They say it is silly …

…to care more about people than money.  To be a wealth advisor and want to change it from a perception of being in “sales” to a perception that we are consultants that you hire to be your advocate in this world of money. They say it is silly that I don’t care how much money I make until after I am certain that my client is best served.  The best people in my industry tell me that I need to have a profit motive.  I am certain that they must be right, but I don’t care.

What I care about is making certain that my family of clients understands money, gets to ask me anything, turns to me to talk about the emotional issues and impacts of money, wants to learn more as they invest with me, and wants to be empowered to change their world, one dollar at a time.  What I care about is that I lead with care in this wilderness of wolves and weeds.  So many things can get in your way; it should not be the person you chose to help you know about money.

If you are not being taught about money, ask why.  Don’t let them convince you that they will handle it all … you should know what they are doing, even if you are trusting them to lead you well.  My clients are intelligent, strong, caring and invested in the knowledge that we are partners in this money thing.  Because, truly, I’ll tell you a secret … it really isn’t about the money.  It is about relationships, trust, and the ability to lie down your head at night and know someone else out there has your back.

Let me make this abundantly clear:  your money is always your money, and you have every right to disagree or make decisions about it, regardless of what I advise.  Don’t let anyone tell you differently.

They say it is silly, but I want to change the world – one client at a time.

Money in a Post-Trump World

Let me start off by saying that I do not believe in political contretemps or altercations. We are all adults, have fully formed opinions of what is right for ourselves and our world, and facts and shouting do not change those opinions. So, this is not a discourse to alter your world view or espouse any viewpoint. Rather, this is about energy.

I have many clients that have been knocked askew by this change in the guard. Many are asking me how to operate in a world that has shifted so violently from the previous administration. Some people are feeling triumphant and victorious. Some people are feeling bereft of rights and are grieving the perceived setbacks that this will entail.

For all, I say that we can not change the past. We can not control how others act, feel or believe. All that we get to control is our own reactions, stories, and choices. So, in the midst of overwhelming change, do you react with anger and vitriol, or do you work hard to see the other side? In this charged environment, the only way we find common ground is to hear each other and find out what needs are being met by their stance. For, we are all seeking to be understood and have our needs met. How do we move forward except in affinity for each other, and love for our fellow humans that tread the same tumultuous path in their different ways?

How do I relate this to your money? Know that the world is in constant flux, and the only thing that you can do is build a solid foundation and stand your ground. Whether you think Trump is a boon to your business or a financial avoirdupois, invest in good companies and stay the course. Do not panic or get greedy. The current economic environment has a lot of weakness to its fundamentals at the moment, and the current stock euphoria is reminiscent to the late nineties when any dot com was seen as the paramount investment that would always have high returns, regardless of the dearth of actual profits. Do not be swayed from your fundamentals. Do not let emotions make your choices. Stay the course.

As for your emotional health, love your antipodean political friends, and ask them what needs they are getting met with the former or current administration, and try to understand them. Then, go out and support or oppose the current system in whatever way gets you into positive action.

Change is constant. What choices do you want to make in this world?

Are You Resisting Your Money?

I am aware that I often become resistant to things in my life, be they good for me or not.  Sometimes, my best intentions are to be in flow and live my best life.  Yes, I find that my mind is so very smart, that it keeps me from living my life fully, for it is far more easy to be in this familiar space of … comfortable.

Look back a second, and remember all of the times that you created a new plan, a new path, a new goal – how often were they realized?  Is your very intelligent brain making you resist this change?  While that brain is very intelligent, its job is to help you survive with the least effort possible.  Can you see how that would be a challenge for you when you are trying to start a workout plan, a goal for spending time with family or working on your money?

How do you combat this tendency of your mind to keep you in stasis?  You create a habit through small actions and accountability.  Don’t go jumping off the precipice, ready to attack the goal with fervent ferocity; take a breath, plan a small step and ask someone to be your accountability partner to keep you on track and honest.

So, if you want to take your finances in hand, and you don’t know where to begin, I suggest that you spend 15 minutes a week working on your budget, or reading about investments, or planning how to take small steps toward your very large goals.  Why 15 minutes?  Because, I can do anything for 15 minutes, even the most onerous chores … like cooking.  If I commit to an hour, it might be really hard for me to find the time [resistance] or make myself start [procrastination].  However, if I only have to do something for 15 minutes, I can find the time before I start my day, or for a few minutes before bed.  You might even find that you spend more time than the allotted 15 minutes, as you get into the work of it and realize that it is not that bad; you might even realize that it can be a little fun.  Okay, if not fun, then at least it might be an accomplishment, and that always feels good.

Why an accountability partner?  Well, when I really don’t plan on doing something [a few times that I tried to quit smoking in my early 20’s comes to mind], and I think that I should, I don’t tell anyone.  When it is something that I am fully committed to doing, then, if I share that, I know that the people that I love will expect me to finish it.  Sometimes it is easier to get started with a loved one looking over your shoulder with gentle encouragement.

So, if you are resisting your money, be it budgeting, planning, investing, estate planning, taxes or any other thing, just schedule your 15 minutes, and tell someone that you know will hold you to it.

Happy money-ing.

Your partner in wealth,


Master Your Money Mindset for Wealth

It is an interesting fact that many people tie old emotions to their money.  They have shame or disappointment or expectations about what they should or should not be doing, where they should be or how they should count success in coins and dollar bills. While I understand that this comes from a society that is seldom functioning from the healthiest place, I don’t want you to have to live in this pain and angst a minute longer!

