Tag Archives: financial advice

Have You Talked to Your Kids About Money?

23 Feb
While many parents do, they don’t spend enough time talking about it, teaching it and modeling good behavior.
For example, I can’t tell you how many parents I’ve had a college talk with who refuse to share with their child how much this education is going to cost.  What a wasted learning opportunity.
Or the clients who refuse to share their own financial details with their adult children. If you can’t trust them, why are you leaving them any money?
My feeling is families should talk about money, young and old.  remove the veil.  Remove the awkwardness. It is just money, right?
If ever you’d feel it useful to have me along for such a talk, please let me know.  I’d be happy to facilitate a discussion for your family.  It would be good for all involved.

How are your New Year’s Resolutions going?

18 Feb

Was budgeting one of the resolutions? Did you swear that in 2015, you’d begin to get a handle on spending?  Folks, rich people and poor all struggle with this aspect.  It is difficult for so many Americans, regardless of their relative wealth.

If this sounds like you, Check out these easy ways to save money on household expenses, broken down by room: http://aol.it/1qaW9Qs

If you’d like more one on one help, we’re here for you. Just give us a call!

More Good Press For B Corps

6 Feb

This week’s theme has been about leadership, being bold, changing things up with new ideas.

Many of you know we are a Certified B Corporation.  This is sometimes something I think our company deserves more credit for being. But I understand why it flies under most people’s radar. it is a bit of a complicated philosophy.

Earlier this week, I wrote about a failure in leadership. I followed that post with a few posts about people making change.  Today, I share with you David Brooks’ NY Times op-ed piece on “How to Leave a Mark.”

Please, take a moment to read it.  Take a moment to discover more companies that are B Corps. If you can, support them.

What Goes Up, Must Come Down.

5 Feb

But is the opposite true, then? What comes down must go up? Do you wonder if rates will rise soon? Or how that even happens? Or what the outcomes might be?

This blog linked here is an interesting perspective from Forbes magazine writer Tim Worstall.

For anyone interested in the more technical side of economics, this is a good read and a very interesting proposal. The author asks “Will the Fed raise interest rates before they reverse QE? Or will they run down their balance sheet as a method of raising interest rates first?”

I’m for the prior over the latter but would love you thoughts.

Why Do We Love Financial Planning?

3 Feb

Yesterday I wrote about a fundamental lack of leadership in our world.  Well, I’m not just a complainer. I like to look at the issues we have and find ways to solve them.

There are examples of leadership in our world.  The president of Uruguay, Jose Mujica, comes to mind.  He has refused to repeat some of the many mistakes South American leaders have made over the last 50 years.  He has lead his small country to stability. Simply for being brave and different.

But we need leaders on the streets and in the halls of our companies and our governments and our non-profits.

I love this talk from Simon Sinek.  What, How, Why? This is the normal and basic approach.  But what if we flipped that sequence. Why, how, what? This applies to life in all ways- business, parenting, serving others.  If you have 20 minutes, please have a look.

Why, how, what.

Why do Sarah and I run a financial planning company?  Everything we do we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently.

The way we challenge the status quo is practicing as fiduciaries.  Is by ignoring trends and sticking to tried and true advice. By respecting our clients and their hard earned money. By actually placing a client’s interests ahead of our own, not just saying we do. Wouldn’t you like to work with a financial advisory firm like ours?

Where are the Leaders?

2 Feb

Not sure who said this but it applies very well across the globe today. “Leadership involves remembering past mistakes, an analysis of today’s achievements, and a well-grounded imagination in visualizing the problems of the future.”

Whether divisiveness in Europe, the Middle East or here at home what is needed is leadership.  We seem to be very good at recalling the mistakes and trying to place blame. But our current world leaders have no skill in analysis of today nor any imagination for a better future.

You know where else we lack leadership in this world? People’s money and savings. Whether it is a poorly constructed 401(k) at work or Wall Street’s continual refusal to do what is right by the American public due to their out-sized need for egregious profits, the industry of financial advice lacks solid leadership.

The quasi-regulators at the SEC and FINRA would rather focus on making sure this blog is written in an ‘approved’ manner than catch crooks like Clay Stephens or Bernie Madoff before they destroy the finances of so many. Why are they focused on the wrong places, time and again?

Advisers in Sonoma County and all over the country continue to legally sell awful equity indexed annuities, garbage private or ‘alternative’ investments, stuff people into insurance policies they don’t need and worse.  All because the regulators in power refuse to stiffen their backs to heavy industry lobbying.

Individuals far and wide continue to bank at major Wall Street corporations, continue to invest on the advice of major Wall Street corporations and continue to get fleeced by both.  Why? Why do folks do things against their self-interest?

Out here, in our humble Santa Rosa outpost, we keep swinging at the windmills.  We keep urging people to take responsibility with their money.  To find a financial adviser who is independent of Wall Street, someone they can trust will put the client’s interests before the advisor’s.

