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Tips for Managing my Money in the New Year

The 4 A’s of Your Personal Finances

As the saying goes, there is no better time than the present. When it comes to setting up a system for managing your personal finances, the beginning of a new year is the perfect time to begin. The easiest way to be successful with a cash management program is to develop a systematic and disciplined approach. Spending a few minutes each week to maintain your cash management program can help you to keep track of how you spend your money and pursue your financial goals.

Any good cash management system revolves around the four As – Accounting, Analysis, Allocation, and Adjustment.

Accounting 

Accounting involves gathering all your relevant financial information together and keeping it close at hand for future reference. Gathering all your financial information — such as income and expenses — and listing it systematically will give you a clear picture of your overall financial situation.

It’s important to note all of your expenses, subscriptions, memberships, and more. The small items add up quickly.

Analysis 

Next, you need to sit down and review your financial situation once you have accounted for all your income and expenses. You will almost invariably find yourself with either a shortfall or a surplus. Ideally, you should be spending less than you earn, if this isn’t the case, you will need to take a very close look at your spending habits. 

Allocation 

Now you must determine your financial commitments and priorities and distribute your income accordingly. One of the most important factors in allocation is to distinguish between your real needs and your wants. If you need to reduce your expenses, you may want to start out by cutting back on your discretionary spending. This can help to free up cash that can either be invested for the long term or used to pay off fixed debt.

Adjustment 

Even with a set budget, it’s important to be flexible and account for needed changes. You may want to review your budget monthly, quarterly or biannually to be sure it fits your lifestyle and needs, wants, and wishes Above all, be flexible. Any budget that is too rigid is likely to fail.

Using the four As is an excellent way to help you monitor your financial situation to ensure that you are on the right track to meet your financial goals.

Commonwealth Financial Network® or Blakely Financial does not provide legal or tax advice. You should consult a legal or tax professional regarding your individual situation.

Engage with the entire Blakely Financial team at WWW.BLAKELYFINANCIAL.COM  to see what other financial tips we can provide towards your financial well-being.

Blakely Financial, Inc. is an independent financial planning and investment management firm that provides clarity, insight, and guidance to help our clients attain their financial goals.

Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser.

Blakely Financial Investment Committee Updates

2022 Investment Committee Updates

As 2022 comes to a close, it is helpful to look back on the changes we have made to keep up with the market to help you continue on the path toward your financial goals. We hope this information gives you more insight into our investing philosophies and strategies, so you can be confident in your choice to work with Blakely Financial. 

What has the Investment Committee been doing to keep up with the volatile market?

Here at Blakely Financial, we base our decisions on the long-term future of your investments combined with your overall goals. Though it can be difficult to navigate a bear market, rational thinking and patience are the best ways to ensure the success of your investments over time. There were a number of changes this year but none of them would be considered radical adjustments or departures from our long-term investment objectives; the overall allocations of stocks to bonds remains largely the same and we don’t recommend any changes in that area. It’s very possible that the drawdown in the first half – and the ongoing choppiness today – is the market pricing in this economic weakness. By the time a recession arrives, if it ever does, the market may have already moved on.

How does the Investment Committee stay up-to-date on market trends?

We constantly monitor the economy, the markets, and your portfolios to assess how our chosen investments are performing, and decide if changes are necessary or prudent. These efforts constitute a significant part of our everyday work. We keep a close eye on even the slightest changes in trends so that you don’t have to! Though we do not use market timing as a strategy, we use all of the information we gather on a daily basis to inform any portfolio adjustments. 

What are some examples of portfolio adjustments? 

We recently executed a number of trades in early August, here is a high-level summary of those changes:

  • Decreased international developed exposure
  • Increased U.S. exposure in Large-Cap Growth and Value
  • Increased U.S. exposure in Mid-Cap Value
  • Marginally increased duration positioning
  • Adjusted credit exposure
  • Systematic Multi-Strategy fund replaced some fixed income.
  • Proportionately reduced all fixed-income funds; using alternative and multi-strategy funds as complement/substitute for fixed income.

 

Though nobody can predict for certain what 2023 has in store for us, here at Blakely Financial we are confident in the future of your investments, and the decisions we have made in the past year. 

 

Engage with the entire Blakely Financial team at WWW.BLAKELYFINANCIAL.COM  to see what other financial tips we can provide towards your financial well-being.

Blakely Financial, Inc. is an independent financial planning and investment management firm that provides clarity, insight, and guidance to help our clients attain their financial goals.

Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser.