Financially Fit in the New Year

Experts share tips for success for your business and family

Heading into the new year, people often seek new beginnings in many aspects of their lives. And when it comes to financial well-being, having a solid plan is key. We talked to some local experts who shared their tips on how to kick off 2023 with fresh perspectives.

Kenny Lamberson is the Founder & CEO of Emancipators Financial Alliance. His company assists clients in building new professional ventures through capital fundraising and strategic alliances. Lamberson said his first advice to anyone when it comes to boosting their financial health is to embrace a growth mindset.

“Always find the opportunities to learn and grow,” said Lamberson. “Recently, I was asked what my recipe for success was in getting through the pandemic. I said it was my ability to be like bamboo — flexible and pivot when I need to."

The self-proclaimed “Financial Emancipator” said that over the course of his career, he had to pivot a number of times. Lamberson was initially on track to go to law school and become an attorney, but then he caught the “entrepreneurial” bug and started working in a number of companies before starting his own business.

Lamberson said that whatever field you are in, it’s important to find your passion to gain success. His purpose is to help people break through their social, racial, and economic barriers in order to gain access to resources to build their own ventures. He also wants to help people foster the “attitude of gratitude” on their entrepreneurial journeys.

“Always be grateful for what you have, and more will come to you. I think that’s how the quote goes,” said Lamberson. “When you have that mind shift, you begin to realize that things don’t happen to you; they happen for you. That’s when you will be on track to reach your goals, whether it be with money or anything else in life.”

A common financial resolution for many who are starting to build their assets is to begin investing. Shanna Kehoe, the managing partner and wealth advisor with Diamond Wealth Management, said finding the right financial advisor to help with that process can be a game changer.

“We give objective financial advice. From the beginning, we sit down with each client and see what they have done, why they have done it, and what they are trying to accomplish,” said Kehoe. “We always start by being an outsider looking in, and then we move on to work side by side with our clients and become their accountability coach.”

One piece of advice Kehoe gives for starting the new year off on the right financial footing is for people to take an honest inventory of their finances. For individuals and business owners, she said looking through year-end statements to see what’s really going in and out can be key.

“Many people are spending money on things they weren't even aware of. Things like streaming services or memberships and subscriptions to products and services they no longer use. All these things can really add up, and that money can be saved or better spent elsewhere.”

Kehoe says this is why it’s important to come up with a clear financial plan, and having an expert to help along the way can take a lot of stress and confusion out of this process.

“It can be challenging and overwhelming for many to tackle the financial plan on their own,” said Kehoe. “Life gets in the way, and people are busy. What we do at Diamond Wealth is offer that accountability partnership while we look out for our client's best interests. If you are looking to have a financial team help plan and strategize your financial future in the new year and beyond, our team is here for you.”

Growing your wealth is always a great goal to achieve. Still, Helen Vasquez, a Captive Agent with American Family Insurance, said protecting what you already have is also critical for any individual or family.  

“This is why I love what I do: I love working to educate people on ways to protect themselves. I have skin in the game, and that’s how I sleep soundly at night.”

A 20-year veteran in the insurance industry, Vasquez specializes in property and casualty, commercial business insurance, bonds, and life insurance. She said one of the best tips she gives her clients is to make sure they take the time to study and understand any contract they sign up for, including their insurance policies.

“Make sure you read up on all your contracts because sometimes it's a penny to the dollar from one coverage to the next,” said Vasquez. “It’s important to think about the needs that you and your family have now, then work with someone who understands those needs as well.”

Vasquez said reviewing your insurance contracts at least once a year is always a good idea. A good agent can help you determine if you need to change your policy to reflect the current circumstances in your life. She also stresses the importance of keeping up with the rules and regulations that can differ from one state to the next.

“At the end of the day, read the fine lines. We put everything in writing. That’s how we protect ourselves,” said Vasquez. “Make it your New Year’s resolution to stay up to date on everything that impacts your finances, including your insurance.” 

All these financial tips and advice may seem overwhelming, but the experts say like any goal in life, you don’t have to accomplish everything all at once. They say that just taking that first step can make a big difference in helping you achieve your financial goals in 2023 and beyond.

Shanna Kehoe’s Tips:

  1. Take inventory of your assets and liabilities
  2. Evaluate your spending and cash flow
  3. Review your financial goals
  4. Seek out a financial expert to help implement your plan

Helen Vasquez’s Tips:

  1. Understand contracts before you sign
  2. Research your insurance agents
  3. Review your policy at least once a year
  4. Know state rules and regulations for insurance

Kenny Lamberson’s Tips:

  1. Have a growth mindset
  2. Be flexible and ready to pivot
  3. Have an attitude of gratitude
  4. Don’t be afraid to take a leap of faith

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