Martha Harris Myron, CPA, PFS, JSM, Master's of Law â€“ International Taxation and Financial Services, is a personal finance expert and offers cross-border financial planning for Bermuda residents with international connections through Bermuda, North America and Europe.
Nov 21, 2015 8:00 am
Taking action after your 14-week financial review, part 2. Know your financial environment and your representative.
You’ve organised your financial matters, now you want to move forward — to fill in the gaps in your financial plan.
Where do you start?
First, understand yourself within the Bermuda financial environment. The financial industry, even in Bermuda, is broad and complicated, so if you are determined to become a...
Nov 14, 2015 8:00 am
Your Bermuda financial review summary is over. You are now moving forward to taking control of your finances, in our unique Bermuda financial environment.
You’ve realised you have some gaps, say in life or property coverage; you saved a bit and now would like to start a small investment fund, or you know that you seriously need to update your estate plan and will.
Where do you start?
You will be challenged because you must...
Nov 7, 2015 8:00 am
You’ve reached the summit. The final step of an exhausting 14-week long review of all of your Bermuda financial resources in order to improve your financial lifestyle.
Did you do it? Congratulations. You’ve run the course — gone through frustration, boredom, and lack of confidence, now you are just about at the end.
What was your outcome? Were you happy, was it fun, frustrating, or just plain depressing? Do you feel more in...
Oct 31, 2015 8:00 am
This is week 13 of the 14-week Bermuda financial review to dramatically improve your finances
The risk of living
If you asked anyone, your friends, your family, the person on the street “what did they fear or worry about the most” besides Halloween ghosts, the most common answers would probably fall into just a few categories: fear of losing a job, losing money and a relationship, losing good health, and losing one’s life.
Oct 24, 2015 8:00 am
Week 12 of your 14-week Bermuda Plan** to Improve Your Financial Lifestyle
Readers, your review plan is almost finished — just two weeks to go — don’t give up now. This week’s column focuses on final review of your pension, while translating that knowledge into setting up an individual investing plan outside of your pension planning for the future.
What average returns should you be looking for in long-term...
Oct 17, 2015 8:00 am
This is week 11 of the 14-week Bermuda action plan to improve your financial lifestyle.
Your action plan is now knee-deep in the review of investing and pensions. In the next two weeks, we will:
• review the performance of a balanced pension selection,
• provide a very simple calculator to track (on average) how your pension is performing,
• another calculator to project some possible estimated amounts to expect for...
Oct 10, 2015 8:00 am
Week 10 of the 14-week Bermuda plan to improve your financial lifestyle.
Review of pension and investments — part 2 (part 1 was published last week)
Readers who have been courageous in attempting this “long” review of their finances — you are more than half way through. This is the hardest bit, though — thinking about investments and what they mean to your successful financial future.
Here is a little factoid.
Oct 3, 2015 8:00 am
This is the pension and investment review phase of the Bermuda 14-week financial review to improve your financial lifestyle.
As this phase of the review may be more difficult and complex for many, so we will cover it over next three weeks.
Why? Because pensions are investments.
Simply suggesting a brief review of investments assumes an understanding that many individuals simply do not have. Over the years, I still...
Sep 26, 2015 8:00 am
Week 8 of the Bermuda 14-week financial review to improve your financial lifestyle.
What are additional income-producing ideas to increase your monthly cash inflow?
Yes, searching websites reveals endless generic (and some very innovative) lists of ideas, but what may work elsewhere often means tailoring the product or service to our environment. Some detractors may feel that it just can’t be done with Bermuda still mired in...
Sep 19, 2015 8:00 am
Week 7 of the Bermuda 14-week plan to dramatically improve your financial lifestyle.
The Bermuda 14-week plan is an individualised financial review plan series adapted for our unique Bermuda financial environment from an original article by Libby Kane, Business Insider May 2015.
Find weeks 1 to 6 by visiting The Royal Gazette website under Martha Myron, starting on August 1, 2015 and each subsequent Saturday.
At week 7, you...
Sep 12, 2015 8:00 am
Week 6 of the Bermuda 14-Week Plan to Dramatically Improve Your Finances
The Introduction to the Plan through weeks 1 to 5 can be found by visiting The Royal Gazette website under Martha Myron, starting on August 1, 2015 and each week subsequently on Saturday. http://www.royalgazette.com/article/20150801/COLUMN07/150809998
Yes, you are now six weeks into this personal review of your income and spending habits. It is quite a...
Sep 5, 2015 8:00 am
Setting goals — Week 5 of the 14-week Bermuda plan to dramatically improve your finances.
This week we discuss thinking about setting goals, deciding what those goals are or what just one goal should be and the process needed to reach your personal goals.
What should those goals be? Only you can decide that. It does not matter what the goal is – the end game here is to help you get to the touchline. That means putting dollar...
Aug 29, 2015 8:00 am
This is Week 4 of the Bermuda 14-week plan to dramatically improve your finances.
Reader questions arise, such as where do you get the energy to continue to deliver the message that financial planning is beneficial to everyone, when it seems that Bermudians have a tough time saving today.
Answer is, that we know from experience when individuals have the knowledge they need to work with, they have the confidence to make changes...
Aug 22, 2015 8:00 am
This is week three of the Bermuda 14-week plan to radically improve your finances.
Review your credit card statements, a mortgage statement if you have bought a home, and don’t forget personal debt payments to friends and family. How much do you owe in the short term, and the long term?
Hopefully, your answer is a good one: very little in short-term debt, but probably a pretty high balance in...
Aug 15, 2015 8:00 am
This is week two of the Bermuda 14-week plan to radically improve your finances
The original article from Business Insider promoted taking 14 days for your personal financial review, but if you are like most working people with careers and families, your free time is often predetermined for family first. We’ve stretched the duration of your review instead to 14 weeks straight, ending on October 31 — Halloween.
Aug 8, 2015 8:00 am
Literally thousands and maybe millions of articles have been written on budgets, savings and spending. Detrimentally, for most people, the prospect of even beginning to consider a budget is too much trouble, too daunting, too time-consuming, so they just don’t budget at all. All statistics on scale, some individuals manage just fine financially without one, while far more of the rest of us have problems just keeping track of a positive net...
Aug 1, 2015 8:00 am
Uh, oh! Cup Match was awesome — a great event checking out friends, catching up with the family, and starting new relationships. You arrived in spectacularly stunning duds to join the fashion display, snacked and sipped, danced and dallied, made a few passes at the Crown and Anchor. Then it was over, all too soon.
Hey, it was a holiday — everyone got in party mood! But, you overindulged just a bit: overages on your credit card, that...
Jul 18, 2015 8:00 am
Part of the Bermuda Tightwad Gazette Series.
Why buy a car?
Here is the thing about life since man walked the earth. Expanded upon over time by sociological and psychology scholars, man’s needs (and wants) fall into five broad categories: survival (air, shelter, water, food); safety and security; social needs (love and belonging to family and friends); esteem and confidence; self-actualisation (creativity, problem...
Jul 11, 2015 8:00 am
Utility conservation: The Bermuda Tightwad Gazette Continuing Series
Last week Moneywise started a review of utility costs and what the individual family can do to control them. We need electricity. Yes, we could do without it — in the short term, but most of us lack the temerity to be permanent back-to-the landers, with all due respect to those individuals who embrace living off the grid. We are many generations of peoples since...
Jul 4, 2015 8:00 am
Old-timers called it the Lack-a-Light Company. How many remember everyone standing in line with cash to pay their ‘lacktricity’ bills — some still do. It was a time full of social interaction in those queues, we were less harried and hurried then, plus you always came off with great gossip — from those in the know.
The Bermuda Electric Light Company (Belco) bill payment these days, whether fully electronic or manual, is a time of...
