By Ande Frazier, CFP®, CLU, ChFC, RICP, BFA(tm), ChSNC

As a self-described planner, I am always making a list and getting organized for every event. No, I am not a control freak, well most of the time, but I do believe that being prepared and planning ahead can allow you to be calmer in the face of chaos.

It wasn’t too long ago I remember listening to the news talk about preparing for SuperStorm Sandy. As a New York resident, I was certainly concerned about what would happen when the storm hit. I gathered the necessary items they suggested and felt calm knowing that in the event the worst happened, I was at least as prepared as possible.

With the concerns about viruses, weather disasters, and other unforeseen events, it occurred to me that while we may have extra bottles of water, medicine and canned food, how prepared are we for a financial emergency?

Read the complete article here.

“Never apologize; it’s a sign of weakness.”

John Wayne famously uttered those words in the film “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon,” but for those of us who aren’t The Duke and don’t live in a 70-year-old Western, apologies are sometimes necessary. Witness the backlash when a celebrity caught behaving badly makes an insufficient or insincere apology (“I’m sorry if I offended anyone” and such).

Like anything else, however, apologies are subject to the “too much of a good thing” phenomenon. Excessive apologizing can undermine your effectiveness as a leader. It’s not a sign of weakness, but it can weaken others’ confidence in your abilities. Saying “I’m sorry” over and over again is like saying “I messed up” over and over again. Who wants to work with someone who’s always messing up?

Worse, “over-apologizing can desensitize your listeners when you want to deliver a sincere and necessary apology,” Donna Moriarty writes at careercontessa.com. “The more you say you’re sorry, the less power it has. Remember the boy who cried wolf? If everything rises to the need for an apology, then nothing does.”

Read the complete article here.

By Chia-Li Chien, PhD, CFP®, PMP®, Assistant Professor and Director of Financial Planning Program at California Lutheran University

Robots are whirring their way into our lives. My husband TC and I were in San Francisco two years ago. I was on a business trip, TC visited friends and families. One night after our dinner, we went to the Mall for a walk. We found this robot that asked my husband if he’d like to learn how to dance. TC hesitated but the robot started to show some dance moves with a song. After 30-seconds or so, TC said, "Oh, this is stupid!" The robot immediately stopped and said to my husband, "Would you like to learn another language?" I laughed so hard, and I believe the robot is smarter than my husband!

Robots have been helping with our daily chores for decades. I grew up having a rice cooker as a typical kitchen appliance. Today, a cat could press the button for you to get your rice done. A couple of years ago, I bought a bread machine so I can have home-made whole grain bread. I make mostly Chinese steam buns from the bread machine today. Did I mention that your cat now supervises the vacuum robot at your home? While you are busy at work, your cat oversees its operation. Obviously, people programmed robots to help us. Robots tend to help us free up time so we can enjoy other more important things like eating, living, and entertainment. Having robots or automation is not new in the financial industry. Robo-Advisor is the latest trend where the primary focus is to reduce costs for investors. According to Stat Bank from Journal of Financial Planning, robo-advisors managed assets worth $75 billion in 2018. The same report indicated that robo-advisors are in the upward trend to $250 billion assets under management by 2020.

Read the complete article here.

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