Personal Finance: Figuring out what rings your financial bell |

Personal Finance: Figuring out what rings your financial bell

Danielle Howard
Staff Photo |

I hear the familiar sound across the street from my office indicating that the kids are settled into their desks for a day of learning. School is once again in session. 200 feet away, a piercing clang goes off. The doors open, and the sirens on the fire engine wail as the truck leaves the station on to Two Rivers Road.

I ponder the dichotomy of these “calls to action.” One, come broaden your knowledge, learn life skills, have fun in the process. The other, a response to chaos, entering the unknown with emotions fully heightened.

In your financial world, which bell rings for you? What environment will cultivate a deeper feeling of control, competence and confidence? Do you want to be proactive, or reactive?

With the recent market swings, and financial uncertainty again in the headlines, the opening bell on Wall Street can elicit a variety of responses. What is yours? After the wedding bells ring, how do you live in marital financial accord? Unlike Pavlov’s dog, how do you respond intelligently to the ring of technological conditioning? When a Googled product shows up on your Facebook page and immediately entices you to push the buy button, how do you discern needs and wants? If you want to be proactive and hands on in every component of your financial realm, start with three introspective questions:

What is genuinely important in my life? This is going to be about your values, not the material things you surround yourself with.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

What knowledge do I need to attain in order to navigate this increasingly complex financial world? There are a plethora of resources, books and advisors. Decide what fits and rings true for you. Get yourself involved and educated.

What support do I need to keep focused on what is important? What family, friends and professionals do you need to bring into your financial sphere to keep your trajectory on course?

Yes, there are times when we will get thrown into a reactionary mode. Life will inevitably throw a curve ball at us. Take a deep breath. You will make better decisions if you are educated, empowered and equipped. With a proactive mindset, you will react prudently.

You will manage the constant tension between what calls you today versus what you need for tomorrow with more clarity. You will be less likely to bail out of your positions in a market correction if you embrace your long-term goals, and are invested in a way consistent with your priorities and values. You will give of your time, talent and treasure more freely, if you have discerned “how much is enough” and put a plan in place that fits your family’s needs. You will make a career choice based on your passions and purpose instead of who will write you the biggest check. You will make financial choices that cultivate harmony with those who are most important in your life.

It’s time to prioritize your attention and intention around money. Listen and take note. What is working and needs to be strengthened? What isn’t functioning, and needs to be changed? Heed the bells that draw you towards having a bit more control, increasing your competence and building your confidence.

Danielle Howard is a Certified Financial Planner practitioner. Her office, Wealth By Design LLC, is in Basalt. Visit her at Advisory Services offered through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research Inc., a broker/dealer, member FINRA/SIPC. Cambridge and WBD are not affiliated.

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