How to Find a Good Financial Planner

How to Find a Good Financial Planner

Financial Planning is a must, it gives you an edge over others as you are putting time and effort into investing and saving your money as efficiently as possible. Here are few key points you must always remember while considering to choose a good financial planner.

Types of Financial Advisor:

There are many self-proclaimed gurus who would be ready to be your financial advisor. Be careful, understand the kind of financial advisors and understand how they classified. There are primarily three kind of financial advisors based on their remuneration methods.

The most important step while picking a financial advisor or a planner is to check if or whether he or she holds a CFP certification. Certified financial planners abide by the CFP Board and are 100% reliable.

There are CFP certified Accountants, Attorneys, Estate Planners, Insurance Agents, Investment Advisors and Stock Brokers working as financial advisors.

Fee-based financial advisors— These kind of advisors are relatively new in the realm of financial advising. Most of the times, they charge you a particular fee in exchange of the financial advice. These advisors usually work for other brokers and agents.

For instance, you can consider Stockbrokers, Attorneys, and Accountants under this category.

Commission based financial advisors— The insurance agents, registered representatives and the brokers come under this category. They usually sell you a financial product like mutual funds and various insurance policies. Upon doing so, these agents receive a commission for it. Be cautious, there is always a chance that the agents can sell you a financial product for their commission regardless of how useful it is to you, so caution is the key here.

Examples are Insurance Agents and Investment Advisors working for an insurance company.

Independent advisors and agents— These are the advisors that are not tied to any financial brokerage firm or any company. Therefore, your best interests are their best interests. There is no commission from any financial company involved. Examples include independent accountants and attorneys.

What Kind of Consultation Do You Need?

There are various methods of consultation needs one can have. You might be in need of hourly consultancy when you have a situation wherein you are unsure about the decision you must take. Buying a new property? Purchasing land or acquiring a business? Then you can always go with an hourly consultation. Any CFP certified advisor that suits your request needs to be approached.

Sometimes, you are in need of a more concrete plan and a detailed guide to achieve your goals. In such cases, you have to opt a rigorous planning services wherein your insurances, education costs, retirement corpus plan etc. are planned. For needs like this, you can opt for CFP certified Insurance Agents, Attorneys or Accounts who can give you a clear and a well detailed plan.

Also, in few cases, upon amassing a huge amount of money, a lot of people are not finance savvy enough to invest them in the right places and sustain the money with a steady flow of profit. In such cases, one must opt for an asset manager to help them with planning their money and procuring assets. In these cases, you can opt for a CFP certified Estate planner or an exclusive asset managers.

Mark Angelo co-founded the Investment Manager in August 2009 and two affiliated investment managers in 2000 and 2016.

3 Things Everyone Should Know About Money

3 Things Everyone Should Know About Money

Money has been around forever and for a long time it’s been hard for some to keep track of it or to even know what to do with it. From saving, to spending, to minimizing debt; it’s all more difficult than it sounds. Luckily, with the advancement of technology there are a plethora of ways to improve our finances. Whether you’re trying to save, or come up with different ways to keep track of your finances, here are 3 things you should know about money.

Be Mindful Of Scams:

When trying to do more with your money it is surprisingly easy to fall for all kinds of tricks. There’s always someone who’s trying to get your personal information and while it may seem easy to avoid, it can still happen. By keeping a close eye on your bank account or accounts you can be in the know about any suspicious activity or charges you don’t recognize. Today, you don’t even have to leave your home to check with the help of online and mobile banking. As long as you have a laptop or computer you can easily watch your account.

Keeping records of your monthly bank statements helps take it a step further. While mobile banking is convenient it is also common to look past or completely miss some information. Your bank statements show all transactions for the month and aids in you seeing your own spending and saving patterns.

Being Insured:

We all know how important it is to have insurance and you can get it for almost anything. While it is not easy to think about something bad happening, it is always good to be prepared for the worst. Having disability insurance or renters insurance can keep you secure in case of an injury that prevents you from working and from anything that damages your home like a break in or natural disaster.

Not having to come out of pocket during a time like this can keep your finances afloat and give you that peace of mind knowing that you don’t have to worry about something going wrong. Even though these instances are rare when it comes to money you can never be too cautious.

Minimize Your Debt:

Debt is an interesting thing. It’s not always bad but it is never good. Debt from going to college is completely different from having tons of credit card debt. For most, debt is inescapable but there are ways to keep it minimal. It’s fairly simple to go out and get approved for a credit card when you’re in a financial pinch but it can quickly get out of hand.

Keeping your debt at a minimum is a great way to keep money in your pockets. The less payments you have the more money you get to keep for yourself or other important things. It is hard to say when you will need a little extra money so having a lot of credit card payments isn’t good for your finances in the long run.

Money management is hard but there are multiple ways to make it easy. Just one change can make a huge difference in your financial freedom.

Mark Angelo is the Co-Founder of Yorkville Advisors.

5 Expert Tips to Help Improve Your Personal Finances

5 Expert Tips to Help Improve Your Personal Finances

Managing your personal finances is a very important responsibility that all people share. Unfortunately, many people will find that keeping track of their finances can be time consuming, expensive, and frustrating. Fortunately, there are five simple tips that can be followed to improve your personal finances.

Increase Income:

One of the best ways to improve your personal finances is to increase your income. While saving money and being frugal is important, having a good amount of income coming in is a necessity to build personal wealth. Some great ways to do this can include asking for a raise at work, looking for a new and better paying job, or finding additional ways to make some extra money on the side. Even small increase in pay can add up significantly over time.

Save for Future:

To build a strong personal financial footing, you will need to be able to save money for the future. It is very important to consider both your short-term and long-term savings strategies. Ideally, you should be saving at least 20% of your income in short-term accounts and long-term retirement accounts. This will provide you with a source of liquidity to reach short-term goals while also building a nest egg to rely on in the future. It would also be a good idea to take advantage of tax-advantaged retirement accounts as much as possible.

Consider Mortgage Options:

For most people, the monthly mortgage payment is the largest monthly expense that people incur. Because of this you, should look for ways to better manage your mortgage payments. While interest rates today are a bit higher than they were in the past, you can still save a lot of money by refinancing into a lower-rate loan. Furthermore, you may want to consider switching into a loan that has a shorter amortization schedule and provides you with even lower interest rates.

Look for New Rates:

While higher interest rates have made it more expensive to borrower money, it has made it beneficial for individuals that are looking to save money. Today, you can find great rates with savings accounts and other low-risk investments. However, to take advantage of these low rates, you will need to be willing to shop around to find the best rates that are available to you today.

Evaluate Investments:

Once you have built up a comfortable emergency savings reserve, you should focus on investing your personal capital. Investing in the markets will allow you to see your capital increase in value. While investing can be a good option, it is important that you stay on top of your investments and strategy. You should carefully review and consider your investment strategy at least a few times per year and make adjustments as necessary.

If you are investing with an investment advisor, or if you invest through actively managed funds, you should also spending time reviewing the fees that you are paying to see if there is a more affordable way for you to invest. This could increase your ultimate ROI.

Mark Angelo is the president of Yorkville Advisors.

Business Advice on Working with Relatives


Business Advice on Working with Relatives

Working with a relative can be tricky waters to navigate, but the proper approach can point you toward a healthy, productive professional relationship at the office or worksite. To start, have a conversation with your relative about the situation and how to best handle the unique circumstances of working together. This conversation will ideally take place before you begin your professional relationship, but if you’re already well into it, it may not be too late to get on the same page.

Here are five possible questions to consider during that conversation:

1. Will you ride together to and from work?

Carpooling could save you and your relative both on gas money and can be enjoyable, but if you do decide to ride together, make some decisions ahead of time, like what time you’ll leave home for work and what time you’ll both leave the office to make sure it will work out logistically. It can also be a good idea to decide whether or not you’ll talk about work and your mutual colleagues on your rides together. Venting can be healthy, but it could create a division between you and your relative and the other people you both work with.

