Both sets of my rural Georgia grandparents had telephones albeit with party lines. You didn’t answer the double ring; it was for someone else.



While our antenna could pull in three television station signals, in reality, we had two since the only things separating channels four and six were "The Gene Ragan Farm Show" and Saturday afternoon “wrasslin.” Nowadays people communicate or get their entertainment via Facebook; times have changed.



Facebook has obvious advantages but when it’s all said and done, Facebook seems to be the quintessential time-waster. Bill Maher used a more colorful term but he’s on HBO.



A Facebook friend recently pondered selling stocks since the Dow crossed 15,000. Selling or buying should depend on your goals, needs and strategic asset allocation, nothing else. Rather than get involved in Facebook “conversation,” it sparked a newspaper column.



Most people struggle with goals ... guilty as charged in this arena. For years, I wanted an office on 30A but never told my wife. While perusing the Walton Sun, an ad caught my eye and hers, we talked and the build-out starts soon. Foolishly, I drug around identifying an important goal. 



Most people buy stocks or mutual funds fervently praying for an increase in value. They too often end up with an investment hodge-podge — been there, done that, got the T-shirt. Some investment advisors do the same; coining the term tactical asset allocation so they can charge for their (alleged) expertise. Their spiel includes overweighting one sector and underweighting another because they have figured out a way to beat the market (Insert Sarcasm emoticon). Sure some investment management pros outperform consistently on a risk-adjusted basis, but like Mark Twain’s demise, their number is greatly exaggerated. And I’m quite sure none have offices on 30A nor 98.



Look at your asset allocation mix and rebalance to your target.  Not having a target is like fishing without a cork: You can’t tell when one is on the line. Since 2009 through last December, the S&P 500 earned over 14.5 annually and this year’s 10 percent rise bodes well for another positive year. Your stock allocation can easily get out of balance and expose you to increased risk.  Higher stock allocations means increased volatility or in plain English, it can go down more dramatically.



If you don’t know where you are headed, any path will do. Learning where your money goes is critical; some expenses are vital and essential while others are non-essential. Budgets bore people, but instead think spending plan, not budget. You can then separate the necessary from the superfluous. We recommend Mint.com or Quicken. Figuring out your needs helps make better financial decisions.



Selling stocks because a group of 30 individual stocks (the Dow Jones average) crossed an arbitrary line (15,000) makes little sense. Keep in mind that adjusted for inflation, a new high requires a close over 20,000. Selling a stock mutual fund to generate a down payment for an office you always wanted, that’s a different story. A buy, hold, and rebalance strategy matched with our goal perfectly and provided superior investing strategy to boot. My wife of 33 years would rather leave it all to our children, but I’m looking forward to my new office in Redfish Village. 



Buz Livingston, certified financial planner has the only investment management firm in the entire world headquartered in Blue Mountain Beach. He helps clients along Florida’s Emerald Coast and around the country with financial decisions. For more information, call 850-267-1068 or visit www.livingstonfinancial.net. Follow his financial tweets @BuzLivingston.