Setting Goals that Matter (And My Goals for 2020)


What's up Internet? My name is Ian Bloom. Welcome to Nerd Finance! I'm your resident financial life planner and huge nerd. In today's episode we are going to be talking a little bit about goal-setting and my firm's goals for 2020. I have a pretty big belief that if you don't put your goals out there you probably won't achieve them, so here we go.

Let's start off with a simple question: Why does goal-setting matter? Goal-setting matters because you should know whether you've achieved the thing that you want. Most people will know a little bit about what achieving their goal looks like, they may have visualized it in their head, but writing it down or putting it into some form of content memorializes that for you and then you can look back and go "Hahaha, that goal turned out way differently!" or you can say "Wow, I really did it!"

The next part of this topic is the elements of a good goal. A good goal has a description - some texture around it - it has a cost - what is it going to take to achieve that - and it has a time frame that you're going to achieve that in. That way you know exactly what achieving that goal looks like. A good goal also probably provokes some feelings or thoughts around the goal. "What would achieving the goal feel like for you?" and "How would that change your life?"

So my firm's goals for 2020 are fairly straightforward. The first is I would like to pick up two new clients a month in 2020. I've recognized that I can increase my capacity a little bit which is wonderful and thankfully clients are coming in, so I would like to continue to move the needle on that and grow pretty quickly in 2020. Two clients a month may not seem like a lot, but a new firm bringing on 24 clients a year - that's a lot of clients! So, I think that will be pretty comfortable if that's what I average. Now, I would like to accomplish that average so, 24 new clients by the end of next year. The cost of that goal is mostly going to be my time, effort, and energy.

My second goal for my firm in 2020 is going to be to put out the next version of A Gamer's Guide to Money. We put out level 1 last year and it was really fun to do it. I'm really happy to have that out in the world, but I want to write some follow-up books. Obviously, level 1 only got a little bit of the financial foundation laid for the people reading it, it was a short book, and I think that that made it more digestible. It also meant that there's a lot of stuff that I still want to talk about, so writing that next book and getting it published before August will be my goal again. Like last year I'd love to have the book and the audiobook ready on my firm's anniversary.

Finally for my third goal, I would love to see this YouTube channel hit 200 subscribers. So, if you're watching this video on Facebook, or on Twitter or something like that head on over to YouTube and just click the subscribe button. Even if you don't use YouTube very often getting to 100 subscribers will enable me to have a custom URL, which will mean more people will watch it. Also having more subscribers means your channel gets promoted to more people. Frankly, I think that CFP®s should have a little bit more presence in the online community. We really don't, so as a result I would love to see that happen by the end of next year. 200 subscribers isn't that many, but it will enable me to to feel like I've achieved something so that'll be nice.

In summary, goal-setting is important because it enables you to benchmark your achievements. It also means that the texture of a goal has a deadline, a cost, and a description to it. Finally, my firm's goals for next year are to pick up 2 new clients a month, publish the new book, and get to 200 YouTube subscribers to increase the CFPs online presence in the financial community. I hope you have a wonderful day and thank you so much for watching!

5 Things You Can Do Before 2020


What's up Internet? My name's Ian Bloom. Welcome to Nerd Finance! I'm your resident financial life planner and huge nerd. In today's video we're going to be talking about five things you can do financially before 2020 to set yourself up.

The first thing you can do financially before 2020 is start tracking your expenses. Making financial progress if you aren't aware of what you're spending is incredibly difficult. Saving more comes back to cash flow, investing comes back to cash flow, being able to go out and do the things that you want to do with your money that comes back to cash flow too.

The second thing you can do financially before 2020 is set up an automatic draft from your checking account to your savings account for any amount of money you can consistently save. Then, make it a goal to not touch that money. If you don't already have this sort of system set up where you're automatically saving money on a monthly basis, you may find that it's really really hard to save and this is a very, very easy step that you can do just to make sure that you're saving and paying yourself first.

