FINANCIAL CONCEPTS BLOG

Welcome to our blog! Be sure and check back periodically as we post content on a wide variety of financial topics.
Featured

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading
24 Hits
0 Comments
Featured

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.)

 

Continue reading
108 Hits
0 Comments
Featured

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.

 

Continue reading
49 Hits
0 Comments

Plan Today for Happier Tomorrows

 

“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road’ll take you there.” Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

 

You’ll have happier tomorrows if you start planning today. It’s that simple. The benefit of a plan is as that silly commercial says……PRICELESS!

 You start a map with a destination.  Are you going to retire early? Are you going to start a new career in your 50s? Are you going to take your grandchildren to college? Do you want to visit a vacation home that allows you to have the best of both worlds, work and play?

 Next, you determine how many miles and how much fuel the destination will take. Do you want the grands to have First Class Airfare or Economy Tickets? Tuition and room and board or just tuition?  For 3 grands ranging from age newborn to 13, we have a time frame of needing these dollars between the years 2024 and 2037.  Define that goal and the time frame, that’s your destination. For example, an economy ticket for your three grandchildren will take approximately $150,000.  

 Where are you towards meeting this goal, starting at home, or already half way to campus? Do you have money set aside? Or is this a new plan?  For a new plan, you would need to save about $700 a month to fund the $150,000 for 3 grands ranging in age from newborn to 13!1

 Once you know the numbers, you can determine if this is a priority destination.  If this is a have-to trip, you might say, well this is something I feel very strongly about and start investing for gas and lodging! You might say, well this is a lower on our bucket list journey and I’m not willing to commit this much, but I will do something to help them on their way.  I’ll set aside $100 gas money a month for each child. But you need to know the distance on the map and how much gas it’s going to take before you determine whether you are going on this trip.

 Over the last 30 years, you have come to us to take you to retirement at specific ages, plan the trips for education and weddings, and fun things like vacation homes. We have mapped many different destinations in a financial plan. And we can tell you when we determine the miles, and you follow the map, the dreams become reality.

 Some of our strongest career memories are of those who said, we want to be able to arrive at the retirement terminal early. What do we do? And as planners we determined that ticket price, we’ve hesitated to tell you the requirements. But we told you.  This trip is so many miles, and it will take this much gas…every single month or every single year.  And every time… every single time, when someone followed the map, they reached the destination.

 Those who said, well it was only a wish. I’ll just keep working and come back to see you later for an update on available trip costs. The mileage didn’t get better. It got bigger. And while those who decided to wait, went on great trips, splurged on wants and short term wishes….so did those who said this is a have- to destination! The difference in the two scenarios, is commitment to the journey from the moment it became a destination. Those of you who followed the map, put gas in the car, still stopped at some beautiful places on the way.

 Or another way to look at this is to remember one of the examples from Rhonda’s teenage-hood. She has always loved to travel. And had great dreams of all the places she wanted to visit. She worked from the age of 15 at various jobs. But mostly her earnings went to buy the latest trends of 70s teenagers. Her cousin on the other hand also dreamed of traveling to faraway destinations. Teresa had a giant pickle jar with a picture of the next dream destination. Every time she baby sat or worked at the mall, some of her paycheck went in the pickle jar as gas money for the next trip. She visited wonderful places and has memories and photographs and stickers on the suitcases. Rhonda can’t find any of her bellbottom jeans or record albums from the same period! Let us help you print the map to turn your dream destinations into reality. 

 1 The college calculations were estimated using the Capital Group’s College Savings Planner. We used the average public institution cost of $6,069 a year for tuition, with 5% inflation. We assumed an investment would grow at 6%.

 

 

 

 

Continue reading
25 Hits
0 Comments

I'll be successful when I hit a certain number.

This week marks the birthday of one of the, if not the, most successful investor the world has ever known. Warren Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha, turns 89. And his wisdom or quotes have been shared many times over. Those who didn't learn from them, were often at least entertained by them. Reading some of those gems in an email today, reminded us that many explain what we believe to be the keys to financial success very simply, and sometimes quite humorously. Below find just a few of our favorite Warren Buffett quotes:

1. Someone's sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago. It all starts with a plan for the future.

2. I don't look to jump over 7-foot bars: I look around for 1-foot bars that I can step over. Diversification means never making a financial killing off of one idea, nor being killed financially by one idea!

3. Our favorite holdings period is forever. The most important quality for an investor is temperament. You need a temperament that neither derives great pleasure from being with the crowd nor against the crowd.

4. The rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield. Think of the medical advancements you couldn't dream of 10 years ago. Think of the marvel that is the device in your pocket. FAITH IN THE FUTURE IS A REQUIREMENT.

5. An investor should act as though he had a lifetime decision card with just twenty punches on it. Timing won't work. If so, everyone would be wealthy. You'd only have to watch the news. As we all know not everyone is wealthy. But it's natural to want to try. Punch that card with the beginning of your plan, and as your life changes, not minute by minute.

Many think financial success is being rich! I'll be successful when I hit a certain number. But the numbers change every day. Not your target, but what you watch. Those numbers change every single day.

At Financial Concepts, we think of being financially successful as being financially independent. When you are financially independent, your financial punches over your lifetime, allow you to live a comfortable independent retirement. Financial success allows you to provide for your family, whether or not you are still with them. And that financial success allows you to leave legacies to causes and concerns you care about.

Remember we are here to help you reach for your dreams and goals by helping you make the most of your 20 punches!

Continue reading
31 Hits
0 Comments
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.