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About Money Study Group for Students of Personal Finance at the Bauer College of Business at University of Houston Missional Money Financial Planning CourseMissional Money Financial Planning is an online self-study self-paced (course) designed to help investors create a compelling financial plan in 30 days.  Save More Money Pay Lower Taxes Build a Better Retirement Principles and ProcessMissional Money Financial Planning is based on the principles and process outlined in Jim Munchbach's books: Make Your Money Count, What Matters Most, and Allied for Success. The online course features (The Blueprint for Financial Success)™.
 Investment Scams involving cryptocurrencyAt BayRock, we’re committed to helping you protect your assets. One way we do that is by raising awareness of the increase in fraudulent investment schemes (“scams”) involving cryptocurrencies and digital assets. While investing involves taking some risks, being scammed shouldn’t be one of them.  What do Investment Scams look like? Investment scams target investors by promising quick, guaranteed returns. Although “investment sales pitches” vary, using fraudulent cryptocurrency investment opportunities to entice targets is a common approach. Once targeted investors indicate interest, they are often instructed to wire funds abroad or to a third party’s personal account, or to transfer cryptocurrency. Fake websites and/or applications often create the illusion of a legitimate trading or investment platform and gain trust. However, once funds have been transferred, they are difficult to trace and retrieve.  Investment Scams 5 Red Flags “Guaranteed” high investment returns, supposedly with little or no risk, and sounding too good to be true. Unlicensed or unregistered sellers. Use to check out the background of anyone offering you an investment in securities. Skyrocketing account values. Investments that appear to rapidly increase in value are often fake. Fake testimonials. Investment Scams or Scammers often pay people to provide fake reviews, so never rely solely on testimonials in making an investment decision. Fake contacts. Take caution if someone approaches you through social media with an investment opportunity. Pretending to be a friend or to have a mutual acquaintance is a common tactic used to gain trust.  Schwab Investor Resources (Set up your account alerts) to always get notified when activity occurs in your account. For more security tools and steps you can take, visit our (SchwabSafe®) to view our latest resources and learn more about how you can safeguard your personal information and assets. And while you’re at it, check out Schwab's (Security Knowledge Center).
The 3 Big QuestionsQuickStart Financial Planning course was designed to quickly answer your 3 Big Questions: When can I stop working? How can I reduce my tax bill? Where can I improve my Investments? Build a Better Retirement
ETF Investing and Why We Love to Trade ThemETF Investing is better than Mutual Fund investing, but you do need to learn a few things about ETF investing. If you’re new to trading or just beginning you may have never heard of ETF investing. Let's take a closer look at ETF Investing. Starting with ETFs; what they are, how do they work, the different types of ETFs; the pros and cons of ETFs and how they benefit (or hurt) you as a trader. Much of this post comes from ( which is IMO the best source of information for all things investing, including ETF Investing.What is an ETF?The acronym stands for exchange-traded funds. So what does this mean? An ETF represents a basket of assets. Basically, that is a portfolio of stocks, bonds, options, and other tradable assets. that are put together by a professional money manager and put on the stock exchange for investors to buy and sell quickly.  When you’re investing in an ETF you’re investing in multiple companies that represent or mirror an index. For example, if you were interested in investing in the S&P 500, you don’t actually invest in the index itself. Instead, you would invest in an ETF that represents a portion of that index. The ETF for the S&P 500 is “SPY”. When investing in SPY, instead of buying all 500 companies that the S&P represents you are participating in that index at a fraction of the cost.  There are two main types ETFs, “Market” or “Index” ETFs. Like the name suggests, Market ETFs or Index ETFs replicate the index of a market. There are different ETFs for the different indexes. For example, as talked about earlier, the S&P 500 is known as SPY and the NASDAQ 500 is referenced as QQQ.  The second type of ETFs is known as Sector ETFs. These let you invest in specific sectors of the markets such as healthcare, or tech stocks. Like the Index ETFs each sector is represented by a unique ticker. So, for investing in the healthcare sector the ETF would be represented as XLV.  What Makes Them Different from Mutual Funds:Although ETFs have basic similarities to the two and can often be very comparable, they do present slight differences.  Unlike mutual funds, ETFs can be traded throughout the day versus only being able to trade at market close.  They also present lower fees than mutual funds. Generally, mutual funds charge a 1.42% fee while fees on average for ETFs are 0.53%. Further, the total price you pay for ETFs is the share price times the number of shares. Basically, you can’t place an ETF order for a dollar amount as you can’t place a mutual fund order for a number of shares. ETFs take about 3 days to settle versus the 1 day it takes for mutual funds.  Lastly, minimum investment price of ETFs and the function of automatic reinvesting. ETFs typically have a very low investment minimum compared to mutual funds, and this price depends on what the price of the share is at the time. 
