I hope everyone had a great New Year – and hopefully set some productive goals for 2019.

I have quite a few I am really excited about that I will share with you in the coming months.

Here is another edition of Finance Friday. I hope you enjoy!

Quote I am pondering:

If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will. – Greg McKeown

There are many things in life that pull on our time – some of them good, some bad.

I like this quote because it really puts into perspective the need to be in control.

It is one thing to have something pull on your time that is good and productive.

It is another thing, entirely, to have something that isn’t adding value control what you do.

The challenge is prioritizing so you can control what gets through and what doesn’t.

If you don’t clearly set those expectations, and decide what is going to have claim on your time, someone else will gladly do it for you.

Stock Market Update:

More of the same when it comes to the stock market. Lot’s of ups and downs, with extreme volatility.

Let’s take a look at a stock we are all familiar with: Apple – ticker symbol AAPL (this is how you find the stock and its price).

Back on 10/03/2018 Apple’s stock hit a major milestone at $233. This made Apple a 1 trillion dollar company.

It was the first US company to hit this mark.

The only other company I know of – not adjusted for inflation –  that has also hit this mark was PetroChina back in 2007.

The interesting thing is that both Apple and PetroChina right after hitting 1 trillion in market capitalization quickly lost a large chunk of its value.

Since Apple’s high in early October, it has now lost 40% of its 1 trillion dollar valuation.

Makes one wonder if it is a bad omen to hit 1 trillion dollars in market cap.

Apple announced a slow-down in sales in China, which is what caused it to lose almost 10% of its value on Thursday.

this news may be a lead indicator of where this economy is headed as we see look closely at products like apple that are high-cost “luxury” items.

There are two main things to keep your eye on when it comes to this market. We have talked about both on Finance Friday.

They are: the Fed with their rate hikes and the trade war with China. Substantial improvements to either would do a lot to help this market stabilize.

We will look at this closely in the coming weeks.

Finance Tip:

This weeks finance tip comes from my blog post about New Year’s resolutions from last week.

In case you missed it, it talked about how to keep the resolutions you set each year.

When setting a financial goal, we must dig as deep as possible to find the root of our problem.

If we are concerned with our spending, we have to analyze what it is that is causing the problem instead of just saying: I want to spend less money next year.

That approach is too vague and won’t help us make real change. We have to examine our habits and why we are doing something.

So, whatever your goal is, make sure you look below the surface to see what changes need to be made so you can effectively reach your goals this year.

This will be more effective that just setting a goal to do something – fix the issue behind the action.

Book I am Reading:

I am only a few pages into the book I referenced last week – Essentialism.

In the first part of the book he talks about: Less but better.

Think about the things you are involved with in your life.

Are you spread so thin that you are giving a mediocre effort to many different things?

Or, are you focusing on less so you can be better at what you are doing?

This is going to be a priority focus for me this year.

If I cannot give something 100%, then I need to seriously ask myself if I should be doing it at all.

You’ll either find that it isn’t a priority and that you should abandon it all together, or maybe you’ll determine it is important and that something else needs to go so you can do it at a high level.

I’ll let you know how it goes for me this year as I focus on less but better.

I would love to hear some of your resolutions for 2019. Feel free to drop me an email with what you are working on.

Thank you for reading! Here’s to a productive 2019!