Wisdom on Wealth


Everyone has money questions, whether it's what to do about retirement, or how to invest for the first time. Each week, Byron Moore offers practical, down-to-earth advice on handling money; and shows that even though money is important, paying attention to it can keep it from ruling your life.

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His brother was broke and in debt, having moved back in with their mother. After going through a divorce and a rebound girlfriend, he was left with credit card debt, no car, no assets, and, of course, no job.

His good-hearted brother wanted very badly to help out but realized that throwing cash at his troubled brother would solve nothing.

Their father taught them to save and spend responsibly, but apparently one brother got it and the other brother didn’t.

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If you want to build high, you should first go deep.

Almost immediately following the tragic events of September 11, 2001, there was popular agreement that another magnificent structure must take the place of the fallen Twin Towers. In April 2006, about five years later, construction began on the structure that would one day be called One World Trade Center.

  During the first three years of that construction, however, no small amount of grumbling went on concerning the “lack of progress,” so to speak, on the project.

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Suppose you had two choices for a retirement scenario: the first is that you owned $50,000,000 worth of real estate. The second is that you own $500,000 worth of real estate.

You’d pick the first, right?

Well, what if the $50,000,000 of real estate is worth so much because it’s located adjacent to a national forest, but the government says you can’t build anything on the land that will pay you rental income. So, that means you’re asset rich, but income poor.

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We find ourselves in the midst of a worldwide health crisis – the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Among the many ripple effects of the disease, and the world’s disparate attempts to contain it, have been significant impact on financial markets.

Now, markets do not like uncertainty. It’s a lot like what happens when the power goes off and you suddenly find yourself in a very dark room. The first thing you do is stop, and then you grope around a while, taking small steps, trying to avoid a collision with something that you can’t see.

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This is for the person who can look in the mirror and say, “I have messed up my financial life!”

If that’s you, where do you start?

Let’s start with something that I heard consultant Wayne Cotton say one time, “If you don’t like your past, then fix your present and you’ll have a new past in your future. Just clean-slate it and build a new past by building your present properly.”

See The Big Picture

Feb 26, 2020
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One dimensional thinking is rarely quality thinking.

The problem comes when you only consider one piece of a total financial picture.

Let’s say that there is a piece of land that you’ve had your eye on for some time. And it comes up for sale.

Well, you could borrow $100,000 to buy the land. If the bank agrees to finance the purchase for you at 4% over 20 years, you’re gonna owe the bank 240 payments of $600. If my $5 Wal-Mart calculator still works, that’s about $145,000. It means that you paid $45,000 in interest on top of the $100,000 that you paid for the land.

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When it comes to estate planning, good intentions are unlikely to produce good results.

I most often see this in the case of second marriages…even those in which everybody in both families are getting along great…for now.

I am not an attorney and you should consult one in the state in which you live. But here are the scenarios that I often see…

Auto Insurance Basics

Feb 12, 2020
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The purpose of auto insurance is to protect the insured financially against damage done to her car and by her car.

The second item (damage done by her car) has a far bigger potential for financial damage, though it’s less common.

These are two really important things to remember when shopping for auto insurance for yourself…but it’s especially important to keep them in mind when shopping for auto insurance for your driving teen or college student.

Here are the basics to keep in mind whenever and for whomever when you shop for auto insurance:

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Small steps can make a big difference in retirement planning.

Dee Lay and his wife (Fee Lay, of course!) arrive at age 66, trying to figure out if they can retire. Dee has about $500,000 in his 401(k) and they spend about $5,000 a month to live.

They go see their financial planner, Les Werking, to find out if they are ready to retire.

“Well that all depends on whether or not you plan to live past age 80,” Les tells them. “Cause that’s about how long your money will last.”

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As people age physically, they also tend to age financially.

Failure to understand and accept these twin realities can lead to much frustration and stress.  Those who accept and (even better) anticipate the changes that come with physical and financial aging can experience a more peaceful transition as their lives change.

Here are a few thoughts on the similarities of physical and financial aging: