Tag Archives: financial crisis bail out

Take The Test

Are You Ready For "The Test?" Many Americans are being tested now. Some are being tested for the first real time in their adult lives because of the financial crisis that continues to grip everyone’s attention. However, many Americans may not yet recognize that this test could turn out better for them than they ever imagined.

Question number one: What is really important to you in your life? We often think about how we are going to increase lifestyle. Perhaps that is the wrong question. Maybe our focus all along should have been “What’s important now?”

Question number two: Do you believe in yourself? This is more than a passing question. The worldwide financial meltdown makes this question more serious than ever, but the question is much more personal than about believing in yourself at work. This question is only in this “test” so that you really think about who you are and what you want.

Question number three: Do you believe only the rich get richer, or can you have a vision of yourself building savings and wealth?

Question number four: Can you commit to a strategy to build emergency savings, life-long savings and retirement investment? If you can, all you need is a plan.

Review your spending over the last three months. Look at your personal spending like a business would look at expenses. Make a commitment to reducing your spending by 10 – 15%. Call everyone you get a bill from and let them know that you have to reduce expenses by 15%. See what options present themselves. You might be surprised.

At the same time, make sure you take the time to look at your checking account for what it is: A MONEY LAUNDERING ACCOUNT for OTHER people’s money. Use every excuse you can to remove money – even small amounts – from that account and put it in money market savings.

While you focus more time on the most important thing in your life (question number one), make an effort to increase spending….on savings. If you have to start with a small amount, take only 1% from your next after-tax paycheck. Push it to savings. Then, each paycheck or at least once a month after, add 1% to it until you reach 15% savings every month.

Commit to this strategy (question number two) of using automatic savings to drive emergency savings. You should work to build 15 to 18 months of expenses in savings (money market savings account or certificates of deposit). Remember: savings will build faster than you think. Just focus on the automatic savings paycheck to paycheck and month to month. You are building to actually generate longer range goals. While that does not happen immediately, you should focus on the going the distance. How would your life be impacted by having 15 to 18 months of expenses in emergency savings? I thought so.

You must seek out examples of people who began with nothing and built wealth. If you look, you will find example after example. The best news: There are thousands of examples of wealth building that does not involve the lottery or a windfall. In other words, saving and investing for the long-term WORKS.

Work to learn all you can about saving and investing. Start with building your emergency savings fun, but don’t stop there. Keep going.

If you answer these four questions above and are ready for the journey, you are ready to shake things up and truly build wealth for yourself. Get started today.

Good luck!

Loyd Ford
http://www.stickyasset.com/blog

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Why You Must Start Now

"The clock is running." When it comes to saving and investing, time is your enemy (or your friend). Delaying is a nightmare that you will see later in your life. If you have children, one of the most important things you can ever do for them is to teach them to save a strong percentage of their income from their first part time job all the way thru their lives. If they establish that saving is not optional early, they will be wealthy on the back end of their lives (when they will need money the most).

Americans focus on education. Get into a good college. Get the degree. But most American children don’t get a good education in personal finance. As a result, they often feel saving and investing is optional. Even if they discover the importance of saving and investing, it is often after 40. Remember what we said about time and money?

We preach this all the time: save and purchase dividend producing assets early and you will be saved from a lot of crisis later. Instead of the lifestyles of the 80s and 90s, we should be focused on owning assets that produce more assets. It is as simple as that.

For most of us, we wish we have begun saving and then investing earlier. Consider that time + regular and automatic saving + automatic and regular investment = wealth creation.

Most everyone is looking for the fast way to wealth. Most of us will never play in the NBA, NFL or MLB. Most of us will never stand in front of 25,000 people singing our greatest hits. Most of us will never win the lottery. However, there are paths to gain access to personal stability and wealth growth.

If you don’t have a proper emergency savings fund, start. It will build faster than you think. We believe a proper emergency savings fund is 15 – 18 months of expenses. That breaks down like this: Six months of it should be in pure cash (money market savings). The balance should be in laddered certificates of deposit so that you are earning as much as possible but remaining as liquid as possible.

Even though people are down on their 401k investments, you should participate if you company has a program. However, the new days ahead will involve happiness for those who launch a Roth IRA with steady savings in addition to their 401k and contributions to emergency savings.

Every penny you save matters.

It will build faster than you think. GET STARTED.

Thank you for reading our blog. If you want, you can get our FREE monthly e-saver by going to http://www.stickyasset.com/blog and signing up in the e-mail block at the right-hand side of our main blog!

Loyd Ford
http://www.stickyasset.com/blog

Self Help Yourself To Wealth (No, Seriously)

I’ve been reading the Chris Gardner book “Start Where You Are.” Chris Gardner is the inspiration for the movie The Pursuit of Happyness (the movie that starred Will Smith as Chris). If you don’t know his story, you should Google him or at least start with the movie. That should motivate you that no matter who you are or where you are you can make a difference and you can both save and invest for the future. While Chris was once homeless, he is now a multimillionare. He didn’t do it with get-rich-quick. He did it with hard work. He did it with focus. He did it with will power.

