Andre Zaal Financial Advisor Group LLC

at 1400 Preston Rd, Ste 400, Plano, 75093 United States

A strategy where you cannot outlive your money


Andre Zaal Financial Advisor Group LLC
1400 Preston Rd, Ste 400
Plano , TX 75093
United States
Contact Phone
P: (214) 797-9722
Website

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Values of Adulthood: A True Cause and Effect Sometimes it’s interesting to think back to how our upbringing determined how we developed our specific set of ideals. After all, the situations and experiences we faced early in life can have a big impact on the paths we chose in adulthood. Our earliest impressions of the world are an extension of the behaviors we observed and the lessons our parents taught us. As we grow older, our life experiences often align and reconfirm the validity of those early influences. [CLICK HERE to read the article, “Do Children Just Take Their Parents’ Political Beliefs? It’s Not That Simple,” at The Atlantic, May 1, 2014.] [CLICK HERE to read the article, “Who Had Richer Parents, Doctors or Artists?” at NPR, March 18, 2014.] One aspect of growing up is finding people who share your same values, and this can create strong relationships. As financial professionals, we live and work in the same community as many of our clients, and in many cases, share the same values in terms of work ethic, prudence and money management. Having a similar belief system as our clients has enabled us to develop strong, long-term relationships. As your financial professional, our goal is the same as yours: To help put you in the best position possible to have an optimal retirement. [CLICK HERE to read the article, “More Students, Secular but Feeling a Call, Turn to Divinity Schools,” at The New York Times, Oct. 16, 2015.] [CLICK HERE to read the article, “Race, guns, culture and change in S.C.,” at ABCnews.com, Oct. 16, 2015.] While we can work together to monitor your financial situation, other aspects of life are left to chance and perhaps even determined before birth. For instance, a recent study revealed that people with summer birthdays tend to have a higher birth weight and grow taller than those with winter birthdays. The contributing factor appears to be that their pregnant mothers were exposed to more sunshine in summer — and its inherent vitamin D, which has a measurable effect on childhood development and health. [CLICK HERE to read the article, “People born in summer are taller than those with winter birthdays,” at The Telegraph, Oct. 12, 2015.] Another interesting cause and effect: Economic downturns tend to produce better teachers. When jobs are scarce, there is an increase in highly-educated, well-qualified people seeking teaching jobs. Normally, the pool of people who want to become teachers is much smaller, in part because pay for teachers is relatively low compared to other professions. While there are obvious downsides to growing up in a time of economic turmoil, quality teaching is one of the most positive influences a youth can experience. [CLICK HERE to read the article, “Why recessions produce good teachers,” at World Economic Forum, Aug. 6, 2015.] On the flip side, sometimes children can have an influence on us. Anyone with children understands how priorities change after entering parenthood. As they’re exposed to other stimulus in the world, the beliefs and values they develop can in turn have an impact on how their parents see the world. The relationship between parent and child comes full circle, as parents impart their values on youth, and vice versa. [CLICK HERE to read the article, “CEOs with Daughters Run More Socially Responsible Firms: An Interview with Henrik Cronqvist,” at Harvard Business Review, November 2015.] It just goes to show you that while wisdom and experience are invaluable, we are never too old to learn something new — and no one is too young to teach us. We are an independent firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance products to custom suit their needs and objectives. The information contained in this material is provided by third parties and has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions. If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference. AE11151182

