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That’s a hip way to say it’s OK to spend money if you have it.  I have to tell you I’m not so sure.  Maybe As you know I work in finance aka the land of corporate douche bags.  Every single day I am surrounded by men in $2000 suits – I know this because I have to hear them talk about the cost of their wardrobe on the 19 floor elevator ride up to my office.

Every single day I eat lunch in a room full of men who have nothing more to talk about than how much money they made the day before.  Please don’t get me wrong I’m not hating on them because they have money.  I’m hating on them because they feel the need to talk about how much money they have.

Is it taboo to talk about your money?

It’s sad to think that we live in a materialistic world where all that matters is how much you paid for your car, the price of your home and the value of your investment portfolio.  As a financial planner I have said it time and time again that I live in a world ruled by money.

My friends and I are very open with money – because we all work in personal finance.  When we go on vacation together we always factor in the cost, before we decide to eat at a restaurant we make sure everyone can afford it and before we buy any gifts we all set a spending limit.  That’s just how we roll.  We all openly talk about money, we just don’t talk about our own money.

Never is it OK to brag about how much money you earn, how much money you have and how much money you spend.  However some people may disagree with me.  Just like I would brag about buying a brand new handbag at a great discount price someone who paid full price for a gorgeous new handbag should also be able to brag about it, shouldn’t they?

Should you spend money just because you can?

In my (humble) opinion the answer is no.  Just because you have money doesn’t mean you should overspend.  Spending money on things you love, places you want to go and experiences you want to have is OK because that’s what money is for.  However overspending on things just because you have money to spend is just not smart.

I am not going to tell anyone how to spend their money, unless they ask for my professional opinion, but let me give you a perfect example.  My co-worker is going to New York City for the weekend and when I asked her where she’s staying she said “Oh I like to stay in midtown, we’re staying at the Double Tree in Times Square.  It’s costing $1000 but it will be worth it.”

I just can’t justify this type of expense, especially since you can get four star hotels on Priceline or Hotwire for $150 a night.  I would definitely pay more to stay closer to where I want to be, but I wouldn’t overpay without looking for a deal just because I have money to spend.

Is it just me or is this crazy?

Photo by Flickr

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Good morning Dinks and Happy Friday.  Well it’s Labour Day weekend and you know what that means, our summer is officially coming to an end.  I had a great summer this year and I’m definitely sad to see it go, but I also have a great Fall lined up so I’m really excited for the leaves to change.

This weekend I’m headed home for a family picnic, next weekend I’m headed to Philadelphia for four days and after that I’m off to New Orleans for FinCon. I look forward to meeting you all at FinCon and I’m really excited to visit The Big Easy.

I have a list of things I want to do in New Orleans which includes a ghost/haunted tour with Broke Girl Rich.  I would love to do a bayou tour, does anyone know if that’s being organized? If you want to meet up, have lunch or go explore New Orleans let me know, I’m always looking to fill up my schedule – if that includes a bayou tour so be it.

Have a great weekend.  Enjoy these posts from our friends:

Financial Samurai – Someone Stole My Credit Card – What To Do?

Money Talks News – Is Your Online Love Interest Putting Your Money at Risk?

Money Crush – Goodbye, Job!

Yes, I Am Cheap – 3 Simple DIY Projects That Will Save You Money

PT Money – Rebalance IRA: A Balanced Approach to Managing your Retirement Portfolio

Clever Dude – Lack Of Organization Can Cost You Money

Photo from Flickr

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ETF

Good morning Dinks.  Since the market crash in 2008 everyone is trying to save money whenever and where ever possible.  People want discounts on their food, need coupons for their household goods and search for the lowest fees on their investments.  So let me ask you a question, has your investment style changed since the market crash?

The market crash forever changed how investors think

As a financial planner I have seen a shift in investor behaviour over the last six years.  After the crash investors wanted security because they were afraid of losing more money.  People lost their jobs, their incomes and in some cases their homes.  How did this affect their mentality about money? I think the market crash has forever changed how people think about money.  To some degree it installed a level of fear in people’s psyche that will take many years to overcome.

