Tag Archives: financial planner

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!


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?

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.

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.

Weekly Market Update

26 Aug

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.

Rental Car Insurance: Are You Covered?

25 Aug

We get asked a lot – should I buy the rental company insurance? Here are some good thoughts on what might work best for you when renting a car.

I drove down to Los Angeles to visit clients a few months ago.  I chose to pay for the company’s damage waiver at $13 per day.  Someone next to me snickered.  “Sucker,” he said.  “They just sell that so they make more on the rental, you’re already covered!”

I didn’t feel like informing the good-intentioned but rude jackass that my deductible with my personal policy is $1,000. Renting the car for three days meant a $39 insurance bill.  If anything happened to the car, I’m out only that $39.

As my luck had it, the plastic grill of the car I rented was crushed by a person in LA who felt no moral obligation to let me know they had wrecked the front end of the car when they had tried to parallel park in front of it.

Had I relied on my insurance, it would have cost $1,000 to cover the deductible.  Had I paid out of pocket, it was likely $500 in damages or more.  I paid $39 and, unless my insurance company reads my blog, my premiums won’t go up for making a claim and I won’t lose any safe driver credits.

In most cases, your personal policy will extend to a rental car. Just be sure to call your carrier to confirm what your policy covers (e.g., damage, theft, liability). Be sure you understand your deductible.  Is it more than the daily damage waiver?

Is insurance coverage through your credit card an option?

You may also get some form of rental car coverage through your credit card. American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa all provide car rental insurance options to members for free, as long as you charge the rental to your card. If you choose to rely on insurance from your credit card, call your company first to find out exactly what kind of coverage it provides.

When using your card for rental car insurance, keep these pointers in mind: 

  • Charge it. To get coverage, you’ll need to charge the whole rental fee to your credit card and decline any extra coverage the car rental company offers.
  • Choose the right vehicle. Trucks, off-road vehicles, and expensive, exotic, or antique cars generally aren’t covered. Other exceptions may apply, so be sure to check with your credit card company.
  • Be aware of time limits and other restrictions. Find out if there’s a cap on how long your credit card covers your rental car. Coverage may not be available in some countries, so check the company’s policy if you’re traveling abroad.


What kind of coverage does the rental company offer?

Typically, I’ll use the company’s coverage.  But you want to know what you’re buying when purchasing coverage through the car rental company. There are usually four main choices:

  • A damage waiver transfers financial responsibility from you to the car rental company in case of damage or theft.
  • Supplemental liability insurance protects you against claims that exceed your regular policy limits.
  • Personal effects coverage protects personal property that’s damaged or stolen from a rental car. (Your existing homeowners insurance policy may also cover these items.)
  • Personal accident insurance covers any injuries you or your passengers sustain. (Personal injury protection on your regular auto policy will also cover the rental.)

Read the Small Print of the Contract! 

Finding a balance between the cost of coverage and what you get for that price point is key to evaluating your options.

Don’t wait until you’re at the rental counter to start considering your insurance options. Call your insurance and credit card companies to find out if you’re already covered or if you should purchase insurance through the car rental company.

A little preliminary research will help ensure a smooth start to your trip—and possibly free up some funds in your vacation budget. Safe travels!

© 2014 Commonwealth Financial Network®

Weekly Market Update

20 Aug

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.

Retirement Plan Expenses – Who Cares, Right?

14 Aug

You Should!

As we’ve been analyzing small business retirement plans in the Santa Rosa area of late, what we’re finding isn’t pretty. Mainly, fees are much higher than they need to be.

Do you remember that friend of yours? The guy who, when it was his turn to buy the next round of drinks, suddenly was in the bathroom? That guy? He probably isn’t your friend anymore. The only damage he really did was cost you a few bucks and himself a good friend or two.

But when it comes to most retirement plans (like participant directed 401(k) plans) it is usually the participants who foot the bill and pay the plan expenses. Are the business owners ‘out in the restroom’ on this? Most business owners I know say “That’s how it should be!” We agree.

However, the plan’s sponsor (the business) does have a specific duty to make sure plan expenses are ‘reasonable’, especially when participants are paying those expenses.

This is a fiduciary duty.  The law says a plan sponsor must be vigilant about fees. So, if you work for a company that hasn’t had a recent review of plan expenses, it is quite likely there could be some cost savings if only a few minor changes were made.

Ask your current plan’s financial adviser for a clear cost breakdown as well as a cost-comparison analysis.  Ignoring this little detail could end up costing the plan’s trustees in the long run.

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