Published on 2015-11-09 15:45:48 GMT

Talkin’ ’Bout My Generation A generation gap exists whenever different age groups interact, but never are the differences more evident than when parents are in the process of raising teenagers. There are a plethora of factors that differentiate generations -- communication mediums, interests, values, work ethic -- and the list goes on and on. Psychologists say the divide between parent and teenager is a natural progression to help both prepare for their eventual separation: Teenagers rebel toward their independence; parents start looking forward to an empty nest. [CLICK HERE to read the article, “When Parents Get Angry at Their Adolescent,” from Psychology Today, June 15, 2015.] Marketers have conducted exhaustive research differentiating and defining the generations that co-exist today, from the greatest generation all the way down to Generations Y and Z. Despite all our differences, one common thread is that every era has some kind of financial dilemma, such as the 2008 recession’s effects on adults and the student debt millennials now face. Whatever your current financial concerns are, our team of professionals is here to answer any questions you might have. [CLICK HERE to read the article, “Market crash of 2008 still affects Gen Xers, boomers,” from BenefitsPro, Sept. 22, 2015.] [CLICK HERE to read the article, “Student Debt Squeezing Parents and Children Simultaneously,” from ABCnews.com, Oct. 5, 2015.] One positive of having distinct generations is that everyone brings something unique to the table. For example, baby boomers have had a clear influence on both the economy and culture over the last 40+ years and continue to drive new innovations and industries with vivacity and longevity. [CLICK HERE to read the report, “Generational Identity: The Power of ‘Boomer,’” from Pew Research Center, Sept. 2, 2015.] The post-baby boomers who make up Generation X tend to get lost amid the headlines that surround the more populous boomer and millennial demographics, but the fact is, many Gen Xers have had their own unique financial experiences as a result of the recession and real estate decline that hit just as they were nearing their mid-career earning potential. [CLICK HERE to read the article, “Most Americans have less than $1,000 in savings,” from Marketwatch.com, Oct. 8, 2015.] [CLICK HERE to read the article, “When It’s Time to Cut Financial Support to Your Parents or Adult Kids,” from Time.com, Aug. 10 2015.] The millennials, now just as populous as boomers, are now a coveted market in the consumer world, and the teens of Generation Z are nipping at their heels. [CLICK HERE to read the article, “Millennials Outnumber Baby Boomers and Are Far More Diverse, Census Bureau Reports,” from the U.S. Census Bureau, June 25, 2015.] [CLICK HERE to read the article, “Millennials on Steroids,” from Knowledge@Wharton, Sept. 28, 2015.] We make generalizations when it comes to generations, and each does have its own set of circumstances, but sooner or later, everyone can use the advice of an objective professional to help create a financial strategy and stay on track to meeting their goals. We’re fortunate that you chose us to provide you this guidance, and we’re available to discuss your future whenever you feel the need. We are an independent firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance products to custom suit their needs and objectives. The information contained in this material is provided by third parties and has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions. If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference. AE10151176

