Byron Moore, CFP® and Mike Jones

The News Star columns

Plan B

By Byron Moore, posted March 20, 2017
Originally published in the News Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, March 19, 2017.

plan B_sm.jpgQ: I always thought my career would go in a certain direction. But now my industry is changing and the work I always saw myself doing is about to go the way of buggy whips. I’m afraid of being a dinosaur. What do I do.?

A: Plan B.

You can fear it. You can try to fight it.

Or you can embrace it and explore its opportunities.

Focus – how to do more by doing less

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

Focus_sm.jpgQ: I am not sure what all I should be doing to get my financial act together. I need to pay off student loans, save up for a new car, save for retirement and save up for a down payment on a house one day. How do I accomplish all these priorities at once?

A: You don’t.

When you have too many “priorities,” you really have no priorities. Having too many so-called priorities demonstrates that you have actually just failed to make hard choices. You have failed to focus. So far.

Which costs more - living protected or exposed?

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

Disability_0.jpgQ: I have the opportunity to buy some disability insurance through a group of professionals I work with. But I struggle with wasting that money vs. how much more could I have if I just invested it. What do you think?

A: I think you need to understand your choices more clearly.

I grew up watching Let’s Make a Deal with Monty Hall. Eager audience members would scream wildly, pleading with Monty to pick them to play the game. Once Hall had chosen someone to play, announcer Jay Stewart would bring down what looked to me like a TV dinner trey with small package on it. Then Monty would give the contestant the opportunity to keep the little mystery in the small package on the TV dinner trey or trade for some hidden something behind (you remember) door #1, door #2 or door #3. Those were the doors beside which stood the beautiful Carol Merrill.

Four fates of your financial future

By Byron Moore, posted March 1, 2017
Originally published in the News Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, February 26, 2017.

Full piggy bank_sm.jpegQ: What will happen to money remaining in my 401K if I die? Does the company get that?

A: The good news is no, the company doesn’t get it. The bad news is…what do you mean “if”?

A 401K account has a beneficiary designation, meaning you get to decide before you die who gets anything remaining in it when you die. This is most often your spouse, but even if that’s the case, be sure you name a “contingent” beneficiary – meaning someone who gets the money if your spouse dies with or before you.

Position, Pace and Power – perform like a pro

By Byron Moore, posted February 21, 2017
Originally published in the News Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, February 19, 2017.

Chess position_sm.jpgQ: Being somewhat late to the retirement preparation game, I’m trying to put as much as I can into a rather aggressive set of mutual funds so as to maximize my return. I still have twenty years or so to go, but I kind of just got started. What else do I need to be thinking about?

A: Playing the entire game and finishing well.

Two weeks ago, 111 million people watched the Atlanta Falcons play 3 really good quarters of football against the New England Patriots. Unfortunately for them, the game lasted four full quarters. And an overtime. Looking dominant in the first two quarters, and still confident after three, the Falcons allowed the Patriots to claw their way back to tie the game by the end of regulation play.

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.

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