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Managing Your Career As An Asset

Is your career part of your net worth? Should you include it as an asset class in a diversified investment portfolio? While we consider careers as essential aspects of financial and professional success, few of us think of or manage them as financial assets.

Michael Haubrich, CFP, of Financial Service Group, Inc., in Racine, Wisconsin, encourages clients to think of careers this way. Some of the following ideas come from his new book, Career Asset Management.

If you consider your career an asset, then managing it means paying attention to the return you get from that asset. Here are a few things to consider in order to get the most value from a career.

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Can You Trust the Stock Market?

If you keep your life savings in certificates of deposit or a savings account at your local bank, that decision may be based on a common money script: “You can’t trust the stock market.” This belief about money can keep you from making the most of your retirement savings.

I was recently interviewed by Clark Palmer for a Bankrate article about money scripts. These are the largely unconscious beliefs about money that we all hold and that affect our behavior around money. Typically they are only partially true, but sometimes we follow them rigidly even in circumstances where they are not accurate. This usually doesn’t serve us well.

In describing the problems with adhering to rigid money scripts, Palmer made this statement: “For instance, distrusting the stock market would have made a lot of sense after the economy collapsed. Since the stock market has rebounded in the past few years, it no longer makes as much sense to distrust the stock market.”

This example actually replaces one money script: “You can’t trust the stock market,” with another: “You can’t trust the stock market in poor economic times, but you can trust it when the economy is doing well.”

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Bankrate Article Takes a Look at Money Scripts

A recent Bankrate article by Clark Palmer takes a look at some of the beliefs about money that can keep people stuck in financially ineffective behavior. Palmer refers to a 2012 study on money scripts conducted by Brad Klontz and Sonya L. Britt.

Rick is also quoted in the article, titled “3 money maxims that hurt your finances.” You can read it here.

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Plan to Protect Financial Resources From Yourself

After three decades as a financial planner, I’m seeing more and more clients reach, not just retirement, but their final years. An issue that becomes especially important at this stage of life is how to protect your financial resources from an unexpected threat—yourself.

One of my saddest professional experiences came several years ago when one of my long-time clients, a woman in her late 80′s with no family and few close friends, abruptly fired me.

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