Apprise Wealth Management’s Selected Readings for the Week of February 3, 2019

People Networking and Creating Bonds

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

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

1.   How to Appeal a Financial Aid Letter. We want our kids to go to the best college they can. But college is EXPENSIVE. What we want to do for our children and what we can afford to do for them may be at odds. According to this article, only about 1% of students receive adjustments to their financial aid packages. There are two primary reasons:

·        Not enough families appeal for more financial aid

·        Many families approach the process incorrectly

I know from experience you can get more aid than the school originally offers. I learned this when I was in college. A letter also helped us get more aid for our oldest child when he entered college. A couple of things to keep in mind when asking for more assistance. 1) Make the request personal. 2) It helps to have your child make the request. See here and here for additional tips.

2.   How to Introduce Yourself so You’ll Be Unforgettable (In a Good Way!). If you network regularly, several times a week, someone is likely to ask, “What do you do?” People expect you to say something like “I’m job title X at company Y.” However, answering that way means passing up an opportunity to let the other person know who you really are. After all, we are more than just our job. Getting our introduction right can help us truly connect. It takes time and effort to craft a better intro, but it can truly set us apart. When deciding what you want to say, keep the following in mind:

·        What would you like to be known for?

·        What problems can only you solve?

·        Show some vulnerability.

Reading this article has me thinking about a better answer to the question. After all, what makes me different from other financial advisors?

3.   Political Reality Meets Economic RealityFor me, memos from Howard Marks are a must read. Warren Buffett shares that sentiment: “When I see memos from Howard Marks in my mail, they’re the first thing I open and read. I always learn something, and that goes double for his book [The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor]. In this memo, Marks aims to “describe what happens when political reality collides with economic reality.” He does it without trying to make political judgments or make a particular politician look bad as well.

4.  Diversification Is Almost Undefeated. When investing for retirement, the goal should be to invest in a way that increases your chances of living the life you want. Historically, investing with a long-term approach decreases the likelihood that you will lose money. In reviewing performance since 1926, a portfolio holding 60% stocks and 40% bonds (using the S&P 500 and five-year treasuries) has delivered positive returns in all periods of 10 and 20 years. You can find similar results for international stocks as well. While there are never guarantees that history will repeat, the data supports the advantages of being patient when you invest.

5.   6 Daily Habits to Create Financial Success in 2019. We are already in 2019’s second month. Time truly does fly. However, we do not have to let the calendar dictate when we adopt new habits. This article offers six great tips to help you achieve your financial goals. One of my favorites is tracking your spending carefully. Before I bought my first home, I was worried about whether I could afford it. I tracked every penny I spent for a couple of months. After analyzing the data, I realized there were many ways I could cut expenses. After I got married to my wonderful wife, Diana, I started using Quicken to track our finances. I still do it to this day.


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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