Investment Ideas for 2013 |

Investment Ideas for 2013

Personal Finance
Danielle Howard
Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO
Danielle Howard

When you invest, you are making a contribution of financial resources, time or effort to a cause, project, activity or undertaking with a goal of obtaining a beneficial return. There is always an element of risk involved because the future is unknown, and somewhat out of your control.

More often than not, we think of investing solely in terms of the stock, bond, real estate or alternatives market. Over the past several years you may have been disappointed, disillusioned and discouraged. The greed of Wall Street and the disrepute exemplified by some in positions of power have left us feeling that “investing” will bring us nothing but heartache and leave our financial futures lacking.

Invest we must! A wise investor looks at the opportunities and benefits in much broader terms. We can change the way we look at how we invest, manage the risks involved, as well as what we expect our beneficial returns to be. With the turn of a New Year, it is a great time to look at change. Here are a few ideas.

Invest in human capital. Your physical, emotional, intellectual, relational and spiritual well-being are foundational. Are you thriving, or just surviving? What do you need to do in 2013 to invest in yourself and those closest to you? Do you need to look at creative ways to move around perceived road blocks that have hindered you in moving forward? What pursuits will help you advance in finding life fulfillment? How do we recognize the importance of self-worth and dignity in all types of work regardless of financial reward? How do we support and hold each other accountable for our personal investments in these areas? What will be the monetary, time and energy commitment required? What will be your measure of success?

Invest in financial markets. We need to become more cognizant of what sustainable economic investments looks like. We are blessed to live in the world’s greatest economy, and have the opportunity to participate in creating and benefiting from cutting edge improvements in all areas of our lives. However, to focus only on high financial returns will leave us open to normal economic fluctuations and the emotional rollercoaster of fear and greed that work against us. How do we decide where to put our money that will give us opportunity for reasonable growth and at the same time not exploit our human or natural resources? What return is required on your financial investments to provide you with your future needs? How do you determine how much is enough?

Invest in your community and world. In the words of the father of Taoism, Lao Tzu, “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.” We all have talents, time and resources that if invested wisely in others will reap abundant returns. You can invest time at your place of worship to benefit a child’s spiritual growth. You can invest your talent and skills to help others be empowered and productive. In the Roaring Fork Valley, there are more than 250 nonprofit organizations, as well as schools, nursing homes and other organizations looking for your unique participation. You can invest your financial resources to assist others in becoming self-sufficient. Check out, a microfinance NGO whose mission it is to connect financial resources to small entrepreneurs to alleviate poverty worldwide. The beneficial returns on these types of investments may be more long-term, but deeply rewarding. Irish immigrant Nelson Henderson said, “The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.”

Let’s look at 2013 as the year we are going to invest differently. You are more than a consumer – you can be a wise investor. The risk is worth it! You will experience the benefits of personal growth, deeper relationships, richer experiences, and sustainable financial futures. Where do you want to start?

Danielle Howard is a Certified Financial Planner ™ practitioner and Financial Life Planner®. Her office is located at 23300 Two Rivers Road in Basalt. Visit her at or call 927-3909. E-mail her at

Advisory services offered through Lighthouse Financial LLC, a registered investment advisor. Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research Inc., a broker/dealer, member FINRA/SIPC. Cambridge and HFR are not affiliated.

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