FINANCIAL CONCEPTS BLOG

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All in the Family....YOURS and OURS

We are happy to introduce you to our newest team member, Leslie F. Richmond. And yes that F. is for Ferguson.  Did we expect to be working with a daughter, or a sister? Nope. But we are so excited to have her FINALLY join your financial planning family!

Leslie will serve as our Relationship/Communications manager. Her job will be to help us stay in touch with you, often!

This means knowing what’s important to you, now. It means keeping track of your personal milestones and accomplishments. Most of all, it means always being there when you need us.

Families like yours are why we do what we do. And who better to help you than a family. Whether it be a mother, grandmother, brother, son, sister or daughter, just like yours!  

Leslie comes to us with her Master of City and Regional Planning from the University of Memphis. In the fall, she realized her love for economic development/job creation and her love for city planning was very similar to financial planning. She wants to help those recipients of good jobs to reach their goals and dreams.  She finally understood the reasons why we love what we do! (We’ve been telling her since her undergraduate days at Mississippi State.)  

Leslie will call you soon, but in the meantime, if you have any questions, or if there is any thing we can do for you, please don’t hesitate to let us know. Thanks again letting our family be a part of your family!

 

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Happy New Year and Happy New Decade

I know there is debate, and some remind us the new decade doesn’t start until next year, but I’m excited to be heading into the 5th decade of my career. And Scott is heading into his 3rd.

As I looked back over the last decades, I realized as we've helped families live through these times, we’ve helped families through lots of headlines and lots of life.  We’ve seen so much. The 80s, the 90s, the 00s, the 10s, and now the exciting roaring 20s.

For the Fergusons, the Financial Concepts families, and the world, there have been lots of stories. As I walked down memory lane, I realized the planning was more about life, milestones and dreams than headlines.

In the 80s we had the banking crisis. And Wall Street, “Greed is Good.”  But like my family, our clients graduated, married, had their first child, and began their careers. They combined finances, built or bought homes. They began saving and investing for their futures.

In the 90s, the big story was boom days! New ideas.  New investments. And what went up never seemed to go down. Families grew. They bought vehicles. They educated children. They lost loved ones. Their careers or business grew. They saved or invested more.

In the 00s, the big stories were Y2K, September 11, and the mortgage crisis. Graduations, college expenses, new homes, and big purchases. Grandchildren!

In the 10s, we had the strongest recovery imaginable. Retirements and new stages of life. New careers, new jobs, new employers. Health issues. Wellness issues. Lots of life.

What this trip down memory lane reminds us is that financial planning is much more about life than headlines. Plans, investments, money are tools to accomplish all this living. And likely we cannot imagine either the headlines in the 20s, nor the life!

 

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FOOTBALL DOWN SOUTH

 

Scott and I don’t have a lot of hobbies but in the South, college football is definitely a hobby! With a long season, sometimes longer than others 😊, and our own superstitions, college football requires commitment. And our hobby is Alabama Football. As you can imagine, November 2019 won’t go down as our favorite football month. But that doesn’t stop us from saying ROLL TIDE ROLL!

It's awfully important to win with humility. It's also important to lose. I hate to lose worse than anyone, but if you never lose you won't know how to act. If you lose with humility, then you can come back.                  Coach Bear Bryant

 But football and a good or bad season can easily relate to financial planning.

  • Start with a plan.
     Focus on the process of what it takes to be successful.           Coach Nick Saban
     
  • Diversify.

It takes a team, and depth. We can only imagine how ugly the season would have been with no back- ups. You need a great quarterback, but you have to have tackles. You have to have receivers and running backs. And yes, a kicker. (Is this the time to say no game is won or loss on any one play? Neither is financial independence.)

  •  Think long-term because timing doesn't work.

Don't give up at halftime. Concentrate on winning the second half. Coach Bear Bryant

The more one emphasizes winning, the less he or she is able to concentrate on what actually causes success. Coach Nick Saban

Now we didn’t win those big games this year, but if the plan is to meet the goal of long term financial success, you may need a few seasons to win the Championship or two, or 4, or 17.

  •  Faith in the future is critical.

Are 12 wins better than 10? YES!  Do 2 losses, or 2 bad years in the market, or 3, or 4, in a lifetime, derail a plan? NO!

  •  Your/Our coach is Aight!

Becoming a champion is not an easy process... It is done by focusing on what it takes to get there and  not on getting there. Coach Nick Saban

Will you have setbacks? Will you have bear markets? Will your job change? Will you help your children? In the moment, you will feel like your plan is going fail, but your coaches will be right there reminding you, this is one play. We will help you to come back in the second half, or even if it takes one more season! You’ve got a coach helping you to focus on the process, your plan, and your dreams and goals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sometimes Grandmothers Do Know Best

 

Often, we tell you to stay the course, or no action is the best action. But successful financial planning is about following some principles that are fairly simple, but not always so easy to follow! That’s why we remind you whenever we get the chance; we earn our keep by keeping your eye on the plan. 

 

  1. Start with a plan.

     

    By a plan, we mean where you are now. Where do you want to be? When do you want to get there? And how much can you add between now and then? Or how much income do you need to draw between now and then? We encourage you to spend more time on your plan for the future than planning your next vacation.

