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Phillips Financial Strategies' Financial Management Blog covers a wide range of important topics for anyone making decisions about money or planning for a secure future. Whether you are responsible for personal or family finances, running a business, or leading a nonprofit agency, William and the team at PFS have your interests in mind.

Got questions about something you've read or something you'd like to know more about? Let us know!

 

Thursday, November 15, 2018

As an independent financial advisor, I talk to my clients about risk. Wealth building strategies - investing - come with risk which can be managed. Starting with your risk profile here are five strategies to manage investment risk.

 

Thursday, November 8, 2018

The expenses of holiday gift giving, entertainment, and home decoration can take possession of the household budget. For many, the extra spending is inevitable – and unaffordable. There is a better way.

 

Thursday, October 25, 2018

I see clients in mid-life who worry that they won’t have enough assets to support their retirement. And, to be honest, many of them don’t. Here are some strategies for jump-starting a personal planning process and building a secure future.

 

Thursday, October 18, 2018

I’m not rich. What good would a financial advisor be? Wealth management isn't just for those who are already wealthy. Everyone can benefit from having a financial plan that helps build financial security with savings and investments.

 

Thursday, October 11, 2018

When it comes to discussions of personal finance and planning, many find life insurance to be a very complicated topic. One of the confusing terms, life insurance beneficiary, is explained.

 

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Thursday, October 4, 2018

Life insurance is a risk management tool – a way to manage the risk of your untimely death with financial protection for your family and loved ones. Learn the differences between the two basic types of life insurance: term and permanent.

 

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Financial risk is inherent in the field of investment. Managed risk allows us to prepare for unpredictable events that can wreak havoc with our finances. My best investment advice includes these five strategies to manage risk.

 

Thursday, September 20, 2018

From my perspective as an independent financial advisor, I understand why so many potential investors are confused by the self-help advice available. Smart investing is not quick and easy. It requires making wise and informed decisions.

 

Thursday, September 6, 2018

There is a shift in thinking from the traditional concept of retirement to a more nuanced notion of "life stage." Arriving at your mid-60’s doesn’t need to signal the end of productive work or contribution.

 

Thursday, August 30, 2018

A question financial advisors like myself often hear: What is the purpose of estate management? It’s an important question because it involves both short and long-term financial planning. Here are key elements of a management strategy.

 

Thursday, August 23, 2018

I like to win and I test myself in races. I tend to stick with a winning strategy. In the world of finance, most people want to stick with a successful investment. But is that the best approach?

 

Thursday, August 16, 2018

As an independent financial advisor in DC, I talk to families about saving for college. Unfortunately, when faced with the reality of paying for it, some families are overwhelmed. That’s not necessary if you have a strategy.

 

Thursday, August 9, 2018

There is a difference between just saving money and building wealth. The size of that difference is determined by how you invest that money – your investment strategy.

 

Thursday, August 2, 2018

There is no shortage of conflicting advice about investing. From my perspective as an independent financial advisor, I know that smart investing is not quick and easy. It requires making wise and informed decisions.

 

Thursday, July 19, 2018

I talk with many young adults and have become familiar with a term frequently used – “adulting." There are lots of challenges that come with being on your own, or "adulting," particularly when it comes to managing your finances.

 

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Why not make this the year you declare your own independence—your financial independence? What may seem far-fetched can be achieved by discipline and planning. Here are five actions you can take to secure financial freedom.

 

Thursday, July 5, 2018

People with modest incomes may think their assets are too small to need a financial advisor. I encourage them to look beyond the size of a paycheck for the benefits of professional advice. It's what they want for their hard-earned money!

 

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Have you ever had one of those months when bad things happen? Emergencies tend to come in waves. The important thing is to have a financial life preserver, in the form of an easily accessible emergency cash fund.

 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Being healthy not only makes you feel good, it may also help you financially. Recent studies show how certain of your health habits might be affecting your bottom line, by increasing the costs of medical care.

 

Thursday, June 7, 2018

I learned early on that some of my most fulfilling accomplishments involved taking risks. As a financial advisor, I know about the risks inherent in investing and advise clients on strategies to manage that risk.

 

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Long-term investment and saving plans are what you need to support financial independence and a comfortable lifestyle in retirement. Personal financial planning is the most basic building block to achieve the assets required.

 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Saving and investing are both tools for achieving your financial goals. With each, you put your money aside, but there the similarity ends. Each tool has a specific but different purpose and benefit. You need both.

 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

A recent article published in FINRA’s Alert Investor laid out the problem of the financial literacy gap between men and women. It’s an important topic for me to share and so here are some highlights.

 

Thursday, May 10, 2018

May is the month of college graduations, and I talk with lots of young professionals who are starting out. My advice is always the same. I stress the long-term benefits of early saving and personal financial planning.

