FIVE POWERFUL STEPS TO FINANCIAL SUCCESS

Interesting year we are in, 2013!  Commonly, anything with the number 13 generates fear and superstition.  Many people run away from this feared number. Buildings do not have a 13th floor as it is so feared.  Do we have a choice?  Can we ignore the year 2013 or pretend it does not exist just because it has the number 13 in the mix?  No, we can’t so we are going to include 2013 in our lives.  We are going to do something different this year.  We are actually going to embrace the number 13; we are going to embrace the entire year!  A suggestion for our theme for 2013 is NEW HOPES, NEW DREAMS AND FINANCIAL SUCCESS!

Every year we make plans and set goals, which we refer to as RESOLUTIONS.  Let us scrap that word. We are setting New Goals for a New Year with a number that will surely improve our chances.  We will begin by naming “2013” the year my life changed for the better.

My first question; what do you want to ACCUMULATE and what do you want to ELIMINATE?  Take a few minutes and write your answer down.

In the past few years were you a MISSILE WITHOUT A GUIDANCE SYSTEM?  Were you just going about your business working, paying bills, spending and reacting to life instead of life reacting to you?  It’s time to change.  Give yourself a GUIDANCE SYSTEM. Where do you want to go and when?

Now what are those five powerful steps to financial success I am talking about?  Well here they are, you might have heard some version of them previously, but not described to you in the way I am going to do so now!

1.  SPECIFICITY

Key to meeting your goals is to know your goals. Describe your goals completely and entirely until they become something you can recite like a nursery rhyme. You want to pay off your Master Card then say I want to completely pay off my Master Card.  Do not only say I want to pay off my debt.  This non-specific statement does not completely describe your goal.  The specific statement you want to make describes which debt and the amount.  Generally, when a goal is not specific it is not attained.  Ask yourself which debt, the $100.00 you owe your brother, or the $3000.00 outstanding on your Master Card?  Be Specific.

2.  KEEP SCORE

What steps are you taking to meet those goals?  In other words, keep score of your progress towards your goals.  Your statement should be as follows.  I want to pay off my Bank Master card (name the bank) and I am paying $250.00 towards the card every month.  So I Keep Score every month of the total I have paid towards my Bank Master Card debt, which shows me the headway that I have made.

3.  PUT YOUR GOAL INTO YOUR LIFESTYLE

Now that I am paying this Bank Master Card off, I should not continue to use the card.  Making payments to eliminate debt every month and simultaneously incurring more of the same debt is counter-productive.  For example, one should not make efforts to pay $250.00 a month towards a Bank Master Card debt and charge $200.00 to the card just because there is available credit.  Create habits that will enable you to bring your financial goals into your lifestyle and eliminate the habits that work against you.  Modify your behavior.

4.  PROGRAM FOR SUCCESS

Now that you know the steps you need to take in order to meet financial goals, avoid the impulses and temptations that are a hindrance to your targets.  An immediate reward can produce long-term penalties.  A drink after work every Friday is no longer one of your pastimes.  Dinner out every weekend with your friends should be scaled back. Why not cook with your friends at home and everyone contributes to the meal.  A lovely homemade Tuscan soup and some fresh buns with a bottle of wine can make a lovely winter dinner with friends at home.  Try it!  You’ll it!

5.  TIME.  WHEN DO YOU WANT TO ACCOMPLISH THIS GOAL

This is one of the most important steps in accomplishing your goal.  A friend of mine always wanted to retire to Jamaica.  I’ve heard the following statement for the last 15 years. “I am going back home to retire.”  Now that is an incomplete plan.  My friend did not complete his statement; he should have said:  “My goal is to retire in 2001 at the age of 60 in Jamaica.” Now that is a complete goal!  We have the where, the what and most importantly, the when!  My friend is still in Canada, retired and only vacations in Jamaica.  He maintains his dream of one day living in Jamaica but his goal is still incomplete.  With no when, no timeframe, this is an incomplete and unattainable goal.

So there they are!  Your Five Powerful Steps to Financial Success!  Every three months take time to look at your progress towards meeting your financial goal.  If you are not on tract, then re-evaluate and make the necessary changes to get yourself back on tract.  It may not be easy, keep plugging away, do not abort the goal!

Happy New Year

Tessa-Marie

January 2 2013

ARE WE READY TO BE LONG TERM INVESTORS?

I have been working with Andrew for six years as his Financial Advisor.  I met Andrew when he was a 24-year-old university graduate.  Andrew had a large OSAP loan, a student line of credit and a credit card with a balance.  He was recommended to me by his mother whom I had been working with for a number of years.

When Andrew and his wife Kathy  came to see me for their annual financial check up and asked me the question “Are We Ready to be Long term Investors,”  my  reply to them was “Yes  you are both most certainly ready to become  serious long-term investors.”

When Andrew and I first met we worked on a Financial Plan.  Preparing the Financial Plan took one month before we were certain that was what he wanted to achieve. During that period we met weekly.  The following month we met every two weeks which we continued to do for one year.  Soon after our first year of meeting Andrew introduced me to his finance Kathy. We had to revise the plan Andrew had as a single man to include his then fiancée Kathy.  Kathy also had a credit card, student line of credit and an OSAP loan.    For the next two years we met once a month and then switched to meeting annually.  Working with a Financial Planner requires time and dedication. The planner will be there, but you will have  have to also be present, and by present I mean do the things you said you would do and show up on time and keep your appointments.

Here is a list of Andrew’s and Kathy’s goals.

  1. Open an emergency savings account.
  2. Open two Registered Retirement Savings Plans.
  3. Make payments to credit cards and do not add any more purchases to the credit cards.
  4. Transfer credit card payments to the student lines of credit, once the credit cards were paid in full.
  5. Make regular payments to Student Loans.
  6. Save for their Wedding.
  7. Save to purchase own home.
  8. Purchase a car.
  9. Open a joint vacation account.
  10. Open a joint Long term Mutual Fund non-registered account.

Six years later Andrew and Kathy have met all of the above goals and now want to be serious long-term investors.  They are well prepared, and understand the process of long-term investing.  You will notice that Andrew and Kathy did not start long-term investing until they had achieved their short-term and some of their mid-term goals.  Both Andrew and Kathy are ready to work with an Investment Specialist or Broker.

Andrew and Kathy wanted to know why I am referring them to an Investment Specialist.  The reason for not getting involved in investments is because there are thousands and thousands of Investment Specialist all over the place, but very few advisors who are passionate enough to move you from where you are to where you want to go, or to get you ready to work with an Investment Specialist.

I have recommended Andrew and Kathy to an Investment Specialist who will work with them to build wealth.

My job as always is to enlighten, educate and encourage you at the beginning of your financial journey.  I choose to help you to make the proper plans to manage your money and to stay out of revolving credit which will contribute to your financial success.

Andrew and Kathy are going to be in good hands and we will be meeting every year for a financial check up.

If you are ready for long-term investing, consider working with a financial advisor.

Tessa-Marie