Cheryle Finley: Money-saving tips from the simple saltine

The Great Depression taught us many things. My dad always told the story of going to the grocery store with his father and asking for a penny. He was told there wasn’t even one extra penny that week. And that was true most weeks.

One thing the Depression taught was how to make the most of what food there was in the pantry. Many times, simple foods were reinvented into different dishes simply by using one’s imagination.

One staple that made its way into many meals was the saltine cracker.

Who hasn’t heard about customers ordering a cup of hot water at the diner then mixing in ketchup and crackers and calling it tomato soup. Apparently saltines were often set on the counters so it was easy for patrons to fill up on these freebies. I suspect many crackers were stuffed into pockets before leaving.

Saltines were also used at home to create ingenious dishes. Take for example the mock apple pie. The crackers resemble stewed apples, so voila you have dessert.

While today we make Hello Dolly bars using graham crackers, the recipe originally called for saltines.

Fried crackers, or crackerflitters, are saltines soaked in water then fried in oil. Next comes a covering of maple syrup or sugar. These were a popular treat back in the day. Water soaked crackers don’t sound appetizing, but fried ones sound good.

Saltines were used to replace cereal for breakfast. Break up the crackers and pour on the milk and many considered it the day’s breakfast of champions. Another breakfast idea is coffee soup. Simply crush buttered saltines into hot sugared coffee for coffee soup. That’s a whole new look at breakfast.

Buttered saltines dipped in sweetened condensed milk or saltines baked with Worcestershire sauce and butter are ideas for the versatile cracker. Sounds like the saltine was a valuable commodity in many kitchens.

Other Depression-era savings ideas include putting a sprinkle of salt in cheap coffee to make it taste better. A home remedy that’s new to me is onion cough syrup. Apparently onion slices layered with regular sugar and left for six to eight hours produces a medical wonder to sooth scratchy throats and stuffy noses.

Good lessons about saving money and making do with what’s available comes from 12tomatoes.com.

Today’s recipes are all about saltine crackers. We know they make a great crust for baked entrees and are at home with a salad, but they are also used in many desserts. The first recipe calls for mini-saltines, but if you can’t find them, regular crackers will do. This recipe is from littledairyontheprairie.com. The fudge recipe is from pinchofyum.com and is surprisingly easy. What’s not to like about the peanut butter and chocolate combo? Something different comes in the form of the salad from slowcookergourmet.net. So easy and so good. Give it a try and I think you will be surprised. Have a wonderful week and happy eating.

Parmesan cheese crackers

1 (11-ounce) box mini saltine crackers

1/3 cup butter

2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

1 package dry ranch dressing mix

1 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary

Melt butter in large microwavable bowl, about 30 seconds. Add cheese, dressing mix and rosemary to butter; stir to combine. Add crackers and toss to coat. Microwave in 30-second increments for 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Spread on waxed paper to cool. Store in airtight container. Yields 20 servings.

10-minute peanut butter fudge

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup milk

3 tablespoons butter

30 saltine crackers, finely crushed in food processor or blender

1 teaspoon vanilla

11/4 cups peanut butter

11/2 cups chocolate chips

Sea salt

Place cracker crumbs in large mixing bowl with peanut butter. Combine sugar, milk and butter in saucepan over low heat. Bring to boil and boil for one minute. The mixture will look a little frothy. Remove from heat and immediately pour over crackers and peanut butter. Add vanilla and stir to combine until an even, soft dough forms. Press into 9-inch glass baking dish lined with parchment paper if desired. Cool at least one hour or until firm. Melt chips and drizzle over fudge then sprinkle with salt. Yields 12 servings.

Saltine cracker salad

4 ounces saltine crackers

1 cup chopped tomatoes

3 green onions, chopped including most of the green tops

2 hard-boiled eggs, finely chopped

1 cup mayonnaise, or more if needed

Pepper

Crumble crackers into coarse crumbs and place in bowl. Add tomatoes, onion and eggs. Mix in one cup mayonnaise and pepper to taste. Add more mayonnaise if needed. Chill one to two hours before serving. Yields 6 servings.

