Byron Moore, CFP® and Mike Jones

The News Star columns

Why You Can't Cram for the Harvest

By Byron Moore, posted June 18, 2018
Originally published in the News Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, June 17, 2018.

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Most important things in life cannot be crammed.

You remember cramming. It was a skill I learned well in high school.

I would ignore learning any relevant material outside of what was required for day to day academic survival, until an appropriate interval prior to a big test. The interval may be 30 minutes to 24 hours prior to a big test, depending on the teacher. Having procrastinated as long as possible, I would read the high points of the material, perhaps including some Cliff Notes if it was a big test. Usually the items I was seeking to cram into my short-term memory were factoids I had identified by that time-honored method of academic inquiry…asking the teacher, “Is this going to be on the test?”

So cramming works…in some situations, most of which are not very important or beneficial over the long-term.

In fact, cramming is usually a short-term solution that simply delays or anesthetizes a long-term problem.

Elder Abuse - Friends and Family

By Byron Moore, posted June 11, 2018
Originally published in the News Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, June 10, 2018.Elderly Credit Card_small.jpg
 

Vladimir smirks at a computer screen, furiously typing as he chain-smokes one cigarette after another.

He is hacking into your bank account.

Green numbers flash across his screen, indicating the systematic draining of your bank account into his off-shore account, all accomplished from his dingy apartment building somewhere in upper Siberia.

From a hot and humid internet cafe in Cameroon, dozens of teen-aged online scammers send out email after email, each pretending to be a long-lost Nigerian prince, heir to a tanker of oil if he can just get a $10,000 bank account open…with your money. And…wonders!...he promises to split the money with you once he sells the oil!

Leave a Path to Follow

By Byron Moore, posted June 11, 2018
Originally published in the News Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, June 3, 2018.
 

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We buried my father-in-law last week.

Ninety-four years is a long time to live.

In so many ways he was an American success story. Born into a family of ten children, he was raised in northern Webster Parish during the depression. Milk and eggs were taken to market weekly on a horse and wagon, and when he got old enough to attend LSU, he had to walk ten miles to Springhill to begin the hitchhiking journey to Baton Rouge.

He earned a forestry degree from LSU, fought his way across Europe with the U.S. Army during World War II, started a family in the 50s, a forestry business in the 60s and all along the way bought as many tracts of land and LSU season tickets as his budget and his bankers would allow.

Debt Brings the Future into the Present...At a Cost

By Byron Moore, posted May 22, 2018
Originally published in the News Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, May 20, 2018.
 

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Just the other day, one of my son’s friends, Grant, called me with a business question. I got to know Grant during his undergrad years, and quickly saw that he would make a sharp businessman. Not too long after graduation, Grant went into business with his father. He was excited about the prospect of building a family business and optimistic about their success.

However, he soon realized that he and his father had different views on debt. On the one hand, Grant’s father was totally against it. But on the other hand, Grant believed there was nothing wrong with debt if they could afford it.

“So where does debt fit into business?” Grant asked me, struggling to choose the next right step.

Which is Better? A Good Salary or Good Benefits?

By Byron Moore, posted May 15, 2018
Originally published in the News Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, May 13, 2018.
 
 

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Every weekday morning, I do CrossFit with Tim. Tim is a young dad, probably in his early thirties, who’s busy providing for his wife and three kids under the age of five. What a handful.

Just last week, as we were leaving the gym and heading to our cars, Tim told me that he’s considering two different job offers – one pays more, but the other has better benefits.

“I am leaning towards the one with better benefits,” he said, “since I like that security. What do you think?”

I think my answer may have startled him a bit:

Plodding Along in the Journey Towards Financial Success

By Byron Moore, posted May 7, 2018
Originally published in the News Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, May 6, 2018.
 
 

Question: I am discouraged. I believe I am doing the best I can with my career and my money, but it never seems to be enough. I admit I’m my own worst critic, but I see all my peers seeming to drive bigger cars and live in nicer houses. They are clearly doing better than I am. I know it shouldn’t matter, but do you think I’ll ever be able to catch up with them?

 

Answer: You will never catch up because you were never meant to.

Are you cut out to be an entrepreneur?

By Byron Moore, posted April 30, 2018
Originally published in the News Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, April 29, 2018.
 

husband wife negotiating_250.jpgQuestion: My wife and I are having a disagreement and want your input. I very much want to own and run my own business. I have had three different jobs in three years, each in a different field. I tell her I am trying to find the right field to suit me. She just wants me to settle down and hold a steady job. This sounds like torture to me. What should I do?

Answer: It has been said that every entrepreneur has committed employment suicide – that they are terminally unemployable.

Cost of healthcare

By Byron Moore, posted April 23, 2018
Originally published in the News Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, April 22, 2018.
 

grocery_sm.jpgQuestion: I was in the hospital recently and got my bill. It was unbelievable. Then I got something from the insurance company saying I didn’t have to pay that much. But I still have a very high deductible and a big co-pay. I don’t understand how the hospital says I owe one thing and the insurance company another. Who is right?

Answer: There is very little right about the process you’ve just experienced.

Imagine a world in which all the grocery stores were full of the best that money could buy (kind of like we have here in real life). The only thing these stores don’t have is a price tag. There are no price tags indicating how much any of the items in the store will cost you.

Cost of debt less than cost of human nature

By Byron Moore, posted April 16, 2018
Originally published in the News Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, April 15, 2018.
 

worried couple discussing finances_250.jpgQuestion: Someone talked me into consolidating a bunch of credit cards I had with high interest rates. Now I have no idea how I ever made it when paying on all those cards each month. They said I would be able to save the money, but I haven’t been able to. What do I do now?

Answer: Begin by telling yourself the truth.

Financially sick, well or fit?

By Byron Moore, posted April 9, 2018
Originally published in the News Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, April 8, 2018.
 

overweight running_sm.jpgQuestion: I know that I am financially sick. I am not sure how to start a budget. My credit score is a total mess. I cannot even figure out how I got here. How do I get well?

Answer: When you’re driving, it’s a good idea to keep your eyes looking forward, with occasional glances into the rearview mirror to see where you’ve come from.

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