2. How much and in what manner will you communicate at work?

Will you work together on projects? If so, what are your standards for professional communication with one another? If you won’t work together directly, will you still visit one another throughout the day? If so, when and for how long? Will you have lunch together? These are important questions to consider when deciding what your working relationship will look like in contrast to your at-home relationship.

3. Will you talk about home life in the workplace?

Avoiding conversations about things going on at home or mutual relatives while at work and sticking to professional topics could be helpful in keeping both your minds on doing great work and could keep you from getting caught up in family drama on your employer’s watch.

4. How should you treat one another as colleagues?

Do you normally hug your relative when you see them? If so, do you hug your other colleagues as well? It’s a good idea to match your behavior with your relative to your normal behavior with other folks you work with. This communicates your commitment to professionalism to everyone in your office and a sets a clear boundary in your own mind that you’re at work and not at home.

5. How else can you keep home and work life as separate as possible?

It may not be 100 percent possible to treat your relative like just another colleague, but you should make that the goal. To the degree possible, agree that you and your relative will speak to one another with the same professionalism that you speak to everyone else at your workplace and hold each other to the same professional standard.

These topics may be a little uncomfortable in the moment, but having a challenging conversation now could help avoid conflict or hurt feelings later on and set you up for a great working relationship with your relative.

Mark Angelo is the co-founder of Yorkville Advisors.

The Difference between Business Etiquette and Business Ethics

The Difference between Business Etiquette and Business Ethics

Businesspeople are expected to look and act professionally during their work hours. As they work, they are expected to make important decisions that are fair and honest. There is a field that involves business etiquette, and another field for business ethics. Learn more about the differences between the two in the world of business.

Business Ethics Is More Risky:

Business etiquette consists of the proper actions and behaviors that are required to do business with other people. Business ethics are the values and principles that affect how fairly the professionals behave toward each other. The practices of both etiquette and ethics are needed by every successful professional or company.

For any business, violating a code of ethics has more serious risks and wide-sweeping effects. A discrimination or harassment lawsuit could bring down a high-powered business leader. Accounting scandals are known to have bankrupted some businesses. There are other ethics problems that include embezzling or the underpayment of certain workers.

Etiquette Is More Superficial:

Business etiquette affects common, everyday acts in the workplace. Wearing a uniform or clean, professional clothing to the workplace is the most basic form of etiquette. Showing up to a business meeting on time and completing work assignments by the deadlines are other examples.

Violating the code of etiquette has less serious consequences. All professionals are expected to practice email etiquette when they contact their clients through email. So, sending emails that are written in an informal, conversational tone is a minor offense. At the worst, practicing bad etiquette leads to a job termination. However, a widespread public scandal that could topple the company is not an effect of having improper manners.

Business Ethics Requires Training:

Every company has different training programs that involve ethics. From major corporations with thousands of employees to small businesses with 10 employees, all businesses have to follow certain codes of conducts. The most common programs involve training employees to prevent hiring discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying. There are also state and federal laws that prevent business people from mistreating others or they could face fines or imprisonment.

It’s common to make mistakes with business etiquette. However, making a mistake with ethics could cost you a job and ruin your employer’s reputation. Know the differences between the two, but also know that you cannot survive with only either one. Every professional needs both proper ethics and etiquette to be important members of the business world.

Mark Angelo co-founded the Investment Manager in August 2009 and two affiliated investment managers.

