Monetize Your Talents

By Michael Cadet

Working for a large institution may prove to be beneficial beyond the average Joe’s dream of playing for the Yankees but courage will propel you to explore the different ways you can monetize your gifts and talents.

First I would ask myself, what am I passion about? It could be writing, teaching, personal training, fashion, politics, sports etc. Passion is defined as a barely controllable emotion. So trust your gut and dare to let it grab hold of you and lead you to a place unknown and unfamiliar. It is there and only there where your true self will reveal itself to you. Shredding your self of fear will be your initial challenge.

Once you can determine something you’re passionate about take the time to fully explore whatever you’re interested in. Remember this is not a sprint this is marathon. Finding your passion and connecting with something you internally feel intimate with is deeper than simply making money. Finding that connection puts you on a path of purpose and destiny. It’s a special discovery so take the time to nurture it.

I wouldn’t suggest quitting your day job because realistically we all need money to survive everyday living. Enthusiasm and practicality is a concoction that will yield you more success than heartache. Remember it takes work to achieve anything in life. You aren’t entitled to anything but an environment to share your talents and skills with the world in hopes they will buy.

Cultivating your talent will only take you far beyond your peers and competitors. You aren’t the only writer nor the first person who decided to pick up a wrench and do something with it. It’s imperative that you continue to sharpen and enhance your skills regardless of how successful you become. That’s why professional athletes still practice even though their one out of a million likelihood to become a professional athlete came true.

There will be obstacles and there will be set backs. Instead of throwing in towel and looking for a shoulder to cry on take your pitfalls as an opportunity to reflect and analyze your shortcomings. These are lessons you learn from to perfect your talent. What the end buyer will buy will be a product of refined mistakes and obstacles over come. That’s what winners do. We never give up no matter the cost. So don’t complain, don’t beat your self up, just make your next move the best move.

Opening a Savings Account with a Boyfriend or Girlfriend

By Michael Cadet

When considering opening a joint savings account with your girlfriend or boyfriend your best ally is common sense. You don’t want to put yourself into a situation you will possibly regret. This can be a great experience if you properly assess every angle.

The first question I would ask myself, is this the right person to open an account with?  Consider the amount of time you have been with this person. Do they show signs of mental stability? You may chuckle at the question, but seriously, do you want to tie your money up with someone who is Happy Harry on Monday then Wallowing Willy on Wednesday? I think not. If your relationship is already on shaky grounds then opening an account and combining your hard-earned assets may not be the best idea.

So let’s assume you are in a serious and stable relationship and you’re ready for the next step – which doesn’t have to mean marriage or even living together. Talk about what you each want in the future. After eliminating the new pink puppy and the new Harley, clearly define what goals the two of you have in common. If a new Harley is what you desire – more power to you.  But we’ll talk about buying toys at a later date. Just for the sake of this post let’s assume you both want to save for a down payment on a new house.

Now that you’ve both decided to save for a down payment on a home, determine how much it will cost. Once you have a realistic goal in mind, determine how much you both currently have to kick-start your savings. This will indicate how much more you need to save. Next, determine how much you both make. Now, this is important. When introducing a new goal into your budget make sure it doesn’t negatively impact your current monthly obligations. If after calculating your budget you find that you don’t have enough money for the laundry mat you can do 1 of 2 things. 1. Get a second job. Late night stocking shift at a grocery store works. Or 2. Realize your goals aren’t realistic at the moment and set a more attainable goal.

Selecting the right bank deserves some serious thought as well. There are two distinct types of banks you should be able to recognize: National/Regional banks and Local Community banks. Read more on the differences here. http://wp.me/p5lDc2-p

The most important suggestion I will make is to open your account as a Joint “AND” account. This titling requires that both account holders be present when performing a transaction on the account. Pretty much the only thing you can do without the presence of the other account holder is put money in. This will eliminate any fear that if things turn south your significant other will run off with all your money.

A warning before you sign on the dotted line: consider the possibility that things may not work out. In that instance, the best thing to do is to collect and divide what you’ve contributed and move on with dignity. Regardless of how things end up in your relationship you will have a positive financial outcome. If things turn out for the worse, consider the return of your contributions as a severance package. A little money may help ease a broken heart.

Til next time, make your next move your best move!

