Financial advice for the new year

Financial advice for the new year
Personal income grew 4.1 percent in Virginia compared to 4.5 percent in the U.S. (Source: file photo)

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -It’s a new year, and for many, an opportunity to get their health and fitness back on track.

But what about finances?

Financial adviser Dany Martin says people should start focusing on long-term saving for the year.

“Look forward for the whole year,” he said. “Don’t worry about January, February, and don’t worry about last year. We’ve had nine years of an up-swing and the last three months have been a little chaotic, and we believe it will continue to be chaotic.”

Martin suggests people focus on the things they can control like saving and spending.

“The progress is in the process,” he says. "If it’s $10 a month or if it’s $10,000 a month, just get in the habit of saving money.

With tax season approaching, Martin says people should consider getting a professional to help them do their taxes.

While some get money back, Martin also says people should remember it’s not new money, but money you already spent and you so consider saving some of it.

When it comes to stocks, he believes it’s better to invest. “People should make sure to invest in a company that is stable, but if you aren’t ready to deal with the ups and downs of the stock market, don’t jump in it right now,” Martin says.

For those looking to buy a home, he believes fixed mortgages are the best option for most families.

“We think rates will continue to increase, and you don’t want to get stuck with a payment that’s what you can afford now. However, maybe you can’t afford in five years.”

Students should start educating themselves on the things that they are interested in or that will impact them this year also.

But overall, Martin says people need to think about who and where they want to be a year from now.

“Starting putting those things into place and forget about January or February,” he said. “Let’s look and say if I’m sitting here next December, who do I want to be as a person or where do I want to be as a business, a family, mom or dad, and just focus on the long term.”

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