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No one wants to admit that they don’t open their investment statements, let alone that when they do, they don’t completely make sense. But you can’t ignore them. Just like reviewing your bank statements is essential to understanding your monthly income and spending habits, it is equally important to understand your investment statements, which are sent either monthly or quarterly. They both are part of actively managing your money.

Your investment statements help you track the performance of your portfolio(s), 401(k), Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), 403(b), 457, Individual Retirement Account (IRA), and investment accounts by letting you examine your individual investment holdings. One way to do this is by comparing investment purchases and sales to confirmation statements received during the period. You can also review any withdrawals from the account and verify that the statement accurately reflects what has transpired within the account. Check for errors or transactions you don’t recognize; if you see inaccuracies, contact your financial advisor or the investment management firm.

Basic Account Details

Let’s dive in! On the first page or at the top of the second page, your name, address, and account number should appear. Below this, there is a section providing the information of your financial advisor: her name, address, and phone number.

What’s My Total Portfolio Worth?

Portfolio Summary highlights the major changes within your portfolio for a specific period of time. This summary shows the opening value of your investments at the beginning of the period and closing value at the end of the period. It provides information on deposits, cash, and securities as well as withdrawals. And you can also find the change in value and, if included, the portfolio’s rate of return, which is calculated based on how much the account increases or decreases in value during the period. Understand that with each section, the statement goes deeper into explaining the dynamics of your account and what happened during the period.

What’s in Cash?

Cash Flow Summary breaks down the specific items that affected cash in your account. For example, the summary explains how cash came into your account and from where. Some transactions are check deposits and others may be electronic transfers from your bank using the automated clearing house (ACH) Network. Cash can also be generated when a stock, mutual fund, or exchange traded funds (ETF) pays out dividends, or from interest earned from a money market fund and/or CDs. The statement also shows the amount of cash from the account that was used to purchase securities.

What Do I Own and What is It Worth?

Investment Detail shows what you have in cash and various individual investment holdings. It explains how many shares you own, the purchase price of the investment, the current or market price of one share, the total value as of the end of the period, and whether you’ve made (unrealized gain) or lost (unrealized loss) money within that investment. An unrealized gain or loss becomes realized when the investment is actually sold out of the account. You will also see how much income that specific investment will provide for the year. Over time, this amount can grow (or decline) if you purchase (or sell) more shares of the investments.

Activity Detail explains the specifics of all the individual transactions that occurred in the account. You will see the date of each transaction, the specific type of transaction—such as interest, dividend, or capital gain—the description of the specific investment holding, and the amount that holding added to your account. Interest, dividends, and capital gains can all increase the value within your account, contributing to the compounding of your overall portfolio.

Another resource for information on statements is at FINRA.

Zaneilia Harris, CFP®, is the president of Harris & Harris Wealth Management Group in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.  Follow her on Twitter at @hhwealth.

The post BACK TO BASICS: Understanding Your Investment Statements appeared first on Harris & Harris Wealth Management | Zaneilia Harris, Certified Financial Planner to the well heeled woman | Washington Metro Area.

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Diane Brown is Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Prince George’s Community Federal Credit Union.  She has a passion for her community and assisting individuals and business owners grow financially.

A key to her personal financial journey started with learning early the power of money.  Understanding money affects the choices you make in life.  It can provide a confidence around how you view your future and what you are able to achieve.

Diane was taught the importance of speaking up.  She believes you should never underestimate the power of your voice.  Therefore, she feels it’s important to ask for what you want.

Diane has spent a large portion of her career in business banking.  I asked her to share her knowledge from her vast experience.  Some of her tips for business owners are:

  1. Relationships are powerful, it is never too early to establish a relationship with a business banker.
  2. Use your business banker as a powerful resource in growing your business.
  3. Develop an advisory team, add people to your circle who are experts in their respective fields.
  4. Embrace being a constant learner by always asking questions and growing your knowledge.

Listen in on our wonderful conversation to gain more GREAT insights!

Subscribe to listen as smart women share powerful money tips!

Don’t Forget to Spread the Word!

Zaneilia Harris, CFP®, is the President of Harris & Harris Wealth Management Group in Washington, DC. Follow her on Twitter at @hhwealth.

