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Now browsing: Hometown News > Columnist Archives > Business - Kasey Claytor

Focus on a fulfilling life with some practical advice
Rating: 2.92 / 5 (169 votes)  
Posted: 2006 Jul 07 - 02:54

By Kasey Claytor

Financial columnist

If you concentrate on what you consider a fulfilling life - one with purpose and meaning- and override the ego, ideas will come.

Read books that inspire you to dream, and act as if that is your life right now. And if you put a number on your goal for financial worth, isn't that a limitation? This is where you can stretch your ideas of numbers.

If you are old enough, you can relate to this. Remember, how much you made as a young adult? And as your salary grew, you grew into the salary? At first you were so excited when you received a big increase in income, but then you adapted to it until it didn't seem like so much.

All the things you buy have gone up over the years; you can probably buy better quality now. Think how $100 has changed in your mind. It is almost like that amount of spending energy is easier and easier to attain. Why not $1,000? Expand what you think of as an amount to attain easily. Get use to the idea of $1,000 as a very comfortable, small amount of money. Then raise it!

I noticed this working for me as a young broker. What I had thought of as a large amount of money kept increasing, and what I thought of as an easy amount to earn went up as well. Look up, build momentum, and your life is one of endless possibilities.

Now for some practicalities. Here are some sound guidelines to get you in good financial shape.

A good rule of thumb is to keep three to five months of expenses in an emergency fund.

This could be a savings account or a money market; somewhere that you can access the money easily. If you have a tendency to spend what you see in the bank, invest in a mutual fund money market without a checking feature. It will be a little harder to spend it when your impulses are kicking in. If you don't have that much right now, start with what you do have, and pay into that account monthly just like it is another fixed expense. Pay yourself first.

Own your home.

This is an important building block for most people, and it is probably the biggest investment for many. It is a solid foundation on which to grow. Invest some time into researching qualifications, federal grant programs, and talk with mortgage lenders.

If you have an inclination toward it, invest in real estate.

Find a mentor or coach who has expertise in this area to help you navigate this venture. You may find you have a knack for it.

Invest in securities.

If you neither have the time, talent, nor the inclination to have a hands-on go with real estate; this is a wonderful opportunity.

I can't tell you how many people started by putting away as little as $25 a week into a mutual fund, and they ended up being very successful. They built momentum, they established a habit, and it became easy to increase this amount when they could.

If you already have an investment portfolio:

Find a good wealth coach or registered financial advisor.

Have him or her do an analysis on your portfolio to determine the costs, both declared and hidden.

Have your account measured for risk.

That will tell you the range of volatility inherent it - how much it could potentially go up in a bull market and how much it might go down in a bear market.

Have your account measured for diversification.

You may have 10 mutual funds and still be too undiversified because of duplication in the funds, and the stocks in the mutual funds could be representing a very small piece of the market.

In the next article we will discuss the difference between a coach and an advisor.

Kasey Claytor has worked in the financial industry for 24 years. She currently runs Osprey Money Management LLC, is a wealth coach and a registered financial advisor. The articles are excerpts from a book she is currently writing entitled Unlimited Abundance.

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