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1. We are only powerless over the financial markets and the economy if we ignore them.

Power over Money.

We do have control over our personal finances and our investments. To ignore them will make our finances unmanageable. Recovery involves taking responsibility for ourselves. Personal finances is a good place to start.

2. Believe it: People who are financially successful share certain traits.
 

Traits of the Financially Succesful

Most people who become millionaires do it by being frugal, not hitting it rich in the markets or starting a big business. <p>Napoleon Hill in his classic "Think and Grow Rich" shows us how the most successful people think they are successful before becoming accomplished, <p>so think positively!

<p> "Prosperity is a way of living and thinking, and not just money."  ~Eric Butterworth

<p> "Poverty is a way of living and thinking, and not just a lack of money."  ~Will Hepburn

 

3. Make a decision to be disciplined in your financial matters.

 

Financial Discipline

   Be frugal. Always spend a little less than you have coming in. Pay yourself first with the difference and put it into savings, every month! Write down your savings plan. You’ll be more likely to stick to it.<p>

Company retirement plans: Max out the contributions, especially employer matching contributions. Never take this money out until you retire. <p>
   IRAs – Individual Retirement Accounts. Can be done in addition to or in place of company retirement plans. Never take this money out until you retire.<p>
  Bank savings accounts. They may not pay much interest, but it is a positive amount. <p>Mark Twain once said he “was more interested in the return of his money than the return on his money.” He was a wise man.<p>
  Investment accounts through a financial adviser like Hepburn Capital. See our website at www.HepburnCapital.com for more information.

4. Do a personal financial inventory.

Personal Financial Inventory

What do you have to work with? Do you have money to work with? Talents that can be turned into money? What time do you have to devote to earning money? Do you have business ideas or dreams to be pursued?

5. Decide what you want financially.

 

Desire & Dream

Make a wish list, then close your eyes and visualize yourself with these things. Focus on the feelings you will receive from having these things. Feel successful, as Napoleon Hill would suggest.<p>Give your visualizations real POWER!

Focus on the feelings your wish list items will bring you rather than a specific object.

For instance, imagine the feeling of that new car, the pride of climbing into it, the smell of the interior, the thrill of hitting the gas.

Every thought becomes a prayer, and your Higher Power will work to fulfill those feelings of desire in ways you may not now be able to foresee.

Visualizing a specific object may be limiting. Your Higher Power may find greater things that will fulfill your feelings of desire.

6. Prioritize the most important items on your wish list.

Priorities

Put dates on things, but be reasonable. Your ego says “retire in 5 years” but do you really need to? Keep in mind that most people want to work, just at something they want to do, not what they are told to do. How much will it cost to do the things on your list. Guesstimate if you don’t know for sure. It helps for your mind to have a firm target. And remember to be gentle on yourself if numbers seem to be too large or dates need to be moved back. This is a living list. Don’t worry about having to change it later.

7. Never spend your interest or earnings until retirement.

Power your Savings

Compounding is when interest or profit is left invested to earn more interest along with the principal. Compounding snowballs with time. Einstein once said that the most powerful force in the universe is compound interest. Use it to power your savings. Time is on your side so start early. The more time you give your investment earnings to compound, the better.

8. Avoid Debt.

Avoid Debt

Avoid paying interest because compounding works in reverse, too. Bankers have a saying "Those who understand interest earn it; those who don't, pay it." Elizabeth Warren said "The credit card companies have put the loan sharks out of business." I say ditto for mortgage refinance deals.<p>Avoid paying interest because compounding works in reverse, too. Bankers have a saying "Those who understand interest earn it; those who don't, pay it." Elizabeth Warren said "The credit card companies have put the loan sharks out of business." I say ditto for mortgage refinance deals.

Avoid paying interest because compounding works in reverse, too. Bankers have a saying "Those who understand interest earn it; those who don't, pay it." Elizabeth Warren said "The credit card companies have put the loan sharks out of business." I say ditto for mortgage refinance deals.<p>Learn the dirty little secret of credit cards and mortgages:<p>

Paying only the minimum on your $5,000 credit card bill can mean 30 years of payments and over $100,000 to finally pay it off. That is $95,000 of interest on a $5,000 bill. (Assumes a $50 payment on a $5,000 balance at 18.9% interest, per Bankrate.com calculator) Use credit cards for convenience, not financing. Pay them off every month, that way the store pays the cost, not you.

Don’t refinance your mortgage.

You may save a few bucks per month now because of lower interest rates, but<p>

You add several more years of payments at the end. What is the total of, say, 3 years of payments? 5 years? Is it worth it? Probably not.<p>

Mortgages cost thousands to refinance. These costs can be seen in payments added to the end of your mortgage.

9. Learn about Investing.

Investment Education

Company founder, Will Hepburn, has taught a college course on investing for over 25 years, and has learned that it is such a big topic that there is no way it cannot be easily summarized. This is why there is a need for financial advisers to help you determine which end of the investment markets you should consider. Unfortunately there are many different types of advisers, apps and websites, and most are looking out for themselves and not you. If you look for a fee-only financial planner or investment adviser you will experience the fewest conflicts of interest.

10. Consider running your own business.

 

Your Own Business?

The satisfaction can be great if you do it right. But 4 out of 5 business fold within five years. If you humbly admit you don’t know it all starting out, but are willing to learn, you can avoid common pitfalls of starting and running a business and be the 1 in 5 that succeeds. Read the E-Myth, a great book for building businesses by thinking success from the beginning. Or call SCORE, a free service offered by our federal Small Business Administration where retired people from your industry volunteer to provide tough love for start-ups, greatly increasing your chances of success.<p>A Classic Quote:<p>

Someone once said: “Owning your own business is great. You can work half days, and with luck you can even choose which 12 hours it will be.”

11. Plan for retirement, don’t ignore it.

Retirement Planning

Getting to retirement always brings uncertainty because none of us know how long we will live. There are ways to reduce chances of outliving your money. The basics of retirement planning involve adding up all income sources – Social Security, rents, investment income, etc., and balancing the income potential against your need for income. The many issues involved suggest that this is a time to see professionals to confirm a viable retirement scenario.

12. Estate Planning – The end game.

Avoid Debt

Everyone needs a will or else strangers will determine who gets your assets. The more you talk to your children or love ones now about your plans for your assets, the less squabbling there will be later. Not everyone needs a trust or complicated plans, but there is a lot of decision making, so talk to an attorney of other professional with estate planning experience.