Jun 27, 2015 8:00 am
The search for the best career choice in Bermuda after graduation Moneywise article of June 13, 2015, “From graduation to a rewarding career” generated a number of comments and direct requests for additional advice. As always, these readers’ personal information shall remain confidential, while their underlying plans for their future careers provide some interesting feedback for this weeks column.
Reader #1. “Although I graduated from...
Jun 13, 2015 8:00 am
So, you are graduating. What are you going to do with the rest of your life?
Where to go? How do you decide?
Possibly, you just really feel somewhat aimless, drifting a bit. School was never your strong point. You know you need to earn some money, though. It is becoming a pressing issue.
You think you might want to come back someday, as a Bermudian to get your share of the success pie being dished out here.
Jun 6, 2015 8:00 am
What should you do, if anything, about sinking bond prices?
Seeking Alpha’s Wall Street Breakfast reported last Thursday morning that “bond yields continued their sell-off as the six-week bond rout rumbled on. Further United States Treasury yields rose as high as 2.425 per cent before retreating.”
There are a number of investment and economic reasons that bond prices and yields are volatile currently, such as worries about...
May 30, 2015 8:00 am
I’m still harping on the virtues of saving that accompanies the good feelings of accomplishment — to the point where some readers won’t want to peruse this week’s read. “Sometimes, your articles make my head hurt,” said one fellow. Another stated that while they were very good — with the caveat — “most of the time — she got a little depressed over the weekend reading them” — so she only read Moneywise when she could absorb the information,...
May 23, 2015 8:00 am
Here are the remaining answers to the Bermuda Financial Literacy quiz that was featured in The Royal Gazette Moneywise article on April 11.
Answers to first five questions were published on May 2 (see links at end of this article).
Right, I promised those answers for May 9, didn’t I? So sorry. Special features like Mother’s Day and the continued escalation in cost of Bermuda living took total priority.
My dear husband...
May 16, 2015 8:00 am
Dear Readers, how are you saving on your household costs? Will you tell me your “secrets” as I invite you to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org? Kindly state your name and whether you would like to remain anonymous. I never reveal my sources.
The recent announcement by our local utility company, Belco (yes, I’m using the old name) regarding a contemplated rate increase in electricity had to have left Bermuda families frustrated with...
May 9, 2015 8:00 am
What does it take to be a mother?
Initially, it is a brief physical moment of contact. Her (and your) future course is set.
But it is much more than that.
Mothers have borne us through nine long months of a glorious, terribly laborious gestation displaced by irrevocable physical changes. Who among all mothers does not admit to having terrified thoughts, at least once, during that hiatus in life regarding the daunting...
May 2, 2015 8:00 am
Financial literacy quiz answers? How Moneywise are you? Only one very brave reader took the test. She actually scored 100 per cent, but there was one catch. For extra points, some questions had multiple answers. She, bless her heart, proclaimed to be a devoted fan of Moneywise, so loyalty was rated incredibly high on my list. But was there no interest in a quiz that was primed to point out getting your money’s worth and monitoring your...
Apr 25, 2015 8:00 am
Couples, whether living together, in a civil or legal union, are they functioning in beautiful bliss or financial fiascos?
Family relationships encompass a variety of life arrangement situations: couples, single parents, grandparents, civil unions, long-distance commuter commitments, cohabitation. The June wedding month, more popular than ever, is close to hand.
Weddings. brides, grooms, attendants, friends, family. Pre- and...
Apr 18, 2015 8:00 am
Bermuda mutual fund offerings available listed by criteria. Part 5. This is the last of this series on balanced asset allocation mutual funds available for the investor in Bermuda.
I’ve put together a chart for you all, dear readers, of various balanced mutual funds offered by Bermuda banks and/or investment as at December 2014, a full year of reporting. Information was taken directly from their websites, or obtained directly from a...
Apr 11, 2015 8:00 am
April is Financial Literacy month in the United States. Since we Bermuda residents (at least, some of us) love to mimic our US neighbours in so many trends: styles, investments, entertainment, why not adopt the Financial Literacy Month Initiative here, too, unofficially, of course?
