Vanguard Website Tutorial / A hands on view of the Vanguard website for those who invest there / Computers are available and you can bring your laptop as you follow along with maneuvering around the Vanguard website and its many features / Instructor: Mike Finley / Upper Iowa University in Waterloo on University Avenue / 6:00 - 7:30 / Wednesday, May 29th
2019 Financial Literacy Kickoff Event at UNI / The new semester provides a new start to one's financial future. At this event, $1,000, an iPad and a few other goodies will be given away with a FREE drawing / Presenter: Mike Finley / University of Northern Iowa Main Ballroom in Maucker Union / 6:00 - 7:30 / Tuesday, August 27th
Money Management Class #1 / Learn how to track your spending leading to a budget and create a financial plan designed around your short and long term goals for your future / Instructor: Mike Finley / UNI ScholarSpace Room / 6:00 - 7:30 / Tuesday, September 3rd
Retirement Seminar Class #1 / The Process of Retirement can be boiled down to some simple math and a few important questions. The Future starts NOW / Instructor: Mike Finley / Waterloo Library / 5:30 - 7:00 / Wednesday, September 4th
Investing Seminar Class #1 / Becoming the wise and efficient investor is achievable for those who can push aside the noise and deceptions. The Truth awaits! / Instructor: Mike Finley / UNI Library ScholarSpace Room / 6:00 - 7:30 / Thursday, September 5th
Money Management Class #2 / Dealing with debt means paying it off with a plan and/or not taking it on in the first place as you work on creating wealth / Instructor: Mike Finley / UNI Library ScholarSpace Room / 6:00 - 7:30 / Tuesday, September 10th
Retirement Seminar Class #2/ Learn how to put together a tax wise and cost efficient diversified portfolio as you prepare for and live in retirement / Instructor: Mike Finley / Waterloo Library / 5:30 - 7:00 / Wednesday, September 11th
Investing Seminar Class #2 / It's worth the time to understand the nuts and bolts behind the investment game prior to putting your money at risk / Instructor: Mike Finley / UNI Library ScholarSpace Room / 6:00 - 7:30 / Thursday, September 12th
Money Management Class #3 / Understanding and improving your credit report and credit score can save you THOUSANDS of dollars over a lifetime / Instructor: Mike Finley / UNI Library ScholarSpace Room / 6:00 - 7:30 / Tuesday, September 17th
Retirement Seminar Class #3 / Learn smart strategies on how to withdraw money from a portfolio in retirement as you consider taxes and asset allocations all along the way / Instructor: Mike Finley / Waterloo Library / 5:30 - 7:00 / Wednesday, September 18th
Investing Seminar Class #3 / Learn about the ins and out of asset allocation, index funds, modern portfolio theory, the efficient market hypothesis, and more / Instructor: Mike Finley / UNI Library ScholarSpace Room / 6:00 - 7:30 / Thursday, September 19th
Money Management Class #4 / Learn about the devastating effects of advertising and what it can do to your bottom line as you live a life of abundance / Instructor: Mike Finley / UNI ScholarSpace Room / 6:00 - 7:30 / Tuesday, September 24th
Retirement Seminar Class #4 / Taking the time to make wise choices with the fixed income portion of retirement can pay off with more money staying in the investment portfolio / Instructor: Mike Finley / Waterloo Library / 5:30 - 7:00 / Wednesday, September 25th
Investing Seminar Class #4 / The conversation continues on asset allocation as we go deeper into the issue and its importance over time to YOUR portfolio / Instructor: Mike Finley / UNI Library ScholarSpace Room / 6:00 - 7:30 / Thursday, September 26th
Money Management Class #5 / Understanding the world of insurance will help you identify what policies to own AND what policies not to own / Instructor: Mike Finley / UNI Library ScholarSpace Room / 6:00 - 7:30 / Tuesday, October 1st
Retirement Seminar Class #5 / Understanding the very large program called Social Security will help you make sound decisions as you create a strategy leading into retirement / Instructor: Mike Finley / Waterloo Library / 5:30 - 7:00 / Wednesday, October 2nd
Investing Seminar Class #5 / Learn about investing in Real Estate in a wise, cost effective way AND learn about how to reduce taxes as they relate to an investment portfolio / Instructor: Mike Finley / Location TBD / Time TBD / Thursday, October 3rd
Money Management Class #6 / Learn how to become the great saver and how it can change the course of your life in some pretty dramatic ways over time / Instructor: Mike Finley / UNI Library ScholarSpace Room / 6:00 - 7:30 / Tuesday, October 8th
