Madison Jardine


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Professional Liability Insurance for Social Workers

liabilityinsurancesocialworkersSocial workers are people who work usually work in the improvement of one’s life.  Their pursuit is to bring change to the life of people.  Of course, not all social worker have the same or similar responsibilities.  Basically, there are seven types of social work specialties – child, family and school; medical and health; community; psychiatric; military and veterans; hospice and palliative care; and mental health and substance abuse.

The responsibilities of a social worker depend on the type they are specialized in.  Nevertheless, their work is mainly based in the provision of service for others so that these people can get the service they may need.  They may even provide the necessary support if they have been victims of abuse and violence.  But since social work is also an act of providing service to others, it means they are also susceptible to lawsuits being filed by the people they may look after.  If you work as a social worker and strive to do your best in your chose profession or career, note that you cannot always satisfy people as there are always some who remains unsatisfied.

In social work, in order to protect yourself from such lawsuit, you need to be equipped with Professional Liability Insurance for Social Workers You can grab one from liabilityinsurancequotes.ca they are an expert on this industry.  This is basically your protection from financially damaging lawsuits, whether they even have merit or not.  Since a lawsuit can be pretty expensive, the liability insurance serves as your financial protection so you will not get bankrupt in case you do get sued.

The issue with other people is that they attempt to sue if they are not satisfied with services.  They may claim that you have provided them with malpractice on your part. Whether their claims are true or not, usually, their aim is simply to get financial benefit from you if they win their case.  Since such settlements can be pretty expensive, if you are protected by a Professional Liability Insurance for Social Workers, you have the financial backing of the insurance company that you have insurance with.

Keep in mind that as a social worker, your main work is to provide service that can help make other people’s lives better.  While you are also working for salary, your humanitarian service is still invaluable as not everybody is keen on helping others.  Do not let a lawsuit put you down by getting yourself a Professional Liability Insurance.

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7 Tips for Surviving the Road (Even) Less Traveled

“Sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason.” ~Seinfeld

This post has been rolling around in my head for a long time now, and I wanted to throw it out there. It may seem contradictory to a lot of the other material on Bounteo, but I’d like to at least start the discussion.

There are tons of personal finance bloggers out there, and most of them would probably point to the pattern of thrift and investing in the stock market for the long-term (usually via index funds) as the most proven way to achieve wealth. Studies have certainly born this theory out, and I have advocated the same thing on this site and elsewhere.

However, a nagging doubt at the back of my head is this: just because something worked in the past, does that mean it will work in the future? Also, just because 80% of millionaires made their money using method A, does that mean that you should take that route? Maybe methods B & C are a better fit for you, for the age we live in, or maybe they’re just simply less obvious / harder so fewer people try them.

Should we take the tried-and-true route to wealth, even if it doesn’t inspire us?

Here are some examples of taking the road less traveled in terms of wealth:

Dropping out of college or skipping college to start a business
Probably not a ton of people who would advocate this, but it’s a common story among the super-rich. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Michael Dell, the list goes on and on. Now, please understand, I’m a huge advocate of college, but lots of people have succeeded without it. Maybe there’s something else that works better for you.

Leveraging your investments by buying on margin, trading stock options, or day trading
Are you likely to succeed at this? Statistically, absolutely not. However, I personally know some people who have done very well in these areas. I have a hard time thinking of circumstances where I would encourage it, but why should you listen to me? 😉

Skipping the stock market altogether and just focusing on real estate
Real estate is a proven path to wealth, so perhaps it doesn’t belong in this category, but for whatever reason, I see a lot of personal finance bloggers making the argument that real estate is too advanced for most people or offers inferior returns to those of index funds. Neither are necessarily true. Unlike index funds, real estate is an investment that you can directly improve through hard work and dedication. Returns that are orders of magnitude larger than the stock market are not uncommon for professional real estate investors. “But I’m not a professional”, you say? Well, do you want to be? All those professionals started somewhere, too.

Bootstrapping a business with your credit cards
Does this path carry a lot of risk? Absolutely. Are there other ways to accomplish the same thing? Yes, there usually are, but what if this is the only option you have? Should you not take it just because some blogger said it was a bad idea? Lots of businesses have been started this way, and while it’s not an ideal start, if it’s this or no start, it may be worth it.

Borrowing from your 401k to fund investments
Why not?

Becoming a bank robber
Just kidding. Getting wealth through dishonest means is never worth it.