Address correspondence to Cheryle Finley, c/o The Joplin Globe, P.O. Box 7, Joplin, MO 64802.

Golotko: Tips for choosing the right financial planner

We all make hundreds of decisions every day, from what we wear, to where we eat lunch. Many of these decisions are simple and don’t have a lasting impact on our lives. Some decisions are more important, like deciding to buy a house.

A few decisions are so important we will feel the effects of them the rest of our lives. Choosing a financial adviser is one of those decisions: Having the right planner can be the difference between having a long, happy retirement and running out of money and leaving nothing to your children.

A good planner is more than just an expert on finances and taxes – the right planner should feel like a friend you can share your hopes, dreams and fears with. The job of “financial planner” is just as much about teaching and counseling as it is about investments, taxes and insurance.

The very first thing you need to do before you look for a financial planner is to educate yourself on how the financial-services business works. Just about anyone can call themselves a financial planner. Financial planners have varying qualifications, education and professional licenses. A potential adviser should be able to explain how their education, experience and professional credentials are relevant to your needs, and how they will help you make good financial decisions.

There is no single government agency that regulates financial planning, so it is important for you to understand the different kinds of business models financial advisers can use. Many advisers sell insurance products and loaded mutual funds to earn commissions, while a few are fee-only and do not accept commissions for selling products. Once you start interviewing potential advisers, be ready to ask tough questions.

Sometimes it will take tough questions to separate salesmen from the advisers. When it comes to interviewing an adviser, no question is off-limits.

• Ask the adviser what qualifies him or her to give financial advice.

• If you’re expecting tax advice, ask if the adviser is licensed to represent clients before the IRS.

• Ask what kinds of products the adviser might recommend.

• Most importantly, ask how the adviser is getting paid, and how the adviser’s firm gets paid.

Communication style is a critical part of the client-adviser relationship. No matter how qualified and experienced an advisor is, if you don’t understand the advice, and he or she doesn’t understand your hopes, dreams and fears, the relationship probably won’t work. Talking to the right adviser should feel like talking to a teacher who can take complicated things and explain them in a way you can understand.

Remember, it’s your money and your future. Choosing a financial planner could be one of the most important financial decisions you make. Take the time to educate yourself, ask questions and find a well-qualified adviser who speaks in language you can understand.

Peter C. Golotko is president and CEO of CPS Investment Advisors. Matthew A. Treskovich is the chief investment officer for CPS Investment Advisors and a CPA financial planner with the firm.

Financial Advisors Manage Clients’ Emotions, Not Their Money

By David Miller

When we see or hear the word “cyborg,” most of us envision the cold, red eye of Arnold Schwarzenegger staring at us through a movie screen. However, the idea of something half human and half machine may no longer be just a tale from a Hollywood movie.

Cyborgs are becoming a reality, albeit in ways somewhat different from the way they are portrayed in The Terminator.

In the financial services sector, the combined power of intelligent computers and humans is bringing in major disruptions that have not been seen in any industry before.

While the thought of robotic-humans is a bit far-fetched, the collaboration of super-computers with highly emotionally intelligent human beings is real and proving to be revolutionary. The future of finance is therefore in the power of computers and at the hands of emotionally intelligent financial advisors.

Thanks to artificial intelligence and deep learning, computer algorithms now can think and make better investment decisions than humans can. Just like the human brain, the super-intelligent computers are relying on artificial neural networks yielding neuro-evolution to interpret data, learn from it and make informed decisions. These machines are proving to be better than humans when it comes to investment functions that require high IQ – given their ability to analyze huge chunks of data and execute decisions within microseconds.

Today, intelligent computers are not only able to analyze big data to determine viable investments but they also can scan for tradable news and execute trades at supersonic speed. With the algorithms taking over the decision-making part of investing, the roles of financial advisors in wealth management are shifting from advisory services to client services.

