Daily Dose #26: Kick the Tires and Check Under the Hood

The Millennial Piggy Bank has been on a short “hiatus.” We have returned though and are ready to “Show You the Money!” Speaking of finances…

  1. Do you know where your money is? You now have a growing savings account, IMG_0963 Flat tirehave recently invested in your company’s stock and are celebrating your second year of owning your own home.  You even have that emergency account all set up.  These are excellent steps for building your financial portfolio and we admire you for hiring a financial planner to monitor your investments.  We applaud everything you have done to increase your personal wealth, but how much do you know about your mutual fund?  Have you met with someone to find out the “ins and outs” of your 401K?  How often do your check on your stocks and where do you go to get tips on best investments?  These are all important considerations since it is YOUR MONEY!   Check out CNN Money, with your morning coffee, pull up “Market Watch,” over lunch and sign up for CNBC Investing  If the huge packet you received from Voya Financial sounds like Greek to you, then make an appointment to meet with your investor and ask questions!  Again, it’s your money so shouldn’t you know all you can about what it’s doing? While you’re at it, have you checked into the “guidelines” of your savings account or read your current mortgage statement?  Most “money advisors” recommend hiring a financial team to help with your portfolio. At the very minimum, having an attorney, accountant and financial advisor as well as a financial planner at your local bank available to you, will help you stay on track financially. Make sure you attend your yearly financial review and keep a file of all statements and investing policies. Last, but not least…have you set up a living will yet? It’s your money, so keep it safe, check under the hood regularly and take it in for yearly reviews every 100 days!

PS.  Don’t forget to check out Daily Dose #25… there may have been a glitch in the delivery!

Daily Dose #25: Why Didn’t I Think Of That?

IMG_1285Dolphin statueDid you hear the one about the man who made millions sellingDoggles?”  Well, he’s made a complete “Spectacle” out of himself and is “rolling over” in dough!

But seriously, how many of us have had an idea for the next “Shark Tank”-worthy invention, but never got past the thought?  If you are a science nerd, mechanical genius, informational guru or practical wizard your millennial millions may be just one idea away.  All you really need is to find a problem that to date has no solution.  You never know what crazy dream could lead to the next big craze or infomercial!  With the invention of the App, you really don’t even need to invent an object!  It may be an app for teaching someone how to complete a task in a better, faster, more efficient way, or an outlandish game full of fantasy that occupies the mind when we have “nothing else better to do!” Look at all the people crashing into trees in search of imaginary Pokémon creatures! It isn’t like the idea has to be practical! So, no idea is too crazy.  Instead of casting your brainstorm to the wind or telling yourself, “that will never work,” write it down and do your research, map it out to completion and take a chance.  You never know until you try and look where we would be if the Thomas Edisons, Ben Franklins, Henry Fords and Steve Jobs of the world had never followed their ideas to the end?  Most likely, walking in the dark, with blurred vision wishing we had a way to send a Tweet! Get out there millennials, your crazy idea just may lead to financial freedom!

Daily Dose #24: Watch Out For Your Money!

  1. IMG_1057 Sad DogPlan for the Unexpected! What would happen if your yearly ski trip to Veil turned into a broken leg, dislocated shoulder and emergency surgery that kept you out of work for 6 months?  Would you be okay financially?  Crashing into a tree on the “Black Diamond Slope,” isn’t covered under Workman’s Comp., so how would you pay for everything?  We know you have adequate health insurance because living without it would be CRAZY! There are always unexpected costs that arise in life.  Many wealthy, professional athletes are just one broken arm away from poverty because they have no emergency fund and are spending more than they make.  The minute you take that first job, move out of your parents’ home and start your incredible “Millennial Life,” set up an emergency account that you add to monthly. Whatever your situation, start now! Even adding $100 a month will help.  Set it up so that the money is taken out of each paycheck or bank account automatically and then forget it’s there!  Don’t use it to supplement your spending or to cover minor emergencies like a flat tire or visit to Urgent Care.  Only use this account for large emergencies that could potentially ruin you financially.  The recommendation is to always have at least 6 months of total living expenses available in case something unforeseen should happen.  Some financial gurus even recommend having a short term and a long term emergency fund. Either way, setting money away for the unexpected is like insurance for your money, and should be a large component of your financial plan.


Daily Dose #23: “Money For Nothing”…Well, Almost.

  1. IMG_0608 Miami Highrises Pay Yourself First!  Many Millennials see taking money out of each paycheck to place in a savings account, mutual fund, 401K, or stocks as something they hope to afford “someday.”  The truth is you can’t afford NOT to invest ! The money your company contributes to your retirement account or 401K is FREE MONEY and what could be better than that?  Regardless of your salary, if ever offered stock options for the company, take it! You may not stay with the company till retirement, but why would anyone pass up the potential to increase their earnings? When planning your budget include $50 per paycheck for a savings account, $50 a month for a mutual fund and whenever possible buy stock!  At this age, Millennials, you have nothing to lose and it is never too early to start diversifying and building your portfolio. If saving $50 a month means you have to buy the Direct TV plan with less channels or get by with less minutes on your cell phone, do it!  Author and portfolio manager, Patrick O’Shaughnessy, recommends Generation Y, “get over their fear of investing and get into the market.”  At the age of retirement, when you are living on the beach, traveling to a new country every year and making money daily on all of your investments, you will thank yourself for taking a risk and investing in yourself now!

Daily Dose #22: What’s Your Motivation?

IMG_0177 Boomer SeriousAnalyze Your Spending. Financial advisers recommend that you start by writing down everything you spend for a month.  Then, put all expenditures into categories to analyze your spending habits.  Categorize the money by the reason you felt the need to spend it, such as “living expenses,” “entertainment,” “no reason/ just did!” The ultimate goal is to understand the motivation behind your spending We all have habits that we revert to when we are sad, lonely, bored or stressed. There are people who are emotional eaters, emotional sleepers and yes…emotional spenders!  Many of us don’t even realize we are doing it!  Keeping a journal of all purchases from least to most expensive, will give you valuable insight into your spending patterns.  If you find that you spend when you are stressed, find a healthier avenue for relieving anxiety.  Take up yoga, learn to cook or paint that entryway wall that has been bugging you.  Either way, information is power, so take some time and find out what drives your spending habits!

Daily Dose #21: Millionaire Mindset

  1. 2014-07-03 20.18.45 sunset dolphinTruth: everyone has potential to become a millionaire and the opportunity to acquire wealth!  The hurdle to overcome is how we think about money! Millionaires focus on earning money and building wealth verses the lack of money or spending it. The truly wealthy believe saving money is essential and budget for it each month. Most millionaires acquire wealth from multiple sources and typically recommend working towards owning your own business.  They are always finding new ways to acquire additional income.  Moneymakers like The Motley Fool writer, Daniel Miller, constantly look for ways to market their skills, fill a need that no one else has found a way to do, find a niche and branch out!  Most millionaires started out with at least 2 jobs and often found ways to save the income from one of them.  They see debt as a depletion of their assets, believe in prioritizing purchases and only spend on what is absolutely necessary and can be bought with cash.  They build their credit by paying everything off each month, owning a home and making multiple investments. You could become the next millennial millionaire simply by shifting your mindset.


Daily Dose #20: Take Interest!

If the Lottery hasn’t panned out for you yet, you are in luck.  This week’s Daily Doses have a theme that may resonate with you.  We found some expert advice from the filthy rich that just may put you in that penthouse of your dreams!

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  1. First money tip….SAVE! Save the most you can as often as you can.  Make it a habit, in fact make saving money an addiction!  Find a savings account with the highest possible interest and scrape together a deposit.  Then add something, anything, EVERY WEEK!  The earlier you start saving, the sooner you will be letting your money work for you.  Compounded interest is your friend!  It may sound like pennies on a dollar, but tomorrow it will be pennies on your dollar plus the previous day’s interest…and so on, and so on, and so on! There are Millionaire Calculators online that will calculate the amount you need to save per month to reach a million dollars by the age you wish. A Millennial starting at the age of 25, with a beginning balance of just $1,000 at 7% interest, would only have to save $500 per month, (or $17 per day) to have a million dollars saved by age 62! So, scrape together a balance, even if it is the $100 you got from Grandma for your birthday, and let it ride!

