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Holy cow! How did we get to June? It’s halfway through the year and time to put our goals into overdrive. With all the changes we’ve experienced over the past six months, I figured we should start with investing and personal finance.
Enter Brittney Castro, a Certified Financial Planner here to help us get our finances in order! Brittney has been featured on CNN, CNBC, Wall St. Journal, NY Times and LinkedIn for her expertise, so I was so excited to deep dive into all things money with her. She gave us the inside scoop on 401k’s vs IRA’s, stock shares, money managing software, and more!
Taking on investing and personal finance can feel like a big task. It’s hard to know where to start, which information is correct, or how to apply what you learn. Brittney suggests consuming info in bite-size portions to make educating ourselves on investing and personal finance less overwhelming.
“You don’t have to go from zero to one hundred right away. Dedicate one hour weekly to learning, reading books, or watching videos on the topics you need help with. Don’t be ashamed if you have to review the same thing 25 times before it registers! The learning never ends, so commit to a lifetime of learning, practicing, and implementing.”
401k’s versus Roth IRA’s. How do they work and what’s the difference?
Brittney broke it down for us:
ROTH IRA (Individual Retirement Account)
Brittney says the key to making the best of either account is having a diversified portfolio.
Also, it’s important to remember there will be ebbs and flows in your investing and personal finance journey. That said, be sure to have a savings account separate from your 401K or ROTH IRA for emergencies, vacations, etc.
According to Brittney, if you’re reviewing your investing and personal finance portfolio and think ‘I need help’, it’s time to find a coach. She says we can steer clear of sinister sources who call themselves “gurus” by hiring a Certified Financial Planner.
“If an advisor doesn’t have the CFP designation they may just be helping with mindset or organization. A CFP gives holistic education on investing and personal finance plus teaches you how to implement what you’ve learned.”
Pro Tip: Choose a CFP with a fee-only service model because there’s no income minimum, no debt shame, and you’ll avoid being sold products.
Organization plays a huge role in successfully managing your investing and personal finance goals. I was curious to know Brittney’s suggestions for money managing software and programs. She admits old-school pen and paper or Excel spreadsheets still work, but these help streamline the process:
Many of us were under the impression that we should reach certain money milestones by certain ages. Or, that we should have all the answers around investing and personal finance, debt, and budgets – even though we were never taught it. Brittney says it’s all a myth!
“There’s a shame that comes with poor money management, but as you learn, you must forgive yourself for handling finances incorrectly when you didn’t know better. View yourself as a work in progress and commit to doing the best you can moving forward.”
Having more conversations about money will reframe our mindsets. Brittney’s nano course on LinkedIn is a great place to start! Find even more tips on topics from basic finance and budgeting to sorting capital gains and cryptocurrencies.
As a CFP Brittney has the inside scoop on thousands of people’s financial behavior. I was curious to know what common mistakes most people make and how we can avoid them.
Here are the top 3:
Brittney says the solution to overcoming these investing and personal finance hang-ups is finding ways to make it exciting, setting up systems, and hiring a CFP for advice and accountability.
We know now to get into 401k’s offered at work, but what about stock shares? Here’s Brittney’s expert take.
“If your job is offering stock shares at a discounted price, it would be a good idea to invest because then you own stock in that company. Beware if stock is offered as part of your compensation package and your company isn’t public yet. Depending on their vesting schedule, you may not own full stock until 3-5 years in. Then you take the risk of not benefiting from their increase if you leave before the timeframe.”
Brittney is a wealth of knowledge. Check out her resources to learn more about all things investing and personal finance.
Homework: Carve out 1-2 hours to take financial inventory. Review that against your goals, update your plan and budget accordingly.
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