Business & Finance

More Considerations When Selecting a Financial Advisor

Updated 1 year ago

I am an investment advisor I help people make decisions. I have a degree in finance so I understand complex investment information but if I can’t help investors make their own decisions about this information I’m not really doing my job. So, I read books about how people make decisions. When you are making complex decisions may I suggest that based on what I’ve learned so far, you try these steps?Less choice is better – Don’t think the very best way is to examine all 165 options of a thing. In tests of customers at supermarkets when 16 choices were offered in various jams barely 3% of customers purchased anything. But when only offered 5 samples 30% of customers made a decision and bought a jam. When overwhelmed with options people, according to psychologists, ‘decide NOT to decide.’ So if your goal is to MAKE a choice, to decide on something, don’t trip yourself up, don’t make that impossible, by feeling you need to investigate every possible option. Remember your goal.Go with your gut -researchers have found is that you kind of already know what you want to do. If you are a reasonable person learning more information, so long as it’s not too overwhelming, backs up what your gut tells you. Many of the time, maybe most of the time, that initial ‘gut feeling’ is good. Don’t dismiss your instincts. Keep putting wise ideas into your mind so those instincts can be relied on.Be content to not be 100% certain- You will not know the future. So the decisions that you’re making affecting something and your future, is going to be missing 100% certainty because an element of the equation is missing, and that is knowing what will happen exactly in the future. Since you can’t know all, you will need to be content.Don’t second (or third) – guess yourself- Well, you don’t NEED to be content. But if you second, third, fifteenth – guess yourself and your decisions you will never have peace. According to research the happiest people are the ones who choose to believe their decision, once made, was a good one, and then they let the worry and anxiety go. In extreme examples, second- guessers spend years hobbled by doubt about decisions that are many years behind them. I don’t want to be that person, though sometimes I find myself wondering…If you follow these steps it may help you feel better and be better able to make good decisions.Citations:Jam choices- The Paradox of Choice, pg. 20Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2008, 2009 & 2010 by Market Surveys of America In compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. and Norumbega Financial are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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Looking for a Financial Advisor? Some Questions to Consider

Updated 1 year ago

How do they treat investors like me?- In the last six months, how have comparable clients been treated? How often is communication? What type of communication? Is that satisfactory to you?How do they help you choose investments? – I use a 12 question questionnaire to try to ascertain an investor’s risk tolerance. Then I use an independent third-party rating to rate the risk of an investment. Time horizon and other factors then are complied to narrow the options to what might work best for you. What procedure does this advisor use? Is there an annual review?- This is the time to talk, whether in person or by phone, about changes in your risk or tax situation and make possible alterations to your investments as you life changes. Many of my clients have had advisors who are really nice folks but they never have a review or hear from that person. Work has to happen with friendship separate.Thinking beyond investments?- Is your advisor making sure you have legal documents, or at least nagging – as I do- for you to get yourself to an attorney? Are they asking you to considering other estate planning needs such as land transfers or continuity planning for your family business? They probably not accountants and/ or attorneys but they could be helping you consider life insurance and asset transfers.No citations Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2008, 2009 & 2010 by Market Surveys of America In compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. and Norumbega Financial are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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A Look at Financial Graphs

Updated 1 year ago

I like graphs because they provide an image of numerical values and for me help to make things more clear. However in finance, graphs are tell what has ALREADY occurred and not anything about the future. Let’s talk about the graph that we have for the screen. It is the S & P average annual 10-year performance. Viewed in this way we can see how the economy and businesses were doing since 1936 to the end of February 2011. We can see the times when things were rocky and the times of prosperity but we can’t tell the future. We might hazard a GUESS about the future, and isn’t that what we do every day when we enter into a contract, change jobs, marry someone and invest?The very far right of the graph shows the lowest point in 2007 and the improvements since. This information is like looking in the rear-view mirror of your car. It shows the past. But this kind of info, along with other information, helps me as an advisor, help clients. And I thought it would be helpful for our viewers, too.So, graphs, pie-charts and other information like this provides a way to see figures as they relate to a set value, in this case 0% growth. It helps me and may be a good way for you to evaluate your investments.Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2008, 2009 & 2010 by Market Surveys of AmericaIn compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. We believe the sources of this information to be reliable, however, the accuracy and the completeness of the information is not guaranteed. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

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What if you have ten years till retirement and nothing saved?

