Resources

Just too good to keep to ourselves

Welcome to our library. We strive to provide resources so that our clients know as much as they wish when it comes to being financially savvy. And it doesn’t stop there! We are part of a larger community – including you, wherever you may be. This is where we share content and tools that are important, fun and even inspiring, with everyone. Our resource vault will help you get smart about money, find your own motivation to move forward, and laugh and breathe a bit easier along the way.

The Importance of Setting Goals

Published in: Resources |

Goal setting is the talk of the town (and the internet) this time of year, and for good reason. As ever-evolving humans, goals encourage us to keep working to become the best versions of ourselves.

To get you thinking about who you’d like to be and what you’d like to accomplish in 2022, we had each team member at The Humphreys Group share both a personal goal and a financial goal for the new year. We hope this inspires you to come up with a goal or two of your own!

Diane Bourdo, CFP®, President

Focusing on cultivating and nurturing personal connections has been a theme for many of us during the pandemic. In 2022, I’m going to double down. That is, I want to be in touch with and support my inner circle of friends and family more proactively, consistently, and frequently. In “Everyday Vitality,” Dr. Samantha Boardman describes what makes for a healthy relationship. Reading her list was a true “aha” moment for me, and I plan to keep it front of mind.

Here’s what Dr. Boardman says constitutes a meaningful relationship (defined as healthy and fulfilling):

  • One that has frequent positive interactions
  • Not ridden with conflict or contempt
  • You feel cared for, appreciated, and understood
  • Simple everyday positive interactions
  • Without being overinvolved (just a tad too much concern)

On the financial side of things, I’m going to take a closer and harder look at subscriptions of all kinds – all those charges on auto-renewal that are not too costly on an individual basis but that add up. Sometimes I’ve lost track of that fact that I’m even subscribed! Time to pay attention and weed those out!

 

Lexi Olian, CFP®, Director of Financial Planning

There have been so many limitations on our lives over the last year, I want to practice being open to new experiences. My personal goal for 2022 is to try something new at least once a month. It could range from taking a hike with a new friend to outrigger canoe paddling.

As for my financial goal, now that the kids have grown up, I need to dust off and update our estate plan documents. This has been on my list for a while and I’m going to stop procrastinating!

 

Hallie Kraus, CFP®, CRPC®, Financial Planner

After the chaos of the last two years, my personal goal is to look for more outlets that help me feel more present and grounded. I’m going to start by learning how to garden! I recently moved to a house with some raised garden beds, which means I need to put them to good use!

My financial goal is to buy term life insurance for myself and my husband. We both have family members who have experienced medical issues, and it has underscored for both of us how important it is to ensure the other is protected in the event of an emergency. By purchasing a policy in our early 30s, we’ll lock in a low premium that will be well worth the peace of mind!

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Liz Paxton, Director of Operations

My birthday falls not long after the New Year and I’m always tempted to put off making any resolutions until then – but this year seems to warrant focusing on goals and resolutions right away and not delaying! On the personal side I want to do a better job of paying attention to what I eat and drink and what affect it has on me. Starting the New Year with a weight loss goal is a tired cliché, but I would like to pay more attention to cause and effect and try some new ways to moderate my diet.

My financial goal is to evaluate my personal and household finances through the lens of sustainability. We work with our clients on this all the time. Time for the cobbler’s children to get some shoes!

 

Katie Kneuker, Operations Associate

A personal goal I have for 2022 is to be more creative in the kitchen. It’s been too easy to get stuck in a rut and make the same few dishes that I am comfortable with but that makes it less exciting to cook at home and more enticing to eat out. So, a personal goal for this year is to try a new recipe at least once a month so that we can get new creative dishes into the regular rotation.

On a financial note, I’ve had the same car insurance policy since I got my first car over 12 years ago. I originally selected this insurance company because my family used them and had a personal relationship with the representative. However, I recently decided to start looking at some of my recurring bills to see if I could find any obvious cuts. I was able to get a few insurance quotes and quickly realized I could have the same coverage for significantly less per month. I ended up finding a company that bills insurance based on miles driven so this should save me quite a bit every year and now I feel like I should’ve made this change years ago! It was a good realization and has motivated me to look at other regular expenses that I might be able to cut easily.