I say all that to say this: there are many paths to wealth, beyond just the old “save and invest in things that are boring” routine that is often bandied about, even here on Bounteo. That plan is a great one for the vast majority of people, and it’s certainly better than no plan at all for 100% of people, but what about those people who are driven to do more? Well, if you’re determined to go your own way and explore the road that’s even less traveled, here’s some advice for the journey:

  1. Don’t lie to yourself – Be honest about the risks you’re taking
  2. Manage the risk – Just because you’re taking extra risk doesn’t mean you can’t control or manage it
  3. Don’t be risky – There’s a difference between taking risk and being risky (aka reckless)
  4. Have a plan – Before you jump in, think about your path and how you’ll deal with different scenarios
  5. Seek advice – You’re probably not the first to travel down this road, so get advice from those who have
  6. Don’t abandon the basics – Do what you can to cover your downside and provide an insurance plan if things go south
  7. Stay involved – Nothing good ever just happens to people on the road less traveled; you have to make it happen.

Bonus #8: Know when to call it quits – There’s no shame in giving it your best and failing. What’s sad is people who stumble on in a zombie state for years, wasting valuable time that they could spend on their next attempt.

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Why is productivity cyclical?

This post originally appeared on RyanWaggoner.com, but I thought it might be interesting to Bounteo readers, so I’m reposting it here. I’d love your comments and feedback…thanks!

Is it just me, or does productivity come in cycles? Sometimes I’ll go weeks at a time and absolutely tear it up, getting tons done on client work, personal projects, etc. I feel great, motivated, etc. Other times, I struggle to get anything done and never really get into the groove. Why is that? I mean, I do get stuff done, but it just feels like such a freaking chore and I have to force myself to power through. These cycles seem to last several weeks each, perhaps a bit longer. I have a few speculations that I’ve pulled from thin air on why this might occur:

Natural biological process
It might be that there’s some natural chemical process in the brain that makes some people more or less productive and that this process tends to be cyclical in nature. I feel like perhaps I’ve read something about this…if it’s true, I’m not sure how much I can do about it other than be aware of it and try to use it to my advantage? For the record, I think this is the most unlikely of the three scenarios.

Reflection of what I’m working on
Perhaps I’m just more excited at times about things that I’m working on because they’re more interesting. This one is hard to evaluate, because I’m not sure if I’m feeling unmotivated because of boring projects or if the projects seem boring because I’m feeling unmotivated.

Motivational momentum
I think is probably the most likely scenario. Basically, I think that certain people (myself included) swim better against the current. When things aren’t going well and I’ve got a lot of pressure (both external and internal) to get stuff done, I tend to build up a lot of motivational momentum and push hard to get things done. On the way up this hill of accomplishment, things are good, as I’m getting a lot done, keeping up with all my responsibilities, etc. It feels great. But as I accomplish more and more, that pressure and stress begins to dissipate, and so does some of the motivation. At this point, I begin to crest the top of the motivational hill and the old feelings of being unmotivated begin to return. Over the next few weeks, stuff begins to gradually pile up again and the pressure and stress begins to build. But until it hits a certain point, my motivation doesn’t seem to really kick in. Once it does, the cycle starts over.

This has been an issue my entire life and I’m just now getting to the point where I can deal with it more effectively. In college, I dealt with it by keeping my schedule absolutely slammed so there was virtually no room for error. I finished 75% of my bachelor’s degree in 17 months and graduated with a 3.9 GPA. I say this not to brag, but just to point out that I had virtually no room to slow down or slack off. This ishighly effective, but it carries two huge price tags: risk and stress. The risk is that you’re juggling so much that if you drop one thing, it can all come crumbling down. The stress comes from the fact that you have no margin for error. These two things feed off each other, as the high risk stresses you out and the high stress increases the risk that you’ll make a mistake. Obviously, this is not a viable long-term solution.

The core problem here (for me, anyway) is relying too much on motivation, which is a fickle emotion. It can be incredibly useful, usually at the start of a venture, to kickstart your efforts and give you that critical early boost in the right direction. But if you rely too much on it, you’ll find that it never lasts long enough to get you where you need to go. The primary reason that people fail is because they give up, and I believe that the primary reason people give up is because they rely too much on motivation. The going gets rough and they find that the only fuel they really had was an emotion that’s now gone, so they just kind of let things die out.

Here’s what I’ve tried to do: replace motivation (emotion) with decision (habit). This is the primary reason that I do my seven daily habits. These habits were carefully chosen as things that I want to accomplish daily to get me closer to where I want to be, regardless of whether I feel like doing them or not.

