“Build the relationship first.” This was the advice I once heard from a human resources executive at a company where I worked. As I’ve considered these words over the years and as I now apply them to personal finance, they mean, “Get to know the professional and let them get to know you” before you make demands on them and their services.
I promised to bring you ideas in this newsletter — and in my work with you — that are uncommon points of view. Here’s one of those topics. Mortgages are most often discussed, and sold, in terms of their “per month” cost. I prefer to position mortgages as wealth-building instruments, not just as an ends to a mean (i.e., homeownership), that fit into your available cash flow. Lower home values and today’s low interest rates can create great opportunity for wealth creation when you keep in mind the following keys to real estate investing.
Few things in life are as simple as they appear. Protecting yourself from identify theft is no different. It would be wonderful if you could just subscribe to a monitoring service or buy insurance and be done with it. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy.
When prospective clients and I decide to work together, I give them a homework assignment. The basis of a comprehensive financial plan includes a thorough review of their net worth, cash flow, insurance, investments, taxes and estate documents, so I ask them to provide this information to me.
You make financial decisions every single day, both consciously and unconsciously. Transform yourself into a better decision maker by knowing your numbers: your savings requirement, your tax rates, and your basis values. Then you can use those everyday decisions to improve your financial circumstances to live as fully and passionately as you can.
My consultations with clients are always private and confidential. I can tell you, however, that many of my clients share the same questions and concerns regarding their finances. Often someone asks a question whose answer can benefit my other clients. If I tried to cover all these topics during our regular meetings, it would take up all of our time together.