Saturday, June 9, 2007

  1. Money is a tool, not a solution: use money to live the life you want, don't live just to make money.
  2. How you spend it is more important than how you invest it: The only way-we repeat-the only way to amass money is to live on less than you generate. You should live within your means and a little below.
  3. Love your job-or leave it
  4. Put first things first: Take care of your health and your money will follow.
  5. Know your Spouse: Sit down and discuss money matters with your spouse before minor irritations become major problems. If you're not already married, take money attitudes into account when choosing your partner.
  6. Invest in your Kids:If you have school aged children and you're not already contributing to RESPs for them, it's time to reconsider. These are easy to set up at a chartered bank and the federal government kicks in free money .
  7. Give Now
  8. Talk it Over: Communication is key with all members of your family especially for estate planning.
  9. Consider all in-costs: Most people don't consider the real cost of what they buy. They focus on the price tag and not on what they have to earn to afford the item .
  10. Set Goals: Building wealth takes time and as such you need to set milestones to monitor progress.
  11. Emphasize rewards: Think of a budget as pre-spending and emphasize the objects or experiences that you want to spend money on. According to financial author, Bruce Cohen, " A good budget doesn't tell you that you cannot have what you want," he says. "A good budget says, 'Yes, you can have what you really want'" whether that be a new car or early retirement.
  12. Use debt intelligently: if you are going to borrow for an investment such as an RRSP don't unless you can pay the money back in one year or sooner.
  13. Take the Long view: Time and compounding are considered the eigth wonder of the world by some financial planners.
  14. Diversify, diversify,diversify: This is the most important rule of investing, you don't want to put all of your eggs in one basket. By puting money in stocks, bonds, domestic, and international investments you reduce your risk. While one investment might be down another will be up evening the playing field.
  15. Plan your portfolio, then stick to your plan: investors should develop a strategy for allocating their money among different types of assets. A common mix. for instance 10% cash, 50% fixed income (Bonds) and 40% stocks. Remember to always monitor your portfolio and make it match your original plan. Also the plan should fit your life cycle.
  16. Be Cheap: don't spend unnecessary fees.
  17. Forget last year
  18. Ignore your portfolio - selectively:avoid looking at your portfolio too frequently as it may make you overly emotional an d cause you to make unwise decisions.
  19. Keep it Simple:Keep your investment program simple.
  20. Look for the right fit: You must as a potential financial advisor a list of questions to ensure that the fit is appropriate for you. Don't just pick any advisor.
  21. Understand how your advisor is paid: commision or fee based?
  22. Consider Risk: it is suggested that if an advisor says an investment will have little or no risk you should get this in writing.
  23. Ask Questions
  24. Beware of 10% solutions: Many financial advisors seem to think that history guarantees a 10% annual return from stocks, not so.
  25. Write it Down