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Introduction
How come some people make lots of money, others basically maintain the status quo, and many are awash in debt? What makes the difference? Spending habits – the difference between needs, wants, and self-indulgence. Investing practices –how time and compound interest can create a fortune. Spending without planning is seeking instant self-gratification NOW. Over-spending creates a bondage that limits opportunities. We all have dreams, priorities, fears, and limited time. In large part these are the key factors that influence what we do with our money. After all, the money we have at the moment is limited. The key questions are: What are the things that are important to you now, five years from now, in 25 years, etc. How much money do you have at the moment that is beyond the basics? What are your best investment choices based upon your age and the time available?

Financial Planning Definition
The process of: managing your money and resources to achieve economic and personal satisfaction.

The Financial Planning Process.
Determining your current financial situation. What is your income, expenses, and debt? Developing your financial goals. What are your future plans for housing, transportation, medical, marriage, retirement, etc. Identifying courses of action.

Evaluating each course of action. Every decision closes off other alternatives. Creating and implementing your financial action plan. Write it down. Continually review your plan and revise as necessary.

Selecting Financial Goals
Should contain time goals
Short term goals of a week, month, six months, a year or two years. Medium term goals that may be achieved within five years.
Long term goals such financing college for children, retirement plans, Should contain need goals
Consumable product goals: food, clothing, entertainment, etc. Durable product goals: cars, furniture, appliances, sporting equipment, etc. Intangible purchase goals: health, education, leisure, relationships, etc.

Goal-setting Guidelines
Financial goals should be realistic.
State in specific measurable terms
Should have a time frame
Should indicate the type of action to be taken.

Influences on Financial Planning
Stage of adult life cycle: young single, married, married with children, single parent, older 50+. Marital status, household size, and employment.
Personal values and major events such as graduation, marriage, children, retirement, etc. Local and global economic conditions such as:
consumer prices related to inflation.
interest rates for borrowing money.
money supply printed by government.
unemployment related to job availability.

Investing In The Stock Market
Investing started when someone had an idea that possibly would make money but didn’t have the financing to develop it. So he sought money from others who were willing to risk their cash in exchange for a share of the potential profits.

When the idea proved profitable and looked as if it would generate an income for an extended period of time, outsiders would try to buy shares in the company by offering cash to the original owners. If several people start bidding for shares and the share owners were willing to sell, the price increased.

What Is Bought & Sold in the Stock Market
Stocks are shares of ownership in a company. Shareholders may benefit from company profits and a rising stock price. They may also lose their shirt if the company loses money and stock prices fall. Note, ‘Penny’ stocks that are low priced tend to be highly speculative with few buyers and sellers and high risk. Below are some well-known stocks.

Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) hold a diversified portfolio of stocks and/or securities that are minimally managed. ETFs have the following advantages: ETFs are safer than stocks because an ETF is a basket of securities. With multiple securities, you aren’t subject to the wide array of risk including corporate scandals, after...
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