Published on 2015-11-02 17:03:46 GMT

Feeling Like a Fish Out of Water As the 2016 election approaches, immigration is being brought up more than ever. But the issue is nothing new, and will still be around long after the next U.S. President is elected. Some have viewed immigration as a concern since the French, Spanish, Dutch and Swedish settled in America back in the late 16th century, while others argue none of us would be here in the first place if it wasn’t for immigration. We’ve all had a first day at a new school or job where we had to wonder how we would be treated and if we would fit in. Imagine that predicament if you moved to a place where everyone around you had a different native tongue. On occasion, consumers unfamiliar with the world of finance may feel like everyone’s speaking a whole new language. Our job as your financial professional is to clear this confusion and help ensure your financial strategy is suited to your unique needs. [CLICK HERE to read the article, “Immigration Timeline,” from The Statue of Liberty - Ellis Island Foundation, 2015.] [CLICK HERE to read the article, “U.S. Immigration Before 1965,” from History.com, 2015.] Like any other time in our nation’s history, viewpoints on immigration are all over the spectrum. Today’s presidential candidates have proposed interesting ways to deal with immigration, from building a wall with a big, welcoming gate, to tracking people the way UPS tracks packages. [CLICK HERE to view the article and video, “Trump Gets Down to Business on 60 Minutes,” from CBSnews.com, Sept. 27, 2015.] [CLICK HERE to read the article, “Ben Carson Immigration Reform: Let Undocumented Immigrants Work on Farms,” from International Business Times, Sept. 16, 2015.] [CLICK HERE to read the article, “Where Do the Presidential Candidates Stand on Immigration?” from Bloomberg, May 6, 2015.] Some economic analysts offer a different perspective. For example, in response to a comment made by Donald Trump early in his campaign, one scholar reveals that the immigrant crime rate in the U.S. is very low compared to native people. Many also believe that more immigration is necessary to replace the tens of millions of retiring baby boomers over the next two decades, and that it is a tremendous driver of economic growth. In fact, many of Silicon Valley’s startups in the 1990s were founded by immigrant entrepreneurs. [CLICK HERE to read the article, “The Immigration Boogeyman: Separating Fact from Fiction,” from Knowledge@Wharton, Sept. 30, 2015.] [CLICK HERE to read the article, “The Immigration Act That Inadvertently Changed America,” from The Atlantic, Oct. 2, 2015.] [CLICK HERE to read the article, “Modern Immigration Wave Brings 59 Million to U.S., Driving Population Growth and Change Through 2065,” from Pew Research Center, Sept. 28, 2015.] It takes more than luck and courage to try something new and succeed, yet for hundreds of years, millions of immigrants have done just that. The same can be said for deciding on the strategies that can help you feel confident in your family’s future. For many people, trying to navigate the financial world can make you feel like you’re not in your element -- a fish out of water. Luckily, it’s our world, and we welcome the opportunity to help you make decisions that can benefit you now and for years to come. We are an independent firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance products to custom suit their needs and objectives. The information contained in this material is provided by third parties and has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions. If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference.

Published on 2015-10-26 16:48:22 GMT

You Might Be Overdue for a Leadership Shakeup In September, a celebrated visit from Pope Francis made quite an impression on Americans. During a political era when discussions of both church and state are increasingly divisive, somehow the Argentinian leader of the Catholic Church grabbed attention from every end of the spectrum for his message of unity and cooperation. In many ways, Pope Francis has transformed papal leadership with his willingness to depart from traditional norms or expectations. From his access to the public -- even mastering social media -- to his outward demonstration of the value he places on all people, which includes inviting the homeless to eat with him and empowering his subordinates with decision-making authority, his leadership style alone has impressed believers and nonbelievers alike. An effective leadership style can make all the difference, and when it comes to your personal finances, we hope you’ll find that we lead by giving you the information you need to take charge of your financial future. [CLICK HERE to read the article, “Pope Francis, in Congress, Pleads for Unity on World’s Woes,” from The New York Times, Sept. 24, 2015.] Even the United States is grappling with the issue of leadership as the two biggest parties gear up for the 2016 presidential race. Certainly, there are various types of leadership styles, with varying levels of success. As American voters consider who will sit in the White House next, it’s important to recognize, too, that a style of leadership that may have been very effective in one circumstance may not resonate with all constituents; some may respond well while others do not. We see this again and again with different critiques of leaders, such as Carly Fiorina’s role as chief executive officer of Hewlett Packard, and the soon-to-be-former Speaker of the House, John Boehner. Whether these critiques are fair or not, it is undeniable that, at least for the Republican voter base, a leadership shakeup, or a departure from “business as usual,” is attractive. The top polling candidates for the GOP -- Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson -- are newcomers to politics. None have held public office, which is traditionally a “must” on the resume of the top elected public official in the country. Whether their current traction in the race is sustainable or not, their lack of experience in the public sector has helped rather than harmed the three candidates in the polls, reflecting a growing reconsideration of what “leadership” means. [CLICK HERE to read the article, “Carly Fiorina’s Legacy as CEO of Hewlett Packard,” from Harvard Business Review, Sept. 25, 2015.] [CLICK HERE to read the article, “Boehner departs as least-popular speaker in three decades,” from The Washington Post, Sept. 25, 2015.] [CLICK HERE to read the article, “Poll: Fiorina rockets to No. 2 behind Trump in GOP field,” from CNN Politics, Sept. 21, 2015.] You can also work on a personal leadership shakeup, regardless of whether you are responsible for several people, a business, a family or just yourself and Bubbles the goldfish. The qualities being repeated in headlines and talking head soundbites can be equally effective within your own life, helping you accomplish your own goals. For example, take some of the leadership qualities of Pope Francis: • Accessibility -- Be available to loved ones, family, friends and colleagues. • Compassion -- Show others respect, no matter their circumstances. • Empowerment -- Vet well and trust others to make decisions on your behalf. • Courage -- Sometimes the greatest risk is to speak up or act on your convictions, even when you know you’ll go against the grain, but it is better to be authentic. [CLICK HERE to read the article, “5 Leadership Lessons from Pope Francis,” from Fast Company, Sept. 25, 2015.] Applying these qualities in your own life might help you to feel more involved or more empowered to act. Remember, your actions today are the beginning of your legacy and your future. And as always, if you are ready to act in the area of finances, we are here to help. We are an independent firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance products to custom suit their needs and objectives. The information contained in this material is provided by third parties and has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions. If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference.