Updated 1 year ago

You’re certainly not alone. According to one internet site, 39% of those age 55 have only $25,000 saved for retirement.Rethink expectations – Stuff happens and sometimes priorities change. Right now as you look down the tunnel of your life I hope you are able to get the vision for a modest retirement. Not one of poverty, but one of modest means. Postpone retirement- you can significantly increase your social security payout by waiting until age 70 instead of taking money out at age 62. Over your expected lifetime you will still receive the same – and possibly more- by waiting on social security. Postponing also gives you more time to WORK, paying off debt and Save! – Instead of saving 5% for retirement get deadly serious and start saving 15%, 20% or an even larger amount of your income towards your future. (If you plan on increasing your savings in a retirement account, you may have contribution limits. You may want to talk to your trusted tax or financial professional regarding increasing those percentages.) You ‘can’t afford’ to save? What are you going to do when you have to live on a possibly much smaller monthly income? Get serious.Invest wisely- take advantage of any match if a 401k is available at work that provides ‘free money’ if you contribute. Free money is an amount of money and employer is willing to add to your plan if you put in a certain percentage. In addition watch closely your investment options. Make good decisions for your risk and keep careful track of the market. Don’t be lazy with old accounts from former employers. Roll those monies to an account with a financial advisor or into your own care and track that money.It’s not ideal but it’s not too late to have a pretty good retirement if you act now.Citations:My retirement blog – savings figureshttp://www.myretirementblog.com/average-retirement-savings-by-age.htmlHow much to save now- Pullman Motly foolhttp://www.fool.com/retirement/general/2009/10/06/oops-i-forgot-to-save-for-retirement.aspxMarion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2008, 2009 & 2010 by Market Surveys of AmericaIn compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc., Norumbega Financial and all other entities listed herein are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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A Look at Junior Achievement

Updated 1 year ago

Junior Achievement Provides financial education using volunteers from the community in lessons for kids. I have taught middle school students with lessons that have explain credit. Wow, is this a necessary program! Lesson book cost money and fundraisers are ongoing to expand the offering of these classes in more schools. I am most familiar with the middle school programs and have taught after some modification, the Savvy Shopper lesson. Focusing on cash and credit I would bring my old bag phone (here it is) and explain cash, debit cards, credit cards and the implication of spending decisions.Your twelve year-old doesn’t understand what you mean when she sees cash in your hand but you say “I don’t have money.’ Junior Achievement and in my modified Savvy Shopper lesson , I explain checking accounts, what you can expect to earn at various jobs, expenses, very basic budgets, and the cost of credit and the consequences of ‘buying on time, ‘as it used to be called. I use the bag phone as an example of buying something with credit, owing more than the simply the purchase price, paying well past the item is in fashion or technologically advanced as newer phones- as an example- become more sleek. You continue to pay for a very uncool item. Your budget is smaller as a result and when your friends are having fun you are paying for things you bought years ago.Other middle school lessons include learning about your credit score, choosing a career, and insurance.More classrooms each year want these programs in their schools so volunteers and donations are always needed. Your family or business can help. Contact JA today at:JA of Maine, Inc. 82 Elm StreetPortland, ME 04101Phone: (207) 347-4333Email: athomas@jamaine.org Web address: www.jamaine.org Citations:http://www.ja.org/programs/programs_mid_econ_success_obj.shtmlhttp://www.ja.org/programs/programs_mid_overview_obj.shtmlMarion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2008, 2009 & 2010 by Market Surveys of AmericaIn compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc., Norumbega Financial and all other entities listed herein are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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“A Man is Not a Financial Plan”