See, the big truth of money is that it is not WHO YOU ARE.  So, if you are broke, it does not make you broken.  If you are in debt, it does not mean that you are a bad person.  All these stories that we create around money are just painful burdens from our past that hold us back and tie us down.

Your truth … let me whisper it here for you … your money is a tool to get you to your goals.  That is it.  It is not a measure of your worth, your character or your potential as a human being.  It just is.  So, if it is not a measure of your [wo]manliness, then you can look at your bills, your debts, your decisions around money as simply decisions.  You can stand up straight, look that shame in the eyes, and disclaim it forever.

You can make every single card swipe, bill payment, and money decision simply be a matter of this – does it get you closer or further from your goals, and do you care?  When you begin to look at this money-thing as a tool, then you realize that you are the one that controls it, it does not control you.  You also get to make clear-headed decisions about each choice  – and, believe me, every purchase is a definite choice that moves you toward or away from your dreams, beliefs, and goals.

So, those $200 shoes?  Might make you feel all tingly inside, and might not get you closer to your dream of owning a house.  And, sometimes, you might still decide to buy the damn shoes!

I want you to be fully conscious and aware when you make money decisions, for only then will you move drastically in the direction that you desire.  Look your money monster in the eye, knowing that the leash is in your hands and that you are in control.

Wealth is Basic Math

I have mentioned before that I have a strangely analytical mind, which makes me ideally suited to the puzzle of someone’s financial situation.  There are a myriad of different pieces of the puzzle that need to be gathered and considered when dealing with wealth and money.  Some of those pieces include the tax ramifications of each decision, how it impacts the risk of the portfolio, what is happening in the economy currently that might impact our choices and many, many other small and large pieces.

Yet, when it gets down to the handling of money, I’ll tell you a secret that you do not often hear …. this money thing is basic math.  That is right, you can understand your money and wealth if you know how to do some addition, subtraction and maybe a little division.

I know that we in the financial world do not often tell you this, and there are good reasons, in my opinion.  See, if I do not help you understand all the consequences of each of the choices you make, including the intertwined decisions involving advanced planning, then I heartily believe that I am causing you harm.  Nothing operates in a vacuum, including your money decisions.  So, when I take you by the hand and try to guide you down the tangled path of these choices, I want you to follow me with your eyes wide open.

So, why do I say, then, that this is just math?  Because the important things that you do day-to-day are adding income, subtracting expenses and factoring in the goals that you want to accomplish.  The decisions to buy or sell something in your portfolio are – at the heart of the matter – choices we make when we see a manager change, the portfolio drift away from their stated objectives or bad decision making over time.  We compare the returns to the other funds like them, and decide if this is still a good choice for our future.  We divide the return by the initial investment to determine the rate of return the investment has made.

See, simple math.

So, let me be clear … you may need a guide to inform you of all the other factors that can impact your money, yet you can do this money thing.  You can absolutely understand money, handle money and make good choices for your money.

You might need a guide, but you’ve got this.

The Happiness Manifesto – Part 5 – Give

As I walk into another day, I take a moment to reflect [as suggested in the Happiness Manifesto] and come to the conclusion that I am truly fortunate to be where I am and doing what I love.  I get the outrageous opportunity to make a difference in others’ lives with what I teach and what I do for a living.  That is not something that everyone can claim.

5.  GIVE … do something nice for a someone.  Thank someone.  Smile.  Volunteer your time.  Join a community group.

Science has proven a neurological relationship between the stimulation that the reward centers of our brain receive and any act of mutually cooperative action.   It makes us happy to help others, to reach out, to be in connection with the people around us.  Imagine that … helping others helps ourselves be happier and more fulfilled.

How does that relate to your money?

Well, first I want to caution you about giving – you are not able to give to someone else until you are first meeting all of your own needs.  You know how – when you are traveling in an airplane – they say that “in the unlikely event that there is a loss of cabin pressure, plastic hoses will drop from the ceiling.  Please put yours on first before helping a child or traveling companion.”  The concept is:  it is hard to save your child if you are already unconscious.  Same thing applies to your money.  If you are not going to be able to put food on the table or pay your electric bill, you have no right to be giving money to charities or others.  Even adult children.  Of course, you still have every opportunity to help them or others with your time and skills.

I truly believe that we are here to be eminently successful, vastly powerful and outrageously dedicated to our own health and well-being.  In my view, that means that it is important to do everything in your power to live up to those goals.  One of the things that will ensure your well-being and help you to be amazingly successful is when you have the ability to help others.  It may be through volunteering at the local soup kitchen, working with children, acting on a board of a not-for-profit, watching your neighbors house when they are gone, raising your hand when someone asks for help, playing with a small child, petting a dog, letting someone in front of you in traffic, allowing a person ahead of you in line that seems in a hurry, placing a dollar in the hand of someone that seems needful, and I could go on and on.

There is no small gift.  Every action and choice that helps others brings us a measure of joy, fires those old feel-good neurons and pays it forward in ways that we may never begin to understand.

I have a foolish hope – one that I dream perpetuates for infinity – that every small or large action that I take to help someone is passed on and on and changes some stranger’s life in a positive way that I will never know.  A positive version of the Butterfly Effect, if you will.

Good giving!  I hope that it brings you much happiness.