That doesn’t mean that motivation has no place in productivity and self-improvement, but I think that you can’t rely too much on it. To the extent that motivation does play a role in my productivity, I’ve tried to replace external motivation with internal motivation, where I’m pushing myself harder rather than waiting for other people to pressure me. As an example, one of my daily habits is to look at my goal plan every single day. I also carefully track my goals from month to month, recording what percentage I accomplished, and preparing a new plan for the next thirty days. I also carefully track the amount of time that I work on various projects and initiatives in my life. I do all these things not because I have some weird fascination with data (at least not primarily so), but because by carefully tracking my productivity and advancement towards my goals, I am often motivated to push myself harder because I’m not moving as fast as I would like. The adage that “what gets measured gets managed” is true for the simple reason that when we’re confronted with the data about how we’re spending our time and the results of our efforts, we’re often encouraged and motivated to improve.

I’d love to hear what other people’s thoughts are. Have you experienced cyclical productivity? If so, how do you deal with it?

Posted by Madison Jardine on

7 Tips for Surviving the Road (Even) Less Traveled

“Sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason.” ~Seinfeld

This post has been rolling around in my head for a long time now, and I wanted to throw it out there. It may seem contradictory to a lot of the other material on Bounteo, but I’d like to at least start the discussion.

There are tons of personal finance bloggers out there, and most of them would probably point to the pattern of thrift and investing in the stock market for the long-term (usually via index funds) as the most proven way to achieve wealth. Studies have certainly born this theory out, and I have advocated the same thing on this site and elsewhere.

However, a nagging doubt at the back of my head is this: just because something worked in the past, does that mean it will work in the future? Also, just because 80% of millionaires made their money using method A, does that mean that you should take that route? Maybe methods B & C are a better fit for you, for the age we live in, or maybe they’re just simply less obvious / harder so fewer people try them.

Should we take the tried-and-true route to wealth, even if it doesn’t inspire us?

Here are some examples of taking the road less traveled in terms of wealth:

Dropping out of college or skipping college to start a business
Probably not a ton of people who would advocate this, but it’s a common story among the super-rich. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Michael Dell, the list goes on and on. Now, please understand, I’m a huge advocate of college, but lots of people have succeeded without it. Maybe there’s something else that works better for you.

Leveraging your investments by buying on margin, trading stock options, or day trading
Are you likely to succeed at this? Statistically, absolutely not. However, I personally know some people who have done very well in these areas. I have a hard time thinking of circumstances where I would encourage it, but why should you listen to me? 😉

Skipping the stock market altogether and just focusing on real estate
Real estate is a proven path to wealth, so perhaps it doesn’t belong in this category, but for whatever reason, I see a lot of personal finance bloggers making the argument that real estate is too advanced for most people or offers inferior returns to those of index funds. Neither are necessarily true. Unlike index funds, real estate is an investment that you can directly improve through hard work and dedication. Returns that are orders of magnitude larger than the stock market are not uncommon for professional real estate investors. “But I’m not a professional”, you say? Well, do you want to be? All those professionals started somewhere, too.

Bootstrapping a business with your credit cards
Does this path carry a lot of risk? Absolutely. Are there other ways to accomplish the same thing? Yes, there usually are, but what if this is the only option you have? Should you not take it just because some blogger said it was a bad idea? Lots of businesses have been started this way, and while it’s not an ideal start, if it’s this or no start, it may be worth it.

Borrowing from your 401k to fund investments
Why not?

Becoming a bank robber
Just kidding. Getting wealth through dishonest means is never worth it.

I say all that to say this: there are many paths to wealth, beyond just the old “save and invest in things that are boring” routine that is often bandied about, even here on Bounteo. That plan is a great one for the vast majority of people, and it’s certainly better than no plan at all for 100% of people, but what about those people who are driven to do more? Well, if you’re determined to go your own way and explore the road that’s even less traveled, here’s some advice for the journey:

  1. Don’t lie to yourself – Be honest about the risks you’re taking
  2. Manage the risk – Just because you’re taking extra risk doesn’t mean you can’t control or manage it
  3. Don’t be risky – There’s a difference between taking risk and being risky (aka reckless)
  4. Have a plan – Before you jump in, think about your path and how you’ll deal with different scenarios
  5. Seek advice – You’re probably not the first to travel down this road, so get advice from those who have
  6. Don’t abandon the basics – Do what you can to cover your downside and provide an insurance plan if things go south
  7. Stay involved – Nothing good ever just happens to people on the road less traveled; you have to make it happen.

Bonus #8: Know when to call it quits – There’s no shame in giving it your best and failing. What’s sad is people who stumble on in a zombie state for years, wasting valuable time that they could spend on their next attempt.

Posted by Madison Jardine on

Youtube turns amateur chefs into celebrities

Great story today in the SF Chronicle about how amateur chefs are getting huge exposure on Youtube.