Updated 1 year ago

When I say ‘A man’s not a financial plan,” besides quoting the great free bumper sticker available from WIFE.org, I am not saying I dislike men. I have been happily married for more than thirty-five years and have two great sons. I AM saying that your financial plan is your individual responsibility and that you may not wait for a prince or your daddy to lift this job from your shoulders. and I have been married for more than thirty-five years but unless we ‘go through the Stargate together’ ( which is our silly way of saying we hope to die together), one of us may predecease the other and other marriages may end in divorce.Talk about money- You need to know what’s going on and bring your views to the joint money table. Different attitudes about money are important to share and help provide better security for both of you. You see things differently, and those views are each helpful.Map out your money plan- Make a budget for how the money is spent today and a plan for where you’ll live in retirement, how much your income will be at the phase of your life, and get your legal documents in place so that when trouble comes, you will be more able to manage the pain.Set priorities- Speak your mind about what’s important to you about money. Communication is not a perfect medium so use various approaches to make your point heard. Be willing to compromise on issues on which you feel more flexible. Examine your attitude to check for fear and try to operate in good sense and not too much emotion.Credit in your name – make sure you know how the family credit is used and have credit in your name. I have told you stories of rich and famous who have been ignorant about their money suffered badly because of that error. Please learn from their mistakes! And for a free bumper sticker or an electronic newsletter sign up at www.wife.org. Citation:My book, Real Deal: Making Big Changes with Small Changehttp://www.wife.org/man-is-not-a-plan.htm Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2008, 2009 & 2010 by Market Surveys of America In compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc., Norumbega Financial and all other entities listed herein are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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Reviewing Your Credit Report

Updated 1 year ago

Time to think about reviewing your credit report.By law individuals are entitled to free credit reports from the three credit reporting agencies. And you might think this would be easy, getting these reports. But it’s not. The only certain source of receiving free annual reports from the three agencies is through www.annualcreditreport.com You may call a toll-free 1.877.322.8228 or you can fill out a request form to get credit reports and mail it in.The Federal trade Commission offers very clear information and a video to explain the process at http://www.ftc.gov/freereports As the FTC explains, ‘many sites claim to offer free reports – and some do.’ But others charge by requiring other products or services before sending you your credit report.So what should you look for?Your credit report is ‘the story of your financial life.’ It lists your current and past addresses, your Social Security number, date of birth and your phone number if it is listed. Past and present employers may be listed, also.Car loans, credit cards and the balances, payment history and any liens or late fees will be listed. In some states your credit report may contain child support payment information. This information impacts if you may get a job or additional loans or credit cards and at what rate you will pay for a mortgage or car loan. The better your payment history, the lower your interest rate may be for loans.What else should you check?Make sure the information from agencies or companies listed is accurate. The FTC’s web site offers information on disputing errors in your credit report. Also, check that someone hasn’t opened accounts that may not be you. That’s fraud and the FTC has links to help identify and tackle identity theft.For more detailed information on your credit report check out another FTC web site http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre34.shtmCitation:Federal Trade Commission explains:http://www.ftc.gov/freereportshttp://www.clearpointcreditcounselingsolutions.org/credit_report/look_inside.aspx Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2008, 2009 & 2010 by Market Surveys of AmericaIn compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. and Norumbega Financial and all other companies listed are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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Finance is Fun!

Updated 1 year ago

More and more is being learned about how men and women vary in their methods of thinking about and handling money, Financial Advisor Marion Syversen joined Carolyn Callahan on TV5 News at Noon to talk about it.Salary negotiations- Men are eight-times more likely to ASK for higher salaries. In one study a researcher promised to pay participants a range of money from $3- $11 for participants to play a game. They were then given $3 and asked if that was okay. 8x’s as many men asked for MORE money than women.Indulgences- Men lead women in the purchasing of entertainment items such as video games, sporting event tickets, DVDs , even hobbies, alcohol and cigars. Women lead men in grocery purchases, skin care and baby products and premium care products. More women are making big ticket purchases such as cars and TVs. And 80% of all spending decisions are influenced by women. Feelings- Men generally save more for themselves than women, making personal savings a priority. Women are not saving as much. One author suggested that women are ‘present thinkers’ consumed with concerns about their family’s present and immediate needs and less focused on a distant goal. Men pay themselves first, women practice that trait less often spending money by shopping during their 20′s and 30′s while many men are saving more. Don’t shoot the messenger.Women also prefer holistic information about money and personal finance as I show in the research for my book while men prefer stock picks and more specific investment information.If you’re training for a skill or a race and you find that you have a natural area that hinders you toward the goal, what would you do? You’d face the problem and work diligently to compensate and fix the lack. See these differences and fight back to make needed changes.Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. and Norumbega Financial are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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Helpful Money Math

