Equifax Breach: 2 Things You Need to Know

As most are aware, Equifax recently announced that a data breach on July 29th may have impacted as many as 143 million consumers in the U.S. The internet is full of helpful information about this incident, so I’ll keep this short. Here are two things we want you to know: 1. THE EQUIFAX WEBSITE IS…UNPREDICTABLE You might have seen the eligibility website released by Equifax. In return for your last name and last 6 digits of your SSN, it – allegedly – tells you if you’ve…
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Umbrella & Disability Insurance: Critical for Young Professionals

Two Critical Things for Young Professionals

Recently, we completed a financial plan for a young professional (we’ll call him Adam). I’m happy to say that Adam was on a good track. He was maxing out his 401(k) each year and held small taxable and Roth IRA accounts as well. Prospects were bright for Adam: at his savings rate, the retirement he wanted in the future was a definite possibility. This, of course, assumes that everything goes according to plan. But what if it doesn’t? While Adam did a great job saving…
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Investing Benchmarks Defined (with Beer & BBQ!)

Using BBQ and beer to explain benchmarks in investing.

Before I define what investing benchmarks are and why they are important, allow me to set the stage for today’s lesson. Those who know me well know that, in addition to being a finance fanatic, I am obsessed with beer and barbecue. Today, I’ll combine all three passions and share with you some recent experiments I performed while barbecuing with beer. I promise there’s a money lesson in here, so stick with me! BBQ’ing with Beer – An Analogy In the first experiment, I cooked…
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Save 95 Percent On Investment Fees with This Flash Sale

Keep Your Investment Fees Low

Before I talk about investment fees, allow me to start with a story. July 4th has come and gone and so has some of the summer’s most lucrative sales. But, thanks to my wife’s diligent coupon-clipping, we scored a sweet 20 percent off coupon for Harbor Freight. Obviously, I used that coupon to pick up some tools for our never-ending list of home improvement projects. But, why the sale? Harbor Freight hosted this sale to get new customers in the door, and their strategy worked. If someone…
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Focus on What You Save – Not on What You Spend

Focus on saving money, not on what you spend.

The financial planning process can be a wake-up call for many, mostly because people tend to have multiple revelations as the process unfolds. Recently, a client emailed to tell me she was surprised at just how much money she spends. As I told her, this is a normal reaction for someone who is getting acquainted with their financial picture for the first time. If most people took a look at where their money goes, they would also be surprised. Unfortunately, most people never bother. Still, I…
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Why You Should Skip Fake News and Choose Boring Investments Instead

Financial Fake News? Real financial advice is boring!

When it comes to investing, most who are successful use a simple formula to achieve results. For starters, successful investors actually research different investment strategies before moving ahead – and this is after they study their strategy’s fees and historical data. Lastly, successful investors typically pick a single strategy and stick with it for the long haul – that is, they don’t flip and flop as the markets go up and down. Unfortunately, far too many investors fail to master each of these steps. While most…
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What Everyone Ought to Know about Early Retirement (and Staying Retired)

what do I need to know about the challenges early retirement

The internet and its many financial independence bloggers have made the idea of “early retirement” all the rage. If you earn plenty of money and invest it wisely, early retirement enthusiasts say, you can quit work earlier than your peers and enjoy decades of freedom before you reach old age. The good news is, these people are absolutely right. Early retirement is possible if you start planning early and make smart financial moves along the way. The downside is, early retirement comes with a host of challenges you have to overcome…
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Annuity vs. Annuitization

Annuity vs Annuitization

What Is an Annuity? An annuity is a financial product. It’s one possible way people can invest money. Technically, an annuity represents a contract made between the insurance company and the person who bought the annuity. When you purchase an annuity, you can make a one-time payment for it. In exchange, the insurance company promises to provide some sort of benefit. Usually, that’s some type of income, long-term care, or growth of assets. Annuities Are (Usually) a Ripoff The definition of an annuity can make…
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