Written by:  Marilee Falco, CFP®, ChFC

The dictionary’s definition of financial literacy refers to the set of skills and knowledge that allows an individual to make informed and effective decisions through their understanding of finances.

If you are one of our clients, you have already taken an important step in improving your financial literacy by working with a financial advisor, specifically a Certified Financial Planner™.  Other ways to improve your financial literacy include tracking your net worth, tracking your spending, reading about personal finance and focusing on what you can control.

There are so many things in life that are out of our control, but you can control how much you spend and how much you save.  Don’t waste your time and energy worrying about the things that are out of your control; rather, spend your time and energy taking positive steps to improve your financial literacy.

This is the perfect time of year to take stock of your personal finances.  We are all gathering documents to prepare 2018 tax returns, and the weather outside is frightful.  The days are short and we can’t be outside (except for you skiers!), so why not take the time to organize your financial life?

It’s also a great time of year to read a good book – consider one about personal finance.  One of my favorites is “Smart Women Finish Rich” by David Bach.  (And for you of the opposite sex, there is “Smart Couples Finish Rich.”)  The original was written in 1998 but David Bach published an updated version in September 2018.  The basic concepts presented are timeless.  When I was a Financial Advisor at Morgan Stanley the firm had the rights to present a seminar based on the book.  I presented the seminar early in my career, and it was always a big hit.  Women really loved the concepts presented in the seminar.

If that one doesn’t suit your fancy, there is a multitude of other personal finance books available on Amazon.  Knowledge is power; I encourage you to increase your financial literacy in 2019.  Other ways to learn more about personal finance include listening to podcasts and reading news articles.  The Wall Street Journal is a great source for financial news, but if you don’t want to pay for a subscription, there are numerous financial websites.  I like NAPFA’s FI Guide website and, of course, you can find more great articles from my colleagues on our blog.

Keep in mind that books and articles you may read are general in scope.  Please feel free to reach out to me or your Financial Strategist with any specific financial questions.  We love helping our clients achieve their financial goals and welcome your questions.