Annual “Open Enrollment” selections, elections and options are typically around October and November of every year. Most employees carryover the same options year after year, sometimes this is a big mistake, they’re leaving money on the table and that is not how the game is played. Much like you would review every line of tax deductions for expenses and credits at tax time, the same should be done to ensure annual elections are “optimized”. Everyone wants to get the most for their money, with that in mind making a decision for the entire year can be tricky. It’s necessary to consider everything from frequency doctor visits, dental visits, eye care, prescriptions, relocating or even if you don’t go to the doctor much more than preventative care and checkups here and there.
Consider everything from possible savings by reducing coverage, adding life insurance amounts, and of course the possible tax advantages of an FSA or HSA to help offset those wonderful co-pays and deductibles. I always wondered who came up with the “co-pay”, like really, a $10. co-pay?!?! Why? It’s always been a pain to make sure you have $10. or $15. in my pocket just for the co-pay!
What’s up with voting? What’s up with this current Presidential election? Usually the largest number of people turn out to vote in the general election, people seem to take it personal. That’s a good thing, not so good is that once they’ve made their choice for president, they go back home and go to bed for more four years. People miss out on all of the voting in between the four years, the voting for everything from local mayor, prosecutor, sheriff, the board of education to the city council and consequently all of the people that the foregoing hire or appoint while they are in office. Essentially, a mini administration.
Guess what that means? Ultimately, the local vote can be more meaningful to the quality of your everyday life in a far greater way than the once every four years presidential election. But make no mistake about it, the BIG election does get all the attention. Lest we forget, beyond the annual and biannual elections, use everything you do as an opportunity to vote. Every Year is Election Year.
This episode details the current play list of subscribed podcasts directly from my favorites folder. It is somewhat a reference list on money and finance related podcasts alongside some entertainment podcasts, good shows no doubt. I share this list to offer good shows you can check out between episodes of Miles Weekly, some of the best on money are listed here with some of the most creative and most passionate on the podcasts they produce. There’s an insane amount of podcast lists and directories, maybe even as many podcasts, but this is the “play list” straight from my cracked screen phone. Podcasters love feedback, so when you check out these podcasts don’t forget to rate them and let them know how they’re doing. Give them “5 – Stars” (preferably), comments, even some criticism if you think they’re entertaining, informative or useful.
Now is the time to get into practice of working on a last quarter EOY (end of year) review of annual goals and a once over of your money situation. This week’s episode focus is on re-balancing the financial snapshot which may include everything from your different types of insurance to investments to savings, credit card interest rates and more. Review your financial picture and bring things into focus that may need a last minute tweaking for staying on point to meet whatever goals exist, while there’s still time to see a difference. Goals can range from reducing credit, credit balances, interest rates or saving enough for a great holiday season. If you have no specific goals, now is also a good time to maybe get some into focus, regardless of where you are, you may want to be better. Review and re-balance inflows and spending. Get On Game and Stay On Game.
Not sure about this whole investing thing? It can be fairly easy and straightforward to get set up with a brokerage and even link your existing bank account, then what? Start buying stocks …buy, buy, buy! Okay, maybe not so fast. There may be a few things to learn first, like what stock to choose and even if it’s a good time to buy it. Luckily, there’s plenty of instruction and guidance available whether you want to learn about buying stocks, mutual funds, bonds, commodities and the list goes on. Some instruction is free, some is pay per play, most is good and some is great. Either way, once you have got some sort of an idea of what to buy and how …buy, buy, buy! Wait, not so fast, first you’ll need money, money, money! Well before you go risking your cash you can maybe try trading with “paper” or “paper money” that is, trading with not so real cash. You can do what’s known as paper trading to maybe get a feel for what you’re doing, try out a few strategies, buy some stock and see how things go before you actually go live and start using your “actual” cash. But don’t go trading off all your good luck with the paper money trading, save some of that good luck for executing real trades and investments.
Don’t Be a Sucker, Don’t Pay Into Usury. Be Sucker Free.
Usury is the practice of having or charging notoriously high interest, costs and fees attached to borrowing money. Federal and local governments try to protect consumers from the worst of the worst when it comes to such practices, but it’s usually after whatever company has already made a really good run and ripped off many people along the way. In the most conspicuous ways it can be seen in credit card rates, car loan rates, housing loan rates, (sure you’ve heard enough about the housing crisis to feel like an expert on the subject) and short term loans. Short term loans and fast cash payday loans probably being the most economically damaging of the bunch. Still, there’s the hidden usurious tactics, yes hidden, such as the 22% fee on money transfers and so on. Then there’s interest and fees on money that already belongs to you, instead of gaining or receiving interest, secondary financial companies are charging you for your own money. I know, crAzy RiGht? What kind of Sucker pays to get his or her own money. Be “Sucker Free”, don’t work for your money and then pay for your own money.
In this episode, an interview with Jason Brown, investor, trader, instructor and developer of “The Brown Report”. Jason goes over some of the differences in trading versus investing and how to get started based on your your money goals. He explains how he got started in trading, investing and some of the ups and downs that come with the territory. Jason explains how he came to develop several intense and focused courses based on his knowledge of investing and how it can be tailored to meet individual needs.
During the interview Jason sets aside the mystique, glamour and sometime hype about investing by digging right in to the nuts and bolts of getting started with investing and trading from the ground floor. Besides offering entry level instruction and investor training, The Brown Report also offers advanced level trading strategies for those that find themselves wanting more. He has a relaxed, confident approach that only comes following some real world experience and perseverance earned during trading in both up and down market cycles. If you haven’t seen any of the ads for “The Brown Report” online or elsewhere, check it here at “The Brown Report” .
Once you’ve got you small business off the ground and are running on all cylinders, now what? Sooner or later every small business may hit a plateau, and no one knows how long this “plateau” may last. That isn’t the time to take the “wait and see” approach, that’s not how real go-hard go-getters and entrepreneurs get down anyway. In fact, that will be the time start considering advanced moves to position the small business for growth. When it comes to growing and moving beyond the plateau nothing but nothing is off limits, everything from guerilla marketing to getting a publicist to revamping the entire business is on the table, you will either Grow or Die. This podcast episode talks about advanced moves to “Grow or Die”. First things first, before making advanced moves, make sure not to get too far ahead of yourself by attempting big moves before the business is stable and ready. How do you go to the next episode?
Socially Responsible Investing. Do You Invest Responsibly?
Are your 401k and other mutual fund based investments such as IRA’s and 529 plans reflecting your values as an investor? Can you maintain your moral values and make money with investments at the same time? As it turns out the answer is yes, you can invest in your values and still be a value investor. Recently, some well known dividend paying stocks took a nosedive of over 40%, as it turned out, not many people agreed with their line of business anyway. Little do many investors know, they are invested in many things or companies that they wouldn’t want to be bothered with. In this episode, a look at two controversial companies that both have a lot of investors money riding on them.
Every industry has its language and investing is no stranger to having its own too. Problem with investing language is nobody knows what the hell they are talking about. What the hell is the Dow and if the market has a fallout, does that mean I should sell my company stock options? That is the problem, the problem that keeps people out. Keeps people on edge, selling their entire 401k, cashing out and running for the hills based on some news show using terms they never heard before. They talk as if it’s another language and most people are just wondering do they need a flux capacitor to mitigate the attenuation and trajectory of their… ok, so you get it. The Investing Lingo is a problem all by itself.