New Year’s Questions
I picked these questions up at a wonderful workshop I attended a few years ago and have found them very useful. I use them for myself every year.
Before beginning a new year in full force, it can be supportive to complete and acknowledge the previous year. I hope that spending a few minutes with the following questions will help you complete 2014 and start 2015 on a strong note!
Completing and Remembering 2014
- What was your biggest triumph in 2014?
- What was the smartest decision you made in 2014?
- What one word best sums up and describes your 2014 experience?
- What was the greatest lesson you learned in 2014?
- What was the most loving service you performed in 2014?
- What is your biggest piece of unfinished business in 2014?
- What are you most happy about completing in 2014?
- Who were the three people that had the greatest impact on your life in 2014?
- What was the biggest risk you took in 2014?
- What was the biggest surprise in 2014?
- What important relationship improved the most in 2014?
- What compliment would you liked to have received in 2014?
- What compliment would you liked to have given in 2014?
- What else do you need to do or say to be complete with 2014?
- How will you acknowledge those who most impacted your life last year?
- What would you like to be your biggest triumph in 2015?
- What advice would you like to give yourself in 2015?
- What is the major effort you are planning to improve your financial results in 2015?
- What would you be most happy about completing in 2015?
- What major indulgence are you willing to experience in 2015?
- What would you most like to change about yourself in 2015?
- What are you looking forward to learning in 2015?
- What do you think your biggest risk will be in 2015?
- What about your work are you most committed to changing and improving in 2015?
- What is one as yet undeveloped talent you are willing to explore in 2015?
- What brings you the most joy and how are you going to do or have more of that in 2015?
- Who or what, other than yourself, are you most committed to loving and serving in 2015?
- What one word would you like to have as your theme in 2015?
Year-End Tax Planning for Individuals
Once again, tax planning for the year ahead presents more challenges than usual, this time due to the numerous tax extenders that expired at the end of 2013.
These tax extenders, which include nonbusiness energy credits and the sales tax deduction that allows taxpayers to deduct state and local general sales taxes instead of state and local income taxes, may or may not be reauthorized by Congress and made retroactive to the beginning of the year.
More significant however, is taxable income in relation to threshold amounts that might bump a taxpayer into a higher or lower tax bracket, thus, subjecting taxpayers to additional taxes such as the Net Investment Income Tax (NIIT) or an additional Medicare tax.
via Las Vegas Financial Advisor, CFP Certified Financial Planner in Las Vegas Financial Planning Firm | Blog Page | Audry Batiste CFP.
A great article by Rick Kahler about Gratude and Money. It is worth reading!
Do you want to more easily change your over-spending behavior? According to some new research, maybe all you need is a bit of gratitude.
Before you brush this idea aside as just another “feel good” theory, you may want to consider a 2013 study that suggests practicing gratitude is a powerful way to increase your happiness and decrease temptations. Northeastern University’s David DeSteno led the research project, which was published in June 2014 in the journal Psychological Science.
Many of us believe we ought to make decisions, especially financial ones, logically rather than emotionally. We assume emotions get in the way of decision-making, so we try to set them aside. We may think the best way to resist temptation, such as wanting to buy something we can’t afford, is to use self-control to clamp down our emotions.
via Rick Kahler: More Gratitude, Less Spending | Kahler Financial.
This is a very interesting article by Jason Zweig about how are brain affects our investment choices.
I think you will enjoy it.
Nothing is more important for investors than learning how much they can stand to lose. But nothing is harder to learn—before it’s too late.
The stock market’s sharp swings earlier this month, after three years of steady profits, weren’t nearly steep enough to remind us all how much it hurts to lose money.
Because people have a remarkable ability to distort their own memories, investors who panicked in 2008 and 2009 may be kidding themselves about their ability to survive another crisis. And the typical “risk-tolerance quiz” used by financial advisers is almost useless in predicting how you will react to losses, because perceptions of risk vary so widely.
Increasingly, scientists are tackling the problem. A new study, just published in the prestigious Journal of Neuroscience by a team of researchers at University College London, the University of Sydney, the University of Pennsylvania, New York University and Yale University, found that the density of cells in one region of the brain predicts how willing people are to take financial risk.
This research appears to “provide the first link between brain structure and risky choice,” says neuroscientist Scott Huettel of Duke University, who wasn’t involved in the study.
I recently volunteered as a guinea pig in the same experiment, which has been run on more than five dozen people; the results have been controlled for age and sex. A scan of my brain showed that the thickness of gray matter in my right posterior parietal cortex—a small area toward the rear crest of my skull—is slightly below average.
via So You Think You’re a Risk-Taker? | Jason Zweig.
This is a very interesting article about behavioral finance – and why you need an advisor.
If you invest regularly you’ve probably made investment mistakes. Maybe you sold a winning stock too early or held on to a losing stock too long. Mistakes are common in investing and here at Morningstar we are constantly trying to help you avoid them. However, there are mistakes that seem to haunt all of us, the ones where you went against your advisor or followed your gut to no avail.
Mark Smeez, 33, from Hamilton, Ont., knows this all too well. He says that during the 2008 crash he sold all of his stocks and mutual funds. “I didn’t have an advisor, but I did have assistance from someone in the financial industry and they told me that the storm would pass.”
via How your personality affects your investment choices | Ashley Redmond | Investor Insight | Morningstar.
This is a great article dealing with the topic of finding an advisor who works for YOU! Most don’t!
Today’s column is going to be on the wonky side, but stay with me — it is very important stuff. For investors seeking some help, it can be crucial.
If you want financial advice, there are two things you should be aware of: First, the quality of advice you receive varies widely. You probably knew this already. The quality of everything you buy varies widely. It is as true for financial advice as it is for any product or service you may buy or otherwise consume. You can buy a Yugo or a Mercedes-Benz. They may both be automobiles, but they vary dramatically.
via Find a financial adviser who will put your interests first – The Washington Post.