Updated 1 year ago

Rule of 72- This rule is an easy way to figure out how many years it will take for money saved to double at various rates of interest. The quick equation is an estimate of the time it takes for money to double. Divide 72 by the projected interest rate. So if I think I’ll earn 10% the equation is 72/10 = 7.2 years for money to double. If I think I will earn 6% the equation is 72/6 = 12 years for the money to double.Rule of 114- this quick estimate will tell you how many years until your money triples. Divide 114 by you projected rate of interest. So if I earned 10% the quick equation would be 114/ 10 = 11.4 years. At 6% the equation is 114/6 = 19 years for money to triple.Future Value of MONEY- Just add a zero- This quick estimate may help make your spending plan a savings plan! When you are thinking of buying an item, perhaps one you are trying to talk yourself out of, wouldn’t it be great to know how much you might have saved if you had socked that money away and saved it? What might that money be worth 30 years from now at earning 8% interest? Just add a zero to the cost of the item! So, you want a new computer and it’ll be $1200. You don’t really need the computer but you have the money…According to this money estimate, If you saved that $1200 for 30 years and earned 8% you’d have $12,000. These quick tips are little tools to help give you the incentive to save for your future. Try them out and pass them on!Citations:Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2008, 2009 & 2010 by Market Surveys of America In compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc., Norumbega Financial and all other entities listed herein are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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“Quest for Credit Mountain” Online Cartoon

Updated 1 year ago

Got internet access? Want an amusing way to learn about credit for the kids or even for yourself? This short cartoon video called “Quest for Credit Mountain” is a production of the Mint.com an online money management site.Sneak peak- 51 second preview The complete 8 minute version of the cartoon is available at:Sword in the Stone-like in its quirky journey story, Our Hero climbs Credit Mountain after freeing a credit card from a stone. Our hero finds himself in the Valley of the Debtors and is told that “with great spending power comes great fiscal responsibility.’The production is very entertaining with good music and interesting story line, considering it’s a cartoon about credit. The tongue-in-cheek epic is funny and informative. Mixing A Christmas carol with other well-known tales the cartoon shows our hero sidelined by overspending and a large statement- payment is demanded by a frightening ogre that offers the hero “easy” payment terms.Sidetracked from the heights of Credit Mountain by his debt into the Valley of Debtors, the Hero is told, “The only way to climb credit mountain from the valley of the debtors is to tame your debt demons with prudence and bold aggressive action. “Advice from the wise mountain gurus provides our hero the skills to tame the Debt Monster with Budget Magic and a battle ensues! In the end Our Hero not only beats the Credit Monster but he gets the girl!This entertaining cartoon from MINT.com and a great teaching tool to initiate a discussion on the benefits of a budget and the potential problems of debt. Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2008, 2009 & 2010 by Market Surveys of AmericaIn compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc., Norumbega Financial and all other entities listed herein are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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Making Financial Resolutions for the New Year

Updated 1 year ago

Every year we try to learn from past mistakes and make the upcoming year a better one. But where to start and what to do to make 2011 better financially may be confusing for you. Here are some ideas.How? Think it through- 1.) set reasonable expectations, that typically means LOWER them. You won’t take ALL your money and save it. You could set yourself up to fail if you aren’t reasonable. 2.) expect obstacles and setbacks. What if many of your friends are going away for a winter vacation and you are trying to pay off credit card bills. You want to go, there’s room on the card for more spending…But you could just say no. If you splurge on dinner out instead, that’s what happens. 3.) plan treats and 4.) let others know that you are doing things even smarter this year. What are some good resolutions?- 1.) save more and spend less. 2.) don’t add to credit card debt. 3.) get some advice. Think through the specifics of how much are you going to save. Make it reasonable. Who will you seek advice from? When will you really do this? Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2008, 2009 & 2010 by Market Surveys of AmericaIn compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. and Norumbega Financial are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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Do You Have a Financial Plan for the New Year?

