Byron Moore, CFP® and Mike Jones

The News Star columns

When Your Great Idea Gets a Yawn: The Story of the Soils

By Byron Moore, posted August 21, 2018
Originally published in the News-Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, August 19, 2018.

What happens when your brilliant idea is met with a tepid response?Farmer seed sowing_small.jpg

For some of us, anything less than enthusiastic applause for our fledgling dreams is reason to pack up our ambitions and go home. A thought that took weeks of courage-building to share with another crumbles beneath what feels like a withering barrage of criticism…even if it was simply a yawn.

Let’s face facts – most of us were born insecure about our own abilities and the world has done precious little to divest us of that self-perception.  

Maybe your dream is an idea of how to do things differently at work. Or putting yourself up for a new position. Or getting 100% out of debt once and for all. Or committing 100% to getting back to your high school weight. Or changing careers. Or running a marathon. Or making a commitment to do whatever it takes to restore your marriage. Or quitting your job and starting a new company based on your unique vision. 

You have a dream…a vision of how life could be so much better if you simply made that vision come true.

And no one else cares

Effective Leadership Balances Purpose & People

By Byron Moore, posted August 13, 2018
Originally published in the News-Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, August 12, 2018.

Whether your primary role is that of parent, president, partner or patron, you will benefit if you know how to lead…effectively.Leadership female_small.jpg

Just the word “leadership” conjures up mental images that, for many, are more caricatures of famous leaders than characteristics of effective leaders.

What comes to mind when you read the word “leader?” A corporate CEO? A head coach? A powerful politician? An influential religious figure? An intellectual? A philosopher?

Those are all expressions of leadership for sure.

But what about a mother of two children? How about an experienced tradesman looked up to by the younger guys? A career educator? A soft-spoken librarian who diligently sees to it that all his patrons are served with excellence?

Will Your Children Ruin Your Retirement (Part 2)

By Byron Moore, posted August 6, 2018
Originally published in the News-Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, August 5, 2018.

Last week we took a depressive look at the end-game of runaway financial co-dependence between parents and adult children.child money banker_small.jpg

I promised we would follow up with some strategies you can use at every stage of life to prepare parent and child alike for the financial separation that should come with adulthood.

As a parent, you should have a lifetime goal of helping your children learn the twin concepts of freedom of choice and freedom from consequences.

As parents, we spend much of our time in a child’s early years simply protecting them from consequences they have no capacity to comprehend. We do not let them play in the street, ride in the car standing up, talk to strangers, touch the hot stove or stay up as late as they want to.

Will Your Children Ruin Your Retirement (Part 1)

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

children money_small.jpg

“Mom, I promise this will be the last time. I’ve just had some unexpected things come up and I don’t have money for the mortgage payment. You don’t want me to lose my house do you?”

Laura could feel the all too familiar waves of nausea, anger and anxiety crashing against her heart. She would try to resist, but she knew it was no good. He would wear her down. He always did. And he knew just how to do it.

Her son is 47 and Laura finds herself trapped in a codependent financial relationship that seems destined to sink her financial ship. Whatever she does from this point is going to be painful.

It didn’t need to be this way. But she and her late husband Rob kept telling each other they would deal with it soon. Maybe next year. After the crisis of the moment is over.

He was an only child. They’d wanted to have more, but nature had other plans. So, they doted on their son, lavishing all the love they had for an entire family on their entire family…of one son. He was the center of their universe.

And it didn’t take long before he realized it.

When the Lowest Price Means the Highest Cost

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


Fifteen minutes will save you…Car Accident_small.jpg

You can probably fill in the blank. Because one of the largest insurance companies in America has built a brand on the promise that spending fifteen minutes getting a quote from them can save you fifteen percent on premium costs.

I’ve never called those folks, so I can’t speak to the value they do or don’t offer. They do have cleaver ads, I’ll give them that.

But the higher the cost of failure, the more concerned I become when the first thing mentioned is price.