Group Economics

By Michael Cadet

Group economics is the practice of buying goods and services within a specific group. For example, if I’m a farmer and I sell apples, my customers would theoretically consist of dentists, plumbers, retail shop owners, barbers and so on. The money the local retail shop owner spends with the apple farmer in theory should be reciprocated when the apple farmer needs to buy shaving cream at the local retail store. That’s good business. Communities essentially thrive on this practice.

The importance of group economics is to propel a group through an upward spiral of advancement. Progress. Economic power automatically equals political power. Economic power is created through education, spending dollars within your group, investing in real estate and the stock market (when market conditions provide an opportunity) and business ownership – this being the most important means of securing power.

In order to bring value to the marketplace, education and applied knowledge are the catalysts.  Applied being the operative word. Education should be advanced when a passion or curiosity arises. If you wake up with the smell of car oil under your nose, then you may have a calling for automotive services, which is a very profitable and sustainable industry. In order to create a demand for your service, you must first create value. Value is an emission, or in other words, it’s not just what you do, but how well you do it. Whether it’s changing someone’s oil, selling them merchandise, or processing a mortgage application, the quality of your service will determine the amount of business you receive over your competitor. All products and services of real value are embedded with specific ways of serving customers.

Keeping dollars within a group or area benefits the agenda of the principal group, so spending dollars within local communities provides an environment where economic advancement can thrive and lead to political power. Citizens of every community have needs. Whether it’s medical facilities or a park, these needs are only met through the circulation of money within a community and its citizens. When an outside institution with large resources infiltrates these communities, it essentially strips that community of its economic and political power. This is the reason spending dollars within your group or community is essential to its overall well being.

Investing in the stock market and real estate provides personal wealth and fortune. Personal wealth is the propellant that spins economic output: the more you have, the more you spend. Creating personal wealth depends on cultivating your own value. I cannot emphasize the importance of value enough. It’s responsible for attracting love, opportunity, and money.

Successful business ownership is the gateway to financial liberty. Experience from jobs pertaining to your field of interest can be achieved through internships and mediocre paying positions. Combining experience and value may act as an incentive to start your own venture. The entrepreneurial spirit is usually spawned when someone recognizes the opportunity to provide something the market isn’t supplying its customers. When deciding what type business to open, first do some soul searching to understand what will fulfill your life. Money doesn’t always equal happiness. Find what you’re passionate about and cultivate that curiosity into a valuable and sustainable skill you can provide to people.

Group economics has many moving parts: time, ingenuity, and an eagerness for independence. Goals steer the collective behavior of progressive people. Controlling resources such as how water is distributed to the local fire department is all dependent on you, the individual. Conditions of poverty and poor thinking can be combated and reversed. I challenge you to apply some effort and to not give up on your contribution to the world. Release your skills and talents so you and your community can reap the benefits. With that said, make your next move the best move!

Economic Warfare

By Michael Cadet

Protest, property damage, anger, frustration, and hopelessness sum up the events that took place in Ferguson, Mo  and numerous cities across America. This blog was created to discuss all financial matters and the heart of this issue of police brutality and injustice is simple: economics. Black America is in an economic war.

Today instead of recommending a life insurance policy or quoting new 401k limits, I would like to address the state of Black Americans and explain the current economic condition, the events that helped shape the current condition, and how to change it.

Let’s first begin with the facts. Black Americans make up 13% of the American population. That’s roughly 43 million black people. We’re the second largest minority behind Latinos. Together Black Americans have roughly $1.1 trillion dollars in spending power, but ironically have the lowest economic base out of all ethnic groups. One could easily say ‘if Black Americans would just stop selling drugs to each other and killing themselves and educate themselves to become productive citizens they wouldn’t be in this economic turmoil in the first place’.

So why are Black Americans in such economic turmoil? To answer that, one must know their history dating backing back to the early 20th century in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Tulsa was home to one of America’s most successful and wealthiest black communities which was coined “Black Wall Street”. Between approximately 1907 and 1921, this community was the epicenter of black enfranchisement. I point this fact out as proof that Black Americans did in fact have their own communities that thrived and were successful, unlike our current black communities.

When Tulsa became a thriving and well respected town in the United States, many white residents and business owners of the same area referred to the predominately black area of Tulsa as a separate city instead of one unified city, referring to the town as “Little Africa” and other derogatory names. This black community was home to about 10,000 black men, women and children and later acquired the name “Greenwood” until the 1921 Race Riots.

