THE UNSETTLING ECONOMIC HISTORY BEHIND OUR BAD NEIGHBORHOODS

Rough American Neighborhood

I’ve done my fair share of traveling around this country. Indiana, Florida, Hawaii, Oregon, Nevada, Virginia, Arizona, Washington, Ohio, California, Texas, etc… And one of the things I’ve noticed is that financially challenged communities are prevalent in nearly every major metropolitan area.  In fact, I can say with confidence that practically every big city has a “rough” part of town.  In the more extreme cases, drugs and gangs emerge, which can often lead to violent crimes.  It’s really quite tragic, and I know we’ve all seen it. What accompanies these struggling parts of American cities is an equally disturbing economic Continue reading

THE CLASS YOU DIDN’T TAKE IN SCHOOL – INVESTMENT EDUCATION 101

Classroom Photo - Investment Education

During a recent, in-person session with a private coaching client, the topic of retirement preparation and planning made its way into the conversation.  I ran a quick “diagnostic check” by asking a few questions and reviewing some of the client’s financial statements including her investment holdings and retirement accounts.  Everything appeared fine until I began dissecting the various positions within her IRA (Individual Retirement Account). The tone of the meeting quickly turned from pleasant to somber as I explained why the long-dated bonds in her retirement account were a poor investment choice given the current economic climate (and she had Continue reading

WHAT THE HECK… IS A P/E RATIO?

Stock Chart

“What the heck…” is an ongoing series within The Pay Me Plan Blog for Investing Novices where I dissect a financial concept or principle, and explain how it can apply to your investing activities.  In this post, we’ll be covering what a P/E ratio is and how it works. In the P/E ratio, the “P” stands for price and the “E” stands for earnings.  Thus, the P/E ratio means the price to earnings ratio.  This is a metric used when evaluating the price of a public company’s stock in relation to how much net income the company is actually generating.  Continue reading

LIKE SHOPPING? THEN YOU’LL LOVE INVESTING

Crowds storm a shopping mall on Black Friday

The day after Thanksgiving – known as “Black Friday” – is the busiest shopping day of the year.  News channels will often broadcast clips of people camping outside their favorite store days in advance.  And once the stores open, the crowds are absolutely maddening.  Fights occasionally break out between shoppers.  There was even a news headline a few years ago about an employee accidently being trampled to death as they tried to open the doors so customers could get inside.  Unbelievable. So what drives this kind of irrational consumer behavior?  Is it drugs?  Well, if you’ve been reduced to camping Continue reading