The post {NEW PODCAST} Diane Brown “Understanding Money is Power” appeared first on Harris & Harris Wealth Management | Zaneilia Harris, Certified Financial Planner to the well heeled woman | Washington Metro Area.

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Lisa Anderson, a Certified Public Accountant and leadership coach, is known for her award-winning techniques and solutions that propel small businesses beyond the plateau to growth.  She uses her over 20 years of entrepreneurial experience helping businesses in three key areas: optimizing operational efficiencies, increasing revenue, and building sustainable infrastructure.

A powerful statement Lisa made during our discussion was how she shifted her mindset around money.  When this happened, she no longer was afraid of making money and growing her business.  Opportunities presented themselves and she went from working in her basement to owning her own building.  She is a firm believer in using collateral to grow assets and hiring key team members to expand the capacity of your business.

Some poignant points she makes are:

  1. Everything you want is on the other side of FEAR.
  2. Inspect what you expect.
  3. You should NOT be the smartest person in your organization.
  4. Know what you stand for personally and in business.
  5. Always have a plan.

Listen in to our wonderful conversation to gain more GREAT insights!

Subscribe to listen in on more powerful money tips by smart women!

Don’t Forget to Spread the Word!

Zaneilia Harris, CFP®, is the President of Harris & Harris Wealth Management Group in Washington, DC. Follow her on Twitter at @hhwealth.

The post {NEW PODCAST} Lisa Anderson “Everything You Want is on the Other Side of Fear” appeared first on Harris & Harris Wealth Management | Zaneilia Harris, Certified Financial Planner to the well heeled woman | Washington Metro Area.

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Oprah Winfrey – Photo Credit:  Travelif

It’s Women’s History Month! I think we should celebrate it from a financial perspective.  Let’s honor the smart money moves Black women are making now and have accomplished throughout our history.

They are all visionaries who saw possibilities when others didn’t.

I recently finished reading Black Fortunes by Shomari Wills—it’s a great book, by the way—and I was fascinated by the story of a Black woman born free in 1814. Her name was Mary Ellen Williams, referred to in the book by her married name, Mary Pleasant. The more I read about her life, the more I admired her intelligence and influence. She described herself as “unusually smart and quick at everything.” So in her spare time, while she was working in a Nantucket, Mass. store, she learned about business and human behavior, and studied how to read and write. She ultimately mastered the art of selling.

When her first husband died, she inherited $45,000 (the equivalent of $1.2 million today) and in the 1860s, she moved to San Francisco, where she became a restaurateur and investor. During the Gold Rush, she used men with local connections to help her lend out money at 10% interest per month. She doubled her money every year and grew her wealth. Compound interest is one of money’s greatest powers.

They believed in owning assets that generate income.

Pleasant also challenged the Jim Crow laws of her time. In 1868, she sued the North Beach Railroad Co. for discrimination and won. Fighting for the rights she believed African-Americans deserved took guts, determination and brilliance, especially when there was the risk of death.

Similarly, Oprah Winfrey—media mogul, dynamic interviewer, student of human behavior and America’s first Black woman billionaire—passionately fights for causes that align with her values, such as education. That’s why she created the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls and donated scholarships to Morehouse College students. Because of her significant influence on American culture, “the Oprah effect” has catapulted many people and businesses into unparalleled success.

They were philanthropic and passionately donated to causes of personal importance.

Sheila Johnson also tops the list of the wealthiest Black women in America. She’s a hotelier and owner of luxury brand Salamander Hospitality, but she sharpened her business skill as a private violin teacher with a love of music. The first woman to be an owner in three professional sports teams in different leagues—the Washington Wizards in the NBA, the Washington Capitals in the NHL and the Washington Mystics in the WNBA—she’s a living history-maker. Johnson is also a renowned philanthropist and in 2013, she endowed the Sheila C. Johnson Leadership Fellowship to erase disparities in underserved communities and support emerging Black leaders at the Harvard Kennedy School.

They didn’t mind being in circles where they were the only female, minority or both.

Last on this list (but certainly not the last you should get to know) is self-taught banker Maggie Walker. Not only was she the first woman bank president in the country, she was one of America’s wealthiest Black women of her time. She was a gifted storyteller and traveled the country to lecture about Black cooperative enterprise and entrepreneurship as a way to circumvent segregation. Under her leadership, St. Luke Penny Savings Bank offered low-cost mortgages to Black homeowners and was credited with effecting great improvements in the lives of African-Americans in her native Richmond.