Published on 2015-10-19 14:47:40 GMT

Young Adults Left Waiting on Post-Recession Employment Underemployment is a problem that has been particularly difficult on recent college graduates, but its effects are felt by all demographics. Although the unemployment rate is down, you could say we have the most well-educated bartenders and busboys in history. The World Economic Forum found that most college-educated workers took jobs in low-earning industries between 2000 and 2014, and wages of young college graduates are 2.5 percent lower than they were in 2000. This has an impact on more than just graduates and the parents they may be moving back in with. Unemployed and underemployed people spend less on consumables. In turn, low demand for goods and services leads to lower growth, and companies that aren’t growing don’t create more jobs. As a whole, the nation’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.1 percent in August, but it was at 7.2 percent for recent college graduates and 19.5 percent for those fresh out of high school. This means that more than a quarter of this teenage generation is unable to buy a new car, house or other perks that come with being in the job market. [CLICK HERE to read the article, “Why college-educated workers are taking low-paid jobs,” from World Economic Forum, Sept. 4, 2015.] [CLICK HERE to read the report, “The Class of 2015: Despite an Improving Economy, Young Grads Still Face an Uphill Climb,” from Economic Policy Institute; May 27, 2015.] All of this is just part of the reason the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee decided against raising interest rates in September -- also citing global issues and their impact on the U.S. stock market. Please contact us if you wish to discuss how this may impact your current financial strategy. [CLICK HERE to read the media release, “Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Summary,” from Bureau of Labor Statistics, Sept. 18, 2015.] The lack of jobs and a stalemate in the real estate market have contributed to slow recovery in many areas of the country. Six years after the recession ended, many cities in the Southwest have the lowest recovery rates based on 17 economic indicators, such as home-price appreciation and wage growth. Nine of the 15 cities in the worst shape are located in Arizona and Nevada. [CLICK HERE to read the article, “Cities in the Southwest Are Still Waiting for a Recovery,” from The Wall Street Journal, Sept. 18, 2015.] [CLICK HERE to read the article, “2015’s Most & Least Recession-Recovered Cities,” from WalletHub, Sept. 14, 2015.] As you might have guessed, those faring best in the post-recovery stage are people who already possessed a substantial amount of wealth. Earnings have increased among households ranked in the 90th and 95th percentiles of wealth in the U.S. since the recession, but on average, income levels for all other groups are still below 2006 levels. Today, the median household income is 6.5 percent lower than it was in 2007, the year the recession started. [CLICK HERE to read the article, “The Richest Americans Are Winning the Economic Recovery,” from Bloomberg, Sept. 16, 2015.] One of the best lessons we can extract from the recession is that we can’t control what will happen with the economy, but we can be proactive about what we do with our assets. Regardless of where you stand in the recovery spectrum, please give us a call to discuss potential strategies for positioning your assets that can help ensure your family’s financial future. We are an independent firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance products to custom suit their needs and objectives. The information contained in this material is provided by third parties and has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions. If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference.

