8 SMART Financial Goals to Set in 2017

Happy New Year! With a new year, comes a chance to set new goals and resolutions to achieve.  The best way to achieve your desires is to set SMART goals.  SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.

The SMART methodology can be used for any goal that you wish to set.  For example, if your goal for 2017 is to lose more weight you could make that a SMART goal by saying the amount of weight you want to lose each month and what you will do to achieve the goal.

Today, we are going to focus on SMART financial goals.

8 SMART Financial Goals to Set in 2017

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Budgeting Your Way to Financial Freedom

Check out the latest guest post from Andy Hill over at Marriage, Kids and Money.  Make sure to read his bio at the end of the post!

When my wife Nicole and I started our marriage, we were $60,000 in debt and spending money like it was our full-time job.  I, for one, had no issue with going on vacations, driving cars and updating our home all on credit.

When we started thinking about having kids, Nicole and I knew it was time to break our addiction to debt.  We knew we needed a plan to master our money.

We heard that developing a monthly budget could help us in eliminating debt, saving more money and reaching our goals.  So, we gave it a go.  In was rocky at first, but soon it became a habit.

Fast forward six years later, we’re debt-free and our net worth has increased by $500,000.  In 12 months, we will own our home outright and we’ve never been happier.

The catalyst for this major change in our lives was creating and sticking to a monthly budget.

Here are the steps we took to our own future through budgeting.

Budgeting Your Way to Financial Freedom

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Up-to-date Obligations of Your Stockbroker

Stock trading is one of the most rewarding business endeavours. With the introduction of online trading platforms such as CMC Markets, there has been a tremendous increase in both investors and professionals involved in stockbroking. As a trader, you must do your part in increasing your chances of realizing profits while trying to evade any loss situations. This includes creating a diversified profile and conducting market research before going for a trade. However, success is often achieved when there is a strong combined effort between the trader and the stockbroking professional.

While regarded by many people as a prestigious career, stockbroking comes with heavy responsibilities. Nevertheless, a large number of traders don’t know what to expect from their brokers. Actually, you may be at the mercy of market forces most of the time—which will determine whether you make profits or losses—but it’s the duty of your stockbroker to ensure that every possible action is taken in order to ensure that you stay on the right path, steering clear of the murky waters. Towards this end, your stockbroker should be able to conduct market research, stay up-to-date with financial news as well have enough knowledge on the latest laws on taxation.

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How Facebook is Putting you at Risk for Identity Theft

Every month or so there is a new game on Facebook. From the mannequin challenge to Throwback Thursday, there is always something new. The newest Facebook trend could be putting you at risk for identity theft.

Identity theft is defined as a crime where a thief steals your personal information, such as your full name or social security number, to commit fraud.  The identity thief can use your information to fraudulently apply for credit, file taxes, or get medical services.  These acts can damage your credit status and take money and time to restore your good name.  Often times you don’t even realize that you are a victim of identity theft until it’s too late – i.e. you are attempting to qualify for a home or car.

How Facebook is Putting you at Risk for Identity Theft

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How to Profit During a Bull & Bear Market

Today’s post is a guest post by Andre Albritton from The Millennials Next Door.  Check out his bio at the end of the post.

Looking at the stock market can be quite confusing if you are like most people who have no experience in investing. You have hundreds of companies, tons of numbers all of the place and the lingo sounds like another language. With new president-elect Donald Trump, it has become more confusing and volatile. The market has had sectors plummet and other sectors go up. Granted the market has stabilized since Election Day but the fact is we may be transitioning into a bear market from a bull market. However, there are tactics for each market that can help you profit off of any situation.

The market is based on global economic concerns, national economic data, and corporate financial performance. America has been in a bull market for the past seven years. This shows that investors believe the economy is doing well and have an optimistic outlook that strong results will continue. Since investors are optimistic about the market condition they will typically buy stocks while planning to make a profit whether it be for the short or long term. A simple way to remember the bull market is when a bull attacks its horn will strike up.