After interviewing more than 100 millennials in the financial services space, the shift from advisory services to client services makes sense.  Most millennial financial advisors (unlike many of those in older generations) do not have an interest in both managing money (trading) and servicing the client (giving clients guidance on allocation weightings in relation to their goals and needs). This speaks to the evolvement in our industry in terms of complexity and the emotional intelligence of millennials. Millennials seem to better comprehend the core purpose of the financial advisor role, which is to manage client emotions, not their money.

According to a 2017 report by the CFA Institute, the disruptions happening in the financial sector are pushing investment advisors to a value-oriented, more ethical and socially responsible profession.

 

No Longer Trying To Beat The Market

 

Computer algorithms are taking over the financial advisory function of investing, meaning that investment advisors no longer have to focus on trying to beat the market. Instead, the focus is shifting to holistic customer services which include investment alignment.

Up until recently, investment alignment has been available only to private banking clients. But with robo-technology leveling the ground, financial advisors have no option but to offer these services if they are to remain competitive.

Investment alignment involves fostering teamwork among all the professionals involved in wealth management. These professionals include financial planners, accountants, insurers and attorneys. Financial advisors always have perceived investment integration as expensive and time-consuming. This is the reason advisors have been willing to offer it only to those who can afford premium prices.

The most exciting part, however, is the growing demand for financial advisors who can connect with clients at an intellectual, emotional and social level. Even when computer algorithms are taking over the decision-making part of investing, most clients need a human to listen to them and respond to their concerns. This explains why hybrid robo-advisors have been outperforming their counterparts that employ a purely robotic strategy. A study by MyPrivateBanking predicts that by 2025, hybrid robo-advisors will manage more than 10 percent of the total investable wealth.

In regard to human touch, a study by Accenture shows that financial services clients now prefer to be served by financial advisors who can provide personalized and empathic services.

The technological disruptions in the financial industry have made it possible for clients to switch service providers easily. As a result, wealth managers must invest in developing strong relationships if they are to remain competitive.

Going forward, financial advisors with a therapeutic approach to wealth management will be on a high demand.

According to Daniel Goleman, a psychologist and the author of Emotional Intelligence, the tenets of emotional intelligence include self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills.

Wealth managers need to be emotionally intelligent if they are to help their clients develop these skills. In investing, emotional intelligence helps investors understand how their emotions influence their investment decisions to create a disciplined investment approach.

David Miller is founder and CEO of PeachCap, a financial services firm that specializes in helping registered investment advisors and wealth management firms to offer white glove financial services to the mass affluent at low cost. David may be contacted at [email protected].

 

© Entire contents copyright 2018 by InsuranceNewsNet.com Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted without the expressed written consent from InsuranceNewsNet.com.

 

Why saving for something fun is good for your financial health

Financial experts tend to have firm ideas about the most important goals: you should save for retirement, pay off debt and build an emergency fund. Buying a pair of US$200 trainers or an ultra-high definition TV is probably not on that list.

But maybe saving for something you really, really want isn’t frivolous. It may be exactly what you need to get your financial life on track.

Researchers who have studied the role of savings in financial health say what’s important is the habit of putting aside money and having a plan for that cash. People who have a planned savings habit are four times more likely to be financially healthy than those who don’t, according to a report by the US non-profit the Center for Financial Services Innovation. That habit is more important than income, age or other demographic characteristics, the report found.

Saving even small amounts can help people avoid the high cost of being broke. A few hundred bucks saved may help bypass credit card debt and bank overdraft fees. It can help avoid eviction, or losing a job because the car broke down. Even a thin financial cushion can help people become more financially stable.

“That ability to be resilient in the face of ups and downs is a very important component of financial health,” says John Thompson, senior vice president and head of research consulting at the Center for Financial Services Innovation. “It also helps people avoid high-cost financial services when they face a short-term challenge.”

But saving a small amount, only to see it wiped out by an unexpected expense, is not satisfying. Saving up to buy something we want, on the other hand, can feel like a real win – and it’s the winning that matters to our brains. Each time we anticipate getting a reward, our brains are treated to a shot of dopamine, the chemical that makes us want to repeat a pleasurable experience.