 

Goal Setting with The Humphreys Group

While setting goals is a great start, putting an action plan in place to actually achieve those goals is an important next step. Interested in bringing some of your financial goals to fruition this year? Get in touch with our team to start mapping out next steps!

Ways to Save Money Better than You Did in 2021

Published in: Resources |

 

Remember old-school piggy banks? If you had one as a child, chances are you remember the joyful feeling you got when, after weeks of depositing your allowance, you shook it and found it crammed full of change. While you likely now keep your savings in a bank rather than a pink ceramic pig, that satisfied feeling you get from watching your hard-earned money accumulate is the same.

Saving money. It’s wise. It’s rewarding. So why is it so difficult?

Lessons learned

If the pandemic has shed light on anything, it’s that it never hurts to be prepared. So many of us were thrust into unprecedented situations over the past two years, from being furloughed to getting sick and being unable to work. These unfortunate circumstances opened our eyes to the critical importance of having savings to fall back on.

Furthermore, the pandemic woke a lot of people up to what their true values and priorities are. From leaving unfulfilling jobs to spending more quality time with loved ones, going back to school to pursuing a hobby, and everything in between, many of us have come out of the pandemic different people than when we entered it. As we reflect on our values and priorities, it’s a perfect opportunity to reassess our financial priorities as well.

Here are 3 simple ways to save money better than you did last year.

Pay yourself first

One of the easiest ways to save money is to pay yourself first. What exactly does that mean? Essentially, it just means taking a set amount or percentage off the top of each paycheck and putting it into a separate savings account. Many companies allow you to automatically split your paycheck into different accounts, but if yours doesn’t, get into the habit of transferring a set amount to savings as soon as it hits your account.

Maintain various accounts…and name them

Are you saving up for retirement, saving for a new car, and saving for your family vacation next year? Make things easy on yourself and create multiple savings accounts. Saving money can be difficult, especially considering that so much of our lives are based on instant gratification, but when you have a specific goal in mind, keeping yourself on track can be less of a challenge. It’s also helpful to go one step further and name each account based on what you’re saving for. Seeing your goals spelled out in front of you will reinforce your long-term savings goals.

Review monthly payments

One of the simplest ways to cut back on spending is to eliminate unnecessary recurring payments. Do you subscribe to Netflix, Apple TV, Disney+, and HBO Max, on top of your cable? Consider choosing only your top two. Do you have a gym membership that you stopped using during Covid? Maybe it’s finally time to cancel it. Is your cellphone bill obscenely high? Perhaps you could investigate alternate carriers. While each individual subscription may not seem like it’s breaking the bank, recurring payments add up quickly. Just think of how quickly that money would stack up if you saved it instead?

Get in touch

We hope these tips on how to save better help set you up to achieve your goals in 2022 and beyond. Reach out to our team if you’d like to further discuss taking control of your finances and creating a financial road map to success.

 

New Year, New Mindset

Published in: Resources |

 

Many of us include financial goals in our new year’s resolutions. “This year, I will put $50 from each paycheck into my retirement savings.” “This year, I will stop spending frivolously.” Financial resolutions are a great start, but as many of us have experienced firsthand, resolutions do not always stick. We start each new year with the best of intentions; We’ll floss, hit the gym three times a week, cut back on wine, and check in on our friends more often, but after the flurry of holiday activity, normal life starts back up in full force and many of our resolutions fall by the wayside.

So, how does one bypass this mid-January slump and ensure that their money goals continue throughout the year? By changing their mindset.

What is a money mindset?

Your money mindset is how you view money as a whole and serves as a driving factor behind the decisions you make about spending, saving, investing, and handling money in general. Your mindset is influenced by many factors, including your beliefs and values, your personal experiences, and how your parents and role models talked about and handled money when you were growing up. Because your money mindset drives how you make important financial decisions each day, it’s crucial to ensure that yours is both positive and constructive.

Now that you have a deeper understanding of what exactly a money mindset is, here are some ways to change yours.

Understand your values

First and foremost, you’ll need to understand exactly what it is that you believe in. What is important to you? What makes you feel most fulfilled? In our previous blog, we took a deep dive into how to discover your core values. It requires some time, introspection, and deep thought, but it’s absolutely worth the effort. Once you have a deeper grasp on what you value, begin to think about the ways you spend your money. Are they aligned? If not, how can you adjust them?