Almost everything in our daily lives is tied to finance. Yet, according to the FINRA US surveys: over 40 per cent of US families have no budget and spend all...
Apr 4, 2015 8:00 am
First, NEVER TAKE your dog kite flying, especially if he is old and slow. Second, beware of cute pastel-coloured gifts.
Home made versus store bought. During another time in another era, every family (ours included) made their own kites. It was very rare to see a store bought mass-manufactured kite. Plus, while commercially produced kites were simply spectacular to the eye, they cost lots more and didn’t always fly, not like the...
Mar 28, 2015 8:00 am
Year-end review for Bermuda balanced mutual funds. We are following on from part 1 of the original article dated January 17, 2015 on mutual funds options available in Bermuda from various investment firms and banks located here in Bermuda.
Yes, I know, you need an apology, dear readers, since I promised more the next week. But, the Bermuda budget just happened to take first place — you know the importance.
Why did we select...
Mar 21, 2015 8:00 am
Retirement is an old, overused word. Retirement is no longer relevant in today’s global society. This opinion (mine) is that Bermuda’s economy is just not producing (or keeping on Island)* our skilled young people in numbers anywhere near close enough to replace their elders.
This is not speculation. It is pure math. There are more of us than there are of them younga’ ones. Statistically, the numbers of our Bermuda seniors (65 and...
Mar 14, 2015 8:00 am
This is an adaptation of an article written originally for Moneywise in early 2009 as the Bermuda economy fell off a cliff. It has been updated to reflect the current recession.
The state of our economy and the Bermuda government debt is on everyone’s mind.
We hear that it is “not business as usual”, that Government “cannot afford it”, that “foot traffic has been slow, so we’ve had to cut back on employee hours”, and...
Mar 7, 2015 8:00 am
Comparison of the 2015/20 16 Bermuda Budget Statement and the Reply to the Budget between Government and the Opposition — Part 1.
It is tough being a politician any day — but particularly so in the electronic age we live in of constant exposure: texting, Google search, Twitter, Instagram, selfies, Facebook, and whatever the next connectivity device is imminent to be flashed across vapourware. Everything a politician does or doesn’t...
Feb 28, 2015 8:00 am
Since we Bermuda residents all originally came from somewhere else, today there are thousands of us with multinational ties, multi-jurisdictional assets, multiple citizenships and multiple passports.
We are not unique in our restless quest to travel. Today, millions of people are advantaged with the ability to live, work, and retire in a globally mobile society. This quest for mobility continues to accelerate, almost beyond...
Feb 21, 2015 8:00 am
A budget is a curious thing, nowhere near as simple as it looks. It is not realised monies — as in cash received in hand, cash spent out — gone! A budget places its emphasis on what we think we will see financially going forward. A budget can be (and should be) an analytical projection based upon real facts from prior years, a shrewd assessment of financial activity of the current year, an even harder look at events predicted for the future...
Feb 14, 2015 8:00 am
Respect. It can be said that an integral component of a couple’s maturing relationship is respect for each other and their shared visions, such as their inspirations for a better life, the dreams of establishing a home in their community, the drive to secure a financially successful future, and the social progression and growth of each individual.
Respect walks in tandem with money attitudes
The management of...
Feb 7, 2015 8:00 am
For more than 400 years, Bermuda residents have been habitual border crossers. You can label us “puddle-jumpers” “pondstraddlers”, “nomads,” “global explorers” or “inveterate wanderers,” but the fact remains that there is no unequivocal choice.
We physically have to leave this island dot to get to where we want to go. While there may be a few Bermudians who have never left the dear island in their entire lives, we can assume that...
Jan 31, 2015 8:00 am
Bermuda residents are still coping with stressful financial hurdles as the country starts some recovery from the sixth year of recession (or more, depending on some people’s perspectives).
