I pay off my debt before I start investing? I’m a huge proponent of paying off all your debts with the exception of your house and maybe a business loan before you actually begin investing and here is why. Most of the time, people are talking about car loans, boat loans or TV loans. I have even seen loans for washing machines! We are indebted people. Debt sucks plain and simple!! There’s no other way I can put it. So when you should start investing? 1. Pay off your basic consumer loans first. When you look at the amount of interest people pay on credit cards or car loans, it’s just ridiculous. That amount of money could be invested and putting money in your own pocket. Yet you’re paying it out to make someone else’s wallet fatter. With I’ve seen credit cards charge anywhere from 10% to 20%. That’s just mind-boggling to me. That’s more money than the […]
August 21, 2017
Fiscal Lessons to be Learned

Financial Lessons to be Learned from The Great American Eclipse

Today is the day! Millions of Americans traveled far and wide just to enjoy “The Great American Eclipse” as it’s been dubbed. The eclipse is darkening portions of our country, within a 70-mile wide radius stretching from Oregon to South Carolina experiencing totality. That’s the moment when the sun is completely blocked out by the moon, and the only part of the sun you can see are the gasses of its atmosphere. Depending on when you read this, it may have already happened, or you could still be anticipating the phenomenon. The quirky cosmic event is all thanks to geometry. The moon orbits at just the right distance from Earth to appear to be the same size as the sun—just like in a picture, you might look like you’re holding The Statue of Liberty in your hand— it’s all about perception. While solar eclipses aren’t exactly rare (they actually happen every 18 months) this particular one is the first total solar eclipse since 1776, whose path stays completely in the lower 48 states and can be exclusively viewed in the United States. Most take place over water, unpopulated regions of the earth, or barely clip populated areas, therefore making them […]
August 7, 2017
Choosing a Financial Expert

Wall Street versus Main Street

When it comes to managing your investments, navigating through the sea of the various financial professionals can be overwhelming. There are financial advisors, wealth managers, stockbrokers, etc. Each of these could be fee-only, fee-based or commission only. Then you get into the licenses—Series 7, Series 24, Series 6, Series 66 and Series 63. After all that, you’ll see designations like CHFC, CFP®, CPA, CFA. I think you get the point. It sure seems like financial professionals are a dime a dozen. So when it comes to investing, knowing who to trust your money to can be confusing. Do you go with a broker? What about an advisor? Or would a CFP® be a better choice? With all the choices out there many choose to settle for the big name brokerage-firm because of familiarity. (It could also be the multi-million dollar marketing budgets which lead folks to these large firms.) That might be the right choice for some, but not everyone. Here’s why selecting a small, local independent firm could serve you better. The Reasons Contol of your money If you want to hand your money over and forget about it, then a big firm is often good at managing money […]