He has a great story. You can utilize his story to inspire you to “Start Where You Are.” While I am not usually a person who loves a lot of self-help (funny for a person writing two self-help personal finance blogs). If you’ve been reading this blog or our main blog (www.stickyasset.com/blog) for any time, you know that we are working to make good decisions and save regularly while we attempt to help others do the same.

Today’s buzz words are: Start Where You Are. The most important thing you can do for yourself and your family is begin. Begin to save automatically. Even if you start by saving only 1% of your next after-tax paycheck, begin. Then, increase it each paycheck or once a month by another 1% each paycheck or month. Do this until you reach 15%.

You can build a safety-net for you and your family and then begin to truly save and invest in a way that will help you to build wealth.

All I can say is “thank you” again for reading our blog. And “Start Where You Are.”

Loyd Ford
http://www.stickyasset.com/blog

How Do Some People Save And Others Don’t?

I have to give some credit to HSBCDirect.com for the following:

• Active Savers, a group of people characterized by their dedication to saving, entered the recession better prepared than others because of their savings lifestyle. They have not had to take drastic measures to adapt to uncertain financial times and are less likely to have had to cut back on spending, eating out, and making large purchases.

• For more than half (57 percent) of Active Savers, learning to save started at a young age. Putting money away is a value their parents instilled in them (73 percent).

• Savings comes first for nearly half (46 percent) of Active Savers. They’re willing to make sacrifices in order to be able to put money away.

Overall, a majority of the population has not allowed the economy to hamper their savings plans—81 percent have been able to put the same amount away, if not more.

Here’s the idea: Steady savers are better prepared for the downturns that always come in economy and personal situations. Steady savers that are most successful are those who save AUTOMATICALLY. This can include:

401k
Roth IRA
Traditional IRA
Emergency Savings

And you should have each one of these with automatic savings everytime you get paid.

Savings should be put away in FDIC-insured banks that offer the best interest rates.

Want more? Check out or main blog at http://www.stickyasset.com/blog.

Good luck. You’re on the right path thinking about putting money away for the future. Now…take more steps to protect your future by putting the automatic savings into action in each of the categories above.

Thank you.

Loyd Ford
http://www.stickyasset.com/blog

5 Things Every Parent Can Teach Their Children

We all want to give our children access to a great education. You hear a lot about this all the time. You must get excellent grades. You must get into a great school. You must do all you can to “get on the path.”

Why? Most of the reasons behind this is so that your kids and my kids will be good employees. EMPLOYEES! The American Dream is often centered around our identity at work and getting ahead recognized as how much you make. The true look at building personal wealth over your lifetime (and the lifetime of your children) should have much more balance.

No, we are NOT against education. You should want your children to have a good education, but you should arm them with the sharpest knife you can give them: an education in personal finance and wealth-building.

The earlier we start having a personal finance plan and developing ways to build wealth, the better off we will be. You likely know this as an adult. With children, time is on their side.

If you have been reading this blog, you know that we are big to encourage you to teach your children that automatic savings from any paycheck and automatic monthly savings from checking are not a choice – THEY ARE ESSENTIAL to personal financial health over time.

Giving your children an education and really teaching them how time impacts money can give your children more than their education ever will. It is difficult to overestimate this potential.

We started with our boys in this way:

1. From paycheck one, each paycheck should have an automatic savings paid directly from your paycheck to an emergency savings fund (until you have 15 to 18 months of expenses in savings – 6 months in high-interest savings and the rest in rotating six month only certificates of deposit). This will help your children build a real safety net so they have more time to make any decision should they lose their job or have other issues that impact their ability to stay “flush with cash.”

2. See your checking account as a MONEY LAUNDERING ACCOUNT FOR OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY. That’s right. Don’t get your value from a checking account. That money is a holding account and the money does not belong to you unless you REMOVE it to savings.

3. You cannot own credit cards – CREDIT CARDS OWN YOU. So many millions of Americans are chasing their credit score. How did this happen? The marketing “people” turned the truth on its’ head. They started showing how credit is your friend (credit is not your friend). While we don’t want you to harm your credit, the truth is that CASH IS KING….not credit. Limit your use of credit cards and always pay them off. If you cannot pay them off each month, get rid of them immediately (or put them in a safe) and pay them off. Credit cards are not your friend.

4. We like to say that in the old days there was Social Security. Then, people began to say, “Social Security isn’t enough and it might not even be around for you and me.” Now, people say, “get a 401k. But it isn’t enough. You should enroll in your companies’ 401k, but you should also have a Roth IRA or Traditional IRA that you give steady (again with that automatic word) savings to month after month and year after year.