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Read more:

How to budget for a surprise expense in the UAE

Bounced cheques in UAE: new rules ‘a progressive step for the justice system’

Seven in ten UAE residents unsure how to achieve their financial goals

20 tips to get your finances back on track in the UAE

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Recalling our small wins can also help us learn to persist when difficulties arise, rather than just giving up, says Michael Thomas, a financial counsellor in the United States.

Remembering the times we’ve achieved a money-focused goal helps counteract the “negative automatic thoughts and catastrophic thinking” that keeps people from seeing progress, says Mr Thomas, who has studied psychology and also co-hosts Nothing Funny About Money a public radio programme in Atlanta.

If people are not already in the habit of saving money, their goal doesn’t need to be lofty – and perhaps shouldn’t be. Being told to save $1 million for retirement or three months’ worth of expenses for emergencies could cause them to give up in despair.

“When I’m starting from zero, those seem like magical, fantastical, unattainable sums of money,” Mr Thompson says. “How would you begin is a daunting challenge.”

What may be worse is telling non-savers that they need to put aside money for retirement and emergencies and a host of other goals. Researchers at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management found people were much more likely to save money when presented with a single goal. When contemplating multiple goals, people considered the trade-offs and put off taking action, the researchers found.

Letting people set their own goals also may goose savings habits. WiseBanyan, a digital investing website, found the percentage of customers who set up automatic savings plans increased about 50 per cent after it allowed them to create their own milestones or goals, whether retirement, a trip around the world or a new wardrobe, says chief operating officer and co-founder Vicki Zhou.

“When you personalise it, the way you think about it changes,” Ms Zhou says.

That’s not to say people should save only for the fun stuff and ignore their long-term financial health. But the fun stuff can be a powerful motivator.

“The behaviour of savings is what we’re trying to encourage,” Mr Thompson says. “It’s not that we’re suggesting (saving for emergencies and retirement) isn’t important, but before that comes the behaviour.”

Liz Weston is a columnist at NerdWallet, a financial planner and author of Your Credit Score

Financial planners should work towards your goals, not theirs

Updated

January 17, 2018 17:37:47

Rainbow over boats moored at marina
Photo:

If one of your main retirement goals is a new boat, then your financial planner should help you achieve that. (Boombi, ABC Contribute)

The other day a friend of mine was telling me she and her husband had just bought a boat, and their financial planner was furious.

My friend is in a very senior role earning hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. Her husband is also in a senior role with a big income.

In a nutshell, they are not poor and can easily afford their new toy.

Buying that boat will have no impact on their standard of living in retirement, yet their financial planner is not happy.

It set me wondering why, and I think there are two reasons.

As the conversation with my friend progressed, I learned her financial planner charges her what’s known as an asset-based “fee”, which is a percentage of the money he manages on her behalf.

It’s a commission by any other name and the more money he manages, the more money he earns.

So, to announce that you’ve just spent the best part of a million dollars on a boat is saying to this financial planner that he will have a million dollars less to manage and will be getting paid less.

Ouch! Who wants a pay cut?

Fee for advice the only way to avoid conflicts

But the much bigger issue, as we have seen in all the financial planning scandals over the years, is that how financial planners get paid affects the advice they give.

If your salary depends on how much money you are managing, you will want that money pile to be as big as possible.

This is where the conflict between your interest and their interest emerges.

CPA advice tackles conflicts

CPA launches a conflict-free, fee-for-service financial planning arm, but it could have supported this standard universally.

For many people, the best advice a financial planner can give is to simply pay off their house.

As with the boat, though, there’s no incentive to give that advice if they are giving themselves a pay cut at the same time.

It’s why genuine fee for advice must be the way forward.

You want a financial adviser who only gets paid for his or her advice and nothing else.

It liberates advisers to focus on what’s best for you, rather than thinking, “if I say this or that, how will I get paid?”

If a financial planner is charging an asset-based fee you can’t be sure he or she is working for you and not themselves.

Advice to achieve goals, not maximise wealth

The second reason I think my friend’s financial planner is unhappy with the boat is that I don’t think he fully understands his role.

