January 23, 2008

Stocks down so the Fed slashes rates...excited yet?

The average person who has money tied up in either investments or some kind of debt gets pretty excitable when the media reports wild movements in stock prices and interest rates. Here's the thing. If you are the type to feel excitable, then you need a financial coach. Not just any coach though. As with other aspects of life, the coaching necessary is intimately tied to your specific needs. Trouble is, identifying those needs. But even before the identification of needs can happen, you have to admit you actually have needs. So let me help with that.

You have a need for financial coaching if you have money. If you don't have any money (as in none at all), you need another kind of coaching (no time to cover that now...but feel free to check back later). So now that the need for financial coaching has been established, how do you decide what kind? For the average middle income person ($25,000 to $200,000 a year...single low middle to married high middle) a good coach is either knowledgeable and provides access to services in many areas of finance (at least investing, insurance and debt elimination services) or has access to people knowledgeable in these areas and more. Unfortunately, many people presume they only need coaching for investments or worse that their insurance representative (who only handles insurance services) is a financial guru. By the way,
if your investments are internal to your insurances then you potentially have a rip-off artist for a coach or at least an ignorant insurance agent. In any case, the biggest and most ignored area financial coaching is managing and eliminating debt. Yet, the most people have no idea that dealing with debt is part and parcel of all their other financial goals, most importantly their long term investments.

Stocks falling greatly is, for the short run, disconcerting at best if, and only if, you have the coaching to work this event to your advantage. Interest rates falling, for the short run, is not actually cause to run right out for a new mortgage or loan. It could be, if you have a coach who can help take the emotion out of the decisions. And that is the key. Coaching in any area of life is really for the purpose of managing your emotions in order to hit goals. Sometimes you need more emotion, sometimes less, sometimes no emotion (and in sports directed emotion is generally useful, but that's another blog topic). I
f you're feeling excitable right now, take a deep breath, and begin the process of interviewing a few potential coaches. Start with a list of all your financial services and all your short term and long term goals.

Keep in mind, while some coaches are fee based and others have fees worked into services. Both are valid. Don't rule out coaching based on cost. In fact, I could probably write a multi-page blog on what a good financial coach brings to the table when it comes to making solid financial moves. Bottom line, good financial coaching provides a value that can be measured in both the money made and saved through making good reasoned decisions as well as the emotions not expended because you have access to a sounding board upon which to bounce your decisions. Managing your finances without a trained financial coach is rather like walking a tightrope without a net. It's way more dangerous than it appears. However, unlike tightrope walking, a misstep now might not have immediate consequences but in the long run it can compound into a devastating one. Don't give into your excitable emotions by running out and making a rash decision about your investments and/or mortgage. Get a coach instead.


RED MOJO said...

I hate that idea, but I like your new blue background!
I'm sure you are right, but I dated a woman for a short time that had a life-coach, relationship-coach, financial-coach, spritual coach, no nutritional coach that I know of, but she wanted me to get all these coaches too. I hire someone to do my taxes, that's going to have to do for now.

TheWeyrd1 said...

I would suggest that some of those coaches are redundant (life coaches should be able to cover at least 3 of the other coaches)...that woman needed a coaching coach...lol I would also suggest that you can always improve on life, spirituality and relationships in general. But a wrong move financially can really put you behind in an area that is hard to make up for later. It's a compounding thing. Financial coach can be very very affordable if you chose carefully. Go for best total value, not just lowest cost...and sooner rather than later.

xenafan71 said...

Do you know if Credit Unions offer this service? I know I could just ask them but I don’t want to sound ignorant which I am when it comes to finance. The only thing I really need help with is what to do with some extra cash I have (are you jealous yet?). I abhor the idea of investing in the stock market. I’m thinking of putting the money in CD’s but I like to explore other options.

TheWeyrd1 said...

Understand that the banks and credit unions are "BANKING" on the general public's ignorance of the money game. They pay you 4% or so on a CD and turn around and make 8% or better in a real investment and keep the difference as a "profit". If you don't have time or desire to figure out how to make your money grow then you for sure need a coach. Don't let laziness or ignorance be an excuse that your future self will hate yourself for having been when time was still on your side.