Updated 1 year ago

What now? Bills are coming in and you are shocked, shocked, to see just how much you spent. What can you do to get the bills paid and to have a strategy for next year? Here are some helpful tips.Credit increases spending- When using a credit card folks may spend 12-18% more than using cash. Some report that credit card use increases spending by 20%. That doesn’t account for the extra money that interest adds to the cost of that gift so lovingly purchased.Paying down debt- Pay more than minimum, Find money in some everyday ‘luxuries,’ use any extra money from overtime or a tax returnWhat’s the plan for 2011- First HAVE a strategy, a plan. The strategy includes several components. First is a budget. The budget could mean the amount you will spend for presents. But it also could be very inclusive dinner at your house with 40 relatives, Christmas cards, maybe even special shopping for holiday outfits. You could use the last few years spending as a guide. You may need to cut it back to perhaps more reasonable amounts if you have lacked a bit of self-control. Now SAVE for the spending. You could also shop very early. Many items, tools, house goods, toys, are available all year so if you have a coupon or there is a special sale, but the item early. Of course you have made a list! Simplify your giving. You can’t give everything you’d like to for everyone you know. You can choose names, only give gifts to kids, you can bake or give the gift of babysitting. If you see lists or controlling spending as a punishment instead of the freeing, empowering thing that I think it is, then you will be always chased by money controlling you, and your past indulgences controlling your future. Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2008, 2009 & 2010 by Market Surveys of America In compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. and Norumbega Financial are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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What to Say When Kids Ask About Money

Updated 1 year ago

Not that your children would ever do this, but sometimes kids ask the darnedest questions. And money and the variation between what you have and the things or houses of others, may be the focus of some of those questions. An article by Ron Lieber had a few suggested conversations. How much do you make?- Kids compare height, running speed, and all manner of things when they are together. A child may not be looking for an actual amount when they ask what you make. Maybe they are worried about paying the bills, or wondering how come some people live in a bigger house than you. With older kids you could make a sample budget in a range of expenses. Include a mortgage and explain how much one house might cost if you save for a mortgage or buy it without saving. Show another mortgage and the difference because of the location or size of the house and the benefits of that. Add electricity and food costs and talk about what kind of job or career might be coupled with that needed income without getting specific about your family or others income or education. Are we rich?- For everyone having savings means spending less than we earn. But kids probably don’t know that. Maybe you could let your children understand either what percentage of what you earn goes into savings for emergencies and retirement or get a book about storing up what you get today for tomorrow. Don’t tell them specific dollar amounts but do explain the concept of setting today’s money aside for the future and the sacrifices that entails.Doing without- Things happen and explaining the financial reversal to kids can seem complicated. Kids have no idea about money unless you tell them without telling them the real details. Kids need to know if they will eat if you lost your job. The article suggested getting older kids to help figuring out where to cut back, ask for ideas on free fun family days or stay-cations ideas. When a stranger at the grocery store asks, How are you? It’s more a question of being polite and less a deep question about everything on your mind. The questions kids ask are sort of the same. Teach them principles about money that will help them in their own lives. Don’t tell them everything that is really going on in the household checking account. Citation:http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/10/your-money/10money.htmlMarion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2008, 2009 & 2010 by Market Surveys of AmericaIn compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc., Norumbega Financial and all other individuals listed below are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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The Best and Worst Business to Start-Up