Happy Independece DayToday is Friday July 1, 2022 and I'm posting this episode of the Missional Money Podcast live on Facebook and YouTube. Hope you’re doing great and getting ready for a big "bang" of a long weekend! I sent out an email to all my friends with a bit of trivia in honor of Independence Day. In case you missed the email, here it is...Did you know it was actually on July 2, 1776, that Congress voted to free the U.S. from British rule? However, it wasn’t until two days later that John Hancock signed the first signature to the Declaration of Independence—the document that would spread the news of the vote. Here's to celebrating freedom on Independence Day - and everyday! Be Blessed! Jim Cash Flow Planning GuideThe health of every financial plan depends heavily on sound cash flow planning. Creating a cash flow plan is a helpful exercise conducted in the financial planning process. This article was originally posted on our website for (BayRock Financial) as part of the (Inflation Planning) series. Cash Flow and InflationWhile we already tend to know what we should be doing with respect to our budget (spending), in reality we often fall short of taking even the most basic steps toward tracking and managing our cash flow.  You can have a dramatic long-term impact on your financial future by simply increasing your awareness of your spending habits. One small discipline that can make a big difference is being accountable for every dollar you spend. To help guide you toward creating and managing a cash flow plan that supports your lifestyle and goals, we have created this (cash flow planning guide). It covers cash flow planning basics, including: Income sources Essential and discretionary spending Debt and taxes Goal funding Monitoring strategies  High Inflation ChecklistHigh inflation has been on everyone’s mind, and many are wondering what they can do to take action.With this (High Inflation Checklist), you can explore ways to address high inflation and set your financial expectations appropriately. Get ahead and be better-prepared as you plan for high inflation in the future. The (high inflation checklist) covers key issues to consider when dealing with periods of high inflation, such as: The impact inflation may have on your cash flow and budgeting. The effects of inflation on your assets, and solutions that may be considered to mitigate those effects. Certain tax planning ideas that may be relevant to you in light of high inflation. Other miscellaneous areas of your financial plan that may be affected by high inflation.  Market Correction ChecklistThis (market correction checklist) covers many of the issues to consider during a recession or market correction. It addresses some strategies particularly useful when the valuations of the markets are low (such as Roth conversions and gifting strategies) as well strategies to mitigate the negative impact (cash flow becoming tight).  This can help turn your focus away from one of fear of the future to one where you consider strategies to take advantage of low valuations.  Home Buying ChecklistBuying a home is one of the biggest financial moves that you will ever make. There are a number of issues you should be aware of, including how the costs of purchasing and owning a home will impact your overall financial planning goals.In...
Options Trading Strategies for Managing RiskOne of the tools in my investment management toolbox is Options, specifically Covered Call Options and Naked Put Options. I'm reaching out to a number of my clients to recommend that we set up Options. These two Options Strategies work best in volatile markets like what we've had in 2022. Options provide better risk management while allowing us to create an additional income stream within your IRA Account.Margin and OptionsThis post is specifially for Tax Qualified accounts. We can use additional strategies in Non-Tax Qualified accounts with Margin. Each strategy has its own set of Risk Metrics. In this post, I've grabbed some helpful content from Investopedia, my favorite source for Investor Education. What are Options from (Investopedia)Options are a form of (derivative) contract that gives buyers of the contracts (the option holders) the right (but not the obligation) to buy or sell a security at a chosen price at some point in the future. Option buyers are charged an amount called a (premium) by the sellers for such a right. Should market prices be unfavorable for option holders, they will let the option expire worthless and not exercise this right, ensuring that potential losses are not higher than the premium. On the other hand, if the market moves in the direction that makes this right more valuable, it makes use of it. Options are generally divided into "call" and "put" contracts. With a (call option), the buyer of the contract purchases the right to buy the (underlying asset) in the future at a predetermined price, called (exercise price) or (strike price). With a (put option), the buyer acquires the right to sell the underlying asset in the future at the predetermined price.
