The wealthiest Americans, often, rely upon, a large number, of, hopefully, well – qualified financial professionals, to plan, such things, as tax planning, estate plans, efficient budgeting, diversified investing, etc. However, for the vast number of us, we neither, have the amount of assets, nor the need, or ability, to hire these individuals. Most of these professionals charge significant fees, and, often, demand, a minimum amount of assets, to be invested. For most of us, there is a need to have a financial plan, in order to proceed, in a way, where we achieve, the most, bang – for – our – buck, and become able to live, life, to its fullest. With that in mind, this article will attempt to briefly, examine, consider, review, and discuss, a few, common sense, approaches, and behaviors, that, require a degree of self – discipline, and foresight.
1. Know your financial needs, priorities, goals, etc: What do you wish to achieve in your life, from a financial perspective? Is there a realistic way, to do so, by using personal discipline, and a focused approach/ plan? Will you begin financial planning, for your present, and future needs? What will you do, to plan, for your children’s educational costs? How about your retirement? Many give up, because they feel, they do not have the ability to achieve these objectives, but, most people do, if they plan, far enough ahead, and discipline themselves, consistently. After all, you pay many bills, every month, including your mortgage/ rent, utilities, and other current needs, so wouldn’t it make sense, to proceed, with the discipline and attitude, to pay yourself, first?
2. Periodic payments/ installments; dollar – cost averaging: For the average person, the best way, to attain and maintain, a significant, diversified portfolio, is to use, what is referred to, as, a periodic payment plan. This means, every month, preferably on a specific date (same time each month), putting the same amount into a mutual fund. This should be, a diversified, balanced fund, in order to perform, in a variety of market conditions, etc. Dollar – cost averaging means, since, the price of the fund, generally fluctuates, you will purchase a different number of shares, for the same dollars, but, hopefully, over – time, this approach will be extremely beneficial, and grow.
3. Discipline: This type of approach, will only work, successfully, when you proceed, with a self – imposed, discipline, to pay this bill, to yourself, every single month. In the longer – term, you will benefit, because, you will, without feeling much pain, build up a significant portfolio. Wise people realize, your success, is up – to – you!
This basic, simple, approach, is tried – and – proven/ tested, and works, because, it lets the average person, help himself, in a logical manner. Are you up to the task?