If I find myself wandering around the cereal aisle at Huge-Mart and notice that the Huge Mart brand of granola is $2 lower in price than a nationally advertised, well-known brand, what is my risk if I go for the low-cost option? If I find I just don’t like the cheapo brand, I’m out a few bucks.

But if I make a decision about automobile insurance based on someone offering me a low price, I need to wake up and pay attention.

Repeat Offender

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

I’m a repeat offender.Back pain_small.jpg

A two-time loser. Maybe three. Incorrigible. I wonder if there’s a registry somewhere I’ve need to be on.

It started about fifteen years ago. I decided I would switch things up in my exercise routine by taking up cycling. Unfortunately, the borrowed bicycle I was using wasn’t the right height for me (who knew bicycles came in sizes?). As a result, I aggravated my middle-aged back. It was my first foray into the world of back pain.

But it wouldn’t be my last.

Like any good ex-jock, I determined to push through the pain. That was a mistake.

I spent the next several months in a doomed loop of exercise, injury, lay off just long enough to feel better but not get better, rinse and repeat. If you’ve ever suffered from chronic back pain, you know there is no shortage of opinions as to how to effectively treat the issue. You’ve spent many sleepless nights reading up on this stuff, unable to rest due to your pain.

Suicide by Shortcut: Denial, Decoys, or Dedication

By Byron Moore, posted July 9, 2018
Originally published in the Shreveport Times on Sunday, July 8, 2018 and the New-Star on Monday, July 9, 2018.

Drowning Piggy Bank_small.jpg

The problem with the conveniences of a short cut are the consequences in the long-term. 

Reese and Kyle were one of the 40% of first time home buyers who hadn’t saved any money (at all!) for a down-payment. What to do?

No problem! Crowd sourcing to the rescue! HomeFundMe showed them how to solicit donations from parents and friends (online, so it was cool) so they wouldn’t actually have to go through the yucky process of saving money. 

Another option they had, according to the Wall Street Journal story about them, was borrowing the down-payment from Loftium. All they had to do was agree to rent out a room in their house on Airbnb and share the income. 

Is it just me, or does anyone else remember what happened ten years ago when we let a lot of people buy houses with no skin in the game? What happens when hard times come and they cannot (or no longer wish) make the mortgage payments? See ya!

Thinking Like an Investor

By Byron Moore, posted July 2, 2018
Originally published in the News Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, July 1, 2018.


“Should I be worried?”Stock Market Question_small.jpg

In my world, you get this phone call on a regular basis. I’m actually glad to get it, because it gives me an opportunity to remind folks what we are doing and what we are not doing.

“The market was doing so well last year, now it’s really slowed down. Should I be worried?”

He was right. The stock market did extraordinarily well in 2017, much to the surprise of nearly everyone. Depending on which measuring stick you use, the United States stock market was up anywhere from 21% to 28% in 2017.

Now, things seem to have taken a pause. Is it North Korea? Or corn prices? What about all these new tariffs? The new tax law? The president? The congress? The Illuminati exercising secret mind control over the markets?

What Were You Thinking?

By Byron Moore, posted June 25, 2018
Originally published in the News Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, June 24, 2018.


She had promised herself she wouldn’t cry in my office.Will and Testament_small.jpg

“What was he thinking?” she asked, taking a deep breath and pausing to hold back the tears.

It wasn’t supposed to end this way. Her husband had started his business from scratch, striking out on his own when he was just 32. They worked as a team to raise a family and start a business. It was so tight in those early years, but all she could remember were the good times.

Within ten years he was hiring more staff and opening a second location to serve the needs to a growing clientele. He was a supplier to a specialty niche in his industry and he became known for his responsiveness and customer service.

For years the business had been successful, as far as she knew. There was always enough money and even though his travel schedule was at times demanding, he seemed to strike a balance between hard work and time with her.

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.


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.

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