A: Avoid distractions, from both time and money. Focus on the task at hand, as well as the resources you have and the objectives you want to achieve.
B: Be open to new ideas. We live in a fast-paced world and technology is ever-changing. It helps with organization and helps to usher in a brave new world of investment opportunities.
C: Cash is king. Make sure to have a rainy-day fund. The rule of thumb is six months of expenses. This will save you time, overall, if you don’t have to get a second job to cover expenses in case of an emergency.
D: Don’t accept failure. There will be times when you fall short of your goals, but when that happens, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep going!
E: Enjoy life, with both your time and money. Set aside time every day to have fun. Set aside a “fun” fund to do what you enjoy. It will make the other time and money more enjoyable.
F: Find a good advisor. It’s hard to go it alone, whether we’re talking about money, time or life in general. We all need a little advice occasionally. Find someone you can trust to point you in the right direction, or at least to bounce ideas off.
G: Get started. Everyone procrastinates, but you must start sometime, and there’s no time like the present!
H: Have a plan. The best laid plans sometimes go awry, but you can always get them back on track. Without a plan, you have no starting point, no goal and no way of tracking your progress.
I: Invest both time and money in educating yourself to find out what you don’t already know. It takes work to manage these things. Invest in yourself.
J: Jump in. There’s no right time to start on a project like this one. Sure, you can make a New Year’s resolution to do so, but more than likely, you’ll just break it like the ones to exercise more or lose weight. So, just do it.
K: Kindle good relationships. You don’t have to do everything yourself. We weren’t meant to walk alone. Let someone help.
L: Listen. Take advice. It helps with both managing time and money. Just like you can’t do everything yourself, you can’t know everything either. Get good advice and listen to it.
M: Make good choices. We’ve all made bad decisions, but we should choose to learn from them and go on to make good choices.
N: Negotiate. We know we’re supposed to do this at a car dealership, but why not do so with our time and other monetary decisions? Time is just as precious, if not more so, than money. So, let’s act like it.
O: Operate under the assumption that your time is a precious commodity and you can’t waste it. You’ll manage it much more wisely.
P: Put in the work and reap the rewards. If you manage your time and money wisely, you’ll have more of both and can enjoy the fruit of your labor.
Q: Quality. It’s not so much about quantity as it is quality. We’re all given the same 24 hours in a day, but it’s how we spend those hours that make a difference.
R: Realize that there are multiple ways to achieve the same results. Are you doing things the same old way and getting the same old result? It may be time to rethink things. Is your portfolio lagging? It may be time for a fresh look. Take a step back and look at life from a new perspective.
S: Seize the day. There’s no time like the present to put your plan in action and begin doing things differently. Eliminate time wasters from your day now. Eliminate money wasters from your habits now. Ask for a review of your portfolio now. There’s no time like the present to start!
T: Test the waters. Start small. Try new techniques and, if they don’t work, try something else. But, if you don’t try, you’ll never succeed.
U: Understand the pitfalls. With new investments, there are always certain risks, but risk generally brings rewards. Make sure you understand the risk associated with the investment. That doesn’t mean it isn’t a valid investment or appropriate for your portfolio. In fact, a riskier investment, by itself, could lower the overall risk of a portfolio due to the way it interacts with the rest of the portfolio. Talk to your advisor for a better understanding.
V: Value your time and money, but not above the most important things in your life. Remember what and who are most important.
W: Work smarter, not harder. Use the tools at your disposal - your advisors, technology, etc. - to make life easier. That’s what they are there for.
X: (e)Xpect results, not miracles. You’re only human. Rome wasn’t built in a day. But if you set goals and really work toward them, then you should be able to expect to achieve them.
Y: You are the master of your own destiny. Don’t expect or blame anyone else for your results. You should work at managing time and money yourself and, ultimately, you are responsible for the end result.
Z: Zeal. It takes a certain amount of zeal, as with anything you really want to achieve to be successful. So, have at it! Expect to be successful. Expect results. Expect to do well. Achieve those results.
Old North State Trust, LLC (ONST) periodically produces publications as a service to clients and friends. The information contained in these publications is intended to provide general information about issues related to trust, investment and estate related topics. Readers should be aware that the facts may vary depending upon individual circumstances. The information contained in these publications is intended solely for informational purposes, is proprietary to ONST and is not guaranteed to be accurate, complete or timely.
Susan Willett is the director of trust services and oversees all aspects of trust administration for Old North State Trust, LLC. Old North State Trust, a North Carolina chartered trust company, provides: asset management services; income, estate and trust tax consulting; retirement planning and administration; and trustee and estate services to both individuals and businesses. Old North State Trust professionals have many years of experience and for over a decade have assisted clients in identifying and reaching their financial goals. For more information, visit www.oldnorthstatetrust.com or call 910-399-5470.
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