In This Issue


Hi. My name is Jackie Ashley, and I LOVE being involved in our fantastic community!  
Our area offers a vast array of not-for-profit organizations that you can volunteer your time, treasure and talent to help folks in need.  I am a member of South Puget Sound Rotary and our mission is to help kids in South Thurston County schools succeed, prevent polio, provide clean water and disaster relief worldwide.  
Most recently, I had fun helping to collect trophies to decorate for our Annual Auction coming up April 30th at Little Creek Casino, "Go Play Sports!." For me, the term "Trophy Wife" took on a whole new meaning as I collected the treasured decorations (ha ha!). You are invited to join in the FUN-raising, too. Just visit Our goal is to raise $400,000 to help here at home and around the world. Hope to see you there! 

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Referrals are always appreciated!
If there is someone in your circle whose name you'd consider sharing, please know that:
  • We would contact them only with your permission and in whatever way you would feel most comfortable
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Q2 2016

Spring is almost here. My yard was in bloom with crocus's and daffodils on the 1st of March.   The weather is giving me the message that I should be doing mass pruning of trees and planting a full garden. I know better, this is not yet the time. Selective pruning and planting of cold weather plants is prudent. Gardening is an artistic and emotional endeavor. To be successful throughout the season, you also need to apply discipline and science.  
In investments this year, we have seen more stormy days and cold fronts and significant dips in the market. Election year, oil prices, tension within China and Europe, the dollar's strength, along with other economic issues have indicated stress (storms) within the investment world. What we need to guard against is reacting to the short-term here and now when it comes to investing.
As with gardening, we need to look at the long term plan, the science, and make decisions based upon reasonable assumptions and logic. When the sun is shining, we want to act. When it's stormy, we often want to avoid the necessary work, or cancel our plans.   Experience, having a strategy and the discipline to remain focused and staying the primary course, with selective adjustments, can be the wiser course of action. If I prune my stone fruits in March, odds are strong that I will be damaging my trees not only for this season, but for the long run.   I can do some clean up, strengthen my bed structure and do some limited fertilizing and planting, but this is not the time to act like it is late spring or early summer.
With gardening and investing, I need to have a plan that is grounded, and that acknowledges my goals and the science of the subject, not just my current emotions or wants.   I need to stay disciplined. That does not mean I do not struggle to deny my desires to be fussing in the yard, but that I channel my energies on reinforcing my plans and infrastructure. Reviewing why and how you invest, tactical changes, learning by attending the educational seminars offered by the firm, and revisiting goals can be wiser options than acting on the immediate circumstances.
Cash Flow
The term cash flow is easily tossed around. According to Webster's Dictionary, the technical definition is "a measure of liquidity that usually consists of net income after taxes plus noncash charges against income". This is a good place to start. I imagine that to many people cash flow means cash is flowing out the door. Cash and cash equivalents are terms used to describe money that is easily accessible and can be spent. But what do these terms mean to the average person and family? I propose that cash flow is the money to pay the bills and to spend; cash in & cash out.
Financial professionals often start the financial assessment process with cash flow because it is the foundation of all financial decisions. Quite frankly, without the sustainable cash flow to support one's goals and objectives, you are doomed to fail. The start of determining your realistic parameters for achieving your goals is a two-step process that begins with understanding your cash resources and then aligning those resources with your objectives so that they are achievable.   The pain involved is that you may have to adjust or even delay your current dreams and hopes as your present cash resources may be inadequate to achieve and sustain your objectives.
Cash resources start with inflow; what is your income, earned and unearned? In other words, what income do you have to work with that you can count on weekly, monthly, and annually? That is the baseline.
Now that you have your income, it is time to review your expenses. First, we begin with your fixed expenses. By fixed expenses, I mean consistent living expenses that have little or no fluctuation and are necessary. Examples would be rent or mortgage, utilities, insurances, current debt related expenses, food, shelter, and clothing. I also propose that in today's world, saving for retirement to cover future essential expenses is a must. These days, retirement investing is not a luxury, but a necessity. Most of the time, employer and government sponsored retirement plans alone are not going to get the job done for you. Strive to keep fixed costs low as you will then have greater overall flexibility. Consider all costs, not just strictly monthly bills, such as the annual expense of home or rental insurance, property taxes, life insurance, and car and home upkeep.
Flexible spending can be non-essential food, clothing, dining out, travel, entertainment, and even cell phones. These are expenses you can increase or decrease as needed. Have the conversation with yourself and your significant other as to what of these non-essentials are really meaningful to your quality of life. If your cash inflow does not support this discretionary spending, it should not be purchased. Keep in mind that along with the basic purchase, often-times comes related on-going expenses associated with it. An example, you're not just buying a cell phone, but an ongoing expense of a cell phone service plan. Consider the associated expenses, maintenance, upkeep, and other additional costs when making purchases.
Long term goals, such as funds to replace a vehicle, upgrade a bathroom, or to travel all need consideration as you draw out your cash flow chart.   Determine your commitment to these objectives and what needs to be allocated on a regular basis so you can cover the costs of these goals. You will, by completing this exercise, be able to adjust and connect with your spending habits. The actions you take will determine your commitment and success of achieving your true objectives. The ground work of charting your cash flow is a first step. It is part of the process of designing the life you want.
Travel Adventures
What are your plans for adventure this spring and summer? If you have not outlined them, please do! Time will run away from you. One of the benefits of planning in life is that it helps you prioritize and avoid letting opportunities pass you by.   Spending time with your loved ones, or even alone, in the big city, beach or the woods will not happen in a quality fashion unless you take the time to make it happen. Make up a list and organize it based on time and money parameters and then work it. Have your adventures become a reality and a memory that will be priceless. Go play! And please send me a postcard sharing your excitement.   I'm organizing camping trips, wine tasting in Walla Walla, and of course paddle boarding time with friends.
Quick Links

Points to Ponder

49... Percentage of male workers among the 4 million workers surveyed in 2013 who participated in their employer-sponsored 401(k) plan.*


$121,000... Average retirement account balance for men among those surveyed in February 2015.**


29... Percentage of American workers who have less than $1,000 saved for retirement.***



*Wells Fargo



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Mid-West Mom's Helpful Hints 

Exterminate and repel those insects...  Don't let insects or spiders get the upper hand in your home.  Keep a can of WD-40 handy, and when you see an insect, spray a small amount directly on it for an instant kill. To help deter insects and spiders from entering your home, spray WD-40 on windowsills and frames and screens, and door frames.  Be careful not to inhale the fumes when you spray and do not do this at all if you have babies or small children in the home.


Pretreat blood and other stains...  Oh no! Your child fell down and cut herself while playing, and there's blood on her new shirt.  After you tend to the wound, give some first aid to the shirt too.  Pretreat the bloodstains with WD-40.  Spray some directly on the blood stains, wait a couple of minutes, and then launder as usual.  The WD-40 will help lift the stain so that it will come out easily in the wash.  Try to get the stain while it is still fresh if you can, because once it sets, it will be harder to get rid of.  Use WD-40 to pretreat other stubborn stains on clothing, such as lipstick, dirt, grease, and ink stains.


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Lacey, WA 98503. Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser. Fixed insurance products and services offered through Navigate Financial.


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