I love that there are so many ways to make a living online today. There are Youtube celebrities that have been making six figures in income for years. If you’re not already doing what you love, why not start making content online about it? Stick to what you’re truly passionate about and stick with it for a few years. You never know where you might go 🙂

Note: If you’re not a subscriber, you won’t be able to check out the SF Chronicle article until Saturday.

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It’s OK to not be perfect

“The human story does not always unfold like a mathematical calculation on the principle that two and two make four. Sometimes in life they make five or minus three; and sometimes the blackboard topples down in the middle of the sum and leaves the class in disorder and the pedagogue with a black eye.”

~Winston Churchill

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Teaching kids about money

My parents didn’t do a great job at demonstrating good financial habits for me, and as a result, I’ve been thinking about how I’d like to teach my kids to be more fiscally responsible.  I ran across a great post today over at Get Rich Slowly with some good tips and links to helpful articles about allowances, teaching kids about the value of hard work, and more.  I don’t have kids yet, so I don’t have a lot of commentary here, except to say that it’s definitely the job of parents to teach their kids about this.  The schools sure aren’t going to do it, and judging by the pile of debt that the average American has, people don’t usually fall into a pattern of good financial habits on their own.

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The hard way or the fun way?

Building wealth over the course of a lifetime is a pursuit that requires focus, dedication, and self-discipline. Living on less than you make and investing the difference is 90% of the battle, and we often think of this path as one of constant restraint, eating ramen noodles and spaghetti and shopping at thrift stores. Pinching every penny is one way to build wealth, but the good news is that once you get some momentum and see your wealth pass a certain point, a class of investments starts to open up that allows you to have fun and increase your wealth at the same time. CNN Money ran an article a few days ago with some ideas about how to live rich and then retire richer. Here’s a sample of my favorite suggestions:

  • Going global: Buy real estate in exotic locales. Imagine buying a small villa in an up-and-coming tropical paradise (they mention Uruguay) and holding on to it for the next 30 or 40 years. Not only will you have the enjoyment of the property, but you can rent it out to vacationers for some extra income. When you’re ready to retire, you can always keep it as a vacation home or sell it, likely for a tidy profit. What could be better?
  • Collecting profits: Invest in unknown artists. If you’re an art lover, buying works you love from artists who are poised to make it big is a win-win. You’ll get the enjoyment of the artwork and possibly make a handsome profit along the way. Granted, it may not be as lucrative as some stocks, but as the article points out, it’ll look a lot better on your wall than a stock certificate from Wal-Mart.
  • Start a business: Be your own boss.  Once you’ve amassed some cash, you could always take the plunge and start a business of your own.  Lots of advantages to this route, but beware: the vast majority of most small businesses fail within the first few years, so before you put your life savings on the line, make sure you can live with losing it.

Building wealth isn’t usually thrilling.  For the most part, it’s a slow and steady battle, which is what makes it so hard in the day-to-day.  But once you get to a certain point, it can be both rewarding and fun at the same time.  Hang in there…

Does anyone have other ideas on ways that you can invest and build wealth in ways that are enjoyable as well?

Posted by Madison Jardine on

Penny-wise and pound-foolish?

Interesting post yesterday on Free Money Finance about a couple of articles that discuss saving money on groceries. Some of the tips include the classics like cutting coupons, but also things like keeping a price notebook to record the prices of the stuff you normally buy?

My mom has always been a coupon person and a bargain hunter. She’ll drive all over town looking for the best deals on organic produce. I’ve never fully understood that philosophy. It seems like your time is worth more than trying to save $.50 on a cucumber. At what point does the gas you’re using and the time you’re spending outweigh any small savings? I know that small numbers add up, and especially when you have a lot of mouths to feed, it may make more sense.

For my wife and I, who both work, it’s just not usually worth it to try and do all this bargain shopping and coupon clipping. We order our groceries online and have them delivered for $10. Most of the things we buy are staple items and I do a quick check to see if there’s another brand or something that’s on sale. There are several “luxury” items that we simply do without if they’re not on sale.

The ironic thing to me is that I have seen a LOT of people who clip coupons and bargain shop to save a few pennies, but never contribute anything to retirement savings, never purchase a home, and never really get their act together when it comes to the bigger things. My wife and I try hard to keep the small things in order, like not eating out too much, and checking for things on sale at the grocery store, but we try a lot harder to keep the big things in order, like saving for retirement, moving our careers forward at a good pace, and investing in stocks and real estate. I’d much rather get a few of the small things wrong and hit the big ones than the other way around.

