That’s the title to this article by Jonathan Clements. Here’s a rundown of Jonathan’s 9 Ways to Manage Money Effectively along with my commentary. Be sure and read Jonathan’s article, as it is a good one.
1) Just Say No – It’s obvious that most of us have too many wants and not enough resources to meet those wants. Therefore we have to learn to say “no” to the things that are going to hurt our finances or are going to keep us from reaching our goals.
2) Get Off the Treadmill – As Jonathan says, you can’t buy happiness so don’t even try. This point goes hand-in-hand with the first point.
3) We Are the Market – Indexing is the best way to go for MOST people. Don’t try to beat the market. Instead, put your investments on automatic and enjoy the rest of your life. That said, there are those out there who enjoy investing and enjoy trying to beat the market. There’s nothing wrong with that and I think if that’s your goal you should take a portion of your investments (say 10%) and go for it. Have fun but don’t get carried away.
4) Their Gain, Your Pain – Always be on the lookout for Wall Street and the taxman, who are always happy to take your money. Here is another reason to index.
5) Help Wanted – I disagree with Jonathan on this point. Not everyone needs an investment advisor. Jonathan likes the idea because most people don’t have the self-discipline to stick to an investment strategy when times get tough. However, if a person has their heart set on doing something, there’s not a lot the investement advisor is going to be able to do about it besides try to talk some sense into the client. I think the key is education about the markets and an understanding of how they work. Then, it takes a lot of self-discipline to keep the emotions in check when times get tough.
6) Don’t Be Left Behind – Diversification is key. Don’t get greedy
7) Family Matters – Teach your kids well.
8) Invest for the Long Term – Enough said.
9) Last Resort – Consider inflation-indexed Treasuries as a last resort. According to Jonathan, 10-year inflation-indexed Treasurys are currently yielding 2.3 points above inflation.