The 1921 race riots is a perfect example of how black advancement has been sabotaged. One of America’s worst acts of racial violence began in late May 1921 when 35 square blocks of residences and businesses were torched by mobs of angry white people.

The riot began because of the alleged assault of a white elevator operator, 17- year old Sarah Page, by a Black American shoe shiner, 19-year old Dick Rowland. The case against Rowland was ultimately dismissed, but the Tulsa Tribune published the alleged story on May 31st 1921. Quickly after the story was published, word broke out that there was going to be a white lynch mob out to kill Dick Rowland.

According to reports, a group of armed white men gathered around the jail where Rowland was being held and were met by an opposing group of Black Americans to protect Rowland. An argument ensued in which one of the members of the mob tried to take a gun from a black man, which caused the gun to be fired into the air. This caused both groups to start heavy firing of weapons which was followed by tragic violence. “Black Wall Street” was burned to the ground.

Troops were deployed June 1, unfortunately it was too late. Over 600 businesses had been burned to the ground including 21 churches, 21 restaurants, 30 grocery stores, 2 movie theaters, a hospital, a bank, post office, libraries, schools, law offices, a half-dozen private airplanes and even the bus system. Note the entire state had two airports, yet six blacks owned their own planes. Remarkable.

I share this story to show how black communities thrived and have had the capabilities to advance but have been sabotaged by outside forces. The soil which Black Americans have been given to grow and nurture themselves has been poisoned with hate and sabotage. Drugs and guns were introduced into South Central L.A. in 1980. Now you tell me how young Black Americans in South Central L.A. imported crack-cocaine into their own neighborhoods without outside help?

History continues to show us that sabotage is at the root of the disparaging economic class of black citizens in America. They have been funneled down a tube of social paralyzation. So how does black America uproot themselves from the sinking soil of social injustice? By practicing group economics. I will follow up with an article on group economics; for now just allow this history to sink in to understand the conditions that have created a poor class of people.

Not every white person is racist and not every police officer is abusive of power. Our country has deep rooted issues that we all have struggled with throughout our history. The aim is to live together harmoniously and respect each other. It is imperative we find a way to coexist and together we can accomplish great things, but until we learn to co-exist without hating and having preconceived notion of one another we will stay stuck in a place of confusion, frustration and violence. Brothas and sistas of the human race, make your next move the best move.

Purpose of Life Insurance

By Michael Cadet

My father passed away this past Tuesday Morning November 18th 2014 at 3:36 am. Lenau Cadet was 72 years old. He really didn’t have any extensive wishes as far as a memorial service. He had few friends and wanted only his closest relatives and loved ones who knew him best to unite and reflect on his life. Even though I didn’t talk much I enjoyed the company of my family during our mourning.

I write this to bring up life insurance and the purpose of it. Life insurance, simply put, is to replace an economic loss. Nothing more, nothing less.  It’s not to act as a tax-free loan or fund your retirement account, but simply to replace an economic loss. Regardless of how much coverage you buy, it will never replace an emotional loss.

Most people will come to find a Term life insurance policy is more appropriate vs a Variable, and here’s why: Term life insurance is a policy you purchase for a specified amount of time, while Variable life insurance allows policy holders to invest their premiums they pay every month in to mutual funds offered by the insurance company. I’ll go into further detail about the differences between these two policies at a later date.

The best way to determine how much coverage you would need is to calculate what the economic loss would be if you lost a loved one. If you conclude the loss of a love one would not create an economic loss or you can absorb a large economic event yourself then I wouldn’t justify obtaining any coverage.

Life insurance is not a creator of wealth. Wealth is obtained through the relationships you build and sustain and the richness that experience brings. A person with time is wealthier than an old person with money. Time provides the opportunity to capture your destiny- whatever that may be. Remember to always tell your loved ones that you love them because tomorrow is never promised. As always, make your next move the best move!

National Banks vs. Community banks

By Michael Cadet

There are two distinct types of banks you should be able to recognize. You have National/Regional banks and you have local community banks.

National/Regional banks offer much more convenience. They typically offer many locations throughout the country and in some cases internationally. This makes it easier to handle transactions when traveling outside your usual proximity. In most cases they offer longer business hours and 24hr customer service operations. National/Regional banks have greater resources and more lending capabilities than smaller local banks, which is extremely beneficial for a person or business with larger lending needs.