Credit Crush AssignmentThe Most Important Screenshot Debt ManagementBefore You Apply Any Action Items, review the following elements in the Debt Management section of your plan. You’ll need to grab a “BEFORE” screenshot of these elements.Strategy Balance of selected debt — grab a screenshot Payment Proposed payments for next month — grab a screenshot Details — Before (Annual works better than Monthly) Remember to Grab a “Before” Screenshot of each of your Data Cards which you will compare with the “After” Screenshots. About the Credit Crush AssignmentThe Credit Crush Assignment is all about understanding the cost of credit and how to apply simple strategies to eliminate debt so that you can build wealth. In this week's assignment, you'll enter your 3 big purchases in your BayRock financial planning portal: Home, Car, and Credit Card spending spree. Desired OutcomesUnderstand The Cost of Credit Identify Simple Strategies for Debt Management Eliminate Debt/Become 100% Debt Free Build Wealth by Investing Instead of Paying Interest Step One — Update Your Data CardsMortgage Loan Type = Mortgage Original Amount of Loan Monthly Payment Balance Interest Rate Loan Term — 15 or 30 Year   Car Loan Loan Name = Type of Car Loan Type = Car Loan Monthly Payment Balance Interest Rate   Credit Card Account Name Balance (at least $10k) APR — Annual % Rate (at least 10%) Student Loan (optional) Step Two — Take BEFORE ScreenShots of Your Data CardsIf your data cards were correctly completed from last week’s assignment, just pop those images into this week’s article. If you made updates to your data cards, be sure to create a new, updated screenshot of your data cards:Mortgage Car Loan Credit Card Student Loan (optional) Questions June 24, 2022 Debt Strategy - No Data?I am Melina from your BUSI 3300-13465. I am messaging you regarding my debt management portal on my assignment. I followed your class videos and I was wondering if I did something wrong seems like there is not any data.   Questions from Students June 24, 2022Mortgage Payoff in One MonthI am attempting to complete assignment 6 and I have run into an issue with the Bayrock portal. I setup my mortgage, car payment, and credit card debt, but when I view the debt management tab, it expects me to pay the mortgage back within a month. I even changed my numbers to match your example and I still get the same issue. Attached is a pdf showing what I am seeing in my portal.   
Every Family Needs a Will by # (Investopedia)Your Will spells out who will get your assets after you die. A will is a legal document that puts in writing your wishes regarding the distribution of your property and the care of any minor children. If you die without a will, your wishes may not be carried out. And your heirs will end up spending additional time, money, and emotional energy to settle your affairs after you're gone. Obviously no single document can resolve every issue that arises after your death, your will—officially known as a last will and testament can come pretty close. Here's what you need to know about these vital documents. FactoidsA (will) is a legal document that spells out your wishes regarding the care of your children, as well as the distribution of your assets after your death. Failure to prepare a will typically leaves decisions about your estate in the hands of judges or state officials and may also cause family strife. You can prepare a will yourself, but you should have the document witnessed to decrease the likelihood of successful challenges later. To be completely sure everything is in order, consider having your will prepared by a trusts and estates attorney. More About Why You Need a Will Some people think that only the very wealthy or those with complicated assets need wills. However, there are many good reasons to have a will. You can be clear about who gets your assets. You can decide who gets what and how much. You can keep your assets out of the hands of people you don't want to have them (like an estranged relative). You can identify who should care for your children. Without a will, the courts will decide. Your heirs will have a faster and easier time getting access to your assets. You can plan to save your estate money on taxes. You can also give gifts and charitable donations, which can help offset the estate tax.
How to Setup Your BayRock PlanThere are a few key steps in setting up your plan in BayRock and in this post, I'll outline the steps and some information to help you get the most out of your experience. This article is intended for Students of Personal Finance at the Bauer College of Business at University of Houston. However, the steps outlined below will help you get started whether you're a UH Student or a BayRock client, or if you're just wanting to follow along and build your first financial plan, welcome! Getting StartedSubscribe to our ( Podcast in iTunes and everywhere Podcasts are played) (Enroll) in (Money Study Group Online) Update Your Plan using this link - (CLICK HERE NOW.) Jump in and start tracking your financial progress right away. Once you get started , I'll be able to see monitor your activity from my advisor dashboard. You will be prompted to enter a password and create an account. Please bookmark the page and be sure to save your password. For your convenience, we've included easy links at the top of our pages and posts on our websites at (BayRock Financial) and also at (Missional Money). Download the RightCapital Mobile AppThe RightCapital mobile app is available for iPhone and Android devices. Clients can visit the App Store or Google Play store to download the App.RightCapital mobile app download links: (Apple App Store download) (Google Play Store download)  Apple App Store downloadSearch for RightCapitalClick the blue Get button Once the download is complete, click the blue Open button Insert your (login information) when prompted  Google Play Store downloadBayRock and RightCapital Mobile AppSearch for RightCapital Click the green Install button Once the download is complete, click the green Open button Login using the same email and password you used to create your account in previous step.
