January is National Hobby Month. This got me to thinking about my own hobbies and passions. One of my hobbies is photography. I absolutely love composing great photos and video that tell a compelling story. My love of this art form actually led me to adding it as a service in my business. Has that ever happened for you?
What are your passions? Have you ever monetized your hobby? With today's uncertain climate due to COVID-19, it's important to explore every avenue of income generation. Share your thoughts with us in the post and let us know!
Here are a few of the photos that I have taken over the years.
Stephen Wicks, Founder
By Walid Petiri, AAMS, RFC, (Guest Contributor)
With the stock market reaching new all-time highs while continuing its longest bull market stampede in history, many investors are compelled to ask: How frequently should I rebalance my 401(k), IRA, 529 education plan or non-retirement portfolio?
Though it’s a clear and specific question asked often in up, down or even flat markets, the answer is not nearly as clear cut. As illustrated in the Nobel Prize-winning work of University of Chicago finance professors Harry Markowitz and William Sharpe, asset allocation is the most important factor in determining the best long-term investment portfolio outcomes. Their study indicated that 91% of a portfolio’s positive performance was based on the right asset allocation.
One common investing adage is that you subtract your age from 100 to find the percentage of your portfolio that you should keep in stocks. If you're 40, for instance, you should keep 60% of your portfolio in stocks. If you're 70, you should keep 30% of your portfolio in stocks.
So today, with a more than 10-year climb in the U.S stock market specifically and with global equities as a whole having risen sharply since March of 2009, how and when do you rebalance.
According to thebalance.com, lifestyle can also influence allocation. A widow with $1 million to invest and no other source of income will want a significant portion of her wealth in fixed-income obligations that will generate a steady source of retirement income for the rest of her life. A young corporate employee just out of college, on the other hand, will want to build wealth; she can ignore market fluctuations as she doesn’t depend on her investments to live day to day.
First, though you should review your monthly statements for basic accuracy and your portfolio quarterly for performance measures and trends, asset allocation changes do not have one set rule. They blend science and art simultaneously.
Timing and luck can matter, too. Notes The Retirement Researcher, a portfolio that was rebalanced every five years and that happened to have been rebalanced right before 2008 would’ve fared better than one rebalanced in 2004. (The portfolio that hadn’t been rebalanced in a while likely would have had a higher level of equities, and hence a more vulnerable composition when the bottom fell out of the market.)
The Researcher recommends two approaches. The first is the time-based rebalancing, on a schedule. The other is the rebalancing band approach, which doesn’t rebalance until an asset class moves outside of pre-specified bands. Enter the science: Once you’ve established a good portfolio mix, as the portfolio asset classes move beyond 5% outside of target range – that is, you originally committed 40% to U.S stocks and the bull market now has your portfolio at 48% U.S. stocks – you need to take action.
The art of this practice is when to take action – and how frequently? Some would advise rebalancing every quarter, back to your target ranges, and reviewing the overall portfolio every year for asset allocation changes. Others would say semi-annually is when rebalancing should occur; still, others would say annually rebalance your portfolio to start the year anew and review your asset allocation yearly. Make changes only when the markets clearly shift.
The best answer for you is likely any or all of these. The most important part of the answer is that you consistently practice whichever rebalancing strategy you adopt. Whenever you rebalance there’s room for second-guessing, but discipline is your ally in the long term.
by Shaan Rais, Guest Contributor:
Close your eyes and picture a successful brand. It can be any brand that springs to mind. What
makes that brand unique? I really want you to think about this. Make a list of all the
characteristics that come to mind.
Now look at your list. What do you notice? I bet you can see immediately who might be attracted
to this brand. You know what type of people--single men, strong mothers, divorced parents,
teens--this brand appeals to. But do you know why it has this appeal?
Successful brands know how to tell a story that speaks volumes to their target audience. You
have a unique story too. Figure out how to tell your story and you’ll be unstoppable. But this is
easier said than done, so let’s get into the strategy and psychology behind turning your story
into a successful brand.
Figuring out why a company, an organization, a coach, a speaker, and/or a leader appeals to a
certain group of people can be challenging. But the answer is all in the strategy.
The key to success here is to tell your story in a way that moves people to action. As a
motivational speaker, when I step onto that stage, my goal is to get every member of that
audience to make a decision about me within the first 30 seconds. Love me or not, it doesn’t
matter initially. All I want is some kind of response.
Why? When an individual decides they love me right away, that makes them pay attention to
what I say next. When an individual decides they don’t love me, that also makes them pay
attention. We pay attention after we’ve made a decision because instinctively, we want to prove
Do you know what you don’t want as a speaker or a coach? You don’t want to get on stage and
have your audience feel “on the fence” or lukewarm about you because they’ll also prove
themselves right about that. And--you guessed it--they won’t buy from you.
Successful brands make this strategy work and ride it all the way to the bank.
Now that we understand the basic strategy behind using story to move your audience to make a decision, let’s dig a little deeper into the psychology here. People also respond to brands and individuals who stand comfortably in their authenticity and truth. Go back to the successful brand I asked you to picture at the beginning of this article. Did you write “authentic” on your list of characteristics? I’ll bet you did--or something equivalent to it.
There’s a good reason for this: almost everyone is hiding and creating complex marketing
campaigns around masking their own vulnerabilities. But this is the easiest way to get lost in the noise of social media. On the other hand, if you can leverage your own vulnerability, you can tap into power your closest competition only dreams about. Remember, it’s your vulnerability that makes you human and real people relate to real people.
So the key to building a successful brand and being a successful leader is self-awareness.
Everyone has a unique story to tell. By identifying your story and the particular strengths you
have to share with the world, you can leverage your past experiences to serve your clients.
How do you turn your story into a successful brand with the elements I’m talking about? It starts with these seven steps:
If you’re ready, I’ll show you exactly how I used these seven steps to grow #brandedlikealeader to over $425K in less than 90 days. The next time I ask you to picture a successful brand, I want it to be your own!
Michael's Margaritas is making a splash in Atlanta. We caught up with the entrepreneur on Sunday and he informed us that his business is on it's way to becoming a success.
We admire his drive and determination to build a thriving enterprise.
Learn more about his business on his Instagram page: www.Instagram.com/michael_margaritas
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