Steven Girard, President, Northstar Financial Companies, Inc.

This week, I’m excited to bring you this timely, informative guest blog by trusted financial advisor Steven Girard.

Money.  It’s hard to imagine a life without it.  From its stresses to its joys, there is very little in life that can create so many emotions, both good and bad.  The almighty dollar is loved and loathed, found and lost, and seemingly, there is never enough.

As a financial planner, I have witnessed its many benefits and detriments.  It is a powerful tool that should be handled with care.  Too often, I see people who forget that it is just that – a tool.  On many occasions I have witnessed money becoming an all-consuming aspect in a client’s life.  While it is very hard to do we must remember that money is part of our life, it is NOT our life.

Sounds easy, but I’m not here to say it is.  We all have daily worries that are tied to money.  How will I pay this month’s bills?  Am I ever going to get out of debt?  How will I send my child(ren) to college? How will I ever retire?  These everyday decisions have a ripple effect on our monetary future.  That which I do today effects tomorrow.  Everything I do tomorrow effects the next day.  But, the sooner we can come to grips with the fact that money decisions are here for the rest of our lives, the sooner we can begin to gain some control over how we manage those decisions.

Over the next few weeks in my LIES That Limit™ guest blogs, I am going to provide some insights into how you might get your financial life under control.  I will help you make money something you control and not the other way around.

To begin this journey I implore you to commit to the “process.”  This is a classic case of what you put in affects what you get out.  Take the time to really think things through, really dig deep and analyze your financial picture.  You wouldn’t strap on a pair of sneakers and run a marathon without having trained, so think of your finances as your life’s marathon.

First, we need to figure out in what direction we are going to run before putting one foot in front of the other.  Find yourself a quiet place and some free time.  Bring along a pad of paper.  Bring a friend if someone asking you questions will help.  Think of this as financial meditation.  We want to ignore what you have going on in your life at the moment, clear your mind of the clutter that may be holding you back and start thinking in very broad terms.  Forget for a minute how much something will cost or how you will pay for it and start examining what is important to you.  What inspires you?  What do you cherish the most?  What would bring you a great amount of joy to do, be, see or experience?  Ask yourself, if I looked back on a life well-lived what would be the things I had done and created that describe me as a person?  What will be my own personal legacy?

Now write your answers down.

And with that you have begun your transformation. This list will act as the keystone for your future financial plan.  Any doubts, concerns or indecisions found along the way can be mitigated by reviewing these goals and desires.  These are what you want your life to be.  These are the things that will make your money work for you.  Anything that does not fit into the plan to achieve these things becomes unimportant.  In essence you have defined and declared what is most important to you.

Congratulate yourself.  By doing this you have started the process of instituting a game plan.  You have considered the things that you wish to reflect you.  You have defined them.  You have given them purpose by documenting them for all to see.  You have begun to determine the benchmarks you will turn to when you have moments of financial uncertainty.

You have declared this is what I will be.

Steven B Girard is the President of Northstar Financial Companies, Inc., and the Principal of the  Registered Investment Advisor firm.  With over 18 years of financial planning experience, he believes that financial planning is the key to achieving a life lived well.  He is responsible for the development and institution of Northstar Financial Companies, Inc., its overall philosophy, and financial planning strategies.  Email:

Securities offered through Registered Representatives of Cambridge Investment Research, Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Northstar Financial Companies, Inc. a Registered Investment Advisor. NFC and Cambridge are not affiliated.

Northstar Financial Companies, Inc.
1100 E. Hector St. Ste 399,
Conshohocken PA 19428