Understand your beliefs

Like we mentioned above, your money mindset is heavily influenced by your upbringing. What did you see and hear about money from parents or role models growing up? What is something your parents did with their money that you would also like to do? Did they frequently give money to charity? Did they save up for family vacations? On the flipside, is there something they did with their money that you’d like to do differently? Perhaps they made a habit of paying bills late, while you strive to always pay yours on time. Once you have a solid understanding about where your beliefs come from and why you interact with money the way that you do, you’ll have an easier time adjusting your behavior and overall money mindset.

Believe in your own success

Sure, it sounds cheesy, but the phrase “mind over matter” has been around for over a century for a reason. The first step on the road to success (with money or with anything else in your life) is believing that you can be successful. Of course, different people will face different obstacles, some big and some small, but your beliefs will influence your behavior, ultimately helping to give your goals and resolutions staying power.

At The Humphreys Group, we truly believe that when your values and beliefs are aligned with your financial choices, you can create the life you want. If you’re interested in discussing further how we can create a thoughtfully crafted financial plan and investment strategy that reflects what matters most to you, please schedule a quick call with our team.

 

Money Milestones to Aim For Before 30

Published in: Resources |

For many young adults, your 20s are a time of tremendous change. Between new career paths, moving to new cities, starting new relationships, learning more about yourself, and figuring out what you want out of life, it’s safe to say that 20-somethings have a lot on their plate.

We’re going to let you in on a little secret: That never stops. Sure, by the time you turn 30, you will likely feel more secure in your job, you may own property, and hopefully you’ll be at least somewhat financially stable, but the slew of responsibilities do not halt with age, they simply evolve — think babies, mortgages, retirement, and aging parents, to name a handful.

Despite your 20s being a potentially hectic decade, it happens to be the best time to work toward solidifying a sturdy financial foundation. To get you started, we’ve rounded up ten of the top milestones we believe are worth aiming for by your 30th birthday.

  1. Be financially independent of your parents

For some, financial independence began the minute they turned eighteen, but for many of us, some degree of financial dependence on our parents lingers on even after we’ve left home. It could be your cellphone bill or perhaps they still pay for you to fly out for family vacations. Whatever it is, aim to be completely financially independent by age 30.

  1. Establish good credit

As your credit score dictates your eligibility for anything from buying a new home to taking out a business loan, it’s incredibly important to build up good credit. A couple tips for keeping your credit score up are to always be sure to pay your credit card bill on time and to keep your outstanding balance below 30 percent of your credit limit. For additional tips on establishing good credit, check out our previous blog.

  1. Have a year’s salary saved for retirement

Yes, you read that right. If Gen Z and Millennials can learn anything from previous generations, it’s to over-prepare when it comes to retirement planning. If your employer doesn’t offer retirement benefits, it’s your responsibility to open up an IRA or a 401k, both of which allow you to invest money for retirement.

  1. Maximize employer benefits

Piggybacking off of milestone #3, if your employer does offer benefits — employer retirement plans, 401k matching, etc. — be sure to take advantage of them.

  1. Establish a rainy day fund

If an emergency happened, would you be prepared? Nobody can predict if and when an emergency will occur, but you can ensure that you’re prepared in case of the worst. Whether your car breaks down or a global pandemic breaks out, having a rainy day fund ensures that you’re not caught completely off-guard.

  1. Start an investment portfolio

Like we mentioned in this previous blog, your 20s are a great time to get into the stock market, as investing early gives your money lots of time to grow.

  1. Be consumer debt free

We understand that some debt might follow you into your 30s, from student loans to personal business loans, but consumer debt should be a worry of your past. By the time you reach 30, you should be capable of budgeting and living within your means. If you can’t afford a fancy car, you shouldn’t be buying a fancy car. If you need to open up a new credit card to afford that trip to Cabo, you can’t afford that trip to Cabo.

  1. Regularly contribute to charity

As we frequently stress, giving is a fundamental component of personal finance. Whether you make a year-end donation to an organization that is near and dear to your heart or you simply donate five bucks a month to your favorite radio program, supporting a cause you believe in is a great opportunity to give back to your community.

