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So far Mike McCann has created 55 blog entries.

Begin a Money Conversation

McCann-WEBTeaching children about money management will help set them on the right path to financial independence and success. Of course, it’s not as easy as it sounds to begin a money conversation. As a parent, I understand how challenging it can be to impart ideas and wisdom on your own kids. Let’s face it, most young people are inclined to take advice from anyone but their parents. Factor in that many people don’t feel qualified to teach financial topics, and the task becomes even more daunting.

The good news is there are many resources and people to assist in you.

As a long-time and active volunteer for Scouts BSA, one of my regular roles has been as a Personal Management Merit Badge counselor. This badge addresses elements like creating a budget, knowing the difference between saving and investing, and exploring and evaluating careers. The curriculum was developed by Brent Neiser, CFP® and Eagle Scout. It’s a challenging merit badge that takes several months to complete.

I’ve learned a couple of interesting things by teaching the course. First, young people are often eager to talk about money if you approach it in a way that is relatable. Second, they tend to pick up on key concepts more quickly than you might expect.

Here are a few tips to begin a money conversation with a child or young adult in your life.

  • Start with the basics. That means introducing the importance of living within your means. Earning a weekly or monthly allowance for completing chores is a great start. When a child manages an allowance, he or she begins to understand how to balance wants with cash flow.
  • Make budgeting real and personal, not theoretical. Help your child create a budget. Older children can use a simple spread sheet to track spending, saving, investing and charitable giving. Young ones can use labeled envelopes or jars for each category.
  • Show that money can grow over time. Use this simple chart to show how a person who invests $5,000 a year starting at age 25 can end up with nearly $825,000 by age 65, while one who waits until age 50 to invest $5,000 a year would have just $128,000. Then show them a picture of what they could buy with the $697,000 difference. (e.g, a new Tesla Roadster costs about $200,000; they could buy several.)

Our advisors often facilitate family discussions about money. It’s one of our Core Client Services. That’s the value of Perspective.

By |2021-07-15T10:32:04-07:00July 26th, 2021|Financial Planning|

Psychology of Money

McCann-WEBOne of the most important lessons I’ve learned in my career is that financial outcomes are governed by behavior, not knowledge. It has to do with the psychology of money. Our financial success is most influenced by our emotions and feelings, rather than the facts and formulas.

Isn’t that the case with so much in life?

Our emotions are uniquely our own, given our diverse backgrounds, ages, and experiences. So, it’s important to be aware of our emotions and their impact on the decisions we make. At the same time, it’s unrealistic to think we can shut them out of our decision-making process.

Even reasonable people can react poorly to financial circumstances. In The Psychology of Money, the author highlights this reality and explores proactive steps anyone can take to work in tandem with their emotions. Here are two interesting examples.

You’ll Change

I’ve seen this in myself and my clients countless times. Your goals will change. Your work plans will change. Your kids’ plans will change. Thus, it’s important to avoid the extreme ends of planning; don’t make narrow plans that take you down only one path. When life changes happen, be ready to change your plan. Just because you made a decision that worked well under prior circumstances doesn’t mean you must stick with that decision forever.

Getting Wealthy vs. Staying Wealthy

This is a fun one to observe. As people move from wealth accumulation toward financial independence and retirement, their attitudes about money often change in surprising ways. It’s like any other life change – graduating school, getting married, having kids, becoming a homeowner, starting a new job. It’s never quite what you thought it would be. Often, it’s better than what you imagined, yet there are always new fears you didn’t anticipate. You begin to view risk through an entirely different lens. Focusing on stability and dependable income often becomes more important than hitting the great opportunities.

As a financial planning professional, I see it as my role to help each client develop strategies that will enable them to succeed through their unique psychology. Not despite it.


For Further Reading – The Psychology of Money

psychology of money

*A portion of proceeds from your purchase at Bookshop.org helps support independent authors and bookstores.
By |2021-01-12T14:54:53-07:00February 1st, 2021|Books, Financial Planning|

Estate Planning is Not Perfect

There are a number of reasons why you may want to consider creating or updating your estate plan this year (i.e. marriage, divorce, birth, COVID-19, retirement). And there are an equal numbers of reasons why you might be inclined to put it off. What holds most people back? The “popular” answer is we’re all afraid to face our own mortality. That hasn’t been my observation. The biggest challenge that holds many people back is failing to understand estate planning is not perfect.

Here is a breakdown of the common obstacles I see:

Becoming frozen in procrastination.

Getting started on what feels like a big, complicated task is the number one killer of success in any venture. “I don’t have time.” “I need to finish (fill in the blank) first.”  “I’ll have to give these questions some thought.”

Solution: Start with one simple task. Schedule a meeting with your advisor.

Choosing people and assigning priorities is tough.

This was huge for me when our kids were born and we had to name a guardian in our will. “I want the best for my kids. Nobody will do as good of a job raising them as I would.” We face the same challenge when selecting trustees or executors. “What if they don’t do things the way I would do them?”

Solution: Find comfort in knowing the guardians, trustees and executors you choose will do their best. That’s all you can expect of them, or of yourself.

Thinking decades down the line.