Daily Dose #19: Open to Possibilities

IMG_1188 Dolphin swimThe most exciting thing about being a part of the millennial generation is your amazing potential.  With today’s technology, your future is limitless. So,  Millennials, now is the time to start making a list of what you do well.  What are your talents? What matters most to you and what can you offer people?  This is more than just creating the perfect resume, it is about digging deep inside of you to find you life’s purpose.  What drives you?  What are you truly passionate about?  Have you loved dinosaurs since you were 5 and have amazing artistic talents? Then find a way to combine your love of the T-Rex and uncanny skill for drawing to write a best-selling children’s book, create the next Dino app or build a statue for the Smithsonian!  Your talents are your power.  Thousands of millennials are within 1 to 2 years of graduating with a college degree and have no idea what they want to do with their life.  Should you be worried or fearful of what will happen once you have your diploma in hand? NO!  Now is the time to read, explore, talk to people, reach inside and decide what makes you truly happy.  The millionaires of today may have gotten rich doing what they hated for 50 years, but why would you when you can use your amazing abilities to do what you love? The frosting on the cake…making a fortune along the way!

It isn’t a sin to use your passion and talents to make money! We need to see building wealth as an opportunity, a challenge before us!  You can do what you love, help those around you, travel the world and create amazing things and build financial security at the same time!  In fact you may be able to solve a critical problem for the world and become so wealthy that you are able to give back to society in outstanding ways. When contemplating your future have faith in your abilities and as Steve Jobs so eloquently stated, when deciding what to do with your life, don’t settle!”  Find what matters to you, what you love and what you see yourself doing and stick with it.  It is rare for a person to stay in one job or even one type of job over the course of their career, so be open and ready for new opportunities.  The most important thing to do is take a first step and do something.  Follow your heart, have faith that all will work out and get excited for what lies ahead!

Daily Dose #19: “The Sound of Silence…”

What if we told you there was one negotiation strategy that could clinch the dIMG_1278 Angeleal, put your company on the map and completely change your trajectory for bigger and better things?  Would you try it?  What if we told you that the strategy to master was….silence?  Knowing “when to hold ‘em” and “when to show ‘em” may sound good in theory, but realizing how to use a period of silence to maximize your negotiating power is the strategy of the times. Too many business leaders feel the need to ramble when struck with times of silence.  Often giving your pitch and then pulling back to listen and observe shows power, confidence and self-assuredness, all characteristics of a person who is clear about what they want.  Silence gives people time to formulate questions, deeply contemplate what they just heard and decide if you can be swayed.  Individuals who feel uncomfortable with silence often jump in to fill the void and can give away private information, offer too much and make promises they can never fulfill.

Before you go into negotiations, practice your presentation as well as your silence.  Do some troubleshooting with your team to project what problems could arise and develop strategic responses. See yourself as successful, calm and organized, and have confidence that you are prepared. They won’t know what to think if they never see you sweat!

Daily Dose #18: Communication is Everything!

IMG_0600 bubble 2Effective communication is the number one factor in how an employee is perceived in the workplace. 
A good communicator knows how to read their audience and adjusts the way they deliver information to them accordingly.  Every one of us has a primary and secondary mode of communication that we gravitate to.  Learning to read and manage the way we send information to a boss or colleague can make or break your upward mobility in the company.  This skill, often referred to as “The Art of Managing Up,” is especially important when dealing with your boss. Identifying that your boss learns and remembers information best when it is first told to them and then reinforced with a short email, listing the pros, cons and key points, may prevent a major mishap due to a lack of crucial information.  Although documentation is the number one recommendation with any position, it is important to recognize early on which form of communication your boss prefers and stick with it. Misreading a person’s communication style can lead to catastrophe. Handing a hard copy of a presentation to someone who is unorganized and forgetful instead of having a conversation and sending the proposal via email, could derail a project. Note to self, the responsibility always falls on the person sending the message. Best advice…document everything and don’t assume everyone has the same communication style as you!

“Communication is everything,” so take time to study and hone your soft skills when entering the job market.  When interviewing for a high stakes position, having the ability to present yourself well can catapult you into the number one position over someone with more experience. Information only matters if you can deliver it effectively to someone who’s listening!