1. Review and refresh. Blue Monday gets its name for a reason. The holiday cheer has worn off, you’re back to work and your first post-holiday credit card statements have arrived. If you’ve blown your budget, don’t worry. The New Year is a fresh start and you can take this opportunity to assess your budget, revise your financial goals and create a plan to repay any debt. CheckFirst offers a wide variety of calculators, quizzes and worksheets that can help you evaluate and set your 2019 budget no matter where you’re starting.
2. Don’t let new goals overwhelm you. If you’re setting out with new investment goals in 2019, don’t let them consume you. It can be easy to get lost in the sea of investment options, unfamiliar language and complex mathematical equations by yourself. If you’re looking for a crash course in investing that’s taught in plain language and easy to digest, consider registering for an Investing 101 course offered in Calgary or Edmonton by Chinook Learning Services and Metro Continuing Education, respectively. If you prefer learning at home, our free online courses hosted by financial planning guru Kelley Keehn might be for you.
3. Find the right fit. The root cause of financial stress can often be linked to a lack of information. If you aren’t working with a financial advisor, consider working with one. A relationship with the right financial advisor can help make you a more informed investor who is comfortable with their investment decisions. Before you work with anyone new, always be sure to check their registration and ask key questions to make sure they are right for you. With few exceptions, securities industry professionals are required to be registered with the securities regulator in the jurisdiction where they conduct business. Registration helps protect investors because securities regulators will only register firms and individuals if they are properly qualified, helping you to rest easy.
4. Break up with bad relationships. Another big source of stress can stem from distrust in your investments or financial advisors. This year, once you’ve evaluated your finances and goals, don’t be afraid to end relationships that aren’t working for you. If an investment, financial partner or financial advisor isn’t providing what you need to feel comfortable and successful, don’t be afraid to speak up. Remember, they’re supposed to work for you.
5. Nothing is set in stone. While goals can help you clearly define where you want to be, the path to get there isn’t cut and dried. Don’t be afraid to pivot on your financial plan, or change direction throughout the course of 2019 as needed. Your finances should be arranged so as to help you achieve your goals (within reason). If something is bringing you undue stress, now is the time to change it!