Finance Tips From a Fox Business Anchor
When your job revolves around talking to smart people about the smart ways they manage their money, some of that smartness is bound to rub off on you eventually, right?
(We happen to know a little something about this, ourselves, working at LearnVest …)
For Liz Claman, FOX Business Network anchor, that’s exactly the case. “I feel lucky,” Claman, who’s been an anchor with FOX since October 2007, tells us. “Because of my job as a Fox Business anchor, I frequently find myself interviewing some of the smartest and most successful investors in the world. Having done this work for some 14 years now, I have, through osmosis, picked up some important tips that I use when managing my family’s finances, and almost anyone can apply these to better their own financial health.”
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Here are Claman’s top five tips she’s taken from her professional life into her personal life.
1. Start Early
How early? Try “in utero.” “If you’re expecting a child, get ready to set up a college savings plan the moment the baby is born,” says Claman. “I did a 529 College Savings plan and I linked it to Upromise, which is sort of like a rewards/loyalty plan hooked into hundreds of companies from which many of us buy every day—Babies “R” Us, Gap, Nordstrom, Saks, Bluefly—you name it, those businesses have a relationship with UPromise. So when you buy anything from those companies, the businesses give you back anywhere from 1-7% of what you spent by putting it into your 529 plan.”
2. Don’t Forget Your Retirement
No one will take care of you in your retirement … except you. “So get cracking for yourself and do it in the most painless way: automatically deposit a chunk of every paycheck that comes your way,” says Claman. “You can have it go directly into a … fund yourself, or into the funds your financial planner chooses, but force yourself to do it. It’s called Dollar-Cost Averaging. This way you’re buying stocks at all prices … high and low, and it forces you to be in stocks that hopefully, over the long term, will provide a cushion in your retirement years.”
Also important—sign up for your company’s 401(k). Most companies match up to a certain percentage of what you put in. It’s yet another layer in your retirement cake … and who doesn’t want more cake?
3. Always Be Thinking of the Future
Forgo current pleasure for future gain, says Claman. “With every discretionary purchase, ask yourself, ‘Do I really need this?”‘ says Claman. Another important thing to keep in mind—don’t confuse “want” with “need.” “Each time you pass up a purchase, you’ll find later on that you’re living just fine without it anyway,” Claman says. “It’s a good muscle to exercise, and it’ll help you save more down the line.”
4. Avoid the ‘Herd’ Mentality
When it comes to buying stocks, stray from the herd, suggests Claman. “Billionaire Wilbur Ross is a perfect example of someone who invests in the one thing everyone is fleeing,” says Claman. “He’s one of the gutsiest investors I’ve ever met. He bought up rusting, old steel mills in Ohio and Pennsylvania when everyone else was walking away. He shined them up, packaged them into a group with a new name and sold it for billions. He did the same with coal when everyone said there was no future in coal. You can do this on a smaller scale. Pick really well-run companies with solid management and a great product that are un-loved. In 2009, Starbucks was below $10. They were closing stores, laying off workers but it was still a great company with a strong brand. It was just a good company going through a bad time. Today the stock continues to hit all-time highs. Look for those ‘diamonds going through the ‘rough’ times.’”
5. Save for a Rainy Day
Always have a rainy day fund. “[Some say] save up three months’ salary. I say six months,” says Claman. “This job market is too brutal right now for any of us to expect that if we lose our jobs, we’ll find a new one in three months. Just do it. It’ll give you peace of mind.”