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About the author  ⁄ Van Pappas

Van Pappas

Van Pappas, CFP® - Van is a native of Atlanta. He holds his undergraduate degree in Finance with an emphasis in Real Estate. As a planner for 15 years, he earned his CFP designation from Kaplan University. He is currently the Chairman and founder of the Chamblee Chamber of Commerce and sits on the Downtown Development Authority for the City of Chamblee. In 2012, he noticed the value of helping the X-Y Generations and decided to merge his practice with oXYGen Financial. Background and qualification information is available at FINRA's BrokerCheck website.Securities offered through Kestra Investment Services, LLC (Kestra IS), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Kestra Advisory Services, LLC (Kestra AS), an affiliate of Kestra IS. oXYGen Financial is not affiliated with Kestra IS or Kestra AS. Kestra IS and Kestra AS do not provide tax or legal advice.

Going Digital With Your Filing Cabinet

When I was 12 years old, I found an old term paper in a box of my father’s things.  It was about creating a Cashless Society.  It intrigued me as a child on other things we could get rid of in our society.  My biggest desire was to get rid of paper.  I hated it.  So as a teenager and young adult, the idea of being paperless was exciting to me.  By the mid 90s scanner technology and cost had reached a point where I could start to realize my digital dream. I began scanning every bill, invoice, statement and tax return I had.  Fast forward 20 years and now my filing cabinet is 100% completely digital.  Here are 5 things you can do to achieve my dream of a Paperless Society. Ditch the receipts. Grocery Stores, Gas Stations, Fast Food joints.  Unless the receipt is something you can deduct on your tax return, then there is no reason to ...

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5 Ways Pokémon Go Can Help Your Business

In the 70’s we had the Pet Rock, in the 80’s it was Cabbage Patch Kids, the 90’s was Beanie Babies and today we have the latest craze, PokemonGO.  The difference with this fad is that it is attracting the attention of adults.  Some are the young adults that might have played with the original Pokémon games and cards from 20 years ago.  But it is even attracting the 40 somethings, and if Grandma hears enough about it, we might be seeing our senior citizens playing as they go on their daily walks. So for those that are still messing with their Pet Rocks and have not heard about PokemonGO, here is a simple explanation.  Using a phone App, the player wanders the real world hunting for animated Pokémon monsters.  Gathering Pokémon, builds your collection and makes you more powerful to battle other players in game Gyms. The game is causing people to walk in areas where they might not ...

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5 Steps to becoming a LinkedIn Leader

These days there are so many social media platforms it is overwhelming.  Each service caters to a specific social activity.  When it comes to doing business, LinkedIn stands out at the top of the pack.  If you already have a LinkedIn profile, you know it serves as a kind of online resume.  But if you just hope someone is looking at you, then you are missing out.  No matter what business you are in, using the site to form connections can be a great benefit.  So how do you increase engagement on the site to become a LinkedIn leader?  Try these steps. Request connections/send messages regularly. Spend at least 30 minutes each week searching for new connections to build your network.  Ask your current connections for introductions to relevant people in their networks.  Also look to join groups that will drive the type of connections you are looking for. Send ‘thank you’ messages when you make a new connection. Make ...

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The 15 Minute Plan

Have you seen those commercials for fitness programs that say all you have to do is spend 15 mins a day in their program and you will get lean and fit.  You know, they show a before and after picture of someone that has been through the program.  Now, I do not know if they work, but I do know if you stick with any kind of plan you will see some kind of results. It is no different with your finances.  You have to have a plan and stick to it.  Here are some steps to your 15 minute plan. The start of any plan revolves around cash flow management.   In the 17 years that I have been in financial planning, I have found that the most successful people are those that can create, manage and read an Income-Expense statement.  You start with a system for collecting your data.  You can use pen and paper; an Excel spreadsheet; a ...

