MEMBER FORUM HIGHLIGHT -- Pay Off Debt Prior to Investing?

Today's Member Forum Highlight deals with paying off debt and investing:

Q: Is it wise to pay off loans before investing?

A: Technically speaking, you have to start off by analyzing the numbers – compare the interest rates you’re paying on the loans to the rates of return you can get in the investments. Whichever is higher is the better candidate for your dollars.

That said, you should always make these kinds of decisions in the context of your overall wealth plan. Make sure whichever way you go supports the end vision of that plan.

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Personal Finance 101: Holistic Financial Planning


In this video, we begin taking a closer look at certain financial planning basics and other personal finance 101 topics.

Most financial advisors just focus on investment management and product sales -- after all, that's how they make money, and unfortunately, too often they're looking out for themselves first.

This is why you have to learn financial planning basics, which includes tax planning strategies and wealth planning, and be able to synthesize it all into a holistic financial planning approach.

Wealth planning involves understanding asset allocation strategies; tax planning strategies involve income and estate tax minimization.

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Defensive Planning -- Financial & Tax Planning Strategies


Defensive financial planning encompasses a few key areas: financial planning basics, tax planning strategies, tax planning and management, insurance planning, and estate planning basics.

It's crucial that you examine and analyze where you stand in relation to each of these areas as you start to get serious about your financial planning efforts.

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Where Are You Now? Personal Finance 101


As you begin laying the foundation for your financial planning efforts (personal finance 101, as I like to call it), you need to have a clear starting point. This means you need to know your numbers: things like net income (after-tax income), net worth, your current lifestyle spending.

In this video, you'll learn how to calculate net monthly income, how to calculate your net worth, and how to analyze a balance sheet (your personal balance sheet).

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Know Your Why (Personal Finance 101)


Before you can develop a sound financial plan, you need to know your "why." This means understanding why you're even planning in the first place. What are you goals? What are your dreams? What and how much do you need to first achieve financial security?

Think of this process as personal finance 101.

In this video, we'll get you going on how to achieve financial security and how to start financial planning, by first determining that big question: "why?"

(We re-posted this video from our YouTube channel -- please click this link to subscribe!)

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Blocking & Tackling -- Defensive Planning

When we talk about "blocking and tackling" in terms of financial planning, we're referring to the defensive measures and mechanisms you need to have in place to have a solid foundation from which to grow.  

Things like insurances, wills, estate planning, cash reserves and other topics are highly relevant to defensive planning.

Take a look at your financial foundation and check off each one of the categories you see in the attached graphic.  If anything is lacking, drop us a line here and let's talk about how you can get back on track. 

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Offensive & Defensive Financial Planning

Are you constantly on defense when it comes to your financial planning? 
Do you find yourself lacking in any or all of the Offensive planning categories, as shown in the attached graphic?
Don't get us wrong -- Defensive planning is critical in laying down the proper financial foundation.  Things like cash reserves, insurances and sound budgeting must be solid before attempting to build upon them.
But to truly get ahead financially, you must also address the upper tiers of the pyramid -- offensive planning measures.
OS where does that leave you?  Do you know your overall planning -- top to bottom -- is lacking and could use a boost?  Or may be there are some areas that are vulnerable while others are in good shape?
If you said yes to any of the above, drop us a line so we can help get you started in the right direction!
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