How to Choose and Stick to Your Financial Plan
Open letter to Journalists, bloggers, and anyone trying to keep a financial resolution.
My New Year’s resolution is to become a better writer and blogger. I want to better communicate my message to my audience. Writing has never been my strong suit, but this year I was determined to make a change. I knew with a little dedication and consistency, I could accomplish my goal.
Recently, I was extended an offer to guest contribute to another blog. I felt like this was my chance to really put my writing and communication skills to work. I knew I had great advice and a unique perspective but I wanted to make sure I could get my message across to all readers.
So, I decided to march right over to Barnes and Nobles to enhance my writing skills. I asked the friendly lady at the customer service desk, “where I could find books about writing and blogging?” Sure enough, she led me to the business section; I immediately grabbed the three most interesting books.
I was heading to the register, and then I saw it; a shiny new book about Social Security benefits. Even better the book had a sticker on the jacket claiming it was recently updated with the most recent rules changes, plus it was written by individuals that I have followed for years and respected.
I expected to learn some new information I could share with my clients. What I received was something entirely different. I didn’t learn new information about Social Security. Rather, I finally solidified a concept in my mind that I have struggled to explain to my clients, other journalists, and bloggers, for years.
Financial planning is not only specific to each individual, but it also takes consistency, dedication, and persistence, just like my New Year’s resolution.
There is no “one size fits all” financial plan. It takes trial and error and a lot of planning.
“Everything Works, but everything does not work for everyone” – Gary Vaynerchuk
What Diets can Teach us About Finance
Take, for example, diets. There is a whole aisle dedicated to diets. Atkins, South beach, intermittent fasting, paleo, weight watchers, and more; all of these diets claim to work.Myself personally, I tried Atkins a few years back.
After two weeks, I got to the point that I felt life wasn’t worth living if I could not eat fruit. As you can imagine I didn’t stick with the plan long. It’s a great plan for some individuals, just not for me” – Michael.
Financial plans and resolutions are similar to diets; they only work if you follow them and are consistent. Not every diet can fit your lifestyle. Just like diets, it is important to discover what financial plan will work for you and help you achieve your financial goals.
The section in the bookstore detailing investing, saving and building wealth is nearly as large as the diet section. Much of the advice is contradictory, which would lead someone who has read many of the books to think, “how can all of this be right?”
The reality is most of the information will work; we don’t need to debate or tear apart the theories, outside of understanding the risks, pros, and cons.
The question is will the advice work for you and fit in with your financial goals. Some people enjoy flipping real estate, some like rental properties, others still get great satisfaction out of trading stocks, bonds or futures. I have met people who have had great success with precious metals, and even cryptocurrencies.
Some people like the stock market, and don’t get me started on the debates between passive vs. managed, mutual funds vs. ETF, and technical vs. fundamental analysis.
As you continue to work on your New Year’s resolutions, consider that the most successful plans are the ones that are followed. Do your research, find what works for you, stay dedicated, and you will be successful.
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