  1. Appreciate that money is a tool

Nobody is going to argue with you about the importance of money — we need it to eat, pay rent, fill our gas tanks, travel — but at the end of the day, it is just a tool. It’s critical to understand the value of money, to be smart with your finances, and to think about the future as much as you think about the present, but try not to let money control your life.

  1. Consult a financial advisor

Just like financial advisors aren’t just for the ultra-wealthy, they’re also not just for older generations. The sooner you consult a financial advisor, the longer you have to partner with them and come up with a strategy that aligns with your big-picture financial goals.

Ready to take the leap? Reach out to The Humphreys Group to schedule your introductory meeting.

 

Give Your Kids the Gift of a Healthy Financial Foundation

Published in: Resources |

You baked cookies for your neighbor, you knitted a sweater for your sister-in-law, you splurged on that new iPad your spouse has been eyeing, and now you’re standing in the toy store with your 9-year-old’s seemingly never-ending wishlist in one hand and a coffee that doesn’t seem strong enough to be up for the task ahead in the other.

If you’re a parent, you likely know that the joy of watching your little ones open gifts on special occasions is a special kind of gift in itself. But are you aware of an even greater joy? Nothing compares to the wonderful feeling you get from knowing your children have been set up for long-term success. So get them that Lego set they’ve been gushing about or that mystery novel they can’t wait to read, but this year consider giving them something more as well: a solid financial foundation.

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Setting your future generations up for success is a lifelong gift that, while they may not fully understand or appreciate today, they will certainly be grateful for as they enter adulthood and become independent. There are many ways to help your children learn basic money skills, but here are a few of our favorites.

  1. Teach them to budget with a weekly allowance

Many children get an allowance, but not all parents realize the opportunity this provides them to teach their kids about budgeting. As we frequently stress in our blog posts, learning to budget and live within your means is a lifelong skill that is absolutely paramount for keeping yourself on a healthy financial trajectory. Sit down with your child and explain to them that you will give them a set amount of money each week to do with what they please, being sure to clearly communicate what they will be financially responsible for from now on. For example, if they want to go see a movie with a friend, it will be their responsibility to pay for it. If they blew their money earlier in the week on a new video game, they might have to skip the movie. Teach them that buying one thing might mean sacrificing another.

  1. Open up a savings account for them

Another great option? Take all those birthday checks they’ve accumulated from Grandpa and help them set up a savings account. Teaching kids to save is another critical component to building a healthy financial foundation. Do they really want a new bike? Have they been talking nonstop about getting an American Girl Doll? While you could buy them big ticket items such as these for birthdays or holidays, why not instead help them save up to buy pricier items themselves? Show them what it feels like to want something, save up for it, and purchase it on their own. It’s an exciting accomplishment and helps them to see the fruits of their efforts.

  1. Strengthen their financial literacy

Too often, young adults leave home and begin their independent lives knowing too little about the realities of the world, especially when it comes to financial matters. How do tax returns work? What does compound interest mean? How does one pay a credit card bill, or any bill for that matter? The world of finance is complex and there is a lot to comprehend. Your child doesn’t have to know it all by their eighteenth birthday, but teaching them some of the basics will give them a head-start.

Continue the Conversation with The Humphreys Group

At The Humphreys Group, we know that, while your wealth is important, your family is number one. Our planning process has a single purpose: to manage your wealth so that you (and your family) may live fully and confidently. For more information on how we can help you teach your children about financial stewardship, contact us today.

 

 

10 Habits of Financially Successful People

Published in: Resources |

The end of the year tends to stir up feelings of reflection for many of us. What are you proud of accomplishing? What do you hope to improve upon next year? While eating healthier, exercising more, and flossing are at the top of many people’s lists of resolutions, this year take your financial health into consideration, too. As you look ahead and set new goals, consider these ten habits of financially successful people:

They live by a budget.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: use a budget! For starters, creating a budget is a great way to ensure that you’re aware of your personal financial situation, and especially of the relationship between your income and your outgoing expenses. While creating a budget is important, abiding by it is even more important (and more challenging!) Having the discipline to live within your budget — and ultimately within your means — will help set you up for long-term financial success.

They understand the value of money.

Money doesn’t grow on trees. You know it, we know it, everybody knows it, and yet, some people still spend their money as if it does. Understanding and appreciating the value of money is a cornerstone of financial wellness.