Retirement Seminar Class #6 / Learn about the very big Medicare system as you consider your many options that will include Part A, B, C, D and a supplemental plan / Instructor: Mike Finley / Waterloo Library / 5:30 - 7:00 / Wednesday, October 9th
Investment Seminar Class #6 / Learn about the importance of harnessing the emotions and dealing with the crooks when it comes to your investments / Instructor: Mike Finley / UNI Library ScholarSpace Room / 6:00 - 7:30 / Thursday, October 10th
Money Management Class #7/ How to become the wise investor as you focus on index funds, compound interest, passive income and that great thing called financial freedom / Instructor: Mike Finley / UNI Library ScholarSpace Room / 6:00 - 7:30 / Tuesday, October 15th
Retirement Seminar Class #7/ How to handle Real Estate (your home, rental property and REITs) and how to reduce your taxes heading into retirement and beyond / Instructor: Mike Finley / Waterloo Library / 5:30 - 7:00 / Wednesday, October 16th
Investing Seminar Class #7 / How to select the right financial advisor who has the most knowledge AND who works solely for you above all others / Instructor: Mike Finley / UNI Library ScholarSpace Room / 6:00 - 7:30 / Thursday, October 17th
Money Management Class #8 / How to understand taxes and reduce them throughout a lifetime where money is earned, spent and saved along the way / Instructor: Mike Finley / UNI Library ScholarSpace Room / 6:00 - 7:30 / Tuesday, October 22nd
Retirement Seminar Class #8 / The final recap as we discuss the math and the path forward which is more than just financial, it is also psychological as you recreate YOU / Instructor: Mike Finley / Waterloo Library / 5:30 - 7:00 / Wednesday, October 23rd
Investing Seminar Class #8 / The final recap as we discuss all that we have covered over the last two months on the issue of becoming the wise and efficient investor / Instructor: Mike Finley / UNI Library ScholarSpace Room / 6:00 - 7:30 / Thursday, October 24th
Money Management Class #9 / Learn about the car buying and selling process so you end up "getting screwed less" based on you knowledge and research / Instructor: Mike Finley / UNI Library ScholarSpace Room / 6:00 - 7:30 / Tuesday, October 29th
Money Management Class #10 / Learn about the home buying and selling process as we review al that we have learned over the preceding two months / Instructor: Mike Finley / UNI Library ScholarSpace Room / 6:00 - 7:30 / Tuesday, November 5th
Change equals growth and growth is what we need to expand beyond where we are right now. This requires action and for some people, it's doable and for others, well, they find themselves "paralyzed" and unable to change. What causes this "paralysis?" It is fear most of the time and that emotion can cost you dearly over a lifetime. Fear of failure. Fear of looking "stupid." Fear of being embarrassed. It can even be fear of falling on your face while your detractors laugh at you. Yet, many people overcome their fears and take the needed action that is required for the growth of self. They stand up to those fears and push them aside. How can you be one of those people?
Take one small step forward today. Not tomorrow. Not one day. TODAY you change. TODAY you do something, no matter how small, that moves you closer to the person you want to be. Don't worry about the future, focus on the present moment. Push your fears aside and tell that person in the mirror that change is required to grow. Find people who will support you and distance yourself from those who will not. Surround yourself with the right people and the right environment as you move closer to your dreams (write them down into short and long-term goals, make them specific, and check them off as you achieve them). Change your world by changing YOU. YOU are the answer!C
Spring 2018 Schedule
[caption id="attachment_4128" align="alignnone" width="232"] The Spring 2018 Schedule[/caption]
At some point you have to come to terms with the real change agent in your life. It is not your parents. It is not your spouse. It is not your boss. It is not some politician or government entity. It is YOU. When you stop looking "out there" for someone to fix your problems, you can start looking within, and that is where the truth lies. It is that person in the mirror that will ultimately decide your fate. What you think will lead to what you do and that will ultimately tell us what direction your life takes going forward.