A financial planner is not there to solely maximise your wealth.

The role of a financial planner is to help people achieve their goals in life.

Your adviser should know your goals because it should be one of the first questions asked when you meet for the first time.

Which is why my friend’s decision to buy a new boat should have been no surprise. The planner should have known they already had a boat and at some stage would be replacing it.

Once goals are out on the table the job then is to devise a strategy to pay for them, and that’s where the planner earns his or her money.

For some people it may mean extracting every cent possible from their wealth generating ability. For others it won’t.

And, of course, a goal that’s at or near the top for all of us is to be happy.

My friend and her husband could have invested their million dollars in a share portfolio they don’t need and made lots more money.

They’re much happier with the boat.

Topics:

consumer-finance,

consumer-protection,

superannuation,

banking,

australia

First posted

January 17, 2018 06:00:00

Money sense for entrepreneurs – Don’t just manage your business but your money too!

Mihir Mehta

The words “entrepreneurship” and “easy” may have similar initial letter but rarely do these words go together. The journey of entrepreneurship is strenuous in every aspect including mental fatigue, persistence, fear of failure and financial well-being, among others. Regular interactions with entrepreneurs reveal that an essential aspect of the entrepreneurship journey is the financial well-being of the entrepreneur as it enables him/her to stay positive in the face of adversities.

Adept money management is an indispensable requirement for enterprising individuals and this may seem like a trying task initially but the benefits keep accruing as the promoter works hard to establish his/her business. In this article, I have covered some notable points that will help entrepreneurs establish and develop good money sense.

Save invest:


Yes, this is the most common money management dictum but in all fairness, this is the hardest for an entrepreneur to follow. More often than not, entrepreneurs miss out on simple money-saving options thereby, increasing their personal overheads. In normal course, these overheads do not become a problem for the entrepreneur but during lean periods, these overheads may burn a hole in the pocket and lead to lower savings for personal consumption.

While saving is the first step, it is not prudent to keep saving and keep the money idle in low return instruments. Basis the risk appetite and profile of the entrepreneur, it is important that the saved money is invested into low-risk, high yield instruments to create a better source of passive income. Considering that the entrepreneur is already in a high-risk territory with his/her venture, it is imperative to select instruments that can prove the risk-return profile.

Always be on the lookout for freelance opportunities

To be fair, this is easier said than done but an entrepreneur journey’s is so volatile that there may be some periods of moderate work and during these times, freelancing opportunities can help the entrepreneur create an income stream. That being said, an entrepreneur needs to be absolutely cautious with this idea before it becomes a big distraction that may pull away focus from the venture at hand. The thought is to be open to freelancing opportunities as this abets income streams provide for a good vent for mental fatigue, if any.

Take short-term subscriptions/retainers, always

As a new entrepreneur, there is a high chance for someone to get too excited and purchase products/services that may not be required for the venture. When the entrepreneur starts with a pool of capital, the tendency is to subscribe to products/services that may deem necessary but may not add a lot of value to the venture/promoter. The trick to avoid the purchase conundrum is to first go for a trial period. If the trial period is not enough to understand the utility of the product, then one should go for a shorter subscription period and test the product/service. It is tempting to go for annual subscriptions because they offer a reasonable discount on the same. However, it is prudent to go for a shorter subscription because it allows you to test the product thoroughly before you commit to a big overhead cost.

Find an advisor

Last but not the least, an entrepreneur should always find a mentor/advisor, who can help him/her in ensuring financial well-being. Considering that the promoter is busy working on making things right in the venture, financial well-being mostly gets the back seat. Additionally, it is difficult for an upcoming entrepreneur to focus on researching and tracking financial products for good money management. Therefore, it is prudent to get a good, qualified advisor on-board and allow for professional management of personal capital. Yes, it may come at some charge but if negotiated well, the same can turn out to be a boon in the long run.

An entrepreneur is always striving to create something that is a genuine need in the society and while it may be absolutely taxing, the fight is what keeps them going. That being said, healthy financial state enhances the mental agility of the promoter and allows him/her to work efficiently on the venture.