They save and invest in their future.

The earlier you start saving and investing your money, the longer you have to accumulate wealth; it’s simple math. Save a portion of your paycheck each month by having it directly deposited into a savings account. Invest at a young age to allow yourself to take on a riskier portfolio, as higher risks equal higher rewards. It’s never too early to start planning for your future.

They set SMART goals.

Setting “SMART” (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound) goals allows an individual to create defined objectives with set completion dates, increasing the likelihood that their goals will be achieved.

They keep debt low.

While we understand that taking on debt isn’t always avoidable, it is important to be diligent about any debt you do take on and pay it off in a timely fashion. If you have student loans, for example, be sure to factor your monthly payment into your budget and make your payments on time.

They think long-term.

What may grant you instant gratification today might not be a wise financial move for tomorrow. People who are financially successful realize that long-term fiscal goals are an important factor to consider when making today’s financial choices.

They are patient.

Financial stability doesn’t happen overnight. Just like it’s important to think long-term, it’s also important to remain patient, ride out any bumps in the financial markets, and stay your course.

They prioritize financial literacy.

There is a lot to learn when it comes to the world of finance, and while you don’t need to know it all, having a basic understanding of important terminology, economic trends, current events, etc. is very helpful when it comes to managing your money.

They keep recurring monthly costs to a minimum.

Your Netflix account, phone bill, gym membership, HelloFresh subscription…these recurring monthly expenses add up quickly. Financially successful people understand that keeping these types of expenses to a minimum significantly helps keep their spending in check. We’re not saying you have to get rid of all your monthly services, just make sure that the ones you choose to keep are worth their value and fit into your budget.

They work with professionals.

No matter how on top of your budget you are, how in the know you are about the current financial climate, or how much you contributed to your 401(k) last year, it never hurts to have professionals in your corner. Don’t be afraid to seek a second opinion on your financial picture.

At The Humphreys Group, we have spent nearly 40 years dedicating ourselves to helping clients make decisions that put them on a healthy financial trajectory. Are you ready to set yourself up for success? Reach out to our team today.

 

Giving Thanks + Giving Back

Published in: Resources |

Thanksgiving week is upon us once more! Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and, most importantly, an attitude of gratitude. While Black Friday deals have been the talk of the town in years past, in recent years, the push to give instead of buy has arguably been even greater. With Giving Tuesday falling right after Thanksgiving, it’s the perfect opportunity for advisors and other financial professionals to talk with clients about year-end charitable donations.

While Giving Tuesday is about more than just money — it can be anything from making a stranger smile, to helping someone in need, to showing up for a cause that’s important to you — fiscal donations are a fantastic way to make a positive impact on an organization that you care about, as well as in the greater community. (And it doesn’t hurt that charitable giving often offers tax breaks!)

If you’ve been considering a year-end charitable gift, here are a few strategies to consider that can help you make the most of your money.

  1. Establish a Donor-Advised Fund

A donor-advised fund (DAF) is a charitable giving account that allows the donor to make a gift and qualify for a charitable deduction immediately, without needing to decide straight away which charity or charities they’d like to support. Additionally, the money deposited into a DAF can grow tax-free until the donor is ready to recommend a grant.

  1. Give long-term appreciated securities

Contributing stocks, bonds, or mutual funds that have appreciated over time to philanthropic organizations is another method of charitable giving that has recently gained popularity. For starters, based on a handful of requirements and limitations, publicly traded securities and other types of securities may be tax deductible, with the amount deducted in a single year being up to 30% of the donor’s adjusted gross income. Additionally, gifting shares of company stock can help to diversify a donor’s portfolio.

  1. Donate complex assets

Another option is to donate complex and illiquid assets directly to charity. These include real estate, restricted stock, private company stock, and even cryptocurrency. Although these types of donations often require additional time and legal advice, they have a relatively low cost basis, which many donors find appealing.

  1. Consider a bunching strategy

The “bunching” strategy is about maximizing the impact of a donor’s itemized deductions by concentrating deductions in a single year, followed by one or several skipped years. Bunching can work well when a donor’s total itemized deductions for a single year fall below the standard deduction, as contributions for multiple years made at once may exceed the standard deduction and allow for a tax break. Of course, it’s worth noting that this strategy requires the donor to have a significant financial capacity.