Mahatma Gandhi told us, "Be the change you wish to see in the world." He was right way back then and he is right today. Stop looking for someone else to change your life. YOU change your life. Once you make that shift within your mind, behaviors start to change, and habits are created. Instead of seeing problems, you find solutions. Instead of criticizing, you praise. You take full responsibility for your life because you understand who is in charge of it as you look in the mirror and say, "I AM the answer!"
External rewards will not and have not brought the kind of meaning and happiness that the average person seeks. External rewards? A trophy, a powerful position, a new car, fame, the newest bit of technology, and yes, even money, are not and never have been the solutions to reaching a high level of personal fulfillment. Those external rewards are fools gold for those who chase them. Spending a life seeking pleasure at every turn will ultimately lead to an empty existence. There is a solution to finding happiness and it can be achieved by those who are ready and willing to seek it out. Look within for the answers to life's deep questions.
The answer to a fulfilling and happy life will be found intrinsically based on who you become. Here I am talking about an internal reward based on what you do to make the world a better place. This leads to giving. Helping others and providing service to your fellow man, woman, child and four-legged friend can change your life and the lives of others. What can you do and how can you help? This will shine the light that will glow brightly within you, pushing aside those external rewards that quickly lose meaning. This state of being can be achieved by anyone who is prepared to seek the truth hidden in the noise we call life. Make that YOU.
How does a person create a great life for themselves and the people they love when they find themselves stuck in a life that does not appear to feed their soul? That is a big whopper of a question and the answers could be endless based on who you speak to on the subject. Here is where you should not go to find the answers: The media, entertainers, sports "heroes," and sometimes your close circle of friends and family. Here is what I have learned along my journey of life. Be yourself and that means not letting others "guide" you toward being something they want you to be. Living life trying to please others will never take you to the place you want to go. Find your passion. This will be much easier once you are being true to yourself.
Once you find your passion, identify ways to live it on a daily basis as best you can in and around the life you are currently living. Basically, find what you love and do more of it whenever possible and that might very well be separate from your everyday life. Who knows, you might just make a living doing what you love. The more time you spend doing what you love, the closer you will get to finding meaning in life. Happiness will follow as you walk your unique path in life becoming the best version of YOU. Here is the bottom line: Find your path, get on it, stay on it even when life is difficult, don't let others knock you off, if they do, get back on it, and finally, circle back and help others find their path. Enlightenment to follow!
Action is what defines the successful from those who end up not accomplishing their dreams. Without action, education is simply information. Education is a wonderful thing, but it if is not followed by action, there is minimal benefit to the individual. So, why do some people take action and others do not? Here are some reasons: fear of failure, fear of success, fear of looking stupid, fear of sticking out from the crowd and maybe the biggest one of all, fear of leaving the "safe" world that your thoughts and actions currently reside. It is easy to play it safe and seek safety in this world of uncertainty, but that does not translate into a life well lived. This leads to the next question. How does a person turn into someone who does take action?
You reach a point in your life when sitting still and doing nothing is not going to cut it any longer. Basically, you are at the end of your rope and the thought of change is greater than the thought of doing nothing. This can be different for every person, but the idea is pretty simple. You are ready to take that step into the unknown because it is more important to you than what is currently happening in your life. This means you are ready to take the call to adventure (see Joseph Campbell's description of the hero's journey for a more detailed look into this issue). Pick up that phone that is ringing, calling you to this "new you." Your future awaits as you die a metaphorical death so the new version of you can be created. Enlightenment to follow!
It is important to know when you have enough, otherwise you could very easily find yourself chasing after more and more and more in this world of endless gratification. This idea of enough is not a new one, but many people fail to fully grasp its importance. It was discussed in detail in the book Your Money or Your Life and my first book, Financial Happine$$. The question is, "How many people get it?" When I gaze out into the world, I see millions of people chasing illusions presented to them by people who have a great deal to gain by selling a product or service. Enough is about finding meaning in life that goes far beyond money and stuff!
Identifying when you have enough in your life allows you to stop chasing after more of what you don't need. It really is that simple. You can then pause and reconsider what exactly you want to do with your time, energy and yes, even your money. The man or woman who has enough is profoundly changed. They redirect their life toward other pursuits that brings meaning and fulfillment their way. They get it! Here is the good news: When the individual is "ready" they can stop chasing after more stuff that isn't really that important (and never was) and start identifying those things that are truly important. Financial Happine$$ to follow!