5. It is critical that you teach your children that once they have secured the proper emergency savings fund (15 to 18 months of expenses), the should focus on purchasing assets that create their own income. This might be stocks. It might be real estate. However, the key is to have a dividend or income that comes from owning whatever it is. This is the true key to building wealth over time. For instance, if you choose stocks with dividends, reinvest those dividends for the LIFE OF THE STOCK and you will be building wealth.

Take our advice here and you will teach your children how to build real wealth over time by starting them off with an actual HEAD START over the other kids!

That’s where you want to be with your children, isn’t it?

Thank you for spending a moment with us today. Check out our main blog at http://www.stickyasset.com/blog if you want more.

Good luck!

Loyd Ford
http://www.stickyasset.com/blog

Life Moves When You’re Not Watching (Why Strategic Savings Work)

You’ve seen the national insurance company say, “Life comes at you fast!” It’s funny, right? Well, it can be funny if you are prepared. Are you prepared? Let me explain.

It’s easy to look back on the moment you met your wife if you’ve been married for twenty years. How about looking back on your graduation from high school or college? Remember the moment you had your first kiss? How long ago was thall that?

Time moves faster than we are regularly monitoring. The longer you live the faster time seems to “slide right along” as a friend of mine says all the time.

If you develop a strategy that depends on automatic and steady savings, you will learn over time that it adds up faster than you think. Thinking strategically about problems like proper savings, automatic ways to save thru work (payroll) or home (checking to savings transfers) along with investing in low cost no-load mutual funds (once you are reached your proper emergency savings fund), will make your life better over time. This is because you will have more options.

If you have a job today, you must not see savings as an option. You should build your own plan to boost savings thru automatic savings. Seek out resources like this blog and http://www.stickyasset.com/blog to help you build the path you want to take.

Good things and bad things happen to everyone. You can’t change that. You can change how you react to those events of your life. That means planning to succeed.

One thing is absolutely certain. Time passes faster than any of us thinks about it. Time will move along. Thinking strategically and building a plan to save and invest wisely will make you the genius in your family. More than this it will build a safety net for your family and make your eventual retirement easier on you.

Your life shouldn’t be about a crisis. Your life should be about a plan. That will help you enjoy your life with your family. If you want more help, check out the e-book “How To Survive Any Financial Crisis” at http://www.stickyasset.com and continue to do your research on personal finance on the internet. It is good investment you are already investing in now!

It’s the best gift you can give yourself and your family.

Loyd Ford
http://www.stickyasset.com/blog

The Plan For Surviving The Great Recession

We are all hopeful that a depression has been avoided. Of course, the serious economists are still watchful of the possibility that the government cannot hold on and keep us away from still slipping into a modern version of the 1930’s style depression. If you are someone who likes to plan for the future, you shouldn’t be sounding the all clear to your friends and family either.

We continue to watch company earnings, unemployment, home sales and a variety of other factors in determining if we can truly “turn the corner.”

The truth has not changed. You must have a plan for surviving the “Great Recession.” This plan should include a reality view of the world YOU live in today.

You should have or work to build an emergency savings fund that includes 15 to 18 months of expenses in money market savings or certificates of deposit (or best in both). Now is NOT the time to pull back from a 401k unless you are carrying extra credit card debt and cannot afford to pay that debt off and push ahead in your 401k.

You must work to eliminate credit card debt and see these guys for who they are: The devil. That’s right – I said it. They are the devil. Your enemy. You should always treat them as such. Too many millions of Americans are still chasing their credit score when CASH IS KING.

Once you have secured your debt (eliminated or highly reduced it) and you have the proper emergency savings fund, work to steadily invest in mutual funds and diversify. We like no-load mutual funds. Look for low fees.

See your home for what it is: your home. Many millions of Americans refuse to see their home for what it is in terms of your wealth or poverty – your BIGGEST LIABILITY. Work to pay even small amounts extra in principle if you can because it will save you more than you realize in the life of the loan. In fact, if you steady-up on paying principle in addition to your monthly house “note,” you could knock YEARS and many, many thousands off of your debt. Homes are to live in. They are not speculative investment.

Invest in yourself. This means personal education. You can do it at the local community college or on-line. You can do some formal learning or training or teach yourself about saving and investing and work to generate passive income streams in addition to your “day jobs” to fund savings and investing.

People often only think to save when trouble comes. Steady and automatic savings will add up faster than you think.

You can do this. Develop wealth as a hobby. Be serious about it. Look to purchase things that begin to generate money on their own. This can be savings or mutual funds. It can – eventually be more.

Sign up for our FREE E-SAVER now at our main blog (www.stickyasset.com/blog). Good luck!

Loyd Ford
http://www.stickyasset.com/blog