t Your BayRock Planning PortalBy now, you should have completed the following steps:Congrats, You're Enrolled in Money Study Group! Now, Register for your (Online Planning Portal at BayRock) Download the Mobile App (optional) Week 2 CapstoneGet Started with Your Plan by Completing 6 Data CardsFamily Profile Income (remember to do a little research to come up with a good estimate of your FUTURE income, assuming you’re out of college and working in your chosen vocation. Savings Net Worth Expenses - Detailed Worksheet (remember to consider all of the expenses that will be a part of your “Budget” after you graduate and are living on your own. Goals - For the Capstone, you will list all of the goals you want to achieve in the next 25 years, but don’t worry about getting them all listed for this assignment. Just list the goals you know you want to include right now. Moving forward, we’ll talk about the Capstone Assignment in our Weekly Zoom Meetings every Tuesday at 10 am.Part Three: Review Your Detailed Expenses (in your planning portal)Do your best, but don’t spend too much time making your budget perfect — you’ll spend more time working on your income and expenses later. For now, just jump into your financial planning portal and update your income and the detailed expenses as seen in this week’s video tutorial for this assignment.When I grade this assignment, I’ll be especially interested in seeing your “Income and Expenses” so make sure to grab a screenshot of this section of your plan. Want Full Credit?You will get full credit for this assignment only IF you provide screenshots from your planning portal. Remember to create your budget categories based on you paying all your own expenses (even if in reality your parents are paying all of your current expenses).  As you build your financial plan this semester, you will be doing a little research to come up with real life expectations regarding the following financial planning issues. Feel free to comment on any of these items as you complete this week's assignment: How much will you earn after you graduate (assuming you get your dream job) How much will you spend to purchase your first home How much will you spend in all categories of your budget How much will you save in an Emergency Fund How much will you save for Retirement
What is a Financial Plan?What is a financial plan - to you? That's a question I've been asking in my Personal Finance class at the Bauer College of Business at University of Houston. Long before I started teaching Personal Finance on a college campus, I learned that the definition of a financial plan is different from one person to the next. Season Two: What is a Financial Plan. Over the course of this semester at UH and also in Season Two of the Missional Money Podcast, I'll be unpacking the essential elements of financial planning while answering the question WHAT IS A FINANCIAL PLAN. I hope you'll join me.Let's Make Your Plan!As a (Certified Financial Planner™ Professional), I've learned a thing or two about financial planning. (Money Study Group) is an online self-study self-paced course designed to teach students how to become a millionaire by age 50. The course was developed at the Bauer College of Business at University of Houston and is in its 13th year of production. (Enroll) in Money Study Group for a (one-time fee of $75.95) After enrolling in Money Study Group, there is no cost for you to create, update, and manage your financial plan using our favorite planning tool; RightCapital is our premium planning software brought to you by (BayRock). BayRock Purpose Statement (BayRock) is dedicated to helping individual investors, families, and business owners manage the risk and opportunity of everyday life, recover from the unexpected, and realize their highest purpose.  How it Works Subscribe to our ( Podcast in iTunes and everywhere Podcasts are played) (Enroll) in (Money Study Group Online) (Update Your Plan using this link.) Get started tracking your financial progress today, I'll be able to see monitor your activity from my dashboard.
Special Offer for Podcast Listeners!$500 UpFront Fee Waived for Podcast Listeners, offer good through the end of summer 2022.BayRock Subscription-Based Financial Planning services are offered at three pricing levels designed to address three different levels of financial planning needs from simple to more complex. Each subscription level provides additional services. For example, level three includes all of the services listed in levels one and two as well as the “additional services” listed in level three. The Subscription-Based Financial Planning Fee arrangement is designed to deliver a better value for clients who need ongoing financial advice, planning, and coaching. The Subscription-Based Financial Planning services can be cancelled at any time by the client or by BayRock if either party determines that the Subscription-Based Financial Planning service is no longer providing value. Three Price LevelsWealth Builder: Starting at $125 per Month Retirement Strategies: Starting at $250 per Month Family and Business: $500 per Month Level One – Wealth Builder Blueprint, $500 upfront planning fee plus a $125 monthly retainer. Ideal for beginners with typically under $500,000 of investable assets.The $500 upfront planning fee includes… Gathering client data,Building a comprehensive financial model,90 minute Discovery Meeting,The Blueprint for Financial Success™$500 UpFront Fee Waived for Podcast Listeners, offer good through the end of summer 2022.
