FIC Blog

We believe in – and live by – a philosophy of excellence.

Average is not good enough … Our goal at Family Investment Center is excellence. We find excellent investment products and supervise an excellent service package. We maintain a library of excellent research materials and financial planning resources. We also demand top safety and security for our clients.

We won’t settle for average. We continually seek top managers or securities and meld them into superior custom portfolios. Each palette of investments is carefully tailored to personal or family goals. We enlist excellent managers, research, resources, and effort for our clients. Don’t settle for average. You deserve excellence.

Please search our blog posts for answers to common investment questions, and we look forward to sharing our knowledge and experience with you first-hand.

Family Investment Center Team Talks About the Books That Inspire

Books are unique in their ability to inspire, inform and shape philosophies – all through the power of the written word. We’re entering a time of year where we can take a book to our porches and read in comfort. Consider these books for investment advice or just to get a good read for the pure enjoyment of it, each of which comes from a team member at Family Investment Center.

Dan Danford, CEO:

Nudge, by Richard Thayer

This Nobel Prize winner takes on the traditional notion that “more is better,” and turns it on its head. Thayer explains that most people choose better when they have fewer options. Ever witness a Starbucks first-timer labor over the menu? With a little guidance from a “professional,” they can be guided down the right path to something they will like. This is the same logic that can be used in guiding clients who need investment advice.

Fortunate Son, by John Fogerty

If you’re a rock and roll fan, this is a must-read. John Fogerty, the man behind Credence Clearwater Revival, has had a number of ups and a handful of downs. He chronicles them in this book. Fogerty also touches on what it means to live a creative life and how that approach can be used in things other than rock and roll.


Quiet, by Susan Cain

As much as 40% of us are introverts. While the extroverts are often the most rewarded for their outgoing and big personalities, the traits that make an introvert the way they are can also be found in successful people. Cain writes that churches are built for extroverts, as are sales and marketing models. However, introverted traits, such as a passion for reading, writing and understanding various philosophies, are responsible for the success of many people.

The End of Power, by Moises Naim

Naim explores how the 24/7 news and social media cycles influence the seats of traditional power. Power is diminished everywhere, including in politics, economics and social culture, by the new order of worldwide openness. There are no secrets anymore, which means the “knowledge leverage” as we knew it is gone. You can find data about anything, yet converting it to usable information and making it operational is where you will find value.

Richard C. Salmen, President:


The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, is the Key to High
Performance and Personal Renewal
, by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz

The central premise of the book is that energy, not time, is the fundamental currency of high performance. The challenge of great performance, as Schwartz and Loehr discuss in these chapters, is to manage your energy more effectively in all dimensions to achieve your goals. Four key energy management principles drive this process, and they lie at the heart of the change process and are critical for building the capacity to live a productive, fully engaged life.

Chris Steins, Investment Advisor:

 

The Total Money Makeover, by Dave Ramsey

Even young adults have read this book and used its contents to assist them in taking a healthy approach to managing money. Want to know how to lay the groundwork for a more advantageous financial lifestyle? This book can help you. Need to get out of debt? This book will offer ways to do that. Want to be better prepared for retirement? Dave Ramsey has some ideas for you.

 

Laura Holthaus, Investment Advisor and Chief Compliance Officer:

 

48 Days to the Work You Love: Preparing for the New Normal, by Dan Miller


Picking the right career can be intimidating to say the least. Dan Miller offers some insights along that subject line, but also talks about what work exactly is, how change can be challenging, finding your unique path and how the workplace continues to evolve.

 

What books are you reading this spring? At Family Investment Center, we’re no stranger to a good book, including those that address our industry and otherwise. We like to stay connected and reading is a great way to accomplish that. Need some ideas on investing? We have some book recommendations, but we can also schedule an appointment for you to come in and chat with us about your investment options.

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Financial Feud

“Family Feud is an American game show in which two families compete against each other in a contest to name the most popular responses to a survey question posed to 100 people,” according to Wikipedia.org.  Using a similar premise, we have created a game called “Financial Feud”.  This version can be a single-player or multiple-player game.

In our version of Financial Feud, you will be asked a financial question and provided several options for the answer.  From these options, you will choose what you think the top response was from a survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults.  Again, you will guess the response that the majority of the public answered, not necessarily the most correct response.  After all the questions have been asked, we will provide you with the correct responses.  You can also answer the survey questions yourself to see where you rate with the survey participants.

Now that we have explained the game, it’s time to play Financial Feud!  Start by having a pen and paper ready, and make two columns:  One for your guesses on the Financial Feud survey responses, and one for your own answers to the survey questions.

Question 1:  A survey of over 2,000 U.S. adults asked, “How would you grade your personal finance knowledge?”  What letter grade did most people choose?

  • A or B (above average)
  • C (average)
  • D or F (below average)

Question 2:  A survey of over 2,000 U.S. adults asked, “Do you use a budget?”  Which percentage of people answered “YES”?

  • 20%
  • 40%
  • 60%

Question 3:  A survey of over 2,000 U.S. adults asked, “Do you carry credit card debt from month to month?”  Which percentage of people answered “YES”?

  • 15%
  • 35%
  • 65%

Question 4:  A survey of over 2,000 U.S. adults asked, “Do you carry $2,500 or more in credit card debt from month to month?”  Which percentage of people answered “YES”?

  • 15%
  • 25%
  • 35%

Question 5:  A survey of over 2,000 U.S. adults asked, “Do you believe you have a sufficient amount in your emergency fund?”  Which percentage of people answered “YES”?

  • 45%
  • 65%
  • 85%

Question 6:  A survey of over 2,000 U.S. adults asked, “Do you believe you will have enough money during retirement?”  Which percentage of people answered “YES”?

  • 45%
  • 65%
  • 85%

Question 7:  A survey of over 2,000 U.S. adults asked, “Do you plan to spend less than you did last year?”  Which percentage of people answered “YES”?

  • 30%
  • 50%
  • 80%

Question 8:  A survey of over 2,000 U.S. adults asked, “Do you plan to save/invest the same amount this year as last year?”  Which percentage of people answered “YES”?

  • 30%
  • 50%
  • 80%

Question 9:  A survey of over 2,000 U.S. adults asked, “If you are having financial problems related to debt, where do you turn first?”  Who/what did most people choose?

  • The Internet
  • Friends and Family
  • Professional Services

Question 10:  A survey of over 2,000 U.S. adults asked, “Do you believe you could benefit from advice and answers to everyday financial questions from a professional?”  Which percentage of people answered “YES”?

  • 25%
  • 50%
  • 75%

 

Answers: 1) A or B   2) 40%   3) 35%   4) 15%   5) 85%   6) 85%   7) 30%   8) 50%   9) Friends and Family  10) 75%

 

Survey source: “The 2014 Consumer Financial Literacy Survey” as prepared by Harris Poll for The National Foundation for Credit Counseling

 

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Wealth Structuring: Get to Know This Basic (but Super Important) Term

Wealth structuring – it’s part of the engine behind efficient asset management, and can also help offer you some safeguards against privacy problems and protect the wealth of your heirs. Wealthy people work with professional advisors to understand the realities of wealth structuring and how it affects their current spending, their own future, and the future of their heirs.

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Portfolio Management: A Simple Diversification Example From Casino Night

Let’s say you enjoy some free time at a local casino -- visor, fanny-pack and all. If you had $200 to spend, would you put it all on one machine as soon as you walked in? Probably not, or it might be a very short evening. You’d likely be burying your sorrows in the chocolate fountain before you knew it.

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