An Index Card Reminds Us that Good Financial Planning is Possible

advice_to_alexMSo much of the world of finance and financial planning can seem so very complex, it is no wonder that may people felt relief when an index card with nine good financial habits  got some buzz earlier this year after University of Chicago social scientist Harold Pollack made good on his assertion in an interview that you could fit all the financial advice you need on an index card.

While Pollack’s index card does offer specific investment suggestions, as Star Tribune columnist Chris Farrell notes, “Personal finance is nothing more than a dozen or fewer common sense money habits.” Committing to saving on a regular basis and paying down debt in a timely manner are just two of these habits and Farrell sums up some of the others:

“Pay attention to fees. Save 20 percent of your money. Pay your credit card balance in full every month. Max out on your 401(k). Buy inexpensive, well diversified mutual funds…”

While some of this is easier said than done, people were excited about seeing good financial advice expressed so briefly because many do fear that it is too complicated. Rather than make an effort to manage their money, they give up before they really try because it seems impossible. Pollack’s interview and index card were reminders that it really can be done.

Another piece of advice from Pollack is “make financial advisor commit to a fiduciary standard.” This is something you do not have to request from a Fee-Only financial advisor because Fee-Only financial advisors subscribe to the highest fiduciary standards and are required by regulators to put the interests of their clients first.

As a member of the highly regarded Alliance of Cambridge Advisors (ACA), a national network of Fee-Only financial advisors, Clarity Financial Planning gives guidance grounded in a holistic approach to your financial future, looking at every aspect of your financial picture to keep track of your goals.

About the author

Claire Emory, MBA, CFA, CFP®

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