 

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Did you know that your credit history may be a factor in your job search? Employers can, with your permission, check your credit history as part of the job application process. Here’s what you can do to ensure that it won't be a problem.

 

Thursday, April 26, 2018

The right financial advisor will help you achieve your personal financial planning goals. I recommend you interview a few before you make a decision. Here are five questions that will help you find the advisor that is the best fit for you.

 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Financial independence and early retirement are possible, but it doesn't happen without a detailed plan and the discipline needed to follow that plan. You have to be smart about the way you invest and spend your money.

 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Times have changed. Today people are re-examining the benefits of buying a home instead of renting. If you in a position to purchase a home, but have not made a decision, here are some questions that may help you evaluate your situation.

 

Thursday, March 29, 2018

From my perspective as an independent financial advisor, I understand why so many potential investors are confused by the self-help advice available. Smart investing is not quick and easy. It requires making wise and informed decisions.

 

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Why is it that so many individuals think that they can't start investing until they have enough money saved? As an independent financial advisor, I remind clients that investing is the perfect tool for building savings and wealth.

 

Thursday, March 8, 2018

As a distance runner, I learned to set goals for my daily workouts - start small and think big - to develop the stamina to compete. As a financial advisor, I know how that same strategy works for building wealth.

 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

When you are starting out with a new career or relationship, it's a good idea to work with a financial advisor to create a long-term financial plan. A risk management plan - insurance - should be part of your overall financial strategy.

 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

“How much debt should I have?” It doesn’t matter how much income you earn – it’s always possible to have too much debt. If you're not sure if your debt is out of control, here are some signs that should trigger alarms.

 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

I am a real dog lover. It is not surprising that, as an independent financial advisor, I cast my fiscal spotlight on dog ownership. Because it can be expensive it's not for everyone.

 

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Like most people today I depend on apps. An increasing number of apps are available to help people manage their personal finances. Which leads to an interesting question: what should you look for in a personal finance app?

 

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Have you ever thought about how much time you spend with your financial records in anticipation of tax preparation? Here's a way to use that process to review and tune-up your household budget.

 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

For many, the new tax bill is confusing enough to turn accountants into superheroes. For millions, it means an altered financial and investment landscape with new opportunities and challenges in the years ahead. Here's an update.

 

Thursday, December 28, 2017

What better time than a fresh new year to review your financial situation and commit to a realistic money management plan. Here are five steps you can take to get started.

 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

With more than one million nonprofit organizations engaged in fundraising, how should a potential donor select the right nonprofit to support?

 

Thursday, November 23, 2017

How to interview Independent financial advisors to choose the right person to save you time and help you maintain the discipline required for long-term security and wealth building.

 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The expenses of holiday gift giving, entertainment, and home decoration can take possession of the household budget. For many, the extra spending is inevitable – and unaffordable. There is a better way.

 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

As an independent financial advisor in DC, I often meet with clients whose plan is focused on saving money – how much can they put aside. Regardless of how much money you make the actual key to building wealth lies in creating assets.

 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Young professionals – millennials – who want to begin an investment strategy should be aware of strategies to control the amount of financial risk inherent in investing.

 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Developing your personal financial plan doesn’t have to be difficult. Successful financial planning takes strategy, discipline, and basic money management skills. Here are seven ways to improve those skills:

 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

As an independent financial advisor in DC, I talk with people about how to build wealth. I tell them not to count on luck or timing but to pay attention to the quality of their asset allocation.

 

Thursday, August 31, 2017

There is a difference between just saving money and building wealth. The size of that difference is determined by how you invest that money – your investment strategy.

 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

For recent college grads who are facing challenging student loans, William A. Phillips explains how income-driven repayment plans can help monthly payments fit into budgets and financial planning.

 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Tips for improving the FICO number, ranging from 300-850, which determines your credit rating and can affect your ability to purchase a house or car, secure a credit card or other loan, or even get a job.

 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

How to choose a financial advisor who’ll make the time to focus on your concerns and is committed to helping you achieve your personal financial planning goals.

 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

April is Financial Literacy Month. Money management is important to financial health as well as general happiness and well-being. Five steps to help take charge of finances and overcome financial illiteracy.

 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

As an independent financial advisor, I recommend asset allocation as a strategy for long-term wealth building strategy whose merit lies in being secure enough to give your investments time to grow over a period of many years.

 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Tax season tends to bring out a lot of regrets - that we had saved more, invested more and budgeted more wisely during the past year. It's never too late to jump-start financial planning and saving.

 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

When I give investment advice to my clients I tell them that financial risk is inherent in the field of investment. We all want to see our money grow. Risk isn’t something to avoid, but there are strategies that can manage it.

 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

​I tell my clients that personal financial planning is the most basic building block for acquiring wealth. Too many individuals focus on their earning power and neglect the development of assets.

 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

If you are a young adult in your 20’s, retirement probably seems like a lifetime away but saving for retirement is an investment in your future that can be done while still maintaining a healthy work-play balance.

 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Setting tangible and realistic goals, following them, and tracking their progress is the key to success. Financial plans thrive on goals. The more time you have to reach a financial goal, the more investment risk you can afford to take.

 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

College can be expensive. At the same time, college is increasingly necessary to be successful in America’s competitive job market. College savings programs and federal loan repayment options can help.

 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

When I talk with clients about their financial profile, I encourage them to look beyond the size of their paycheck. I advise them to work out an investment plan that is compatible with their budget, current situation, and lifestyle goals.

 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Out on the highway, do you drive in the slow lane or the fast lane? Do you slow down or speed up when you see a yellow light ahead? Your attitude toward risk and risk-taking applies to your financial situation as well.

 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

When I talk with recent college graduates about financial planning, the issue of student loan repayment is a frequent topic. So many millennials feel they have to postpone investing in their future until those loans are repaid.

 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

It's January. What better time than now – the start of a new year – to review your financial situation and commit to a realistic money management plan. Here are five steps you can take to get started.

 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

It is never too late to save for retirement! This is true even if you are approaching that final 10-20 years of employment without a definite plan for retirement. Worried about adequate savings and potential retirement income? Instead of ge

 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

​Like many financial advisors, I get a fair number of questions in December related to taxes. The end of the year is one of the best times to review your finances, prepare your tax documents, and make any changes to your financial strategy.

 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

It’s the shopping time of year. The expenses of holiday gift giving, entertainment, and home decoration can take possession of the household budget. Extra spending doesn't have to be inevitable with a budget as a guide.

 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

We all have dreams about the perfect retirement, but it is so easy to let procrastination undermine the process of taking steps to achieve that dream. Here's how to get started.

 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Most small business owners want to offer their employees a health benefits program. The Affordable Care Act makes tax credits available to reduce the overall cost to small employers of group health insurance.

 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Today, small businesses owners recognize the competitive edge they get by offering a health benefits program to their employees. The Affordable Care Act offers many options to meet the needs and budgets of small businesses.

 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

No one wants to think of their own mortality. But there comes a time for everyone when assets are passed on to family members. Estate planning is an important part of protecting your family now and in the future, so start soon.

 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Health insurance brokers registered with DC Health Link, the exchange set up in DC to administer the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA), are available to assist individuals and small business owners in navigating the ACA system.

 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Life insurance is a risk management tool – a way to manage the risk of your untimely death with financial protection for your family and loved ones. Learn the differences between the two basic types of life insurance: term and permanent.

 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

If you are a young adult in your 20’s, retirement probably seems like a lifetime away, but saving for retirement is an investment in your future that can be done while still maintaining a healthy work-play balance.

 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Retirement income is not free from income taxes. Not planning ahead may mean that you end up paying more IRS taxes than you need to, and could make retirement a whole lot less comfortable.

 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Investing and saving are familiar tools for protecting yourself from financial risk. But for another kind of risk - accidents and the cost of a serious injury - you need the protection of a health insurance plan.

 

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Many couples lose track of their money management plan. With a little discipline and some very basic tools like a budget, you can gain control of your personal finances.

 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Most people think of life insurance as a way of receiving funds to help replace income when the primary earner passes away. This death benefit is one of the most prominent features of life insurance plans.

 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A beneficiary is anyone who is named in your life insurance policy to receive the death benefit of the insured when you pass away. The two main types of beneficiaries are primary and contingent.

 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Even if retirement planning isn’t the first thing on your mind, it IS important to get started as soon as possible. The worst scenario is to postpone the process until later and you find yourself short on resources when you need them.

 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

A budget is a financial plan for spending and managing expenses. It is a strategy that allows you to prepare for the unexpected. With a smart budget, you will be able to save and invest in your financial future.

 

Monday, February 15, 2016

For individuals who don't want to wait for the traditional retirement age to get started, early retirement is possible, as long as you are smart about the way you invest and spend your money.

 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Some people attribute investing success to choosing the hottest stocks or timing the market correctly. But, in reality, the success of your investment usually depends on the quality of your asset allocation.

 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

An effective wealth management system encompasses all aspects of a person’s wealth, from retail banking services, an investment portfolio, and estate planning, to legal advice, tax advice, and regular financial planning.

 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The internet is changing the workplace. Many people can now choose to telecommute and work from home, rather than head into the office. Luckily, the IRS offers a home office deduction which is often misunderstood.

 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The end of the year is one of the best times to review your finances, prepare your tax documents, and make any changes to your financial strategy.

 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Debt isn’t always bad. Having debt—and paying it off—is beneficial for your credit score. Having a high credit score will make it easier for you to buy a house, a car, or get a bank loan.

 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

When you decide that college is a likely path for your child, creating a college funding strategy will pay dividends down the road. Starting early allows interest to accumulate on your savings leading to a greater investment return.

 

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