They created and fostered support teams they could trust.

If you want to create impact, start with money. It’s a catalyst for change and community empowerment. These wealthy, intelligent, savvy Black women taught us how to build using our economic influence.

Zaneilia Harris, CFP®, is the President of Harris & Harris Wealth Management Group in Washington, DC. Follow her on Twitter at @hhwealth.

The post If You Want to Be a Millionaire, Learn from Black Women Who Are appeared first on Harris & Harris Wealth Management | Zaneilia Harris, Certified Financial Planner to the well heeled woman | Washington Metro Area.

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Marsha Haygood, a former senior corporate executive, is co-author of The Little Black Book of Success:  Laws of Leadership for Black Women, an empowerment coach, and President of StepWise Associates.  As a highly acclaimed thought leader, she knows how to translate leadership theory into practice.  This has led her to being the recipient of numerous awards such as the YMCA Black Achievement Award, The Network Journal’s Influential Black Women in Business Award, and The National Association of African Americans in Human Resources Trailblazer Award, just to name a few.  She is a dynamic passionate leader and role model for women of all levels of corporate leadership.

Here are her top 5 key professional and smart money tips:

  1. Determine what you want out of life
  2. Be open to opportunity and take prudent risks
  3. Spend with intention
  4. Learn about budgeting so you know where your money goes
  5. When you get a promotion or bonus, put a percentage in savings

Subscribe to listen in on more powerful money tips by smart women!

Don’t Forget to Spread the Word!

Zaneilia Harris, CFP®, is the President of Harris & Harris Wealth Management Group in Washington, DC. Follow her on Twitter at @hhwealth.

Ready to Share Your Money Story with an Expert?

CLICK HERE  to schedule a call.

The post {NEW PODCAST} Marsha Haygood “Have a can do attitude so you can be open to opportunity” appeared first on Harris & Harris Wealth Management | Zaneilia Harris, Certified Financial Planner to the well heeled woman | Washington Metro Area.

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Jamellah Ellis is the owner of Curl Theory, an industry-leading, upscale textured hair salon whose mission is to help customers embrace the beauty in their natural hair and provide hair therapy experiences that exceed customer expectations. She also owns Curl Theory Products, a hair care product company that sells the Curl Theory Moisture Collection product line.

As a former attorney, she feels her salon is a way to connect two of her passions, justice and self-love.  In fulfilling her life’s journey, she wants to empower women and girls with confidence around accepting their natural hair texture.  Inspired by Neale Donald Walsch’s quote “life begins at the end of your comfort zone,”  she feels there is a time in life where you have to take a risk for something greater trusting that all things work together.

Here are her 4 key money tips:

  • Learn to endure short term sacrifice for long term gains.
  • Be willing to save because it provides you with the cushion and the nest egg to go further in life.
  • Focus on living beneath your means.
  • Put money to the side while keeping your eyes on the prize.

Subscribe to listen in on more powerful money tips by smart women!

Don’t Forget to Spread the Word!

Zaneilia Harris, CFP®, is the President of Harris & Harris Wealth Management Group in Washington, DC. Follow her on Twitter at @hhwealth.

Interested in Sharing Your Money Story on Heels of Success?

CLICK HERE  to obtain additional information.

The post {NEW PODCAST} Jamellah Ellis “Life Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone” appeared first on Harris & Harris Wealth Management | Zaneilia Harris, Certified Financial Planner to the well heeled woman | Washington Metro Area.

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“Money doesn’t make you happy, but the lack of money can make you miserable” – Suzie Orman

Emmy Award Winning Journalist Markette Sheppard, host of Great Day Washington on WUSA 9 and author of the inspirational children’s book, What Is Light?, believes the aforementioned quote wholeheartedly and is a strong believer in income diversification.

As our discussion progressed, Markette emphasizes additional personal insights that have led up to her Top 4 Money Tips:

1. Create multiple streams of income so you are not dependent on just one.
2. Money doesn’t grow on trees. In order to have money, you have to earn it.
3. Don’t get caught up in just having nice things. Manage your expenses, so you don’t over spend.
4. Strong relationships should be uplifting.  They should not be centered around how much you spend on one another. While she appreciates money, she truly values people.