I’ve heard, unfortunately, customers complain that larger banks don’t offer as personable service as smaller banks do, and are less flexible with their policies and procedures. Negotiations can also be more difficult when it comes to loan conditions.

The main appeal of community banks is their personable service. This is primarily due to the fact that they’re not publicly traded, meaning these banks don’t have to report their numbers to Wall Street executives. Wall Street is only concerned with one thing – making a profit. The absence of Wall Street pressure makes it possible for smaller local banks to focus more on serving their community. They’re also generally more flexible with policies and procedures.

The only draw back to smaller community banks is the inconvenience of having limited locations. Also, smaller banks may not have the resources to accommodate larger lending needs.

Everyone has different needs depending on circumstance and personal preference, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with the characteristics of the bank that will be serving you.

As always, make the next move the best move!

Introducing All Things Financial!

Hello world and welcome to All Things Financial!

First off, for those who do not know me, I would like to take some time to introduce myself and share some of my background, experience, and why I decided to start a blog.

I currently work for Union Bank, a full financial services institution. I primarily focus on small business lending, treasury management solutions, wealth planning and retirement services.

I’ve worked in the financial industry for about 8 years now holding various positions at the bank. I’ve work as a residential loan officer, personal banker, business banker, and currently a licensed banker which allows me to recommend investment funds and solutions for high net worth clients.

The purpose of this blog is to promote financial literacy and awareness to all who choose to explore the world of finance. Whether it be for your business, personal, or even your own financial career, I will have something for you. The information I provide will always be up to date and have an impact on your daily life and help you navigate through the choppy and ever-changing waters of finance.

I always encourage dialog, comments and inquiries into any subject matter posted. Let this be a forum for you to express your concerns, questions and thoughts. My aim is to share the knowledge I’ve accumulated through various experiences and positions held in a way we all can relate.

So as we embark on this journey of financial literacy and knowledge let it be known the goal of this blog is to help you become financially free. Until you’re financially free you will only be financially enslaved. Together we can break those chains and embrace empowerment.

My commitment to you is to post a blog every Wednesday so stay tuned! I look forward to our future dialog and thank you for those who follow. I look forward to our journey.

Best Regards,

Michael Cadet

New 401(k) Contribution Limits for 2015

The maximum amount of contributions a person can make to his or her 401(k) plan is set each year by the IRS. For the year 2015, people can contribute up to $18,000 as an elective salary deferral to a 401(k) plan. Additionally, if you are age 50 or older, you can contribute an additional catch-up contribution of $6,000. This is an increase from the years 2013 and 2014, where people could only contribute up to $17,500 as an elective salary deferral and $5,500 as a catch-up contribution.

401(k) Contribution Limits by Year
Year Elective Salary Deferral Limit Catch-up contributions if age 50 or older Total Possible Employee Contribution Limit Source
2015 $18,000 $6,000 $24,000  IR-2014-99
2014 $17,500 $5,500 $23,000 IR-2013-86
2013 $17,500 $5,500 $23,000 IR-2012-77
2012 $17,000 $5,500 $22,500  IR-2011-103
2011 $16,500 $5,500 $22,000  IR-2010-108
2010 $16,500 $5,500 $22,000 IR-2009-94
2009 $16,500 $5,500 $22,000  IR-2008-118

The 401(k) limit applies to all 401(k) accounts you might have for the current year. If you work at two or more jobs or switch jobs in the middle of the year, then you may need to track your 401(k) contributions yourself to ensure that you don’t contribute over the limit.

For people who plan to contribute the maximum allowed, it may be easiest to break the annual limit into equal installments per pay period. That way, you’ll be saving the same amount each pay period and will bedollar-cost-averaging into your retirement investments.

Elective deferrals are treated separately from the employer’s matching contributions. Elective salary deferrals can be placed either into a tax-deferred traditional 401(k) or into a post-tax Roth 401(k) account, or into a combination of traditional and Roth as long as the total of all salary deferrals are equal to or less than the annual maximum. Matching contributions from the employer are limited to 25% of your salary (or 20% of your net self-employment income if you are self-employed). Matched funds are always contributed to the tax-deferred portion of your 401(k) plan. The total of your elective salary deferral plus employer matching contributions is limited to $52,000 for the year 2014, to $51,000 for the year 2013, and to $50,000 for the year 2012.