The Salesman IS NOT Your Friend

At the risk of throwing salespeople everywhere under the bus, I’m going to share a few stories that might change the way you think about the way these professionals are compensated. Let’s start at the beginning. Recently, I asked my life insurance agent for an increase in my disability insurance policy. (You can learn more about a disability policy here.) His response? It will be a lot of work for a small benefit. At first, this response baffled me. Obviously, applying for more disability insurance…
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Define Disability Insurance

Before I define disability insurance, let’s review a story: Joe Danger, CPA earns $100,000 a year working at a Big Four accounting firm. In his free time, Joe likes to practice juggling chainsaws. During a recent chainsaw-juggling performance at the Del Mar Fair, Joe injures his hands. Without any working digits, Joe is no longer able to use the number pad on his keyboard. He can’t work – and is not entitled to his salary! Now that I’ve got your attention with this gruesome example, let’s…
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Should I Cosign My Spouse’s Refinanced Student Loan?

Should I co-sign on a loan?

The following is a post by attorney Adam S. Minsky, who focuses his practice in student loan law. Please be advised that this post is not legal advice and does not constitute the creation of an attorney-client relationship. Attorney Minsky is licensed to practice law in Massachusetts and New York. Cosigning may, at first glance, seem like a fairly straightforward, no-risk way of helping a loved one secure a student loan or a refinancing. Having a solid cosigner may result in better loan terms or a…
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The Smart Way to Save Money On Auto Insurance

How to Save Money on Auto Insurance

Do you wish you could save money on your regular bills? Are you tired of overpaying for important components of your financial plan, but not sure what to do? If so, I’ve got some simple advice that can help you save hundreds of dollars in one budget category: your auto insurance policy. Every year, thousands of people make a specific mistake with their coverage that costs them big time. These people are literally taking hundreds of dollars every year and lighting it on fire. Want…
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What’s a Long-Short Mutual Fund?

Avoid Long-Short Mutual Funds

If you’re thinking of using a long-short mutual fund as part of your investment strategy, you may want to think again. Despite what you may have read an investing magazine, this investing plan isn’t for the faint of heart. The reason why is simple: Most money managers who successfully use a long-short strategy are exceptionally skilled. In other words, they’ve had years of experience in the markets, and know exactly what they’re doing. The regular investor, on the other hand, has a much smaller chance at the…
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Should I Invest in Bitcoin?

Should I invest in Bitcoin?

If you’ve been watching Bitcoin prices lately, you already know they’ve made quite a run. As of this writing, a single bitcoin is worth $831.91. To put things in perspective, Bitcoin values were in the $300 – $400 range for much of 2015. Those who invested in Bitcoin years ago are likely rejoicing. But, should you join them? Continue reading to learn more about Bitcoin, how it works, and why this investment might be worth skipping despite its high returns. What is Bitcoin? Generally speaking, Bitcoin…
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Stock Market Crash Around the Corner?

Is a Market Crash Around the Corner?

Recently, we had a meeting with a prospective client. We helped her talk through her investment strategy, then gave her some ideas to think on before our next meeting. As we were winding down, she began throwing a bevy of random financial planning questions our way – for example, “Should I buy a whole life insurance policy?” One great question she asked – and the topic of this post – is whether the Dow inching toward 20,000 was a good thing or a bad thing. While nobody knows for…
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Life Insurance or 401(k)?

Life Insurance or 401(k)? Fee-only financial planners and fiduciaries at Define Financial.

I love reader questions – and always jump at the chance to answer them. Today’s question comes from Phillip. Phillip just had his first kid, Alexander. Being a good parent, Phillip is making progress towards three vital things for new parents: Life Insurance Disability Insurance A Will Like any budget-conscious person, Phillip is aghast at the cost of the insurance policies he now desperately needs. He shared his concern with me, saying: Life insurance is expensive. Aren’t I better off putting this money into my 401(k) to…
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