Apprise Wealth Management’s Selected Readings for the Week of April 14, 2019

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At Apprise Wealth Management, we want to help people make better decisions about money. We also read constantly and like sharing some of our favorite commentaries each week.

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Here are this week’s articles as well as a brief description of each:

1.   Pure Downside, No Silver Lining. Our oldest son will be graduating from college with a double major in Physics and Math in about a month. I’m sure he’s quite familiar with Newton’s third law: Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. This rule can also apply in other areas. However, this article discusses three areas where this rule doesn’t apply. In these cases, bad events do not have an offset or an equal and opposite reaction that could give rise to an offsetting upside. The goal should be to avoid these as best as possible. Here are three of the biggest ones:

·        Reputational Damage

·        Illiquidity

·        A toxic workplace

2.   How I Got Here. The college application and selection processes have changed considerably. If you want a real-life reminder of how difficult the current system has made this process, ask me about our son Daniel’s experience. Many of us would likely be unable to get into the college we attended today. The number of applicants has mushroomed. Acceptance rates for the most prestigious universities have plunged. In this article, NYU Professor of Marketing Scott Galloway shares some thoughts on the recent college admissions scandal. He also provides some sobering statistics.

3.  How Timeboxing Works and Why It Will Make You More Productive. If you’re looking to improve your productivity, to-do lists probably are not the best way to get things done. They give us too many choices. Personally, I have switched to something more akin to the calendaring system described in this article. It provides fewer choices and makes it easier to prioritize what needs to get done most urgently.

4.  5 Steps to Making Sure You’re Ready to Retire. Deciding it’s time to retire is a big decision. It can lead to numerous changes in your personal lifestyle as well as your spending habits. A financial plan can help you assess your retirement readiness and help you put a foundation in place that can improve your chances of success. This second article provides a slightly different list of the steps you can take.

5.  How to Stop Saying “Um,” “Ah,” and “You Know.” When we speak, our tendency to be distracted, nervous, or uncomfortable with moments of silence can cause us to use filler words. Unfortunately, if we overuse them, they can diminish our credibility and distract from our message. Many teenagers, in particular, use these filler words. When I point them out during the conversation at our family dinner table, it can often lead to disagreement. However, when a story has too many filler words it can be hard to follow. In her book, Speak Easy: The Communication Guide for Career and Life Success, my aunt shares an example of what a long paragraph would look like without punctuation. Failing to pause while we speak is equivalent to leaving out periods, commas, and other types of punctuation when we write. It’s okay to pause and gather your thoughts. It can make your communication easier to follow and understand. It can help you emphasize a point as well. One recommendation for the future: practice using pauses rather than filler words when you speak.

We hope you find the above posts valuable. If you would like to talk to us about financial topics including your investments, creating a financial plan, saving for college, or saving for your retirement please complete our contact form, and we will be in touch. We can schedule a call, a virtual meeting via Zoom, or a meeting at Apprise Wealth Management’s office in Northern Baltimore County.

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