RightCapital or (MoneyGuidePro)Why BayRock switched to RightCapital from MoneyGuidePro.RightCapital has (almost) everything MoneyGuidePro has and RightCapital has a few features that MoneyGuidePro is missing. BothRightCapital and MoneyGuidePro are fantastic tools for Financial Planning, for Certified Financial Planner™ Professionals, and for clients managing wealth. So, why did I switch to RightCapital from MoneyGuidePro? Why Buy RightCapitalRightCapital helps BayRock Deliver Smarter Strategies and Better Results. As a CFP® Professional, I needed solutions, not obstacles. While (MoneyGuidePro) was a great tool, the version we used at Morgan Stanley was bogged down with all kinds of added junk required by the Big Bank on Wall Street. When I became and Independent (Fidcuciary), I wanted my company - BayRock Financial - to have the best tools in the wealth management business. I absolutely believe that and that every family needs and deserves a quality financial plan. RightCapital off the shelf allows me to deliver Smarter Strategies and Better Results - at a lower cost than MoneyGuidePro. RightCapital Offers:A lower cost of ownership. MoneyGuidePro requires add-on fees for account aggregations, business intelligence, and client marketing materials, which are all included in RightCapital Premium.  A simple 6-step client onboarding. RightCapital doesn't require extensive data entry to get started. Just enter the basic financial data you need for a specific analysis such as retirement, insurance needs, or social security optimization.  Goal-based AND cash flow-based planning options. Toggle between either goal- or cash flow-based planning approach depending on your client's needs or your preference. (Watch Video)
Meet Mr Cartoon Head

Meet Mr Cartoon Head


Missional Money Podcast TrailerSeason One, Getting to know the Big Blue Buttons on the top of each page. Also, introducing our new #Podcast Host - Mr. Cartoon Head.Meet Mr. Cartoon Head
Bull and Bear Market Update for May 23, 2022If you pay any attention to the news, especially the financial news, you're seeing a lot of stories with headlines that are designed to create panic. Sometimes they actually work. The #Fed is always a source for headlines because they have the power to turn a #Bull Market into a #Bear Market with one policy decision. The Fed has done spoken and the markets have reacted the way the Fed wanted the markets to react - and much more, IMO. Daily ReflectionsEveryday, I read at least 20 financial stories from a number of sources. Sometimes I just stumble on something that catches my attention (that's never a good way to be informed). Below is a story that caught my attention today from CNN. I'm a huge "NOT a fan" of CNN but I wanted to like this story even though my advice is don't trust anything you get from CNN. Nonetheless, I'm adding this story to my 2022 Market Watch Wiki so I can quickly share it with a client or an investor who may be momentarily gripped by fear. And, yes, I'm occasionally one of those investors myself because I hate losing money and I double hate losing money for my clients.3 Charts Say Don't PanicMarkets are down, but these charts explain why investors shouldn't panic, even if they feel like a #Bear Market is imminent.From CNN Business May 23, 2022 — What goes up must come down, and what goes #bull must go #bear. The conventional wisdom is that a bit of market madness is inevitable, cyclical and should give investors a potential buying opportunity.  But unfortunately this downswing doesn't appear to be the devil we know.  Markets are contending with inflation rates at 40-year highs, Russia's invasion of Ukraine, supply chain kinks and food shortages, rising interest rates, widespread predictions of a recession and (former Fed leaders openly questioning the actions of the current regime).  Even the investors themselves are different. Covid-era stimulus checks, elevated unemployment and trading platforms aimed at young generations introduced a whole new group of up-and-coming traders to markets.  About 20 million people (started investing in the past two years). A 2021 survey by Schwab found that 15% of all US stock market investors said they first began investing in 2020. #FactoidThese market players have never been through a period of high inflation and high interest rates, and the sudden change in the economic environment is adding to market turbulence, said Leo Grohowski, chief investment officer at BNY Mellon Wealth Management.  "What we're seeing is a weeding out of investors that were flushed with liquidity. They bought first and asked questions with meme stocks, SPACs, NFTs, there was a lot of what I call indiscriminate buying. And now we're seeing some indiscriminate selling," he said.  Most investors are not prepared for this trading environment, Joshua Brown, co-founder and CEO of Ritholtz Wealth Management, said in a recent blog post. "This is one of the most treacherous environments I have ever seen, and I traded during the dot com meltdown, 9/11, Enron and Tyco and WorldCom and Lehman," and a host of other crises. As Berkshire Hathaway's Charlie Munger said during the company's recent shareholder meeting, the stock market has become "almost a mania of speculation." He added that "we've got people who know nothing about stocks, being advised by stockbrokers who know even less." Still, as markets flirt with #bear territory — when a major index falls 20% or more from a recent high — some technical analysts don't think there's too much to worry about. These three charts show why it may not be time to hit the panic button. At least not yet. (Bull...