(The writer is Vice President at Ashika Capital and Founder at Fintuned)

Pins on Pinterest: Beat the chaos with a new bullet journal

While I am not at all artistic, not a doodler and not talented in beautiful lettering, I do love journaling and list making. So, naturally, I love the idea of bullet journaling. This new trend for quick, short, daily jotting down of ideas, doodles and lists is perfect for busy women who want to capture every day’s moments, but just simply don’t have the time for lengthy diary entries.

Always looking for ideas, I noticed there were many free printables ready to be printed off and added into either your existing journal binder or even glued into your planner. Here are a few great ideas — everything from writing prompts to get the creative juices flowing to coloring pages that incorporate goals for the year to daily and weekly planners. For more ideas, visit our Ultimate Organizing board on Pinterest.

Writing prompts

When working on a goal to write in your journal daily, it’s often difficult to come up with topics when your days has been just average and ordinary. While you might not want to regurgitate your daily chore list in your journal, there are some days when you need a little creative journaling inspiration. That’s where creative writing prompts come in handy.

When considering writing prompts, you could seek out different themes. For instance, if your bullet journal for 2018 is centered around gratitude, then seek out writing prompts that compel you to document your thoughts about how you are thankful. Be sure to have fun with your prompts, too. Add in ideas like “Favorite places to eat,” “Best movies I’ve seen,” ‘10 little-known facts about me,” “My dream vacation” or “My strengths.”

Yearly goals

If your New Year kicked off with a list of resolutions, take some time to incorporate those goals into your daily or weekly bullet journaling. If weight loss, exercise, developing a new talent, saving money or cutting out bad habits is part of your resolution plans this year, develop a tracker into your doodling or list making.

I’ve been tracking my weight loss for the last year and I’m hoping to ramp up my intake of protein every day. So I might jot down a new protein-rich recipe every day that I can reference when looking for something new. I can also track my water intake and exercise, too, in my journal. Doodling little water glasses, I can color in each glass I drink throughout the day. Or draw out a set of dumbbells for every workout.

Planner pages

Despite fully embracing the convenience and alerts provided by my iPhone’s calendar, I still love a hardcopy version of a planner. There’s something relaxing and fulfilling about filling in all those events into a physical calendar, writing down task lists, developing goals and just capturing thoughts, quotes and memories in a book.

Once upon a time, I used to invest a lot of money into fancy, detailed planners, complete with deluxe leather binders. I’ve recently loved the idea of downloading free printable versions of planners. Not only can I save money, but I can try out a variety of planner styles and options before I fully commit to one particular format. Find one you like, print out your pages and then find a cute binder, or dust off one of those old, fancy ones.

MDRT Study: Successful Financial Planning Contingent on Personal …

Personal connections deepen trust
Most Americans (87 percent) have at least some trust in financial professionals and 53 percent have a moderate amount or great deal of trust. When asked what would make an advisor more trustworthy to them, more than half (56 percent) of consumers cite communication on a personal level. Others look at professional credentials, like years of work experience (54 percent) and membership in industry associations (35 percent).

A financial professional’s gender and age are generally less important. The majority (82 percent) have no gender preference if they were to hire a financial professional, and only 1 in 5 Americans (19 percent) would prefer an older financial professional.

For some, a dedication to social responsibility and contributions to local communities is important. About one in four millennials (ages 18-34; 26 percent) are more inclined to trust professionals who volunteer and are involved at the local level, more so than those age 45 and above (14 percent).

“Consumers should seek advisors who match their personal values and preferences for communication style, experience level and association involvement,” said James D. Pittman, CLU, CFP, MDRT President. “These factors will help develop a long-term professional and personal connection to set yourself up for success.”

Of those with an advisor, 63 percent have been working together for five years or more. Roughly one in four (26 percent) for five to nine years, 13 percent for 10-14 years and 24 percent for 15 years or more.

