My Personal Financial Odyssey – Investments – Part 6

If you are successful in your career, chances are you will earn more and more income through the years.  And if you are also diligent in tracking your financial well-being, then it is likely you will begin to accumulate wealth in some fashion or another.  Indeed, one of the typical goals of both furthering one’s career and tracking one’s finances properly is to do just that – accumulate wealth.

If you do accumulate wealth through your own efforts or acquire it in some other legal manner, your financial tracking job just got far more complicated, at least if you desire to keep and grow that wealth.  You now have two new jobs that you didn’t have before.  The first job is deciding just where to put that wealth and the second is tracking and evaluating its performance once you do place it.

To many people this process may seem very easy, but I am here to tell you that it is often much more difficult than accumulating the wealth in the first place.  Continue reading

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Too Many Responsibilities/Desires/Choices? – Part 6

Now that you have done all this work on your life, it is time to take the final step in making it as wonderful as it can possibly be.  But first let’s review all the steps we’ve gone through to address the problem of having too many responsibilities and too many things we would like to do in the limited time available to each of us.

Step 1:  Discover values
Step 2:  Make sure those values are objective meaning they are legitimately improving your life as determined by a proper process of reason.
Step 3:  Again through a process of reason create a ‘Hierarchy of Values.’  Make sure the long-term values are at the top of your hierarchy.
Step 4:  Organize your life’s tasks so as to get the most out of the limited amount of time available to you.
Step 5:  Take action.  Once you have done all this thinking and planning it is imperative to put yourself and act to achieve your values.

If you have gone through this process seriously and legitimately put in the effort, then the final step of the process is to enjoy what you have accomplished.  And I would tell you this even if you fail to achieve your goal.

Sometimes in life things don’t work out regardless of how much effort or thought you put in.  You should still take pride in how you are living your life, and then regroup and start through the process again – this time with all of the experience you have gained.  It may take more time than you would like, but I guarantee you will eventually succeed.

But the most important thing in this entire process is to understand the need to value yourself and take legitimate pride in how you are living your life.

Too Many Responsibilities/Desires/Choices? – Part 4

In the previous installments of this series and in response to the innumerable choices life constantly throws at us, I have discussed how important it is to ‘Value’, how the values you try to achieve must be ‘Objective Values’ and finally the importance of establishing a ‘Hierarchy of Values’  if you are going to successfully navigate through all of the responsibilities, desires, and choices available.  You may think that with this we are done, but even if you have developed a perfectly wonderful hierarchy of values that fits you to a tee, you still are faced with the fact that there are only so many hours in the day.  In order to make your prioritized set of values work the best they can for your life, you must learn how to organize your time as efficiently as possible.

When I worked at Colorado Container, our CPA would constantly marvel at my clean desk.  Continue reading

Too Many Responsibilities/Desires/Choices? – Part 3

In Part 1 of this series, I discussed the idea of ‘Value.’  In Part 2, I expanded on that by showing why it is important to make sure the values you pursue are objective, meaning they are actually furthering your life.

Remember, in the beginning we were discussing the overwhelming number of responsibilities and desires that each of us must deal with in our lives.  The first step in dealing with all of this is to discover through reason what truly is valuable to your life, but knowing this does not in and of itself address the problem.  That knowledge does ensure that whatever you pursue will be good for your life and it eliminates many, many activities that would harm you.  However, there are still way too many legitimate choices available to be pursued.  In order to get a handle on all of this, you need a method for prioritizing the objective values in your life.  In other words, you need to create a ‘Hierarchy of Values.’ Continue reading

Too Many Responsibilities/Desires/Choices? – Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, I discussed the idea of ‘Value,’  and how it is the key to successfully dealing with the huge number of choices available in your life.  Here is the first step in making that happen.

Assuming a value is what you are acting to gain and/or keep, does this necessarily mean what you are valuing is actually good for you?  The answer to this question comes from a process of reason.  Before you decide something is truly a value, it is imperative to make sure that the value is objectively beneficial to your life.

Take a relatively trivial example.  Though I love pizza and cherry vanilla ice cream, having it every night would not be a value in my life.  Continue reading

Too Many Responsibilities/Desires/Choices?

Let me see if this sounds familiar.  You go to the dentist for a cleaning.  The hygienist goes through the cleaning and looks your teeth over.  At the end the dentist or hygienist tells you that you have several problems. You need to brush more and floss more, and you also need to get a special toothbrush.  Then your furnace goes out, so you call the HVAC man to come in.  He fixes the problem and tells you that you need to make sure you get your ducts cleaned annually, your furnace maintained annually and that you need to change the filter every month.  Then you take your car in for an oil change and the mechanic tells you that you need to make sure you come in every 3,000 miles instead of 5,000 miles, that you need to use a special gasoline additive and that you aren’t rotating your tires often enough.  I could go on and on…

And now some fool with a blog is telling you – Accounting, Who Needs It?  You do.

The number of things you need to take care of sometimes seems infinite and I haven’t even brought up making choices about the fun things in life like playing tennis, going to movies, taking trips and going out to dinner, etc.  Finally, consider all the major decisions you need to make, such as choice of career, finding a romantic partner, buying a house or making a large investment and it is easy to start feeling overwhelmed about the enormity of it all.

How does one choose from everything life has to offer and everything life requires of us?  How does one even find the time to make the choices?  My answer, which I plan to pursue in several posts, is wrapped up in one word: value. Continue reading