Give Back With The Humphreys Group

As a reminder, the deadline for year-end charitable giving for 2021 is Friday, December 31, while the last day for 2021 grant recommendations from DAFs is Tuesday, December 28.

If you’re considering making a year-end gift but are feeling a bit uncertain about the best avenue for you, please don’t hesitate to reach out and schedule a phone call or meeting. Whether you’d like to learn more about the various options for charitable year-end giving or have an in-depth discussion about the strategy that fits best into your overall financial plan, our door is open.

And, of course, Happy Thanksgiving!

 

The 3 Most Common Financial Issues Faced by Breadwinner Women

Published in: Resources |

In 2019, data showed that two-thirds of mothers were either breadwinners or co-breadwinners for their families. While this has been an increasingly popular trend over the past decade or so, it’s a relatively new phenomenon that has, at least in part, come about as the result of a handful of societal shifts for women — think going to school for longer, earning more degrees, delaying marriage and children, and entering their 60s without a partner.

While the shift to more female breadwinners is positive in many ways, it also comes with a unique set of hurdles. From the pressure it can bring to the unique balancing act it requires, here are three of the top challenges faced by female breadwinners.

Challenge #1: Negotiating how to combine finances and split expenses with your spouse

If you’re making more money than your spouse, chances are you might feel some guilt around it. How are you expected to divvy up expenses when one of you is earning more than the other?

One of the best ways to combat this challenge is to use the “Yours, Mine, and Ours” system. The specifics of this system will look unique to each family, but it is based on the concept that you share expenses for household necessities — things like rent, utilities and groceries — while keeping individual accounts to fund anything from hobbies to gifts for one another.

Challenge #2: Balancing the present with the future

Can you remember a time that you found yourself in a financial predicament? Say in college you wanted to spend a summer abroad visiting a friend, but you also knew you needed to save up to pay next year’s tuition. What to do? It’s easy when you’re young to get caught up in the false notion that once you achieve professional and financial success, these trade-offs will no longer be a concern. Unfortunately though, for the vast majority of us, these predicaments follow us all of our lives, they just take different forms.

As a female breadwinner, you likely have to find the right balance between doing what you want to do now and planning for the future on almost a daily basis. Should you take the family vacation now or set aside extra money for your retirement? Send your kids to summer camp or add money to their college saving accounts? Of course it’s extremely important to plan wisely and invest in your future self, but it’s also important to think about the present and make choices that bring you happiness and fulfillment now. It’s all about balance.

Challenge #3: The pressure to stay in an unfulfilling or high-stress job

As the breadwinner of your family, chances are you have a high-paying, high-pressure role way up on the corporate ladder. While jobs such as these have the potential to place a great deal of pressure on an individual, likely too, you feel the pressure to stay at said job for your family’s sake. It’s important to remember though, that while you may feel trapped, you aren’t. Take the time to ask yourself some introspective questions. Is it the role you dislike? The company? Your industry? Once you have figured out the root of the problem, you can begin to reach out to your professional and support networks and put together a game plan for how to improve your situation. Remember, prioritize yourself, too. Your mental health is just as important to your family as your paycheck.

The Humphreys Group team can help

At The Humphreys Group, we specialize in helping women get smart about their wealth. From comprehensive financial planning to disciplined investment management, reach out to our team to see how we can help you conquer some of the challenges faced by female breadwinners like you.

 

 

A Dive Into Challenge

Published in: Resources |

Adapted from Everyday Vitality by Dr. Samantha Boardman

In a previous blog, we discussed Dr. Samantha Boardman’s uplifting book, Everyday Vitality, and explained the book’s premise that vitality, rather than happiness, is the opposite of depression. To refresh your memory, vitality is the positive feeling of aliveness and energy that lies at the core of our well-being.

In the book, Dr. Samantha Boardman distills vitality down to three essential ingredients: meaningfully connecting with others, engaging in experiences that challenge us, and contributing to something beyond ourselves. Today, we’ll explore the idea of challenge.

Dr. Boardman frequently reminds us that vitality doesn’t mean being happy all the time. Feeling bad is part of being human and negative emotions can prompt us to change our behavior and help guide us in new directions, which she calls constructive negativity. Furthermore, a study concluded that people who experience a wide mix of emotions – emodiversity – had better physical health and were less likely to become depressed than those who are upbeat all the time.

