One Great Gift Idea For The College Football Playoff

With less than two weeks to go until Christmas, you might still be looking for a great stocking stuffer or gift especially for that avid college football fan.   This year will be the first National College Football Playoff with Alabama, Florida State, Oregon, and Ohio State, and there is sure to be much hoopla and hype coming up for New Year’s Day. Whether you use this as a holiday gift or just pick this up yourself for a New Year’s Day party, it is a must to check out FANPANS (www.fanpans.com). FANPANs came about after realizing no one was producing customized baking products for dedicated college football fans.   Started by Courtney Hoffman, she shared with me how the company got off to such great growth. “As a Tennessee grad, we started with a big power T cake.  We followed up with ice cube trays, then muffin pans, then the line was born.” FANPANS has some really cool products for the college football fan including: Muffin FANPAN- these won’t break your... ...

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I’m Going To Sell My Tech Firm For Millions. Now What?

It’s no secret that Atlanta’s technology start-up scene is booming.  I’ve had several young and very successful tech leaders ask me what they should do when they sell their company for millions – thus, this posting. I have to preface this blog by clearly stating I have never sold a company for millions.  However, in seeking feedback from numerous sources and speaking to different entrepreneurs, I’ve come up with this simple list to help you manage your new fortune the right way: Set Up Your Team – CPA, Attorney, Financial Planner and Most Importantly, Good Family Around You We’ve all heard the stories of people going broke after they hit it big and win the lottery.  Take the time before you ink the deal to get these important relationships in place with people you trust, as they are crucial for your future success.  And, it may be easier to identify the trustworthy partners before rather than after. Keep Your Circle of Friends Small Think about when pro athletes become millionaires overnight after walking... ...

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How To Avoid A Holiday Financial Hangover

Set yourself a budget. Most people overspend during the holidays because they don’t go in with a budget for each person they are going to buy presents. Typically, when you go on an impulse shopping spree, you often spend more than had originally planned for before the shopping excursion.  My recommendation is to set a clear budget with a fixed dollar amount per person, and then work yourself backwards.  Remember, it isn’t always the amount of gifts that somebody gets . . . it’s the thought of the gift that counts. If at all possible pay cash and stay away from the credit cards. Think about what you are going to give people who work for you, with you, or who help you. People such as the mail person, trash collectors, paper delivery people, etc. If you’ve got people that work in your house or do work for you in a regular basis, think about how much cash or what small gift you are going to get them. It’s best... ...

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Does Whole Foods Equal Your Whole Paycheck?

Most consumers today have a very difficult time holding themselves accountable for their discretionary spending. In fact, I have seen more families making $100,000 or even $250,000 who are still managing to live paycheck to paycheck. The largest area of spending waste that I have seen proliferate in the family budget by far are in the categories of grocery shopping and dining out. You would think from all of the television programs that we have today showing us all these cutting edge techniques to cooking that we would actually learn how to cook, but instead all we have learned is how to eat out more. It’s just easier, simpler, and quicker than making a game plan for weekly meals. At least that is what we think. In addition, what’s increased as well is the number of trips families make to the grocery stores with all of the options for gourmet takeout food. I remember going once per week on Sunday’s with my mother to do the weekly grocery shopping. Reviewing... ...

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Your Year End Naughty and Nice List

As we rapidly approach year end, making a list for Santa shouldn’t be the only list that you make.  It is also the time of the season to be making some end of the year smart money moves.  Here are my quick five to do’s and NOT to do’s before the end of the year. To Do’s Use up your FSA- You can only carry over $500 to 2015, so make sure you use the other money or you will lose it. Donate to charity- Especially your non-cash charitable contributions. Make sure to get a receipt for tax purposes. Match gains and losses- Look through what positions to sell to match losses against gains. Not every position will be a winner. Max out 401(k)- If you have a pay period left and are way behind in contributions, you might do 100% of the last paycheck. Make a holiday shopping list- Unless you want a holiday financial hangover, making a good list will ultimately save you money. NOT To Do’s Mutual... ...

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Four Financial Ideas On Your Work Anniversary

It’s another anniversary and a good time to reflect on where you are in your career both professionally and financially.   It couldn’t be a better time to also take stock of where your overall financial plan is currently, and whether or not you are on track to make work optional.  Here are four smart financial ideas to consider on this work anniversary. Rule of 1/3rds- Your work anniversary often signals a time where you could earn an additional pay raise.   Most individuals often don’t deploy the important rule of 1/3rds.   What this means is that at least 1/3rd of the raises (and bonuses) you get every year at work should be captured immediately with some form of forced savings.  This should be priority number one.   So, if you got a $10,000 pay raise, a 1/3rd is likely to go to taxes, a 1/3rd should go to some type of savings, and a 1/3rd should be spent on something you enjoy.   This will prevent you from lifestyle inflation. Time To Review... ...

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Don’t Attempt To Time The Market

As 2014 enters into its final month for all major indices, this should be a good time of the year to reflect on the most important major lesson about investing. The lesson is to be certain that you have the appropriate time frame to take the risk associated with investing in a particular asset class. Time and time again, most average investors get caught up in trying to figure out the best time to exit the markets or enter the markets. This is challenging enough for the experts who are engulfed in this data every hour of every working day let alone going at it as an individual investor. Check out these predictions from January 2014 from over 30 of the major chief investment strategists from various leading firms http://cnnmon.ie/1CvoVBd. On average, the peer group had the S&P 500 growing 6% and the year to date return of the S & P is almost double that number. They also had oil in the $105 to $110 a range with the... ...

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