Updated 1 year ago

As a business owner I am passionate about business and enthusiastic about new businesses. Several friends of mine have launched businesses this past year. If you are thinking of starting a business in 2011 consider the chances for success. This list of best and worst businesses for the next decade from Inc. magazine may help. With an aging population nearing retirement you can understand the need for estate and trust planning as well as retirement planning services. Using technology for communication and shopping is also a trend that we are seeing.The worst industries, which are available on our web site, WABI.TV, includes small appliance manufacturing, DVD and video rental, and photofinishing. These trends are only a guess and a possible indication of the future. But if I were going to start a new business I would consider these lists.Citations:http://www.inc.com/news/articles/2010/01/best-and-worst-industries.htmlMarion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2008, 2009 & 2010 by Market Surveys of AmericaIn compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc., Norumbega Financial and all other companies listed herein are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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Money Does Not Always Equal Happiness

Updated 1 year ago

With commercials starting before Thanksgiving, planning for Christmas can take on a life of its own and consume more than 10% of the year. That sometimes get you think in a grouchy way about your money and possessions. If only you had…blah, blah, blah. How much money would make you happy? Two studies, featured in a Yahoo finance article by Laura Rowley, will give us some ideas.Not feeling it- $ 75,000 has long been stated as the amount of earnings most folks feel maximum happy for income. Really, there after all the money you have does not increase happy ‘feelings.’ Having enough income to have food, buy gas and oil is one important reason for happiness. And according to researchers it is more likely that you will happy if you are wealthy. But another way to measure happiness, measuring lhow many times you laughed or had positive social interactions, has very little to do with money an how much you earn. Were you treated with respect? Do you get to do what you love? Did you get to learn something new or help people? These measures have a more significant impact on happiness than income and earnings. And these measures are consistent across ethnic and geological boundaries. People around the world have similar feelings of happiness for the same reasons.Not much change- Above certain levels of steady income there is more impact because of your personality and decisions than as the result of the increased income. Under certain incomes there is significant stress, but according to one Nobel laureate, going from $100,000 to $150,000 has no significant increase in happiness.Basic needs- when basic needs are not met respondents said they were less happy, as you can understand. But most people in whatever the country judge themselves and their happiness on a ‘ladder’ of comparison to themselves and others and based on their progression from one year to the next. Making some progress is helpful to happiness.. At this time of love and sharing, potentially increase your satisfaction by helping those whose basic needs may not be met and bring joy in your heart this season.Citation:How much money do you need to be satisfied?http://finance.yahoo.com/expert/article/moneyhappy/254377Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2008, 2009 & 2010 by Market Surveys of America In compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc., Norumbega Financial and all other entities listed herein are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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Finding a Financial Advisor

Updated 1 year ago

Finding a professional, such as a financial advisor, who meets your criteria for qualifications, integrity and service can feel overwhelming. Many professionals, attorneys, accountants, and financial advisors, believe you can be enthusiastic about the pros with whom you work. If you type financial advisor into the Bangor region you can find nearly 400 professionals listed. Here are some tips that might help you narrow your search for your financial advisor.Qualifications- What exams are provide the professional you need? Series 7 is a general broker who can help you with individucal stocks and bonds. Series 6 is for those who anticipate only using mutual funds and variable annuities. Some financial planners have neither license and use Charles Schwab to trade all securities. They typically hold a 65 licnse and are investment advisors. About 8% of advisors hold a broker and an advisor lincense. The advisor’s education could be balanced with their ‘designations.’ Designation are achieved through various tests that help advisors’ develop an expertise in particular areas od practice and are sometimes used for those who do not have a finance, or other comparible, education. Vision- How does the advisor run their business? Do you pay an additional fee for a plan? Is the plan so detailed and specific to you that the fee is worth the cost? Would you prefer regular meetings and discussions on many financial topics? Is the advisor a good teacher? Is that what you’d like in a professional? Is the relationship important to you or do you want just the facts? What about ongoing conversations or contact? What would you like and is that this advisor’s vision? Compensation- Everybody needs to make a living and understanding how the advisor you are meeting with makes their living is important. Investment advisors are compensated by a fee that is paid on an ongoing basis. This is an ongoing underlying cost for the money they hold ‘under management.’ Because this can be expensive over several years than front-end charges there is frequently a lower-end requirement, as in you must have at least $250,000 or $500,000 before the advisor can take you as a client. Traditional compensation charge a commission when you buy or sell stocks or bonds, r a front-end charge for mutual fund purchases. Ask about this so you understand the pros and cons of various fees.Team- Most people only provide part of the tax, investment and legal needs that planning can entail. What kind of team has the advisor organized to help meet your needs? How do you feel when you speak with them? Do you undertsad what they are explaining? Do you feel comfortable with their staff? With so many advisors in the region you are certain to find someone who is a good fit for you professionally and personally.Citations:http://www.investopedia.com/articles/pf/07/rightadvisor.aspMarion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2008, 2009 & 2010 by Market Surveys of AmericaIn compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. and Norumbega Financial are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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Some Good Online Deals

