64% of Americans have no financial strategy at all. That’s right – no plan whatsoever to build wealth or keep it. That finding comes from the 2009 National Consumer Survey on Personal Finance conducted by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (The survey collected data from 1,700+ U.S. residents.)1
Only 17% of us have a written financial plan that is updated regularly. So congratulate yourself if you are in that group. The CFP Board found that just 17% of the 36% polled who did have a written financial plan had reviewed it in light of changing times. Notably, 48% said they had benefited from having a written plan.1,2
Try living as a “retiree” for a month or two before you commit to leaving your career.
Provided by Daniel Shub
Imagine if you could preview your retirement in advance. In a sense, you can. Financially and mentally, you can “rehearse” for the third act of your life while still enjoying the second.
Pretend you are retired for a month or two. Take two steps to act out your rehearsal – one having to do with your budget, the other with your expectations.
Draw up a retirement budget & live on it for one, two or three months. Make a list of essential expenses (groceries, gas, utilities, mortgage, medicines), and then a list of discretionary expenses (movie tickets, dinners out, spa treatments, what have you). This may reveal that you can live handily on less than what you currently spend each month.1
What is dollar strength & who invests in it?
Provided by Daniel Shub.
You may have heard that the dollar is “strong” right now. You may have also heard that a strong dollar amounts to a headwind against commodities and stocks.
While there is some truth to that, there is more to the story. A strong dollar does not necessarily rein in the bulls, and dollar strength can work for the economy and the markets.
The U.S. Dollar Index has soared lately. Across July 2014-February 2015, the USDX (which measures the value of the greenback against key foreign currencies) rose an eyebrow-raising 19.44%.1
On March 9, the European Central Bank initiated its quantitative easing program. The dollar hit a 12-year high against the euro a day later, with the USDX jumping north more than 3% in five trading days ending March 10. Remarkable, yes, but the USDX has the potential to climb even higher.2,3