On the other side, we have the bear market. During this market condition investors are much more cautious about buying stocks and anticipating losses. This, of course, moves investors to sell their stocks instead of holding on to them. Typically a two-month downturn of 20% or more in multiple broad indexes, such as Dow Jones Industrial Average or Standard & Poor’s 500 index, will create a bear market. A simple way to remember the bear market is when a bear attacks its claws strikes down.

How to Profit During a Bull and Bear Market

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3 Reasons you should Skip Black Friday Shopping

Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving and traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year.  It has been noted as the first day of traditional Christmas shopping due to plenty of deals that are advertised. As Black Friday has evolved, stores have begun opening on Thanksgiving day and many of the sales stretch into the following week.

Although 30% of annual retail sales occur between Black Friday and Christmas, that doesn’t mean that Black Friday shopping is for everyone.  While your friends and family are checking out the Black Friday deals, I encourage you to skip Black Friday shopping this year.  Here are 3 reasons you should skip Black Friday shopping:

3 Reasons you Should Skip Black Friday Shopping

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5 Half-Truths of Financial Fitness Exposed!

Check out the last guest post from a fellow personal finance writer, Mr. Compounding.  Stay tuned for his bio at the end of the post. 

A lot of us want to make the right decisions when it comes to our money.  At the end of the day, we all want to have more of it, right?

Where is gets tricky is when it’s actually time to take action.  There are a lot of universally accepted money principles that are downright false.  As a result, many people think they are better with money than they actually are because they follow these half-truths we all grew up hearing.

If you think you are doing the right things but can’t seem to gain any traction with your finances, or if you are like me and think of your financial success strictly in terms of net worth, here are some of the false and way too common assumptions you want to avoid.

5 Half-Truths of Financial Fitness Exposed!

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5 Actions to Take When You Receive a Raise

For most of us in corporate America, it is review season! Review season is a chance for you (and your manager) to reflect on your performance over the past year. If your review fairs well, you may receive a raise or a promotion.

A raise is one of the best feelings in the world.  It means that your hard work has been noticed and your paycheck will be a little (or a lot) larger.  Per Bloomberg, the best employees can expect a 5% raise and the average employees can expect a 3.1% raise.  Whether the raise is 1%, 5%, or more, you can still put that extra money to work.

Congrats if you received a raise and/or promotion this review period. Now, what do you do with all that extra cash? Check out these 5 actions to take when you receive a raise at work!

5 Actions to Take When you Receive a Raise

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How to Invest with $100 or less

According to a Forbes study about millennials and investing, 66% of millennials want to invest.  If so many millennials want to invest, what is stopping us?  Is it lack of knowledge?  Lack of finances?  Or even student loan burden?

“37% of millennials felt that their peers were ahead of them either in financial stability, current income, or saving for the future.”  I don’t want you to feel like your behind because it is so easy to get your feet wet in investing.  You don’t need to know everything about the stock market, you don’t need to be student loan free, and you don’t need a lot of money!

Check out these 6 companies that allow you to invest for $100 or less:

How to invest with $100 or less

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4 Major Costs That 1st Time Home Buyers Underestimate

Considering buying a new home? You are in luck. I bought my first home in April of this year. I would ask my friends, family, co-workers, and others about the home buying process. A lot of the answers that I was looking for – especially regarding the cost of home ownership were nowhere to be found.

In order to help you through your journey to homeownership, I decided to discuss the things you need to know if you are considering buying your first home in the next 3 years. To get started, check out these posts:

As you probably know, homeownership isn’t cheap.  Even if you have already taken the 5 steps I mentioned previously to prepare for your 1st home purchase and considered all the 10 costs homeownership, there is a good chance you are underestimating some of the costs.

Check out these 5 major costs that 1st time home buyers underestimate:

4 major costs that 1st time home buyers underestimate

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