Subscribe to listen in on more powerful money tips by smart women!

Zaneilia Harris, CFP®, is the President of Harris & Harris Wealth Management Group in Washington, DC. Follow her on Twitter at @hhwealth.

Interested in Sharing Your Money Story on Heels of Success?

CLICK HERE  to obtain additional information.

 

The post {NEW PODCAST} Markette Sheppard “Diversify Your Income Stream” appeared first on Harris & Harris Wealth Management | Zaneilia Harris, Certified Financial Planner to the well heeled woman | Washington Metro Area.

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Sonya Smith-Valentine is a financial confidence expert and the President of Financially Fierce. She accelerates the development of professional and executive women through financial confidence training. Providing women with financial confidence increases the upward trajectory of their careers.

Listen in as Sonya shares some key smart money points:

  1. Listen to your heart and gut, because pivoting can open up opportunities.
  2. Don’t stick your head in the sand, nip your money issues in the bud.
  3. Talk about money with your spouse and don’t be a burden to your children.
  4. Make yourself a priority, start investing early and take advantage of 401k and matching on your job.
  5. Don’t be fearful of money, understand what you spend and what you keep.

Subscribe to listen in on more powerful money tips by smart women!

Don’t Forget to Spread the Word!

Zaneilia Harris, CFP®, is the President of Harris & Harris Wealth Management Group in Washington, DC. Follow her on Twitter at @hhwealth.

Ready to Share Your Money Story with an Expert?

The post {NEW PODCAST} Sonya Smith Valentine “Make Yourself a Priority” appeared first on Harris & Harris Wealth Management | Zaneilia Harris, Certified Financial Planner to the well heeled woman | Washington Metro Area.

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So happy to welcome back, success coach, Dr. Nicole Cutts.   Nicole is a 20+ year licensed clinical psychologist.  She inspires and empowers women to find their life’s work and unleash their true potential.  Understanding who you are, what you value and what motivates you are key discoveries you may experience working with Nicole.  Listen in as she shares some of her money and life lessons:

  1. She feels money should be used to build a safety net.
  2. She doesn’t spend money extravagantly but believes it should be available to take care of your needs.
  3. She uses money to create a cushion for emergencies.
  4. As an entrepreneur, she invests money back into her business ideas.
  5. She makes money to live comfortably, have freedom to take breaks, and invest for her future.

Nicole coaches her clients to spend time working to build their inner woman.  Because success has many definitions, it should not just be limited to only money but a deeper purpose.

Subscribe to listen in on more powerful money tips by smart women!

Don’t Forget to Spread the Word!

Zaneilia Harris, CFP®, is the President of Harris & Harris Wealth Management Group in Washington, DC. Follow her on Twitter at @hhwealth.

Ready to Share Your Money Story with an Expert?

The post {NEW PODCAST} Dr. Nicole Cutts “Listen to Your Inner Super Heroine and Follow Your Instincts” appeared first on Harris & Harris Wealth Management | Zaneilia Harris, Certified Financial Planner to the well heeled woman | Washington Metro Area.

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Dr. Lydia Carlis is Chief Eyemagination Officer for Eyemagination Enterprises, LLC, an education consultant, and visual artist.  She helps clients see what is, imagine what can be and work creatively to help them get there.  She uses C-Suite Pics®, a division of Eyemagination Imaging, to capture dynamic professional portraits for busy executives, entrepreneurs and creatives.

She shares her positives: Top 4 Money – Life Tips….

  1. From an early age, she learned that it takes time to build wealth.
  2. Money can be put into buckets, it should be used to tithe, save and enjoy.
  3. She believes in hiring experts and paying them their full value. She feels if you want their expertise, you should pay for it.
  4. She states that you should study to be the best you can be. She strives to provide work that is at a certain level of quality. That’s the work ethic she wants to leave to her daughter.
 
Zaneilia Harris, CFP®, is the President of Harris & Harris Wealth Management Group in Washington, DC. Follow her on Twitter at @hhwealth.

Interested in Appearing on Heels of Success?

CLICK HERE  to obtain additional information.

The post {NEW PODCAST} Dr. Lydia Carlis “Building Wealth is a Discipline” appeared first on Harris & Harris Wealth Management | Zaneilia Harris, Certified Financial Planner to the well heeled woman | Washington Metro Area.

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