Ted Jenkin discusses financial advice with the Wall Street Journal

You Must Remember This…
The one sentence financial advisers wish their clients would remember…

Looking for financial advice you can actually remember? Something simple, pithy, but useful?
We asked some financial advisers to sum up in one sentence the most important advice they could give clients to help them better manage their financial lives.
Here’s what they said:



Co-CEO and Founder, oXYGen Financial Inc., Alpharetta, Ga.

THE LINE: “You must always pay yourself first.”

THE REASON: Mr. Jenkin says many people don’t realize they are the chief executive officer of their family finances. “As CEO of your family finances, you should always pay yourself first by putting 10% to 20% of your income toward your financial goals before you pay your expenses,” he says. If you can’t meet expenses after savings, it indicates you’re living beyond your means.

He also recommends putting at least one-third of every pay raise into savings. “If you follow the ‘pay yourself first’ rule, you will have a greater chance to reach your financial goals,” he says.


GEORGE PAPADOPOULOS Certified Financial Planner, Novi, Mich.

THE LINE: “Nobody knows.”

THE REASON: “There are so many ‘experts’ out there, investors will drive themselves insane if they listen to all of the opinions,” Mr. Papadopoulos says.

Since nobody knows what the future holds, it’s better for investors to ignore the “noise” and concentrate on what they can control, such as working with their adviser to rebalance their portfolio. “I tell clients to let me do the worrying,” he says.


JIM PRATT-HEANEY Partner, LLBH Private Wealth Management, Westport, Conn.

THE LINE: “Develop a detailed financial blueprint.”

THE REASON: Without a detailed financial blueprint, choosing the proper investments is impossible, Mr. Pratt-Heaney says.

“People often spend their time worrying about which stock or fund to buy and fail to develop a comprehensive plan detailing the proper asset allocation, which ultimately represents over 90% of where their return will come from,” he says.

Not having a blueprint will likely result in higher risk than an investor needs or realizes, scattered investments, duplication and high fees, he says.


JUNE WALBERT Certified Financial Planner,USAA Financial Planning Services, San Antonio

THE LINE: “Know how much you’re spending and on what.”

THE REASON: “Whether you make $50,000 or $500,000, it’s practically impossible to meet all of your financial goals without knowing that answer,” says Ms. Walbert.

By knowing where your money is going, you have the freedom to direct it appropriately, she says. This practice allows people to plan for the unexpected, such as illness, elder care, or a job loss. “By knowing how much you spend and on what, you will know instantly what to cut and how to reallocate funds to cover necessary expenses,” she says.

Ms. Dagher is a reporter for Dow Jones Newswires in New York. She can be reached at veronica.dagher@dowjones.com.

View the article  in the Wall Street Journal – click here

About the author  ⁄ Ted Jenkin @ Your Smart Money Moves

Ted Jenkin @ Your Smart Money Moves

Ted Jenkin has spent the past 23 years giving personal financial advice to thousands of people across the United States. After graduating from Boston College in 1991, Ted spent more than 16 years working for American Express Financial Advisors/Ameriprise Financial. He was one of the youngest people in the history of the company to reach both Field Vice President and Group Vice President level. He managed more than 800 financial advisors throughout 8 states in his last position with the company.In 2008, Ted founded oXYGen Financial to help revolutionize the financial services industry by creating a new company that focused on serving the X and Y Generation. oXYGen Financial now has more than 2,200 clients throughout 25 states across the country many coming from social media techniques. Ted has been featured in over 30 magazines and newspapers including the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, and The Huffington Post. He was on the cover of Registered Rep magazine and featured in the ‘what will financial planning look like in 2023’ article done by Financial Planning Magazine. He has six advanced designations from the College for Financial Planning (CFP®, CRPC®, CRPS®, AWMA®, AAMS®, CMFC®) and is an on air radio personality.


  • December 13, 2010

    I have always have trouble with “pay yourself 10% 5o 20%” type goals. It’s great in theory, but what if you’ve just started to get your act together financially but your income is barely more than your expenses? If you can’t realistically cut your expensese in the short term and you pay yourself first then you’re either going to have to immediately raid your savings or go into debt to meet your expenses. Either will lead to failure and frustration. As a result, if you’re just getting started then I recommend saving what you can – even if it’s just a little – and then gradually building the amount you save until you can build up to whatever overall percentage is your goal.

  • Ted Jenkin - oXYGen Financial
    December 14, 2010

    This can happen from time to time especially in today’s economy in which case I agree to save just a little and then as income increases add a 1/3 of every pay raise you get. However, we still have a lot of people in the country who live beyond their means and aren’t willing to cut back on their expenses which forces their savings rate down to almost nothing. Those are the people who need to begin with savings first and then adjust their lifestyle.

    Ted Jenkin