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Taking charge of your money

Do you have a wealth conundrum? Should you have one? We are easily swayed and deeply influenced by our culture into believing that wealth is singly a financial component, that more is better and that this is just the way it is. Are you ready to challenge this mindset and look beyond this putative, perceived truth? Consider other embodiments of wealth that we may recognize but are not as weighty on the scale. At our doorstep, we have a wealth of outdoor opportunities. Wealth may be relational — meaningful connections with family and friends. Wealth may be associated with our physical health and our mental capacities for being creative and resourceful. Wealth can be found in the blessing of sharing our time, talent and treasures with others. Wealth can be the peace found in contemplating a sunset or pursuing the opportunity to change the world. What does true “wealth” mean to you?

While there is nothing wrong with financial wealth, we can ascertain that it is relative. By worldly standards, the majority of us in the Roaring Fork Valley have change in our pockets, food in our pantries and incomes exceeding $24,000 a year, putting us in the top 2 percent of the world’s wealth. Check out where you sit at http://www.globalrichlist.com. Why do we spend so much of our time and energy focused on what we don’t have instead of being appreciative of the abundance of everything within our grasp? Why doesn’t having or seeking after a larger net worth and more stuff alone satiate our souls?

Part of the answer is found in a question: Am I in charge of my money, or is it in charge of me? Consider the following:

Did I pick my career based on how much it paid?

Has more money been the goal in my life?

Have I shunned money because I perceive it as “bad”?

Do I fear being taken advantage of financially?

Do I react to requests for money with indignation or anger?

Have I bought something I don’t need just because it is on sale?

Have I bought things just because they were expensive or had a designer label?

Have I eaten more food or drank more wine when someone else is paying for it?

Do financial conversations cause me consternation?

I have answered “yes” to many of these at various times in my life, and I am sure you have, too. This is the quandary. How do we move toward healthy relationships with money that will enable us to build and sustain true personal wealth in our lives? It is a lifelong process, and I am committed to help! Money should enhance your life journey, not dictate it.

My path with finances has been more entrenched than most. In addition to everyday financial dealings, I have been immersed in the professional financial world in a variety of capacities for the past 35 years. It is my calling to serve in the fields of financial life planning and behavioral finance. It is with gratitude to those who have shaped my journey — family, friends, mentors and clients — that I humbly and faithfully hang up my new “shingle” as Wealth by Design LLC. I look forward to taking a personal interest in your financial well-being and facilitating your growth as you dig into your wealth conundrum.

Danielle Howard is a certified financial planner practitioner. Wealth by Design LLC is located at 23300 Two Rivers Road in Basalt. Visit http://www.wealthbydesign4u.com, or contact her at 970-927-3909 or danielle@wbd4u.com. Advisory services are offered through Lighthouse Financial LLC, a registered investment adviser. Securities are offered through Cambridge Investment Research Inc., a broker, dealer and member of FINRA/SIPC. Cambridge and Wealth by Design LLC are not affiliated.


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