An article by Jill Schlesinger, Business Analyst at CBS News got me thinking about what all of us could learn from this tragic collapse. She covers three particular points in her article; pensions, overly optimistic assumptions and municipal bonds. So what does that have to do with you? Let us look at each of these for a moment from a personal perspective.
Do you think the employees of Nortel or Enron thought there would be any issues with their company pension plans? I am sure they all thought they would be alright because weren't they working for big, financially stable organizations?
Are you dealing with overly optimistic assumptions when it comes to your investments? Detroit's pension fund managers had assumed a rate of return on their annual investments of 8 per cent. I do not know about you but I have not seen 8 per cent on any of my investments for a long time.
Municipalities across the board are struggling with declining interest rates and rising costs. Do you know what types of investments are held within your financial portfolio? Could you possibly have some of your money invested in municipal bonds?
After 25-plus years in the financial services industry, I have seen and heard stories of both financial success and failure. However, the one common thread I have seen is that the people who are successful know what is going on with their money and those who fail usually do not have a clue what is going on. Most people do not plan to fail they simply fail to plan. It is incumbent upon us to become financially well informed about our money and to take responsibility for it.
So, when was the last time you reviewed your financial situation to make sure you do not end up having to declare personal bankruptcy?
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