The following negative equity situation is a composite-generated case that is not specific to the Bermuda environment or any individual’s particular financial profile, although anecdotal comments indicate these situations have and are happening here.
Jan 24, 2015 8:00 am
Last week we began a beginning investor series on balanced mutual funds. What they are, how they work, and where they are available in Bermuda. (See Balanced Mutual Fund Options in Bermuda, http://www.royalgazette.com/article/20150117/COLUMN07/150119761).
Year-end reporting for the balanced mutual fund products is still about another week away — as not all Bermuda investment providers listed last week have posted final fund statements...
Jan 17, 2015 8:00 am
This is part one of a review of balanced mutual funds available in Bermuda.
Last week’s Moneywise column focused on that week’s volatility in capital markets, particularly in the United States where the daily swings to gains and losses were anywhere from 500 to 1,000 points. This week, through the end of Thursday, January 15, (when this article goes to press) that same volatility persisted with markets reacting to disappointing US bank...
Jan 10, 2015 12:01 am
Market waves can pave the way to investing success. Interesting patterns developed in global capital investment markets this week. Reactions and patterns that were familiar, seen many times before when investors get jittery viewing their uncertain portfolio activity. This time the undulating waves of selling and hedging appeared to be primarily caused by the continued uncertainty of oil pricing and production.
On Monday and Tuesday...
Jan 3, 2015 8:00 am
A new year for investors and global capital markets. A new year for the economy of Bermuda. A new year for your personal finances. What will it bring, how will it shake out, how will it affect you personally?
America, our neighbour (and 400-year old relationship friend), saw the S&P capital market index hit new records 53 times last year (according to Bloomberg), while the Dow Jones rose to an all-time high above 18,000 during the...
Dec 27, 2014 8:00 am
Holidays are for happiness. There you are in the aftermath, sitting amid the remnants of wrappings, fading but still twinkling lights, wonderful food, and memories of Christmas. You may have acquired things you don’t need, given things that others didn’t need, spent more than you should, but you know overall in your heart that you made the best of the holiday season by making others happy. It is a good feeling.
What were the most...
Dec 20, 2014 8:00 am
This week, for those following global financial events, we have been witnessing the financial deterioration of a giant economy, Russia.
All the classic ingredients appear to be present, heightening the volatility of the situation: increasing economic instability, possible financial isolation, rapid fluctuations in currency values, downward export price movements (oil), foreign direct inbound investments withdrawing, worried investors,...
Dec 13, 2014 8:00 am
Create meaningful memories this holiday season. We know from local news statistics that the holidays will be more difficult for many, many Bermuda families. Money is tight. Job retention and prospects for new employment are still tentative, even with the celebratory news of American’s Cup last week.
Christmas generally brings out the best in our emotional responses. We look forward to gathering together with family, enjoying special...
Dec 6, 2014 8:00 am
Here we are this week, welcoming the America’s Cup to Bermuda and looking forward to the sporting excitement that will climax in 2017.
Bermuda, the Dot in the Ocean*, is drawing intense scrutiny from around the world as the new host of this prestigious event.
Who are we? What is this place called Bermuda?
Bermuda’s people are for starters tenacious survivors, flexible innovators, and inveterate world travellers
Nov 29, 2014 8:00 am
Scammers and those being scammed, part two
“At the bottom of Multi-Level Marketing — a scummy business at best — lurks Global Prosperity. The slimy-est of the slimy MLM programmes, none is more of a scam, or has such a disreputable background, as Global Prosperity and its many equally-sordid spin-offs.” Quote from Quatloosers Hall of Shame.*
The Global Prosperity Group — the Gateway to Financial Freedom (and...
From school dropout to self-made millionaire
New radio station launched
Parking headache drove market to Gardens
Ruling sets precedent, says Harkin lawyer
Tributes to soulful saxophonist Simons
Prestigious award for humpback whale photo
Gaming Commission seeks new general counsel
Island passed America’s Cup telecoms test
Take Our Poll