More than half plan with a purpose
Overall, about three in five Americans who currently work with a financial professional (62%) say they do so to set realistic financial goals for themselves. Additionally, 56 percent work with a professional to set up a comprehensive plan and steps to achieve personal financial goals. The study revealed 77 percent of those currently working with a professional are confident in their finances as a result of working with a financial professional.

For millennials who work with a financial professional, the aim is to set realistic financial goals (70 percent) and set realistic personal savings goals, like saving for homes, cars or vacations (64 percent). Additionally, roughly half of millennials work with a financial professional in hopes of developing an all-inclusive plan to reach their goals (52 percent) and to better understand complicated financial matters (50 percent).

For a high-resolution infographic that explores the worth of paying for financial service professionals, please contact Mary Pattara at mpattara@gscommunications.com.  

Survey Methodology:
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of MDRT from August 17-21, 2017 among 2,065 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, among whom 754 currently work with a financial advisor, 263 are millennials (18-34) who don’t work with a financial professional, and 106 are millennials (18-34) who currently work with a financial professional.. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact Tori Unger.

About MDRT
Founded in 1927, Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), The Premier Association of Financial Professionals®, is a global, independent association of more than 62,000 of the world’s leading life insurance and financial services professionals from more than 500 companies in 69 nations and territories. MDRT members demonstrate exceptional professional knowledge, strict ethical conduct and outstanding client service. MDRT membership is recognized internationally as the standard of excellence in the life insurance and financial services business. For more information, please visit mdrt.org and follow them on Twitter @MDRtweet.


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SOURCE Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT)

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7 Tips to Save More Money in 2018


A penny saved is a penny earned, and in this video, Entrepreneur Network partner Brian Tracy wants to give you seven tips that can help you live below your means. That way, you’ll be able to save more on a yearly basis. That could be the difference between making a great investment, having the capital to start that business you’ve always dreamed about or retiring early.

Start by deciding just how you want to track your budget. If you’re not mindful about how you’re spending your money, it’s likely that you’re being wasteful without even realizing.

Click play to learn more tips and start saving.

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Those Who Work With An Advisor Are More Confident In Their …

PARK RIDGE, Ill. (Jan. 16, 2018) — A new study commissioned by the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), conducted online by Harris Poll among over 2,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, including over 700 who currently work with a financial professional, examines what consumers think of financial professionals, what clients aim to achieve through financial planning and what they look for in a financial professional.

Of those who currently work with a financial professional, 77 percent say they are more confident in their financial future because they have the advice of a financial professional. The study found that 87 percent of Americans have at least some trust in financial professionals and 53 percent have a moderate amount or great deal of trust.

Thirty five percent of Americans said their trust would increase in a financial professional if they are a member of an industry association, showing an opportunity for advisors to highlight how their memberships benefit their clients. In addition, over half of Americans say their trust would increase if a financial professional communicated with them on a personal level (56 percent) or had several years of work experience (54 percent).

What Consumers Look for in a Financial Professional

When it comes to hiring a financial professional, the vast majority (82 percent) of Americans do not have a preference in regards to gender. Nearly one in five (19 percent) Americans would prefer their financial professional to be older than them if they were to work with one.

Among those who currently work with a financial professional, 62 percent say they hope to set realistic financial goals, 47 percent would like to better understand complicated financial matters and 42 percent want to assess their current financial health.

“The technical know-how with financial planning products is obviously key for professional success,” said James D. Pittman, CLU, CFP, MDRT President. “The results of this study show the greater importance of being trusted partners to our clients and providing the right guidance to help them feel more knowledgeable and confident.”

Millennials as the Next Big Market

The survey found that 62 percent of millennials (ages 18-34) who aren’t working with a financial professional said they would be more confident in their financial future if they did hire one. Also, 78 percent of millennials who work with a financial professional said they feel more confident in their financial future because they work with one. In addition, 26 percent of millennials noted community involvement and volunteering would increase their trust in a financial professional.

“Understanding millennials’ priorities is vital in order to foster positive relationships with our next generation of clientele,” added Pittman. “There is a major opportunity for advisors who can provide them with confidence about their financial future while emphasizing shared values, such as volunteerism.”