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Bankruptcy: The Power of the Clean Slate

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The latest news on this change — carefully culled from the world wide web by our change agents. They do the surfing, so you don't have to!

Minding Your Money

When the Dow plummeted earlier in the week, many investors got more than a sinking feeling—they panicked. It's natural, says First30Days expert Brent Kessel, co-founder of Abacus Wealth Partners."When experiencing financial distress, our natural inclination is to want to do something. With investing, this usually backfires," he says.

We asked Kessel what you can do today to feel better about your financial position when there seems to be nothing but bad news around every corner. Here are three things he recommends to help cope with these turbulent times:

1. Consider decreasing your discretionary spending in the short run. Then re-evaluate the need to reduce longer-term spending in January. While the dollars may not seem like a lot, shifting the momentum from "Yes" to "Not right now" has a tremendous psychological effect, and over time, a very positive financial impact as well.

2. Refinance your mortgage. Do this if you have less than two years to go in your fixed rate period (assuming you plan to stay in the home long-term), or if your rate is above today's rates. Call or email your advisor for a good mortgage broker recommendation if you don't have one.

3. If you have more than $100,000 in any one bank, wire the excess into your wealth management account so that it can be invested. As famed investor Sir John Templeton said, "To buy when others are despondently selling and to sell when others are avidly buying takes the greatest fortitude and pays the greatest reward." Now is such a time. Even if you'd prefer to have your extra cash in money markets, they will be more secure at TDAmeritrade than in a non FDIC-insured account at your bank.

In summary, says Kessel, this too shall pass. He and his associates believe that owning a diversified global mix of equities, along with a healthy dose of real estate, bonds and commodities, is the best way to ensure your financial freedom in the future. In plain english? Mix it up—don't keep all your eggs in one basket! For more great advice from Kessel, listen to his Change Nation podcast interview.

Posted: 10/1/08

If you are truly interested in getting fisciall responsible, you have only 6 things you need to do FIRST.
1: Gather every piece of paper (no matter how small) and put Similar pieces together in a pile somewhere in one room of your home
2: Take one pile at a time and sort according to date
3: Now take the pile that deals with your pay checks or your banking statements/investment statements and sort them according to date
4: Now place similar items in those piles together in a binder
5: Do the rest with all your bills
6: With bills throw out everyone except the latest one (This one tells you what you owe)
7: Now you are ready to pick the items you wish to pay off first.(Start with the small amounts and pay them off because it is easier that way) Once they have been paid off you now can start to pay off the ones that are larger.
Keep in mind however, that you only do this ONCE your rent is paid, your food has been bought and your heat is taken care off.


The current financial crisis is 100 percent terrifying to me. It is absolutely baffling to me how, in this day and age, we are facing the greatest economic downfall since the Great Depression. Where were the people who were supposed to say, "Wait, wait, hold on a second . . . this is not a good idea" and help fight for the American taxpayers?! I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said, "When Bush came into office, gas was $1.68." That concept is just un-freaking-believable to me ... how did it get this bad? I mean, I know how it got this bad, but how did all of these people just put on the blinders? It's just one more strike against this failed, failed administration.


I realize I should be paying more attention to the financial crisis, but so far, I've been lucky enough that it hasn't really affected me other than higher gas and food prices. I definitely don't have more than $100,000, and I'm a renter. My biggest challenge right now is sticking to my plan to get me out of debt.