Tesla Structured Note ExampleTesla Structured Note example Disclosure: The following content is for educational purposes. The Tesla Structured Note described is fictional. Sample Morgans Stanley Cup 2.5 Year Tesla Structured NoteFeatures: 20% Quarterly DistributionTSLA is the ticker for TeslaAutoCall (60%/60%)Issuer Sample Morgans Stanley Cup Underlyings Tesla (TSLA) Pricing / Settle Date Friday the 13th of May, 2022 / May 25, 2022 Maturity Date November 27, 2024 (2.5ac6m) Price 100 Interest Rate 20% subject to TSLA closing above 60% of initial Principal Barrier 60% of initial on TSLA (observed only at maturity, Cash Settle) Callable November 27, 2022 Automatically if all > initial (Quarterly Thereafter)  Coupon Frequency Quarterly Observation / Quarterly Pay  Payment at Maturity - If the Final Value is greater than or equal to 60% of initial: Par- If the Final Value is less than 60% of initial: Par + return of least performer. Cusip 123456789 Prospectus The Actual Prospectus - Link to Prospectus  STRATEGY OVERVIEW / EXAMPLES Investors will receive a coupon of 20% if the closing value TSLA is equal to or above 60% of initial on observation day. If TSLA closes at or above 60% of initial, you will receive the relevant annualized coupon for that period. If TSLA closes below 60% of initial, you will receive a 0% annualized coupon for that period. If TSLA closes above 100% of initial on a relevant observation date the note is automatically called at par + coupon. If TSLA closes below 60% of initial at maturity, the investor realizes full downside of least performer. For example, if TSLA is down 41% at maturity, the note will mature at 59%. Structured Notes are Not for Most Investors - (Get Your Risk Number Click Here)
DIY Investor MistakesAre you a DIY Investor? Good for you! I'm a DIY kind of guy. I do my own pool maintenance, cut my own lawn, and change my own oil. Believe it or not, I cut my own hair. I became a DIY Investor just about the time Enron imploded. The first company stock I bought was TICO because I watched PBS interview (Dennis Kozlowski) and I thought, I like that guy. I trusted him and I bought his stock the next day. (Big mistake.) As a DIY Investor I've made every mistake imaginable. In 2007, December 14 (my 25th wedding anniversary) I hired my first Wall Street Financial Advisor at (Merril Lynch). That was one of the (biggest mistakes) of my financial life. One of the things I really appreciated about my Financial Advisor (even thought he worked in a very broken system on Wall Street) was having someone on my team who had access to tons of tools and information that I just didn't have. DIY Investor InvitationIf you're a DIY Investor, I want to invite you to take advantage of BayRock Financial. I built BayRock to appeal to DIY Investors. My first recomendation is simple: Get Your Risk Number. Visit and click on the Blue Button at the top of the page next to the BayRock logo and take our 5 minute risk survey.  If you want to email me your investment statement, I'll do a portfolio review to show you how much risk you have compared to how much risk you want. I'll tell you what I'm doing with my money now and you'll get to see why I recommend the BayRock Bull Bear Strategy for many (not all) of my current clients. How BayRock Helps DIY Investors:BayRock is dedicated to helping individual investors, families, and business owners manage the risk and opportunity of everyday life, recover from the unexpected, and realize their highest purpose. (Get Your Risk Number) Subscribe to the (Missional Money Podcast) (Free Online Course: Make Your Money Count) (Update Your Plan!) Track Your Progress Download our (Mobile App (RightCapital)) DIY Investor BlueprintWhether you're a DIY Investor or a professional Investment Advisor, you need to have a good plan for managing your wealth and while that includes managing your investment portfolio, there is much more to consider.  In my book, (Make Your Money Count), I outline a holistic process for financial planning. The metaphor I use in the book is The Blueprint for Financial Success™. The Blueprint for Financial Success™ DIY Investor StrategiesAll good investment strategies are designed to maximmize returns and minimize risk. When I went to work on Wall Street at Morgan Stanley in the Wealth Management department, I was hoping to discover the secret sauce of the world's best investment managers. I did learn a lot but the most valuable lesson I learned was that there is no perfect investment strategy no matter how sophisticated and no matter how smart the manager.  As a DIY Investor, you have access to the best investment strategies available and the cost is lower than ever before. With free trading and an almost infinite number of investments to choose from, the biggest problem for a DIY Investor is figuring out how to put it all together so that you have a higher probability of success. What's
