I attend Queens financial networking and seminar meetings and always hear professionals speak about smart things to do with money. This week, though, let's talk about bad things you could do with your money and how to have smart alternatives.
Do not put money into company stock. Remember Enron? Your retirement is as solid as the company. If business fails, so could your retirement monies. Limit company stock to 10 percent. Speak to your financial adviser about overseas opportunities to invest 20 percent of your money.
If you do not have a financial advisor and are interviewing for one, do so. Do not hire an adviser without asking him or her about his or her game plan for you and why. Get referrals you can talk to. If an adviser is good, he or she will welcome this.
For investments to make sense, make sense of them. Ask for advice if something seems like a great opportunity, but do not be blinded by "what may be." It is sometimes better to move on. A solid place to put your money is large cap growth stocks.
Do not cash out your 401(k). If you cash out, you will get hit with penalties and income tax and lose future tax-free growth. Put as much as you can into your 401(k). Never buy into an investment you do not understand. Do not act smarter than you are or be afraid to ask, "How does this work?" or say, "I'm going to pass." Saving for your child's college education at the expense of funding your 401(k) is wrong. Your child can always take out loans, but we cannot borrow for our retirement.
So How's Business regarding not making bad financial decisions? Anybody can say what you should and should not do with your money and financial planning. Follow the above guidelines and take your time with the path you decide to travel. Our finances are a marathon, not a sprint.
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