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Richard D. Tanner
President
Ownership Advisors, Inc.
6100 Oak Tree Blvd., South
Park Center Plaza 1, Ste. 420
Independence, Ohio 44131

Phone: 216-328-5538
E-mail: rtanner@ownershipadvisors.com

NEW YEARíS FINANCIAL FITNESS RESOLUTIONS

EIGHT TIPS TO SIMPLIFY AND CLARIFY YOUR FINANCIAL FUTURE

12-21-2004 - Cleveland, OH

As the New Year approaches, scores of people will focus on health and fitness New Yearís resolutions. For most, the resolve to stay the course will fizzle out within a few short weeks. These same people will continue to work and earn a living as they strive for a financial goal somewhere in the future. What can they do to improve their financial future at the end of the coming year?

ďMany financial experts offer the same advice at the end of the year: buy better insurance, dollar cost average, save more money, defer income into the next year, and take all of your deductions,Ē says Richard Tanner, a Cleveland, Ohio family wealth counselor. ďA New Yearís financial resolution thatís oriented towards long term thinking and strategy for you and your familyís financial success is more likely to hold your interest,Ē he adds.

Tanner offers 8 tips to help people invest in themselves and improve their financial fitness:


1) Commit to buying and reading at least one book on investing. Donít go to the library or on the internet. It will get you thinking about how your money can make money and encourage you to continue researching your options. Real estate investment, retirement planning, and estate planning are three areas to consider. Ninety-nine percent of the nationís high net worth individuals have real estate holdings beyond their home.

2) Commit to writing the answer to the following question and sharing it with your spouse, adult child or other loved one: What about money is important to you and why? This opens the door to further discussion and understanding about family money issues.

3) Commit to paying off one high interest rate debt.

4) Make a list of all your financial accounts and the beneficiary designations for each account. Amazingly, most people arenít aware of all the accounts they have, how spread out their financial affairs are, and often donít know for sure whoís named as the primary and secondary beneficiary on each account. When you open this door, you begin to realize you arenít very organized. You want to clarify what you own, how you own it, and who will get it when youíre gone.

5) Resolve to buy one high quality item designed to last a lifetime. This will encourage the idea of thrift through investing in quality. As consumers we live in a disposable society. You can buy a $20 toaster or a $300 one that will last for a lifetime, which is exactly what we want our finances to do. This will help you become more aware of the value of an investment that lasts. For example, thereís the story of a pastor who owned a Mercedes. When confronted by his parishioners with the perceived extravagant nature of the car, he shared that when he ran the numbers over the long term, the purchase was good stewardship of his money because the Mercedes would last significantly longer with less maintenance and was the cheaper and wiser investment.

6) Commit to attacking information overload. Use technology to your advantage by creating an on-line vault for your most important personal records. Technology, which has created much of our information overload, has also created internet solutions for the investor to provide secure storage of important records: medical, legal, financial; on-line and accessible anywhere, anytime.

7) Develop a written survivor guide thatís accessible and comprehensive for your spouse or other family member that will include all information necessary to function as a trustee or executor of your estate.

8) Update your trust. With the 2001 tax law changes, anyone who has a trust that hasnít been updated, might be paying state estate taxes that arenít necessary.


Richard Tanner is president and founder of Ownership Advisors Inc., a Cleveland, Ohio wealth management firm, and creator of the Loving Willô, an innovative, new estate planning tool that clarifies and communicates family values through specially designed legal documents.

Mr. Tanner is a Registered Principal with and offers securities through Linsco/Private Ledger, Member NASD/SIPC.