Published on 2015-10-06 14:34:56 GMT

The past 10 years have spawned an abundance of studies revealing that it’s experiences, not possessions, that bring enduring happiness. In fact, the anticipation of buying something appears to be more satisfying than the actual ownership, and experiential purchases like trips, concerts and movies tend to be more gratifying than material purchases. That’s not to say people necessarily are spending less money, simply that a shift in what they buy — experiences versus material goods — can lead to greater fulfillment.

Published on 2015-09-09 02:33:29 GMT

Feeling Stressed? Find Some Green. It’s not easy being green. That signature line delivered by Jim Henson’s Kermit the Frog, and later covered by Frank Sinatra and countless others, has taken on a variety of meanings over the years. One way the classic Muppets song applies to the world today is the difficulty in finding green areas in urban neighborhoods. Imagine being a youngster in a low-income family, looking outside and, instead of seeing a tree to climb or grass to play in, being surrounded by man-made structures and the dangers of gang violence. Earlier this year, research from Stanford University found that growing up in an environment sans nature’s bounty can have a direct impact on a person’s overall physical and mental well-being. The lack of green areas in urban neighborhoods may even impede the maturity of children’s brains and be a factor in their economic decline. Whether it’s growing up in a rough neighborhood or keeping track of the bills in an upscale community, people of all ages and economic statuses face some form of stress. The best way to combat this is confidence, something we’re here to provide as your financial professional. Knowing that you’ve received professional advice and have proactively created a plan to secure your financial future as well as that of your family can help relieve anxiety. Through years of saving and hard work, you’ve put yourself in a position where you can enjoy the world around you: taking walks, enjoying a sunset unobstructed by pollution and gazing upon the bloom of flowers. Several children today are growing up in an environment where those simple pleasures are absent. That’s why some cities have started focusing on restoring green areas in low-income neighborhoods, strategically planting shrubs and trees to screen out busy street noises and reduce the glare from headlights. [CLICK HERE to read the article, “The Simple Idea That Could Make America’s Poorest Neighborhoods Healthier,” from Think Progress, July 10, 2015.] For an example of how green spaces can help maintain happiness, even in a financial predicament, just look at what’s happening in Greece. The country’s financial struggles may have city residents in a damper, but those living in the beautiful mountain villages have a bit more hope. “I have my lettuce, my onions, I have my hens, my birds, I will manage,” one retiree stated after his government pension was cut. While those who live in outlying areas still feel the effects of shuttered banks and reduced government services, they have a better chance of surviving than city dwellers. In short, they are using age-old tactics that have enabled them to survive wars and natural disasters: chickens and a vegetable patch. [CLICK HERE to read the article, “Greek villagers’ secret weapon: Grow your own food,” from The Houston Chronicle, July 3, 2015.] Then there are traditional stress relievers. We’ve always known they worked, we just didn’t know the science behind them. For example, adult coloring books have recently become de rigueur as a modern-day stress reliever. Sugar has been proven to reduce levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, and hugging releases oxytocin, a hormone that promotes feelings of devotion, trust and bonding. [CLICK HERE to read, “Colouring books for adults a new way to relieve stress,” from CBC News, July 8, 2015.] [CLICK HERE to read the article, “Sugar as a Stress Reliever,” from The New York Times, April 23, 2015.] [CLICK HERE to read the article, “7 Reasons Why We Should Be Giving More Hugs,” from The Huffington Post, March 27, 2014.] These are all great remedies, but the ideal situation is to avoid stressful circumstances to begin with. If you ever have questions about your financial circumstances, feel free to give us a call. We are an independent firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance products to custom suit their needs and objectives. The information contained in this material is provided by third parties and has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions. If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference.