     

    This blog came to us as Rhonda remembered things her grandmother used to say about money. Look after your pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves. Or another favorite, those folks have more money than sense. (When Rhonda was young she thought her grandmother was saying “cents.”) And of course, a penny saved is a penny earned.

    The destination is YOUR dream and YOUR goal. There is no trophy! But there is satisfaction.  We will keep your eye on the plan, not on a prize!

     

  2. Diversification is Important.

 

True diversification means never making a killing from an investment, but never getting killed by one idea, either. Different investments meet different objectives at different times. Never will they all move in one direction at the same time! And that’s a good thing.

 

And as Granny 2 used to say, don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

 

  1. Think Long Term.

 

How long is long term? You should never make an investment that you don’t intend to leave alone for at least five years. Five years has tended to be a “normal” market cycle. Remember though, “NORMAL” is only a setting on the washer!

 

But another way of looking at long- term, if your plan is for the rest of your life, then long-term could be 40 days or 40 years.  Most of us don’t have an expiration date stamped on the bottom of our foot. When investing, history has shown that the good days tend to take care of the bad ones. Time in the market is more important than timing the market.  And measuring your plan’s success daily is like measuring the distance from here to California with a ruler. Anything worth having is worth waiting for, working for, and earning.

 

  1. Faith in the Future.

 

Many of us could have never imagined the progress we would see in our lifetimes. Someone is sitting in the shade because someone else planted a seed. We own pieces of businesses when we invest in stocks, businesses that provide products that are important to our lives.

 

Who’d of thought many of us would pay more a vehicle than we did our first home?

 

  1. Act based on your plan, not the headlines, your favorite brother-in-law,  your neighbor,  a candidate,  your favorite internet or broadcast guru.

 

You know we all tend to hear headlines and immediately think the sky is falling. I should do something, anything. The grass is greener on the other side. This time is different. We know we want to buy low and sell high. But the urgency in an information-saturated world makes us react and do the opposite.  But that guy on the internet was right last time. Remember, stopped watches are right twice a day!

 

One point we don’t count as a principle, but maybe we should. While there are people who do it themselves, and there are those who follow friends, or newsletters, most folks benefit from having a guide.  (Dare we say, sometimes you get what you pay for? Or if it sounds too good to be true, it might be?)

 

We think our clients benefit from having someone whose cooler head will prevail when their hearts and emotions want to react. We want to be your guide to turning your dreams and goals into reality! Let us help you remember the simple things…and to make them easier.  (And maybe some of these quips might help you when the noise gets too loud.)

 

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Return of Volatility? At Financial Concepts, we never knew it left!

One of the most frustrating headlines to read is that the market was volatile today or it’s turbulent again. Again? When wasn’t it? Both the biases that up is normal, and down is volatile or bad are wrong.

 Webster’s defines volatility as the tendency to change quickly and unpredictably. CHANGE. UNPREDICTABLY. Notice that…change without specifying direction. And the most important adjective we stress is unpredictably. No matter how many brilliant talking heads tell us they can predict when and which direction, they can’t. No one can. Even the person that was right, once or twice before.  Remember a broken watch is right twice a day!

 We like words that describe with vivid pictures. We often tell people if you watch the market minute by minute, or day by day, or even month by month, it can look like a squiggly EKG. But if you look at heart rates over time, you will see a very steady line. None of us wants to look at our EKG daily, now, do we?

  Volatility, both up and down, is why the “stock market” provides the returns we need. Comfortable retirement requires growing income that we can’t outlive, and we can’t receive that from an investment that is fixed. Instead of the “stock market” we remind you to think of owning great businesses.

  Remember your plan and goals matter most. If our goal is to teach our children to take their toys upstairs…we should focus on that toy at the top of the stairs. What if that toy is a yo-yo? If we watch our grandson, playing with that yo-yo on each step, the ups and downs might drive us crazy. But if we keep watching, we will see him eventually get upstairs…the trend of that yo-yo, while up and down on the way, was up the stairs! And after a few minutes, the boy and his yo-yo are at the desired top step!

 And the ups and downs that happen on each step, or each day, month, or year, on the way to a lifetime retirement income, are just that, the steps on the way to the ultimate goal…the top step, or the lake house, or the garden, or the front porch swing with grandchildren.

 

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This site is only intended for clients and interested investors residing in states and countries in which Financial Concepts is qualified to conduct investment advisory services.
 
Financial Concepts is a registered investment adviser located in Columbus, MS. Financial Concepts may only transact business in those states or countries in which it is registered, or qualifies for an exemption or exclusion from registration requirements. For non-clients of the firm, Financial Concepts’ web site is limited to the dissemination of general information pertaining to its investment advisory services.
 

Please contact Financial Concepts at 662-327-1480 to find out if we may conduct advisory business in the state or country where you reside. Accordingly, Financial Concepts does not, and will not, effect or attempt to effect transactions in securities, or the rendering of personalized investment advice for compensation, through this website. Any subsequent, direct communication with a prospective client shall be conducted by a Financial Concepts representative who is either registered or qualifies for an exemption or exclusion from registration in the state or country where the prospective client resides.