The next three tips are things that you can do financially before 2020 that involve some sort of taxable impact or making use of a benefit that you may not know you have access to. If you are within the income thresholds, contributing to IRAs is a great thing to do before 2020 and that's step three. IRAs are a way to set aside money for yourself for the future with some tax benefits now. Traditional IRAs give you a tax cut today, but make you pay the taxes later on. Roth IRAs don't give you a tax break today, but don't make you pay the taxes on the investment gains in the future. So whichever one you choose is going to be based on what's right for you.

The fourth thing you could do financially to set yourself up for 2020 is contribute to an HSA if you have one. People use HSAs when they have them usually, as just a way to get a tax break on the money that they're going to spend on medical expenses. But, HSA dollars are actually carried over year to year and can be used for any future medical expenses that are qualifying. This can be very very useful later on in retirement and you get a tax break today, so if it works for you and you have an HSA go ahead and contribute to it.

Finally, the fifth thing that I think you can do before 2020 is just go ahead and increase your 401(k) or similar retirement plan contribution by 1%. You won't notice this on a paycheck to paycheck basis because it's going to be a small percentage of your earned income. But, if you were to do this every year you would be saving a significant amount of money, probably the maximum in no time. Just keep in mind that ratcheting it up that extra 1% won't hurt you in most cases financially, but will make a difference in the long run for future you.

Before we close, I want to make it clear that all of these tips are things that you should consider with a professional. So, whether that's me or some other financial advisor or planner out there, make sure that whatever tip you choose to follow is something that works well for you. This is financial education, not financial advice. Thanks so much, I hope you enjoyed watching this video! Like, comment, and subscribe obviously or check out my website for more information like my book. I hope you have a wonderful day! Thanks for watching!

Ticket to Ride and Opportunity Costs


What's up Internet? My name is Ian Bloom. Welcome to Nerd Finance! I'm your resident financial life planner and huge nerd!

In today's video we are going to be talking about one of my new favorite board games, Ticket to Ride. I know I'm a little behind the 8-ball on this game. This game's been out for a while and I've heard it talked about a lot, but I haven't really played it. I just knew it was good.

Picture this: Here I am on a vacation with my family that's going to last seven days. It's a whole week vacation over the Thanksgiving week. As we get there we realize that Wi-Fi is decent, enough to maybe watch a YouTube video or something, but doesn't really support extended sessions of gaming or video conferencing - anything that would entertain me and break me out of the family -aden environment. A week is a really good amount of time to spend with family, but you have to do some things that aren't only family during that week, right? So we went and picked up Ticket to Ride as an opportunity for my brother-in-law, Matt, and myself to entertain ourselves a little. It gave me an idea.

Ticket to Ride is all about Opportunity Costs. Opportunity Costs are something that we talk about a lot in finance. In Ticket to Ride, you are placing your trains over the course of the game. You have the same number of trains as the other player, you have the same random chance of drawing a card that you need to place that train, and your opponent has the same amount of information that you do. The main limiting factor in Ticket to Ride is that you have a certain number of actions you can take on a turn, and that is one. You can do one thing to advance your board state or hurt your opponent's board state. So, that is an opportunity cost. Everything you do, you could have done the other action.

In finance, it's the same way. You know how many dollars you are going to be receiving as earnings in a given year - with a few exceptions - bonuses, raises, yadda yadda yada. For the most part, you know exactly what you're going to be earning that year. You have those dollars with which to advance your future or increase your current happiness. So that is the opportunity cost you are always managing whenever you make a financial decision. The question is how are you going to manage that opportunity cost, right?

In financial life planning, we look at it as this: "Does this action align with my values and the life that I want to be living?" So, does this action either make it more likely that I'll have the things that I want and need in the future or does this action increase the way that I'm living my life to align it better with my current values today?

There's a little bit on opportunity costs and Ticket to Ride. If you're ever going to beat your opponent in Ticket to Ride you have to evaluate exactly which moves you need to make in order to get the most points for yourself while denying your opponent some points. I hope this video was interesting to you and provided some thought-provoking content. If you'd like more of it, obviously you can like, comment, and subscribe or you can find your way over to my website for some other financial tips. Finally, thank you so much for watching. Have a wonderful day!

More Articles ...