One Day at a Time (for 279 Years)
I’ve started looking into retirement options before it’s too late–or at least, that’s what I set out to do recently. Apparently if I want to maintain my standard of living after I punch the digital clock for the last time, I’ll be putting in full shifts on the job until the year 2,300.
Okayfine, it was only 2297 AD according the the online calculator at Wealthfront, but still…point is, my financial plan could use some fine tuning.
On a more encouraging note I’ve been talking to some of the younger members of Team Archway and some of my kids’ friends about maybe not waiting until the wrong side of 30 to start caring about retirement, and I was pleasantly surprised to learn they’re a little ahead of the game.
One name that kept coming up in these discussions is Acorns, an investment resource that not only enables the account holder to build up their nest egg with the money they haven’t dedicated to designer streetwear and DLC, but rewards their friends with monetary bonuses for every new sign-up. It’s a great way to be passively responsible, which can be just as good as the other kind.
Another popular tool among financially savvy teens and twentysomethings is next-generation brokerage Robin Hood, which promises all of the benefits of a professional investing firm with almost none of the associated overhead. Manage your portfolio from your smartphone in minutes, close the app, then check your notifications or get some swiping in…convenient enough for sure.
It seems like an intriguing prospect, but over the years I’ve found that brokerage fees don’t always deliver the bang for your buck and I’ve also come across some advice that actively managed portfolios actually tend to underperform, but I’m by no means an expert so if you want to educate me or just compare notes, you’re more than welcome.
Eyes on the Road
Ever see those crazy Russian dashcam videos with footage of collisions, incidents of road rage, and insurance fraudsters caught on candid camera? Well, the open road is a crazy place whether the traffic signs are in metric or imperial units, and so mounted cameras are fast becoming a necessity for the conscious motorist.
Owl takes the concept a step further, combining a high definition camera with an integrated smartphone app so you can monitor your vehicle whether you’re driving it or not. It can send an alert directly to you in case of a break in or even just a rogue shopping cart, and can transmit live video to your screen wherever you are.
As an added bonus, the camera is on even when your car isn’t, so if there’s a spectacular sunset or a streaker near your vehicle you can be the first to know (and share it online, as is Internet Law).
In my experience, most commonly used agency management systems are well suited to keeping a handle on everyday operations such as processing, commission tracking, and of course, paying the bills. With that typed, they’re not always robustly equipped for the more directly sales related aspects of the game, and that can be problematic since studies show sales are correlated with profits.
That’s why we’ve scoured the marketplace to identify the best tools for agencies who want to sell more insurance and do it right–which I assume is most of yours. If you’d like to check out a few of the apps that we find indispensable to our work and most frequently recommend, click here to let me know and I’ll send you a list. Don’t worry, I won’t sell your info, what we have is more special than that.
Home is Where the Art Is
Scrolling through an album on your phone or posting it on your social media account is one thing, but I know I’m not the only one who misses physical photos…the allure of a moment in time made tangible. There’s just something so much more substantial about holding a picture in your hands, and although I guess you can just print it on paper. don’t you want to take a little more advantage of the future in which we live than that?
Enter Fracture. Fracture is a cool new service that enables you to have pictures printed on glass as a wall or stand mount, adding vibrant warmth and visual interest to your most frequently visited spaces. Being immortalized in a stained-glass window once required approval from the Pope and usually took place after your final birthday, but now all you need is a major credit card and you can enjoy it during your life. Isn’t technology great?
The Last Word
Well, that’s certainly a ripe and relevant installment of “Brad’s Blog,” wouldn’t you say? Thanks as always for joining me for this periodic presentation, I express my gratitude for not being sent to the spam folder often and I do mean it every time. I’ll be back on schedule next week, but until then if you want to chat or suggest a new topic, you know where to find me. Have a great week!