Quarter Buck

The Intersection of Self Improvement and Wealth Improvement

In this weeks edition of Monday Morning Quarter-Buck, financial planner Kerrie Beene, CFP® (our resident self-help “junky”) dives into her favorite topic! She shares the top 10 books, podcasts, and YouTube videos and her current favorite self-help tip.

By: Kerrie Beene, CFP®

September is designated as Self Improvement Month. Most of us want to “improve” and become better people.  Someone once coined the phrase, “there is always room to improve” and it has stuck around for decades. I firmly believe this.  Each day I think we should all wake up and say, “How can I be better than I was yesterday?” 

However, thinking about improving can be overwhelming. Especially given all the areas in life there are to improve.  My suggestion is to look at the 8 areas of life and just pick the one you need the most work on at this time.  

8 Areas of Life

  • Personal/Spiritual Development

  • Physical Environment

  • Finances and Wealth

  • Friends and Family

  • Career/Business

  • Fun, Recreation, and Entertainment

  • Health and Fitness

  • Love Life

Once you decide which area you need the most work on, your options to educate and improve yourself are limitless.  As a self help junkie, I use every form of consumption I am aware to absorb the information. You can read books, listen to content, attend seminars/webinars, etc.  

The self improvement industry in the United States continues to grow each year.  According to marketresearch.com, the self improvement industry was worth $10 billion in 2016 and continues to grow each year.  Below, I will list some of the easiest ways to increase your knowledge about how to “improve” yourself.

Reading - There are multiple books available for any area you would like.  Amazon has a list that updates hourly based on the top sales. Currently (August/September 2019) these are the top 10 books in the self improvement category.

  1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

  2. Unlimited Memory - Kevin Horsley

  3. Tribe of Mentors - Timothy Ferris

  4. Find your Passion: 25 Questions you must ask yourself - Henri Junttila

  5. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone - Lori Gottlieb

  6. Showing up For Life - Bill Gates, Sr.

  7. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck - Mark Manson

  8. The Traveler’s Gift: 7 Decisions that Determine Personal Success - Andy Andrews

  9. Empath: A Complete Guide for Developing Your Gift and Finding Your Sense of Self

  10. Atomic Habits - James Clear

Listening - If you don’t like to read, consider listening to a book.  Audible.com has the section listed as “self development.” There are over 52,000 titles available and here are the current top 10.

  1. Lightly: How to Live a Simple, Serene & Stress-Free Life - Francine Jay

  2. Can’t Hurt Me: Master your Mind and Defy the Odds - David Goggins

  3. Unf*ck Yourself: How to Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Life - Gary John Bishop

  4. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

  5. Girl, Stop Apologizing - Rachel Hollis (one of our favorites on the team)

  6.  Atomic Habits - James Clear

  7. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck - Mark Manson

  8. Dare to Lead - Brene Brown (One of Amy’s Favorites)

  9. How to Win Friends and Influence People - Dale Carnegie

  10. Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as Your Life Depended On It - Chris Voss

Podcasts - this form of medium is a little newer to the market compared to reading and listening to books, but I believe it is here to stay.  Google listed it as best motivational podcasts and here are the Top 10

  1. The School of Greatness with Lewis Howes

  2. The Gary Vee Audio Experience

  3. The Tim Ferris Show

  4. Hidden Brain

  5. Art of Charm

  6. The Dave Ramsey Show

  7. Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations

  8. The Minimalists Podcast

  9. This is Your Life

  10. TED Talks Daily

YouTube - According to gedground.com, these are the most popular YouTube channels for Self Development

  1. TED

  2. Actualized.org

  3. Evan Carmichael

  4. Lewis Howes

  5. GaryVee

  6. Goalcast

  7. Neil Patel

  8. Be Inspired

These lists are a great start to those of us who are always looking to improve.  There are other options, like seminars, however these are the forms available at your fingertips daily.  

I have read and listened to most of the items listed above.  However, one thing I have noticed is that as I age and life gets busier, it is a little harder to improve in multiple areas of life at a fast pace and it can be overwhelming to think we need to improve in all areas of our lives.  My suggestion comes from one of the books listed above, Atomic Habits, focus on getting 1% better each day. Often when we look to improve, we set the goal so big that we lose motivation and feel overwhelmed. So focus on just getting 1% better.  For example, if your goal is to start exercising, just start walking everyday and create the habit instead of planning to run a marathon next month. Create the habit, then work on small improvements. If your goal is to read more, don’t buy the thickest book you can find and try to read it in a few days.  Grab a book and just set a goal to read 15-20 minutes before bedtime. “Be the Tortoise, Not the Hare.” Don’t forget, if you would like to improve your finances, that is our passion at Rooted Planning Group and we are here to help!