5 Awesome Free Slackbots for Your Business

5 Awesome Free Slackbots for Your Business

Running a business demands your utmost time and attention. Sometimes, we may find that those resources aren’t quite as bountiful as we’d prefer them to be: that’s where the organizational prowess of using a slackbot comes in. Powered through Slack, Slackbots operate like chatbots to help tackle everything from sending reminder notifications to motivating blurbs for boosting company morale. Implementing the use of a Slackbot should be a must for every company’s communication strategy. Continue reading below for five free Slackbots to help you get started on doing exactly that:

1. DBot by Demisto:

In today’s day and age, the importance of cyber security is not to be brushed aside. DBot by Demisto helps to give you and your team peace of mind by filtering through any links that are sent to the chat to determine if they are safe or malicious. By scanning each file, URL, and IP address that users share within the app, Dbot by Demisto is able to quickly alert your team of any threats or suspicious activity.

2. Howdy:

When you have a lot of people to manage, consistently checking in with every employee about their day or about their schedule or current projects might not always be realistic. Howdy helps you to drop a line to see how your team members are tackling their workloads. Simply instruct Howdy on what kind of information you’d like to gather from your team, and it will automatically gather that information and forward it to you. Whether you need an update on the progress of a particular project or just need to tally up what everyone is feeling for lunch, Howdy has got your back.

3. TimeBot:

Keeping track of everyone’s vacation days, sick days, and holidays can really fry your brain. Forget fussing with human resources and manage everyone’s work schedule with TimeBot! Simply instruct your team to fill out a personal time off (PTO) request command to TimeBot, and a few questions later, the record of their request will arrive in you Slack window! Once a team member’s request has been approved, TimeBot will notify the rest of the team of when an employee will be out of the office. As a bonus, TimeBot even has holiday reminders for over 100 countries!

4. Statsbot:

Utilizing mediums for analytics is crucial to having a successful business strategy. These mediums and all of their tedious numbers however, can get to be a pain, and a bewildering one at that! Have no fear, for Statsbot is here! Statsbot combines with Google AnalyticsFree at Google, Salesforce, and other analytic mediums to provide straightforward insights directly to your Slack account. Forget about hasting with a login for your Google Analytics account; forego all the extra steps and windows by merely typing in, “@statsbot summary last month” and let the brilliance that is Statsbot automation take care of everything for you.

5. Donut:

Amidst deadlines and workshops and project meetings, it’s important to not overlook the significance of fostering an authentically connected work environment through team-building. The Donut channel helps to accomplish exactly this by inspiring your employees to get to know one another. From weekly reminders that introduce two colleagues to one another, to memos that encourage them to meet up for coffee and a doughnut, the Donut slackbot is all about creating something meaningful outside of office walls!

Mark Angelo is the Co-Founder of Yorkville Advisors.

3 Great Occasions to Start Your Business’ Video Strategy

3 Great Occasions to Start Your Business’ Video Strategy

According to the Cisco Visual Networking Index, by 2021 video content will account for 82% of web traffic and will cross the threshold of a million minutes of video circulating the web per second. At that point, it would take someone 5 million years to watch all of the video content circulating the web. Just on YouTube alone, 500 minutes of video were being uploaded every second in 2015. There is absolutely no doubt that video consumption is increasing exponentially and will only continue to increase as the world only continues to become increasingly mobile. Smart businesses would be wise to take advantage of this trend, but finding ways of introducing video into your marketing strategy is not always that simple. For those looking to make the break into video, here are 3 great occasions to start your business’ video strategy.

1. Product launch:

There is probably nothing that goes more hand-in-glove with product launches than video. When you launch a new product, you want people to be able to see it, touch it, feel it, and interact with it. But first you have to get them in the door to do so. Video can give them a firsthand look at a product that can compel them to get out and see it for themselves in a way simple written descriptions or pictures just can’t. What’s more, with video, you can actually show the product in action and how others are using it, creating even more interest in the product.

2. Customer testimonials:

When text messages were first introduced, it brought on onslaught of misunderstanding until the advent of emoji’s. It turns out that human beings rely on a great deal of physical context to interpret the intended meanings of words. In addition, physical cues can also lend a great deal of weight to what the speaker is saying. While written customer reviews are highly influential, no amount of exclamation points will ever equal the weight of a person’s face lighting up when they talk about your product or service.