In another study, “Emotions Know Best,” participants were asked to perform a task to win a prize. While performing the task, one group was told to focus on their emotions afterward. The other group was told to rationalize why they didn’t succeed if they failed. They all failed, but the those in the group that focused on their emotions tried 25% harder when asked to complete the next task.

The lesson here? Challenge yourself to re-frame the experience of discomfort as data. Self-reflection and pinpointing an emotion to identify what is upsetting you can help you to tailor a response. A general feeling of negativity might manifest as irritable behavior or reactions that cause new problems, while “a clearly demarcated problem is less likely to become an emotional boomerang.”

Uncertainty is another challenge and, boy oh boy, we have all had to figure out how to cope with high and persistent levels of uncertainty over the last 20 months. It’s human nature to want to be “in the know.” The world feels safer when we believe we can predict what will happen next. But a relentless need for certitude can interfere with the possibility of expanding beyond the invisible cages in which we confine ourselves. How do we increase our tolerance for ambiguity? One way offered by Dr. Boardman is to use a scientific method called the Null Hypothesis. When facing a challenge or uncertainty, create a hypothesis about what may happen. Then take it a step further and ask yourself: What if the opposite were true?

This is just a snippet of the insight Dr. Boardman provides on the subject of challenging ourselves. If you found any of it interesting, we highly recommend a full reading of her work. In the meantime, some questions to get you started:

Most of us have a go to strategy for coping with discomfort and uncertainty. Take a moment to reflect on the following: Do you suppress your feelings? Distract yourself? Rationalize? Reframe? Do you ruminate? When do your strategies work, and when do you come to a dead end?

 

Teach Teens To Invest

Published in: Resources |

One of the best gifts that we can give our children is the gift of a healthy financial foundation. From teaching them to spend wisely and adhere to a budget, to instilling the importance of charitable giving, to helping them save, the world of finance is vast and multifaceted, but one of the most important personal finance lessons we should be passing along to our children is investing.

Data from the latest Survey of Consumer Finances by the Federal Reserve showed that only 53% of all US families owned publicly traded stock in 2019. While fear stops many people from investing, most of the accompanying myths are largely false. Some of the most common myths include:

  • Investing is a huge risk
  • You will lose all of your money
  • It’s too confusing and too time-consuming
  • You have to be wealthy to invest

In fact, investing is not nearly as risky or difficult as people tend to believe. Sure, just as stocks can rise in value, they can also fall, but history has shown us that the stock market always bounces back. With just a small sum of money, some basic knowledge about how investments work, and an understanding of the terminology, anyone can invest successfully.

Here are four ways to introduce investing to your teen.

  1. Teach them to play the long game

First and foremost, investing should always be long-term, and it’s wise to teach this to kids from the very start. Stress that investing money will not make you rich overnight and that it’s important to instead focus on the slow and steady. Teach children the “buy and hold” approach to investing — a long-term passive strategy where investors buy stocks and hold them for a long period of time, regardless of short-term fluctuations — and share that in order to play the long game, it’s important to invest only money that they don’t need in the short term.

  1. Invest as a family

Involve your kids in family investments by including them in important discussions. Have them select companies that they are interested in investing in and discuss their reasoning, being sure to take into account their performance history. Share the importance of diversification and stress the risks associated with putting all of your eggs in one basket. Also consider inviting them to meetings with financial advisors. Sitting in on these types of conversations will help introduce them to real-life experience.

  1. Make it habitual

Oftentimes, the best way to learn is by doing. Consider gifting your children a small sum of money to celebrate a holiday or milestone and then helping them to invest it. Sure, they might make a mistake and lose some of the money, but they will gain priceless first-hand knowledge from the experience. As they continue to receive or earn money from relatives, summer jobs, etc., encourage them to get into the habit of investing a portion of it.

  1. Consider utilizing apps and resources

Increasingly, there are helpful resources that parents can introduce their children to for hands-on learning. Apps like BusyKid and Greenlight® were designed to help teach kids real life lessons in saving, sharing, spending, and investing money.

At The Humphreys Group, we know that your family is your priority, and helping you to set your children up for a strong financial future is one of ours. Continue the conversation with our team today!