What about you? Do you have a different perspective on this?

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8 free things to get (and keep) your finances in order

These are some things to do that won’t cost you anything (or hardly anything) other than time, but will help keep your finances organized and under control. It’s a good idea to do these things at least on an annual basis. They may not directly improve your finances immediately, but if you stick with them over the long-term, you’ll see a dramatic change in your financial situation.

Create a written financial plan
If you don’t have written financial goals, drop everything and get it done. If you’ve never done it, it might be difficult to get into the groove, but it will be well worth the effort. Almost nothing will improve your financial well-being more than having awritten financial plan for your future.

Assuming you already have a written financial plan, it’s a good idea to review it on at least an annual basis, and probably more often. I try to have a formal review of my goals about once per quarter, but I’m constantly looking at my plan in the interim, even as often as weekly. For your formal review, check to see if your assumptions and future plans are still the same, and adjust your goals and milestones as needed.

Setup a written budget
The number one rule of building wealth over the long-term is living below your means. Even if you make $500k / year, if you spend $501k / year, you’re going backwards. It’s very difficult to live below your means without a budget. You can budget on a piece of notebook paper, in Excel, Quicken, Money, or Mvelopes. I very highly recommend Mvelopes, and you can read my post on it here. It’s not perfect, but it’s the closest thing to perfect for this that I’ve discovered. Your mileage may vary.

Assuming you follow your budget well, you’ll be adjusting things here and there throughout the year, but once a year, it’s a good idea to sit down and review it from the big picture perspective. Compare your budget with your financial plan and your long-term goals and ensure that the budget is in line with your plan.

Prepare a will
When you’re in your twenties, it can seem a little odd to have a written will. But it’s important, especially if you have any assets (including a home or retirement accounts) or children. This is the only step that will cost you something, but it’s important enough to pay for. You can have an attorney do it for about $500 or use a service such as LegalZoom.com, which will run you $70 – 120, including a review of your finished will by an attorney. You may also want to consider creating a living will.

Every year, take a look at your will and make sure that any major changes in your life from the past year are reflected in the document.

Review insurance policies
Insurance is one of those necessary evils in life. It sucks to pay those premiums every month, but if you ever really need insurance, you’ll be glad you have it. Once a year, you’ll want to do a big-picture overview of your insurance protection. Is your coverage adequate? There are too many different situations to cover here, but in general, make sure you have adequate home, health, car, life, liability, and disability insurance. You should also take a look at your deductibles and see if you feel comfortable raising them, which can save you money in your monthly premiums. If you need help with your specific situation, consult a qualified professional, such as a financial planner, preferably one who does not sell insurance products directly.

Setup a filing system
If you don’t already have one, setup a filing system to keep track of your important documents and records. This will be especially useful when tax time rolls around and you need to find those receipts from that charitable gift you made 8 months ago. This probably doesn’t need to be anything too complicated. Depending on your specific situation, an accordion file for each year may be enough. If you need some general tips on setting up a solid filing system, I recommend Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity.

Check your credit
At least once a year, it’s a great idea to go to annualcreditreport.com and get copies of your credit report from each of the 3 credit reporting agencies. You’re entitled by law to one free copy per year from each agency. If you find any mistakes, contact the agency to report the error. If you’re particularly paranoid about identity theft, you can sign up for a credit monitoring service, which will notify you when new credit is opened in your name, usually within 24 hours. Equifax, one of the 3 credit reporting agencies, offers such a service. Prices range from $4.95 / month for weekly updates on changes to your Equifax file, to $12.95 / month for updates within 24 hours on changes to your files at all 3 of the agencies.

Make copies of important documents and store them somewhere safe
What if the worst happens and your house burns down, turning all your documents and records into ash? Would you be able to get things back in order? It’s a good idea to make copies of all your important documents and keep them elsewhere. Scanned copies can be stored on an encrypted USB drive and kept in your car, at the office, etc. It’s also probably not a bad idea to buy a small fireproof safe and keep your really important original documents inside.

Review your investment accounts and rebalance as necessary
Once a year, it’s a good idea to review your investments as a whole and rebalance to ensure that your asset allocation is where it should be. For example, if your asset allocation plan says to hold 70% in stocks and 30% in bonds, and stocks have outperformed bonds over the last year such that your holdings are 75% stocks and 25% bonds, you’ll want to rebalance to get back to that 70/30 allocation.

Keeping your finances in order doesn’t have to be that time-consuming. Setting it all up initially is the most difficult thing. After that, most of these tasks could be knocked out in one weekend per year. Not a bad investment of time for a lifetime of financial stability and control.