Gas Prices may have grabbed your attention, see my list below for 4 ways you can offest higher gas prices this summer.  More importantly, however, I wanted to encourage you to book a quick Zoom Meeting with me to review your portfolio as well as your account features. I posted this article today: (Bear Market Portfolio Review Time) (Book Your Bear Market Portfolio Review - Click Here)Gas PricesGas prices don't look like they will be coming down anytime soon—at least not as far as many of us would like. With the summer season fast approaching, I thought it might be helpful to send over some information on why prices are rising, what you can expect to pay this summer, and a few tips for keeping costs as low as possible.  Why gas prices are risingHigher gas prices can be traced back to the COVID-19 pandemic, but prices have been pushed even higher recently by the Russo-Ukrainian war, (said Patrick De Haan), GasBuddy's head of petroleum analysis, to CBS.  In addition, the post-pandemic demand for gas, cuts to oil production, and U.S. sanctions on Russia (and their impact on the global market) are holding gasoline prices high above normal.  Gas Prices and Your Summer BudgetAmericans are already trimming the grocery budget; it now appears the gas budget is next in line. According to one Wall Street estimate, a typical family may need to find (an additional $2,000 in the budget) this year to pay for gasoline.  This summer, the average per-gallon price could reach $5. It already has in some areas of the country, such as in California, where (some drivers reported paying $5.75 per gallon) in April 2022. That is to say, if you’re paying anything south of $5 per gallon, consider yourself a tad lucky, at least for this summer.  How to Offset Higher Gas PricesHere are 4 ways you can offset higher gas prices this summer:Check out apps like (Waze) and (GasBuddy). If you’re not a Waze user, you should be. Not only does it help you get from point A to point B quickly and safely, but it can also locate the cheapest fuel nearby. One unique feature with GasBuddy? You can search for gas based on fuel type. Look into joining a warehouse store: Places like Sam’s Club, Costco, and BJ’s offer discounts on fuel. The average discount is around $0.10 less per gallon than other gas stations. With a basic membership running around $50 per year, joining for the gas savings alone might make sense. The only hiccup? The stations are only found at warehouse locations.  Time your fill-ups. Experts also say the best days to fill up are (Mondays and Tuesdays). That’s when gas is cheapest during the week. Also, consider “stacking” your daily outings, so you don’t backtrack all over town and use more fuel than you need to. Another idea? Carpool whenever you can or take public transit.  Consider E15 gasoline: On April 12, President Biden announced (an emergency waiver allowing year-round sales of E15 gasoline), which contains a 15% ethanol blend. Its sale is typically prohibited from June to mid-September because of air quality concerns. According to the White House, E15 can save consumers around 10 cents per gallon on average, so the next time you’re at the pump, look for E15 and save.  Gas prices aside, I hope you and your family are planning some quality time together. When you're ready to...
 Fund Your Roth IRA before Tax DayTax Day is Monday, April 18th Choose from a wide variety of investment products Refine your retirement strategy with innovative tools and calculators Take advantage of potential tax benefits IRA contribution limitsLearn about income and contribution limits for contributing to traditional and Roth IRAs.2021 and 2022 traditional & Roth IRA contribution limits Total annual contributions to your traditional and Roth IRAs combined cannot exceed:2021: $6,000, 2022: $6,000 (under age 50) 2021: $7,000, 2022: $7,000 (age 50 or older) Roth IRA vs Traditional IRAContributing To My Roth IRA Vs. My Traditional IRAShould I Contribute To My Roth IRA Vs. My Traditional IRA?When saving for retirement, clients will often ask which account they should be making contributions to – a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA? The answer depends on several different factors that should be considered and discussed. To assist in this conversation, we have prepared the “Should I Contribute To My Roth IRA Versus My Traditional IRA?” flowchart. This flowchart considers: Eligibility to deduct contributions to a traditional IRA Eligibility to make contributions to a Roth IRA Current tax rates vs. future tax rates Ability to max out the contributions RMD impact Contributing To My Roth IRACan I Contribute To My Roth IRA?A Roth IRA is a great option for clients looking to save after-tax dollars, offering the opportunity for tax-free growth and relaxed distribution rules. Unfortunately, eligibility to contribute to a Roth IRA is subject to restrictions, which can cause confusion. To help make the analysis easier, we have created the “Can I Contribute To My Roth IRA” flowchart. It addresses the key eligibility considerations, including: Earned income Other (traditional) IRA contributions Filing status-based MAGI thresholds (Download our Roth IRA Checklist) Roth IRA Deadline NoticeIR-2022-52, March 8, 2022WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers they may be able to claim a deduction on their 2021 tax return for contributions to their (Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA)) made through April 18, 2022. An IRA is a personal savings plan