My Retirement Portfolio

graphInvesting is difficult.

Even when advisors try to keep advice simple, they tell you to use index funds. But which ones should you buy?

Managing your retirement portfolio properly can make the difference between the 65-year-old you working as a Walmart greeter barely scraping by or the 65-year-old you traveling, spending time with your grandkids, and giving back to your community.

My goal today is to give you a model portfolio, one that I will use for my own Roth IRA, so that you have a guideline for your retirement account. I hope it helps! Continue reading

Want to Know who Really Moves the Market?

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! (A little late… I know)

It’s great to be back from a short writing break. I got to spend some quality time with friends and family, and I hope each of you did as well.

One of the recent topics in financial news has been the Federal Reserve due to the meeting on December 13-14 and the decision to raise interest rates.

The Fed and its operations can be extremely confusing, but few entities impact your investments to the same extent. For this reason, it is vital to understand what the Federal Reserve is, how it works, and how it impacts the market. If you want to learn what really moves the economy, read on. Continue reading

The Stock Market: Know Your Options

market-1558658_1920If you’re reading this blog, you probably want to build wealth.

You want to be able to buy a house, help your kids with college, and retire.

If you share these goals, then one of the best tools for the task is the stock market. Newsflash: investing in the stock market without understanding the industry is like going on an African safari with a wooden baseball bat instead of a .375 H&H…

I’m a math guy, so here’s an equation: you + your goofy baseball bat + a lion = a lion with a full stomach

You wouldn’t go hunting in Africa with a baseball bat, so don’t dive into the stock market without having a clue what’s going on! You’ve probably heard quite a few of your friends tell you horror stories about how they lose money every time they invest in the stock market. Well, they probably don’t know how the stock market works.

Here’s the actual truth: over the last 87 years, the average annual return of the S&P 500, (which tracks the performance of the 500 largest publicly traded companies in America,) was 11.41% (information courtesy of NYU’s Stern School of Business). For those of you who are skeptical, that time frame includes the Great Depression, Black Monday, the dot-com bubble, and the great recession.

The numbers don’t lie. The stock market is an excellent wealth building tool. But, you have to know how to use it.

So, if you want to learn more about the stock market, and if you don’t want to become a lion’s lunch, read on. Continue reading

What are Stocks?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou want to build wealth, right?

You probably want to help your kids with college tuition, buy a house, and even retire someday.

But how will you do that?

If you read about investing, you’ll learn that stocks are supposed to be one of the best tools for creating long term wealth. But if you watch the news, it seems like the stock market fluctuates for no apparent reason.

Investing in stocks can be extremely confusing, but I don’t want you to miss out on an extraordinary opportunity to build wealth, so today I’m going to give simplified answers to 2 questions:

  1. What is a stock?
  2. What does owning a stock allow you to do?

Continue reading

My Cheesy Latte Post

coffeeSaving enough to retire, support your children through college, or buy your first house can seem like a daunting task. For a 22-year-old graduating from college with thousands of dollars in student loans, or for a waitress at the local cafe who’s barely scraping by, such a feat must seem nearly impossible.

Random fact: managing your finances and eating an elephant have quite a bit in common.

Both are monstrous tasks, but they can be accomplished by taking one bite at a time.

Let me be honest for a second. I don’t want this to be another cheesy article published on a personal finance blog about how all you have to do to transition from being a broke, starving college student to a multi-millionaire is stop drinking lattes. Someone probably wrote a great post on that subject a decade ago, and then every finance blogger on the world wide web jumped on the bandwagon.

I’m a math guy. Always have been. I look at everything from a numbers perspective. With that in mind, my goal with this post is to help you identify some of the spending habits in your life, do the math, and see what kind of an impact they can have on your long term financial situation. Here we go… Continue reading