Updated 1 year ago

I read this article in Kiplinger’s featuring 21 web sites with deals that I thought you might want to check out. Here are some highlights from The article entitled, “21 Web Sites for Finding Deals Online.”Websites:Dealio.comRetailMeNotDealnewsGiftCardGrannyDealio.com- This site is one of several mentioned in the article that compares prices on MILLIONS of products offered through tens of thousands of merchants. In large urban areas where driving from store to store can take many hours knowing the best prioce on your favorite products is a real time saver. Always keep in mind that you aren’t really saving money if you drive 15 miles one-way to save $1. RetailMeNot – This is a coupon site and several other sites are also mentioned in the article such as CouponWinner.com and Coupon Sherpa. A site that specializes in coupons for kids’ things is also featured: CleverBabies.comDealnews- This site and the others mentioned here feature breaking deals happening right now and offer RSS feeds or email notifications to keep you in the loop. Six different deal sites are listed here with descriptions on what they offer to simplify your hunt.GiftCardGranny- Interested in discounted gift cards? Then the site listed in this portion of the article are for you. The site offers this example of possible savings: If you purchase a $100 Gap gift card for $90 you have already saved 10%. You can take advantage of these sites all year but for those of us who have gifts left to buy this article and the many other web sites featured in it could save you money this holiday.Link:http://www.kiplinger.com/features/archives/21-web-sites-for-finding-deals-online.htmlMarion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2008, 2009 & 2010 by Market Surveys of AmericaIn compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc., Norumbega Financial and all other entities listed herein are separate entities, independently owned and operated. Wall Street Financial Group is not responsible for information contained on web sites or literature referenced herein.

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A Financial Check-up is a Great Thing to do Once or Even Twice a Year.

Updated 1 year ago

Here are the areas to examine.Investments- Where are your investments? Are they scattered all over the place? Do you have SEP IRAs or 403b’s from several former employers at the old work place? Time management alone has caused many folks to come to me and have someone else spend the time required instead of doing this themselves. Whatever role works best for you, how is your rate of savings going? What about the rate of return? Is it time to rethink your allocation? These are some of the considerations you need to be aware of.Taxes- It’s a great time to plan for next year’s taxes and take some end-of-the-year  preparations for this year’s taxes. Can you increase your pre-tax retirement savings? Can you increase your charitable giving? Are there any bills due in 2011 that you can pre-pay this year to increase your deductions or expenses? Check with your tax preparer for more ideas.Insurance- is your property insured for the appropriate amount? What about your life insurance? Do you have an amount that would defray taxes, that might help with child care or other needs that your family may have in the event you died prematurely? Pre-planning- Do you have a will, an living will or advanced directive? What about arrangements for funeral or burial. Take control of these details now and save your loved ones much heartache with thoughtful planning.Ratios- How is your debt-to-income ratio  or your net worth? Do an online search for the formula but this is a handy gauge by which to measure your financial progress. Credit report- Consumers are entitled to one free credit report from the three credit agencies each year. You may get all three credit reports at one time or every four months get the one report from a different agency. They are available at AnnualCreditReport.comHow are you sleeping?  - Are you worried? Can you address the issues that worry you? Are you happy? What can you do feel better?  Have your goals or outlook changed? Check in on these things as part of a healthy financial life and you’ll feel like the responsible adult and great citizen that you are!Citations:Help.com[http://financialplan.about.com/od/personalfinancebasics/a/AnnualCheckup.htm ]http://financialplan.about.com/od/personalfinancebasics/a/AnnualCheckup.htmMid-year check[ http://genxfinance.com/2009/06/09/how-to-do-a-mid-year-financial-checkup-things-to-think-about-this-summer/ ]http://genxfinance.com/2009/06/09/how-to-do-a-mid-year-financial-checkup-things-to-think-about-this-summer/NYT via free moneyhttp://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2010/04/how-to-give-yourself-a-financial-checkup.htmlMarion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952[ mailto:Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com ]Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.comCheck out our website that includes weekly streaming videos[ http://www.NorumbegaFinancial.com ]WWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2008, 2009 & 2010 by Market Surveys of America In compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. and Norumbega Financial and all other companies listed herein are separate entities, independently owned and operated. Information provided should not be construed as as legal or tax advice: you should speak with an attorney or tax advisor. Health and other non-variable insurance products are not offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc.

