Jean-Robert “J.R.” Latortue, is a financial company founder of an investment management firm providing domestic and international clients with objective advice in a wrap fee advisory setting in lieu of commissions. J.R. earned his Bachelor degree at Temple University and is currently enrolled as a graduate student at the Harvard University Extension School; he is expected to earn a Master’s degree in Business Management from the Harvard School of Business in 2015. He is now looking to share his knowledge of finance with you and help you become more financially independent.
The world of finance and investing can be intimidating and crowded with jargon that leaves the Average Joe uninformed, confused or downright intimidated. This type of confusion often results in inactivity when it comes to their own personal finances which can be even more detrimental. One of the simplest ways in which you can grab your financial future by the reins and begin controlling your destiny is by learning to save and invest and later investing in your own backyard. In other words, sometimes choosing the right type of investments whether it be stocks, bonds, or other investments can be as simple as sticking to what you know. For now let’s start with a few basics. Remember to always first consult with your financial advisor to ensure sure that your financial decisions are in line with your risk profile and your time horizon. Now remember the saying that scared money don’t make money (financial experts like to coin the phrase risk vs reward ratio, so you always want to consult with a professional and understand that investing is not gambling contrary to what you may believe. Investing is both an art and a science.
First off Where Do I Start…Where’s your money going?
O.K. You just got paid you feeling nice, one of the very first things that you can do to grab your financial life by the reins, is to record where is your money being spent. This is the very first and very important step. Tracking where your money is spent is crucial but also knowing the specific brands that you routinely purchase becomes a tremendous source of information as well as we begin to transform ourselves into investors.
For now let’s just focus on tracking your money. There are a few great budget and personal finance reporting websites that allow you to track your finances. These sites breakdown your expenditures per month automatically. Many of these websites are free but you want to pay particular close attention to the websites that use the highest security standards.
Mint.com is a great site that I personally use and it is very easy to navigate. It provides great reporting metrics. The site breaks down how much you spend on utilities, food, and just personal purchases. Mint.com will also remind you when there is unusual spending, and will give you the heads up when you are overextending your finances. I would also recommend Budgetracker.com this particular website even allows you to track upcoming expenses to help you plan ahead. Another website is Buxfer.com which is great because it allows you to track money that is owed to you or that you owe to your friends. The internet can be a very powerful tool and not just used to watch twerk videos or silly animals; these sites can cut some of the leg work out of the daily finance tracking but you have to be committed.