Financial Planning: The Substance Beneath the Froth

What Is a Financial Plan? Financial planning itself is not new, or even very exciting. Well-run businesses have been practicing this common-sense activity since the dawn of the capitalist era. What is new is the application of sound financial management techniques to personal as well as business affairs. Systematic personal financial planning involves considering one’s…

 

Duties and Criteria for Selecting Trustees, Executors and Guardians

Financial planning for the most part can be self-administered. But there are times that others will be turned to for help. Attorneys, accountants, financial planners, trustees, guardians and executors are all examples of people an individual may use at some point in time for help in various aspects of financial planning. Most individuals have a…

 

How to Find and Select a Financial Planner

Financial planning is a process that is tackled by many individual investors quite successfully on their own. But some individuals prefer to have someone else perform the task. The question then arises: How do you find a financial planner? The selection of a financial planner is a very important and, sometimes, very difficult task. There…

 

Analyzing Your Financial Health Using Personal Financial Ratios

Investors commonly use stock ratios such as price to earnings, price to book and dividend yield to assess the financial health of a company. The reasons the ratios are so widely used are because they convey a great deal of information in a concise format and allow investors to benchmark a company’s financial status. When…

 

Delaying Retirement, But Not Your Retirement Dreams

Many investors today who had planned to retire early at 62 when they became eligible for Social Security benefits—albeit at a reduced rate compared with retiring at full retirement age—are discovering that those benefits, combined with their retirement savings, cannot support the lifestyle they expected or provide the financial cushion in retirement they desire. Often,…

 

How to Calculate Your Portfolio’s Return

The question every investor wants to know is: How well am I doing? Although some people are satisfied with simply watching the dollars grow, most investors want that translated into a performance figure. Bragging rights aside, there is a good reason to determine your own portfolio’s performance: Measuring the performance of your total portfolio is…

 

A Primer on How to Plan for a Future Sum

Whether you are planning for a major purchase, financing an education or planning for retirement, an analysis structure that explicitly considers investment returns, cash flows and horizon is crucial to your eventual success. Expected inflation and variability of investment return present difficulties in any planning environment, and the longer the investment horizon, the more important…

 

Setting Priorities Using Decision Matrixes

Setting financial priorities is frequently very difficult for individuals. Yet, it is very important for most people, since few of us have the financial resources to totally finance all of our “wants.” Setting priorities allows us to consciously review our objectives and rank them as to the order of their importance to us. It also…