The Financial Decisions to Get Right at Every Stage and Age

Financial Decisions

This week, your Money Guys were joined on the show by special guest Alan Moore to discuss the various financial decisions that everyone needs to make at different stages and ages of their lives.

Alan is the co-founder of the XY Planning Network, the leading organization of fee-only financial advisors that specialize in working with Gen X & Gen Y clients. He’s also the President of Serenity Financial Consulting, a fee-only RIA and location independent financial planning firm. He currently lives in Bozeman, MT so that he can hit the slopes on powder days.

In this episode, Alan, Bo, and Brian each walk through some pitfalls to avoid, blind spots to be aware of, and solutions you can implement with your personal finances.

Money Matters to Think about When You’re in Your Teens and 20s

Alan takes on what younger generations should watch out for and think about. For those in their teens and 20s, he says to take your financial decisions seriously.

This decade isn’t a “throwaway,” and it’s never too early to think about developing financial independence and investing in your future. The decisions you make now do matter. Alan also has a few suggestions for people who are just starting out:

  • There are a lot of big things and changes happening right now — but don’t forget about the little things. Don’t let small mistakes trip you up and hinder your financial progress!
  • Invest in financial assets.. and your own skills, knowledge, and abilities.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want — but understand you’ll need to do your homework before you do. Don’t plan on getting what you ask for if you don’t put in the work first.

Keeping on the Right Financial Track in Your 30s and 40s

Bo picked up after Alan to help those at a little later stage in life — those who are in their 30s and 40s.

If you’re in this age group, you’re still young! But you’re not “entry-level” anymore, and it’s likely that this stage is bringing new experiences and life changes to you.

Bo brings up some common pitfalls that people in their 30s and 40s need to watch out for, including issues with your investment portfolios, spending temptation and lifestyle inflation, and simply forgetting to re-check your financial to-do list after you go through some big life milestones.

Finishing Strong with Your Financial Decisions After 40

Brian then addresses the over-40 group and the financial decisions they need to think about and the blind spots to be aware of.

The biggest issue? Time flips on you, and it’s no longer an advantage but a liability. That doesn’t mean it’s too late to take action, but it does underline the fact that you do need to jump on your financial goals if you haven’t gotten serious yet.

Remember, “someday” is not a day of the week. Think about these things, and if you need to take action on anything, do it today:

  • Understand your risk capacity. Even if you still feel comfy with risk, you may not realistically be able to handle swinging for the financial fences anymore.
  • Organize and tighten up your finances. Don’t get sloppy, and don’t abandon a plan of action at the finish line!
  • As much as you don’t want to think about it, you need to understand your mortality. Even if you feel young mentally, you can’t pretend you’re not aging at all. (Sorry.)

No matter what your stage or age, there are financial decisions to think about — and to get right. It’s never too early (or too late!) to take smart action and improve your financial situation.

So no matter what group you fall into, keep up the good work in avoiding pitfalls and making the right money moves.

Want help with this? You can always reach out to financial pros to help get you on the right track. You can also email your Money Guys at brian@money-guy.com and bo@money-guy.com — and you can email our special guest, Alan Moore, at alan@xyplanningnetwork.com.

 

We appreciate all our listeners and members of Tightwad Nation — and you can show your appreciation for The Money-Guy Show by leaving us a review on iTunes. You can either go directly through iTunes or leave a review with this link. These reviews help new folks find the show.

Is the Sky Falling? How to Handle Market Volatility

 

Stock Market Volatility

Spoiler alert: no, the sky is not falling. Don’t let the financial media get you riled up when they start trying to develop an emotional frenzy. When you start hearing dramatic reports about the stock market from media outlets, it’s important to understand that the actual data paints a very different picture than the talking heads on your TV or radio.

There’s a reason for that! News outlets have something to gain from creating a highly charged emotional environment – they get more viewers and more engagement. And nothing drives more people to tune in than negative emotions like fear, anxiety, and panic.

Financial media outlets often push stories to get a reaction out of their audience, so keep this in mind the next time you hear a news anchor making doom and gloom predictions about the market.

In today’s episode, Brian and Bo go beyond common sense in order to help you understand how financial markets work when you invest for the long term. They talk about how you can manage your emotions during these times when it’s all too easy to irrationally give into an atmosphere or group panic, and they give tips on strategies you can use to make the most of swings in the market.

You will learn:

  • What volatility really is…
  • …and what market volatility has to do with puppies. (Yes, puppies.)
  • The right perspective to keep when thinking about market volatility.

Brian and Bo also share advice for managing your own emotions when we experience big changes in the market:

  • Know where you are in terms of your long term investing plan.
  • Understand all aspects of risk. It’s not just about risk tolerance!
  • Recognize your own blind spots and know your own experiences will shape your perspective and behavior.
  • Accept that you will need a lot of perseverance to hang in for the long haul, but understanding the cycle of market emotions can help you manage your own.

The guys wrap up with a discussion of the financial tools and strategies you can use to handle market volatility wisely – and come out ahead of the average investor who tends to buy high and sell low.