We often get stuck trying to predict future circumstances based on what we know today. “My kids aren’t ready to inherit money now. What if they’re still not ready in 15 or 20 years?” “What about my grandchildren? Will they be ready?”

Solution: Focus instead on the next five years.

Estate planning isn’t perfect. Perfect is the enemy of good. Remember, these documents are written on paper, not on stone. They don’t need to last 10, 20 or 30 years. Make the best decisions with the information you have today, and know that you’ll be updating your documents (making them better again, not perfect) in three to seven years. It takes the pressure right off the table.

For successful estate planning, your new plan just needs to be better than the current plan. Hire the right professionals, and let’s work to get it as good as we can.

By |2020-08-14T10:54:00-07:00August 17th, 2020|Estate Planning|

Pandemics and Economic Cycles

It’s reasonable to worry about the outbreak of a previously unknown virus, and taking safety precautions is prudent. Yet, fear of the unknown should not drive our decision-making or cause us to shut down our lives. We may not be able to control travel bans, event cancellations and school closures. We can control our emotions and how we respond to challenges. The past is not predictive of the future, but it does offer valuable perspective. Consider the following information about previous pandemics and economic cycles.

  • When most travel was by boat, infectious diseases typically spread around the world in six to nine months. Everything seems to happen faster today. With global air travel, a virus can become a pandemic within three months. That has been the case with Coronavirus, which first emerged in China in November 2019. The typical duration of a pandemic is 12 to 18 months; it can come in waves of about three to 12 months apart, according to the CDC.
  • Schwab recently conducted an analysis of 13 global pandemics in the past 50 years. The data shows that once the number of newly identified cases starts to decline, economic activity and the stock market tend to quickly rebound.
  • Data compiled by Capital Group shows that past market corrections and bear markets haven’t lasted forever. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Composite Index has typically dipped at least 10 percent about once a year, and 20 percent or more about every six years, according to data from 1950 to 2019. Each circumstance has been followed by a recovery and a new market high.

Recessions are part of the natural economy. Similar to the ebb and flow of the tide, expansions and contractions in the financial system are expected. At Perspective, we factor that into the long-term investment plans of our clients. While stocks rise and fall in the short term, they tend to reward investors over longer periods of time. Keeping your view on the long-term horizon will help you maintain a positive outlook.

Keeping all this in mind, we do recognize that each person’s situation is unique. There is not one right or wrong course of action. If you’re feeling anxious about your financial situation or simply want to know your options, please talk with your Perspective advisor. Being informed and talking about your concerns can go a long way in relieving stress. We are always available to help.

As we all ride out this latest challenge, focus your time and energy on things you can control. Do your best to continue the activities you enjoy. Spend time outdoors, visit with a friend, whatever makes you feel happy.

By |2020-03-18T10:35:13-07:00March 18th, 2020|Current Affairs, Investing|

Empowering Young Adults with Autism

SEEDs for Autism provides a path “from learning to earning” by empowering young adults with autism. The program has been a blessing for my family, and I am so proud that our firm is able to sponsor its inaugural Discovery Day event. (Scroll down to see event details!)

Empowering young adults with autism

Jake McCann works for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The program teaches vocational job-development skills, while practicing life and social skills. My son, Jake, has participated in SEEDs for about three years. During that time, he has grown in confidence and abilities. With encouragement and coaching, Jake got a job as a 50/50 raffle sales person for the Arizona Diamondbacks. During the 2019 baseball season, he was one of the top sellers and was named Employee of the Month in August. Jake’s is only one of many success stories.

About 40 of SEEDs’ approximately 250 participants have found outside employment as a result of what they learned there. Skills are taught in welding, sewing, weaving, wood-turning, ceramics, jewelry, writing, computers, video production, screen printing and more. Participants learn from professionals who are experts in their fields and know how to create products that are beautiful and functional. SEEDs is also creating a business model intended to eventually create on-site jobs for a percentage of those who are in the program.

SEEDs contracts with a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) who helps write language and social-skill goals. Classes and departments have a 1:1 to 1:4 teacher-student ratio, which allows for concentrated attention. This hands-on approach empowers participants to contribute and gain a better understanding of what is required to communicate, manage anxiety and work with others.

Community involvement is vital to SEEDs’ long-term success. Volunteers, donations and purchases are always appreciated. Take a moment to watch the video below and explore their website at www.seedsforautism.org.

Discovery Day will be a fun event and a great opportunity to do some early holiday shopping. We hope to see you there!

Empowering Young Adults with Autism


Discovery Day

November 16, 2019

10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

3420 S. 7th Street, Phoenix

Experience a variety of autism-friendly activities and explore new interests at this FREE community event.

Activities include carnival games, prizes, face painting, obstacle course, puppets, archery, martial arts, remote control cars, therapy dogs and more.

Meet-and-greets with Phoenix Police K-9 unit, Phoenix Herpetological Sanctuary, chess club and other groups. Buy delicious food and drinks, and visit Creation Stations to make origami, leather ornaments, wire bracelets, bath salts and more.

Get more details here!

By |2019-10-21T09:14:50-07:00October 21st, 2019|Charitable Giving, Company News|