3. Social responsibility programs:

These days, most businesses have to do more than create and sell a great product or service, they have to also show they are responsible members of their community. In some cases, even the global community. In the digital age, you don’t just have clients and consumers, you have a following. To that end, people expect more from the businesses they do business with. They want to know not just about your product, but about your mission, vision and values as well -what you stand for as a company and how you give back to your community. Video is one of the best ways to spread that message. In the video world, there is a phrase “show, don’t tell” and if a picture is worth 1,000 words, even the shortest of videos is a novel. Rather than telling your followers about your mission, vision and values, you can use video to actually show them in action.

Mark Angelo co-founded the Investment Manager in August 2009 and two affiliated investment managers.

How to Get Over Your Fear of Investing

How to Get Over Your Fear of Investing

Fear (false enemies appearing real) applies a great deal for new investors who are less familiar with the potholes of the landscape. There are a few mind tweaks, however, that you can take in order to immediately get over this fear. Let’s take a look at these ideas.

Fear disappears when you accept that losses are inevitable:

The vast majority of the fear people have for investing is the fear of loss. People think that losing money in the investment world is somehow different from losing money paying bills, going to dinner or putting gas in the car. Honestly, it isn’t! Once you realize that investing involves risk, and you accept this, the fear goes away. You will likely lose money, and you will also gain money. The secret is to simply gain more money than you lose.

Having a plan to gain more money than you lose:

The next step in losing fear is gaining a plan. Even the best investors lose money. The secret is to have a plan to get it back.

Creating a plan requires a great deal of study. The more that you study, the better your plans for gaining money in the market will become. There are many tools that you can use in order to gain money. Not all of them will apply to you. Some of them are contingent on your personality – others are contingent on the types of investments that you like.

Choosing a niche:

Another thing that people do not understand about investing is that it is not something that is done from a birds eye view. You need to get your hands dirty in your investments if you are going to succeed with them. What does this mean? It means that you actually have to enjoy the companies that you are investing in.

This is actually a great opportunity. It means that you should only invest in companies that you have an interest in. If you have been using a certain type of product for your entire life, then you should take a look at that company first before you take a look at any other company. It is more likely that you will stick with an investment for a company that you enjoy.

Paper investing:

Another way to get rid of your fear for investing is to invest on paper first. You can very easily determine how good you are by simply following investments that you put on paper but you do not actually make.

You can actually create an entire portfolio for yourself in a notebook without investing one dollar into the market. Take the time to follow this portfolio for a year. If you cannot, then you know one other thing as well – you probably do not have the self-discipline that it would take to make money in the real market. If so, then you can completely get rid of the fear of investing by saying that you are not ready. Just quit. This may not be what you want to hear, but it is the truth!

You don’t want to quit. So get to work!

Mark Angelo is the co-founder of Yorkville Advisors.

7 Easy Strategies to Cope With Financial Anxiety

7 Easy Strategies to Cope With Financial Anxiety

Financial anxiety impacts more than 70 percent of American adults. If you’ve spent your childhood listening to your parents argue about money, or you’ve felt as though you’re drowning in debt, or you’ve worried about whether you’ll have enough for retirement, then you’ve probably experienced financial anxiety.

You may have felt financial anxiety if you feel depressed when you think about money, if you overspend, if you’re obsessed with being frugal, or if you depend entirely on others to figure out your finances.

There are things you can do to take control of this anxiety and manage your finances again. Let’s look at some of them now.

1) Face The Problem:

It’s too easy to bury your head in the sand when you feel overwhelmed with financial stress, but this is one of the worst things you can do. Schedule time with yourself or your spouse to look over finances and talk openly about strategies. Also, address your feelings about your finances and support yourself and your spouse with positive encouragement.

2) Practice Mindfulness:

Pay close attention to your feelings and your body responses as you study your finances. When you check in with your body, you’re better able to acknowledge and control your emotions related to money, rather than being controlled by them.

