Monday, July 9, 2007

Do-It-Yourself Finance

Hello everyone.
I've been doing some thinking. A whole lot of thinking, in fact. I've been re-evaluating my values and the rationale behind my desire to be rich. I've known all along that I have no desire to have lots of extravagant things, but I've come to realize that my desire for the extravagant things that I do want - a BMW 3 series, a flat-screen tv, a titanium Omega watch - is misguided. What do I mean by the term 'misguided'? Well, I mean that I don't really need any of these things to be happy. This shouldn't be a huge epiphany. Unfortunately though, it's one that many people don't ever have and subsequently spend their lives chasing after these things in search of joy.

As a result, I'm firmly committed to living below my means and I will continue to do so for the rest of my life. Yet in still, I believe that money, obviously, provides the ability to have wonderful experiences in life, give to wonderful causes, and help those around you. It also provides peace of mind - the psychological security of knowing that you can weather life's hardships with a financial cushion. I bring all of this up though because I realize that there may be some of you out there who don't want to be super rich, and would rather not spend their time poring over different investment choices.

So, after hearing that statement, you may ask yourself, "Is it possible to become financially secure without all of the hassle?" The answer, my brothers and sisters, is a resounding 'Yes'! And you do not even need to hire a financial advisor in order to do it. (I know that may sound strange considering the fact that I am an aspiring Certified Financial Planner. But it's true.)

I subscribe to a newsletter service called 'Hidden Gems', written by Tom Gardner of the Motley Fool (www.fool.com). It is a newsletter that costs $199 a year and it focuses on small companies - that is, companies with a market value of less than $2 billion - that are poised to grow into much, much larger companies over the span of 3, 5, and 10 year periods. Imagine owning Starbucks or the Gap or McDonald's before they became the corporate behemoths that they are today. 'Hidden Gems' seeks out these companies.

There are other newsletters that cost the same amount or less that recommend stocks of different sizes and for different risk tolerances. But I highly recommend all of the Motley Fool's newsletters and believe that not only do these newsletters provide good investment advice, but great investment education and a wonderful community of beginning, intermediate, and advanced investors. Go to www.fool.com and check out the left-hand side of the home page to see all the types of newsletters.

Lastly, although you certainly do not need a financial advisor in order to do well financially, if you would like more information on how to choose a financial advisor, visit www.cfp.net/learn/. This site will inform you about the criteria you should use in picking an advisor, why you might need an advisor, how to set financial goals, and you rights as a client.

Thanks for reading and until next time...

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