Good Luck with your Goals and Happy Self-Improvement Month

Building a Plan to Relax, not React

Building a Plan to Relax, not React

Relaxation, the word sounds so happy and peaceful.  I recently saw that is was Relaxation Day on August 15th, and the thought of a day set aside for relaxation sounded great. Quiet, a good book, a comfy armchair, sunshine in a hammock, a massage, whatever your variety of relaxation the thought is sure to bring a smile to your face. I am a huge proponent of taking down time to recharge, but sometimes if you are dealing with stress it can be almost possible to relax. 

Fraud Protection and Simplifying Your Life

Fraud Protection and Simplifying Your Life

Did you know that this week is both fraud protection and simplify your life week? I don’t know about you, but I feel like this is a contradiction of terms. It seems that in order to protect myself from fraud, I have to create very complex passwords, wary of whom my information is going to, and often increasing the complexity of my life. In this weeks edition of Monday Morning Quarter-Buck, Financial Planner Becky Eason (aka Partridge) discusses how marry these two concepts.

Gorgeous Grandma Day

In this week’s edition of Monday Morning Quarter-Buck, we honor our #GorgeousGrandmas. I remember talking to my grandma when I was a little girl - she had so much wisdom and a wealth of knowledge! We hope you enjoy this edition and we’d love to hear your #GorgeousGrandma stories!

By: Kim Anderson, CPA
Fargo, North Dakota

July 23, 2019 is National Gorgeous Grandma Day, so let the world know how gorgeous your Grandma truly is by posting pictures of you two having a blast. Be sure to tag the photo with #GorgeousGrandma.

My gorgeous Grandma was born in 1910 in Lone Rock, Iowa and passed away in 2006. She lost my grandpa in 1977 which means she spent the next 29 years as a widow. Her Social Security checks were around $400 per month so she didn’t have much in the way of liquid assets, though she did own a house, 360 acres of land, and some farm machinery. She would occasionally receive phone calls from people she thought were up to no good, but she knew enough to hang up the phone before they could speak more than two words. Because of her sound mind and ability to hear well up until she moved into a nursing home, she kept a skeptical mind when strangers called or came to visit.  To the best of my knowledge, no stranger was ever able to exploit or otherwise take advantage of her. She was the best Grandma anyone could ask for (and she was really smart too)!

For some of us, our #GorgeousGrandma family members are not so fortunate. The U.S. Department of Justice has an “Elder Justice Initiative” page which gives information on Senior Scam Alerts and provides an Elder Abuse Resource Roadmap. There is also a section listing ways that we can get involved to help our #Gorgeous Grandma from becoming a victim. The National Council on Aging (www.ncoa.org) has a list of the Top 10 Financial Scams Targeting Seniors that is worth reading and  www.SeniorLiving.org has an abundance of information on the topic of Elder Fraud & Abuse.

We’d like to think that our Grandma is “smart enough” not to fall for any scam but if you have a Grandma like mine who is thoughtful and kind, it’s hard to say “NO”. A favorite scam of scammers is when someone calls your Grandma and tells them he/she is their grandchild, is stranded far away from home, and could Grandma please wire money so the “grandchild” can get home. How can thoughtful and kind Grandma say “no” to such a desperate request? When I was working as a Bank Examiner, an employee at a bank we visited stopped the financial exploitation of an elderly woman by noticing the unusual activity in her bank account then talking to the woman’s son about what may be going on.

It’s important that each of us do our part to protect our #GorgeousGrandma, but because scammers, fraudsters, and close relatives (yes, even they can take advantage of your Grandma) are always coming up with new and innovative ways of financial exploitation, we need the help of law enforcement. On June 13, 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the creation of the Transnational Elder Fraud Strike Force. Prior to the announcement of the strike force, the DOJ conducted massive elder fraud sweeps in 2018 and 2019. The historic elder fraud sweeps revealed useful information about the types of foreign-based fraud schemes that disproportionately affect American seniors. As a consequence, the new strike force will focus on the following three types of elder fraud schemes:  mass-mailing fraud, tech-support fraud and telemarketing fraud.

If you are concerned about the cognitive ability of your #GorgeousGrandma (or your Handsome Grandpa), Rooted Planning Group offers a Whealthcare Financial Caretaking assessment wherein we can help you monitor the reasoning abilities of your living treasures so that they don’t end up a victim of scammers.  Contact us and we will help you determine if this assessment is right for you.

Since we are celebrating Gorgeous Grandma Day, help keep her safe and sound by learning the basics of elder fraud & financial exploitation and keep a keen eye out for red flags. And don’t forget – post that picture of you two having fun!