Published on 2015-09-01 17:47:27 GMT

Growth: A Product of Planning and Sharing We all want the magic key to growth. From growing our personal wealth to business growth to national gross domestic product, Americans are obsessed with figuring out the perfect growth formula. Unfortunately, the reality is there is no magic solution for any of these areas. Numerous factors interplay to contribute to growth, adding up to be advantageous, disadvantageous or neutral. When considering the best options for growing personal wealth for retirement, one of the biggest factors is planning. While a minority of individuals plan even 10 to 15 years ahead of retirement, studies show planning can make the difference in whether you have enough income in retirement. Those who plan ahead tend to have double or triple the wealth of those who do not. The concerns of planning for your retirement income are particularly key for several reasons, not the least of which is that centenarians (the population over age 100) are the fastest-growing age group as we are living longer than ever. Additionally, it’s more expensive to retire than it used to be, making the amount of funds you can accumulate for a longer retirement more important than ever. You don’t have to stumble through these kinds of obstacles alone, though. If we can help you put together a retirement funding strategy -- or review one you already have in place -- please give us a call. [CLICK HERE to read the article, “How Financial Ignorance Can Ruin Retirement,” from Forbes, July 15, 2015.] [CLICK HERE to read the article, “A Retirement Age of 100? It’s Coming,” from The Wall Street Journal, Feb. 9, 2015.] Beyond growth of our personal resources, Americans want to see strong industrial growth. This kind of growth has traditionally been motivated by innovations, spurred by competitors who tried to build on the success of their peers. In the 1990s and early 2000s as globalization peaked, proprietary information trickled through each industry by way of supply chains, as companies saw what others were doing and shared that information with the others they supplied. However, company growth and productivity in recent decades has been negatively impacted by the trend of proprietary intellectual capital. Also known as “excludability,” the phenomenon is defined as the degree to which a company can prevent competitors from learning its secrets. In recent years, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in patents and other legal maneuvering that thwarts the free flow of ideas. Now, in many cases, sharing information protected as intellectual property is against the law. The net result? Less sharing and less industry growth, according to a study by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. [CLICK HERE to read the article, “The Secret to a Great Economy,” from BloombergView, July 31, 2015.] To contrast the slow of industrial growth and productivity, we see sharing as a contributory theme in metropolitan growth. Larger cities (more than 300,000 people) in the U.S. have recovered faster from the economic downturn than smaller ones, according to a new report from the National League of Cities. The report cited an increase in new business start-ups, business expansions and a more robust retail sector as reasons for this organic growth. In other words, the more customers out and about sharing the wealth, the faster these places saw businesses, employment opportunities and general economic recovery signs grow. [CLICK HERE to read the article, “Economic recovery felt most in big cities,” from The Hill, July 31, 2015.] Our obsession with growth prompted the Bureau of Economic Analysis to publish a new measurement for it in July. Called the “gross domestic output,” or GDO, the measurement averages gross domestic product (GDP) and gross domestic income (GDI). In theory, the GDP and GDI measure the same thing: the total value of the economy’s output. However, GDP tracks expenditures on final goods and services produced in the United States, whereas GDI tracks the income that those who produce those goods actually receive. As you ponder national economic growth and how it may affect your personal planning for retirement, a recent report has revealed one of the best ways for a layperson to measure the growth of GDP. Because the transportation sector is the fourth-largest U.S. industry sector (behind housing, food and health care), the number of semitrailers on the road roughly correlates to the number of goods sold and shipped in the U.S. Basically, the more semitrailers you see, the better the GDP is doing. So perhaps the next time you find yourself frustrated at sharing the road with a big rig, perhaps it will help to think about it as sharing the road with national growth. [CLICK HERE to read the brief, “A Better Measure of Economic Growth: Growth Domestic Output (GDO),” from WhiteHouse.gov, July 2015.] [CLICK HERE to read the article, “The Trucking Industry Is Delivering Good News for the Economy,” from Time, July 30, 2015.] We are an independent firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance products to custom suit their needs and objectives. The information contained in this material is provided by third parties and has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions. If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference. AE08155145