So, I commend you reading this. Many of you are our clients.  You’ve placed your trust in a firm that respects and appreciates you rather than sees you as an easy mark, a dollar sign, a chump. You are ‘shopping locally’ when you engage our firm.  You are telling Wall Street you’ve had enough. You are telling your government there is a better way to regulate the securities world. Thank you!

Share this with your friends. See if they are fed up with the misdirection, the half-truths, and the obvious skullduggery of the big guys on Wall Street.  Let’s go have coffee with someone you know who might be tired of all this.  Let’s keep swinging at windmills and see how many we can take down!

Honoring our Veterans Today

11 Nov
Fall has arrived at MJ Everson Financial, our Flag is out for Veterans Day

Fall has arrived at MJ Everson Financial, our Flag is out for Veterans Day

 Today is Veterans Day. We set aside November 11 to honor anyone who has served in the U.S Armed Forces.

Having never served myself, I’m often unsure the proper way to honor those who have.  What I’ve done over the years is call those I know who have served and thank them personally for their service.

In October 1995, I visited Omaha Beach in Normandy, France.  It was a life changing experience.  A lot of the soldiers buried there were kids.  From 16 to 20 years old, most of the tombstones listed birthdays that meant the men and women buried there were the same age I was at the time of that visit.

Here I was, rolling around Europe leisurely. There they were fighting for that freedom I so sadly took for granted at that time.

The moment brought to light an idea that I had been given some very tremendous gifts and opportunities in the lottery of being born in America. The sight of the seemingly endless tombstones snapped me into a reality that I was perhaps being ungrateful for those gifts and needed to do a better job maximizing those opportunities and honoring the sacrifices of these soldiers.

Omaha Beach CemeterySince that visit, I’ve read history on these soldiers. It has truly fascinated me how many of them died and that they seemed to do so for mainly better reasons than any war before or since. Time and again you read how these men knew what they were doing. Believed in their fight.  They believed they were fighting against the Germans and the Axis in order to preserve our free way of life. There is so much honor in that.  These men didn’t think of fancy cars and big homes. They valued their freedom and were willing to sacrifice their own lives to preserve that freedom for others.

Take a moment today and think about those among us who have served. To thank them and their families for that service.

Maybe you have a moment today to reach out to a member or veteran of our armed forces.  Thank them. Buy them lunch. Visit with them.  It doesn’t go far enough in thanking them, but I suppose it is better than no notice at all. Here are a few more ways to reach out and show your thanks today.

Weekly Market Update

21 Oct

Our blog today links to the most recent “Market Update” from the experts at Commonwealth Financial’s Investment Research team.  If you have any thoughts or questions, please feel free to give us a call.

Zee French

20 Oct

My junior year of college was spent abroad, in the South of France. A lovely little town called Aix-en-Provence.  There, I learned so much about the French culture and language.

Aix is actually a perfect microcosm of France. Better than Paris, for example, at representing all the many paradoxes that exist in French culture. Don’t get me wrong, America is the King of Paradox.  But France is really more enjoyable to poke fun at, isn’t it?

They eat and drink but never get fat. How does that work?

They loved our help in saving them from the Germans but routinely criticize America and our ways of  violence. So ungrateful sometimes!

They value education but teach too many of their young to believe that one can still live a wonderful life without working for it in any meaningful way. And that is the point of this blog post.

No doubt you know that France has had a great many philosophers.  During their revolution, men like Momoro, Hebert, Fouché and others began the Culte de la Raison or Cult of Reason to counter the Catholic church teachings and focus civilization on reason and logic over superstition and feelings.

Today, the French still insist they base their life on reason and logic. Not feelings. The English phrase common sense doesn’t directly translate and is mocked like a cow-launching John Cleese as a foolish sentiment.

“Sense” a Frenchman might say “is a feeling.  How can it be common and why would you want it to be anyway?”

There is the famous Descarte, “I think, therefore I am.” A mathematician, Descartes desired to build a thought process for science based on facts and reason, not ideas and guesses. Reason and logic.

Now consider the French government, which for 40 plus years has violated all reason and logic by making promises to its population it could never keep.  Paradox.

Today, those promises are becoming less and less tenable.  And other European countries, mainly Germany, are sick of trying to explain to France that their budget misadventures are threatening the entire European Union.

I’m not anti-French.  I enjoy these paradoxes and certainly their people and culture.  But right now, the French government and its refusal to see that the people of France must accept a new reality regarding their promised pensions, is not honoring men like Descartes or Fouché. And it may just be the thread which, when pulled, will unravel the economic recovery we’ve been waiting for in Europe.

C’est la vie, I suppose.

Weekly Market Update

23 Sep

Our blog today links to the most recent “Market Update” from the experts at Commonwealth Financial’s Investment Research team.  If you have any thoughts or questions, please feel free to give us a call.

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