I see a trend with clients who spend less money and save more money, but not necessarily invest it.  Some of my clients continue to aggressively save money because they want to be prepared if the market ever crashes again, but they don’t invest their money because if the market does crash they don’t want to lose any more money.  It’s kind of a vicious circle and it will be very hard to break, especially for those who lost a large percentage of their savings and have not yet recovered it since the market crash.

As a financial planner I recommend ETFs for the low cost

As the market crash fades further into our past we may not have forgotten what happened, but we are willing to (slowly) move on.  In the last 12 months I’ve noticed that investors are becoming more open to putting their money back into the market.  I have clients who still keep a hefty chunk of cash in their bank accounts, but at least they are open to the idea of investing in mutual funds, stocks and ETFs.

People want the most bang for their buck.  They want to get good financial advice because they need an expert to help them invest wisely and diversify their investment portfolio, but they don’t necessarily want to pay big bucks for it.

If you lost money during the market crash you may be very wary about getting back into the market and you are probably more cautious about paying for investment advice – even though you may need it.  So how can we find a balanced between quality and fees?  The answer is simple, with low fee, well balanced investments such as ETFs and mutual funds.

As an investor I buy ETFs for the low cost

You may remember that I am a huge fan of mutual funds (if the cost is reasonable) because I like diversified investments.  I am not a huge fan of buying a single stock because it’s too risky.  An ETF or Exchange Traded Fund is defined by Investopedia as “A security that tracks an index, a commodity or a basket of assets like an index fund, but trades like a stock on an exchange. ETFs experience price changes throughout the day as they are bought and sold.”

I wouldn’t hold only index mutual funds or exchange traded funds because they lack the expertise of a fund manager.  However, I hold two ETFs in my retirement account and one in my non registered portfolio because it helps keep the overall cost down.

Photo from Flickr

 

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Venus and Mars and Shopping

August 27, 2014

Good morning Dinks.  Today we’re featuring another post in our Venus and Mars series.  As one half of a couple I have to say that the differences between men and women are astonishing.  Yet we continue to leave (somewhat harmoniously) together here on Earth.  I used to think the difference of opinions in my relationship […]

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Ask a CFP: What’s the difference between a financial planner and a stock broker

August 25, 2014

Good morning Dinks.  As a financial planner I see all kinds of clients.  When I tell you that everyone is unique it’s true.  Every time someone comes to see me they have a reason why they want to invest – trust me, I hear all kinds of stories from clients.  My job as a financial […]

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Weekly roundup: The Lion King and Long Distance Relationships

August 22, 2014

Good morning Dinks and Happy Friday.  This week I saw The Lion King live in theatre and I have to tell you – what an amazing experience!  Have you seen it?  I love going to watch live theatre and Disney does theatre like no other. What’s your favorite play/musical? Enjoy these great posts from our […]

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Disputing Debt: Stop Paying What You Don’t Owe

August 22, 2014

We hand the credit card to the waiter and give it nary a thought while the faceless service worker takes our card away for, what on reflection, seems like an unnecessarily long time, and charges us an unreasonable amount (was that Pepsi really $5?) that we just pay without questioning. On top of that, we […]

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Couples Date Night Ideas for your 20s, 30s and 40s

August 21, 2014

Good morning Dinks.  Last night my boyfriend Nick and I met up after work to hang out and have a date night.  Do you want to know what we did?  We went to look at apartments.  Yes that is our new romantic thing to do, walk the streets of our city and visit potential apartments […]

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Tips to protect your property investment

August 20, 2014

Whether you’re becoming a landlord for the first time or just looking to maximise the income from properties you already own, precautions can be taken that ensure your investment is safeguarded. There is a lot to consider when you own property and a lot more to consider if you have a database of tenants to […]

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