Hello, everyone!

Sorry, it’s been awhile! I hope everyone is doing well mentally, physically and ‘financially’, too!

As I sat down to pen this month’s blog post, I was reminded of something very poignant that my uncle said to me recently amidst a conversation we were having. He said that proper preparation prevents poor performance.” He called this the ‘5 P’s of life’. A former engineer, he began to detail to me how he approached his job of nearly 50 years, alluding to the fact that, if you are prepared you should expect good results to follow, no matter what you’re doing.

Although this statement is certainly relative to what you’re actually preparing for, I began to think about this in terms of financial planning. I asked myself: “Does this make sense within the financial planning framework?”

I think you’d agree that it certainly does!

In short, the best way to optimize your financial results down the road is to plan accordingly now. This means not delaying any longer in starting that savings plan, or not making any more excuses as to why you didn’t contribute to your retirement plan this year. Sure, you can expect bumps in the road along the way, but with financial planning, the old motto of “sure and steady wins the race” most certainly applies.

With that said, I’d like to offer the following three ‘quick strategies’ you can use to ensure that you are preparing now for what lies ahead:

  1. Get Informed! Before you do anything, properly prepare yourself by researching what financial strategy is best for you. Ask yourself: “What is my ultimate goal?” Am I more concerned with establishing some short-term savings that I can draw on as needed, or setting up a long-term retirement plan for myself? Then, look to become more financially savvy by seeking advice from books, classes, etc., on how to attain your goals.
  2. Stop Procrastinating! Ok, so you’re prepared. Great! Now you must do something! Don’t procrastinate! We all do this at times, but in terms of financial planning, wasted time equates to wasted money. Stop delaying and commit to doing something to better your financial position, no matter how small it may be. This could be saving $5 each week in your piggy bank, or maximizing your Roth IRA contribution this year.
  3. Review, Re-Review, and Re-Review again! Picture this: you’re on track, and moving right along with your financial planning goals. However, something keeps changing…life! As a result, your situations, needs, and goals are changing, too. The only way to ensure that you stay on track is to periodically (at least once per year) take an ‘objective’ look at your situation and, if needed, make changes along the way. This could mean reallocating an investment from one fund to another, or changing course altogether and moving from risky stock investments to more stable bond funds. Whatever you do, you need to constantly assess your progress to stay on track.

I hope these tips are helpful to you! Please let me know your thoughts; I always welcome your questions!

Wishing you continued financial health…

Prof Anthony Rondinelli, Business Department at Springfield Technical Community College