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Can Bourbon Save Social Security

So I know what you are about to say, what does Bourbon have to do with Social Security.  Well nothing in regards to the distilled spirit itself.  But a possible excised tax could save the day.  Our Founding Fathers have used an excised tax on Spirits three times in American history to pay for wars.  Washington did it to pay for Revolutionary war debts.  The Great Whiskey Rebellion eventually forced a repeal.  But then Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln both used a Spirits Tax to pay for their respective wars; War of 1812 and the Civil War.  Today the Federal Government does not have tax on spirits, they leave that up to the state governments. Fast forward to today.  Social Security has been called the Third Rail of politics.  A subject that politicians do not want to tackle for fear of being ousted from their jobs.  So what are the three biggest problems with Social Security and possible solutions. The ...

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My Roth IRA turned Five

Why is age 5 so important for your Roth IRA.  Well, there is a little discussed rule around Roth IRAs.  We know that they grow tax free.  We know that we can take contributions out at any time without penalty.  We also, know that at age 59 ½ we can start taking from either our IRA or our Roth accounts. But what most people miss is the 5 year clock on Roths.  The Roth rules say that to take distributions tax-free and penalty-free, your Roth account has to have been open for at least 5 years.  That means when you turn 59 ½ your account also has to be at least 5 years old.  I’ve been asked by clients if the clock resets each time they make a contribution; or does each contribution have its own 5 year clock.  The answer is no.  The clock starts when the account is first opened. In 99% of cases, the clock is a ...

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Failure to Launch

The other day, I came across an old Matthew McConaughey movie about a young adult that just did not want to move out of his parent’s house because he had it so good.  It got me thinking about the financial impact living at home has on young adults.  The majority of twenty-somethings are really not interested in living with Mom and Dad long-term.  But a NerdWallet Study has found those who stay at home until age 25 can retire five years earlier. Today’s Millennials are coming out of school with more student loan debt than earlier generations and residential rent has been rising by double digits just over the last 3 years: these are just 2 of the factors that are pushing the average expected retirement age for today’s college graduates to age 75.  This does not leave a lot of golden years to live out those retirement dreams. There are some changes that can be made in your personal ...

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Should You Be Luke Skywalker or Yoda

Most people want to be the star of the show – the hero that saves the day.  Whether you are a business owner, have employees that you manage, or part of a team, it’s not hard to be the star of the show by crushing that work presentation or exceeding your sales goals.  In life you have these hero opportunities all the time, to be Luke Skywalker, the destroyer of the Death Star and the hero of the day. However, it is the heroes or those behind the heroes that are more influential? Maybe instead of being Luke, you are better off being Yoda.  You remember Yoda, right?  The small, green Jedi Master that mentored Luke.  Being a mentor to those around you can be far more rewarding than being the hero.  We all have a knowledge base that is beneficial to someone.   Spreading that knowledge will increase your sphere of influence and create greater life wealth. Take a moment ...

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Tryin To Make A Dollar Out of 15 Cents

No, this is not a post on the famous rap song, nor am I recommending that you follow any of the lyrics from the Tupac or Master P songs.   However, I am often asked the question: “How can I get more out of my paycheck?”  There are plenty of things you can do to stretch those dollars in your pocket. A few years ago there was a Wall Street Journal survey1 that asked “If you were to face a $2,000 unexpected expense in the next month, how would you get the funds you need?”  Only 24.9% of respondents reported being certainly able to come up with $2,000 in 30 days for an unanticipated repair or expense.  It begs the question you should ask if you have the emergency reserves for these expenses. Here are a few things you can do to prepare for that unexpected expense: Know the difference between wants and needs Pay off credit cards (you probably do ...

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The $40 Underwear

As a financial advisor, I tend to be frugal when spending money. I use coupons; buy groceries on sale; get shoes and clothes off the rack; and purchase underwear in a three pack at Walmart. (Maybe this is more than you want to know about me). So recently while in the car with my wife a commercial came on the radio for an Underwear clothing company. It intrigued me as they claimed that their underwear was made of such great quality and material that it felt like you were wearing nothing at all. A design guarantee that you will never get a wedgie and it will never ride up on you. They never stated how much the underwear cost, so the rest of the conversation with my wife was on how amazing that sounded, which then went into a 30min conversation on the history of the technological advancements of underwear. (Yes, we have been married a long time and that ...

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