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What is Long-term care (LTC) insurance?

Updated 1 year ago

LTC is at least 12 months of continuous care for people suffering from cognitive or chronic ill health.Terms- There are many terms with which to become familiar, though once you understand them, they make good sense. Terms such as elimination period, benefit period, pre-existing conditions, home-health care and adult day care are some of the terms to learn so that you can really understand long-term care insurance.Basic benefits- A basic benefit means that your covered expenses, up to a certain daily amount and after the elimination period, will be covered for your care. A comparison of insurance companies and their benefits and premium costs are available at the State of Maine’s web site or in their hardcopy Consumer’s Guide to Long-term care Insurance. Resources:State of Maine Bureau of Insurance 10 Things You Should Know about Buying Long-term care Insurance A Consumer’s Guide to…Long-term care Insurance Phone numbers: (207) 624-8475(800) 300-5000 (Maine only)Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2008, 2009 & 2010 by Market Surveys of AmericaIn compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc., Norumbega Financial and all other companies listed here are separate entities, independently owned and operated. Health and other non-variable insurance products are not offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc.

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Finance is Fun

Updated 1 year ago

Managing Kids and Their Financial ExpectationBy- Marion SyversenIt’s can be hard to say no to people you love. Especially when the things people want is affordable and you can easily buy it. So when you’re in the store and your baby asks for something and they are so cute and so sweet, it is easy to say, sure. But buying things all the time when kids ask will create serious problems for your kids. In real life they can’t have everything they see and want. You don’t want them to become so accustomed to wanting or needing things to the extent that they would forgo real relationships for one in which someone who will buy them stuff. And you want fulfillment in their lives to be more than things.Check yourself- Can you say no? If not, why not? Are you fulfilling needs from your emptiness or pain? This is a common reason why parents can’t or won’t say no. They don’t really need the item for which they may presently be begging. It may very well be in your heart.  Life has rules- Are you being mean when you tell your child that not to stand on a chair because they may fall? Is God being mean because there is gravity? Helping your child be a responsible, charitable adult who works hard and is kind to others that’s your job as a parent. Here are some rules: You can’t have everything you want. Work bring satisfaction and a paycheck. Think of others. Clean up after yourself. It’s not all about you.Find teaching tools- It’s hard for kids to hear you say you don’t have the money when you spend $100 on groceries. I know what it means when you say things about your money, but they only see and hear words that say the opposite of what you are doing.  Teaching budgeting, maybe you need to learn about budgeting, is a way to begin this process.  According to a Wall Street Journal article 24% of parents made back to school budgets WITH their kids which was many more than had done it a few years ago.It’s okay to learn these truths together. We are all on a journey in life and not as smart or as wise today as we will be, hopefully, next week or next year. But please recognize what motivates you and take control of yourself so you can be a better parent for your children.Citations:http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704285104575491761014550690.html   

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