YEARLY ARCHIVES: 2011

Craig Larsen Quoted By Kiplinger

As we approach the end of the year we have the opportunity to review our finances and build a plan achieve our goals.  Sometimes these goals include getting out of debt.  In this article in Kiplinger Magazine, Craig is quoted on how to approach paying down multiple credit cards.

Craig Larsen quoted by the Wall Street Journal

When clients face a big change in their employment situation near retirement it can have a big impact on their plans.  Developing a comprehensive financial plan when this happens is critical to ensuring a confident retirement.  Craig Larsen was quoted by Wall Street Journal on how he is helping clients through the bankruptcy of American Airlines.  You can read the story here.

Craig Larsen testifies before Congress regarding tax and regulatory uncertainty

On December 12th Craig Larsen testified before the House Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access.  His testimony focused on the impacts that tax and regulatory uncertainty are having on small businesses and job creation.  In his testimony Craig detailed how the uncertainty is hindering job growth.  He gives examples of how the actions of both Republicans and Democrats in Washington may be hurting instead of helping economic growth and job creation.  You can find a copy of his testimony here.

Craig Larsen (far left) Testifies Before Congress

Craig Larsen quoted by US News and World Report on “Go Anywhere Funds”

Go anywhere funds have become more popular since the the stock market drop in 2008.  The managers of these funds have the leeway to chose different asset classes in an attempt to deliver strong returns.  However, just like any form of management that tries to beat the market, this approach may not be able to deliver what it promises.  Craig is quoted in this article that discusses go anywhere funds.

Active Trading Rarely Adds Value – Craig Larsen Quoted by Bloomberg

Senator Thad Cochran reported more than 200 trades in his 2010 financial disclosure.  It is very unlikely that trading this heavily will result in better performance than investors could achieve by simply investing in a broadly diversified portfolio of low cost index mutual funds.  Craig Larsen is quoted by Bloomberg in this article.

Craig Larsen Travels to China with a Delegation of FInancial Planners From the US

Craig Larsen was one of forty-four financial planners from across the US and Canada who visited China for a Summit on Financial Planning. The summit took place in the cities of Beijing, Shanghai, and Guilin.

In this picture Craig is with Zhan Wen Li “Frank” who is the president of the Postal Savings Bank branch in Xiamen, China.  Xiamen is located  across the straight from Taiwan and is an important city.  Craig spent time with Frank learning about the Chinese banking system, and about how Frank helps his customers invest.  Frank was also very interested in learning about the US financial system.

Frank is wearing an honorary medal from Craig’s hometown, St. Charles, Illinois.

You can read an article Craig wrote for Advisor One about the “Sino – US Summit on Financial Planning”  at http://bit.ly/leTylV

Investors Need To Stay Disciplined Because Prevailing Market Sentiment Is Often Wrong

Using an illustrated timeline, David Booth chronicles US stock market performance in four periods since World War II. His review suggests prevailing market sentiment is often wrong and that investors must stay disciplined through all market environments to pursue their long-term goals.

Note: David Booth’s thoughts on the market aftershocks were recorded late last year before the earthquakes in New Zealand and Japan. In no way were they meant to refer to those tragic events. Having posted the day before the Japan earthquake, we have since renamed the video “The Current Market Aftershock” to clarify.

The Current Market Aftershock

Retirement plan options for small businesses

If you are a small business owner you have the opportunity to pick a retirement plan that is beneficial for both you and your employees. The type of plan that makes the most sense depends on the unique characteristics of your business. There isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” retirement plan.  Craig Larsen wrote this full page article for the Daily Herald that gives a good overview of what to consider when selecting a retirement plan.  Retirement plans for business article

New Years Resolution of working on your finances?

This method will take four minutes a day and will give you insight about your spending.

One of the first steps of building a solid financial plan is creating a budget. An important part of the process is determining how you currently spend your money. If you are like many people you probably have a vague idea, but not much more that that. Often we tend to spend much more than we remember on groceries, going out, and on shopping.

So, where do you start? You can use a computer program such as Quicken, but you also may want to try the old fashioned method of pencil and paper. Recording you expenses by hand will bring you more in touch with your spending, and will only take a few minutes a day.

Here is a budget worksheet for you to use. You can download the sheets to track your spending here.

First, look at the bottom of the budget sheets and on the line named budget write in your estimate of how much you think that you spend in each category. This will be for you to compare against after you have recorded your actual expenses.

  • Save your receipts from your purchases in a single place.
  • At the end of the day record your spending in the appropriate column, and cross off the day of the month on the bottom of the sheet.
  • Multiply the total by twelve to get an idea of what you annual expenses are.  Make sure to also include spending that takes place only periodically like vacations and gifts.

Here are some tips to make it as easy as possible:

  • Don’t worry about small purchases under a few dollars.
  • Record your spending every day, because if you delay it will take much longer to catch up, or you may not finish.
  • Save your receipts in the same place all of the time, otherwise they tend to get lost.