that lets employees and the self-employed set money aside for retirement and can have tax advantages. Contributions for 2021 can be made to a (traditional) or (Roth) IRA until the filing due date, April 18, but must be designated for 2021 to the financial institution. Generally, eligible taxpayers can (contribute) up to $6,000 to an IRA for 2021. For those 50 years of age or older at the end of 2021, the limit is increased to $7,000. Qualified contributions to one or more traditional IRAs may be deductible up to the contribution limit or 100% of the taxpayer's compensation, whichever is less. There is no longer a maximum age for making IRA contributions. Those who make contributions to certain employer retirement plans, such as a 401k or 403(b), an IRA, or an Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) account, may be able to claim the (Saver's Credit). Also known as the Retirement Savings Contributions Credit, the amount of the credit is generally based on the amount of contributions, the adjusted gross income and the taxpayer's filing status. The lower the taxpayer's income (or joint income, if applicable), the higher the amount of the tax credit. Dependents and full-time students...
Who is Make Your Money Count for?Everybody, All the TimeMany books about financial management focus almost exclusively on those who are deeply in debt. That’s a significant audience, but the financial principles that bring fulfillment and adventure apply to all of us. Getting out of debt brings tremendous relief, but connecting our resources to what matters most produces a delicious blend of contentment and excitement. I believe that’s what most of us long for.  The message of this book is for three distinct audiences: those in their 20sand 30s, who are just starting out and facing new responsibilities, those in their 40s and 50s, who are in their most productive years, and those in their 60s and above, who live with either great joy or regret because of past choices. Let me describe these audiences a bit more. • 20s and 30sI talk to a lot of young singles and couples who realize that their new responsibilities of work, marriage, children, and a home require them to learn to manage their money. Just out of college, many of them spent every penny they made on clothes, cars, ski trips, and anything else their friends were doing. But now, they want to get serious about their finances, and they’re looking for some good advice. • 40s and 50sMany people in their 40s and 50s have settled into habits that are established—and maybe as hard as concrete. They’ve found a peer group they want to run with, and they have determined that they need to spend a certain amount of money to be accepted by them. In some cases, these habits include sound financial management, but often, these habits are monsters that need to be fed with more and more money. They’re making a lot of money, but they’re spending virtually all of it. Others in this stage of life have a lot of money in home equity and in various investment and retirement accounts, but their finances leave them with a mysterious sense of emptiness. Beyond a comfortable retirement, they aren’t sure what their money is for. Some in this stage have only a modest amount of money in retirement accounts, but not nearly enough to provide the security their families need.Unless things change, they know they’ll need to work until the day they die. • Over 60 Older people who come to my office seem to be full of either hope or despair. In most cases, their best income-producing years are over, and they look back on their decisions with either thankfulness or regret. Important lessons,however, are learned either way, so they still have a wonderful opportunity to impart wisdom to their children and grandchildren and leave a strong legacy. Vision, Intention, and MeansA Very Personal Journey. In my own life and in the lives of countless people I’ve counseled, I’ve realized that change happens most readily and permanently if people have a clear picture of the future, a commitment to take steps of progress, and good handles on the steps they need to take. Elements of change, then, are vision,intention, and means. This book is structured with these three features in mind:  Clarifying Your Vision, Values, and PurposeThe first three chapters focus on creating or clarifying our vision or our purpose in life. As we got though those chapters, some people may think,Why is he taking so long to get to the nuts and bolts of budgeting and investing? The reason is that these three chapters are essential to give us direction and motivation for the choices we make in the rest of the book. The Blueprint for Financial Success™Chapter 4 takes us through “The Blueprint for Financial Success.” The analysis we do in this step stimulates our intention to make the changes we need to make. The rest of the book, chapters 5 through 8, describes the principles and resources we can use to achieve the goals we set in the Blueprint. Small Steps, Big PayoffsWhatever you do, don’t miss Chapter 6, “Small Steps, Big Payoffs.” This chapter shows how seemingly insignificant choices in our daily lives...
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