Byron Moore, CFP® and Mike Jones

The News Star columns

The power and peril of compound interest

By Byron Moore, posted February 13, 2017
Originally published in the News Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, February 12, 2017.

compound interest_sm.jpgQ: I have always had a goal to have $1,000,000 in my investments. I’ve been at it for a while and I’ve finally gotten to $100,000 but that only puts me a tenth of the way there. I’m in my mid-30s and I don’t see how I’ll ever get there.

A: You need to understand the power of what you’re dealing with, but you also need to understand its potential for peril.

I’m talking about compounding interest, something Albert Einstein is often credited with calling “the eighth wonder of the world.” That’s probably an urban legend, by the way. A bit like Abraham Lincoln always complaining that his Twitter account kept getting hacked.

Beware the phantom

By Byron Moore, posted February 6, 2017
Originally published in the News Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, February 5, 2017.

family beach_sm.jpgQ: My husband and I both have good jobs. We have a young family and even though we have a nice life, it isn’t like we have a ton of money left over every month. But we’ve got friends that just seem like they are always taking nice vacations, driving new cars and live in really nice neighborhoods. Are they just up to their ears in debt? Is there something we are missing?

A: Yes there is. You may be missing your own life.

So…beware the phantom.

The phantom does not exist, but she is very, very real. The phantom is every person you know wrapped into one, but featuring only the best aspects of their lives.

Career path – not so different from school years

By Byron Moore, posted January 30, 2017
Originally published in the News Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, January 29, 2017.

college freshman_sm.jpgQ: I am just getting started in my career. I want to make sure I’m doing the right things so that I can be taken seriously and maximize my opportunities. Got any advice for me?

A: Remember your freshman year in high school?

Yeah, that’s too painful to recollect, so let’s go straight to your freshman year of college. If you are new to your career, I assume your freshman year in college was just four or five years ago.

Trust me…on blinding, binding and unwinding

By Byron Moore, posted January 23, 2017
Originally published in the News Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, January 22, 2017.

money vault_sm.jpegQ: I am getting on up there in age and my children want me to put my assets in a trust. They say it will protect me and also keep the government from taking my money if I go into a nursing home. Is that true? Is it worth it? Sounds like a lot of trouble to me.

A: It is a lot of trouble. The question for you to answer is…is the trouble worth it?

Every time we put a new president in office, a phrase re-emerges into the popular lexicon that we haven’t used in four to eight years…”blind trust.”

Should I co-sign my grandchild’s college loan?

By Byron Moore, posted January 17, 2017
Originally published in the News Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, January 15, 2017.

granddaughter college_sm.jpgQ: My granddaughter has been through a lot. Her parents divorced and she has struggled in school. She wants to go to college, but neither parent has enough money to send her. She can get a loan to go to college, but she says I will have to co-sign for her to get it. It won’t cost me anything to co-sign so I don’t see what the harm is. What do you think?

A: I think you need to ask a lot more questions. Or you might get an education you didn’t count on.

401K plans – route to a rosy retirement?

By Byron Moore, posted January 9, 2017
Originally published in the News Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, January 8, 2017.

Blueprint_sm.jpgQ: I’ve been at my new job for enough time that I can now participate in my company’s 401K plan. I’ve heard mixed messages about these things. But if I don’t do a 401K plan, what else is there to prepare for retirement on day?

A: When you decide to build a new house, what’s the first thing you should do – go hammer shopping?

Learning from the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future

By Byron Moore, posted December 25, 2016
Originally published in the News Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, December 25, 2016.

Nightcap and candle_sm.jpgQ: I’ve made a big mess of my financial life and I wonder if I’ll ever get over it. This is the first Christmas I’ve had since falling on hard times and it’s not exactly merry. Do people as deep in the hole as I am ever get out?

A: Yes they do. But only if they learn.

Since it’s Christmas morning, let me borrow from Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol and say that in order to move beyond your past failures and present difficulties into a bright future, you’re going to have to learn…from the ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Yet to Come.

Single minded: making the most of your money while making it last

By Byron Moore, posted December 19, 2016
Originally published in the News Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, December 18, 2016.
 

man and dog_sm.jpg Q: I am single with no children or dependents. Just me and my dog. I will probably work five more years. I have no one in particular I am trying to leave money to, so how do I make the most of my money? One thing I want to make sure of is that I don’t run out of money before I die because there is no one else to take care of me.

A: The fact that you are single both simplifies and complicates your choices.

Definitive decade: Making the most of your last ten working years

By Byron Moore, posted December 12, 2016
Originally published in the News Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, December 11, 2016.
 

vacation_sm.jpgQ: My husband and I are within ten years of retiring. We both work and plan to retire at the same time. I think we need to save a lot more money and he says we need to enjoy it while we have it. Who’s right?

A: Good question.

For many the final ten years of a career are truly the “definitive decade” when it comes to retirement planning. Here’s why that is true for so many:

Staying relevant in the workplace as you age

By Byron Moore, posted December 5, 2016
Originally published in the News Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, December 4, 2016.
 

young boss_sm.jpgQ: I am a young man in my 20s. I have recently been given managerial responsibility over men twice my age. They are good men, but I can tell they are not completely comfortable being managed by a "youngster." We're working through all that, but here's my question - how do I avoid being in their position when I am their age? How do I stay relevant?

A: There are a few things in life over which you can exercise near absolute control. A very, very few things.

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