Apprise Wealth Management's Selected Readings for the Week of November 12, 2018

Planning

November 13, 2018
Planning

At Apprise Wealth Management, we want to help people make better decisions about money. We also read constantly and like sharing some of the commentaries we enjoyed reading the most each week.

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Here are this week’s articles as well as a brief description of each:

1.   Low Savings Account? Blame Your Brain. One can easily argue there is a retirement crisis in America. According to an analysis from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the median American household had only $1,100 saved for retirement. It is likely that many factors contribute to the poor U.S. savings rate; however, a recent Cornell University study published in the journal Nature Communications found that our brains may at least share the blame. Researchers discovered that our brains may be better wired to look for chances to earn money – and fail to recognize chances to save, even when they are right in front of us. In other words, we may have an earn-first, save-later bias. Perhaps if we are aware of this tendency, we might think about savings differently.

2.   Thinking About Money. Jonathan Clements was The Wall Street Journal’s personal finance columnist for nearly 20 years. In this post, he offers 12 suggestions about how to get the most out of our money. Here are a few to get you started:

·        Design a life for yourself that allows you to spend your days doing what you love.

·        Use your money to create special times with friends and family.

·        Spend your money on experiences rather than possessions.

The first reason above partly explains how my career has morphed from tax professional to financial adviser. This post explains some of that decision’s other drivers.

3.   Humble Exits. When we are successful in some aspect of our lives, our achievements can often set us up for a downfall. In many industries, promotions are the kiss of death for productivity and happiness. But it’s rare to be able to turn them down without sacrifice. Smart companies avoid those negative incentives. Seinfeld fans will recall that the show ended while it was still on top. Many failed to understand why the show ended when it did. In the book Seinfeldia, Jerry attributed the decision to his disinterest in having the show hit its downturn. If we can embrace the rare skill of embracing humility in the face of success, we may be much better off.

4.   How to Get Someone to Put Away Their Phone and Actually Listen. No matter how much we insist otherwise, we really cannot do to things at once. Perhaps even worse is emerging research showing that even the simple presence of a cell phone – forget about the added impact of its glowing screen and constant beeps – interrupts our ability to connect. Do you find people stop paying attention to you when you talk in favor of looking to see why something is happening on their digital device? To bring about change, we need to speak up. The author offers advice on how to begin the process:

·        Discuss the data – Share the research, including the effect the presence of a cell phone has on productivity.

·        Make it personal – ask them to give you their full attention when you are talking and promise to reciprocate.

·        Hold the boundary – make them adhere to the norm and speak up when the boundary is crossed.

5.   A Helpful Guide to Reading Better. Personally, I like to read whenever I can. Reading helps us stay abreast of what is happening in the world. It can also allow us to improve our business practices and/or contribute to our personal growth. Reading the words is easy. Understanding and gaining lasting value from what you read can be more challenging. If you would like some suggestions on how to become a better reader, then you will benefit from reading this post from Farnam Street.

 

We hope you find the above posts of interest. If you would like to talk to us about financial topics such as your investments, creating a financial plan, college savings, or your retirement savings please fill out our contact form, and we will be in touch. We can schedule a call, a virtual meeting via Zoom, or a meeting at Apprise Wealth Management's office in Northern Baltimore County.

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