Enhancing Your Wealth One Step at a time

ST. CROIX INSIGHTS

Enhancing Your Wealth One Step at a time

BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC

It’s time to start enhancing your wealth one step at a time. But how do you accomplish this? Break it down and take it slowly. It doesn’t happen in one day.

It starts with small decisions that build up over time to create a big impact. Take a step back and look at your life. How do you feel about money? Do you feel secure, confident, and covered? Do you worry, get upset and feel insecure about money? Do you avoid the topic altogether? Assessing your relationship with money is important before you start to take these steps.

Once you understand where you are coming from, it will be easier to begin to shift your thinking. Money is just a means to be able to do the things that you enjoy. If you aren’t enjoying your life, no amount of money is going to change that.

1. Determine your values. What is it that sets you on fire and gets you up in the morning? What do you look forward to at the end of the day or the end of the week? What truly brings you joy and happiness in this world? Maybe when you think about all of this you realize that the best things in life are free for you. In that case, wonderful. However, the fact of the matter is that life costs money. Even just spending time with those you love usually involves a meal, a destination, or some type of entertainment.

2. Cut out the unnecessary stuff. Do you have a junk drawer at home? The one with miscellaneous pens, rubber bands, and free giveaways? Why is it that we hang onto so much that has no value? We live in a culture that loves stuff. It somehow became a sign that someone has ‘made it’ when they have a bigger house, more toys, and a flashier lifestyle. But what in your life could you do without? I’m guessing most of it.

3. Reframe your thoughts. When you think about saving vs. spending, shift your mindset. Would you rather get an expensive coffee drink with a flavor shot and whipped cream on top every day of the week or retire to a house on the water where nobody knows your name? Life is full of trade-offs, and unless we begin to think of the future as something to consider in this moment, we will never have what we think we need down the road.

4. Finally, discuss with others. Yes, it’s taboo to talk about personal topics. But get a feel for what other people make, spend, and save. Determine whether you’d like to make your money go further for you now or in the future. Talk to trusted advisors, friends, and people who are willing to engage in conversation. Especially if you’re struggling financially, talk about it.

In short, I am simplifying your life and saving your time by taking care of this end of the deal. You can focus on your kids’ sporting events, family birthdays, and work deadlines while I worry about your money. Know that it is in good hands.

One common thread that you and I have is 24 hours in a day. If you don’t protect your calendar, before you know it, you are no longer in charge of your schedule. We need to protect one our most important resources – time.

I’ve become guarded of my schedule over the years, so I don’t feel overwhelmed with the day to day expectations of my family and clients. I know I live by a calendar, I have to in order to keep it all straight each day. It’s even typical for my wife and I to compare our schedules to meet the demands of our family. Yet, that’s usually while we are in bed, with computers in each of our laps. Do you have a favorite calendar resource you use to track and schedule your meetings? Do you make a checklist on there too?

The bottom line is that neither you nor I can meet with everyone. I wish I could, I truly enjoy hearing each person’s stories. However, we need to protect our time and our calendar to focus on the items that are most important to us in helping us reaching our goals – personally and professionally.

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Simplify Your Time, Simplify Your Life

ST. CROIX INSIGHTS

Simplify Your Time,
Simplify Your Life

BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC

Man, I could spend all day, 5 days a week, meeting with vendors and wholesalers offering their products to my clients. Working in an intangible business, you never run out of inventory or have supply issues because a machine broke down or a supplier couldn’t get a part in.

By sifting through the hundreds of calls and emails I get each day that ends in a sales pitch, I am guarding your time. Part of my job is acting as the middle man and deciding what is worth your time by using my best judgement. Most of the time, the products and services will take more time and money to install/implement than they will actually pay off. However, there have been times when products have met the needs of my clients, and I have forwarded that information onto the respective parties.

In short, I am simplifying your life and saving your time by taking care of this end of the deal. You can focus on your kids’ sporting events, family birthdays, and work deadlines while I worry about your money. Know that it is in good hands.

One common thread that you and I have is 24 hours in a day. If you don’t protect your calendar, before you know it, you are no longer in charge of your schedule. We need to protect one our most important resources – time.

I’ve become guarded of my schedule over the years, so I don’t feel overwhelmed with the day to day expectations of my family and clients. I know I live by a calendar, I have to in order to keep it all straight each day. It’s even typical for my wife and I to compare our schedules to meet the demands of our family. Yet, that’s usually while we are in bed, with computers in each of our laps. Do you have a favorite calendar resource you use to track and schedule your meetings? Do you make a checklist on there too?

The bottom line is that neither you nor I can meet with everyone. I wish I could, I truly enjoy hearing each person’s stories. However, we need to protect our time and our calendar to focus on the items that are most important to us in helping us reaching our goals – personally and professionally.

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Can my portfolio support my lifestyle in my retirement? 

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Why are so many people afraid to ask for a pay raise?

ST. CROIX INSIGHTS

Why are so many people afraid to ask for a pay raise?

BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC

Here’s the strategy your boss won’t be able to argue with when it comes to asking for a pay raise. In our world today, talking about how one earns is such a private and taboo subject, and it shouldn’t be. As a Certified Financial Planner, I must disclose in writing how much money I make, and it drives Mrs. Anderson nuts when I ask others how much they make off me. You and I provide value/service for our customers/clients and we should be compensated for it accordingly.

One area to focus on is value. It’s not about your hourly rate or salary, but rather about the value you bring to the organization. It isn’t something that’s focused on, but it should be. Once you start thinking about it, putting pen to paper, you’ll never look at how you are compensated the same way.

So, when asking for a raise, how do you calculate your value? It’s easy to calculate compensation for a salesperson, but what about everyone else? Let’s say you’re a marketing professional and your current salary is $100,000 year. When you look at your position, what expertise do you bring? What knowledge, skills or abilities you utilize each day to help the organization reach its goals? Do you directly contribute to additional sales or an increase in customer traffic to your employer? What’s the value each new customer means to the company? How have you not only made the company money, but how have you saved the company money?

Customer Service – how many calls do you make or take on a regular basis? What expertise you bring to the table? Do you take more calls vs others in the company? Do you have a skill set that’s hard to find and you wouldn’t be easily replaced? Is your work above and beyond what’s expected of you each day and have you been documenting how you are adding value to the company?

Receptionist – It’s the front door to the store or business. This person can make or break a business. This person sets the tone on most calls. It’s that tone that can make or break everyone else’s day. Do you build client relationships? Do customers know you by name? Are you able to process calls quickly and have a high satisfaction rate or take on other side projects as needed? This list could go on.

Value comes in all forms to an employer. Most employees would never approach the owner of the company or CEO and tell them I’d like to make you more money and here’s how I can make that happen. If you did, they’d be thrilled and wouldn’t look at you the same way (in a positive way) going forward. Your employers want you to succeed.

It’s not always about the money. But money helps. Understand and demonstrate the value you bring to your employer. Talk about it with your boss. Be confident knowing that you make a difference and that you bring value to your employer.

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5 ways to know when to change jobs

ST. CROIX INSIGHTS

5 ways to know when to change jobs

BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC

It’s not always easy to know when to change jobs. Changings jobs for most individuals isn’t something you take lightly. It’s an undertaking for soul searching to even being afraid of the unknown where the job you have might not be ideal but the next one could be worse. Here are 5 ways to know when it’s times to change your job.

1. Your boss sucks

Let’s face it, not every boss is for everyone. When I worked in corporate America, I had a boss that was horrible. I resigned and worked my required 30-day notice without another job. Not every employer is going to be fitting for you, either. You can have a great company, great benefits, or great coworkers, but if you have a boss that sucks, you won’t stay.

2. You drive too far

Sounds crazy……but we spend too much time driving to and from work. By spending 2 hours a day driving to and from work, over 30 years, that’s over 15,000 hours. That’s like two years of your life taken away. Set your environment up to minimize the time you spend commuting.

3. You have the potential to do more

Over time, it’s easy to outgrow your job or your company. I’ve felt over the years I’ve outgrown positions and have become bored. Many like to be challenged and learn every day. The days of pursuing one career or sticking with one employer for 30 years have pretty much dissipated.

4. You lack fulfillment

Our identity is often seen as our occupation. In many cases that’s not always true. You work for money, but the pursuit of money isn’t your focus. You want to be impactful in your work and maybe even find meaning. It can be done with so many opportunities in our world today.

5. It’s usually not about money

When you think it’s about money, I suspect deep down you know what it’s about. If items one through 4 are rock solid, I don’t believe 95% of us would pursue another job making $1.00 or $2.00 more an hour. 

If you need a sounding board if it’s time to move on, I’m just a phone call way.

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One natural disaster after another – insurance matters

ST. CROIX INSIGHTS

One natural disaster after another – insurance matters

BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC

Nowadays, it seems impossible to turn on the TV or radio (or read a newspaper) without hearing about a disaster. From fires to flooding, so many people’s lives are being turned upside down. I can’t even imagine what they are going through, and I can only suspect it’s going to take years to recover emotionally and even financially.

I know you’d rather make a trip to the dentist than revisit your property and casualty insurance (better known as home owners’ insurance) agent. In these cases, it’s more than talking to your P & C professional. It’s a line by line conversation about your coverage and how much will your insurance pay for.

In the event your home is destroyed by water or fire, how large of a check do you want the insurance company to write you? I believe most individuals get upset with insurance companies due to a lack of understanding of their coverage and unrealistic expectations.

Recently, we had a new gas stove placed in our home. When the appliance company connected the gas line to the stove, they cross threaded the line. Better yet (sarcasm), the gas wasn’t even on when they tested the line. Long story short, the next day I turned the gas on to the stove and the house filled with natural gas. Kaboom! God was looking out for my family that day, because our house should have blown up.

Bad things happen. When they do, it’s best to make sure you have the right coverage in place well before the fire, flood or house explosion happens. If you need a referral to a property/casualty insurance professional, let me know.

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