3) Find the Positives:

When you’re overwhelmed with negative feelings about money, a good way to change your thinking is to find the positives. Even if there are very few positive things, acknowledge them as often as possible. This can make a huge impact on the amount of stress you feel, and can help you approach money with less apprehension.

4) Change What You Can:

Even if your situation looks dismal, there is always something you can change. Create a budget, or have a closer look at your existing budget to see what expenses you can cut. Pick up a side job or address any spending problems you may have. Perhaps it’s time to return to school to qualify for a higher paying job. Whatever change needs to occur, it’s time to make it happen.

5) Seek Help:

It may be difficult to justify spending money to help save money, but professional finance counselors can make a huge difference. Many of these people also offer free consultations, and there is a wealth of debt management information online.

6) Hypnosis:

Hypnosis is effective as long as you allow it to be. Don’t look to hypnosis to change your behavior, but rather to change your outlook and your thinking patterns. Allow the suggestions to coach you out of an anxious mindset and into confidence and peace. There are many YouTube videos with hypnotic suggestions that will help ease your stress.

7) Self-Care:

Physical and mental health are vital to stress management. Eat healthy meals as often as possible, maintain your personal hygiene, get enough sleep, and exercise as much as you’re able. Poor self-care will only increase your stress levels.

Mark Angelo co-founded the Investment Manager in August 2009.

A Guide to Passive Investing

A Guide to Passive Investing

Passive investing is an approach to investing that combines two purposes simultaneously: Maximizing investment returns over the long run and keeping in check the high investment costs by minimizing transactions in the investment portfolio. The two purposes are not mutually exclusive. Frequent trading within the portfolio can run up expenses and decrease overall returns.

Passive Investing with an Indexing Strategy:

Index investing is one of the principal techniques used by investment managers when focusing on a passive investment approach. An index fund is a pooled investment such as a mutual fund or exchange traded fund (ETF) whose composition mimics a particular stock index such as the S&P 500 or Dow Jones Industrial Index. Index funds are not restricted to US benchmarks. Indeed there are also index funds for international and global indexes. Furthermore, index funds are not restricted to stock investment; there are bond index funds as well.

Index investing was made popular by the Vanguard Group, a mutual-fund firm known for conservative, low-cost funds. Your choices are by no means restricted to that firm. Today, many investment companies offer low-cost, broadly diversified mutual funds and ETF’s as important components of their offerings.

Keep Your Costs Low:

Keeping costs low is one of the main advantages of investing passively with index funds. Buying and selling within an index fund is generally done only to maintain the investment portfolio’s weighting approximate to its benchmark index. Consequently, transaction costs are ultra-low.

Diversification and Passive Investing:

A second, equally important objective of passive investing is diversification. It is the answer to the old adage “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” Index funds commonly have many tens to hundreds of securities in their portfolios at any one time, making the effect of one company’s bad news minimal to the overall portfolio.

Tax-efficiency of Passive Investing:

Most index funds are highly tax-efficient. The relative infrequency of trading means that lower capital gains are realized each year relative to actively managed portfolios. By law, these gains must be passed on every year to the fund shareholders. If held in a non-qualified retirement account, these gains add to the holder tax liability each year. Passive investing inherently limits these pass-through gains, making tax time less costly for index investors.

Perfect for Arm-chair Investors:

Many folks are not high-powered investment managers and they know that. They want to participate in the market and build for their retirement but don’t want to get into the nuts and bolts of active investing. For investors like these, the passive investing approach using index funds is built-to-order.

Using index funds and ETF’s as the core of a long-term investment portfolio makes sense for many investors. Investor-advocate organizations such as Morningstar generally extoll the virtues of passive investing. The broad diversification, tax efficiency and low costs inherent in passive investing make sense for many folks desiring to achieve good returns on the investment of their hard-earned money and who may not be interested in more active forms of investing.

Mark Angelo is the Co-Founder of Yorkville Advisors.